How to Get Started in Ham Radio

Last updated 1:18 PM EST on 11/20/95
If you're already an Amateur Radio operator, please help us 
"spread the word" about our exciting hobby. Post this file on 
your local BBS or PBBS, newsletter, Web page or anywhere you 
might find  prospective hams. And don't forget, ARRL makes 
getting started in ham radio easy. New and  prospective hams may 
call 1-800-32-NEW HAM (800-326-3942). 


Here's your invitation to a high-tech hobby that's got something 
fun for everyone.  Amateur Radio operators are people from all 
walks of life--no matter what age, gender or  physical ability. 
And, getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier! You 
can usually find a ham radio class in your area sponsored by 
friendly volunteers who will help you learn the ropes.

The rules for earning an Amateur Radio license vary depending on 
which country you live in. In the US, there are six license 
levels, or "license classes." These licenses are granted by the 
Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Two Beginner Licenses To Choose From

The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class 
gives you all ham radio privileges above 30 Megahertz (MHz). 
These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many 
Technician licensees enjoy using small 2-meter hand-held radios 
to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may 
operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-
sideband voice and several other interesting modes. They can even 
make international radio contacts via satellites, using 
relatively simple equipment. To earn a Technician license, you'll 
need to pass the Novice and Technician written exams. These are 
multiple-choice tests, written with beginners in mind. You'll 
study topics such as radio operating practices, FCC rules and 
basic electrical theory.

The Novice Class license lets you talk by radio using voice, 
Morse code or computers. To earn a Novice license, you'll need to 
pass the Novice written exam and a 5 words-per-minute Morse code 
test. Novice Class operating privileges include FM voice on the 
220 MHz band, digital packet, and single-sideband voice on the 10 
meter band. Novice operators may also use many other popular 
shortwave frequencies (below 30 MHz) to communicate worldwide 
using Morse code.

Where Do I Start?

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) publishes ham radio 
license study guides to help you learn the things you'll need to 
pass your exam and have fun with Amateur Radio. ARRL can also 
assist you in finding ham operators in your area who'd like to 
help you get started.

The ARRL Educational Activities Department (EAD) distributes a 
New Ham Package that is sent at no cost to you. The material 
describes Amateur Radio, popular ARRL study guides, and includes 
a list of your local ham radio clubs, ham radio classes and 
volunteer examiners in your area. To serve you best, we'd like to 
know the following when you request an New Ham Package:

		-Your First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name
		-Call Sign (optional)
		-Date of Birth, MM/DD/YY
		-Street Address
		-City, State, Zip, Country
		-Phone 1 (day), Phone 2 (evening)

Contact ARRL today for an New Ham Package by any of the following 
Telephone Toll-Free:	1-800-32-NEW HAM  (our New Ham "Hot 
Line")                   1-800-326-3942
Mail:			ARRL EAD, 225 Main St, Newington 
                         CT 06111-1494 USA
Telephone:		(860) 594-0301
FAX:			(860) 594-0259
ARRL BBS:		(860) 594-0306
CompuServe		70007,3373
Prodigy			PTYS02A
America Online		HQARRL1
(Make sure to include a specific request for the New Ham Package 
and include your postal address because there is too much 
material to send via e-mail or fax.)

Join the World of Amateur Radio...The Hobby of A Lifetime!