Instructables

I want to get into HAM radioing. where do i start? my dad says i should leard morse code.How is the best way to do that?

EDIT: you guy have been a huge help ! if i could i would say all ofd you had the best answer! i'll let you know as soon as i can get themoney to buy the equipment! thanks alot!

rich_moe4 years ago
Congrats on deciding to become a 'Ham"! It's fun, and a challenge at the same time.

Morse Code is no longer a requirement to get your licence, or 'ticket'. There are 3 major licence classes. The lowest, or starter class is Technician Class, which allows you to transmit and receive on most of the various bands and frequencies alloted by the FCC for amateur radio. General Class is the next, which allows more frequencies and bands, and finally, Extra Class, which allows you to use all of the amateur bands and frequencies.

 A list of all the frequencies and bands are available on the internet (use your favorite search engine). A good place to start is to  find an amatuer radio club in your area. Two  of the websites that come to mind for this information are www.qrz.com and www.arrl.org, and search for a radio club in the area. Not all clubs are the same, some specialize, and some are just general types. If you live in an area where there are a lot of hams, you can find different types of clubs and activities. 

Good luck, and hth.

Rich Moe
KE7ONE
Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)  rich_moe4 years ago
do you know if there is an age minimum? i am only 12 so that would be a problem,also how much would the minimal amatuer equipment cost(as i am not exactly made of money haha)
I heard of an 8 year old that got her General License.
ARRL.org
The youngest Ham I've heard of is 8 years old, so, no. No age limitation. As for being 12, I applaud your moxie. (Go ahead, look it up...). You have a better chance of learning things correctly and quicker than an old geezer like me....

P.S. - I'm not terribly well off, either. But I still have fun with what I have. Some of the greatest pleasures are free (or really, really cheap). Build your own radio! Get electronic parts from old and broken stuff (old stereos, radios, monitors, tv's, etc.) and cobble together something that works.
A good place for info on th' hardware is at www.lindsaybks.com !  they can sell you books on how to build ,  modify and make substitutions for th' workin' parts of a ham radio set
Congrats on wanting to become a ham. Ham Radio is a very easy and fun hobby to get into. 3 years ago i got my first license and it is very easy, I was 9 at the time. Licensing goes in three ranks
Technician, This is the first class, study from [http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9639 this book] to make it much easier
General, A few more abilities study from the general version of the book named above(you have to buy a second one for this, The book is blue, as i recall.) This is the license that i have
Amateur Extra, All of the radio privileges, The book is green for this one

Good luck and hope to see you on the Radio soon.
Z..4 years ago
Boy!! I've got to hand it to you ZB, you like a hell of a lot of things! (I hope your gym teacher as now developed a dislike for 'killing' people btw...).

You have a real zest for life! Good luck with the Ham radio quest. My pop had one, many, many, MANY moons ago. It was a whole other global community!

Enjoy it, if you can get it up and running!    

     ,///////////.
   -@ .   . @-    
           .!
      \____/

( I've tried to do a smiley robot from a texting book that my grandson gave me, but I bet it posts all wrong!).
            

    
Z.. Z..4 years ago
Not bad! I think it makes me just a little bit 'cool'!!
framistan4 years ago

Find a radio club and start going to their meetings and MAKE SOME FRIENDS THERE!  Do not try to learn everything on your own. You will get discouraged and give up.  If you make friends at the radio club, they will help you and sell you stuff CHEAP that they have no use for, but you need to start out.   Morse code is fun to learn with friends... and drudgery by yourself.... and you will get discouraged and give up...  Join the club and make friends!  If you are young... start your own club at school.  Pool your resources with schoolmates... and help each other. 

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)  framistan4 years ago
well as far as school goes there are only 200 kids in my school so there would be,if any,only 1 or two people maybe so school would not be a problem
Re-design4 years ago
You don't have to learn code anymore to get a license.  but if you don't you might miss out out something that if fun and interesting.  There are shareware programs that you can download that will give you a group of 5 easy letters to start and when you know the you can ad a letter or two.  It gives you practice and tests so that you can get really good.   Google " morse code tutor shareware" and you'll find them.

A long time ago back in the dark ages of ham radio, you studied and studied and took a test and had no idea what the questions were going to be.  You pretty much had to be an engineer to pass.  Now unless they've change it since '89 you can get books to learn which ever license you are going for and in them will be a brief but pretty well explained text of the rules you need to know, operating principles and theory you need to know for the test.  In the back of the book are a list of the questions.  I repeat a LIST OF THE QUESTIONS that the FCC has prepaired.  They can only ask you from this list of questions.  Plus the ANSWERS ARE IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK.  So there is not reason to fail the test.  All you have to do is prepare with the questions and answers after reading the book.  If you want to become very knowledgeable and proficient in ham radio electronics great but the first issue is to get your license and I've just given you the key to it all.

All it takes is a little study time and find a testing location.  I went from no license to an Extra license in 89 days including the 20 wpm code test that was required at that time.