It is both a hobby and a service – better known as "Ham radio".
Unlike most hobbies, however, Ham operators are licensed by
government. In the United States it's the Federal
Commission. The Federal Communications
amateur operators many privileges because the hobby is partially based
on service to the general public, and hams can be relied on to assist
during emergencies. Groups of amateur operators meet annually
practice handling emergency communications in the field and to compete
against other groups nationwide in performing certain emergency-related
tasks. Amateur operators may set up warning and relief
the hurricane and tornado seasons, and handle communication when
telephone lines and cell towers are damaged by disasters.
use an amateur radio, applicants must pass a test, which varies
depending on the country. There are several test levels, each one
granting more privileges to the operator, such as range of frequencies
and antenna power, and special call sign choices. In the
States the basic license is the Technician license which is granted
after an applicant passes a 50 question exam. The next
the General license, which is granted after the applicant passes
another 50 question exam. The highest class of amatuer license is the
Amateur Extra license, which is granted after the applicant passes a
third exam consisting of 100 questions.
Licensed operators are issued a “call-sign" by the FCC which
identifies them on the air. I took
the Technician Ham license exam in May of 2021 at the Onslow
Amateur Radio Club
and was issued call sign ko4qdg.
My current radio is an inexpensive AnyTone
778UV with 25 watts of power, connected to a dual band Diamond X50A
vertical antenna mounted on a 20 foot mast in my
778 operates on both the
band and the VHF 70-cm band. The Carteret Amateur Radio Society
has a repeater about 6 miles from my house that I can transmit through
to talk to people in other parts of North Carolina. I also
Baofeng UV-R5 handheld radio with 5 watts of power. I use
EchoLink to talk to people in other states and in other countries.
Most of the time
I am listening on the Newport (k4grw) repeater on 145.450.
I took and passed the General ham license
exam in July of 2021 and changed my FCC call sign to kt4obx.
In August, I passed the ham Radio Amateur Extra exam at the Onslow
Amateur Radio Club
and chose the short 4-digit call sign kd3y. Due to the limited number of 4-digit call signs they are the most sought after by amateur radio enthusiasts.
NORTH CAROLINA RADIO GROUP
NORTH CAROLINA AMATUER RADIO CLUB
CARTERET COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
NEW BERN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
PAMLICO AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
PAMLICO AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
WAYNE COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION
FESSENDEN AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
JOHNSTON AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
BRIGHTLEAF AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
KINSTON AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY
kd3y. All rights reserved.