It is both a hobby and a service – better known as "Ham radio".  Unlike most hobbies, however, Ham operators are licensed by their government.  In the United States it's the Federal Communications Commission.  The Federal Communications Commission allows 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 to 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 networks during the hurricane and tornado seasons, and handle communication when telephone lines and cell towers are damaged by disasters.  

In order to 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 United States the basic license is the Technician license which is granted after an applicant passes a 50 question exam.  The next license is 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 yard.  The 778 operates on both the VHF 2-meter 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 have a 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.




Morehead City, NC
UTC  -4
Greenwich Mean Time
UTC 0
Frankfurt, Germany
UTC +2
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
UTC +3



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







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