How to use a ham radio

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Want to know how to use a ham radio? Find out in the clip above from GBTV!

  • Anonymous

    Been an avid SWL for decades.  Amateur radio has been around since the beginning of radio — it IS the beginning of radio.

    Amateur radio is sort of dying out (look up “silent key”) — but is absolutely essential.  FCC dropped the Morse requirement for a test (still very important) some years ago (see “Independence Day” — “it’s the Americans” for the use of Morse).

    It’s a shame that new equipment for consumers is fading out and the equipment has become incredibly expensive, but not all of it.  Used equipment helps a lot if price is a concern.  If you can, get some vacuum-tube equipment as it’s immune to EMP. SSB (Single Sideband) reception and transmission is a must these days but good ‘ol AM (Amplitude Modulation — yes just like the AM radio) will work as well — just not as efficiently.

    • Dan R

      Amateur radio is NOT dying out. There are now more than 700,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the U.S., and the numbers are increasing, not decreasing.

      • Anonymous

        The number of licenses do not tell the story.  Sure, “Technician” class is growing — lots of 2-meter operators who don’t know how to send an SOS or have the equipment to do it.  That class “achieved” its goal — to increase numbers..  Those “Technician” class tend to stay there..  The rate of growth in General and Extra Class is slowing down.  For manufacturers, today it’s mainly: Icom, Yaesu, with Kenwood (who has been slowly getting out of the business), Elacraft, MFJ and Alinco trailing behind.  Collins, Drake, Hammarlund, Heath, JRC, National, Johnson and many others are either gone or no longer support the amateur market.  The number of quality operators on HF has been going down as well — sloppiness,  bad language and annoyances.  I hear it.  But there are still many quality operators and decent nets.

        This post isn’t meant to cast a dark shadow on Amateur Radio quite the opposite — it’s a wake up call for this wonderful hobby and service.

        • Sandie

           tony – thanks for your posts on the ham radios. I canb see where in the not too distant future, what with Iran, China etal  having the UA in their sights  and EMP being a big possibility, the talents of the HAM operator and the “old fashioned” equipment could be a savior.

  • David Gillmore

    I am a licensed HAM radio operator. PLEASE do not have that GEEK from north Texas ALLR do an hour show! He will confuse and deter more people from learning HAM than he will help. Please get someone who can speak in layman’s terms and keep it simple.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, find an old-timer (an Elmer) who can explain, demonstrate and build the equipment and do so clearly and simply.  While one may find an Elmer amongst the ranks of the neo-survivalists, Elmers can also be doctors, lawyers even a next door neighbor.

    • General Kota

      Why do they call it HAM?

      • Anonymous

        There are lots of stories, but the one generally accepted is that it is a shortened version of “amateur”.  With a certain accents across the pond AM-eteur sounds like “HAM-eteur” becoming “Ham” for short.

        73’s and good DX’ing

        • General Kota

          Thank you.

        • Bill Tilghman

          That explains why merely plugging an rf amplifier and a rectifier tube into a Hormel Cure 81 was not getting me anywhere… I knew there had to be a bit more involved.  :)

      • Anonymous

        it is my understanding that in the very early days of Amateur Radio,,  the first radio operators were said to be “hamming around”, while talking on their radios. I have had several different licenses, had all five (at that time) licences, and right now, am inactive, but, still have a dual band transceiver ready in case of emergency.

      • Anonymous

        One theory is back in the very early days most of the people operating radios were professional telegraphers and the people who were amateur operators were not as good at sending code. At some point one of the professional telegraphers said that guy (meaning the amateur operator) must have a ham for a fist because his code was so bad…the name stuck.

    • Anonymous

      Amateur  Radio Relay League  ARRL … the man from North Texas, needs to go with the very basics of the hobby on his next appearance. He doesn’t need to try to explain eme, or  diodes or resistors.  Maybe Glenn needs to maybe find someone else, that can explain HAM radio so the basics can be almost understood, or give him more time.  Half of what that man said, and showed yesterday, was confusing to me, and I have an extra class license. (I did it the hard way, 20 wpm cw). Maybe someone needs to talk about cw, and explain that one can talk around the world using one watt. (qrp) There are many subjects that can be discussed, if one has time. The man from North Texas had way too much to show, and try to explain, in too little time. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for doing such an amazing show tonight, Glenn and guests :)  True.  Invaluable.  Much love :)

  • Brenda Nicholson

    Great program , hopefully will get people up and going . My sister and I have talked and taught over 4000 people in the last 6mos. and only 1-2% are actually taking action.But we plug along and it would be nice to see a woman in your group !! and though I know Food Ins. is one of your big sponsors, you can purchase excellent food reserves for half as much. You simply can and it’s not fair to not let people know. We have a co-op for those who funds are like ours – low.

  • Anonymous

    I agree,,,   being an extra class Amateur Radio licensed operator, wd4o,  (I did it the hard way, twenty wpm) that man, confused me too. I am sure if he didn’t have the time constraints, he probably could have done much better. 

  • Vinny

    Wow, that guy snapped GB off and corrected his malfeasance in the beginning.  You can’t talk to Glenn Beck like that, he has his skull & bones patch on, don’t you know what that means?  It means he’s a caring, loving, gentle person…, yea right.  Glenn is part of a fraternal order, he shows you from time to time, he has no choice in the matter.  He’s an evil man, through and through, he cares not of the common man. 

    • SoThere

      The “Skull and Bones capped with a Crown” is a Revolutionary symbol and it’s meaning is to Throw off the Tyrannic rule of the British crown.

      Vinny/strtlk is a hatemonger and an anti-Semitic Jew hater.

    • General Kota

      Put the crack down it is messing with your mind occupy pooper!

    • Ellis Mcwhorter

      I can see you are a DemoNcrat?

      Enough said.

    • Anonymous

      LOL Vinny, maybe you need to put your tin hat back on, the voices are coming back.

    • Steven Istvan Szabo

      Wow. When did they let you out? Did your meds run out too? 

    • Bill Tilghman

       Talk about someone who snapped! I don’t know how you got to that rant from Ham Radio?

      Maybe you should engage the frequency lock – you have way too much signal drift.

  • Anonymous

    Wanna learn about ham radio?  Go to Tuesday evenings at 9:00 PM ET and watch ham nation. It is hosted by Bob Heil and Gordon West and cover many aspects of ham radio from
    beginer to old timer. You can build a ham transmitter for 5 bucks and a receiver for 10 bucks that you can make international contacts with. It is like any other hobby, you can spend as little or as much as you want.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the tip froggy.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you may be able to build a transceiver for $15.00 bucks, but you forget one small item; you can’t ‘operate a ham rig WITHOUT AN FCC LICENSE!!  You can listen all you want on a receiver, but with out a license your s— out of luck.  I have had a license (General Class), now for many years and I am studying for my Extra Class.  There is no ‘Code’ requirement any more so its easy to get your “ticket” now.  Get on the ARRL website and find out where local classes are being held, sign up, get your book and start learning so you can pass your test!  Our motto, When all else fails, Ham Radio is here!!!
                                                               73 & 88  (Love & Kisses),
                                 WB4CHH  Nina J. Stone

  • Anonymous

     Guess what?  He could even be your boss at work like mine! He has had a license since high school.  My ‘OM’ has been continuously licensed since 1956!!  He is a Gen. class licensee. I am also since 1976.  We don’t have a HF rig, we have 2mtrs only.  THE om  doesn’t do much with it, but I love to contest, especially when you hear those foreigh callsigns!  Its great fun.  73 & 88

  • The Champ

    Great website that helps preppers get licensed really smart guys, and all preppers too! For those interested in more info!

  • Pro Greninger

    You can participate in Emergency managment in your local community, in mine we have ARES and the ARRL it’s pretty neat concept that after a disaster you can help coordinate emergency services for those in need. It’s your government if you don’t participate “they” will.

  • J

    Hit youtube and search for k7age. He has some great vids up on how to just about anything amateur radio related. Problem with most ham radios is that they are computers in small boxes. So 1 good solar flair and they go down too.  Unless you keep a spair in a feraday cage.  Future weapons show has a video on youtube where a car goes through an EMP. Car wont start but the battery and window motor still works.

  • Anonymous

    Anybody consider IP over Ham radio? With the concern over internet access being limited at some point by zealot regulators, I’d put this up there with firearms as an essential for freedom. Lose communication and you have anarchy. We need some of those new digital radios like the ARRL man was demonstrating to be ruggedized as well. So, how about it – anyone know of a Ham system designed to transmit and receive IP traffic similar to the way Cell towers operate?

  • Anonymous

    Amateur Radio was recently used for meaningful communications in Henryville , IN and West Liberty, KY. This assisted when some of the public safety radios did not work due to extensive damage to the area. Amateurs work in Search and Rescue and Ecomm situations for no charge for time or equipment. It is the American duty to help our fellow American’s in a time of need.

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