I just received my Amateur Radio license yesterday. I am officially a ham radio operator.
Before you continue reading, if you are not a ham and you don’t know what I am talking about, here is a brief explanation about ham radio (amateur radio):
Amateur radio, often called Ham Radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called “hams” use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training. In the United states of America, the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) is the authority to give licenses and to plan what bands and frequencies a ham operator can use.
It all started 3 weeks ago, when I was watching some YouTube videos about tactical gear, survival kits and tools, and others about what do in case of emergency or SHTF. I was getting some interest into walkie talkies at the beginning until I noticed that one of them is advertised to cover over 35 miles. I thought that was a bit of a stretch so I started looking about how far can radio waves really travel.
I was fascinated with what I found.
At this point, I just learned about CB (Citizen Band), GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio service). These are great services and would have satisfied all my needs at this point. but it wasn’t until about 30 minutes later when I started noticing that I just heard the word “ham radio” over 50 times.
I started searching for what is ham radio! and that has really got my mind blown.
The fact that you could communicate with someone in another country, some other continent or even half-way across the Earth is what really pulled me into this world. I kept searching, reading every article and watching every post that had to do with ham radio.
After 2 days, I bought the ARRL Ham radio license manual (the study material to pass the first level, technician, Amateur radio exam). If you are interested, here is a link to buy the ARRL ham radio license manual.
I finished the book in three days, then I looked for an exam session. I took my exam on October 9th and I passed the technician level from first time.
I even tried to take the general class (second level) exam - without studying - and I missed by two questions. I will definitely try again soon.
So, as I mentioned earlier, I just received my amateur radio license yesterday. My call sign is KD2MBV. However, this is a temporary call sign as I have already applied for a vanity call sign that I should receive soon.
Update (11/09/2016): Today, I received my new vanity call sign: N2SHO. So, KD2MBV is no longer my call sign. read more about this here
I am only testing the water now, so I only bought a small HT (Handie Talkie) radio to test reaching the local repeaters in my city. I am using a BaoFeng BF-F8HP HT dual band 144/440 and I just had my first contact over the air using this radio.
I will most likely upgrade to a base station soon.
73 de N2SHO