Ham Radio

I am currently inactive in Amateur Radio, mostly for the following reasons: (1) When I became more active in music again, the local net conflicted with PBCB rehearsal time. (2) I never was able to get good, clear phone signals on HF, and I never was able to find anyone to help me with my rig/antenna setup. I was able to make low power digital mode contacts, and I used VHF frequently. (3) My Icom IC-746, which I considered a pricey commitment, eventually suffered from the IC151 chip failure and stopped transmitting and cannot be repaired. This was really the "straw that broke the camel's back", and I shelved the hobby after that for the time being. Nevertheless, I am posting this page here for information purposes and in case I return to the hobby in the future.

Amateur Radio (called Ham Radio) is radio frequency spectrum allocated for non-commercial and emergency communication and wireless experimentation. Unlike other radio spectrum users, such as the Citizen Band (CB), ham radio operators are allowed to build and modify transmitting equipment. Ham radio operators are required to be tested and licensed to operate.

My call sign is WE1LS. My friend N7ICM got me involved in ham radio. I felt that learning ham radio would help me in building Wi-Fi networks and amateur radio astronomy telescopes. My wife is also a ham operator. Her call sign is N4JUL.

Wanna Be A Ham?

If you have $55 and a little bit of time, you can become an Amateur Radio Operator with equipment!

  • Register with the FCC to obtain your FRN: Link
  • Download and study the free KB6NU No-Nonsense Technician-Class License Study Guide: Link
  • Register at QRZ.COM: Link
  • Take free practice Technician exams at QRZ.COM: Link
  • When you're ready to take your Technician exam, Find a session:
    Bring your driver's license, your FRN, and $15 cash. If you're already a ham and need an upgrade, also bring the original and photocopy of your current license and any CSCE(s)
  • The Baofeng UV-5R is a cheap Chinese import handy talkie radio that you can pick up from Amazon for under $40. It is not much radio, but it will get you on the air. The UV-5R+, UV-5RA, UV-5RA+, and so on are all the same radio with different style cases. They also come in different colors. Manual
  • Get on EchoLink: Link


Here are some topics of ham radio that I am interested in:

  • Digital modes (Packet, PSK31, JT65, etc)
  • EchoLink
  • Giving License Examinations
  • Low Power Operation
  • Portable Operating
  • Practicing and Operating CW
  • Remote Rig Control
  • Repeater Operation

Related Links

Alpha Antenna: HF Verticals and J-Poles, and satellite antennas
Amateur Radio Service at FCC.gov: Amateur radio information and licensing
American Radio Relay League: Amateur Radio interest organization
aprs.fi: Google Maps APRS
Argent Data Systems: Makers of the OpenTracker APRS
Arrow Antennas: VHF and UHF portable, yagi, and J-Pole antennas
Become A Storm Spotter From Home
Codec2: Open source, low bit-rate digital voice
eHam.net: Amateur radio community site
HamTestOnline: Ham radio exam courses
HSMM-MESH: Self configuring ham broadband network
KF7P Metalwerks: Tower, shack, and grounding gear
learn morse code: Morse code charts
MFJ Enterprises: Amateur radio accessories
Milton Amateur Radio Club: Amateur radio club in the Milton, FL area; W4VIY
Morse Resource: Tools to help learn or improve your Morse code skills
NC4FB Amateur Radio Blog: Amateur radio exam study materials
QRZ.COM: Amateur radio database, news, forum, swap meet, and exam preparation
RadioReference.com: Radio frequency database and resources
Universal Licensing System at FCC.gov: Public access to FCC licensing information and electronic filing
VOACAP: Point-to-Point HF Prediction
W8IRC: Ham radio related IRC channels
Worldwide Ham Radio QSL: Solar-terrestrial data
WSPRnet: Weak signal propagation reporter network

Related Software

WindowsAGW Packet Enginenot foss: Packet radio modem
AndroidAPRSdroid: APRS for Android
LinuxMacOSXAprx: Terminal-based APRS iGate and Digipeater
LinuxMacOSXWindowsCHIRP: Tool for programming amateur radios
AndroidWindowsEchoLinknot foss: VoIP for amateur radio
MacOSXEchoMac: EchoLink client
LinuxMacOSXWindowsFldigi: Modem program for digital modes
LinuxGtkMMorse: Morse code learning tool
LinuxMacOSXWindowsHamlib: Ham radio control libraries
LinuxMacOSXWindowsJMorseTrainer: Morse code learning tool
WindowsJT65-HF: Weak signal digital mode
WindowsJust Learn Morse Codenot foss: Morse code learning tool
AndroidPocket RXTXnot foss: Android ham rig remote control
LinuxQtel: EchoLink client
LinuxSoundmodem: Packet radio modem; Can be used with Xastir
LinuxSvxLink: Voice services for transceivers, including EchoLink and Voice Mail
LinuxXastir: APRS client

WindowsDownload the free Ham Radio Deluxe Version 5.24.38 here.


Visit ##hamradio on Freenode, nick WE1LS.
Find me on EchoLink: WE1LS 725745 and WE1LS-L 787868.

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