Amateur Radio



Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania

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Amateur Radio


The 449.375 (-) Repeater (pl 100.0) is once again operational on Blue Mtn above Palmerton PA



Amateur Radio is a hobby for anyone interested in communicating  with others Hams around the world using radio transmitters and receivers. New Digital technology is also allowing other modes of communication utilizing Internet Protocols.


They can communicate across town, across the country and around the world, and even with the Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle. And Hams come from all walks of life -- they are Doctors, Carpenters, Lawyers, Students, Truck Drivers, Engineers, Welders, Musicians, Teenagers, etc. 


Ham Radio operators are licensed in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and must pass a written License exam, covering electronics theory and amateur radio rules and regulations. 


There are a number of Operator classes available, all with different operating privileges and operating modes, based upon the level of of the test the Ham has taken.   

Station W1AW at ARRL Headquarters


View Ham Radio Video by Andrew (OZ1XJ) and Lissa >> TheHamband


But Amateur Radio is not just about "chit-chatting" with each other. It is a very important part of backup emergency communications for many public service organizations whether it is the local Emergency Management Office or an organization like the American Red Cross.  The National Hurricane Service in Miami FL  (See The Hurricane Watch Net) relies heavily on "field" reports from Hams in the middle of a storm. 


Amateur Radio operators volunteer their services to provide communications in activities like the March of Dimes Walkathon and other special events. And, every year in June the ARRL sponsors a weekend long event called "Field Day", in which many Hams participate by setting up their radio station at remote portable sights, to test their communications abilities in emergency situations. 


And, with today's technology, Hams can actually send and receive regular Internet email by Radio  utilizing "Winlink" software and technology during disaster situations, allowing local EMA offices and served agencies like the Red Cross to still communicate via email when their normal Internet connections have been downed or otherwise inoperable. 


Another software solution that is gaining popularity for digital emergency communications is NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System) and requires nothing more than a laptop or desktop computer to send and receive data/text using the computer soundcard. It doesn't require any expensive additional hardware.  You don't even need to have a direct wire connection to your computer -- you can actually hold your microphone up to the computer speaker to send the digital data.  


Look up an Amateur's Call

Call Sign from QRZ:    

Call Sign from ARRL:   









  Origin of the word "HAM"


Have you ever wondered why Amateur radio Operators are sometimes called "Hams"?


There are a couple of theories on this, one from the ARRL and another that first appeared in Amateur Radio Communicator  Magazine in 1994 authored by Gerald Crenshaw WD4BIS


Click here to learn 
about both theories





 A Little Levity.... 


Click the image below to watch the Hamster Dance.


Thanks to Chris -PA7RHM



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