A handheld ham radio can provide plenty hours of fun for the ham radio enthusiast. It can also be a lifesaver when a local emergency strikes. For whatever reasoning that you choose to use your radio, make sure that you have the proper equipment and follow all important rules. This form of communication has been around for numerous years and is still gaining in popularity. The following article is going to provide a few interesting facts about ham radios in general.
Ham Radio Licensing
Ham radios are a wonderful source of entertainment, but ham radio owners also have a huge responsibility as well. There are many rules and regulations that you have to learn before you can legally operate a ham radio. There are many channels involved and you must not get in the way of the professionals who use them to handle emergencies. This is why licensing is required before you are allowed to actually use a handheld ham radio.
Due to the nature of how ham radios work, there are various kinds of available certifications. As a result, there are different certification tests. Simply put, a ham radio has low and high bands. The lower the band, the lower the testing level is for that certification. The lower bands are where most newbies and hobbyists hover. These are the low frequencies where people like to hang out and talk, which is why a high certification is not needed. However, as the bands go up, testing certification also gets higher and harder. However, once the exam has been passed, your personal call sign will be issued. You are then free to use your handheld ham radio to communicate with the rest of the world for free.
What to Look for in a Handheld Ham Radio
Most newbies like to start out with handheld ham radios because they are simple and pocket sized. However, as time goes on, you can upgrade depending on how you intend on using your radio. This could be for business purposes, as a hobby or even just for emergency purposes. However, there are still a few things that you should look for when purchasing your new handheld ham radio.
1. First, make sure that your radio is purchased from a credible US dealer. Unfortunately, some ham radios are not approved by the FCC. You do not want to buy a handheld ham radio that causes problems for the frequencies that are monitored by the FCC.
2. Second, look for ham radios that have a keypad for entering your frequencies directly. Without this feature, you will have to key these in via memory and also retrieve them in the same manner. This would be okay if you are using your handheld ham radios for hobby purposes only. Just a few used frequencies will be needed. However, your ability to key in new frequencies at a moment's notice will be hampered without a direct entry keypad. This could be the case during an emergency.
3. You will need a display that lights up so that you can see what you are doing 24/7.
4. A repeat reverse button will make usage much more convenient.
5. Make sure that your radio comes with a manual that you can understand and use.
6. Do not purchase ham radios that do not give you the capability to use an external jack.
All in all, ham radios are a fun way to communicate with the world for free. If you learn and abide by the rules, this should be a form of communication that can provide hours of fun and entertainment.
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