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Be a HAM… RADIO OPERATOR, THAT IS

WHAT IS IT?

Amateur radio is a hobby that provides tremendous personal satisfaction as well as many useful services to our communities. Amateur radio operators come from all walks of life, from all ages, men and women, students and retirees, factory workers and senators, and all in between, and we all have one thing in common: ham radio. We talk to people all over the world and even to people in space.

We can tinker and experiment and build things. We can help with communications at parades and other community events. We send health and welfare messages in times of disaster; sometimes we are the only communications available to distressed areas. We can use satellites to relay communications with hams all over the world. We can compete in radio contests, and we can have conversations with other hams in the world. To do all this you need a license.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Anyone can become an amateur radio operator. All that is needed is to learn a limited amount of information to pass tests prescribed by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The entry- level license test (35 multiple-choice questions) is
designed to allow you to easily obtain a license.

Since 2007, Morse Code no longer is required for any license class. However, Morse Code remains one of the popular modes of communication, and amateur radio operators can learn it through various means, including audiotapes, CDs and computer programs on the Internet. Morse Code is a privilege provided to all the three license classes.

WHAT DOES A LICENSE DO FOR YOU?

There are three grades of amateur radio operators’ licenses. Each grade offers specific operating privileges. Advancing to a higher license class increases operating privileges.

The entry license is the TECHNICIAN class. For this license the applicant must pass a multiple-choice written test demonstrating basic radio knowledge and awareness of regulations regarding the TECHNICIAN class operation. Radio privileges are primarily in the very-high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) bands, which generally limit radio communication to local use, but with proper equipment may be used for satellite communications.

By advancing to the GENERAL class license level, after passing another multiple-choice written test on radio theory, one earns privileges on the high frequency bands and may talk with other hams on the radio worldwide.

The AMATEUR EXTRA license is the highest class amateur radio license. It requires passing a multiple-choice written test regarding more extensive radio theory and regulatory knowledge. It carries with it full privileges on all U.S. amateur radio bands.

The questions for the tests are chosen, fixed, and publicly available in a pool of questions. They are in books published by the ARRL and other publishers, so there are no surprises on the test, just (possible) lapses of memory!

HOW CAN YOU LEARN THIS STUFF?

To help prospective hams prepare for the entry-level (Technician) license, the Delaware-Lehigh Amateur Radio Club (DLARC) offers a series of nine free classes, one evening a week, 7 PM to 9 PM, twice each year, beginning March and September to help interested persons prepare for the required tests. Classes are held in the Northampton County Emergency Management Agency/911 Communications Center on the Gracedale Complex, Nazareth.

The study guide we use is published by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL). We strongly

(OVER)
recommend (but don’t insist!) you use this book, for consistency with the approach used in the classes.

For details and directions contact ke3aw@arrl.net or phone 610.419.9286.

WHAT ARE THE EXAMINATIONS LIKE?

The license examinations are prescribed and regulated by the FCC. They are designed to measure knowledge of the regulations concerning amateur radio, and a small amount (easily learned!) of practical radio knowledge.

Nationally, testing is administered by licensed hams under the direction of the FCC. The DLARC sponsors test sessions, typically on the Friday after the first Thursday of each odd numbered month.

The formal test sessions are administered by volunteer examiners (VEs). VEs are hams who have demonstrated the necessary knowledge required by the FCC and certified by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to test applicants. Our test site is Northampton County Emergency Management Agency/911 Communications Center, on the Gracedale Complex. Nazareth. Tests start at 7:00 PM. The ARRL fee, currently $15, is established for each testing session.

FOR A SCHEDULE OF TEST SESSIONS AND REQUIRED PRE-REGISTRATION FOR A LICENSE TEST SESSION, please contact ke3aw@arrl.net or phone 610.419.9286

In March, 2022, FCC began charging for an Amateur Radio license. Their fee is $35 for the 10-year license.

WHAT IS DLARC?

The Delaware-Lehigh Amateur Radio Club (DLARC) ham operators in the Lehigh Valley. The club meets regularly at 7:00 PM on the first Thursday of each month at the Nancy Run Fire Station Social Hall, 3564 Easton Ave., Bethlehem.

The age of members has ranged from around 8 to 90+! The DLARC is honored to be designated a “Special Services Club” by the American Radio Relay League, as a result of its work in providing communications for public events, emergency communications, and public education about amateur radio.

The club maintains a fully equipped amateur radio station in the Gracedale Complex, which is available for use at any time by club members, in accordance with the operating privileges of their individual FCC license. You don’t have to have an amateur radio license to join the DLARC, nor do you have to be a club member to attend the meetings as the guest of a member (just show up and be our guest).

The DLARC station is open for licensed and non-licensed visitors, Wednesday evenings, about 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday mornings, about 9 p.m. – 12 noon. Call 484.291.1577 to confirm it will be open when you arrive.

Membership in a club such as the DLARC is the easiest and fastest way to find out what’s going on in ham radio, learn where to buy new and used equipment, and get lots of free (and varied!) advice on what “rig” will best suit your individual interests. Best of all, you get to enjoy the company of a group of people who share an interest in your new hobby.
Please visit our website dlarc.club

WHAT IS THE ARRL?

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is a national organization representing the interests of American amateur radio operators, both at home and abroad..

Please visit ARRL at http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio and http://www.arrl.org

WANT MORE INFORMATION?

For further information, email KE3AW@arrl.net or call, 610.419.9286. Leave your name and the phone number where you can be reached during the evening, and ask your question. We will get back to you promptly. If you do not have e-mail and want us to send you information, please be sure to leave your complete USPS address.

Please feel free to copy this material and distribute it to anyone who shows an interest in amateur radio.

The Delaware-Lehigh Amateur Radio Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.

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