Minutes of June 2014 Meeting
Amateur Radio is...
a form of communication, a hobby and a community service. This unique mix of fun, convenience and public service is what distinguishes Amateur Radio. People get involved in Amateur Radio for many reasons, but they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology, regulations and operating principles. All have passed an examination leading to an authorization to operate on the "Amateur Bands."
Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communication due to power outages and destruction of telephone lines. Many Radio Amateurs are active as communication volunteers providing backup communications for their local public safety organizations. In some disasters, radio communications among public safety or relief officials fail, when radio towers or other elements in the normal communication infrastructure are damaged. Radio Amateurs may be able to help using their technical skills and their own portable or mobile radio equipment. The club operates 3 local repeaters which have the capability of linking around the world! They provide a wide local coverage area along with a few others in the region. Many Amateur operators belong to the ARES, Amateur Radio Emergency Service, for this public service part of the hobby.
There are many modes including VHF/UHF FM, or digital such as D-star and PSK, HF and Morse code (CW). There is always something to experiment with whether you are a novice or a long time amateur operator. You don’t have to be an electronics wizard to enjoy amateur radio. Anyone can obtain their licence!
How to become an Amateur Radio Operator...
You must pass an exam to obtain an Amateur Radio operators certificate and call sign. Morse code is no longer required. However, either a Morse code qualification or a "Basic with Honours" qualification (awarded to persons who get 80% or higher on the 100-question, multiple choice exam), allows access to HF (High Frequency) bands. Passing a Morse Code test is no longer required in order to operate Amateur Radio equipment capable of world-wide communications!
With the Advanced Qualification added to your Basic Qualification you can build and operate your own transmitting equipment, sponsor a club station, run higher power and operate your own repeater station. To earn this requires passing a 50-question examination on radio theory.
If you’re interested, please check the RAC web site to get started. Look for updates to this site for information on Amateur Radio courses; we would love to have you join us!