Here’s your invitation to a high-tech hobby that’s got something fun for everyone. Amateur Radio operators are people from all walks of life–no matter what age, gender or physical ability. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier! You can usually find a ham radio class in your area sponsored by friendly volunteers who will help you learn the ropes.
The rules for earning an Amateur Radio license vary depending on which country you live in. In the US, there are three license levels, or “license classes.” These licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class. None of the classes require a Morse code examination. Technicians have all ham radio privileges above 30 Megahertz (MHz). This includes the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using 2-meter hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in the area and for emergency services communication. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. They can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple equipment.
To earn a Technician license, you’ll need to pass a written exam. The exams are multiple-choice tests, written with beginners in mind. You’ll study topics such as radio operating practices, FCC rules and basic electronic theory.
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) publishes popular ham radio license study guides to help you learn the things you’ll need to pass your exam and have fun with Amateur Radio. Those guides are available online. Local clubs have beginner classes in several places around King County. We can help you find one.
The Amateur Radio license examinations are administered by ham radio volunteers. When you’re ready to take your exam, we can help you locate an exam session.