What is radio amateur? ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท the American Legion (2023)

ONEamateur funk singeris a person who ordinarily uses amateur radio station equipment to engage in two-way personal communications with other similar persons on radio frequencies assigned to the amateur radio service by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States and the International Telecommunication Union in all or world

Radio amateurs build and operate various types of amateur radio stations, including fixed earth stations, mobile stations, space stations and temporary field stations. A slang term often used for the location of an amateur radio station is "hut", so named for the small enclosures added to the superstructure of warships to house early radio equipment and batteries.

American radio amateurs receive an FCC amateur radio license after passing a radio theory and operations exam. As part of their license, radio amateurs are given a call sign (eg KC9ANG) which they use to identify themselves during communications. There are approximately 3 million radio amateurs worldwide, including over 700,000 licensed operators in the United States alone.

Radio amateurs are also known asamateur radiosoHam๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท The term "amateur" as a derogatory nickname for radio amateurs was first heard in 1909 by operators in the commercial and professional radio communities. The word was then accepted by the operators and pasted. However, the term was not widely used in the United States until about 1920, after which it slowly spread to other English-speaking countries.

The term "amateur" is used in amateur radio to mean the same thing as an amateur athlete, as radio amateurs are prohibited by law from accepting any form of monetary or material compensation for their activity as a radio operator. But just as amateur athletes are among the best athletes in the world, radio amateurs have led the advancement of the science of radio communications for over a century. Today we consider radio, television, satellite communications, cell phones, broadband, digital communications and many other innovations first explored and developed by radio amateurs.

Today, radio amateurs are exploring voice and data communications at ever higher frequencies reserved for experimentation and exploration: up to 275 gigahertz (GHz) and even higher, nearly in the spectrum of light. Radio amateurs dedicate countless hours of community service providing emergency communications during natural and man-made disasters, as well as public service communications in support of special events like marathons, bike races and public functions. Many are trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) as severe weather spotters, providing cellular "basic truths" to meteorologists and emergency management agencies in support of public safety.

amateur radio. ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ทWhat is it and how can it help in disasters?

You heard the news. In one disaster after another, communication systems can fail or become overwhelmed. Affected communities are sometimes cut off from aid agencies. At other times, the various responders cannot communicate with each other or with their own local units. When it comes to multiple jurisdictions and mutual aid, the interoperability of communication systems can become an issue. Fortunately, amateur radio service can often help when all else fails.

What is Amateur Radio?

In nearly all countries, governments allocate portions of the radio spectrum for non-commercial use by citizens after individuals have demonstrated the ability to use the spectrum correctly. The regulations of most countries in the world provide for this possibility through amateur radio. In the United States, amateur radio regulations are administered by the Federal Communications Commission, the same government agency that oversees the licensing of broadcasters and other users of the radio spectrum. Unlike most other users, radio amateurs, sometimes referred to as "hams", are only authorized for non-commercial use of their frequencies and equipment. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people of all ages and social conditions and educational levels received their amateur radio licenses. Your primary interests in radio could be technical, recreational, social, or educational. Some are "on" every day, some are only occasionally, and some are inactive.

Amateur radio is different from other popular services like Citizens Band, Family Radio Service and General Mobile Radio Service. To become a radio amateur, you must pass the required exam on electronics theory, operating practices, and applicable regulations. But the added hassle of obtaining a license results in far more extensive privileges than are available to CB, FRS, or GMRS. Higher power limits, specialized antennas, a variety of operating modes (voice, digital, video, etc.)

Public service is one of the reasons for the existence of the amateur radio service. During conflicts such as World War II, Hams provided the military with a pool of experienced, pre-trained communicators and technicians. In times of peace, radio amateurs have been communicating all over the world, spreading goodwill and making friends in other parts of the world. Technically oriented hams advanced the state of the art and developed new forms of communication that were later adopted by government and commercial users. Ham radio was used in classrooms to get children interested in science. Most importantly, many radio amateurs have donated their time, equipment and expertise to support local, regional and international response and relief efforts in times of disaster.

What happens to communication in the event of a disaster?

Our government agencies have invested heavily in robust, high-tech communications devices that serve them well every day. We all have landline and cell phone service, which is usually very reliable and inexpensive. So why do communication interruptions seem to happen at worst? The two main causes are congestion and infrastructure failure. Amateur radio can often overcome both limitations.

Most communication systems are designed to handle a certain normal level of load. Phones work as long as they are used by a certain number of customers at the same time. When half of the city's phones fail due to an earthquake or because people call out for the well-being of friends and family, parts of the system go out. The tower-mounted equipment that handles our cellular calls can only accommodate a small percentage of its subscribers using the system at any one time, even in the absence of an emergency. Many calls at the same time, even during long trips, can exceed the limits of this device. Likewise, most public agency radio systems have a limited number of discrete frequencies or "channels" shared by many users, limiting the number of conversations that can be supported at the same time. Demand during disasters can overwhelm everyday systems and shut down many users. Amateur radio operators have a continuum of available frequencies to choose from within specific bands rather than a number of discrete channels, so finding a suitable frequency to support a given communication path is rarely an issue. Due to the technical training of radio amateurs, they are able to use their part of the radio spectrum more efficiently. This doesn't overwhelm amateur bands like agency systems do.

Most communication systems normally run on commercial electricity, the same electricity that powers your home and work. If that power fails in a disaster, these systems will not function without a generator or battery backup. If large generators are knocked out by an earthquake, if they don't run regularly, or if the fuel supply isn't up to date, they may not work. If batteries are not properly maintained, they can wear out quickly. No power means no communication. Many radio amateurs use equipment that can be powered by internal batteries, car batteries, or other common 12-volt DC power supplies. By choosing radios that don't consume a lot of energy, properly trained radio amateurs can ensure that the available energy sources last longer and therefore remain operational for longer periods of time.

First aid agencies often used "trunked" radio systems that use mainframe computers to dynamically assign radio channels between users. If the central computer fails, the system fails. VHF and UHF systems can rely on remote repeater stations called repeaters to get signals across the hills and mountains that dot their coverage areas. If the repeaters lose power or are out of service, the range or reach of the system becomes more limited. Radio amateurs also use repeaters, but can work without them if necessary. Not only can they communicate point-to-point using VHF and UHF radios and appropriate antennas, but they can also use the ionosphere to reflect radio signals back to the environment or to more distant points, thus removing terrain and line obstacles. -Visibility limitations.

Can all hams do this and where can I find them?

Although all amateur radio operators are licensed to provide effective disaster radio communications, not all have the equipment, knowledge, training or preparation to do so. Those willing to serve when needed often join formal groups and teams that learn and practice in an organized environment designed to maximize their effectiveness in times of public need. Some may organize to support a specific agency, such as the Sheriff's Department or the American Red Cross, or a group of agencies, such as a collection of area hospitals. Others may offer their services more broadly to any government or non-government aid or response organization that needs assistance. The largest group of the latter type is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESยฎ), a national service operated under the auspices of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association of radio amateurs in the United States. Los Angeles County has its own "chapter" or subunit of ARES that serves the area in five boroughs. Its operators complete formal training on topics such as the FEMA-required Incident Command System and National Incident Management System, formal radio message handling, field crew selection and operation, and safety requirements and protocols.

With nearly 10,000 licensed hams in Los Angeles, there are probably a few in your neighborhood. You can locate a tower or antenna system on nearby property or a license seat with a call sign like N6XYZ or KE6ABC. You can search for licenses in online databases in your city or zip code. However you meet them, introduce yourself, tell them a little about preparedness efforts your group is involved in, and ask if they would be interested in helping with the communication element of your neighborhood plan. If they are willing to help but need advice or training from other hams with experience in government service, suggest they contact the Los Angeles ARES Section at (818) 992-5507 for guidance and support. Please note that, as with any volunteer activity, not all radio amateurs will have the time, equipment or desire to volunteer. But every active ham is a potential resource, and you can keep in touch by including them in your group's outreach activities.

How can radio amateurs fit into our local plan?

In the event of a major disaster that overwhelms the city's response resources, there is no two-way radio that can safely send a firefighter, police officer or paramedic to your home. In the words of one LAFD CERT instructor: "We won't." We need to accept this reality and consider how best to use available emergency communication resources. Let's start by listing the types of messages we might need to send or receive.

within a neighborhood

-Coordinate the closure of utilities to prevent fires, explosions or water damage.

-Exchange of information about the status of people and structures

- Provide local assistance for firefighting, first aid, observation, search and rescue.

-Access locally stored disaster supplies

- Organization of relocation of people who need to be evacuated

in a neighbourhood

-News on the extent of damage to infrastructure in the area (roads, etc.)

-State of hospitals in the region (working or not? Admitting patients?)

-Probable time (or delays) for rescuers to arrive

-Government advice (areas to avoid, protective instructions, imminent hazards)

-Neighbourhood requests or offers for help

- Requests for social assistance from affected friends and relatives outside the area

from a neighborhood

- Advice to first responders on the state of the neighborhood and priority needs

-Notice to the competent authority about known damage to local infrastructure

-Requests or offers of help for nearby neighborhoods

- Wellness status reports for interested friends and family outside the area

Assuming an outage in local telephone service, most communicationsnot insideA small area of โ€‹โ€‹the neighborhood (a few blocks) can be covered with handhelds or FRS or GMRS corridors (kids on bikes or scooters can load messages quickly). If you have several hams in your area, they can help you make your portable, car and home radios more reliable and less prone to interference.

General notesinsideNeighborhoods usually arrive via broadcast media (think of those battery-powered radios!). This assumes that the media is still on the air, has access to accurate information, and relays useful details rather than just parroting headlines. Communications with other nearby neighborhoods will likely exceed the capabilities of FRS and GMRS due to range limitations and channel congestion. Hams from each neighborhood, whether local or volunteers from abroad, could connect neighboring areas using pre-established networks using direct ("simplex") frequencies, which are generally reliable over distances of many kilometers, terrain permitting. If the ham radios were stationed at the city's Emergency Operations Center or an Incident Command Post, they could help relay neighborhood-specific information from the emergency services to the neighborhood ham radios, likely through an intermediary network. configured for area-to-area communications with ham radio repeaters. or the ionospheric "mirror" to cross the hills. Although hams often handle health and wellness messages from concerned strangers during disasters, these messages are often given a lower priority and often delayed for several days because they can quickly clog available communication resources that need to deal with them. . directly. ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

Broadcast damage assessments and the most urgent need for assistanceforaProximity to the correspondent agency is very important, but also problematic. Those responsible for allocating scarce operational resources need the best possible information about fires, serious injuries and major structural damage. However, areas with the most damage may have a harder time communicating their situation to those who need to know. Assuming again that hams are stationed at the city's Emergency Operations Center or an Incident Command Post, the same general networks mentioned above could act as a conduit of information from neighborhoods to incident commanders. In the vicinity, radio amateurs communicating with adjacent domains may transmit higher-level messages over a designated amateur radio domain link to the higher-level network(s). The health and status messages sent may be collected and passed to a separate ham or amateur radio team, whose job it is to forward these messages to their final destinations via ham radio stations outside the affected region.

The flexibility that amateur radios have to choose their operating frequencies or channels, contact other amateur radios directly or through repeaters, communicate locally or with remote stations, and establish multiple networks or layers of communication paths allows them to be many in case of disaster to meet the needs of the neighborhood and the government. But none of this happens spontaneously. The charities we trust to help must accept and work with Ham's trained and willing volunteers and include them in the exercises and planning processes. It is necessary to build working relationships; Identifications and releases must be agreed. The effectiveness of primary and backup communication systems must be tested and refined long before the real need arises. Members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service are already working to build relationships, conduct training, participate in exercises, and increase ARES' ability to serve the needs of the city and its neighborhood. Neighborhood groups can find their local radio hams; invite them to participate in local preparedness efforts; Refer them to ARES for training and networking as needed; support rather than oppose your attempts to install and maintain effective antenna systems; and encourage city officials to include radio amateurs at all levels of city preparedness and disaster response planning.

Prepared by:

marty woll n6vi

Vice President, ARRL Southwest Division


Deputy District Emergency Coordinator, ARES-LAX

President Emeritus of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council

NCs from L.A. Emergency Preparedness Task Force


To talk to someone on ham radio:


A very short list of amateur radio terms:

VON(tone frequency)
AFC(Auto Frequency Control): Automatically compensates for frequency deviation.
FORA(audio frequency shift keying)
COMPARTMENT(amplitude modulation)
AMSAT(AMateur SAtellite): Amateur radio communications via orbiting satellites using amateur radio equipment installed prior to launch.
AMTOR(Amateur Teleprinting Over Radio): A form of radio telex.
antenna impedance- the impedance (or "resistance of an electric current to a flow of alternating current") of an antenna at its resonance. Although an antenna's impedance varies with operating frequency, for most transceivers an antenna should be 50 ฮฉ.
antenna adjustmentโ€“ to ensure that the resonant antenna impedance performs optimally for your transmitter output circuit.
antenna tuner- one Device for matching an antenna to the output impedance of a transmitter.
TAE(Automatic Position Reporting System) โ€“ provides position reports along with GPS and TNC.
Ares(Ham Radio Emergency Service) โ€“ A public service organization of the American Radio Relay League.
ARRL(American Radio Relay League) - the national association of radio amateurs in the United States.
ASCII(American National Standard Code for Information Interchange): A seven-unit digital code for transmitting telex data.
a television(Amateur TV) - Transmission of television signals via amateur radio frequencies.
auto patchโ€“ It is used for telephone connection with amateur radio equipment.
average performanceโ€“ Power measured with a standard power meter.

backscatterโ€“ a form of ionospheric propagation of radio transmissions.
banda- one frequency range.
long bandโ€“ Frequency required for a specific type of radio transmission.
BFO(beat frequency oscillator)
BNC(Neill-Concelman bayonet): A type of antenna connector.
BPF(Bandpass Filter): Allows you to receive or transmit only certain frequency bands.

call sign- one Unique string of letters and numbers used to identify radio amateurs and issued by the FCC.
carrier wave- an unmodulated transmission signal.
CBR(Cross Band Repeater) - A repeater that receives incoming signals and retransmits them on different bands; B. receive 144 megahertz (MHz) bands and retransmit 430-440 MHz bands.
club station- In the United States, clubs may have special call signs that are commonly used on a club station set up for use by club members.
UPC(Central unit)
CQโ€“ Radio communication term used to call other people.
CWโ€“ Carrier wave (communication in Morse code).

data communicationโ€“ Transmission of data between two or more locations.
dBd-Unit of RF power compared to a dipole antenna.
dBi-RF power unit compared to an isotropic antenna.
dBmโ€“ decibel measurement; 1 mW into a load impedance of 600 ฮฉ (0 dBm = 1 mW).
direct current(direct current)
DC-Time- one Connection point directly to chassis or battery ground to prevent dangerous DC voltage buildup.
Detourโ€“ Measurement of FM signals for maximum carrier frequency changes on either side of the carrier frequency.
emergency callโ€“ Indicates a life-threatening situation. More commonly known as an SOS or MAYDAY call.
infrequently- one Specific frequency or channel to use for emergency calls. cell phone
The emergency frequencies are 2.182 MHz and 156.8 MHz. Survival vehicles use 243 MHz. The emergency frequencies are the same, while the general aviation frequencies are 121.5 MHz.
Downlink (โ†”Uplink)โ€“ the frequency that a repeater or satellite transmits to a user.
DSP(Digital Signal Processor) - to improve the signal-to-noise ratio for clearer, more readable communications. Relatively new to amateur radio.
DTCS(Digital Tone Coded Squelch) - a selective calling system.
DTMF(Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (or Tone Dialing)): Used to send and/or receive numerical information such as phone numbers or remote control commands.
dummy load- one 50 ohm non-radiant load connected to transmitter in place of an antenna for test purposes.
Duplexโ€“ an operating mode in which the transmit and receive frequencies are different.
Dx'pedition- a trip to a foreign country to establish and operate amateur radio stations in exotic locations.

AGAIN(Earth-Moon-Earth) - The radio signals bounced off the moon and bounced back to Earth.
EMI(Electromagnetic Interference) โ€“ Often generates RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).
Questionโ€“ transmission of a signal.

Throwing awayโ€“ Degradation of the atmospheric signal.
FCC(Federal Communications Commission)
Filter- one Circuit that allows the passage of only the desired frequencies.
FM(Frequency modulation)
FSK(Frequency Shift Modulation)
FSTV(Fast Scan TV) - Graphic (and audio) communications using broadcast TV signals.
full duplexโ€“ an operating mode that simultaneously transmits and receives on different frequencies, like a normal telephone conversation.

the foundations- one Antenna type omnidirectional
packageโ€“ electric wave propagating directly from the transmitter.
groundingโ€“ Electrical connection to earth.

harmoniousโ€“ Multiple of a fundamental frequency.
DO(High Frequency) - Signals in the 3-30 MHz range. Commonly known as "shortwave".
HPF(filtro hochpass)
idiots(Hertz) - one cycle of an electromagnetic wave. One "KHz" is 1000 cycles per second. One "MHz" is 1 million cycles per second.
CI(Integrated circuit)
E(Intermediate Frequency) - Internally converted frequency for amplification and other signals
IF I change- one Function that electronically shifts the IF frequency from a center frequency.
IMD(Intermodulation Distortion): Distortion in RF circuits created with upper and lower adjacent channel signals.

LF(Low Frequency) - Signals in the range of 30-300 KHz.
LPF(Tie filter)
LSB(banda lateral inferior)

MARTE(Military Affiliated Radio Service)
FM(Medium Frequency): Signals in the range of 300 kHz to 3 MHz, such as AM radio stations.
Modulation- Method of adding information to a radio frequency carrier.
Morse code- one very effective method of communication (cf.CW) using international Morse code. Many radio amateurs prefer this method of radio communication to all others.

NB(Noise Blanker): A function that reduces impulse noise.
NBFM(narrowband FM)
notch filterโ€“ Sharp and narrow notch filter to remove spurious signals.
NR(Noise Reduction): This DSP function reduces unwanted signal noise.

frequency compensatedโ€“ Frequency difference between transmit frequency and receive frequency.
CAIR(OSCillar) โ€“ generates radio frequency signals at transmitters.

pennsylvania(power amplifier)
ENERGY(Peak Envelope Power) - RF power at maximum amplitude.
PLL(Phase Locked Loop): circuit to synthesize different frequencies for its operation.
PTT(press to talk)
I can(Energy)

reflected power- non-radiated power that is dissipated as heat when the transmitter is not matched to the antenna or load.
repeaterโ€“ Radio systems that receive incoming signals and retransmit them for extended communication range. They are usually placed in high geographic locations for VHF/UHF handhelds.
radio frequency(radio frequency)
high frequency earthโ€“ Grounding of amateur equipment to eliminate RF exposure hazards and reduce RFI.
RFI(radio frequency interference)
rtty(Teletype Radio)
Reception(To receive)

S/N(the signal to noise ratio)
EAR (search and rescue)
scanโ€“ Continuously scans frequencies in search of signals.
sensitivityโ€“ indicates how weak the signal is received by the receiver.
silent keyโ€“ Designation of a deceased radio amateur.
NOTICE SKYโ€“ trained volunteer storm scouts for the National Weather Service.
SMA(Subminiature coaxial cable connector) - A type of antenna connector used on portable VHF/UHF equipment.
divisionsโ€“ Mode in which the transmit and receive frequencies are different.
sql (Smash)- one Function that mutes the audio output when a strong signal is not received.
SSB(unilateral feta)
SSTV(Slow Scan TV) - Transmission of graphics and image/voice with narrow bandwidth.
SWL(Short Wave Listener) โ€“ Listen to international shortwave bands for pleasure.
ROE(Standing Wave Ratio) โ€“ A measurement of direct versus reflected output power during transmission.

CNC(Terminal Node Controller): For digital data communication. Also some kind of antenna connection.
From you(Transfer)

ultra high frequency(Ultra High Frequency) - Signals in the range of 300 MHz to 3 GHz. This range includes "microwave" frequencies with antennas only a fraction of an inch long.
Uplink (โ†”Downlink)โ€“ Frequencies used to communicate with the repeater or satellite.
USB(banda lateral superior)
coordinated world time(Coordinated Universal Time): An astronomical time based on the Greenwich Meridian (zero degrees of longitude, across Greenwich, England).

OFV(Variable Frequency Oscillator): An operating mode in which the operator can freely change frequencies.
FM(Very High Frequency): Signals in the 30 to 300 MHz range, such as those found on FM radio and TV stations.
FLV(very low frequency) โ€“ under signals in the range of 30 kHz. Characterized by very long wavelengths. Widely used for military communications with submerged submarines.
VOX(voice controlled transmission)

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