How to get your Ham Radio ticket

Here’s another wiki. This one from Wired magazine is all about how to get your ham radio ticket. Remember that in Canada you’ll need the Study Guide sold by Radio Amateurs of Canada but aside from that most of the other information is right on.

BTW you don’t need to learn Morse code anymore to get your license but lots of hams do because it’s so much fun. Also you can build a CW (continuous wave) QRP (5 watts or less) transceiver that is capable of working the world  for peanuts. There are even clubs devoted to QRP. Most of the really serious contesters prefer CW as it is so much more efficient (and effective during this time of low sunspots) than voice modes like SSB (single sideband).

The nice thing about a wiki is anyone can add information to the site so expect to see many more topics and helpful hints as time goes on.

Up the Tower

Here’s something new: A book written by Steve K7LXC that is a how-to-book on towers and antennas. Here’s the link to Steve’s 220+ paged book:

Steve has worked on more than 200 amateur towers and dozens of commercial sites so if you’re anticipating erecting a new tower this might be the best and least expensive (trust me I know) part of your project.

Contesting Wiki

The sunspots will return someday and when they do contesting will be a lot more fun than it is right now with all the noise and lousy conditions.

In preparation, (and this from the ARRL Contest Update newsletter of April 29, 2009) N4ZR, KM3T, K5TR and N5KO have created a contesting wiki called the Contesting Compendium.

Over time, the Contesting Compendium wiki could grow into an extremely reliable and complete reservoir of all things to do with contesting. If you’re an old hand at contesting or somebody wondering about what all the fuss is about, this is a great resource to support.

Red Cross and RAC renew agreement

A memorandum of understanding between RAC and the Canadian Red Cross Society was renewed last month and supersedes a similar agreement dating back to 1994.  The document sets out the obligations and responsibilities of RAC to provide whenever possible assistance to the Red Cross in times of disaster or emergency.

You can find the official document here:

Now speaking solely for myself (VE3HG) I can say with some authority that this is a big deal. I was a staff member of The Canadian Red Cross at both its national and Ontario offices. The Red Cross is a world-wide humanitarian organization that in many circumstances is the only one recognized as a neutral entity. Through its International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) located in Geneva, Switzerland, the organization often is the only one that can get access and supply humanitarian aid in the midst of disaster and war.

As a licensed amateur radio operator who qualifies (I’ve got to get around to this) for membership in the Quarter Century club, I know that there are occasions when the only communications available are via ham radio.

All ham radio operators in Canada should be justly proud that the Red Cross thinks so much of our abilities to supply emergency communications across town, across the country or around the world that they would affiliate with Radio Amateurs of Canada.

If you haven’t already joined, this is another sound reason to support your national ham radio organization: