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Introduction to Ham Radio

Introduction to Ham Radio. Wireless Technology – It is still a viable mode of Communication!. Introduction to Ham Radio. Welcome!. To the World of Ham Radio!. I Hope this Presentation will Spark an interest to you in this Great & Rewarding Hobby!.

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Introduction to Ham Radio

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  1. Introduction to Ham Radio Wireless Technology – It is still a viable mode of Communication!

  2. Introduction to Ham Radio Welcome! To the World of Ham Radio! I Hope this Presentation will Spark an interest to you in this Great & Rewarding Hobby!

  3. "Hello!" Not surprisingly, it was the first word to be heard over the radio some 100 years ago • Listen to Fessenden's first voice transmission on December 23, 1900 • he says, "Hello! Test, 1, 2, 3, 4. Is it snowing where you are Mr. Thiessen?"

  4. From the time he was a young boy, Canadian Reginald Fessenden was fascinated with the idea of transmitting voice. • Upon hearing his uncle describe Alexander Graham Bell's demonstration of the telephone, the 10 year-old reportedly asked, "Why do they need wires?" • He then spent much of his life trying to figure it out.


  6. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? • Amateur radio is a hobby that has been around almost as long as radio itself.

  7. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? • Amateur radio operators, usually referred to as “Hams”, are people with an interest in radio design and communication.

  8. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? • More importantly, they provide the community with a vital resource in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina Aug 28, 2005


  10. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? A Great Hobby & Just Plain FUN!

  11. Who's the Typical Ham?

  12. Who's the Typical Ham?

  13. Who's the Typical Ham? • Amateur Radio operators come from all walks of life -- movie stars, missionaries, doctors, students, politicians, truck drivers and just plain folks! Sometimes you get to meet them as well as talk to them on the air.

  14. Who's the Typical Ham? • They are all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. • They say Hello to the world in many languages and many ways. But whether they prefer Morse code on an old brass telegraph key, voice communication on a hand-held radio, or computerized messages transmitted via satellite. • They all have an interest in what's happening in the world, and they use radio to reach out.

  15. Who's the Typical Ham? • Ham with a small solar powered Radio makes friends over the radio with another ham in Lithuania. • A Ham uses a handheld radio for vital emergency communications.

  16. Who's the Typical Ham? • An Ohio teenager uses his computer to upload a digital chess move to an orbiting space satellite, where it's retrieved by a fellow chess enthusiast in Japan.

  17. Who's the Typical Ham? • An aircraft engineer in Florida participating in a "DX contest" swaps his call sign and talks to hams in 100 different countries during a single weekend. • In California, volunteers save lives as part of their involvement in an emergency response. • And from his room in Chicago, a ham's pocket-sized hand-held radio allows him to talk to friends in the Carolinas.

  18. Who's the Typical Ham? • Hams enjoy operating their own two-way radio station to talk to people all over the world or in their own community. • Today, Hams are more likely to talk into a microphone or use high tech digital techniques.

  19. Who's the Typical Ham? • In the early days of radio a century ago this was done using the "dits" and "dahs" of Morse code. • Hams can be found bouncing signals off the moon, using satellites or using the computer in their hobby. • Many Hams simply like to “Ragchew", the Ham term for sitting back and having a long conversation with another Ham.

  20. Who's the Typical Ham? • Amateur radio is not only a hobby. • Thousands of Hams are involved in essential public service.

  21. Who's the Typical Ham? We provide communications after natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods or earthquakes, when all the other lines of communications are down.

  22. Who's the Typical Ham? • We bring with us our own power generators and equipment so that we are completely independent. • We maintain our emergency equipment in readiness so that we can move to an area in trouble with the minimum of delay.

  23. Who's the Typical Ham? • Hams have been active in many community activities, providing communication during Hurricanes and tornados and the forest fires & earthquakes.

  24. What's the Appeal of Ham Radio? • Some hams are attracted by the ability to communicate across the country, around the globe, or even with astronauts on space missions. • Others may like to build and experiment with electronics. Computer hobbyists enjoy using Amateur Radio's digital communications opportunities.

  25. What's the Appeal of Ham Radio? • Those with a competitive streak enjoy "DX contests," where the object is to see how many hams in distant locations they can contact. • Some like the convenience of a technology that gives them portable communication. • Mostly we use it to open the door to new friendships over the air or through participation in one of more than 2000 Amateur Radio clubs throughout the country.

  26. What's the Appeal of Ham Radio? • This unique mix of fun, public service and convenience is the distinguishing characteristic of Amateur Radio.

  27. What's the Appeal of Ham Radio? • Although hams get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." • These bands are radio frequencies reserved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by hams at intervals from just above the AM broadcast band all the way up into extremely high microwave frequencies.

  28. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? • There are many ways in which Hams communicate. The most popular is using voice transmissions, just as you would over the telephone (without getting a bill at the end of the month!) • Increasingly now, Hams use digital modes. The oldest of these is Morse code, which is still used by many Hams.

  29. What is There to Do? • Experimenting - Electronics & Antennas • Lots and lots of kits to build • HF is more tolerant of wiring techniques • Try a homebrew transmitter (QRP!) • Make your own antennas • Antenna modeling software and courses

  30. What is There to Do? • New Modes • Try CW, it’s fun! • SSB is a natural • Digital Modes • RTTY and PSK • PACTOR and WinLink • SSTV

  31. What is There to Do?

  32. What is There to Do? • DX-ing and Contests • DXCC, WAZ, IOTA programs • DX-peditions: operations from rare locations • Contests are good exercise • Contest calendars for listings • All sizes, modes, and coverage • Great for chasing awards • Especially good for learning propagation

  33. What is There to Do?

  34. What is There to Do? • Award Programs or “Wallpaper Chasing” • K1BV Awards Directory, >3000 awards • WAS and County Hunting • Specialty awards: regional, mode, band • Special events

  35. What is There to Do? Awards

  36. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Do I Have to Learn Morse Code? • Not any more! • While many hams LIKE to use Morse code, it is not required for your entry level license.

  37. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? • Traditional modes, such as radiotelegraphy, are still popular but, with the advent of the computer, Hams now use some very sophisticated techniques to get messages to remote parts of the world. • PSK 31 is a mode generated by a computer that can be transmitted by radio over long distances with very low power. • The Internet is used to enhance radio transmissions in modes called Echolink and IRLP.

  38. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? • Amateurs can operate their equipment in homes, cars, boats, office buildings, even on bicycles and Horses or Backpacking in the woods. • The necessary equipment consists of a transmitter and receiver, an antenna (which can be as simple as a length of wire), and a microphone. • The transmitter and receiver are often combined (called a transceiver) and may be small enough to fit in a shirt pocket or large enough to occupy a desk.

  39. WHAT IS HAM RADIO? A Typical Station Set-up

  40. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? • Amateur radio satellites are orbiting the globe and provide another way for Hams to talk to each other. Signals are even bounced off the moon by some Hams. • Television has not been neglected and there are two types. Slow scan television uses simple equipment to transmit single pictures. ATV or amateur television allows live video to be sent over the air, just the same as with commercial television.

  41. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? • Radio signals are a form of light waves, just at a different frequency. • Like light, radio travels in straight lines. If you can see a place from your station, you will be able to get a signal there. • That is one reason why many antennas are very high up; you can “see” more from there. • Radio is different from light because it bends more easily and can to a certain extent penetrate solid objects.

  42. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? • This is the reason that you can often talk to places, which fairly close, that you cannot “see”. • Since the earth is curved, it doesn’t seem reasonable that a radio wave that starts off from your house in a straight line could reach the other side of the world.

  43. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? • The trick is to bounce the radio waves off a layer, Hundreds of miles above us, called the ionosphere. Think of it as a Big Mirror in the sky! • This is quite possible using certain frequencies, typically below 30 MHz. The signal bounces back down to earth, often thousands of miles away and may then bounce back to the ionosphere and back to earth and so on.

  44. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? • This property of the ionosphere is a blessing for Hams who can then talk to people on the other side of the globe. • This doesn’t happen with all frequencies and Hams learn that there are particular frequencies as well as particular times of the day, of the year. • During certain times of the sunspot cycle when we in America can easily talk to the Russians, the Australians or Hams in India. • We call this Phenomenon Propagation !

  45. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation ? • The Ionosphere UV F2 F1 E D Ground Wave

  46. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation ? • The Ionosphere • 50 to 500 miles up • D, E, F1 and F2 layers • Effect of solar radiation (UV) • MUF • “Skip” or “Hops”

  47. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ? • The Sun • UV ionizes the upper layers, raises MUF • MUF tends to “follow the sun” • More sunspots = Higher MUF • A and K indices from WWV and NOAA • Solar cycle, minimum in 2005/2006 • Solar flares and other disturbances

  48. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ?

  49. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ? • High-bands and Low-bands • High: 20 - 10 meters (14 -28 MHz) • Highest open band is best • 20 and 17 widest coverage now • 15, 12, and 10 mostly in southerly directions • Low: 160 - 30 meters (1.8 - 10 MHz) • Absorption high in the day, low at night • Watch at sunset and sunrise

  50. How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ? • “Skip Zone” • Results from ground-wave versus sky-wave • Sky-wave depends on MUF and signal angle • Up to 200 miles on 40-meters • 30- and 40-meters can “go long” • 60-meters is good transition band • 80- and 160-meters are solid at night

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