I first discovered HAM radio when I was in my early 20s but never got my license until my early 30s. At the time when I had discovered it you still had to know morse code and I just hadn’t taken the time to sit down and learn it, even though I think morse code is essential to know.
However, these days, they’ve simplified the test even more by getting rid of the requirement to know morse code. Though I still think everyone should learn it. They even have a morse code app that can help you translate sentences into morse code. Pretty neat.
Anyway, studying for the test has gotten even easier as well. When I first wanted to get into it, all they had was the book. We didn’t have classes available in my small town and at the time, that I knew of, there were no online study aids.
Fast forward to now. Husband and I got our HAM license together. We set a date for when we wanted to take the test. We found test dates by searching on the ARRL website. You can also search for local classes there, as well. At the end of the classes you’ll take the test. We couldn’t find any classes, so we decided to study on our own.
Anyway, we both passed. Not just barely passed, but passed with flying colors! It felt amazing.
After the test is when the real learning begins.
You will learn far more about HAM radio by simply interacting with people on the radio and in HAM clubs, as well as on YouTube. People in the HAM world are all SO nice. I can’t express how gracious and helpful everyone is. I haven’t come across a single person that’s ever been a snob when it comes to HAM radio. They welcome everyone with open arms and are eager to help.
This is why you need your HAM license.
I have heard many preppers say “In an emergency or disaster I don’t need a license so it’s pointless to get my HAM license.”
This is true. In an emergency or disaster, you don’t technically need a license. And especially not in an SHTF scenario.
Will you even know how to operate a HAM radio without prior use?
Don’t we always say that we need to actually use and test our gear well before we need it?
Knowing how to operate a HAM radio is so much more than just pressing a button and talking. It’s not like a CB where you just tune a little bit and switch between the few available stations. HAM is way more advanced and has a lot more to offer.
You need to have at least some knowledge about frequencies, codes, repeaters, etc.
Could you learn this stuff without ever using a radio? You could get an idea about them, but won’t actually have a solid understanding without actually doing. Trust me on this. We listened for years and after getting our license, the HAM world opened up in ways we had never imagined.
You don’t need your license in order to listen, but I tell you what, we knew absolutely nothing before getting our license. Even the little bit that we researched didn’t quite click until we actually started talking and getting involved. So before our license, we would try to listen but we weren’t even listening as well as we could have.
We got into antennas, frequencies, repeaters, we now know the codes that people are saying, we’re learning from others, we’re able to take part in the yearly field day, etc.
When it comes to communications and radios, there is no comparison to HAM.
HAM is where it’s at.
My husband now has his extra class license and we’re able to reach much further distances, with the proper antennas and such, of course.
HAM allows you to communicate with people at much greater distances. This is important because HAM will work even when the lights go out, even when your cell phone stops working; HAM will be there. You can have it just to listen during an emergency or disaster, or you can use it in case you need help, to send intel, to help during an emergency or disaster or just to chat with others who are going through the same thing.
Having your license opens up a whole new world. You may not need your license during an emergency or disaster or SHTF, but you will need your license if you want to actually learn how to use it before hand and also become part of the HAM community.
Get your license.
I know it seems intimidating but it’s really not as difficult as it seems. You can do it!
And if you’re concerned about your address being public, just use a PO Box.
Get out there and get your license! Good luck!
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!