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Issue No 1 2021

On the Air Email - Issue No. 1 (June 2021)

Magazine | Blog | Podcast | Join or Renew | New Ham Resources | Band Chart

Wondering what to do with your new amateur radio license?

This email provides you with articles and advice from experienced hams to help you get active and on the air. Your amateur radio journey begins now!

Your Technician License

Our feature article tells you about the many fun and challenging things you can do with your first license. You'll enjoy operating on the VHF and UHF bands, communicating with the use of satellites, building antennas, and even competing in the exciting world of radiosport!

Join a Local Radio Club

Read advice from veteran hams about the benefits of joining a ham radio club. ARRL’s online search tool makes it easy to find a club in your area that will help you get involved and on the air!

Tips for Buying a Handheld Radio

Handheld radios, often referred to as “HTs,” are often what new hams use to make their first contact. ARRL EMC Engineer Paul Cianciolo, W1VLF, expands on the article Buying a Handheld Radio, in this video. Paul explains why these radios are so popular, what to look for when buying one, and how to get the most use from it.

The Phonetic Alphabet

To ensure call signs are communicated clearly, especially when talking to people from around the world, hams use the NATO phonetic alphabet. When you hear someone saying, “Whiskey Six Charlie Bravo Echo” while operating, they’re giving their call sign, which is W6CBE. This infographic provides a quick visual reference of each word in this alphabet to help you memorize the phonetics.


What is "CQ?" Listen to CQ being called on the air.
If you hear those two letters, it means that a ham is trying to establish contact with another operator. It means "calling any station." Someone calling CQ should first ask if the frequency is already in use, and repeat the question several times. This ensures that you will not be trampling on a conversation, which is poor etiquette in ham radio. Then you can call CQ, and this should be done more than once. You may also hear hams call QRZ, which sounds like "cue arr zed" and means "who is calling me?"

The On the Air Email is a monthly resource for new hams. Subscribe now.

What's Next
Read advice from experienced hams who will answer questions about what to do after you have gotten your license.

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