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Chpt 5 - Amateur Radio Equipment copy

Chpt 5 - Amateur Radio Equipment

In the previous chapters you have become acquainted with the basic equipment used by hams and the fundamentals of electronics and the radio ideas that make the equipment go.  We are now ready to start learning about Real Ham Radio, where knobs and dials get turned, meters jump and signals crackle back and forth over the airwaves!

This page is organized to support the Fifth Edition of the Ham Radio License Manual.

  • Choosing a Radio

    Choosing A Ham Radio” is a supplement to the Ham Radio License Manual you can download as a PDF guide for this important first step.

  • Modes and Modulation





    FM / PM

    CW and Morse Code

    Signal bandwidths – the typical bandwidths listed in Table 2-3 are approximate maximum bandwidths occupied by a signal.  Actual signals can be narrower. Wider spacing may be required for an acceptable level of interference depending on the receiver bandwidth.  For example, a perfect CW signal occupies 0 Hz of bandwidth, but practical transmitters add noise and other signal artifacts so that the resulting signal occupies about 150 Hz of spectrum (the generally agreed on maximum as covered by question T8A11) and an adjacent receiving station may need to be separated by 100 to 300 Hz.

  • Squelch


    The squelch function is discussed more completely in the supplement “Choosing A Ham Radio” listed at the start of this web page.

  • Sound Card Modems


    Instead of a separate device, many digital modes use the sound card built in to all recent computers to connect them to a radio.  The article introducing the digital mode PSK31 illustrates the typical use of a sound card for this purpose.

  • Packet Radio, Radioteletype (RTTY), APRS, and Winlink

    The four-part series of articles about digital modes will provide lots of background information about these popular forms of digital communication used by hams.  You can find more information about using digital modes at:

    Winlink - organization that has developed and maintains the worldwide ham radio email network.
    APRS - the home page of the Automatic Position Reporting System
    TAPR - sponsor and organizer of digital communications initiatives


    And in this print reference, Get on the Air with HF Digital by ARRL Publications Manager, Steve Ford, WB8IMY

  • Rules about Commercial Content

    You’ll want to be sure you understand the FCC’s Part 97 rules (Part 97.113 – Prohibited Transmissions) on commercial content and use of Amateur Radio.

  • Mobile Operation

    If you’re interested in operating from a vehicle, be sure to bookmark KØBG’s web page on Mobile Amateur Radio.  Alan is an enthusiastic and prolific author on the subject.

  • Generators

    Given the interest in emergency and disaster-preparedness, there are a lot of on-line resources on this and related topics.  Start with the How Stuff Works pages on generators and inverters.

  • Batteries

    A comprehensive website on the subject, Battery University is a resource for many questions about batteries.  In addition, the ARRL Technical Information Service page on batteries has several ham-specific articles and links to more battery resources.


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