Amateur Radio

At age 12, I began preparing for the Federal Communication Commission Amateur Radio Novice license exam. Learning Morse code, electronic theory, radio rules and regulations was fun. My parents providing the license manual and Morse code audio samples. That winter I was studying under branches of glowing Christmas tree lights while listening to a mashup of Morse code and holiday music. The result. My call sign, WBØZGE.

How I Enjoy Ham Radio

SKYWARN® Certification

SKYWARN® is a volunteer program of trained severe weather spotters and is part of the United States' National Weather Service (NWS). SKYWARN® volunteers collect reports of localized severe weather. I completed both Level 1 and Level 2 SKYWARN® certification.

SKYWARN Level 1 Certification Jeffrey Willenbrink

SKYWARN Level 2 Certification Jeffrey Willenbrink

At the conclusion of the SKYWARN® certification testing session I won this Midland NOAA weather radio. Excited. Grateful.

Midland NOAA Weather Radio

RACES Certification

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service is a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission. Government agencies train their Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) volunteers using the RACES protocol. The RACES volunteers serve their respective jurisdictions pursuant to guidelines and mandates established by local emergency management officials.

RACES volunteer operators are:

  • Licensed Radio Amateurs
  • Certified by a civil defense agency
  • Able to communicate on Amateur Radio frequencies during drills, exercises and emergencies
  • Activated by local, county and state jurisdictions and are the only Amateur Radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the President of the United States specifically invokes the War Powers Act.

RACES Program Certification Jeffrey Willenbrink

Ham Radio News

Amateur Radio in Play in Aftermath of Nepal Earthquake

At least one HF net is reported to be handling emergency and relief-related traffic in the wake of a devastating and deadly earthquake in Central Nepal. The magnitude 7.9 quake on April 25 caused landslides on Mount Everest during the climbing season, killing an unknown number of mountaineers and stranding others. A strong aftershock hit April 26. So far, some 2200 people are reported dead. The...

Amateur Radio Special Events to Mark International Marconi Day, April 25

Saturday, April 25, is the 28th International Marconi Day (IMD), organized by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club in Cornwall, UK. IMD recognizes the anniversary of the birth of wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, born on April 25, 1874. Participating stations are expected to be on the air during the period 0000 to 2400 UTC (ie, starting the evening of Friday, April 24, in US time zones). The occasi...

Norway Will Be the First Country to Turn Off FM Radio in 2017

Norway's Minister of Culture announced this week that a national FM-radio switch off will commence in 2017, allowing the country to complete its transition over to digital radio. It's the end of an era....

Special Event Stations Mark World Amateur Radio Day, April 18

Today, Saturday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD). The event celebrates the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) on April 18, 1925, in Paris, with ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, as its first president.From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions.Radio amateurs worldwide are taking ...

New ARRL Oscilloscope Book Now Available as E-Book

ARRL's new book Oscilloscopes for Radio Amateurs by Paul Danzer, N1II, is now available as an e-book for the Amazon Kindle. Oscilloscopes for Radio Amateurs is filled with practical information you'll need for using a scope. It begins with an overview of the oscilloscope and continues on to discuss characteristics, applications, probes, controls, and input modes. If you're considering adding th...

Switching Power Supplies a More Common Noise Source than Power Lines, ARRL Lab Manager Says

ARRL Laboratory Manager and EMI Expert Ed Hare, W1RFI, told the HamRadioNow webcast recently that switching-mode power supplies are a more common noise source for radio amateurs than electrical power lines. HamRadioNow host Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, interviewed Hare on April 4 at the Raleigh, North Carolina, RARSfest, where Hare also presented a forum, “Tall Tales from the ARRL Lab.” Hare told Pearce...

Amateur Radio Gear, Tools, Supplies Bound for Micronesia in Wake of Tropical Cyclone

A shipment of ham radio equipment, tools, and supplies will head from Hawaii to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) this week with John Bush, KH6DLK/V63JB. The radio gear will support communication for relief efforts as the FSM recover from Tropical Cyclone Maysak, which ravaged many of the nation's islands in late March and early April, wreaking major damage and causing some deaths. Bush ...

WWV’s 25 MHz Signal Still Going Strong After 1 Year Back on the Air

Time and frequency standard station WWV silenced its 25 MHz signal in 1977, but it returned to the air on an “experimental basis” a year ago, and it's still up and running. Resurrecting the long-dormant standard time outlet operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was Matt Deutch, N0RGT, WWV's Lead Electrical Engineer“We have been at 1 kW for the past year,” Deutch ...