Information For Prospective Amateurs

Here's your invitation to a friendly, high-tech hobby that's got something fun for everyone! You can become an Amateur Radio operator--no matter what age, gender or physical ability. People from all walks of life pass their entry-level exam and earn their Amateur (ham) Radio license. They all share the diverse world of activities you can explore with ham radio.

You never know who you'll run into when communicating with Amateur Radio: Young people, retirees, teachers and students, engineers and scientists, doctors, mechanics and technicians, homemakers...
boaters Follow this link to learn more about the Amateur Radio in Space Program
Listen to an astronaut talk to students using ham radio.
and astronauts...

and even

Getting started in ham radio has never been easier! We invite you to explore the following information and learn about Amateur Radio. We know you'll enjoy this fascinating world of Amateur Radio, and we hope to have the chance of meeting you on the air--when you become an Amateur Radio operator!

A FUN Hobby...

Listen to a Morse Code transmission in RealAudio.
What Can Amateur Radio
Operators Do?
Ham radio operators use two-way radio stations from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors to make hundreds of friends around town and around the world. They communicate with each other using voice, computers, and Morse code. Some hams bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere, so they can talk with hams on the other side of the world. Other hams use satellites. Many use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets.

Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy today. There are even ham-astronauts who take radios with them on space shuttle missions and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space!

With a SERIOUS Side...

Listen to amateurs talking through an FM voice repeater (RealAudio).

Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and even in contests. They handle messages for police and other public service organizations during all kinds of emergencies including:
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes and floods
  • Motorist accidents 
  • Fires and chemical spills
  • Search and rescues

Sounds interesting....

Where Do I Start?

It's Easy to Get Started
The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which requires only a 35 multiple-choice question written examination. The test is written with the beginner in mind. Morse Code is not required for this license. With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz). These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple equipment.

Study Guides
The American Radio Relay League publishes popular ham radio license study guides to help you learn the things you'll need to pass your exam and have fun with Amateur Radio. LARC has many copies of these guides that you're more than welcome to borrow for as long as you want.

Attend a club meeting
Members of the Le Mars Community Amateur Radio Club would be glad to show you where to get started. We conduct licensing classes, in a fun and informative environment. Contact us today!

 (Back to the LARC homepage)