Amateur Radio is a hobby. And it’s also a public service.
Amateur Radio does not rely on internet or telephone links so it is a good back-up system when those systems fail. When modern communications go down in times of emergencies and disasters, certified and licensed Amateur Radio operators lend their qualifications, skills, experience, and equipment to provide voice and data communications to government and relief agencies. Amateur Radio operators don’t need cell towers, the Internet, or radio repeaters to get the message through to and from anywhere in the world. (Wikipedia and ARRL to learn more.)
It’s for these same reasons this technology is relied on to stay connected while travelling to some of the most remote locations in the world, overland and by sea.
Follow this link for a post about Amateur Radio while overlanding.
The following are some of the resources I use.
- National Research Council’s Web clock (Official times across Canada)
- WWV – 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz
Amateur Radio operators I follow
- Kevin Loughin, KB9RLW – YouTube, Twitter, Web – Very educational videos about the different aspects of Amateur Radio, using Linux with AR, etc. Now living full time in an RV.
- Randy Hall, K7AGE – YouTube
- Cliff Batson, N4CCB – QRP evangelist, host of QRP School on the Web and YouTube
- Steve, VE7SL – Mayne Island, B.C – 630 Meters evangelist
- Claude Jollet – VE2DPE – Ham Radio Secrets – Good resource
Tech & Software
- Dog Park Software – Don VE3VRW – Mac & iOS Amateur Radio Applications
- Winlink – provides world-wide email by radio to areas impacted by emergencies and to licensed amateur radio operators (sailors, adventurers, etc.) who find themselves without Internet access.
- WSJT-X (Includes FT8, WSPR)
National and International Associations
- Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC)
- American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
- International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) –Wikipedia Entry
- International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
- Canada – RBR-4 — Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service (pdf version)
- Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations
- Canadians Operating Amateur Radio in Foreign Countries
ARRL Quick Reference Operating Aids
Disasters and Emergencies
- Environment Canada Public Weather Alerts
- National Hurricane Center
- The Hurricane Watch Net
- Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network
- AC6V – 6000 links across 133 pages
International Telecommunication Union Phonetic Alphabet
A – Alpha
B – Bravo
C – Charlie
D – Delta
E – Echo
F – Foxtrot
G – Golf
H – Hotel
I – India
J – Juliet
K – Kilo
L – Lima
M – Mike
N – November
O – Oscar
P – Papa
Q – Quebec
R – Romeo
S – Sierra
T – Tango
U – Uniform
V – Victor
W – Whiskey
X – X-ray
Y – Yankee
Z – Zulu
- 2–Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.
- 3–Readable with considerable difficulty.
- 4–Readable with practically no difficulty.
- 5–Perfectly readable.
- 1–Faint signals, barely perceptible.
- 2–Very weak signals.
- 3–Weak signals.
- 4–Fair signals.
- 5–Fairly good signals.
- 6–Good signals.
- 7–Moderately strong signals.
- 8–Strong signals.
- 9–Extremely strong signals.
- 1–Sixty cycle a.c or less, very rough and broad.
- 2–Very rough a.c., very harsh and broad.
- 3–Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered.
- 4–Rough note, some trace of filtering.
- 5–Filtered rectified a.c. but strongly ripple-modulated.
- 6–Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation.
- 7–Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation.
- 8–Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation.
- 9–Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind.
- 73, (Morse: −−••• •••−− ) means “best regards” in amateur radio lingo
- In the early days of amateur radio, there were few transceivers available commercially. Consequently, creative and resourceful licensed amateur radio operators were left to build, or hack together their radios, often using parts salvaged from other equipment. These were the original hackers.
- 73, Robert VE9CDN