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

Band Conditions


Propagation Predictions



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

  • APRS
  • Dog Park Software – Don VE3VRW – Mac & iOS Amateur Radio Applications
  • DXKeeper
  • PSK31
  • 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)

Call Signs

National and International Associations



ARRL Quick Reference Operating Aids

Disasters and Emergencies

Alert Systems

Link Sites

  • 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

RST System


  • 1–Unreadable
  • 2–Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.
  • 3–Readable with considerable difficulty.
  • 4–Readable with practically no difficulty.
  • 5–Perfectly readable.

Signal Strength

  • 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.

Fun Facts

  • 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

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