What's Ham Radio?

Amateur Radio, sometimes called Ham Radio, is the use of the radio spectrum for non-commercial purposes by individuals for communications, experimentation, and even contesting. Amateur Radio Operators are licensed by the FCC (in the United States) after passing an exam on radio theory, safety, and laws related to proper radio usage. Once licensed, the doors are opened to the hobby, and there are countless applications that you can explore in Amateur Radio.

Most people relate Amateur Radio to something their grandfather played with, tucked away in a basement yelling into a microphone with antennas and wires running everywhere, and talking to a random person on the other end of the signal. While long-distance communications are still a major reason people use Amateur Radio, there are plenty of other facets that can be explored. That's where NOVARS comes in.

We like to focus on the under-explored areas of the hobby. Sure, you can talk into a radio to another person, just like a walkie talkie. But what if you were to talk to the International Space Station? Download pictures from NOAA weather satellites? Bounce your signal off of the moon and talk to someone on the other side of the country? Build transmitters that use microwave dishes? Sounds difficult, right?

NOVARS members possess the knowledge, skills, and tools to accomplish these communication goals. A lot of us even build our own radios, antennas, and equipment to make it all work (yes, your Amateur Radio license lets you do that too). Our goal is to bring the knowledge of Amateur Radio operators in the area together into one club that explores and experiments with the radio spectrum, and participate in contests, classes, and events together to further our knowledge of the hobby.

Are you someone who likes to tinker with computers, electronics, radio control models, 3D printers, drones, CB radio, or even videography? We want to hear from you! If you are interested in the hobby, please click below to learn more from the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio in the United States. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me in the email address below.

ARRL: Be a Radio Amateur

Already licensed and looking to join NOVARS? Send an email to admin@n1of.com


Scott, N1OF

NOVARS Secretary

Credit: Jim Shank via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Deed

Credit: Peter Haas / CC BY-SA 3.0