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What is amateur radio?

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OMG ! What an amazing hobby!

Hi, if you are looking at this website and this page, perhaps you are interested in the world of Amateur Radio also know as Ham Radio.

Below are text taken from many website outlining what is Amateur Radio is all about.

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The members at Famparc are devoted and are very passionate about this great hobby, and are keen to help people of all ages and walks of life to discovery the fun, enjoyment and benefits of this wonderful hobby. Take a look at our FAQ's below or use the Contact Famparc Button below.

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  • What is Amateur Radio?
    Welcome to the activity of Amateur Radio, a multifaceted and easy to learn communications hobby, through which you can meet other like-minded people and have fun. It has become very diverse and is shared by three million or more people throughout the world. And it's growing! It almost entirely involves the radio transmission communication between radio amateurs by voice, digital techniques, Morse code, pictures and video signals. Yes.. you can use your computer, Phone, or Tablet to communicate via your Radio. Amateur Radio has kept up with the times to remain an enjoyable leisure time activity. Solid-state equipment adopting the latest technology has replaced its bulky predecessors. At the same time it has never been more accessible for the individual, male and female of all abilities, young or not so young, family members or workmates.. Thank you www.wia.org.au
  • What things can I do with Amateur Radio?
    Wow.. that is a very big question! Ok lets summarise this.. Talk to other Amateur Radio operators, both local or around the world. You can connect simply via radio to radio, and based on the band you are using, you can talk around 1 - 5 kilometres, or, yes.. 1000's of kilometres around the world. And with no help from your internet, mobile phone... Yes... Radio to Radio via your antenna. Digital.. Yes Digital has been around for over 100 years with Amateur Radio.. Perhaps you have heard of Morse Code... That is a form of Digital Radio... Dit's and Dah's to send your messages or conversation around the world, all via your radio! More Digital.. Amateur Radio uses other Digital Modes apart from Morse Code to send your voice, pictures and more. These Digital Modes are called and are no limited to names such as DStar, DMR, Fusion and more.. These modes also use the worlds Internet to relay your Radio Signals via Repeaters and Reflectors to other devices around the world.. And these Digital Modes are available to all Amateur Radio operators here in Australia.. Yes.. Talk to a friend or someone you don't even know across the world. Other aspects of Amateur Radio is not only talking to others, but joining the many clubs around Australia or the world. You meet like minded people who love to share their knowledge and fun with you. Perhaps you prefer to build!! Another big part of Amateur Radio is building.. It could be a simple Antenna, (I'm sure you would be aware that Radio Waves require an Antenna) or a complex Beam (YAGI) to help with your signal to propagate further. You may even wish to build a radio !! Amazing hey !! Mobile use.. There are many specific built radios that are designed for mobile use, whether it be a low cost Hand Held (Walkie Talkie) or one designed for your vehicle. There are also Antenna's for your ride too. Nets! A Net is a group of guys and girls having a chat at a specified time each week or even each day.. These Nets are usually run by a Amateur Radio Club, but all are welcome to join in.. And.. you can chat about anything at all.. Great hey!
  • Do I need a License to become an Amateur Radio Operator?
    Yes.. You do. Amateur Radio has been around for over 100 years, I suppose you could say it's the first Social Media Platform and back then you required to sit fairly difficult exams... However, over time things have changed. Overtime requirements such as Morse Code was dropped, and jumping forward, in 2005, a new three tier license was introduce. Foundation Standard Advanced The Foundation license is the key to your entry into the exciting world of Amateur Radio. Many clubs around Australia hold courses and a simple exam, so new students to the hobby gain their license in a weekend... Yes... in a weekend !! Usually on a Saturday you a class to learn the Foundation Basics, and following on the Sunday, a brief review and then your 25 question exam. To pass this simple exam, you need to answer at least 70% of the questions correct. Believe me.. You will wing it ! Find further help here: WIA (Wireless Institute of Australia) The Foundation Manual Your Entry Into Amateur Radio The third edition of the popular WIA publication "Your Entry Into Amateur Radio" the Foundation Licence Manual is in stock and available for purchase. This full color 104 page manual is packed with valuable information for anyone interested in learning about the hobby of amateur radio and for those interested in obtaining their Foundation Licence. The manual contains all the relevant information you will need to know to successfully complete a training course to obtain a Foundation Licence. It also contains a wealth of reference information for the Foundation Licence operator, information such as Band Plans, Electrical Safety, operating procedures such as the use of Phonetics and the Q code, radio club information, emergency preparedness, how to contact the WIA and much more. Price The retail price for the Foundation Manual Third Edition, is just $28.00 plus postage. (Prices subject to change) Purchasing The Manual You can purchase the publication from many radio clubs throughout Australia, from most amateur radio equipment retailers, or by mail from the Wireless Institute of Australia, PO Box 2042, Bayswater, Victoria, 3153 It may also be purchased online from this website and mailed directly to your home or office address by simply clicking the "Purchase Online" button below. The Foundation Manual - Fourth Edition Price : $28.00. (Available from Famparc) Note: prices are subject to change. Below is a link to a file that is very helpful in outlining information relating to the Foundation License. Our thanks to Lee Moyle VK3GK for permission to publish.
  • What Amateur Radio Licenses are there?
    There are three tiers of Amateur Radio License's The Foundation Licence Your Entry Into Amateur Radio The hobby of Amateur Radio has a long and proud tradition that is worth knowing. It began with experimenters dabbling in the then scientific oddity of wireless, went through the broadcasting era of the 1920s, and grew strongly after WWII. The people involved in it became the mainstay of technical professions and developed much of the technology we use today. A lot has changed in Amateur Radio, but it is even more relevant and accessible than ever before. Things You Will Need To Know The emphasis is now on those wanting to enjoy Amateur Radio, to have the knowledge and skills to demonstrate a practical ability to put together a station from commercial equipment, and operate it safely, competently and without causing interference to other users of the radio spectrum. The aim of the Foundation Licence is to be a stepping stone or entry point, giving you a real taste of Amateur Radio and the fun it provides. In summary you will learn the how Amateur Radio relates to other users of the radio spectrum, licence conditions, technical basics of electricity and electronics, transmitters, receivers, feedlines and antennas, propagation, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Construction and Digital Modes On the 12th of September 2019 the ACMA introduced a number of changes to amateur licence conditions. From these changes foundation licence holders, both existing and new, are permitted to construct their own transmittting equipment and make full use of available digital modes. The amendments increase the flexibility, utility, and relevance of the Foundation licence by removing unnecessary restrictions, while balancing the risk of interference to other radio spectrum users. Foundation Manual Update Supplement An Update Supplement to the Foundation Manual Third Edition has been released and covers changes to the manual with the introduction of Digital modes and Construction for the foundation licence holder. The supplement can be found by clicking "The Foundation Licence Manual" in the left hand menu. Radio Bands You Can Use The Foundation Licence can operate in the bands listed below using the modes listed in the right hand column. Use of both commercially manufactured or home brew transmitting equipment is permitted. Radio band FrequencyPermitted Emission Modes 80 Metres3.500 MHz - 3.700 MHzAny emission mode. Where the necessary bandwidth exceeds 8 kHz, the maximum power spectral density from the transmitter must not exceed 1 watt per 100 kHz. 40 Metres 7.000 MHz - 7.300 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth no greater than 8 kHz. 15 Metres 21.000 MHz - 21.450 MHz Any emission mode. Where the necessary bandwidth exceeds 8 kHz, the maximum power spectral density from the transmitter must not exceed 1 watt per 100 kHz. 10 Metres 28.000 MHz - 29.700 MHz Where the necessary bandwidth exceeds 16 kHz, the maximum power spectral density from the transmitter must not exceed 1 watt per 100 kHz. 2 Metres 144 MHz - 148 MHz Any emission mode. 70 Centimetres 430 MHz - 450 MHz Distances You Can Work Distance & Coverage 3.5MHz (80 metres) Typically up to 150KM during the day and up to 3000KM at night. 7MHz (40 metres) Typically up to 1000KM during the day and during good conditions world wide at night. 21 MHz (15 metres) World wide mostly during the day.28 MHz (10 metres) World wide during periods of high sunspot activity and up to 3000km in summer. 144MHz (2 metres) Local coverage and world wide via "IRLP" and EchoLink.432MHz (70cm) Local coverage, over 2000 km using something known as tropospheric ducting and world wide via "IRLP" and EchoLink. The Foundation Manual The WIA Foundation Licence Manual is a book containing relevant information for those studying for a licence. Because it is so easy to read and understand, has also become a reference book on lots of common topics. The manual has all the relevant information you will need to successfully complete a training course to obtain a Foundation Licence. It also contains a wealth of information all radio amateurs need, like understanding Band Plans, electrical safety, operating procedures, how to contact a local radio club, the WIA and much more. The Foundation Licence Manual - Your Entry Into Amateur Radio – is available from several sources. It can be purchased by clicking Foundation Manual on the left hand menu bar of this webpage, from the WIA office in Melbourne, via many radio clubs, and many equipment suppliers. Radio Clubs And Training Courses A popular way to learn more about Amateur Radio is to attend interesting lectures often held by knowledgeable radio amateurs. There are over 70 radio clubs with training courses for the Foundation Licence. Some training courses are held over several weeknights, while most are on a weekend. Contact details for radio clubs offering training and assessments can be found under Radio Clubs on this website. Assessments The examination and callsign recommendation services previously provided by the WIA ceased on 1-Feb-2019. In future these services will be provided by the Australian Maritime College (AMC). More details will be provided as they come to hand. Who To Contact Most questions about how to join Amateur Radio may be answered by the WIA or through this website. The WIA does not have the resources to answer a large number of telephone inquiries. If you need to contact it with a question not answered by the website material, click on the ‘Send Me More Info’ menu item on the left and completing the online form. The Standard Licence Your Second Step Into Amateur Radio The Standard Licence is higher than the Foundation Licence, but below the top graded Advanced Licence. With the Standard Licence comes increased power, more bands, modes, and the ability to build or modify transmitting equipment. This middle grade licence is in line with the world standard. With its enhanced operating privileges comes a much greater depth of theory and regulatory knowledge. After studying the syllabus topics for the Standard Licence, either at a course or through readily available material, it can take between 20 and 30 hours of study. Do remember to revise the Foundation Licence knowledge as some questions at the Standard Level include basic knowledge too. The Standard Licence not only further opens up involvement in Amateur Radio enabling ready worldwide communication it can expand an interest in communications technology and be a solid launching base to a rewarding career in science, electronics, and communications. The standard licence operator can use either home brew or commercially manufactured equipment. It may take a period of time for the ACMA to issue an invoice for the licence charge after the application forms have been completed. When the payment is processed, you will appear on the ACMA licence register and may begin transmitting. The ACMA licence register is available via this Link Radio Bands You Can Use The standard licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using the modes listed in the right hand column. Radio band FrequencyPermitted Emission Modes 80 Metres 3.500 - 3.700 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 8 kHz 40 Metres 7.000 - 7.300 MHz 20 Metres 14.000 - 14.350 MHz 15 Metres 21.000 - 21.450 MHz 10 Metres 28.000 - 29.700 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 16 kHz 6 Metres 52 - 54 MHz 2 Metres144 - 148 MHz 70 Centimetres 430 - 450 MHz 23 Centimetres 1240 - 1300 MHz 13 Centimetres 2400 - 2450 MHz 6 Centimetres 5650 - 5850 MHz Note : These are general band ranges provided as a guide only, please ensure you consult the ACMA LCD for specific frequency ranges, power limits and any special conditions. Training For Your Licence There are many radio clubs that offer Standard Licence training check the Radio Clubs section of this website. Additionally a CD based course that can be done at home. You will also need some support technical reference information. The ARRL handbook (preferably an early edition) or the Radio Theory handbook. You can also study at your own pace via a Multi-Media Course with the Radio and Electronics School. This course is supplied on two CDs. It covers theory and regulations, and normally takes about 4-5 weeks. Support on email from experienced trainers is provided should any questions or problems arise. Please visit http://www.res.net.au for further information about the Standard Licence Multi-Media Course. Besides providing training the clubs are ideal to learn all about Amateur Radio. You can meet other hams, attend interesting lectures, and find out lots of information about its different facets. There are some good topics and activities too appearing on YouTube. The WIA webpages list most of the clubs that are offering training and assessment, and all WIA Assessors. If you have trouble finding a training club or an Assessment, then send an email to nationaloffice@wia.org.au Assessments The examination and callsign recommendation services previously provided by the WIA ceased on 1-Feb-2019. In future these services will be provided by the Australian Maritime College (AMC). More details will be provided as they come to hand. The Advanced Licence The Last Formal Step Into Amateur Radio The Advanced Licence is the highest level of the three grades available. With it comes all bands, modes and maximum power. Like the Standard Licence it has the ability to build or modify transmitting equipment. It is in line with the world standard. With its enhanced operating privileges comes a much greater depth of theory knowledge when compared to the Standard Licence, but with the same regulatory knowledge. If you were already competent in the Regulations Assessment for the Standard Licence, this will carry on. Otherwise you need to sit a Regulations Assessment. Likewise, all radio amateurs need to be found competent in a Practical Assessment. If you have not done so previously, you will need to do a Practical Assessment. Study for an Advanced Licence can take between 50 and 100 hours. Do remember to revise the Foundation Licence and Standard Licence knowledge as some questions include basic knowledge too. The Advanced Licence further opens up involvement in Amateur Radio enabling ready worldwide communication. It can expand an interest in communications technology and be a solid launching base to a rewarding career in science, electronics, and communications. Take Amateur Radio With You On Business Or Recreational Travel It may take a period of time for the ACMA to issue an invoice for the licence charge. When the payment is processed, you will appear on the ACMA licence register and may bein transmitting. The ACMA licence register is available via this Link Radio Bands You Can Use The Advanced Licence can operate in all of 25 bands listed below. This is the only licence grade eligible that is fully recognised by those countries with reciprocal licensing. A full list of countries can be found on the ACMA website by clicking here Radio band FrequencyPermitted Emission Modes 2200 Metres 135.7 - 137.8 kHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth no greater than 2.1 kHz 630 Metres 472 - 479 kHz 160 Metres 1.800 - 1.875 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 8 kHz 80 Metres 3.500 - 3.700 MHz 3.776 - 3.800 MHz 40 Metres 7.000 - 7.300 MHz 30 Metres 10.100 - 10.150 MHz 20 Metres 14.000 - 14.350 MHz 17 Metres 18.068 -18.168 MHz 15 Metres 21.000 - 21.450 MHz 12 Metres 24.890 - 24.990 MHz 10 Metres 28.000 - 29.700 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 16 kHz 6 Metres 50.000 - 54.000 MHz Any emission mode with a necessary bandwidth not exceeding 100 kHz 2 Metres144 - 148 MHz 70 Centimetres 430 - 450 MHzAny emission mode 23 Centimetres 1240 - 1300 MHz13 Centimetres2300 - 2302 MHz 2400 - 2450 MHz10 Centimeters3300.0 - 3425.0 MHz 3492.5 - 3542.5 MHz 3575.0 - 3600.0 MHz 6 Centimetres 5650 - 5850 MHz 3 Centimetres 10.0 - 10.5 GHz 1.25 Centimetres 24.000 - 24.250 GHz 7.5 Millimetres 47.000 - 47.200 GHz 3.7 Millimetres 76 - 81 GHz 2.5 Millimetres 122.250 - 123.000 GHz 2 Millimetres 134 - 141 GHz 1.25 Millimetres 241 - 250 GHz Note : These are general band ranges provided as a guide only, please ensure you consult the ACMA LCD for specific frequency ranges, power limits and any special conditions. Training For Your Licence There are many radio clubs that offer Advanced Licence training check the Radio Clubs section of this website. Additionally a CD based course that can be done at home. You will also need some support technical reference information. The ARRL handbook (preferably an early edition) or the Radio Theory handbook. Besides providing training radio clubs are ideal to learn all about Amateur Radio. You can meet other hams, attend interesting lectures, and find out lots of information about its different facets. There are some good topics and activities too appearing on YouTube video. If you have trouble finding a training club or an Assessment, then send an email to nationaloffice@wia.org.au You can also study at your own pace via a Multi-Media Course with the Radio and Electronics School. The Advanced Licence On-line Correspondence Course has 20 assignments plus revision and assessment preparation and usually takes about 6 months at 1 assignment a week to complete with about 3 hours a week study for the average student. This course is designed for those who hold their Standard Licence and wish to upgrade, is done via email with an experienced facilitator who can offer support should any questions or problems arise. The Advanced Licence course DOES NOT include the Regulations component, assumed already to be held under the Standard Licence. Regulations however is a separate course should it be needed. You need also complete the Practical Assessment if not already done. Please visit http://www.res.net.au for further information about the Standard Licence Multi-Media Course. Assessments The examination and callsign recommendation services previously provided by the WIA ceased on 1-Feb-2019. In future these services will be provided by the Australian Maritime College (AMC). More details will be provided as they come to hand. Thank you to the WIA for the above text, image and information.. Visit the WIA for more information about Amateur Radio.
  • Is Amateur Radio the Same as CB Radio?
    Well.. No! I suppose you could say that they are the same being that they both use: A Transceiver for transmitting and receiving. Use RF (Radio Frequency) (Radio Waves). Use an Antenna. That's about it.. CB Radio is great if you prefer to chat to the person around the corner, or to your 4WD group etc.. but they are limited to UHF (Ultra High Frequency), 5 Watts of power, FM (Frequency Modulation).. And the radios have very limited settings. We have explained many points about Amateur Radio.. But so you can compare the difference between CB Radio and Amateur Radio.. let's point a few more points. Transceivers: (Thats a Radio that can both Transmit and Receive) CB Radio (5 Watts, FM only, Limited Settings, Limited distances, Set Channels from 1 to 80) Amateur Radio (Depending on the Transceiver, up-to 100 Watts of Power, FM, AM, SSB (Single Sideband), Digital, and more.. Depending on the Transceiver, they have a massive array of Settings, Distances, because you can run higher power then a CB Radio, distances are greatly increases, plus the HF (High Frequency bands) you can transmit around the world, thousands of kilometres, No 80 channels with Amateur Radio here... You get to use Frequencies, thousands of the, depending on your license). Typical CB Radio: Typical Amature Radio:
  • What else do Amateur Radio Operators do?
    Amateur Radio Operators Step up when need ! Amateur Radio Operators also support communication during natural calamities, when all the power and phone communications are disconnected. We can provide links to some news or articles. Amateur Radio Operators Experiment Amateur Radio Operators experiment with communication technology both electronic hardware and software (Mobile phone was developed out of Ham radio development). There are lot of open source hardware and software information freely available to experiment with wireless communication. Satellite communication (use satellite and repeaters) and opportunity to talk to the International Space Station (ISS) and receive pictures transmitted from the ISS. One excellent and very professionally presented site is https://3fs.net.au/ . Andrew VK3FS, offers an amazing array of excellent topics on Amateur Radio, as well a the worlds best Videos on You Tube.. Many of these our found on this website on the Videos Page. VK3FS Youtube Experiment - If you tinker with Arduinos, then chances are you need an interface to convert the low voltage outputs to 12v to drive a device. This circuit describes a Darlington pair that switches a nominal 12v VCC. The choice of the final switching or output transistor determines the current (Ic) that is supplied to the downstream device. You can also utilise Arduinos, Raspberry Pi Tiny computers along side with your Amateur Radio gear. Typical Raspberry Pi board integrated into your Radio setup. So Amateur Radio is not just chatting to others, it is the ability to offer your service to people within areas where the public comms have broken down. Play and experiment with other electronics by using: Your home computer for Logging, communications via Weak Signal Propagation. Raspberry Pi Computer for Digital Modes that use the Internet. Antenna experimenting. Transmission of Slow or Fast Scan Digital Images. Satellite Comms using passing Amateur Radio Satellites. Communicate with the ISS when passing over your location. Repeater operation which allows for longer distance communication other Hams. Club meetings and Club Fun Days. (BBQ' days, Experimental Days) and much more. Upgrade you license. Digital Comms via modes such as DStar, DMR, Fusion, P25 and much more. On Air Nets, via FM VHF/UHF Repeaters, or HF Long Distance Nets. Moon Bounce.. Bouncing your signal to the Moon and back to make contacts with other Hams around the globe. VHF/UHF Tropospheric Ducting for long distance operartion. 6M Sporadic E Propagation for long distance operation. So much more.... Simply type Amateur Radio into Youtube to learn more.
  • So What's Next? How do I get my Amateur Radio License?
    How to get on the air and enjoy the worlds best hobby? It's really not that hard.. With the introduction of the Foundation License back in 2005, it's never been easier. Like many thousands of people who passed their Foundation Exam, who though they wouldn't, never pass.. simply Did !! 1. The best place to start is via the WIA (Wireless Institute of Australia ) Take a look at the License Page or Click Here. 2. Get a the Foundation Manual (Book). (You can also down load a basic "You Entry into Amateur Radio" Pdf. Click Here. ) To purchase the Foundation Book Click Here. Or many Amateur Radio Clubs have these books in stock for loan. 3. Contact your local Amateur Radio Club, they can assist you with obtaining the above book, as well as help in gaining your license. Using the WIA Web site, click on "Affiliated Radio Clubs" from the menu. Then select your state. 4. After getting your Foundation Book, and contacting your local club.. A week or so of light study and then booking in for your weekend class and exam.. by the end of the weekend you will be entering this exciting world of Amateur Radio. Note: We at Famparc are more then willing to help and assist you in obtaining your Amateur Radio Licence. You are more than welcome to drop in and see us, have chat. Contact Us Here. Or via our Contact form on our web site. Get Active.. Get your Amateur Radio License.
  • Are there any Videos or Australian Websites that can help me in getting my Foundation License?
    Yes! Youtube is a fantastic resource for anything Amateur Radio.. However, be careful when researching on getting your Amateur Radio License as many videos can be based overseas, you be aware that you need videos that are based here in Australia. To assist you, here are a few that will be a help to gain you Foundation License. REAST : Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania Inc. Click Here to enjoy the array of excellent Youtube Videos from REAST. You can also see the full listing of Videos via our Video Page Click Here. About REAST: REAST : Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania Inc. The Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania’s objects and purposes include: for the association of persons interested in and for the encouragement and development of radio communication and electronics in all its modes; to encourage, assist and educate all persons interested in all aspects of amateur radio and allied techniques with special reference to licensed radio amateurs and to promote the extension of interest and participation in such pursuits; participation in activities using radio communication equipment and techniques within the terms of amateur licensing as amended from time to time; Members of the club come from all walks of life and we meet to share a common interest in experimental radio communications and electronic experimentation. We meet regularly in our club rooms which are the former OTC Wireless Station on the Queen’s Domain, Hobart. See the Events page for details. You are welcome to come along whether you are a member or not. Our thanks to the excellent effort that REAST does for the Australian Amateur Radio Hobby. Another excellent online service is the: Radio and Electronics School by Ron Bertrand. https://res.net.au Ron has been assisting Australians to gain their Amateur Radio license for many many years and not only for the Foundation License, but also the other two classes Standard and Advanced. Have a browse through Ron's website.. (Above) There is an excellent list of material via the Download Page. Click Here Also, Ron has many videos on Youtube as well. Click Here to enjoy the array of excellent Youtube Videos from Radio & Electronics School. For further help and assistance, please feel free to contact our club via our Contact Form. Below is a link to a file that is very helpful in outlining information relating to the Foundation License. Our thanks to Lee Moyle VK3GK for permission to publish.
  • What can Famparc do to help me get my License?
    From time to time Famparc offers a Amateur Radio Foundation License Course and Exam. This is normally run over two Saturday Afternoons, with the Exam being a practical and 25 question theory paper exam held either on the last Saturday afternoon or even another day, depending on the participants. We have a few pages on our website offering information etc..

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