Wanna be a Ham

Wanna be a Ham?

The Miami County Amateur Radio Club is ready to help you become an amateur radio operator.

  • Our mentors can help you study for the exam. More info about the exams is here.
  • Our Volunteer Examiners hold classes on a regular basis.
  • We can advise you on equipment purchases.
  • Our club meetings and activities provide opportunities to visit with and learn from active hams who live in the Miami County area.
  • Our one-day Tech classes are designed to teach you what you need to know to pass the Technician Class license exam in a single day. Immediately after the class, you take the test so that you don’t forget anything.

Are you ready to get started?

  • Click here to go to a  web page where you can email, phone us, or use the contact form to send us a message.  In the form, tell us about yourself and the facet of ham radio that interests you the most.
  • Explore the web sites mentioned at the bottom of the page
  • Come to MCARC club meetings and activities. Our general membership meeting is the fourth Monday of every month at 7pm.
  • Connect with one of our mentors, find out when the next one-day Tech class or license exam session will be held, and start studying!
    • Morse code testing is no longer required, so entry level licensing is easy
    • Usually no more than a week or two of study
  • Study on your own and take the licensing test at one of our Tech in a Day Classes. You can learn more at News & Upcoming Events

While you are getting started, if you have a radio or scanner:

  • Listen to our club repeaters (145.230 & 147.210 MHz)
  • Monitor a repeater during bad weather.  Try 146.640 MHz in Ohio and 146.835 Mhz in Indiana, the repeater used by the local SkyWarn team.  For information on Skywarn, go to Skywarn.org or Dayton Skywarn.org to learn more.

Odds are there’s a ham operator in your neighborhood who would be happy to help you get started.  Here’s a web page that explains how to find other ham operators in your area.

What does it cost?

This page gives more info about the exams:  License Exam Information

  • About $40 in books for the class.
  • About $50 to $500 for first (2 meter/70cm) radio and other gear depending on what you buy. A Baofeng Handy-Talky currently sells for under $50. Get the higher power one (about 8 watts). It’s not the quality of an Icom, Kenwood, or a Yaesu, but it will get you into the local repeaters without having to buy a separate antenna and coaxial cable.
    • Used equipment is often available online (Craigs List, Ebay) and at various hamfests. See the latest edition of the ARRL Ohio Section Journal for info on Hamfests in Ohio.

Where can I find more information about ham radio?

  • Here are some books available from ARRL. The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual is the only book you will need for your first license exam. If you contact Paul Simmons, the club secretary, he/she can advise you on whether or not he will be able to get a book for you for the class and what the cost would be.
  • Wikipedia on Amateur Radio — a quick overview.
  • Arrl.org – the national club — a great resource — covers all aspects of our hobby.
  • See the article  Discovering Ham Radio!
  • Here’s another resource  Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications
  • www.eHam.net — New Ham page — Guide to Amateur Radio for New Hams. The site also has helpful forums covering equipment and ham activities, and sample license tests.
  • FCC – Amateur Radio ServicesThe FCC established amateur radio as a voluntary, non-commercial, radio communications service. It allows licensed operators to improve their communications and technical skills, while providing the nation with a pool of trained radio operators and technicians who can provide essential communications during emergencies.
  • Ham radio in the 21st century — Ham radio today differs greatly from that of past years, but it still offers a fascinating way to explore electronics. Here’s a look at how it has changed and what it has to offer both old hands and newcomers alike.