Hello again and welcome back to my blog. I hope the you have enjoyed your reading so far. Today we are going to start off with the series that will elaborate a little bit on may last post, What is amateur radio. Today we will be talking about voice communications.
Voice communications are probably the most used form of amateur radio. Voice communications can be done over HF, VHF OR UHF bands. For the entry level ham, HF voice is not allowed unless you can sit down with an older ham that has a higher class license and talk under their callsign. The entry level license, Technician class, only allows communications on the VHF and UHF bands. Of course alot can be done on these bands but for now we are only talking about voice.
The VHF and UHF bands are what is called line of sight bands. There are some excetions to that rule that I will cover in a later entry. As with line of sight, tbe person that you are talking to has to be fairly close to you. You can tall to them directly using what is called simplex. Simplex is where two or more people is taking to each other on a single frequency without the use of a repeater. Simplex communication is normally limited to about 5 to 10 miles.
In order to expand your talking range you can use a repeater. A repeater is a radio system that is setup, normally at higher location, than you are and will have a higher output power. Repeaters use two frequencies, an input frequency and an output frequency. The input frequency is the frequency that operators in the field talks on and the output frequency is where they listen to. This is done automatically by the radio you are taking on. The repeater will received transmissions on its input frequency and rebroadcast it at a higher power on its output frequency. Repeaters are owned by other hams just like you. They could be on the top of a building, a water tower, or on a tower in the owners back yard. There are even some repeaters that are on satellites in space. There are actually several amateur radio satellites in orbit around the earth.
HF radio is a totally different beast than VHF or UHF. On HF radio you can talk around the world on a small amount of output power. If fact, it is more likely that you will talk to someone 100+ miles away over someone 10 miles away. One of the biggest differences between HF and VHF/UHF is the sound quality. You may talk to someone half a world away and can hear them just perfectly but someone in the next state you might just be able to hear that there is someone talking but not be able to understand them. HF is the most used method for contesting, which I touched on last post as well and which I will go into further detail in a later post.
Also in my last post, I wrote about QRP and is also mainly used on HF. QRP means low output power, 5 watts or less. Some people even build their own QRP radios from scratch rather than buying them from a commercial source. With 5 watts, a good antenna and a good location you can talk around the world as well. Some people might even be able to hear you better than someone using 100 watts if conditions and location is right.
There is so many things that can be done with ham radio other than just voice communications though. Voice communications just happens to be the most used. I’m sure there is even more voice methods that can be done, but I believe I’ve at least covered the basics.
If you would like to learn more about what else you can do with ham radio, please check back later for future posts. On my next post, I will be talking about the different types of “Nets”. Please like my blog to get updates on when a new post is put out and please share my blog with your friends.
Thanks for reading,
73 de K5CLM