Home

What's happening at BCARA

What is Ham Radio? (click here)

What is Ham Radio? (click here)

What is Ham Radio?   Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need. You can set up a ham radio station anywhere! In a field... ...at a club station.... ...or at home. Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles,...

Why should I get licensed? (click here)

Why should I get licensed? (click here)

Why should I get licensed? Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government. In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra. Technician License The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above...

Ham Radio History (click here)

Ham Radio History (click here)

In 1873, James Clerk Maxwell presented his theory of the electromagnetic field. In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi communicated across the Atlantic with a radio device using high power and giant antennas. To curb interference, Congress approved the Radio Act of 1912, which required amateurs to be licensed and restricted to the single wavelength of 200 meters. In 1914 the American Radio Relay League was founded by Hiram Percy Maxim, who found that messages could be sent more reliably over long distances if relay stations were organized. Transatlantic transmitting and receiving tests began in 1921 and by July 1960 the first two-way contact...

Your First Station (click here)

Your First Station (click here)

Your Amateur Radio station may change, but you have to start somewhere, right? Here are some fundamentals that all Amateur Radio stations have in common: Transceiver Power Supply Antenna System The Transceiver Selecting your transceiver will largely depend on how much you want to spend and what you hope to do. If you want to explore long-distance contacts on the HF bands, you’ll need an HF transceiver. If you are interested in chatting with local friends on the VHF or UHF bands, look for a VHF+ FM transceiver.  Build Your Own Radio Most hams buy their radios factory assembled,...

  • What is Ham Radio? (click here)

  • Why should I get licensed? (click here)

  • Ham Radio History (click here)

  • Your First Station (click here)

Your First Station (click here)

Your Amateur Radio station may change, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Hallas_1109_Lead__Elecraft_K3.JPG

Here are some fundamentals that all Amateur Radio stations have in common:

  • Transceiver
  • Power Supply
  • Antenna System

The Transceiver

Selecting your transceiver will largely depend on how much you want to spend and what you hope to do. If you want to explore long-distance contacts on the HF bands, you’ll need an HF transceiver. If you are interested in chatting with local friends on the VHF or UHF bands, look for a VHF+ FM transceiver.
 

Build Your Own Radio

Most hams buy their radios factory assembled, but you can design your own transceiver from scratch. There are also many transceiver kits available. Kit building is fun and educational and you’ll save a considerable amount of money in the process. If you think your technical skills are marginal, however, build your kit with the help of a more knowledgeable ham.

HF or VHF Antennas?

Antennas are subjects unto themselves. It all depends on whether you want to get started on the HF or VHF bands. See the sections below and make your choice!

Is QRP Right for You?

QRP enthusiasts operate at only 5 watts output or less. They tend to communicate using CW, but they also use digital modes and occasionally voice. rockmite_QRP_transceiver.JPGThe great advantage of QRP is cost. A QRP transceiver built from a kit can cost less than $200. Low power consumption is another major plus. QRP transceivers can be easily powered from batteries, which make them great for outdoor or emergency operating. The disadvantage of QRP is that you need a very good antenna to make contacts with reasonable ease. This isn’t to say that you can’t make QRP contacts with a poorer antenna (such as a small mobile antenna), but it will be much more difficult. Learn More

Station Power Supply

If you’re considering a handheld transceiver for use on VHF or UHF FM, most of these radios come with their own rechargeable batteries. But if you want to operate the radio without the battery, you may want to invest in a small dc power supply—13.8 volts (V) with a current capacity of about 3 amps (A) will do the job nicely. You can find these at retailers such as RadioShack for about $40 or less.

As you step up to larger radios with more output power, you’ll need larger power supplies to run them. Most of these transceivers do not have their own power supplies, so read their specifications before you buy. A transceiver with a maximum output power of 100 W will require about 25 A of current at 13.8 V when you are operating the radio at “full throttle.” That kind of power supply will cost about $100 to $200.

Don’t worry about buying a power supply with too much current capacity. Your equipment will only draw the current it needs—no more, no less. In fact, it is probably safe to say that you can never have too much current capacity. It may seem economically foolish to invest $200 in a 25-A power supply when all you want to power is a 5-W handheld radio. However, if you think you’ll be upgrading to a larger radio in the near future, you may want to get the big power supply today (especially if you find a great deal on a high-current supply).

When shopping for a power supply, beware of one potential stumbling block. Power supplies are often rated by their continuous and intermittent (ICS) current capacities. The figure you want to look at is the continuous rating—the amount of current the power supply can provide continuously. Don’t be misled by an advertisement that promises a fantastic deal on, say, a 30-A supply. Are those 30 amps provided intermittently—only for short periods of time--or continuously? You need continuous power, so check and be sure!

It is also worth mentioning that you’ll find two types of ham-grade power supplies for sale. The linear design uses a hefty transformer to shift the 120 V ac line voltage from your wall outlet to a lower voltage for later conversion to 13.8 V dc. These power supplies tend to be large and heavy, especially the high-current models.

Another approach to the power supply problem is the switching design. In the switching power supply, the ac line voltage is converted directly to dc and filtered. This high-voltage dc is then fed to a power oscillator that “switches” it on an off at a rate of about 20 to 500 kHz. The result is pulsating dc that can be applied to a transformer for conversation to 13.8 V or whatever is needed. The reason for doing this is that rapidly pulsating dc can be transformed to lower voltages without the need for large transformers. It is the transformer that accounts for most of the weight, size and cost of traditional linear power supplies. A switching power supply is much smaller and lighter, and usually less expensive. If you’re considering a switching power supply, look for models that boast low “RFI” (radio frequency interference).

 

Used with permission. http://www.arrl.org/your-first-station

Meetings

BCARA meetings are the 2nd Monday each month at 7pm.

Fairfield Township Administration Bldg. 6032 Morris Rd. Hamilton,OH 45011
This is located on the corner of Morris Rd and Millikin Rd.  Near Butler Tech.  Wheelchair accessible.
 Please join us on our new, high profile, repeater! Serving the entire Tri-State area @ 146.700(-) PL 123 Please check into our weekly Net: Tuesday's on 146.700(-)  PL 123.0 at 7:00pm
HF Round Table Friday's on 10 Meters 28.410 (+ or -) QRM at 9:00pm

ARRL News

American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio, connecting hams around the U.S. with news, information and resources.
  • At the request of ARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® (ARRL), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a waiver allowing amateur radio operators to participate in a special event commemorating the 81st anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.On December 6 and 7, ham radio operators can make crossband contacts with the Battleship IOWA, now moored in the Port...

  • No new sunspots appeared over the past reporting week, November 24 to 30.  But sunspots were visible every day.  Then on December 1 three new sunspot groups emerged.  The sunspot number rose from 12 to 49 and the total sunspot area went from 10 to 330.Sunspot numbers and solar flux declined during this reporting week (November 24 to 30), with average daily Sunspot number dropping from 66 to 46,...

  • Dr. Kristina Collins, KD8OXT, earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University on November 18, 2022. Dr. Collins' thesis, Development of a Low-Cost Meta-Instrument for Distributed Observations of Ionospheric Variability, focuses on the development of the HamSCI Grape Personal Space Weather Station Network. Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) serves as a...

  • The BEARS of Manchester Amateur Radio Club in Manchester, Connecticut, spent Thanksgiving Day providing amateur radio communications support for the 86th Manchester Road Race.The race, a 4.748-mile course that begins and ends on Main Street in downtown Manchester, has been a Thanksgiving Day tradition since 1927. This is the 30th consecutive year the BEARS of Manchester Amateur Radio Club has p...

  • On December 1, 2022, YOTA begins a month-long, special event to celebrate young amateur radio operators -- YOTA Month 2022. YOTA is Youth or Youngsters on the Air. Amateur radio operators aged 25 and younger will be on all bands using all modes throughout the month to make contacts around the world. In 2021, YOTA participants worldwide made 119,516 contacts, surpassing their goal of 100,000 con...

  • Students at Five Bridges Junior High School in Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada, finally had an opportunity to talk with an astronaut onboard the International Space Station (ISS) via ham radio.On Wednesday, November 23, 2022, the students were able to talk with Astronaut Josh Cassada, KI5CRH, for about 11 minutes as the ISS passed over northern Europe.The students were anxious to ask quest...

Solar Data