Electrical engineer and HAM writer and evangelist Ward Silver authored a piece over at the MAKE blog presenting HAM radio to a Maker audience:
...Let’s say this sounds like something you’d like to investigate. What does it take to become a ham? While anyone can listen in, the real fun comes from transmitting your own signal and making contacts over the air directly with other hams. To transmit, you’ll need a license from the FCC that comes from passing a 35-question, multiple-choice test. The tests are given by other hams and they will probably offer licensing classes or you can study on your own. Do you have to know Morse code? Nope — that requirement was dropped years ago. Do you have to be an engineering whiz or a communications legal expert? Nope — just the basics will get you through the door.
A ham radio license is really a license to learn. Just like a driver’s or pilot’s license, you get better with practice. As you get more experience, you’ll want to upgrade your license and try out more interests. In the meantime, ask around in your Maker group because a ham may be closer than you think — they’ll help you find your way. Maybe your Maker group could invite a ham to demo ham radio for you. There are probably ham radio clubs in the neighborhood, too. Hams will help you get your license and get on the air — it’s what we do. Come join the fun! ...
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