Becoming An Amateur Radio Operator

Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator

Amateur Radio operators are people from all walks of life – no matter what age, gender or physical ability. There are around 5,500 in New Zealand and about 4,000,000 around the world in almost every country. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier!

With an amateur radio licence and your own transmitting station, you can talk to people around town, around the country, or around the world. You can also talk to astronauts on the Space Shuttle or aboard the International Space Station. You can become involved with communications for Civil Defence and for Search and Rescue.

Amateur Radio is a great stepping stone into a career in electronics, communications or other technologies. There are many satellite systems and digital communications systems that you can experiment with.

There are many different and exciting aspects to Amateur Radio communication that can involve people of all ages. New Zealanders as young as eight become radio amateurs and senior citizens study and succeed too! About one person in 600 of the New Zealand population is a Radio Amateur.

Amateur Radio Equipment is not difficult to obtain and setting up a radio station need
not be expensive. There is plenty of good used equipment available and it would be easily possible to get on the air with an investment of less than $500. It is equally possible to build a “Super station” costing much more!

In New Zealand the licences are issued by the Ministry of Economic Development – Radio Spectrum Management Group. They open the world to you! Your licence gives your station a unique CALLSIGN beginning with ZL. The licence is does not require a Morse Code test and gives you all the amateur radio privileges to operate in all the allocated amateur radio bands of frequencies. You can enjoy using small 2-metre hand-held radios to stay in touch with other amateurs in your area or you may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes to talk around the world. You can even make international radio contacts via amateur radio satellites, using relatively simple equipment.

The New Zealand Association of Amateur Radio Transmitters (N.Z.A.R.T) is a most worthwhile group to belong to. It has local Club branches in most cities and towns and you will find that the members of those branches will be very helpful in answering your questions and assisting you to get “On the air”

To earn a licence, you’ll need to pass the written examination. This is a computer-generated test made up from questions taken from a public-domain question-bank. You can usually find an amateur radio class in your area sponsored by friendly volunteers who will help you to learn the ropes, or you can successfully study on your own, as many others have done.

The examination questions are all multiple-choice. The examinations are administered by volunteer supervisors appointed from amateur radio operators in your area. Your result is given to you on the spot following the conclusion of the test. With a pass result, you can take your result notification the local office of the Ministry of Economic Development Radio Spectrum Management and apply for an Amateur Radio Licence. The licence and callsign are usually also available on the spot. Your local club members will be only to happy to help you get on the air and talk to other amateur radio operators around the world.

A free STUDY GUIDE is available here for down-load. It is written with beginners in mind. You’ll study topics such as radio operating practices, the amateur radio rules and regulations, and basic electrical theory. You can test yourself as your studies proceed.

Where Do I Start? Contact Dave Walker ZL2DW in Hastings or Peter Dingley ZL2LF in Napier and talk to one of them about becoming a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator.

Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. Come and join us – the Amateur Radio Operators of Hawkes Bay

Amateur Radio DXing Websites

There are thousands of great Ham Radio websites around the world and computers are widely used in radio stations..
The links below will get you started into the world of DXing

AC6V – 700 Topics, 6000 Links and 132 pages
ARRL – The DXCC Awards Website
CQ Magazine – The CQ Zone Awards Website – Excellent General Logging program – Excellent Contest Logging program – Excellent Free General Logging program – Propagation prediction (and it’s free!) Our National Association – The CQ awards and contest website The ARRL DXCC awards and contest website – The K1BV Awards directory listing for 3227 awards

The Amateur Radio operators of Hawkes Bay participate in all facits of the hobby. You will hear them daily on the local two metre repeater “670” on Mt.Kahurangi just south of Hastings. The 670 repeater covers all of HawkesBay to south of Danniverke. The “725” repeater located on Mt. Taraponui on the Napier Taupo road gives excellent coverage north to Taupo. There is a local UHF repeater on 438.700 MHz and access to the National system is on 439.000 MHz. You will also hear them on the HF bands working DX or their mates around New Zealand.

Beacons are on 145.240 MHZ, 51.030 MHz and 433.240 MHz using the callsign ZL2MHB. A tradition in HawkesBay has been the local Corn Flakes Net (See Below) at 7.30 AM each morning.

The Club’s joint Newsletter is Breakout which is issued monthly as an eMagazine. Contact the Editor of Breakout for a complimentary copy.

The Hawkes Bay Branch 13 club night is the 4th Wednesday each month at 7.30 pm at the Pakowhai Hall at Pakowhai, half way between Napier and Hastings.

The Napier Branch 25 club night is the 1st Wednesday of the month (except January), 7.30pm at the Club Rooms: 123 Latham Street, Napier.

All visitors are welcome at both club meetings especially those who are interested in becoming Amateur Radio Operators. Both clubs can arrange training and examinations to gain your licence. Contact Peter Dingley ZL2LF in Napier or Dave Walker ZL2DW in Hastings for further information on how you can participate in this rewarding hobby.

The “On the air” Joint Branch Meeting Net is 9.00 am Sunday mornings 3615 kHz and the “725” repeater on 147.250 MHz. Anyone is welcome to join in!

Visitors to the Bay and anyone else who wishes to join us for a friendly chat, don’t forget to check in to the local repeater on 146.700 Mhz. You will nearly always get a reply and a chat with the locals who are able to help you with most requests. We look forward to making your acquaintance.

Copyright (c) 2012 ZL2AL All rights reserved.

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