Amateur Radio Guides

On this website you will find a large number of guides (or at least coming) with many of them already written but needing to be formatted for the website.

One of the issues with being a new Amateur operator, whether you are brand new to the hobby, or returning to the hobby after many years is that whilst there is a plethora of information, it suffers from the same issues which are:

  • Information that is woefully out of date.
  • Referencing software that is no longer available.
  • Referencing software that no longer works reliably on later operating systems.
  • Assumes that everyone lives in the United States.
  • Assumes that everyone has a base knowledge similar to the authors.
  • Quite often are written by others with a large amount of experience and forget what the newcomer may or may not know.
  • No overview on what we are trying to achieve – just dives straight down.

Now I have been general in my statements, but it would be fair to say that 90% of articles suffer from these issues, and to be fair this is not just the domain of the Amateur Operator that has put in his time to write something, but also of some of the very experienced operators, and indeed organisations, organisations that are involved with Amateur Radio on a daily basis. Particularly with some of those articles, (and some of those websites), they are more suited to the Wayback Machine (if you are not sure what this is – basically an Internet Archive site).

Now if I was writing an guide article on how to use Microsoft Word, and implement tables, this is relatively simple. I have a few different versions or Word to worry about, a few operating systems, but on the whole this article will help 70% of users. We can make a lot of assumptions about the reader and their equipment and it makes it very easy to cover most of the important points in the article.

Now Amateur Radio is different. Almost every facet of Amateur Radio is built on concepts, concepts that need to be understood (or at least the majority understood), so that you can build on that knowledge. Lets look at what impacts understanding these concepts.

  • We are dealing with wide range of ages
  • We are dealing with a wide range of experiences
  • We are dealing with a wide range of computer knowledge (whether we like it or not – computers are here to stay)
  • We are dealing with a wide range of concept knowledge and base understandings
  • We are dealing with a wide range of Transceiver equipment that the user has – taking a real guess – over 300 common commercial types in use today (probably a lot more)
  • We are dealing with a wide range of Environments (different countries, compromised antenna’s, QRM, power restrictions, band restrictions)

Now it is impossible to write an article that will cover everything. Likewise, part of the enjoyment of Amateur Radio is learning, building, and feeling a sense of achievement.

So this is what these Amateur Radio Guides are all about and this is what the commitment to these guides is all about

  • To be kept updated and reviewed – At least once a year
  • Provide links to the correct software/sites to get you started
  • Provide a concept knowledge if possible so you can work through the issues and concepts
  • Provide information on what Computer systems it runs on (if a computer is required)
  • Provide notes to clarify exceptions or things to watch out for.
  • Guides to cover all the popular aspects in Amateur Radio at this time

I started writing these articles in Word when I started in Amateur Radio (or at least my second stint after a 30 year hiatus) , so they are written with a newcomer in mind. I am hoping to migrate two articles a week to the website. As you can appreciate it takes time with the formatting, adding pictures, as well as reviewing the articles to make sure it is up to date, and the information is still relevant, but they will keep arriving.

The Current list of Guides on this Website – Guide on FT8 – Guide the Basics of Packet Radio and equipment used – Guide on Echolink and how to get started – Guide on setup of ARRL’s Logbook of the World.

and lots more coming…..