We pride ourself in investing in our members and in the community. One way we do so is providing the below list of references which we hope will be useful to you and others. This page is designed to be a central location to store links to all types of reference material. You will find a section focused on the different Digital RF technologies, sections focused on Emergency Services, sections for setting up your HAM station, and other useful information. This page contains links to a variety of documents or Internet based websites. This intent here is to give the New HAM a place to start learning, researching and understand the broad topics of HAM Radio. Some of these articles or links are older but the principles are still valid today. Any suggestions or recommendations made in these articles are the opinion of the author and not necessarily those of the Olive Branch Amateur Radio Club, Inc. Please understand that you are the ultimate decision maker and it is always in your best interest to do your homework and ask others before making any purchasing decisions. This is only one guide on your journey...
New HAM? - What do I do now?
- What should I do after I get my HAM license? - 10 things you should do! Now What?
Join the club - See our Membership Information page and look over our membership opportunities.
You can also complete an Application for Membership from this link. Membership Information
- What is an Elmer? - in a word, an Elmer is a Mentor. Watch this video explaining the role of an Elmer. YouTube Video
- Join a Net - It is not required to be a member or the sponsoring organization to join most local nets. IT IS REQUIRED to be a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator. Some nets have a protocol or method of doing things. It is usually best to listen and learn their approach, method and cadence before checking in so that you adhere to their protocols. We invite you to join one, or several, as soon as possible. If you are a little worried, ask a friend. Local Nets
- How to make your first contact (YouTube Video) - YouTube Video
- How to Choose Radio Equipment for new HAMS - Link Or, you can also go to YouTube and search for "How to choose ham radio equipment for new hams " which will give you several opportunities to hear the opinions of amateur Operators on both HF, VHF/UHF solutions as well as some Antenna suggestions. Just beware - these are opinions!
- Antenna recommendations for new HAMS - One of the most fun parts of this hobby is the ability to build your own antenna that can be highly effective in the right situations. For HF work, HAMs will typically start with an End-Fed antenna or a Center Fed Dipole antenna. There are far too many articles or YouTube videos to list here. Google and YouTube are your friends on this subject so put in the time and effort to learn. These wire antennas are fairly cheap, but they do require some space and height to be truly effective. For VHF/UHF, new HAMs find it easy enough to buy or build a J-Pole antenna. You can make them out or wire or copper water pipe (1/2 in or 3/4 in diameter). Again, lots of information about lengths and materials on the Internet. You can also purchase these as either kits or pre-built for less than $50.00. Remember that different types of antennas have different gains. Antenna gain makes up for losses that occur as a result of coax or connector or other reductions in signal from the radio to the antenna. J-Poles for example only have about at 2 - 2.5 db gain. While some other longer factory built vertical antennas can have up to 11 db gain. Since 3db doubles your signal, you can see that a j-pole has marginal positive impact while some of the other vertical antennas can more than triple your output. This makes a big difference to who can hear you and what you can hear. Another thing to keep in mind is the height of the antenna. For example, an antenna at 10 feet will not be heard as far as an antenna at 50 feet. This concept is most noticed when you consider Repeaters which are generally over a hundred feet in the air to up to several hundred feet above the ground (AGL). The 146.82 repeater in Memphis is 500 ft AGL and the Hernando 146.91 repeater is several hundred feet high as well.