# All Questions

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7k views

### Why is Morse Code still in use?

Why do people still use Morse Code? What are its advantages over newer Voice or Data communication modes?
4k views

### How do I report an emergency using ham radio?

If I'm in the wilderness with ham equipment but no phone signal, how would I report an emergency? Is there a particular frequency I would use, a particular protocol or suchlike?
31k views

### Using a balun with a resonant dipole

I am preparing to construct a resonant, center-fed, horizontal dipole. I have seen people use baluns at the feedpoint of the antenna, and some people swear by them, but I have never gotten a ...
28k views

### What's the difference between national calling frequency and national simplex calling frequency in the 2m and 70cm band plans published by ARRL?

On the 2 meter and 70 centimeter band plans published by the ARRL, what is the difference in intended use between the calling frequencies (144.200, 432.10 MHz) and the simplex calling frequencies (146....
20k views

### Can my neighbor's ham radio antenna be interfering with my internet signal or is my internet provider just throwing blame elsewhere?

My internet provider is telling me that an antenna on my neighbor's house, which he called a ham radio antenna, is interfering with my DSL internet signal. I'm not tech savvy at all, beyond what's ...
44k views

### Effect of different metals for antenna elements

Other than rust, corrosion, and other reactions with air that would make the use of a metal unfavorable, how do different metals affect the performance? Let's give Yagi an example: Let's say I use 4 ...
3k views

### Are there well-known methods that can help improve my CW copying speed?

I've been having a hard time getting my Morse Code copying speed above 7-10 words per minute. Are there any techniques I can use to improve my skill?
36k views

### Why do hams often conclude messages with “73”?

Looking at amateur radio forums and email threads, oftentimes amateur radio operators will use "73" or "73s" where one might otherwise expect to find "Sincerely" or "Regards". Why?
28k views

### Can I reduce RFI/noise at the antenna?

Recently, the power was out in my neighborhood for an extended period of time. I fired up my HF rig using battery power and was amazed at the lack of noise across the HF bands. When the power grid ...
26k views

### What's a cost-effective way to boost the range of my cheap 2m/70cm handheld?

I'm a very casual/beginner level ham and as such have mostly avoided committing too much in the way of financial resources - I have a UV-5R for a personal radio, anything else I do I've used others' ...
3k views

### What is a link budget, and how do I make one?

Like the question title says, what is a radio link budget? For what is it useful, and how do I make one?
56k views

### Which HF bands are best during the day and which are better at night?

I am rather new to HF operation and have recently purchased my first HF rig. I have read about bands being "open" and "closed" based on various conditions including time of day. As I have been ...
8k views

### What is the relationship between SWR and receive performance?

If an antenna analyzer shows 1:1, does that mean it's an ideal receiver as well? And what about the converse, will a well performing receive antenna show a 1:1 SWR? I've wondered this for a while, ...
5k views

### Is there a way to listen to live HF communications using the internet?

I'd like to be able to show people what a QSO sounds like without having my transceiver available. Is there a way I can listen to amateurs talking in real-time (or using Morse code) on the HF bands ...
15k views

### How can one convert from Lat/Long to Grid Square?

I see that many contests, awards, and other items, use Grid Squares as a means to identify where one is. How can one figure out what one's grid square is, given lat/long?
2k views

### Encrypted traffic and amateur radio

Am I allowed to send encrypted traffic via any medium or any frequency, or is this completely barred (and thus everything has to be open with no exceptions?)
3k views

### If I hear a distress call, what is the correct procedure for helping the person?

If during normal operation, I receive a mayday or pan-pan call, how should I handle this? Am I required to provide help in this situation, and what can I do to make sure I give all the assistance ...
3k views

### Can I build a radio telescope out of a parabolic TV satellite dish?

I have the possibility to buy a very inexpensive 2.4m parabolic satellite dish and I would like to build a radio telescope from it. Originally this dish was designed to be a satellite TV antenna. ...
3k views

### Why do we use LSB below 10 MHz and USB above 10 MHz when operating SSB HF?

As a relatively new ham operator, I understand that it is customary to use lower-sideband below 10 MHz and upper-side band above 10Mhz when operating single-sideband HF. I'm curious how we got to such ...
403 views

### What is the body of knowledge the U.S. written exams test?

I'm considering getting a U.S. amateur radio operator license. If you want to study to pass a license test, there are many resources to learn the answers to the entirety of the question pool: online ...
3k views

### How do Handheld antennas work without ground?

Dipoles have the 2 wires going to each leg of the antenna completing the circuit. Big AM towers use the second wire as a ground plane But how to handheld rigs transmit and recieve with just one wire ...
25k views

### Why are some 1:1 current baluns twice as complicated as others?

I would like to add a balun/choke to my dipole for the reasons outlined in Using a balun with a resonant dipole. In the spirit of continued kit and/or DIY building for my ham shack, I set out to ...