Listening to radio amateurs

Listening to radio amateurs

If you want to listen to radio amateurs, you will need a receiver. Not a normal broadcast receiver, but one which can cover the bands on which radio amateurs transmit, and which can “decode” the special sort of speech transmission which amateurs use. This is called “SSB” or single sideband. Look for an “SSB” position on short-wave radio receivers. If you have that, then you can connect an antenna to your receiver (a few metres of wire outside and clear of buildings will suffice). Tune to the following bands at the times shown and you should hear amateurs.

1.85 – 2.0 MHz mainly evenings

3.6 – 3.8 MHz mainly evenings

7.05 – 7.2 MHz most of the time

14.1 – 14.35 MHz most of the time

21.1 – 21.45 MHz mainly daytime

There are many other amateur radio bands, but these will get you started !

Try not to get confused by the abbreviations radio amateurs sometimes use when talking across language barriers. A few you might encounter are:

CQ – a call inviting ay other station to reply (at the beginning of a “contact”

CQ DX – as for CQ, but looking for stations outside the caller’s own continent

QRM - interference

QSB - fading

5 & 9 - one of the signal reports used by amateurs

73 - best wishes

How many can you hear?