Saturday, May 07, 2005

Amateur Radio

Things you need to know about

What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio, also affectionately known as "ham radio", is the hobby of constructing, experimenting and communicating via radio.
Amateur radio fans communicate with each other around the world via a set number of radio frequencies.

When was Amateur Radio started?

Amateur Radio is as old as radio itself. In 1912, the American Congress passed the first laws regulating radio transmissions in the US. By 1914, amateur experimenters were communicating nationwide and setting up a system to relay messages from coast to coast. In Malaysia, amateur radio was the precurser to commercial radio broadcast.

What can I do with Amateur Radio?

Unlike other communications technologies, Amateur Radio allows you to communicate from virtually anywhere! You can communicate from the top of a mountain; your home or behind the wheel of your car. You can take the radio wherever you go. In times of disaster (such as the recent Tsunami), when regular communncations channels fail, "hams" can swing into action assisting emergency communication efforts and work with public service agencies . Amateur Radio operators can talk to Shuttle astronauts or bounce signals off the moon for wider area coverage. Amateur Radio operators can also transmit images and files digitally. Know of any other hobby with so much to offer?

I don't have a lot of time. Can I still enjoy the hobby?

You bet! The beauty of operating an Amateur Radio is that it can fit the time, space and budget that you decide is right for you. Its got that low stress, high fun ratio that so many busy people seek in their off-hours. It can also be great family fun or a solitary pleasure.

What will this cost me?

A basic new hand-held radio can cost about the same as an inexpensive 19-inch TV. A new tabletop multi-band unit can cost about the same as a PC. Materials to get you started are relatively inexpensive and the exam fee you'll pay when you're ready to test, is nominal. Alternatively, if you are inclined to experiment, as most Amateur Radio Operators are, you can build your own Amateur Radio Unit.

Who can help me out?

Amateur Radio clubs are located all over the country and are eager to help newcomers. Many of these clubs have their own websites, which contain a large amount of information on the hobby. One example of such a site is the one hosted by the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Soceity ("MARTS") at (now web site is inactive), or unoffical websites such as
and this site.

How do I become an Amateur Radio operator

Only certified Amateur Radio operators can operate Amateur Radio equipment. In order to get a certificate, you should be above 14 years old, a Malaysian Citizen and have passed any of the following:

  • Radio theory and understanding of Radio Regulations for Class B Certificate; or
  • Radio theory, understanding of Radio Regulations and Morse Code Test for Class A Cetificate.

Are there any fees payable?

Yes, you have to pay an annual fee for the Certificate. The fee for Class A Certificate is RM36, while for Class B Cerificate is RM24.

Adapted from Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia leaflet



  • I received news from the 9W2IL who is the responsible for the publicity and public relations of MARTS that they are on a membership drive for SWL. Between now and 8 June (after RAE), the joining fees for SWL to join the society is waived.
    Please pass this message around during the 2m net this Friday nite.


    By Blogger 9M2RT, at 6:29 PM  

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