Note: I'm considering shutting down this web site in January 2015 if another volunteer does not come forward to take over responsibility for it. I have been running it for several years and over that time have put on several Basic amateur radio courses to assist people in becoming communicators for Search and Rescue and for municipal Emergency Operations Centers, etc. I'm getting a bit old for this so want to do something else now, make room for some fresh blood. Any LDS member/s with Basic Certification and good knowledge of computer software (MS Office, etc) may apply for this unpaid upcoming vacancy.
Donn / VA7DH
NW Mercury Amateur Radio Association
"BC Canada Affiliate"
A Link to The Mercury Amateur Radio Association of Alberta -
A Link to the Mercury Amateur Radio Association
for Canada, USA, and Australia
History of MARA: http://www.mara.net/history.htm
The Reasons for MARA to Exist: http://www.mara.net/12052008.pdf
(Check the "Latest News" page)
Note: the text in blue is/are hot links. Just click on them.
The Purpose Of This WEB Site
The purpose of this site is to provide material for Canadians, and others, who wish to get their Basic Amateur Radio certification and for others who are already certified to find information that will help them grow.
I happen to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and hence the name of the site. I had to call the site something and I was concerned that the church's huge disaster support welfare program was in need of more communication experts. As I look around at other groups, whether church groups, municipal EOC's or whatever, the lack of communicators seems to me to be a common stumbling block. I made a decision to start a web site and direct friends and church members to it, hoping that they would take an interest in radio. Since then many other groups not associated with my church have made links to it and I'm glad to share what I know about radio and emergency preparedness with anyone. After all - we are all in this together.
If you are interested in discovering more about the LDS church and what it stands for you can go to "www.mormon.org" which is an official link and you can get the straight goods. I have been a member since 14 years old to now, 68 (getting older by the minute), and have seen and experienced church membership and can vouch that it is an excellent organization with honest roots. I have made many great friends there who are very much a part of my extended family.
Guide to Amateur Radio for New Hams or Those Contemplating Becoming Amateur radio Operators
Why Should "YOU" Become a HAM Radio Operator ?
- Make yourself available as a communications specialist for your local municipal emergency preparedness group.
- Prepare yourself to be a communicator for your ward, stake, or other organization where you can serve with additional useful skills.
- Add ham radio to your repertoir of tools if you are a blue water sailor, for safety and socializing.
- If you are involved in scouts this is a skill that you can possibly use while wandering the wilderness with a bunch of kids (safety), it also helps inspire them to do greater things - it's true. You may want to go a bit further and learn Morse code and use QRP to communicate when deep in the far off exotic locations. QRP is low power radio, just a few watts. Those radios are light to carry but have tremendous punch.
- You can work with your local junior high school counselors to create an enrichment program based on amateur radio. It does wonders for young people who are at the crossroads of life. If you want to know more just contact Radio Amateurs Canada, Youth Education section -
- O/K here's a thought for those of you that may be living in the outback or considering living there, maybe living on a remote spot like a light house or, like me in the past, a remote radio repeater site. Get your amateur certification with high enough qualification to operate on HF. You won't ever regret it. It'll help keep you from getting "bushed". Think that it can't happen? Sure it can, the mind is a delicate thing. Being able to have feedback with a real live body on the other end of a radio link is a real help. Working HF in a remote location may even be a blessing for others wanting to speak to someone in an exotic location. Wow eh!
- Do you have aspirations to travel to exotic lands but can't afford to right now? Make contacts via HF radio. There are lots of people in foreign lands who want to practice their English skills. They'd love to talk to you. I have a friend who did that and he soon found that he had invitations to visit those same places.
A question that does not go away
What does HAM in HAM radio stand for?
There is no easy answer to this. Look up Ham in the dictionary and you will see that Ham was the name of one of the sons of Noah in the Bible. There are other uses for the name or term. The Anglo Saxon one is the one I like the most and there it means home. "Home" radio has a pleasant association. In the mid east ham means hot. Hmm... hot radio, yeah that sounds good too. Too bad it's wrong.
Back in the days of steam powered ships and the old spark gap radio telegraphy radio operators considered beginners or amateur radio operators to be ham-fisted.
Another meaning comes from possible roots of amateur radio, the initials of three people who got amateur radio going as a hobby in the USA. (research indicates this was probably false).
Yet another possibility which was probably also false was that the first commercial equipment was made by Hamarlund.
Wickepdeia has a nice writeup on the etymology:
If anyone nails this down we will all breath a sigh of relief that the question has finally been laid to rest.