This hobby is about getting on the air! Some of us don’t have the equipment or situation allowing us to buy or build that “Dream Shack”. Don’t let lack of funds, space or antenna challenges keep you from enjoying Amateur Radio.
Using a computer and internet connection you already have (you are reading this!) you can not only listen to most amateur bands, we will show you ways to actually transmit using radios and antenna systems supplied by other gracious Hams and Clubs with a community attitude willing to allow less fortunate Amateurs access to their Gear/Shacks.
Lets begin with listening to the HF and most other bands. In your web browser type, websdr.org or simply click on the websdr link and spend a few minutes reading about this amazing system. Then start tuning around different frequencies. You don’t have to tune to just the amateur services but try some of the “Shortwave Listener” favorites. This site will give your hours of radio listening worldwide.
Listened long enough? Want to get your feet wet and jump in to an HF conversation, Net etc.? You spent the time studying, learning, memorizing all the Bands, Rules, Theory, Operator practices etc.? You took the test (s)and got that General and maybe the Extra license?
Well this is an amazing site, and yes you will have to do some work to prove you have the privileges to operate on these bands but it is worth the work. Type into your browser
Some of these shared radios are “club only” but may allow you to join, some with dues some without. Others require only that you ask them via the online chat or by email to tune or transmit on their system. You will need to file a copy of your amateur license on the site allowing the “control ops” to verify your privileges. This is also a worldwide system allowing you to transmit or a least listen through distant stations by not even leaving your home. I personally found that best practice operating with this method requires an external microphone. Considering the expense that these very generous hams have gone to making their equipment available, that microphone is a very small price. Even a gamer headset plugged into your computer will improve your transmit quality.
There are other options but these are good examples to try, if you have other suggestions for us to add, use the “Contact” page to submit your suggestions.