Amateur Radio Network
Create a worldwide amateur radio network to keep HHC congregations in touch should conventional communications channels fail. Ideally, we’d have at least one licensed operator in each congregation working to maintain radio communications. Reliable long range radio communications of this nature are only feasible in the High Frequency (HF) portion of the radio spectrum. Transmission in these frequencies is controlled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US in conjunction with International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the UN. The amateur radio net will be composed of licensed amateur radio operators authorized to transmit in the HF portion of the radio spectrum by their respective countries.
Initially, the amateur radio network would meet weekly to test equipment, practice net procedures and protocols as well as pass relevant traffic. The North American net segment would meet weekly on the 40 and 80 meter portions of the HF band at a time and frequency to be determined later. Net protocol will be published later and may have to be adjusted according to time of year and where we are in the sun spot cycle after some experimentation. Communications between the North American segment and other regions/continents will have to be worked out at a later date after those regions have developed an amateur radio capability, although we’d be happy to have operators from other regions check into the North American Net should conditions permit.
For many, the first hurdle to overcome to serve as a node on the net will be obtaining an amateur radio license to transmit in the HF radio spectrum. Being only familiar with US licensing requirements, I address them now. Operators from other nations will have to address their countries’ requirements as the need arises.
US Amateur Radio Licensing:
FCC amateur radio licenses come in three classes or levels - Technician, General and Amateur Extra, often just abbreviated as Extra class. Applicants must first pass the Technician class before progressing to General class and General class must be passed before Extra class. Roughly speaking, a Technician license allows one to transmit on the VHF/UHF bands. These bands are usually only usable for shorter range local communications and might be great for keeping in touch with the local congregation. General class allows limited HF band transmission and Extra class allows full HF/VHF/UHF band privileges. A North American net would therefore include folks who'd acquired a General or Extra class license, allowing them to transmit in the HF portion of the radio spectrum on the 40 and 80 m HF bands.
A question that often comes up is, would I have to learn international Morse code and the answer to that is no. Code requirements were removed around 10 years ago. Another question I might foresee coming up in this group is what if you're out of the system and I have absolutely no idea how that works. Licenses are currently issued free of charge by the FCC. They are valid for 10 years and renewal is also currently free, although the operator must apply for the renewal.
License examinations are performed by volunteer examiners (VE) from either the ARRL or W5YI groups. Website are:
These VE’s often charge a small fee for administering examinations to cover their cost of complying with FCC requirements and testing materials. The most I've ever hear of anyone charging to take the test is $20 and there are a small number of folks that used to do it for free. The following sites offer the manuals one needs to study in order to pass the tests. I personally used the ARRL manuals, but have had folks tell me the W5YI manuals are better. Used manuals are often available, but you have to be careful as the laws and question pools keep changing. Old manuals are usually the least expensive, but also offer the greatest chance of error. I wouldn’t recommend using manuals over one revision old. Links to current manuals are:
A print friendly ARRL License Manual Introduction chapter can be found at
The ARRL and W5YI sites will also tell you where and when examinations are offered in your area. They’ll usually be at a local Ham Radio club, but other organizations offer testing as well. See:
Free practice exams to check your progress are available at:
The latter site also offer online licensing courses, although I have no idea how they compare to the paper manuals offered by ARRL and W5YI.
Once licenses are acquired, the next step is equipment. This would consist of the following:
HF Transceiver with microphone
HF antenna or antennas for the 40 and 80 m band
12VDC power supply capable of feeding the transceiver
Antenna tuner to match your transceiver to the antenna is also often required
You’ll learn a lot more about equipment as you study the manuals.
Net Development and Coordination
Folks interested being part of the amateur radio network should subscribe to the Google group https://groups.google.com/d/forum/hhcbroadcasts. We’d like to get your name, address, phone, email, congregation and call sign to create a net roster. The forum will provide help getting started for those needing it and allow us to coordinate the development of net procedures and protocols.
What do I need
You will need a license and equipment.
You will need a Network of people worth talking to.
HHCBroadcasts ...Working to form a network of communications using the airways including all forms of radio broadcasts through networking.
Ham Radio Links
Amateur radio licensing in the United States
How to Get an Amateur Radio License in the US