Hamming it up in scouts


So in the about me I talked a little about what got me into this radio thing. However I’d like to tell a story about where the basis of my actual knowledge comes from.

During my formative years I spent a good stretch of time as a Boy Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. While at a week long camp / jamboree thing (can’t remember which one) we were tasked with taking classes in order to obtain merit badges in a wide variety of subjects. While most of my scout mates decided to focus on first aid, fishing, canoeing and I kid you not bird identification, I chose a much different regiment of courses. Among those courses were State Citizenship (I’m far out here in Oklahoma), Citizenship (nationally) and believe it or not Ham Radio Operation.

We spent an entire day learning about the methods and use of Ham Radios. We learned the principles behind their operation, radio etiquette and even a little about the history of their use. While a lot of that may have changed over the years (is etiquette even a thing now?) I’m sure a lot of my knowledge is still as viable as that hot summer day I learned it.

Thanks for taking the time to read!


There is still definitely etiquette to keep in mind :smiley: It’s awesome that your camp provided you with that sort of ham radio knowledge! It’s becoming more and more difficult to introduce new people to this art. :wink:


So I was actually talking to someone about a story of pirates using ham radio in Brazil a couple weeks ago. I thought it might be a story worth a look.

Basically these pirates are using Ham radios out of frequency to hack satellites. It’s crazy that such a thing is possible just by going out of frequency just a tiny bit. These guys get busted and go away for a while and then they just start popping back up until there is another huge bust.

Totally unrelated: There was a pirate FM station in my area for a year or so before the authorities took it down. Kind of cool. Played 60s-70s rock 24hrs a day except when this guy would break in and go on long winded diatribes at random intervals and hours of the day.


That pirate FM station thing sounds like it’d make a cool movie :laughing:


I know that I have often considered setting up my own radio station but it’s the fear of getting arrested that keeps me from doing it. The laws on broadcast are fairly strict.


Is there a good resource for learning the etiquette? In Internet places I “lurk” a lot to try and learn the lay of the land, but not sure lurking works well for the world of radio. Thanks!


Found a neat Do & Don’t list. Not sure how close to etiquette that Emily was talkin’ 'bout.


There’s also speaking the language of radio which is fascinating.
Side Note: A few email replies from WakingTitan were simply 10/4… maybe knowing the jargon would be beneficial after all!


That is a great site, thanks for sharing. I found this http://www.amateur-radio-wiki.net/index.php?title=Codes_and_Alphabets and this http://www.wearecb.com/cb-radio-lingo.html - are these pretty current or has the codes/slang changed (just like when words change meaning all the time with current cultural references)? Also, are there CB codes for countries other than the USA?


The NATO alphabet is used when needed but most of the time it’s easy enough to understand someone without using it-- if not then the other ham will ask, don’t just go launching into NATO and other arbitrary codes out of nowhere, it’s kinda frowned upon :stuck_out_tongue: Morse is used mostly in low power transmissions, or sometimes for distance competitions. Q code isn’t used all that often, with the exception of low power transmissions in morse code. Same for most of the others, really. You’re very rarely going to find someone actually using this stuff on most bands, and if you do you can always just ask what it means-- hams are a friendly bunch.


Whew - friendly is a good thing and no using codes out of nowhere, check :relaxed: