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Welcome to the webpage of N4DTC, the J. F. Drake State Technical College Amateur Radio Club!

Freedom of Communication is what we are all about.

* Radio amateurs have a wide range of activities they can pursue and these are:

      + Communicate with friends within the local community and immediate areas.

      + DXing, is the science of transmitting and capturing distant stations using the proper Ham Radios. DXing is the acronym for D=distance X= transmit.

      + Assist with emergency and disaster communication. Organizations in the amateur community such as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), North Alabama SKYWARN (NAS) and the National Weather System (NWS) prepare amateurs with the training needed to assist in emergency situations.

      + Technical research. The attraction to the hobby is building our own equipment; we build simple antennas, build base stations, we also interface computers with radio transceivers.

      + Ham Radio Competition. Known as contesting, is the ôsport version" of ham radio. Amateur Radio try to see who can make the most contacts in a restricted period of time.

      + Astronaut Contact. The International Space Station has ham radio equipment on board with licensed ham astronauts and they converse with Ham Radio Operators on earth. Hams also use the moon and satellites to bounce signals to communicate with other hams on earth.

      + Digital communication. Connecting a computer to a radio and with special software we are able to communicate digitally over the air. With very little error during transmission.

      + Internet communication. The latest technologies make this happen with Amateur Radio transmission thru the Internet. Echolink, URL and IRLP are features on computers that make this possible to speak to with hams in India, Australia, and Costa Rica or even in Puerto Rico by just using a plain hand-held transceiver on a computer.

* How to Become a Radio Amateur

      + To become a radio amateur requires a license in the United States which is regulated by Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It is illegal to operate on the amateur bands without an Amateur Radio license which has three levels of qualification. For more information on how to become a Radio Amateur go to following links:( Modified 4/16/10)

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