QSO Shack amateur radio home page

A collection of notes for people interested in radio

Welcome to my amateur radio website, packed with information and notes collected as I explore this hobby. I originally compiled this material for my own use, at some point I felt that it may be a good idea to share these pages on-line.  So that's what I have done.

The aim of this web-site is to share my amateur radio information as simply and clearly as possible. Hopefully, some of these notes could be interesting to other radio hobbyists.

Please provide feedback if you can see a correction or updates. 

Amateur radio is a great hobby with something for most people

M0XFL QSL card
QSO Shack amateur radio reference site

Amateur radio (also known as Ham radio) is an engaging social hobby that allows anybody to communicate with people they would not usually come in contact with. Contacts can be made by simply sending a piece of text generated by a PC, or a full blown voice conversation through a microphone. It's up to you.

But there is more. The hobby is also great for people who like making or tinkering with stuff. From erecting massive antennas to programming microcontrollers, if you want to, it's there. 

There is also a huge opportunity for activity and adventure. Climbing mountains and remote locations to make contacts is very popular, also beacon chasing is a popular sport. 

Most people can get something from this hobby regardless of technical knowledge, chattiness or physical ability, here are some ideas:

  • Talking with people from around the world
  • Sending, and receiving typed messages with people from around the world
  • Building electronic projects
  • Transmitting from a remote island just because you can
  • Supporting historical events
  • Coding software and micro controllers
  • Talking with astronauts on the ISS
  • Win awards and complete challenges
  • Lots, lots more...

Whatever direction you choose, you'll find yourself rewarded over and over again with this popular hobby.

It's easy to get started in amateur radio

For many, an excellent way to get started in radio is to start listening to what's out there. Scanning the airwaves for either aircraft, global broadcasts and anything else you can find can be a lot of fun.  

An SDR (software defined radio) is an inexpensive way to get access to the entire radio spectrum easily. Connected to a PC you will soon be able to tune into all sorts of radio communications both locally or from around the world. Or use a handheld radio scanner if you want to spend a little more.

Alternatively, you can start listening for free here: https://sdr.hu/?top=kiwi

There are many internet based resources available, it's also a good idea to consider getting involved with a local radio club.

HF bands are often interesting to listen to, so do think about this when buying your first radio receiver as some cheaper SDR radio's don't cover HF, but some do. 

How to navigate this amateur radio reference site

Simply click on the link you are interested in from the top or left-hand sidebar.

Pages available on this website