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Nov 30, 2015

List of Ham radio activities you can do

There's a lot of aspects to the hobby. So it really is a question of where your interest lies. Here's a partial list of things you can do with an amateur license:
  • Talk to people (rag chewing; could be local or long range)
  • Work DX (long-distance contacts, foreign countries)
  • Exchange QSL cards with stations you've contacted
  • Make morse code contacts (CW)
  • Make contacts via digital modes (RTTY, PSK31, etc.)
  • Make contacts via VHF/UHF satellites (OSCAR - orbiting satellites carrying amateur radio)
  • Talk to astronauts on the ISS
  • Make low-power contacts (QRP)
  • Work towards some ham radio awards (confirmed contacts in all 50 states, or 100 different countries, or other awards)
  • Participate in contests (see how many stations you can contact within a certain time period and certain rules for the contest)
  • Run a repeater
  • Operate a propagation beacon
  • Operate portable (carry a radio to some interesting spot and set up; one group does mountain summits)
  • Operate mobile (car, boat, plane)
  • Operate with emergency power / off the grid (solar, wind, generator, etc.)
  • Build your own radios (your own design or from kits)
  • Design, build and test antennas
  • Experiment with circuits
  • Emergency preparedness, emergency communications (CERT, ARES, RACES)
  • Public service (marathon coordination, maritime service net, etc.)
  • Special event stations (commemorating an event in history, etc.)
  • Providing email to ships at sea (pskmail, winlink)
  • Track a high-altitude balloon (ARHAB)
  • Remote control a plane with first person live video being transmitted from the plane (FPV)
  • Study the ionosphere and produce ionograms
  • Travel to far away places and operate (DXpedition)
  • Bounce signals off of the moon (EME - earth-moon-earth)
  • Bounce signals off of meteor trails
  • Bounce signals off of aurora (northern lights)
  • Make contacts via microwave
  • Make friends at a local club
  • Run an APRS node, such as: position tracking, weather station, digipeater
  • Assist the National Weather Service in weather observations (Skywarn)
  • Find a hidden transmitter (Fox Hunting / Radio Direction Finding)
  • Explore digital signal processing and software defined radios (SDR)
  • Create an 802.11 (WiFi) mesh node and explore wireless networking
  • Interlink repeaters with IRLP, Echolink or Allstar VoIP links
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