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What is the Amateur Radio Service...

The Communications Act of 1934 as amended by the Communications Act of 1996 under Title 47 Part 97, defines the Federal Communications Commission’s rules and regulationsFCC governing the US Amateur Radio Service. A two-way Radio Service having as it underlining fundamental purpose defined by he following principles:

  • Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
  • Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
  • Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
  • Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
  • Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

Some Things You Can Do With Amateur Radio...

  • Use Very High Frequency  (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) portable hand held, mobile or base station radios to communicate with other amateurs within  local communities.
  • Through the use of linked repeaters communicate with amateurs across their state and in some cases across the country using Voice Over Internet Protocal (VOIP) and Radio Over Internet Protocal (ROIP)Send text, video and data via digital modes.
  • Set up amateur TV stations and transmit sound and video to other amateurs, just like the networks, only on a smaller scale.
  • Participate in contests that test communication skills that may be used to provide communication services in an emergency.
  • Send and receive messages  to both amateurs and non amateurs around the world
  • Communicate with other amateurs through a series of satellites orbiting the earth.
  • Communicate with the International Space Station or manned space craft  when in orbit above your location.
  • Provide backup, supplemental and emergency communications support to local and national agencies during man-made and natural disasters as a trained member of a local Auxiliary Communications Service group.

What You Can't Do With Amateur Radio...

Amateur radio operators are restricted by Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules from using radios in any commercial venture or from receiving direct or indirect monetary compensation for their services.

Amateur radio operators are prohibited from broadcasting to the general public and all transmissions are intended for receipt by other amateur radio operators. While the general public can monitor amateur communications with a scanner, they will only hear amateur operators talking to other amateur operators and will never hear music or general interest radio programs.

Frequencies allocated to the US Amateur Radio Service are NOT to be used to broadcast  music or news.

How to Become a Amateur Operator...

It is fairly simple, obtain the study guide (Now You’re Talking) published by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), review the material, take the test and answer 26 out of 35 questions correctly. Amateur exams are administered locally by Volunteer Examiners who prepare and grade the test. To locate a testing facility in your community CONTACT US. You can also access one of the many sites on the web dedicated to helping you obtain your license including:






“Preparedness is Not an Option, Preparedness is a Requirement

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Baltimore  County Auxiliary Communications Service
115 Wight Avenue - PBX 88 -  Hunt Valley, MD 21031