Get Started in Ham Radio

Getting Started in Ham Radio

What is Ham Radio?

Amateur Radio, or Ham Radio, is the hobby of using radios to communicate with other hams. There are many different ways of communication such as using voice, CW (morse code), or even digital modes such as sending packets of data or emails over radio waves. This can be used for emergency situations or just for fun. Ham radio is an exciting hobby with many different areas and something for everyone to participate in.

Visit the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) at for information.

How to Study for the Exams?

There are many different ways to study for the exams. Some of the best ways are to use an app such as HamStudy, which is available on the web or on mobile apps. Through HamStudy you can view all of the questions and quiz yourself. HamStudy will also explain to you why the answer is correct. There are also many different books available for the different classes of exams, but all of the questions that will be on the test are available from the ARRL.

How to Take the Exams?

Kingsport Amateur Radio club can provide on demand testing whenever needed. Please contact Neil Weber (KM4NWH) by email at or by phone at (843)-509-1934.

If you are testing for Technician Class, you must apply for an FRN (Federal Registration Number) first at and give that number to Neil. There is an instructional video at

All applicants MUST Pre-Register with Neil prior to the day you would like to take an exam.

Here’s what you will need to bring:
$15.00 cash for your test. Please bring exact change.
Two forms of ID, one which must be a picture ID.
A COPY of your current Amateur Radio License, if applicable
You may also bring a non-programmable calculator, if needed.

How to Get Involved?

Get involved in amateur radio by joining a club. There are many clubs around our area (Kingsport Amateur Radio Club, Gate City Amateur Radio Club, Bristol Amateur Radio Club, and Johnson City Amateur Radio Club) for you to join. Joining a club will give you a resource full of people who want to help you get involved and learn more about amateur radio club. Once you are a member of a club, join meetings or nets and begin to meet people. 

Explore different areas of amateur radio to find what you enjoy. There are many different facets of radio. Some of these could be just rag chewing (informal chatting) on repeaters or HF, Parks on the Air (POTA), Summits on the Air (SOTA), fox hunting, contesting. There are many different things to learn as well such as making antennas or radio kits, learning CW (morse code), or digital modes (FT8, PSK31, JS8Call, etc..).