For the Newbie to Amateur Radio

What is Amateur Radio (Ham Radio)? Amateur radio is an amazing hobby that links licenced operators locally and around the world via radio waves and other modes. Licenced operators (in Australia at least) have access to the most frequency assignments, second only to the defence force. The hobby has a wide variety of interests both in its use and construction (if one desires), such as, radio, antennas, electronics, beacons, repeaters, satellites, testing equipment, integration of computers, software, making ones own gear like electronic boxes to perform certain tasks, constructing antennas and many other items required to get on air. Once on air, some like to call anyone for a chat (QSO), or contact others using digital modes via computer, or compete in radio contests to see how many persons and countries one can contact during a defined time period. Some like setting up portable on a hill top using batteries, radio and a wire antenna thrown over a tree. Disaster emergency communications provided by hams assist authorities in times of need. There is something within the hobby that would take your interest for sure.

Hopefully this 'ham talk' will help understand some of the jargon and information contained in this website.

QTH My location
Grid square The whole world is divided up into 2 kilometer square blocks. My QTH is in QG62ek
CQ Means calling all stations
DX Long distance communication. Outside of your country mostly.
Zones The world is divided up into different zones for use with Amateur Radio. There are 3 main zones.
1. CQ zone.  2. International Telecommunications Union Zone. 3. Regions 1 through 3.
ACMA Australian Communications and Media Authority
Callsign My callsign allocated to me by the ACMA and is VK4SN. VK4 is the prefix and MY suffix is SN. Each callsign is unique to all individuals and clubs etc.
VK VK = Australia.  All countries have special prefixes allocated to them. EG New Zealand = ZL
VK4 The 4 indicates the state. 4 = QLD, 3 = VIC, 2 = NSW etc, in alignment with our postcodes
IOTA Islands on the Air.  Continents and islands surrounded by water have an IOTA number. VK = OC-001
Station A radio station owned by a club, group or single operator
Operator A person licenced to use ham radio equipement
QSL A post card sent between operators with contact information contained there-on.
eQSL A website hosting the passing of QSL cards electronically between stations.
Repeater Normally two radio's, one receives your radio transmission and the second re-transmits the same information on a different frequency. Used to extend the range of VHF and UHF transmissions.
Shack A term used for the room where operators keep and use all their radio equipment.
WIA Wireless Institue of Australia - The governing body of Amateur Radio in Australia
SSB Voice - using the Microphone. Single side band = USB or LSB (Upper or Lower)
CW Morse Code.  (carrier wave)
Contesting A contest is where many operators get on air and try to contact as many stations and countries around the world, or in VK, in a set amount of time, and in line with contest rules.
  Contesting Abbrieviations
SO Single Operator
MO Multi Operator
MM Multi-Multi - meaning multiple operator, multi radios.
M1 Multi Operator, 1 Radio.   M2 for 2 Radio etc.
MS Multi Single - meaning as above, multi op, single radio.
LP Low power - between 5 watts and 100 watts
HP High power - 100 watts and above
QRP Low power 5 Watts
SO1V Single operator 1 VFO  (VFO = 1 radio tuning dial) A VFO changes the frequency displayed on the radio.
SO2V Single operator 2 VFO's
SO2R Single operator 2 radios