I passed my test! What’s next?
The waiting is the hardest part!
Before you operate, you must get your call sign from the FCC. They will assign you one at random, probably beginning with KK4 or KM4. You don’t have to wait for the mail however, as soon as your information appears in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System database, you are legal to operate.
Start building your ham shack
It could be a handheld radio next to the easy chair, a mobile rig in the car, r=or loading up your basement with equipment and computers, most ham’s have a favorite place to operate. If you want to get started on HF operating, you can review Diana Eng’s articles at Make magazine including “Setting up a radio shack” and “Ham Radio 101.”
Consider joining a club!
Obviously, we are a little biased, but we think a club is a great way to get active in amateur radio. It was the desire of a few Metro-Atlanta hams to share ideas and help promote ham radio over 100 years ago, and it’s still going strong! It’s a great way to find out about new things in the hobby (or new to you) and make new friends. The ARC and lots of local clubs are around to help you along the way, and new hams get their first year of ARC membership free. See a list of clubs below.
Atlanta Radio Club and Friends
There is a club in your neighborhood or that specializes in a topic of interest. Here are just a few:
Atlanta Radio Club (You’re here!)
Specialties: General Interest / Portable Operations / D-Star / Atlanta Hamfest
Meets 1st Thursday – 7:30 at American Red Cross on Monroe Drive
2nd Sunday Tech Session Activities most months.
New Hams get first year free (bring license or CSCE)
Southeastern DX Club
Specialties: International Communications / Annual HamJam
Meets 3rd Thursday at Piedmont Hospital
Southeast Contest Club
Specialties: Radiosport / Annual HamJam
See website for contact info.
Specialties: Emergency Communications
Meets: Varies by county, check website.
Kennehoochee Amateur Radio Club
Specialties: General Interest / Atlanta Hamfest
Meets: 1st Tuesday in Marietta
North Fulton Amateur Radio League
Specialties: General Interest / Annual Hamjam
Meets: 3rd Tuesday in Alpharetta
Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society
Specialties: General Interest / Annual Techfest
Meets 2nd Tuesday in Lawrenceville
Alford Memorial Radio Club
Specialties: General Interest / Stone Mountain Hamfest
Meets 2nd Thursday in Stone Mountain
Georgia Tech ARC
Specialties: General Interest
Meets 2nd Monday at Tech
North Georgia QRP
Specialties: Low Power Operations
Meets 2nd Saturday in Atlanta
Southeast VHF Society
Specialties: 50 Mhz and Higher
Meets at conferences, check the website.
You have question, we have answers!
What would be some good things to do on the air now?
All of the general interest clubs have a weekly “net” on their repeaters for information on local event and discussion. Check one of those out, or try the North Fulton Tech Net with your questions.
Is it just about repeaters with a technician license?
There is so much more. Try the FM simplex frequencies to see how far you can get your signal across the metro area – some folks like to try it from the top of Stone Mountain. The Southeast VHF society could give you a few ideas or try working a satellite.
Can I contest as a technician?
Sure! There are VHF and 10 meter contests you can participate in, you can learn CW (Morse Code) and operate in the HF bands, or you can help a friend who can be your control operator.