EE198: Quick Intro to Amateur Radio

Wired telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Radio operates exactly the same way, the only difference is that there is no cat.’
(Said to have been quoted by A. Einstein,… but probably not)

Spring, 2016

Course Description

This class aims to prepare students for the technician class amateur radio licensing exam, with emphasis on demonstrating what you could do once you get the license. It was created to enable students who are taking EE123 (Digital Signal Processing) to get credit for the extra work of obtaining a ham license, which is necessary for the labs and projects. However, this class welcomes ANYONE interested in studying for the test and taking it.

Prerequisites: None!


  • Q: I'm a ______ major. Is this class for me? A: Yes!

  • Q: How many units should I take? A: 1 unit for attending the 7 lectures and taking the test. 2 units if you are interested in doing a ham related project (Requires instructor permission)

  • Q: I'm a graduate student, can I take the class? A: Absolutely! but please register to EE298

  • Q: Can I audit the class? A: Of Course!


Class Time and Location

  • Weekly lectures, from Jan 27 through March 9th

  • Wednesdays 6:30pm-8:30pm 155 Cory 521

Licensing Exam

  • March 16th starting 6:30pm, Wozniac Launge (NOTE SPECIAL LOCATION!)


Technician Ham Radio License Manual 21$ Amazon

ham Radio

From ARRL: Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) is a popular hobby and service in which licensed Amateur Radio operators (hams) operate communications equipment. Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands.”. These bands are radio frequencies reserved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators.

The role of amateur radio has obviously changed with the presence of the internet. Remarkably, amateur radio today offers unique opportunities and capabilities due to its independence on commercial infrastructure. For example, it is a legal ground for hands-on experimenting with wireless communication technology and it allows communication in emergencies and from remote areas.

What can you do as a ham?

  • Talk to people (near and far)

  • Build stuff (amps, sdr’s, antennas, receivers)

  • Emergency communications (emcom)

  • First person view (FPV) vehicles (drones) at much higher power

  • Hit satellites, moon, meteors, airplanes (with radio waves! … not something else)

  • Digital communication with Automatic Positioning and Reporting System, packet radio

  • Use Repeaters covering bay-area, California and the United States, mesh networks

Chapters covered in class

  • Radio and Signals Fundamentals

  • Electricity Components and Circuits

  • Propagation, Antennas and Feed Lines

  • Amateur Radio Equipment

  • Communication with Other Hams

  • Licensing and Regulations

  • Operating Regulations

  • safety