Answers to COmmon QUESTIONS
What IS AMATEUR (HAM) RADIO?
Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, describes the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify “a duly authorized person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).
What is W.A.R.A?
Waitukubuli Amateur Radio Association, Incorporated (W.A.R.A) is a non-governmental organization registered in and governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica with a primary purpose of participating in all aspects of amateur radio.
The goals of this Association are to:
- Promote interest in amateur radio communications and experimentation
- Provide public amateur radio education through periodic classes
- Relay non- commercial messages by radio without charge
- Further public welfare
- Advance the radio art within the community
- Foster and promote intercommunications by electronic means for personal benefit of members but without pecuniary gain
- Foster education in the field of electronic communication
- Disseminate knowledge and information by electronic means
- Print and publish documents and pamphlets for any of these purposes
WHO CAN JOIN W.A.R.A?
Membership in W.A.R.A is open to anyone interested in amateur radio.
There are three classes of membership:
- Full member
- Associate member
- Family member
HOW TO BECOME A HAM RADIO OPERATOR
Being an amateur radio operator is a fun and a very rewarding hobby. In Dominica, you can start with an “Amateur Novice Class” license issued by the NTRC after you pass a basic test. This license class is extremely restrictive so we at W.A.R.A recommend that you put in just a little extra work and get the General Class license where you will be able to experience most of what the hobby has to offer.
Talk to other local hams or visit a local “Ham Field Day” event, and confirm this is something you are interested in doing. It takes a bit of commitment to study and pass the exam, so you need to understand your own personal motivation to succeed.
Find the dates, times, and locations of upcoming license exams in your area. Plan to take a test that is not less than three to four weeks away.
Decide if a self-paced learning or a quick class room session is best for you.
Take the exam.
Can you help me become a ham radio operator?
Waitukubuli Amateur Radio Association is ready to help you become an amateur radio operator.
- At our online ham radio school we teach you all that you need to know to take your exam.
- Our mentors can help you study for the exam.
- Our Volunteer Examiners hold classes on a regular basis.
- We can advise you on equipment purchases.
- Our association meetings and activities provide opportunities to visit with and learn from active hams who live in your area.
Are you ready to get started?
Use the contact form to send us a message. In the form, tell us about yourself and the facet of ham radio that interests you the most.
Come to WARA meetings and activities. Our general membership meeting is the fourth Thursday of every month at 5pm.
Connect with one of our mentors, find out when the next one-day Tech class or license exam session will be held, and start studying! Usually no more than a week or two of study.
Study on your own and take the licensing test at one of our Tech-Day Classes.
What does it cost?
About $150 in books for the class.
About $200 to $2000 for your first (2 meter/70cm) radio and other gear depending on what you buy. A Baofeng Handy-Talky currently sells for under $200. Get the higher power one (about 8 watts). It’s not the quality of an Icom, Kenwood, or a Yaesu, but it will get you into the local repeaters without having to buy a separate antenna and coaxial cable.
Used equipment is often available online (Craigs List, Ebay or this website).