Amateur And Ham Radio
Operating Guide

Amateur and ham radio station operator.
Ham radio operator VE2DPE.

Amateur and ham radio station operating ... is a privilege.

The individuals who benefit from these privileges have been granted a license to operate an amateur radio station by the regulating agency of their country.

These unique privileges come with responsibilities. All privileges do!

International Agreement

All amateur radio operators must follow internationally accepted operating procedures and code of ethics. The operator who does not abide by the rules runs the risk of losing her/his license and call sign!

Amateur radio societies, from (most) countries of the world, collaborate to ensure an orderly use of the privileges granted to ham radio operators.

The ham societies collaborate under the auspices of a democratic organization called the IARU - International Amateur Radio Union.

Why collaborate? Because we all share a common natural resource: allocated portions of the radio spectrum (air waves).


Like aircraft pilots, who share the air space, must abide by commonly accepted rules and regulations, so must radio amateurs, but for different reasons.

  • In the case of aircraft pilots, their safety and that of others, both in the air and on the ground, is at stake.

Ham radio operators must also follow rules, but for a different reason. We must avoid causing interference to other hamradio stations, as well as other users of the radio spectrum such as......

  • commercial radio broadcasting stations, their listeners ...

  • other commercial users such as air traffic control, marine, road transport dispatch, private telecommunication channels ...

  • government, military, police, fire departments ...

The list of radio spectrum users is nearly endless!

Huge Privileges

Unlike commercial radio, who are usually allocated only one frequency to operate on, the ham radio community can operate on a huge number of frequencies!

Amateur and ham radio operators are all over the place ... meaning that we can operate in any of many narrow bands of frequencies scattered all over the radio spectrum.

We often operate "elbow to elbow" with a large number of neighbors, in crowded areas of the radio spectrum. Therefore, we must always be careful not to "step on anyones toes".

Amateur And Ham Radio
Code Of Ethics And Procedures

The internationally recognized document that describes in detail how to operate as an amateur radio operator, within legal limits and in a considerate manner, is titled:

"Ethics And Operating Procedures
For The Radio Amateur"

You can download it from here.
(PDF document 2.1 MB)

Click here for a guide to the use of ham radio amplifiers.

Click here for mobile ham radio operating tips.

For more on amateur and ham radio, start here.

Author: Claude Jollet - VE2DPE

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Section Contents

Operating Procedures Operating High Power Frequency Bands Call Sign Prefixes Ham Radio Alphabet Ham Radio Codes Mobile Ham Radio

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If you have a question, a comment or a topic you would like me to cover, please do not hesitate to ask here.

VE2DPE is a member in good standing of:

Radio Amateurs of Canada logo

Radio Amateur du Québec inc.



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