If you don’t know what I am talking about here, check what HAM radio is.


Since I was small kid, I was observing my dad operating his CB-radio in the golden era around year 2000. It was the time when the CB radio band was crowded and that weird noisey voices coming out from my dad’s transceiver was just magical to me. At that time I was too young, but after some time and sparing some money I have bought my own handheld CB radio - Elix Dragon SY-101. It was around year 2005, but at that time, there were much less people on the CB band than around 2000, because it was the big bang of the mobile phones, so many people ditched their radios in favor of mobile phones. Me and my friend Filip, we were climbing local hills to make transmissions to nearby stations, but there was so few people that we eventually lost the interest and sold our CB radios.

My first radio - CB-band Elix Dragon SY-101.

What is the plan

15 years passed from that time, and now I want to become certified HAM radio operator. That means passing the HAREC (Harmonized Amateur Radio Examination Certificate) exam and obtaining my own so-called call-sign

Now, not being a broke student anymore, it is much easier to obtain the required hardware needed to operate, since I have some spare money from my day-to-day job. This was a big blocker back then, since like almost every hobby, you need some equipment that costs money. Not having much spare time due to day-to-day job, kids and other stuff is current problem, but that’s just an adult life I guess 😁.

The motivation behind obtaining a licence is that I want to try different radio bands than just CB and PMR band (where you do not need a licence), make long-range transmissions, and try many activities like fox hunting , stratospheric balloons , summits on the air , and many others that you cannot do without the licence. You can even build your own transmitter/receivers, antennas, and similar (if you are skilled enough), and because I love to build DIY electronics, this is just one more activity I can do, and I find this versatility of ham radio hobby super exciting.

When talking about HAM radio to the “regular” people, the first question is “what is this good for, you have an internet and mobile phones now to connect with people”. I see their point, but it just can’t be explained. It is the same as me asking why somebody likes fishing, because I am totally uninterested in fishing. Put simply - ham radio enthusiasts are just a bunch of weirdos to regular people. But I don’t care 😁.

Some people say that the number of HAM operators are on decline. That may be true, but I want to try balance the outcoming/incoming ratio a little.

What is the current state

Currently, I am studying the materials to pass the exam. I have around 2-3 months to prepare, so it should be easy, mainly because half of the stuff is just a rehearsal of the information from my electrical-engineering high school.

The exam questions and answers are on the web, but only in PDF format, which is not very friendly to display on mobile device. So I have created this little utility iOS app for myself to be able to study whenever I have some spare minutes at hand. The Ham operator app (Czech language-only) is available on the AppStore for all Czech ham radio operator candidates and can be downloaded for free.

Ham operator app's icon.

I am looking forward to passing the exam and starting all this fun activities that ham radio offers!

UPDATE: The exam is done. Now I am OK1GOD, yay!