HAM Radio 101

Ham Radio Silent Key artwork
HAM Radio 101

What Does SK Mean in Ham Radio?

In Ham Radio, SK has a dual meaning. When you see it placed after a callsign, SK stands for “silent key,” signifying the operator is deceased. SK is also a […]

a photo collage of young ham radio operators
HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day: YOTA (Youngsters on the Air)

The world is different from the time many of us got hooked on Ham Radio. Skyping was something we saw on the Jetsons, and our worldwide web existed between the […]

Nasa photo of the Northern Lights
HAM Radio 101

What is “Flutter?” (Word of the Day)

A propagation phenomenon that is characterized by very rapid QSB (fading signal strength), often accompanied by Doppler shift in frequency, which can produce a warbling tone on CW. Signals displaying […]

ham radio antenna rotator
HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day: What is a “Rotator?”

A rotator—often incorrectly referred to as a “rotor”—is an essential piece of equipment for positioning a directional antenna. Mounted on the antenna mast, the rotator is moved by a controller […]

ham radio operator in a tiny station on Scarborough Reef
HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day: Scarborough Reef

From time to time, our Word of the Day column will focus on an unusual or rare DXCC entity. Scarborough Reef is both. In 1996, Scarborough Reef(Huangyan Island), located in […]

Summit on the Air Ham Radio Certificate award
HAM Radio 101

Summits on the Air (SOTA) Overview

The fun of Ham Radio reaches new heights with Summits on the Air (SOTA), a program that encourages Amateur Radio enthusiasts to operate from atop the world’s hills and peaks. […]

ARRL Amateur Radio Logo
HAM Radio 101

ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Overview

ARRL stands for the American Radio Relay League, the largest membership association of Amateur Radio enthusiasts in the U.S. When you become a member, you’re supporting a non-profit organization that […]

an elaborate home ham radio shack
HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day: Why Do Hams Call it a “Shack?”

Many of us bought our first computers at Radio Shack in the late 70s, danced to the B-52’s “Love Shack” in the late 80s, and watched Shaq O’Neal dominate opponents […]

a small ham radio, headphones, and laptop
HAM Radio 101

What is a Multiplier, or Mult, in Ham Radio Contesting?

Most, but not all, contests compute the final score as the product of QSO points and a tally of zones, countries, prefixes or other unique characteristics. Since they impact the […]

AMSAT 50 year anniversary logo
HAM Radio 101

AMSAT Overview (Word of the Day)

Based in Maryland, AMSAT (North America), the Amateur Radio Satellite Corp., is a volunteer organization that is celebrating 50 years of designing, building, launching, and commanding Amateur Radio satellites. It […]