Josh Peterson - KK7QAS
Echolink Node: 201067
HH: 6100002512

I am very enthustiastic about Amateur Radio but still have much to learn. I hope to be very involved in the hobby for the rest of my life, and am currently looking for ways to become more active in my local HAM community.
On this page, you'll find most things I have to say/post HAM radio related. I've recently been working on getting a crossmode reflector set up (XLX606). I intend to have all modes supported, as well as a bridge from All Star for Hamshack Hotline support, and potentially an autopatch. I'm usually monitoring the 76ers repeater and ocassionally IMIT, and UVARC Lake Mtn - so give me a shout and I'll come back if I'm near my radio.
I also have a Hamshack Hotline phone setup - EXT: 6100002512. Happy to chat anytime, or help with any questions I can. If I don't answer, please leave your name and a message and I'll get back to you :)
(If you're not a HH user, you can still call my shack phone at ). I would love to take your call!

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Getting Started in Amateur Radio

Embarking on Your Amateur Radio Journey

Amateur radio, or HAM radio, offers a unique blend of social, educational, and technical experiences. It's a hobby that's accessible to almost anyone, requiring just a bit of study to jump in. In the United States, amateur radio operators can obtain three different licenses, each offering varying levels of operating privileges:

No License Needed for Listening: Something to keep in mind is that you do not need a license to listen in on the airwaves, only to transmit. Many enthusiasts enjoy scanning local repeaters and broadcasts with devices ranging from simple shortwave radios to more advanced HAM or HT radios. Affordable options like Baofeng radios have made it even easier to start listening in and learning about the hobby before fully committing, and listening is actually what led to me developing such an interest in this wonderful hobby.

Studying for Your License: Preparing for your license exam has never been easier, thanks to resources like and Ham Radio Prep. Both offer comprehensive study guides and practice exams to help you master the material. While online study is popular, local classes can also provide valuable hands-on learning experiences and give you a great opportunity to meet fellow HAMs in your area. Websites like can help you find exam sessions and, occasionally, classes nearby.

FCC Registration and Testing: Before testing, you'll need an FCC Registration Number (FRN) for all dealings with the FCC. Once registered to test (made easy again by HamStudy), the testing process is straight forward, and upon passing, a one-time $35 fee for new licenses applies. Licenses are valid for 10 years, with a 2-year grace period for renewal. You do not need to pay to renew your license, nor to upgrade.

Closing Thoughts: The amateur radio community is renowned for its welcoming spirit and willingness to support newcomers. If you are intrigued by amateur radio, but not quite sure whether you want to start studying, I'd suggest checking out this next section for some tips on listening to the goings on on the air around you without necessarily shelling out the big bucks on a fancy radio. This is exactly how I got so hooked on the hobby. Don't hesitate to reach out for help or advice, whether locally in Utah or through the broader online community. The journey into amateur radio is as rewarding as it is enriching, offering endless opportunities to learn, connect, and grow. As many HAMs much more experienced than myself will tell you, we're all still learning!

Cost effective ways to listen

RTL-SDR dongle (more info on SDRs below): This is a cheap USB dongle that when plugged into a PC will allow you to receive a wide range of signals. There are many videos online on getting setup, and going over exactly what you can do. RTL-SDR is just one of many different dongles. It is a good cost/performance balance and one of the cheapest. Do beware of fakes - Check their site: . You can do a lot of fun stuff with these, like using 2 to follow analog or even digital trunked traffic in your area. I have a bit of experience messing with these and have setup trunking before I had my scanner so hit me up if you need a bit of help. -- $

Baofeng: Baofeng is a Chinese manufacturer of cheap radios, mostly handhelds. These are popular amongst new hams and shortwave listeners for their price. They are a great way to listen and even transmit when you have your license. I recommend a UV5R or a UV5x3. There are a lot of fake versions. You can check Baofengs site before Amazon to see what models they are actually selling. I think it's fair to say that most Chinese radios will come out of the same or similar factories so fakes aren't the worst thing in the world. -- $

Shortwave Radio: Shortwave Radios are radios that can typically receive a wider range of signals that your average radio. Here is a great video from Ringway Manchester highlighting a cool Chinese SDR Receiver, the Malahit DSP2 -- $$

Online SDR: Many people, clubs, or even orgs have setup web SDRs which often allow you to tune a software defined radio at a remote location and listen to a desired frequency. (ie. Northern Utah SDR, check it out! [no you can't mess anything up]) -- Free

Broadcastify: Broadcastify is the largest platform for streaming live audio of public safety, aircraft, rail, and marine communications. It provides access to thousands of live audio broadcasts from various sources worldwide. Users can listen to real-time emergency services and transportation feeds, making it a valuable resource for enthusiasts and professionals alike. -- Free

Brandmeister Hose: The BrandMeister Hose is an innovative online tool that allows amateur radio enthusiasts to listen to real-time conversations and digital voice streams from the BrandMeister DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) network. This web-based application provides a unique opportunity for users to explore and monitor DMR talkgroups from around the world, offering a window into the diverse and dynamic world of digital amateur radio.

Proscan: I host a webserver where you can listen to my scanner. This will typically be law enforcement traffic, but its radio listening nonetheless -- Free

Elmers / Local legends

Big and special thanks to these guys, some of whom I've met some of whom I haven't even spoken to but learned much from. I'm very fortunate to have a lot of awesome people doing a lot of awesome things in my area.


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