What is Ham Radio

Amateur Radio, also called “ham radio”, is a popular hobby and a service that brings people, electronics and communication together. Ham radio operators talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the use of the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, it’s social, it’s educational. At times of need ham radio can be a lifeline.

You can set up a ham radio station anywhere! In a field, at a special event or club station, and at home, in the car, or while enjoying the outdoors.

OMARC is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League.  Founded in 1914, this national organization’s mission has been to serve the interests of all modern amateur radio enthusiasts.

The ARRL focuses on:

  • Supporting the awareness and growth of amateur radio worldwide;
  • Advocating for meaningful access to the radio spectrum;
  • Encouraging its members to get involved, to get active, and to get on the air.
  • Organizing and training volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications

To learn more visit the ARRL website.

How to Get Started

You’re interested in Amateur Radio, and want to get licensed, but don’t know where to start. OMARC can help. There are several paths you can take, but the most effective is to get in touch with our club community. By emailing OMARC through our website, or attending one of our public events or monthly meetings, you can network with our friendly, helpful, and encouraging members. We are here to help.

If you cannot attend an OMARC event, there are ways you can prepare for your licensing exam on your own. We suggest picking up a copy of the ARRL Technician class study guide. It is available at many bookstores, libraries, and online shopping sites, and will get you started. Make sure you get the latest edition. There is also a great YouTube video series by David Cassler, KE0OG, here: Many find it, and other online study guides extremely useful. Once you get familiar with the material, you will want to move into taking practice exams to see if you are ready for the official test. We suggest taking practice exams from at least two sources. There is an ARRL app for smart phones which is super convenient. Also look for practice tests on,,, and many others.

Once you feel ready to take the FCC licensing exam, you’ll need to find a Volunteer Examiner (VE) test session. These are organized and sponsored at a local level by Amateur Radio clubs like OMARC. You can use this link to find the exam session closest to you: Once you pass your exam, and your callsign appears in the FCC database, you can dial up your local repeater and say hello. We at OMARC look forward to meeting you on the air!


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