Amateur Radio Club/FEMA/CERT

RSI promotes the advancement of Ham radio and it's link with the telecommunications industry. 


Amateur radio exists in nearly every country and on the same frequencies allowing radio operators to communicate internationally.


Amateur Radio is governed by the Federal Communications Commission and by Part 97 of the Title 47 Telecommunications regulations.

More Information about Amateur Radio

It's Easy to Get Started! The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which only requires an exam of35 multiple-choice questions. The test is for novices. Morse Code is not required for this license. The Technician Class license allows ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz), including 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple equipment. In the US, there are three license levels, or "license classes" (Technician class, General Class and Extra Class). These licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Earning a Ham radio license has never been easier with The ARRL Technician Class Course for Ham Radio Licensing. This course is available online. The course prepares students to earn their first Amateur (or "ham") Radio license. There are no prerequisites. This course has 35 learning units, and takes 20 to 25 hours to complete over an 8-week period. Students learn all the information required to pass their ham radio license examination.

There is a small examination charge (currently $14.00 after 1/2005) for taking the exams necessary to obtain any of the six Ham radio licenses. Both the W5YI VEC and the ARRL-VEC organizations have permanent paid staff and this fee goes to help cover the cost of administering and processing the paperwork and electronically filing the application with the FCC.

The VEs give examination credit (called a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination or CSCE) for the license class currently held so that examinations already passed need not be repeated. Examination credit conferred by the CSCE is valid for one year. The VEs construct the written examinations from question pools that have been made public. It is the responsibility of the VEC's Question Pool Committee (QPC) to develop and revise all of the question pools. Each pool is revised on a 4 year cycle.
Helpful on line practice test. or

What can I do with a Ham license?

There are so many things, it's a difficult question to answer, but here are some ideas:

  • Talk to people in foreign countries. DX'ing is a favorite of many hams!
  • Talk to people (both local and far away) on your drive to work
  • Help in emergencies and natural disasters by providing communications.
  • Provide communications in parades or walkathons and other public service events.
  • Help other people become hams. (We call it "Elmering.")
  • Hook your computer to your radio and communicate "computer-to-computer." Hams use radio modems.
  • Collect QSL cards (cards from other hams) from all over the United States and foreign countries and receive awards.
  • Participate in contests or Field Day events.
  • Provide radio communication services to your local Civil Defense organization through ARES (the Amateur Radio Emergency Service) or RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) ...or even FEMA, (the Federal Emergency Management Agency.)
  • Aid members of the U.S. military by joining the Army, Air Force or Navy/Marine MARS (Military Affiliate Radio System). See our Links section
  • Participate in transmitter hunt games and maybe build your own direction-finding equipment.
  • Have someone to talk to on those sleepless nights at home.
  • Receive weather pictures via satellites.
  • Build radios, antennas, learn some electronics and radio theory.
  • Talk to astronauts in space, or use the moon to bounce signals back to people on the Earth.
  • Experiment with Amateur TV (ATV), Slow-Scan TV (SSTV), or send still-frame pictures by facsimile.
  • Lash your ham radio to the public telephone system and call your friends toll free. (Auto patching)
  • Communicate through orbiting satellites. (There are many in ham satellites in orbit that are owned and operated by the amateur community! And you can use them without any cost whatsoever!)
...and this is only the beginning! You are limited only by your imagination and ingenuity.

About Amateur Radio

Amateur radio, or Ham radio, is a non-commercial radio communication service whose primary aims are public service, technical training, experimenting with radio electronics, and leisure communication between private persons. Hams are noted for providing communications in times of emergency or disaster.

By international treaty, the amateur and amateur-satellite services are for qualified persons of any age who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. In areas where the services are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, an amateur operator must hold an FCC or Canadian license or be a foreign-licensed amateur whose country has entered into a reciprocal licensing/operating arrangement with the United States or who holds a CEPT or IARP license.

RSI, in conjunction with the Great Salt Plains Amateur Radio Club (GSPARC), have recently combined resources and formed a Ham Radio club station in Kiowa, Kansas. The club's members consist of all-class licensee Ham operators. We invite any licensed area Ham operators to participate in club activities. The station will be activated for various contests and other operating events. The club call sign is KCØGEV. If you would like to schedule contacts feel free to email us.

The president of GSPARC, Gary Gerber of Anthony KS, (KBØHH) is a well known UHF/VHF enthusiast and was recently named the winner of the illustrious 1999 Wilson Award for Technical Excellence at the Central States VHF Society Convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Stateline Skywarn Training Policy