Ham Radio Licensing
Amateur or Ham radio operators are simply people who just love radio (it is their hobby) and they set up radio stations (under a government license) with a view to communicating with other radio enthusiasts around the world.
Many people sailing the world will also obtain a ham radio license in addition to getting a marine radio license "MROCP".
The key advantages for mariners in having a ham radio license is that you gain access to:
- additional HF radio frequencies,
- a second network for the sending and receiving of your emails,
- additional marine related nets (group meeting places frequented by mariners).
It is also often easier to communicate with hams whilst out in open water as, being enthusiasts, they have larger antenna systems and more sophisticated receiving stations than your average onshore marine receiving station.
The licensing arrangements for ham radio are similar to marine radio licensing requirements. Licensing and related testing has been outsourced to the Wireless Institute of Australia “WIA” (the representative body for hams in Australia) which in turn, has sub-delegated training and testing to local ham radio clubs.
The entry ham radio radio license (Foundation License) has a similar degree of difficulty to the MROCP. Unfortunately the Foundation license does not permit digital mode transmissions (transmission of your pactor emails is via a digital mode of communication) and thus the "Standard" ham radio license is required for authorised use of the ham HF email network.
You can read about the three classes of ham radio license at this link.
Your local ham radio club can be found on the web at this link.