RWK University – Help For New Hams

RWK University

The Richardson Wireless Klub (K5RWK) welcomes you to the world of Amateur Radio. This is a wonderful hobby with something to interest everybody. We Hams are a very inclusive group. If you like Amateur Radio then you will fit in.

Welcome to RWK University. We’re here to help you make the most of your new Ham Radio license. You thought you were done studying after passing your License Exam? Well sorry (actually not really), passing your exam is just the start. There are so many things for new hams to learn about Ham Radio, getting your license is like having a license to learn!

We’re here to help get you started on your ham radio journey. Our RWK University material is designed to lead you from being a brand new Tech to learning all you can do with your new license, and then again when (notice I said “when”, not “if”) you pass your General Class Exam, all the things you can do with that. We will focus on the most popular activities, but trust me, there are many other things that you can do once you have a good foundation.

Technician Course

This Course (in 10 parts) will be your guide to how to put that shiny new Technician license to use and get on the air with your new VHF privileges and all the things you can do with them.

T100 – Radio Selection & Programming

What radio(s) will you need and want as a Technician, along with how to program those radios for basic repeater and other uses.

T200 – Repeater Basics and Operating Practices

The basics of how to operate using a repeater, basic radio and antenna selection, and simplex operation.

T300 – VHF Antennas for Home/Mobile

Covers the basic types of VHF (and UHF) Antennas that you are likely to encounter, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to select and/or build a VHF Antenna for your station.

T400 – Digital Voice Modes & Inter-Networking

The basics of VHF Digital Voice Modes, why they exist, and why you want to know how to use them. Also covers VHF station (home and repeater) inter-networking.

T500 – VHF Data Modes – Packet/APRS/FSQ

Covers other non-voice modes that are used on VHF and how to get started using data modes in addition to voice.

T600 – Intro to Foxhunting and Radiolocation

Covers the basics of Fox (hidden transmitter) Hunting, why it is important, and what you need to get started.

T700 – Intro to Amateur Radio Satellites

Covers the basics of satellite communication, the various satellite “modes” of operation, and how you can get started “working the birds”.

T800 – 6M/2M SSB/CW/Digital Operating

Yes, there is more than FM used on VHF/UHF. Many hams use the traditional HF modes (SSB and CW/AM) on VHF frequencies. But signals and propagation are a bit different up here.

T900 – HF Operating on 10 Meters

As a Technician, you have some limited HF privileges. You should get to know 10 Meters and what you can do there, cause once you do you will want to upgrade to General and unlock the rest of the HF spectrum.

T1000 – Prepare for Your General Exam

Now that you’ve mastered a good bit that you can do as a Technician, you will probably want to upgrade to the next level license so that you can unlock all the HF Bands.

General Course

This Course (in another 10 parts) will build on everything that you’ve learned as a Technician and show you what you need for all those new HF privileges that you now have as a General.

G100 – Station Building Basics

How do you go about setting up your first station capable of operating on HF frequencies? What do you need and what is different than a VHF station?

G200 – HF Radios & Basic Operating

How do you select your first HF radio? We cover what is important for your first HF radio and how to get a basic station hooked up.

G300 – Basic Propagation Fundamentals

Part of the “secret sauce” to HF communications is to understand how signals propagate (go from point to point). There are many factors involved and we will attempt to introduce them.

G400 – Simple HF Antennas

So now you have a radio and sort of understand how signals on HF behave. What antenna(s) do you need? Once again, it depends on where you live and what you are able to do.

G500 – Antenna Feedlines & Grounding/Bonding

How do you hook up that shiny new radio to those magical antennas? There’s more to it that you might expect.

G600 – SSB Operating

You’re on the air! But do you know all there is to know about basic SSB operating? Let’s talk equipment and techniques that will make you a better operator.

G700 – Operator’s Log and QSLing

Who have you “worked” as a new HF operator? You probably should keep a log of your contacts. There are many good reasons to do it, and thankfully many tools that are available to make it easy.

G800 – Digital Modes

You’ve heard about these elusive “digital” modes, but what are they and why do you need them? More important, how to get started.

G900 – CW and Other Modes (RTTY/SSTV)

CW is no longer required to get a ham radio license, but there are several reasons that you might want to learn and embrace CW. RTTY was the first “digital” mode, but it’s still in use and loved by many veteran hams.

G1000 – DX and Operating Awards

Ham Radio is alive and well throughout most of the world. It’s natural that some friendly competition would arise as to who has made contact with the most countries. We will discuss the many contests and operating awards that are available to you.

RWK University original content is Copyright 2022 by the Chip Coker KD4C and the Richardson Wireless Klub. Reproduction, extraction or use of this material by any other entity is with explicit permission only.