New to Ham Radio?


You passed your exam! 
Now what?

Don’t panic! We have created a New Ham Guide to get you started.

This page and the information on it is designed to help you get started.
We use the words “get started” on purpose.  Amateur Radio or Ham Radio is unique among hobbies in that you never quit learning.

Don’t let that intimidate you.  Along the way you will meet and get to know some really interesting people, most of whom are more than willing to share some tidbit of knowledge.  We call ourselves “Elmers”.

Where do you find an Elmer? Your local Amateur Radio Club is a good start. We recommend you consider visiting one or two. Find one that fits.

Another good place is the national club, the American Radio Relay League. A lot of the information on this website and this page in particular was supplied by them. You can find them online at

Enjoy the journey.
Ham Radio is FUN!

New HAM Guide

There are many aspects of ham radio too numerous to mention here, but they all have one thing in common … you will probably need a bit of help in learning and initially doing each that you choose. We call folks that are willing to help you advance in ham radio Elmer’s, or in new speak… Mentors.

This is exactly what this document is about.

Click here to see the West Texas Section New Ham Guide.

On the Air Magazine

On the Air is a suite of ARRL benefits for new ham radio licensees, anchored by the ARRL bimonthly magazine, On the Air. The magazine covers a range of ham radio interests and topics, delivering introductory techniques and stories to help anyone with a beginner-to-intermediate-level of experience. From making your first radio contact to selecting the right equipment to project building and getting involved with public service or your local clubs, On the Air magazine and its suite of companion benefits will help you make the most of your amateur radio license. Get active, get involved, get On the Air!

Click here to see a sample issue.

On the Air Podcast

The On the Air podcast is a companion to the bimonthly On the Air magazine (an ARRL membership benefit) and takes a deeper dive into select features and projects. Each month, host and On the Air Editorial Director Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, will offer additional resources, techniques, and hints to help you get the most from the magazine’s content.

Click here to go to the podcast page

On the Air Community
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Follow On the Air on Facebook and join our community of people who share an interest in radio communication and are looking to learn and explore more about ham radio.