Can Ham Radio Be Tracked? | An Detailed Guide On Ham Radio Tracking


Can ham radio be tracked? Well, the expression “ham” was first a vital expression used in specialized wired telegraphy all through the 19th century to ridicule operators with poor Morse system- This expression continued to be used after radio creation. With the creation of amateur testing and wireless telegraphy; between land and sea-based expert radio operators, “ham” amateurs were perceived as a nuisance. The use of “ham,” meaning “amateurish or unqualified,” survives today lightly.

The numerous facets of amateur radio draw practitioners with a broad range of benefits. Several amateurs start with radio communication desirability and then mix other individual interests to make a quest of the hobby because of its reward. 

Some of the central areas of amateurs include radio contesting, radio broadcast study, public service announcement, scientific experimentation, and computer networking.

Amateur radio operators utilize a variety of transmission to commune. The two significant parts of frequent modes for voice transmissions are:

  • Frequency modulation (F.M.) and
  • Single sideband (SSB).

FCC Licenses and Amateur Radio

Amateur radio is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the 1934 Communications Act. It is also subject to many international agreements. All amateur radio operators must be licensed.

Technician License

Technician Class License is an entry-level license for most new home radio operators. A total of 35 questions on radio theory, terms, and operating methods must pass a test to obtain a technician license.

General Class License

The General Class License provides some working rights to every amateur radio band and all operating modes. This license opens the door to worldwide communication. Passing the 35-question exam is required to earn a General Class license. General Class Licensors must pass the Technician Written Test.

Amateur Extra License

The Amateur Extra Class License is available for all bands and all U.S. models available in all modes. Informs amateur radio operating rights. Getting a license is even more difficult; this requires passing a full 50 question test. Amateur Extra Class Licenses must also have passed the previous License Class written exams.

General, Advanced with Amateur Extra class licenses are certified to use these Amateur Bands.

Amateurs wishing to function on either 2,200 or 630 meters must primarily register with the Utilities Technology Council online https://utc.org/plc-database-amateur-notification-process/. You need only register once for each band.

How to Get Your Ham Radio License

Basic requirements;

  • You must have a valid U.S. mailing address.
  • Must have a valid taxpayer identification number such as Social Security 
  • You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) or FCC Registration Number.

Step 1: Select the license level.

There are three classes of licenses issued by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission, the government agency regulating ham radio licenses). You must pass one test for each level, and you must start at the technician and move upwards.

Level 1: Technician Level

  • Access to VHF / UHF, great to start with handheld radios

Level 2: General License

  • Open access to many H.F. bands, i.e., nationwide and worldwide communication.

Level 3: Te amateur additional license

  • The highest amateur class offered by the FCC

Step 2: Study for the test

Most people on the Entry Level of Technician License exam require at least 10 hours of study. The Technician and General License exams have 35 questions each, and the Amateur Extra class has 50. To pass each exam, you must get at least 74%. For Technician and General, you must get 26 questions out of 35 questions.

Step 3: Take your test in person or remotely

The time of certainty comes – you have to now take the exam by the FCC Accredited Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC). VECs are the only companies legally permitted to conduct ham radio license test sessions in the United States.

Unauthorized Radio Operation

Federal law, in general, prohibits radio broadcasts with no license issued by the FCC. Anyone using a radio station with no FCC endorsement is liable to face various enforcement actions, including seizure of equipment, fines, and other civil and criminal penalties.

Authorized Exceptions

There is little limited exclusion to this rule. The procedure of Citizens Band (C.B.) radios, domestic ship, aircraft radios, radio control stations, and some other equipment types is permitted without obtaining personal station licenses. The application of these strategies should not breach the FCC’s operating and technical rules, although it is considered an unauthorized radio operation. If you suspect or are aware of unauthorized radioactivity, please notify the FCC.

Family Radio Service

This is an improved walkie-talkie radio scheme that has been authorized in the United States since 1996. This personal radio service uses channel frequencies around 462 and 467 MHz in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band. It also uses cordless telephones, toys (other than Chat Now using FRS), and baby monitors for interference effects seen on the Citizens’ Band (C.B.) at 27 MHz

FRS makes use of frequency modulation (F.M.) as a substitute for amplitude modulation (AM). Because the UHF band has different radio propagation characteristics, the FRS’ FRS’ short-range use is more reversible than the more powerful unlicensed radios operating in the H.F. C.B. band.

FRS / GMRS Hybrid Radios

Before the 2017 revision, FMCC regulations required a GMRS license to operate on channels 1–7 using more than 0.5 watts. Most hybrid radios have ERP, which can be set to less than 0.5 watts on channels 1–7, or the user can be set to operate on these channels at low power. 

This permits the application of hybrid radios beneath unlicensed FRS regulations if the ERP is less than 0.5 watts and the unit is certified for FRS operation on these frequencies. From 28 September 2017, FRS operation of up to 2 watts is allowed on these channels.

The FCC may investigate interference with licensed services.

Starting from 28 September 2017, GMRS can be employed for channels exclusively for FRS at 8–14, 0.5 watts. Channels 15–22, previously allocated exclusively for GMRS, can use up to 2 watts in FRS.

It is illegal in the U.S. to import, manufacture, sell, or sell radio equipment that can operate on both GMRS and FRS. It does not include amateur and other radio equipment not certified under Part 95. Handheld radios are sold for casual use but can broadcast over FRS and GMRS frequencies. List of FRS channels compared to GMRS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can radios be tracked?

Absolutely! This is an old technique called direction-finding. Home radio operators sometimes do this for entertainment called “fox hunting,” where they must locate a hidden transmitter. You can triangulate the signal with a simple handheld radio using directional antennas and signal strength devices.

Can a walkie talkie be spotted?

Two way radios are hard to find. Two-way radios, also known as walkie-talkies, became popular after the advent of cell phones. They are used by police and security forces, armed forces, event managers, hunters, and many others. Two-way radios are hard to find.

Isn’t ham radio a passion for dying for?

I would say the passion that Ham Radio used for it is dying, but it is very much alive as a hobby. Yes, Ham doesn’t drive the technology as they used to, but it’s a romantic scene of things. I’m sure the early guys who used Spark Gap didn’t see it as foresight or industry leaders.

Final Words

Ham radio users have now learned can ham radio be tracked or not. In this guide, we have elaborate on each and every vital point about ham radio tracking. Hope you like this article.

Alix Johnson Romi

Alix is the Co-founder of Easy Trip Guides. She started with Michael to share her love for the outdoors with people from all around the globe. She started as an outdoor lover while skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry of New Zealand with her future husband, Antonio. They shared a dream to see the world, so in 2013 they set off to cycle from California to Argentina. The freedom of the open ice route, living close to nature, and the total annihilation of her comfort zone fueled Alix's desire to keep exploring long after the bike trip was over. Her adventure addiction has taken her scuba diving with hammerhead sharks, hiking to the K2 base camp, kiteboarding in Sri Lanka, and kayaking in Antarctica. Through these experiences, she has developed a strong belief in the power of adventure to reconnect people to nature, provide meaningful jobs to impoverished communities and promote the conservation of wild places and animals. At Easy Trip Guides, she covers snowing, skating, snowboarding, and skiing as she loves to do these outdoor adventures a lot.

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