Guide for new and returning users


Amateur radio continues to enjoy great popularity as a hobby.


Technical interest, computers and radio technology, that's what amateur radio is all about.


New trends and technology do not let radio amateurs get bored.


There are countless interests and possibilities.


It is hardly possible to find a universal definition for amateur radio. Due to its diversity, it is much more than just "radio" as a communication technique, which has long since found its way into our everyday lives in a more regulated form with modern radio telephones. Amateur radio today is a mixture of technology, experimentation, communication and competition. A hobby in which - whether organized collectively or independently - everyone finds his place. The only entrance hurdle to obtain an amateur radio license is to pass an examination. However, this also ensures a higher level compared to other media and hobbies. Nevertheless, there are already about 80,000 radio amateurs in Germany alone, many of whom are members of the Deutsche Amateur-Radio-Club e. V. (DARC), are organized.



Most hobbies have many beautiful sides. But with hardly any of them is this as pronounced as with amateur radio. With it, every corner of the earth can be reached. It is exciting to try out how far one's own equipment can reach under the current technical and meteorological conditions - even with a handheld radio, many 100 km can be bridged with overreach. Or to communicate with radio amateurs in other countries, across borders and languages. Radio amateurs build their own equipment, antennas and even their own satellites. They try out morse code radio, as it was common more than 100 years ago, as well as voice radio, image transmission or the most modern digital transmission methods. And they hold contests, collect confirmation cards for radio contacts, or run athletically through the woods in the so-called fox hunt. Yes, amateur radio is not a "couch potato" hobby. And this is only a small part of the whole range of amateur radio.


This video of the DARC shows all facets of the hobby amateur radio


In contrast to CB radio operators and all other radio users, whether police, firefighters or craftsmen, radio amateurs may also use self-built equipment. To ensure that they can do this and know how to handle them so that they do not cause any interference, they are only allowed to go on the air after passing an examination. Every radio amateur gets a personal callsign after passing the amateur radio exam. Many clubs offer their own training courses for this purpose, but the necessary knowledge can also be acquired from books, online courses or correspondence schools. By preparing for the license exam, radio amateurs acquire special knowledge and skills that they can often later use to their advantage in technical jobs. At the same time, they become part of a unique community, which is what makes amateur radio so special. The organization in local associations, the common networking and the openness also beyond national borders distinguish this hobby. There are different license classes, for whose acquisition in the examination more or less knowledge is necessary and with which then more or less devices, frequencies and transmitting powers may be used. So it is possible to first acquire a "small" license with a simpler exam and "get started" and later, when you get the desire for more, to upgrade to a "large" license.

Since amateur radio is a cross-border hobby and radio amateurs want to radio not only abroad but also when traveling from abroad, it is possible in most countries to apply for a guest license of a corresponding class before traveling on proof of having passed the amateur radio examination. If the own license corresponds to the "large" CEPT license or the "small" CEPT novice license and there are also such classifications in the host country, radio operation in the host country is also possible in Europe without prior application under the CEPT conditions - the CEPT is the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations.


In Germany, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) is responsible for the amateur radio exam, where you can take the exam for the "small" E and the "large" A license.


In Austria, examinations (only oral, not written) have to be taken at the locally responsible telecommunications office ("Fernmeldebehörde 1. Instanz"), there is as the largest license the "Bewilligungsklasse 1" and as the smallest the "Bewilligungsklasse 4". The Austrian Amateur Radio Association is called Austrian Experimental Transmitter Association (ÖVSV).


In Switzerland it is the Federal Office of Communications (Bakom), the "small" license is the "HB3 license" and the "large" is the "HB9 license". The Swiss amateur radio association is the Union of Swiss Shortwave Amateurs (USKA).


Although amateur radio operation in Morse telegraphy is still possible today as it was 100 years ago, it is only voluntary for those who wish to do so. Morse no longer needs to be learned for the amateur radio license. However, since amateur radio operators are very inventive people who are always discovering and researching new technologies, new things are constantly being added, such as:

01 Radio teletype

now actually an old technology again (RTTY - Radio Teletype), as is fax.

02 Television

no longer analog, but digital, and also via satellite.

03 Digital radiotelephony

can be forwarded around the world via converters.

04 Chat and data radio

Whether as packet radio, as "amateur radio Internet" or even broadband similar to WLAN.

05 Signal Reception at it's limit

Invented by Nobel Prize winner Joe Taylor, WSJT makes it possible, with computer assistance, to still receive signals that are actually so weak that they sink inaudibly into the noise.

06 SDR – Software defined Radio

radios, most of which are implemented in software and can thus be easily modified to new procedures.


Stay curious! In the WiMo blog you will find interesting facts about current information, product presentations as well as insights into the daily WiMo life.

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