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Quick Start Guide to Amateur Radio VHF/UHF Communication

0. Before Starting#

The tutorial is only for amateur radio operators who have passed the exam and set up a station. Without obtaining a call sign, you are not allowed to transmit.
Make sure you have the "People's Republic of China Radio Station License" issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of your province, and communicate within the communication range indicated on the license.
Make sure you have the "Amateur Radio Operator Certificate" issued by CRAC (China Radio Sports Association).


1. Checking the Antenna#

The type of antenna determines the gain and directionality of your radio signal.
· Original stick antenna: a variant of the vertical antenna, very versatile when there is height, usually horizontally polarized, but with low gain. Suitable for communication with relay stations that are relatively close to you.
· Other antennas longer than the original stick antenna and their variants: same as above, but the gain may vary.
· Thumb antenna: small, relatively low transmission efficiency, usually horizontally polarized. Suitable for use when traveling or receiving strong stations.
· Yagi antenna: relatively large in size, strong directionality. Suitable for use when you know the location of the communication target.

2. Finding Targets#

Please first determine the frequency range allowed for use in your province.

· Direct communication (simplex): refers to direct communication with the target without using a relay station. The frequencies commonly used are 438.500MHz and 145.800MHz, which may vary depending on the region.
· Relay station: refers to communication through a relay station. You can check the commonly used relay stations in China here.

Both methods require monitoring the frequency before communication to ensure that it is not occupied.

3. Setting up the Radio#

· Simplex: switch to the VFO (frequency) mode of the radio - enter the frequency - check the settings such as the bandwidth of the VFO.
· Relay station: two methods
1: Temporary VFO setup
Suitable for dual-band dual-watch radios.
Set the main (downlink) frequency of the relay station in VFO A - set the uplink frequency of the relay station in VFO B - set the sub-audible tone of VFO B - check the settings such as the bandwidth of VFO A/B.
2: Writing to the radio memory
Write the main (downlink) frequency of the relay station in the programming software - set the frequency offset (+, -) - set the sub-audible tone - set the bandwidth, etc.

Terms specific to relay stations:
· Sub-audible tone: refers to CTCSS (analog sub-audible tone) / DCS (digital sub-audible tone). It inserts a low-frequency signal that is imperceptible to the human ear into the voice signal as a marker, allowing the walkie-talkie/relay station to selectively receive signals. According to the settings of the relay station, xx.xHz is usually CTCSS (analog sub-audible tone), and Dxxx/DxxI is usually DCS (digital sub-audible tone).
· Frequency offset: refers to the difference between the receive frequency and the transmit frequency of the relay station. The standard deviation is -5MHz, which means transmitting on the frequency point 5MHz below the receive frequency. According to the settings of the relay station.
· Link: refers to the connection between relay stations or intercom platforms in other regions through networks, etc., which can expand the coverage area. Common intercom platforms include Taotao Intercom, Nanshan Intercom, EchoLink, etc. When using such relay stations, it is necessary to exchange the methods/frequencies used by both parties.
· Echo: refers to the noise generated on the transmitter after the transmission is completed but not terminated by the relay station. It can be used to determine whether the relay station can be connected.

4. Communication#

First, initiate a general call (CQ).

CQ, CQ, CQ


This is


(Explanation of call sign letters) x2


(Call sign)


Is there anyone on the frequency?

If a station responds, you need to record the communication in a log.
The following information must be recorded:
· Time, date
· Call sign of the other party
· Signal report (RS) from both parties
The following information can be recorded:
· Power of both parties
· QTH (location) of both parties

When ending the communication, both parties need to state their call signs. It is common to use "73" to send blessings to the other party.

5. After Communication#

After communication, other stations may request QSL cards or proof of reception from you. It is the duty of amateur radio operators to promptly check the log and respond to these requests.
For both types of cards mentioned above, the following information must be included:
· Confirmation of the communication/confirmation of receiving the other party's QSL (CFM QSO/CFM UR REPORT)
· Our call sign
· Other party's call sign/name
· Time of communication
· Frequency of communication
· Mode of communication (FM/FT8/SSB)
· Signal report
· Request for the other party to send QSL/thanks for the QSL received from the other party (PSE/TNX)
Simply send them out in an appropriate manner.

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