Fun Ways to use your Radio and Build Skills
These games were created by members of the W6HA Hughes Amateur Radio club. Our intent is to find ways for Ham operators to be inspired to use their license and equipment. Our goal is to make these attractively fun.
Please review the games listed and if inspired, play it with your group.
Radio Bingo - Make contacts with other Hams - fill out your radio bingo card. First person to complete their card gets the prize. This is a good game for a Ham club or CERT team. Participants learn/practice making contacts, changing frequencies, and getting the message right.
Radio Treasure Hunt - Contact other Hams to find all the words in a 25 word message. Complete the task listed in the message. Use multiple frequencies to make contacts and share what words you know. Monitor as many bands as possible to get the message quicker.
Ham Code Scramble - Each player starts on their assigned frequency calling 'Ham Scramble'. Players respond with their confidential number. After 5 minutes players can change frequencies at will, searching for all players. First to find all players and their codes wins.
Contesting - Try to reach as many stations as you can is a fun activity. You might try to reach all states, counties, or countries. It might just be a way for you to test and improve your gear and technique.
Building good radio skills comes from using one's radio.
After earning their FCC amateur radio license, many Hams infrequently use their license and radio equipment. This may be for many reasons including:
- Not knowing how to program their radio,
- Not knowing how to choose the right frequencies,
- Mic fright,
- No one to talk with (radio shyness),
- Uncertainty about how to use the many features on their radio.
Radio games can help the ham radio operator use his well earned license and equipment. Research on gamification shows that it has positive effects on individuals. It has the potential to improve user engagement, organizational productivity (as in CERT teams), learning, and usefulness of systems.
Elements of Games
Games should be fun, engaing, and interesting. They should provide a sufficient challenge but not beyond what the participant finds rewarding for success. Each can be used at a club gathering or even from home. Our games are intended to be fun and build skills.
Specifically intend to build skills:
- Good listening and understanding
- Sending of clear, understandable information
- Working with limitations of handheld (power out, antenna gain, etc.)
- Using features of the radio
- Changing frequencies
- Multiple band operation
- Monitoring multiple channels concurrently