Basically the Amateur Radio Service has been in existence since the invention of radio.  In
the early days it was just experimenting and having fun.  The American Radio Relay League was
formed on April 6, 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim, and is currently the largest association of
amateur radio enthusiasts in the United States and possibly the world. 

As telegraph and radio communications became more popular and interference was soon a
big problem.  This led to the formation of the Federal Communications Commission and
government rules and regulations to solve the problems.  The telecommunications act of 1934
was passed into law to accomplish this task, and part 97 of the rules covers the Amateur
Service.

Through the years amateur radio has undergone many changes, and has led to a number
of advancements in the radio communications and television industry.  Currently there are three
classes of licenses available to the public who want to enter the hobby.  The entrance class is
the Technician license, the next step is the General license and the top license is the Extra. 
In order to obtain a license you must pass an exam, which is given by Volunteer Examiners for
the FCC.  The Technician license will get you the ability to get on the air and experiment if
that is your goal.  Each step up in the license class will get you more privileges as to
frequencies and modes of operation you can use.

The Hill Country Amateur Radio Club participates in the American Radio Relay League
Volunteer Examiner program.  Our current exam schedule may be found on the main page of
this site.  Just click on the tab "NEXT VE TEST SESSION".