Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hamcestry?
Obviously, it's a play on the word Ancestry, but for HAM radio. I bet everyone who is an amateur radio operator got involved in the hobby because someone they knew was a HAM and that got them interested. And every HAM probably has influenced at least 1 other person to take up the hobby too. I started Hamcestry as a project I thought would be interesting to see grow. It relies on other people using it. Without that, it goes nowhere, so hopefully there will be enough interest to get that to happen. I am always hearing the stories about how "so-and-so" got started in the hobby, so I know the interest and desire to tell people the who's, how's and where's of how they got started is strong and alive. I thought it would be nice to visualize these connections.
OK I signed up... now what?
Ok so when you log in look at the top right of your screen. There are My Mentors and My Mentees links. Use these to add whoever got you started in HAM radio (mentor), and anyone you have got started into the hobby (mentees). If you put their email in when you do, it will notify them you did so, briefly explain what it is, and encourage them to join too! Since you can only add 1 level above and below you, obviously it takes people to sign up and do the same thing, but my hope is that people will get interested and at some point, you could see just how far your influence has reached. For example, amateurs that are also involved in scouting would have HUGE trees, especially if say, only 50% of the scouts continue on with the hobby and they encourage people and those people do the same and so-on. 20 years from now, that scout-master's tree would be extensive, but they may never know how extensive otherwise. This could be a place where that could be visualized.
Does it cost anything to join?
Do I need a license or callsign to use the site?
Nope! A callsign is not needed to sign up. We encourage anyone who is wanting to get their license to sign up and use our exam tools to help them study and prepare for their test. By registering, you get to track your progress over time and compare your average scores with everyone else's average score. Without registering, you can still take the tests and use the tools but you will not be able to track your progress. Once you get your license you can add your callsign to your profile and then start building your tree!
Do you support international callsigns?
Not currently. We hope to expand to non-US operators, but for now we are only supporting US callsigns.
Why can I only add branches that are immediately above and below me on my tree?
We don't want people abusing the site. Therefore, in order to discourage people from making up branches just to have "the biggest tree", we only allow you to add immediate branches to your tree, and then it is up to those people to grow their tree, which will also grow yours. We feel this will keep the site more organic and help to keep people honest at the same time.
Why can't I add multiple mentors?
While it's not impossible for us to do, it increases the complexity enormously. We want to do this, but will only do so if the need for it outweighs the effort it would take to do it. I'm guessing that there would only be about 1-3% of the total users that would have more than 1 person that got them involved in HAM radio. And even those could probably narrow it down to 1 person that was most responsible.