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Unread 07-11-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
MCL68
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Default How to get a (HAM) radio license

I recently passed my HAM radio license exam and earned my Technician class license.There are other members here that are also newly licensed operators.

I thought i would start a thread to help newcomers that are interested in earning there first HAM radio license..Technicians class.

HAM radio seemed mysterious in the beginning when i heard other 120 members talk about there HAM radio rigs and callsigns,2 meter,70cm,single side band,simplex,repeaters,APRS...etc.

HAM radio may not be for everyone...Cost and licensing may deter some,IMHO...CB is a night and day difference compared to HAM.

As i spoke with members who already have obtained there HAM operator licenses..I was educated in the process of obtaining a HAM operator license.


There are 3 classes of licenses that can be earned... not bought and increase in difficulty... as you move up to the next class level..

The license is good for 10yrs.

1.Technician = All VHF and UHF privileges,with some HF privileges.

2.General= All VHF,UHF and most HF privileges.

3.Amateur Extra= All amateur privileges.



To get started i recommend purchasing the ARRL Ham Radio license manual.
License manual

The manual can be purchased either directly from the ARRL or can be found online,I searched online and found a copy at a local Barnes and Noble.

The manual is very useful in studying for the exam,It takes you through the different elements of the actual test.There is a section in the back of the manual with actual test questions,where the questions are all multiple choice with the answers.


Along with the HAM radio license manual...I recommend taking free online tests.
QRZ.com online test

I was successful with the QRZ.COM website...There are others online to choose from and some sites charge a fee.

Studying and quizzing yourself from the HAM radio license manual along with taking the online tests will reinforce the material you have studied.

A little concentration and studying a seven year old child could pass the exam...And has been done.There is no minimum age requirement for taking the exam.



If you can consistently pass the online tests and are confident in the material...You can go ahead and find a exam session being given in your area.
ARRL exam locater

The exam session is conducted by higher license class volunteers or (VEC)'s Volunteer Examination Coordinators and consists of 35 multiple choice questions with 35 a perfect score and 26 correct passing.The exam fee is currently $14 which i paid but may vary.

Note: Morse code is no longer required for the Technicians exam.

If you pass,you are issued a (CSCE) Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination your evidence you passed the exam.

The examiners (VEC)'s will submit a NCVEC form 605 to the FCC with your information.Typically 10 days to a week later,you can check the FCC ULS database for your call sign.If it is listed,you will be now legally able to transmit over the radio and make your first contact.



*** It is not illegal to purchase or own a HAM radio....But is illegal to transmit on the radio without a valid FCC amateur radio license *** Non licensed radio transmission is only allowed in a life threatening emergency.



FCC callsign database:
FCC license database

QRZ.com call sign lookup:
QRZ call sign database


The actual physical license and corresponding paperwork from the FCC will be mailed to you within 2 weeks....Usually depends on when the VEC's submit the paperwork and the delivery times of the post office.

I hope this helps and encourages others to earn a HAM operators license.



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Last edited by MCL68; 11-26-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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Unread 07-11-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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Great information, for those that might be interested. Here's another link to on line testing:

http://aa9pw.com/radio/
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Last edited by UnionJack; 07-11-2010 at 07:26 PM.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 06:54 AM   #3
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Great post! I got my Tech license back when the "No-Code Tech" was introduced in the early 90's. Took me until early last year to finally upgrade to a General class. The rule changes have really made it easy to get into Ham Radio and the cost of the test is a non-issue for most here.

One aid I found for quizzing myself on the general question pool was an iphone app that let me just answer questions while standing in line. There are various ones out there, but I chose one that looked rather polished, cost was all of $5. Well worth it.

Here's a link to the Apple Store, Technician Question Pool app written by the same person I used.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 08:42 AM   #4
SP Jon M3
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Yes great post!
I hope more people here get into HAM as it offers so much more than CB or GMRS. Simplex range alone is much better, then add to that repeaters!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Asolo View Post
Here's a link to the Apple Store, Technician Question Pool app written by the same person I used.
I used the same app to prepare for my Tech license, and am currently using the app to prep for my General. It's a great app, and what I like it that after you take a few practice tests it starts to show you the areas where you need to brush up on.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 11:19 PM   #5
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I think if most folks realized how easy it is to earn your amateur radio license, more people would get one. Once you use ham radio on the trail, around town, or on the road, you'll never use a CB again.

Study materials are available cheap or free, testing is very inexpensive and is valid for ten years, and even radios can be had for very reasonable prices (and you can find great deals on used radios, too).

If these reasons aren't enough to convince you to get your Tech license, think about communications during the last major disaster - cell phones and land lines are virtually useless. Every major disaster worldwide has relied on amateur radio operators to provide communication services with those outside the affected areas. Almost every major city has a Disaster Communications Services (DCS) division, run by amateur operators, to help provide comms during local emergencies.

So, if you've been thinking about getting your Tech license, or maybe were unaware of the uses and abilities of ham radio, now's the time - it's cheap, it's easy, and you'll be glad to be a part of this safety and community oriented hobby - a perfect fit for the off road enthusiast
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Unread 08-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #6
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Larry - you're dead on about Ham compared to CB - no comparo hahahha. You're just about talking to the converted here. I think percentage wise we probably have more people with Ham than any other forum now. The last Moab trip nine trucks were registered to go and all but one had Ham! Good to have you over here tho. Hope you post up more.

Cheers
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Unread 08-12-2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiserlarry View Post
I think if most folks realized how easy it is to earn your amateur radio license, more people would get one. Once you use ham radio on the trail, around town, or on the road, you'll never use a CB again.

Study materials are available cheap or free, testing is very inexpensive and is valid for ten years, and even radios can be had for very reasonable prices (and you can find great deals on used radios, too).

If these reasons aren't enough to convince you to get your Tech license, think about communications during the last major disaster - cell phones and land lines are virtually useless. Every major disaster worldwide has relied on amateur radio operators to provide communication services with those outside the affected areas. Almost every major city has a Disaster Communications Services (DCS) division, run by amateur operators, to help provide comms during local emergencies.

So, if you've been thinking about getting your Tech license, or maybe were unaware of the uses and abilities of ham radio, now's the time - it's cheap, it's easy, and you'll be glad to be a part of this safety and community oriented hobby - a perfect fit for the off road enthusiast
Cool, btw welcome to the forum..
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Unread 08-13-2010, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Cool, btw welcome to the forum..
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Unread 08-13-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
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Other than studying for promotion, I think I may look through that stuff and try for a HAM lisense when I get back from Afghanistan. Looks like I'll be getting plenty of practice on Radio Ettiquitte while I'm down there, As well as saving up for a few mods when I get back...
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Unread 08-13-2010, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat View Post
Larry - you're dead on about Ham compared to CB - no comparo hahahha. You're just about talking to the converted here. I think percentage wise we probably have more people with Ham than any other forum now. The last Moab trip nine trucks were registered to go and all but one had Ham! Good to have you over here tho. Hope you post up more.

Cheers
Mark
Thank you for the warm welcome. I also belong to Outdoor Adventure USA, a forum devoted to vehicle-dependent outdoor hobbies, combined with amateur radio. (www.oausa.net) We hold a net on the Keller Peak repeater (146.385+ PL 146.2) every Thursday night at 7:30pm on a variety of outdoor and off-road related topics. Every licensed amateur is encouraged to participate. I hope everyone here will check it out.

OAUSA is not a vehicle-specific group, but we do have a lot of very knowledgeable folks when it comes to 2-way communications, and ham radio specifically. We will be offering testing sessions starting on Oct 24th (during OAUSA's 2010 BorregoFest in Anza Borrego State Park - I am one of the examiners for the session), and encourage all who are interested to start studying and sign up for the 'fest.

While I don't want to challenge your tally, OAUSA has been responsible for more new hams than virtually any other "non-ham only" group in So Cal over the last 2 years. It's encouraging to see so many off roaders becoming ham radio operators - it makes for a safer journey for all of us, where ever your travels take you...

Last edited by cruiserlarry; 08-13-2010 at 09:45 PM.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiserlarry View Post
I also belong to Outdoor Adventure USA, a forum devoted to vehicle-dependent outdoor hobbies, combined with amateur radio. (www.oausa.net) We hold a net on the Keller Peak repeater (146.385+ PL 146.2) every Thursday night at 7:30pm on a variety of outdoor and off-road related topics. Every licensed amateur is encouraged to participate. I hope everyone here will check it out.
Thanks for that info about the weekly net. Tuned in via Echolink, worked the first week I tried it but not last week no audio. Looking to tomorrow. It's good to find like minded people and "talk" about off road topics rather than type
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Unread 03-16-2011, 02:39 PM   #12
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Just a reminder for any hams or non-hams interested in testing, or just coming out to say hello:

Outdoor Adventure USA (www.oausa.net) will be holding a ham radio test session and meet and greet THIS SATURDAY, MARCH 19th (rain or shine) at the Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga.

Please come join us for a great time talking about our favorite hobbies in the great outdoors. While you are at it, you can take the opportunity to test for your amateur radio license or try for that upgrade you've been wanting to get. For those that haven't been to the Bass Pro Shop it is also your opportunity to check it out. It is an amazing place to see. You might want to leave your wallets at home though. We will have a display of various outdoor adventure vehicles/equipment and amateur radio gear. Bring your families too. This is a great venue for us to meet the family members we never get to see on the trail.

WHERE:
Bass Pro Shop (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)
7777 Victoria Gardens Lane
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Phone: 909-922-5500

GPS Coordinates:
34.112782N, 117.52691W (WGS84/NAD83)

TIME:
Meet & Greet (9:00am - Late Afternoon)
Amateur Radio Testing (10:00am - 1:00pm)

Tests will be available for all license classes. The standard ARRL testing fee of $15.00 will apply.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 08:07 PM   #13
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I am tuned in (04-07-11) to the OAUSA net via the K7HTL on blue diamond mtn through node 9251 on the western reflector.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 11:16 PM   #14
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Heard you check in tonight Ed. I have to say that was an odd format for the net. Never heard one like that before. Typically they do the checkins, then get to the topic. But tonight they kinda melded the two into one..
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