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Getting Your License / New Operators New to amateur radio and interested in getting your license? This is the forum for you.

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Old 12-16-2013, 12:12 AM
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Default Thinking of getting my Tech

After years of having a radio In my private vehicle that would allow me to call into most local LE or EMS to report a problem. Now that I am not a active Paramedic I had to remove that radio.
I am not looking at Ham to do the same thing, but as a better communication system. If cell does not work I know Ham will work.
I would like to get my Han training online.
Any place to get that done and get the proper paperwork?
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:24 AM
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There's tons of sites for practice tests and such.. A quick search will dig them up.. (QRZ and others)

As far as testing, that must be done in person.. And the ARRL site can point you to the nearest/next testing in your area in addition to clubs that may hold classes.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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Good luck on getting your amateur radio license!

While you can definitely use a ham radio to get help during an emergency, there are a few differences from the paramedic radio you once had. With the exception of using a phone patch, you won't be able to transmit directly to a Police/EMS dispatcher on their frequency. You can reach other hams who can in turn contact emergency services for you, but you won't be able to talk directly radio-to-radio to the emergency services. Also, while ham radio is used in emergencies, for the most part you'll hear daily chit-chat on the ham bands - how's the weather, what's for dinner, what did you do this weekend, etc. I wasn't sure if you were aware of these differences, so thought I'd point them out in case that was your expectation.

As for studying, while many will recommend the online study manuals, I'd like to recommend the Technician Class Study Manual by Gordon West, WB6NOA. He does a very good job of not only giving the questions and answers to study with, but also a detailed description of why each answer is correct. You'll pass your Technician exam knowing how and why things work in amateur radio.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:05 AM
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If you're looking to study online let me recommend HamTestOnline - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Practice Tests. It's $25 for the Tech section, and it's good for 2 years. I'm not affiliated with them- just a happy customer who passed his tech in 7 days. Get your tech. You won't regret it!
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:12 AM
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Ham radio is a hobby, a pass time. Being 'useful' is sort of incidental, it's not a substitute for reliable communications. That certainly doesn't mean it can't be reliable, just don't count on it. You can do things with ham radio that can be enjoyable and useful though!
Try it, see what you think and then go from there (sort of a primary assessment??).
- 'Doc

and as a sort of 'in-joke', which did you carry, a fork or a spoon?
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Old 12-17-2013, 9:51 PM
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While everyone has made great comments, here is what I would suggest.

1) Get a book -- either the ARRL Technicians Study Manual, or the Gordon West book. Books are handy and at least with the ARRL Book, it is a handy reference for later (I still sometimes use mine).

2) On line study -- there are some great web sites out there, some are fee based, others are free. Another great thing is the availably of online practice testing. You can take as many practice tests as you want.

3) If possible -- take a class. While they may not always be available in your location, classes do help. I speak of this from experience. If you are not really self-motivated, or have problems this is the best way to go if you can.

About [10] years ago I wanted to try and start to get into Amateur Radio. I had gone to our local Field Day, and was told to get the book (the above mentioned ARRL Tech Study Manual also known at that time Now Your Talking, from Radio Shack), study it and come and take the test. Well, starting cold, and not knowing anything after awhile I got bored and after a few weeks (or a month or so) I gave up. It was not until I found out about classes did I go for it again. I managed to dig out my old book and took it, finding out it had everything I needed so I did not have to take notes (and since I cannot write anyway...). However, for my upgrades, I was able to do mostly self study.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:38 PM
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I am thinking of doing the same. I studied for the general license in 1968 but never took the test. I could never get comfortable with the morse code. My dad bought me a portable reel to reel recorder to tape the classes. I still have it. Now I am retired I have no excuse not to be able to study and the code is no longer a requirement. A good winter project!
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Old 12-18-2013, 1:31 PM
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Good for you tinslep... no reason you can't get your ticket.

I got mine last winter and I was amazed that we had a number of kids (middle school) in the class... a few of them took the test and passed too!

Once you get your ticket and get on the air though, be ready for the bug to bite you... I just "had" to upgrade and get my general so I could have more fun. I now suffer from R.A.D. (Radio acquisition disorder)and A.A.D (antenna acquisition disorder)....

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Old 12-18-2013, 3:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinslep View Post
I am thinking of doing the same. I studied for the general license in 1968 but never took the test. I could never get comfortable with the morse code. My dad bought me a portable reel to reel recorder to tape the classes. I still have it. Now I am retired I have no excuse not to be able to study and the code is no longer a requirement. A good winter project!
I know what you mean. I got my Novice in 1966 and my Tech a year later, but I could never get past the 13 WPM code test for the General. For me, it was a big mental block. Eventually, I managed to get over that and found a learning method that worked for me. I then managed to upgrade all the way to Extra. Then a year later, the code requirement went away. Go figure. But now you don't have that issue.

I know it was a long time ago, but if you are still up on the material, you might try taking the tests at Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ.COM. I used them when I upgraded. They keep track of your tests and show your progress. Anything you don't know, or are unsure of, you can look up or come here and ask. When you scoring a 90% on a regular basis, it's time to take the test. If you have any kind of technical background, the test should be pretty simple.

Good luck in your project.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:51 PM
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I took my Technician class exam today, and passed - only missed one question out of 35. I had been skimming Gordon West's book for a year or more, but it took Berkeley holding a one-day ham cram and exam to get me off my butt. The cram was hosted by local club members, and it helped cement what I had learned in West's book. The test then went quickly, I feel silly for having waited so long.

- Andrew, Berkeley
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bswp View Post
I took my Technician class exam today, and passed - only missed one question out of 35. I had been skimming Gordon West's book for a year or more, but it took Berkeley holding a one-day ham cram and exam to get me off my butt. The cram was hosted by local club members, and it helped cement what I had learned in West's book. The test then went quickly, I feel silly for having waited so long.

- Andrew, Berkeley
Congrats on passing your Technician test. Now study for the General test it's just as easy.
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Old 01-21-2014, 9:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkman21218 View Post
Congrats on passing your Technician test. Now study for the General test it's just as easy.
I got Gordon West's General book today at HRO, and will start in. I like the meatier questions in General test, this should be fun. But given my slow progress so far, it's a good thing the book is valid into 2015!
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Old 01-22-2014, 8:04 AM
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Gordo and I go back to high school his books are really good


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Old 01-22-2014, 11:28 AM
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One thing to keep in mind if you're looking to take the Technician test. All current study materials will go out-of-date on June 30 because the Technician question pool changes this year. The question pools for each examination level are only good for four years, at which time they are revised. The good news is that the pools don't usually change that much and the publishers of the various study materials usually have new editions out prior to the changeover.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:03 AM
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I studied online using a website that I cannot recall the name of right now. I also had a smartphone app on my Android that tracked your results by category so you could see your weak areas. I believe the smart phone app is the best study technique for me, but that may change for others.

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2014, 3:44 PM
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I love the phone App idea, thanks. ,
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Old 02-02-2014, 1:58 AM
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Go for it. I have looked at some of the app's and think they are a good idea .
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Old 02-03-2014, 4:35 PM
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I have been using the phone apps and after 2 try's of each category am getting 100% . I am going to find a test date soon.
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Old 02-19-2014, 7:19 AM
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Definitely take the test. I finally took the Tech test last summer after thinking about it for years. I'm planning to take the General this upcoming summer when I have more time to dedicate to it. While I'm not on the radio as often as I like, I still enjoy chatting with regulars on my local repeater.
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Old 02-27-2014, 8:43 PM
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Just got mine. KK6KBH


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