• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
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bwoodfire45

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Does anyone know what I have to do, or who I need to contact to get a HAM license? I would like to get one and then proceed to become SKYWARN certified. I am civillian certified now. Thanks.
 

WarWizard

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Try aarl.org. Click on the licensing tab and input your zip code and they will show you what places around your area give the test and when they give it.
 

KC0QNB

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Won't hurt you to get a study guide, ham licenses still require a written test. Or you can go to qrz.com and take a online test and see how well you do, and what you need to study.
 

Grog

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I agree on ARRL for a starter search, that can help with finding local clubs who would have testing sessions, or even full classes you can take to get your license. A local club just had a 6 year old to take the class and pass his test.


bwoodfire45 said:
I am civillian certified now
You lost me on that, what?
 

jon_k

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Start to study. There is a test with 260 (I think?) questions in a pool. When you take the real test you get 32 random questions out of the pool from different sections. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the test and only costs $14.00.

You can study online using the EXACT question pool you'll get questions from in a real exam session. If you pass these tests on the internet, you will pass the real test. The only difference in the real test is the order of the answers.

Here are some places to start practicing.

* http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl
This place is good. However, the way this works is if you take all 100 of the practice tests, you will have sampled all the questions in the pool. This is not my favorite study website, as some questions are repeated on every test. If you get those questions right from the get go, then it's a waste of time to keep answering those questions on later test(s).

* http://www.hamboozler.com/pools.
This is another practice site. You register an account and log in when you study. This site is adaptive and is suppose to give you the same questions over until you get good at them. The questions you fail will keep coming up.

* http://www.kb0mga.net/exams/
This is my favorite practice site. It is like HamBoozler, as it is adaptive too. The best thing about it and is an adaptive thing that keeps throwing you questions until you score well consistantly. However this one actually gives you statistics. (Percentages of right answers for specific questions, percentage of how well done overall in tests. Etc.) I like this to keep track of how well I'm scoring on tests.

When you are ready to take your test (75% is passing in a real exam. Go test when you make 80%+) you can find a testing location here: http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml

Punch in your ZIP and you'll find the locations with date/times. I went to the Lockheed Rec Center in Fort Worth for mine. All you do is show up with $14 and take the test, pass, wait a week for processing and before you know it the FCC has your callsign and your ready to transmit!

The test is easy. I just got my callsign last Friday. I haven't made a real contact over the air yet, I'm still trying. I've been working this whole week and nobody will answer my call at 3am on the nightshift. ;-)


I am civillian certified now
You lost me on that, what?
You can become a member of ARES or SKYWARN without being a radio operator. There is a certification you go through for disaster management and how to handle diasasters. You learn how to watch cloud patterns, and how to aid in the event of an emergency. You are not discounted from participating in these groups. They have parts of the group where people make calls to neighbors and other skywarn members to keep them up to date. Radio operation isn't the only part of operation these groups handle.

You can participate without amateur licensing.... but it sure limits your options and makes communication harder.
 
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KC0QNB

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They must run things differently in Texas, I have never seen or heard of skywarn certification
I have been to several spotter seminars over the years, never took a test of any kind, of course we are a little behind the times here in central Nebraska.
FWIW I spend a couple of years in the Fort Worth area back in the '70s, after I got out of the air force, I lived in the Ridglea area.
 

DaveNF2G

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The NWS conducts basic and advanced Skywarn Spotter classes during various times of the year. Check with your local weather office.

Also, spotter reports can be filed online. Some offices have interactive forms that you can use via your web browser.
 

jon_k

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KC0QNB said:
They must run things differently in Texas, I have never seen or heard of skywarn certification
It is not necessary to have a Skywarn Certification in order to report information to a Skywarn net. However, the certification classes teach you about various weather situations. This allows you to provide more accurate information to the Skywarn net. The Atlanta Radio Club occasionally hosts a Skywarn Training Class at our monthly meeting. Contact one of the club officers to inquire about this. Some counties may require their ARES members to gain a Skywarn Certification.
Links


Link: http://www.w4doc.org/arc/skywarn.html#cert
 

af5rn

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There are actually two routes to licensure.

Plan-A is to actually learn the material, whether through self-study, classes, or a combination of the two, achieve a grasp of the theory that will help foster your progress in the hobby, get licensed, and then actually become a productive member of the community.

Plan-B is to just spend a few days memorising the test questions and answers, learn nothing, go take the test, and get on the air quickly and start ratchet jawing like the rest of the glorified CBers.

Obviously, most people choose Plan-B. Such is the nature of American society today. Unfortunately, most EMT and paramedic students choose their path the same way, but I digress. Choose whatever is right for you. I just didn't want you being mislead into believing that Ham radio licensure is nothing more than a pointless hoop to jump through to earn talking rights. You'll get a lot more out of the hobby if you actually embrace it as such.

Best of luck!
 

jleverin

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You don't have to be a ham to be Skywarn Spotter certified but you do if you want to use 2 meters to communicate your info over. I am a Skywarn spotter who isn't a ham yet(am studying for my tech license) because they told us the most common way to report in storms nowdays is by cell phone. However I do carry a scanner and and a 2m ham transceiver and may want to use it sometime. Great info and doesn't hurt anything, besides most of the people in my spotter class were from the local ham club.
 

brutalpilot514

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Yeah here in KY 2 meter is the preferred method. the local nets are pretty extensive and the repeaters are pretty powerful. You can call in by cell phone but a lot of times local law enforcement doesn't trust just anyone reporting. They put a lot of stock into what they hear over the 2 meter that they monitor.
 

jon_k

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af5rn said:
Plan-B is to just spend a few days memorising the test questions and answers, learn nothing, go take the test, and get on the air quickly and start ratchet jawing like the rest of the glorified CBers.
I tried option A about 5 years ago, and actually failed the test! I was so engrossed in the theory in the classes and the possible realms of technology that I didn't want to study to pass the test! I read Gorden Wests study material, and the explanations of theory were great, but they distracted me from just memorizing the answers! I'd read the theory about it, start Googling it and get totally sidetracked from study.

To pass my test this time around, I tried option B. I did not need Gordon's West book showing me half a page of radio theory as the explanation of a single question. I simply found a test pool online and started answering until I memorized the answers. Who could fill their head with all that extra information? You just need the answer. Nobody who is new to the hobby will remember the entire theory and explanations explained by Gordon West. It's just too much extra information to disseminate for someone new to the technology.

Now that I've passed the test, I can take my time and have fun learning all technical theory at my own pace. I'm very technical with computers and made a career out of it. It all spawned by experimenting on the computer from gradeschool and beyond. 13 years later computers are a career for me which all originated from spending hours of freetime with computers.

I expect to study amateur radio using the same methods, trial and error. My interest is technical and I'll begin learning as I progress.
alking to people about the weather, lack of CW requirements and politics is only entertaining for about 5 minutes. I'd much rather learn to build, modify, and explore different ways to use the radio.

I hope there aren't people out there just passing the test so they can simply rag chew with the midnight repeater crew. That's for C.B., not amateur radio. I don't mind the ragchew, but hearing guys spend 2-3 hours talking about burger joints and dairy queens is less than entertaining.

Then again, my way of learning is quite different from most. I like to read books to get a vague grasp of concepts, but I have extreme difficulty understanding and/or memorizing until I can actually apply the concepts myself. Reading Gorden West books therefore was a poor tool, as seeing pictures and graphs doesn't help much unless you're using those formulas to build your own rig.
 
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DaveNF2G

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You can report in by cellphone up until the first tornado takes out the tower(s) and/or the landline telco's central switch.
 

KC0QNB

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I can tell you all from personal experience, that cellphones most likely won't work in a severe weather situation, don't bet your life on it. We had a tornado come to within about 3 miles of town last year, I tried to call my mom and let her know to hide out, the cellphone didn't work at that time and for some time after.

A couple of weeks ago we had a lot of rain up to 9 inches in some places, at least one cell tower was out, probably more.

Just last Thursday there was a tornado, about a mile from I was, I tried to call my wife, again the cellphone failed me.

In all the above cases public safety, and ham radio worked flawlessly, not a glitch.
Now you know that "When all else fails, ham radio works". I really don't like that tag line but it sure sums things up. Those who are talking about getting their license, Get 'R' Done.
A lot of doors will open up for you, when you succeed and, of course some will slam shut behind you, your old CB buddies that don't want to work for their tickets will be slamming some of those doors.
This is also from personal experience.
73 de KCØQNB, Ryan.
 

jon_k

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A lot of doors will open up for you, when you succeed and, of course some will slam shut behind you, your old CB buddies that don't want to work for their tickets will be slamming some of those doors.
Is that really so bad? I've never been involved in CB, but monitoring them all I've heard is idiots with echo Mic's that echo so bad you can't understand a thing and people acting like a fool. Don't think I'd ever take interest in that.

KC0QNB said:
In all the above cases public safety, and ham radio worked flawlessly, not a glitch.
Now you know that "When all else fails, ham radio works". I really don't like that tag line but it sure sums things up. Those who are talking about getting their license, Get 'R' Done.
It does, simply because of the non-infrastructure tied ways of radio. Most repeaters have battery backup. When power is out for extended times, the repeater operator usually gets ahold of a generator to run at the site.
 
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