Calling All Elmers

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lbpd719

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I am sure this has been brought up in the past..

I and a few other folks would like to take the plunge and see how we can do.. One guy recently fired his way to the top in one testing session (outstanding achievement) ..

Maybe a good place to start for people with no knowledge would be good.. There are so many test varieties and tutors online, it would be nice to have someone rate/evaluate what is there I would like to have my extra by early next year, but really need more guidance as to what to do and in what order from someone who has been there and done that..

I am more interested in working HF than anywhere else at the moment, and will stlil need to get some type of tx gear to start with.. I also know I have a few kids interested in taking this journey as well (couple of scouts)

Where should we start? and what will give us the consistent results to go "all the way"?

once thre, the next set of questions are going to be where to get decent gear..
 

N0IU

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If you are interested in actually learning something about amateur radio, something along the lines of "The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual" would be a good choice. Here is the link to the ARRL store: http://www.arrl.org/catalog/

Scroll down to Licensing and Upgrading! Manuals, software and more... and it is the first book on the list

Good luck!
 
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texasemt13

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As Scott said the book below is the place to start. I aced my Tech exam and intend to do the same with the General exam here in a few weeks...

The best part is the question pool in the back. It has every question you could see on the exam (yes, every question). The question pool for the Tech exam will change on July 1st, 2010, so make sure to take your exam before then (the question pool changes every 3 years for each exam, as voted on by some VECs).
 

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2beers4me

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I found the practice tests on qrz.com to be a great way to study. I took those tests for a couple weeks until I got passing scores. After taking the practice exams you will know when your ready. If you are into scanners already you have a good start of knowledge. I studied the tech, and general for the same reason to get on HF. I have no interest in vhf/ uhf stuff, with the exeption of 6 meters. The trifecta of passing all three is very impressive indeed. I went into it wanting my general. If I only came out of it with my tech ticket that would have been cool with me too. I did end up getting my general the same session, and I was very happy. I just started playing around with the extra practice tests. The questions are much more about theory, and other hard stuff I don't know right now. I might actually have to take another means of studying for the extra. I would say the tech, and general are pretty easy in my opinion. I would not try to take on too much at once, like all three. You can always test again, and upgrade. Even a tech ticket will put you on 10 meters. 10 has been hit and miss recently, but when it's open it can be a blast. I don't think there is a right way to go about it. Do what you think will get you to your goal. Good Luck.
 

KR4BD

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My advice:

1. Buy the Study Guides (Tech, General and Extra) from the ARRL or W5YI and highlight (in YELLOW) the correct answers.

2. Repeatedly take Practice exams on QRZ.com (or other website offering practice tests)

Spend 15-30 minutes (no more!) a day reading the book and/or doing practice exams. In less than a month, you should be ready for the Technician Test and if you are really good, you should even be able pass the General Test. For Extra, it will take a little more dilligence, but just do the same things (buy the book and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.)

Before you know it, you will readily recognize the RIGHT answers. The QRZ.com (and other) on-line tests use the EXACT questions and answers from the FCC question pools. You can't go wrong.
 

N0IU

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I found the practice tests on qrz.com to be a great way to study. I took those tests for a couple weeks until I got passing scores.
[curmudgeon mode]ON

With all due respect, while this may be a good way to pass the test and get your license, it is a lousy way to study!

[/curmudgeon mode]OFF
 

2beers4me

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[curmudgeon mode]ON

With all due respect, while this may be a good way to pass the test and get your license, it is a lousy way to study!

[/curmudgeon mode]OFF

For one person it may me lousy. For me it got me my ticket. I don't like to read books. I have A.D.D. -
It probably is better to read to a study guide. Like I said before, the first two test are not very hard.
 

JStemann

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[curmudgeon mode]ON

With all due respect, while this may be a good way to pass the test and get your license, it is a lousy way to study!

[/curmudgeon mode]OFF
I couldn't agree more. Studying the questions may get you to pass the test, but still LEARN next to nothing.

Go with the books and LEARN. Take the tests to assess what you need to study more. It will take you longer than just studying questions, but you will know the information.

good luck,
jeff
 

JeremyB

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Ground zero to Extra in one year is an ambitious goal, knowing where you are starting from would help.

How about taking a free sample exam online and seeing how you do?

eHam.net Ham Radio Practice Exams
From zero to extra in one year is possible depending on how much of the info you can wrap your brain around. There are a lot of subjects covered in the general and extra tests, I had the ARRL manuals and usually went to the internet for a better or more in depth explanation, hamtestonline was a good resource for some tips/tricks, I wish I had looked at some Gordon West material to see what they offered.

If you get the ARRL manuals be sure to visit
ARRLWeb: Ham Radio License Manual for info on tech class book
ARRLWeb: General Class License Manual for info on general class
ARRLWeb: Extra Class License Manual for extra

The websites have question pools set up for the order of chapters in the book, info on errors that may be in the book, and extra resources to help explain different topics
 

W9BU

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With all due respect, while this may be a good way to pass the test and get your license, it is a lousy way to study!
Scott, when I was studying for my Technician license (sheesh, 19 years ago), I went through the entire question pool and answered every question to the best of my ability. I then checked my answers against the answer key. For every question that I got wrong, I dove into the book and read up on the theory behind the question and correct answer. My goal was to understand the theory, not just memorize the answers. This was before all of the on-line practice exams were available. When I finally went in to take the test, I aced it.

By the way, it used to be that when you looked up "curmudgeon" in the dictionary, you'd find a picture of my father. He's been gone several years now, so the newer dictionaries have a picture of someone else. Is it you?
 

lbpd719

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Great input from everyone - I think it's good to float everyones methods and opinions.

I have a lot of the theory down pretty well, and in the past could pass the written exams up to the top. My hindering point was always the code requirements... Now that those are a moot point (and I know have been for some time) I think I am ready to take the plunge again (although, I still would like to get my coding up much higher than the 5WPM I could barely achieve.
 

2beers4me

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JeremyB

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Whatever you do, don't even bother with the ARRL question and answer book, it is absolutely worthless if you want to learn the material, I ordered it along with the extra class license manual and threw it away not long after
 

hcpholder

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Well, I ordered "The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual" today. I've always been interested in HAM, but never had the time to really get into it. I guess cost is also a big factor. It also seems that everytime I ask someone in my area about this, I kind of get "shrugged off". I guess I just don't know the right people! Great looking at all of the comments.
 

kb2vxa

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"Where should we start? and what will give us the consistent results to go all the way?"

A local Amateur Radio club, preferably one that holds classes and better yet VE testing sessions. Since you're "calling all elmers" this is where you will find them, in person and hands on beats the heck out of an internet forum by a country mile and there's no point going it alone when SO much help is available right in your own back yard.
 

eorange

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The nice thing about the ARRL books is they serve as an EXCELLENT reference long after you've passed the tests.
 

kb2vxa

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It all depends on the books. The tech manuals are forever but every time the question pool changes the study manuals go in the trash. Then again the ARRL isn't the only game in town.
 

hcpholder

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I started out with using the "QRZ" test questions, and can almost score 100% on all 100 tests. A lot of my old "high school" tech learning was renewed. But I also found by using "The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual" I purchased explained why the answers were what they were. You need to KNOW this. I do not however like the way the manual jumps you around to various test questions at the rear of the book for reviewing. Looking at two to five questions in a row, skipping two or three questions, then going to another area for more questions. Otherwise I have found this to be very informative and I have LEARNED a lot. Hopefully taking my Technician test 4/2/2010. Let you know how it turns out.
I also hope to meed some folks who want to teach newbees a thing or two about the hobby.
 
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