Need a different study guide or book

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brennank

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I picked up the official ARRL ham radio license study book and so far I really dislike it. It is really wordy and not very clear on the things that I don't understand. Some topics are only covered for a single sentence and then there is 4 questions on it in the back.

This is the book I am referring too:
ARRL Ham Radio License Manual: All You Need to Become an Amateur Radio Operator: H. Ward Silver, American Radio Relay League: 9780872599635: Amazon.com: Books

What do you folks recommend for alternative study materials?

Thanks
 

w2xq

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Have you looked at arrl.org to perhaps find a club in your area? Or contact your local or county EOC? Maybe a licensing class would help? There are several other publishers of study material (W5YI, Gordon West among others) but in-person help might be best. HTH.
 

N0IU

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The main problem with the book you posted is that it is the 1st edition and the questions are out of date. The test pool changes every 4 years and the current test pool will expire on June 30, 2014. So whatever license study material you get, make sure it says that it is valid from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2014. If you do not plan on getting your license before June 30, you will need to get a more current edition of study material that says valid from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018.

Most people that publish study material put out their new editions a couple of months before they actually go into effect.
 

brennank

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The main problem with the book you posted is that it is the 1st edition and the questions are out of date. The test pool changes every 4 years and the current test pool will expire on June 30, 2014. So whatever license study material you get, make sure it says that it is valid from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2014. If you do not plan on getting your license before June 30, you will need to get a more current edition of study material that says valid from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018.

Most people that publish study material put out their new editions a couple of months before they actually go into effect.
I must have linked the wrong one. I actually have the second edition, which is good until June 30, 2014.

Question though. Why does the test pool change? It isn't like the world of analog radio changes every day. The electrical concepts are still the same. The modulations are still the same. yada yada.

Plus I don't want to study for a test, I want to study for knowledge. If I only study test questions I am doing it wrong in my mind. I want to know why stuff works and actually understand all the concepts. If I actually understand everything it shouldn't really matter what test pool I take because it will all be drawn from the same concepts.

Thanks for the assistance everyone!
 

zz0468

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Question though. Why does the test pool change? It isn't like the world of analog radio changes every day. The electrical concepts are still the same. The modulations are still the same. yada yada.
There is enough that changes over time that the test questions need to be updated. There are rules changes, new modes developed, frequency allocations sometimes change, etc.

Also, altering the questions now and then might make it a bit more difficult to game the system.

Plus I don't want to study for a test, I want to study for knowledge. If I only study test questions I am doing it wrong in my mind.
Thank you!

I've always felt the same way.

It's been many MANY years since I've had to take a test, but I started with some of the more elementary study guides, and then used the ARRL Radio Amateurs Handbook to fill in the knowledge gaps. Between the two, I was ready to test.

The ARRL books are actually quite good, but there really isn't one single book that covers it all.

I want to know why stuff works and actually understand all the concepts. If I actually understand everything it shouldn't really matter what test pool I take because it will all be drawn from the same concepts.
This is somewhat true in theory, and you could very probably pass. But it's always a good idea to study both the material (technical and regulatory) AND study the TEST ITSELF. The various on-line practice tests will reinforce what you've learned, and you'll also understand how the questions are asked, and what sort of answers are expected.
 

K5MPH

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brennank said:
I picked up the official ARRL ham radio license study book and so far I really dislike it. It is really wordy and not very clear on the things that I don't understand. Some topics are only covered for a single sentence and then there is 4 questions on it in the back.

This is the book I am referring too:
ARRL Ham Radio License Manual: All You Need to Become an Amateur Radio Operator: H. Ward Silver, American Radio Relay League: 9780872599635: Amazon.com: Books

What do you folks recommend for alternative study materials?

Thanks
Try to get you a gorden west book they are easy to use and understand that's what what I used to study with back in 1993 to get my lic.......
 

WB4CS

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Another +1 for the Gordon West books. They do a very good job of not only giving the questions and answers, but a good explanation of why each answer is correct. Now, don't expect a college level dissertation on RF and electrical principals, but he does a good job of explaining the basics in layman terms.

Good luck! And glad to hear that you're interested in actually learning (and not just memorizing answers!)
 

KC0KM

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While I agree with you, the ARRL book can be at best, daunting. I know because about 10-12 years ago when I got one, it was clear as mud. After studying for a few weeks, I then gave up, and out it on the shelf. Years later, however, I was able to take a radio class to get my Technicians Licence. As I find it hard to take notes, I had dug out my old book, and found out it had everything I needed. While I would still recommend the book, you can supplement it with perhaps as others have said the Gordon West books, and also a variety of online places as well. For simple pure "knowledge" I would still recommend the ARRL book. If you are lucky, there might be someone in the area that teaches a Tech class. I often tell people there are three ways to get a Tech License, and I would recommend that you do all three.

1) Get a book
2) Online Study (not only for study, but taking practice tests)
3) Take a class.

Do all three, you are guaranteed to pass your test.
 

scanmanmi

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I don't know if you've tested yet but..... I went to a class provided by a local repeater club. Research repeaters in your area and you can probably find a club that offers a class at some time. Books can't answer questions. Before your test download a sample test and black out all the wrong answers. Read the question and ONLY the right answer. You do not want to fill your head with wrong answers. I avoided online tests since they fill your brain with wrong answers. I downloaded some audio classes and listened to them and many questions on my test I had learned listening on the drive there.
 

SCPD

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No-Nonsense Study Guides

I'm on a phone now or I'd put a link here.
Google "no-nonsense study guides" and see if that's more what ya looking for.
 

k6cpo

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sofasurfer

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Thanks prerunner1982.

I have been taking the practice axams on qrz.com Was doing decent for a while and then the questions got a lot harder. Woops! Time to study a bit more. Started using KB6NU's free pdf study guide yesterday. In the meantime I found a ARRL study guide at a library in another town. Trying to get it ordered through my library.

Thanks for everyones advice. Stand by
 
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