Obtaining License

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
46
Location
OHIO
Hello everyone,
I have been very interested in getting my HAM license for emergency purposes. I'm a vol fire/EMT/search and rescue member in my county. I would also like to have them to possibly take to others around the area and maybe within time more. I have had ZERO luck getting anyone to contact me back from the local HAM club. I have called the presidents phone, emailed the email listed on their website, and left a message on their Facebook page. I guess I have come to the conclusion that i'm on my own.
How would one go about getting one on there own?
Where do I start?
Is there any websites that I can go to and read then take a test?
All and any information would be very helpful!
Thanks
 

KK4LQX

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
100
Location
Portsmouth, RI
Unfortunately you MUST have 3 Volunteers Examiners (VE) administer your exam for a $15 fee. I would suggest starting out by checking out the FCC website and the ARRL website. Practice tests can be found online all over the place. You could also look into a nearby hamfest.

Also the usual disclaimer of an Amateur Radio license does not in anyway allow you or grant you permission to transmit on any frequencies not covered by your license. Any transmission on a frequency licensed by another entity must have permission of the licensee.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
46
Location
OHIO
Unfortunately you MUST have 3 Volunteers Examiners (VE) administer your exam for a $15 fee. I would suggest starting out by checking out the FCC website and the ARRL website. Practice tests can be found online all over the place. You could also look into a nearby hamfest.

Also the usual disclaimer of an Amateur Radio license does not in anyway allow you or grant you permission to transmit on any frequencies not covered by your license. Any transmission on a frequency licensed by another entity must have permission of the licensee.
Thanks for the reply. I understand that you can only transmit on freq that you are qualified to transmit on. I'm just thinking it would be a fun hobby, along with giving me some permissions to transmit in case of a disaster.
 

scannermanner1

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
459
Location
In the Western US Mountains :)
Hi
I am a licensed ham radio operator !
what would probably be a better approach is to go to the next club meeting ,
most of the time they post their date time and location on their website
or you can contact the ARRL: 888-277-5289 and ask for information on the next test session in your area, there is multiple ways you can study, there is a lot of apps available for iPhone and Android or you could contact amateur electronic supply (AES) 18005580411 the ARRL study book is about 35$ per book three of them total for three different licenses ( technician, general and extra

( hope that helps )
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,843
Thanks for the reply. I understand that you can only transmit on freq that you are qualified to transmit on. I'm just thinking it would be a fun hobby, along with giving me some permissions to transmit in case of a disaster.
Perhaps they're getting turned off by your "giving me some permissions to transmit in case of a disaster" terminology. The ham license gives you permission to transmit at any time, emergency or not, on the frequencies covered by your license (and no permission to transmit on other frequencies at any time - more on that in a second). They may be getting the idea that you only want your ham license as a way to transmit on PD frequencies, which is generally something that they discourage.

There is a part of the ham rules (97.403 and 97.405) that deal with emergency operation (quoted below). While some folks take this to give a carte blanch to operate anywhere on any frequency covered by any type of service (mostly part-90 rules where the PD, FD, and EMS operate), there is nothing that provides authorization for operation outside of the frequencies covered by the Part-97 rules (the ham bands). Generally these rules allow a ham that may not normally transmit on a band (or more likely a sub-band) to do so in a real life-and-death emergency.

For example, a General Class license holder could contact another ham operating in the Extra-Only portion of the 20 meter ham band if that was the only way for that General Class operator to get help (no phones, not even cell phones available, no way to contact someone on normal General Class frequencies - perhaps they were mobile with no other radios than HF and could only operate 20 meters perhaps due to having a 20 meter antenna mounted and due to their injuries couldn't get out of their truck to change it, no responses to their calls on the General Class section but tuning around they hear a strong signal in the Extra Class portion of the band).

§ 97.403 Safety of life and protection of property.
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

§ 97.405 Station in distress.
(a) No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station in distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its condition and location, and obtain assistance.
(b) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a) of this section, of any means of radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a station in distress.
 

ko6jw_2

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
1,130
Location
Santa Ynez, CA
As a volunteer examiner, I am sorry that you have had so much trouble finding an exam. The ARRL website does list exams given by the ARRL VEC. You can enter your zip code and specify a radius of miles. Try that and see what you come up with. Also, ARRL is not the only organization that gives exams. You can check the W5YI website for other non-ARRL exams.
The W5YI VEC is also authorized by the FCC. Practice exams are available at Callsign Database by QRZ.COM. This is an excellent way to prepare.

Unfortunately, the other responses are correct. A VE session requires three examiners. A petition was filed by the Anchorage Alaska VEC to change that to two, but the FCC declined to make the change.

It is also unfortunate that ARRL is rather slow in processing applications from prospective VE's and in publishing exam sessions that are submitted to them. Not the way to get new hams or to encourage licensed operators to become VE's.

Don't give up.
 

Jimru

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,344
Location
Henrico County, VA
To the OP:
I can recommend a website called "HamTest Online":
http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/login.htm

I used it to pass both my Technician and General exams. It's not free, but only $24.95 for a two year subscription for the Tech study material. I liked it because it uses an algorithm that follows your progress along the way and keeps you focused on the areas that need improvement. I aced the Tech exam and passed the General, although I forgot to ask what my score was.
Read all the FAQs and other material about how the site works before you decide to join, you may opt not to. I also recommend buying study guides in addition to using any online resource.
Please bear in mind that ham radio (amateur radio) is a vast hobby with lots of different and fun aspects to it. It's not just for emergency use and if that is all you are intending to do with it, then you will be missing out on a lot of fun and new learning experiences. Emergency communications is only one small aspect of the hobby. As recommended by a previous poster here, go to the ARRL website to learn about all the different aspects of the hobby:
http://www.arrl.org/
I hope you become a ham (it's not capitalized, by the way, ham is not an abbreviation nor an acronym for anything else, it's more of a nickname for the Amateur Radio Service!) and participate in as many aspects of the hobby as you can.
Regards,
Jim
 

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,228
Location
Maryland Shore
You can pick up a study guide from several sources and study yourself. This should be your first step above all else. I'm not sure if it is still produced and current but of so the book "Now You're Talking" would be my recommendation as a start. There are a few VECs that give exams including the ARRL, W5YI and the Laurel VEC. Check each for test dates once you have studied.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
46
Location
OHIO
Thanks everyone for your replies. I didn't mean to make it sound as if that's all I wanted it for was emergencies. Radio communication has always struck a high interest to me since I was a kid. So for the most part I would enjoy this and make it a habbie as well. Thanks for all the information you all have provided.
 

KC0KM

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
278
Location
Kansas City (Raytown) MO
Most of the others have offered good advice. To some degree I know what you are feeling when it comes to club activities. Some years ago (I forget when, but it was about 10-12 years ago), I had attended out local ARRL Field Day. I looked around, and asked about how to get into Amateur Radio. I was told to go down to Radio Shack and get Now You're Talking (AKA the ARRL Technicians Manual), study it, and then to and take the test. That was the extent of it, no offer to help, no other advice, I was simply on my own. I went and got the book, began to study, and gave up after a few weeks in frustration. I put the book an the shelf, and forgot about it. Some years later -- 2009, I went to a NOAA/NWS Spotting Class, and one of the guys spoke about Skywarn and Amateur Radio. Later I went up to his table, and talked to him, telling him I needed classes. He directed me to a local class, and I signed up, and in a few months I was a newly minted Technician, with the call KD0HMI. My father knew a guy for work, who also was also a ham, and was with the Raytown ARC. He gave me an application and invited me to the clubs "Ice Cream Net", a get together of club members on Saturday night at the local Dairy Queen. I was able to make contacts, and a few weeks later was a member of the club.

Here are a few hints, attend a club meeting, or other club events. If you can, look around to see if the are any classes being taught, as they are sometimes helpful.


I have found these to be the best three ways to get a Technicians License:

1) Get a book, either the ARRL Technicians Manual (even though mine was "out of date" it was still helpful
when I was in the class, I found out I did not need to take notes, as everything was in the book). Also
there are other books, like Gordon West.

2) Do online study, there are free and fee sites. Also, several places to take practice tests. When you get
to the point you are passing the practice tests with (in my opinion) over a 90%, you are ready to take
test. I also would suggest a variety of test sites as well, for instance EHam.net has a more "realistic"
test, closer to the one you will take, as you have to take the entire test to see how you did. Also,
when taking practice test, keep track of the areas you are doing well in. and where you are
having problems, the problem areas will hint where you need to study harder.

3) Again, as said above, try and find a class. Sometimes it will be a weekend "cram" session, while others
spread it over a few weeks.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top