Seeking Information......

Status
Not open for further replies.

peacefrog922

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
55
I have always been fascinated with radio.....and after many years I would like to get my amateur radio license. I have played around with CB radio, SDR radio, and want to move to the next level. I am not sure where to start as there is ALOT of information out there but rather I would like to know who to talk to, where to start, etc. I reside in northern Illinois and was hoping to get some guidance. Any assistance would be most appreciated. Thanks.
 

AJAT

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
388
Location
Navajo County AZ
You can start with the ARRL website. It has all the info on there for getting on the air. Here is a link: Home You can also use that web site to search out a local club. Contact a local club, they usually give classes in getting your license and administer the FCC test. Good luck. Amateur radio can be lots of fun.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
5,784
The tech license is pretty easy. The general appears not much harder.

I dont know your knowledge or any gaps but I always recommend going to a used book store and buying an ARRL from each decade from at least 1970 to present. Some of the information is timeless, like the basics. But the technology has evolved. Single Side band introduced in the 50s. FM repeaters in the 70's. A lot of microwave experimentation, Radio over IP, software defined radio. If anything you will gain a lot to talk about with the old timers. One thing I wish we had here now that I am nearing retirement, is a Maker" type club where I coukd access tools and skills that I often lack for projects.
 

K4EET

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
2,074
Location
Severn, Maryland, USA
peacefrog922,

The ARRL's home page: Home

On the above webpage, just after the COVID-19 message, you will see "New to Amateur Radio? " The weblinks that follow are an excellent place to start. Let us know if you have any questions.

One thing that you need is an "Elmer" who will help guide you along as you get started with Amateur Radio. The best place to find an Elmer is to seek out local Ham Radio Clubs using the ARRL's Club Search page that follows.

The ARRL's Club Search page: Search for ARRL Affiliated Clubs

Simply put in your Zip Code and press the "Search" button. Leave all of the other fields blank per the instructions. Visit the local club(s) that are in your area. The local club(s) are a great place to find an Elmer. Until you find a local Elmer, ask any questions here or contact me via Private Message (PM). Any of us here on Radio Reference can help guide you initially.

Finally, don't hesitate to ask questions. And remember, the are NO stupid questions. Sooooooo... Ask Away!

73 (best wishes in Ham-speak), Dave K4EET
 

N9JCQ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
827
Location
Lake Barrington, IL
Peacefrog, I am in ILL as well. I live in the north burbs of Chicago. There are numerous great clubs in the area that will be glad to assist you, even remotely, in getting your license and getting you on the air. Its a great hobby! And as K4EET says, ask all the questions you want here. We all started out as a novice once . Joe de N9JCQ
 

drdispatch

Old Timer
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
1,147
Location
Fightin' River, Michigan
Also, many clubs offer classes as well as "Ham-In-A-Day" sessions, usually on Saturdays. You can take the class, take the test, and walk out with your license.
 

chief21

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,668
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
I have played around with CB radio, SDR radio, and want to move to the next level.
There is SO much ham radio information on the web. Full-blown sites like eham.net and qrz.com, lots of ham-related videos and tutorials, even sites that let you study and take practice tests for the license exams. Have a look while you're waiting for your local ham club meeting.

The Amateur Radio hobby is so varied, there is truly something for everyone.
 

W5GX

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
116
Also, many clubs offer classes as well as "Ham-In-A-Day" sessions, usually on Saturdays. You can take the class, take the test, and walk out with your license.
Not to nit-pick, but for completeness of information:

You don't walk out with a "license", unless you went in with an FCC license. You will leave with a CSCE, a slip that proves you've passed the exam requirements. New licensees will need to wait for the VE team to submit to their VE group, and them to submit to FCC, and then for the FCC to process and assign a call.

That's more for peacefrog922's benefit. :)

There are lots of resources on the web, and YouTube has some good videos. Until this COVID business is gone, though, testing may be very slow - although updates in remote testing are promising.

Best of luck!
 

drdispatch

Old Timer
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
1,147
Location
Fightin' River, Michigan
Not to nit-pick, but for completeness of information:

You don't walk out with a "license", unless you went in with an FCC license. You will leave with a CSCE, a slip that proves you've passed the exam requirements. New licensees will need to wait for the VE team to submit to their VE group, and them to submit to FCC, and then for the FCC to process and assign a call.

That's more for peacefrog922's benefit. :)
You're right. Sorry for the bad info.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
1,094
Location
San Diego, CA
Not to nit-pick, but for completeness of information:

You don't walk out with a "license", unless you went in with an FCC license. You will leave with a CSCE, a slip that proves you've passed the exam requirements. New licensees will need to wait for the VE team to submit to their VE group, and them to submit to FCC, and then for the FCC to process and assign a call.

That's more for peacefrog922's benefit. :)

There are lots of resources on the web, and YouTube has some good videos. Until this COVID business is gone, though, testing may be very slow - although updates in remote testing are promising.

Best of luck!
And there-in lies the rub...

The length of time it takes for the call sign to appear in the FCC database is dependent upon on HOW the VE team submits the results to their VEC. Some VECs, like the ARRL, require the VE team to physically mail, via the USPS, the results to a central location where the electronic batch file is prepared and uploaded to the FCC server. Other VECs allow the VE team to scan and e-mail the results to the VEC, who then prepares the batch file. My VEC does that and we've had call signs appear in the ULS is soon as the Monday morning after a Saturday exam. I've heard of cases of ARRL testing results taking a week or longer to show up in the ULS.
 

W5GX

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
116
You're right. Sorry for the bad info.
No apology necessary - your information is not incorrect. There are several "test in a day" options, and you walk away only waiting on the bureaucracy to catch up.

:D

This process is easily found if searched, and I encourage peacefrog922 to continue to read up. But, on the odd chance that this thread is his only research effort...

And there-in lies the rub...

The length of time it takes for the call sign to appear in the FCC database is dependent upon on HOW the VE team submits the results to their VEC. Some VECs, like the ARRL, require the VE team to physically mail, via the USPS, the results to a central location where the electronic batch file is prepared and uploaded to the FCC server. Other VECs allow the VE team to scan and e-mail the results to the VEC, who then prepares the batch file. My VEC does that and we've had call signs appear in the ULS is soon as the Monday morning after a Saturday exam. I've heard of cases of ARRL testing results taking a week or longer to show up in the ULS.
It would be neat for some standardized submission process, digital would greatly speed up the issue. My wife's took a little over a week; her VE group was very quick to submit it to ARRL and we must have caught ARRL and FCC both on a good day.
 

ladn

Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
981
Location
Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
It would be neat for some standardized submission process, digital would greatly speed up the issue.
I agree! But I don't think it will happen anytime soon because of the number of divergent VEC's/VE teams with different philosophies and technical abilities. When I was first licensed many, many, years ago, everything was handled by mail/fax and the FCC processed amateur licenses only once a month.

And we had to walk up hill, in the snow, barefoot, to the test session. ;)
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
1,390
"And we had to walk up hill, in the snow, barefoot, to the test session. ;)"

..in both directions, right?:giggle:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top