What license to apply for/ how to study?

Status
Not open for further replies.

dmtuska

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
16
Hello Im a newbie to Amateur Radio and wanting to get my license in order to start transmitting. I know i need at least a Technical license to transmitt. But im wanting to know if i should get my General or Extra license. Im wanting to be able to transmit across the country, also transmit data such as gps data from a drone or even data from computers to each other.

Now whats the easiest way to study for the test/tests. Im a teenager so online or using a smartphone works but what worked for you? Also how often do i have to renew the license i believe i read it was 10 years correct me if im wrong though.
 

W8RMH

Feed Provider Since 2012
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
8,112
Location
Grove City, OH (A Bearcat not a Buckeye)
You don't apply for a license you have to take a separate test for each of the 3 levels.

The Gordon West books worked very well for me. They explain the license levels and testing procedures as well. You might as well study for all 3 licenses (I believe some sellers have a 3 book package deal). Information is also available from the ARRL.

When you take the test most examiners will let you take all three tests for the one test price. You can also use the online practice tests to gauge your knowledge.

You can also search the web for a club in your area which may have classes or a study and license test session.
 
Last edited:

n9mxq

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
1,799
Location
Belvidere IL
Caveat to W8RMHs post. You can take all three tests for one fee IF you pass them all at the same session. Pass Technician, take General, pass General and take Extra. Fail one, and have to retake it again and pay another testing fee.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
15,529
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Hello Im a newbie to Amateur Radio and wanting to get my license in order to start transmitting. I know i need at least a Technical license to transmitt. But im wanting to know if i should get my General or Extra license. Im wanting to be able to transmit across the country, also transmit data such as gps data from a drone or even data from computers to each other.

Now whats the easiest way to study for the test/tests. Im a teenager so online or using a smartphone works but what worked for you? Also how often do i have to renew the license i believe i read it was 10 years correct me if im wrong though.
A technician license will give you access to the HF bands for long range communications, General gives you access to some additional frequencies in the HF bands, and Extra gives you access to a bit more. All three will give you access to the 6 meter and above bands (2 meter VHF, etc). The technician license will let you do data and GPS location data.

I'd suggest passing your Technician license first, get your feet wet and decide what you want to do. You may find that you enjoy different parts of the hobby than you think you will now, and that might dictate what level of license you want.

The tests are not too difficult if you have some technical skills, but taking all 3 in one day will require a lot of studying.

Just keep in mind that studying the answers isn't what it's all about. Understanding the questions and knowing how to answer them, not just regurgitating answer, is what you really need. There are "cram" sessions that will help you memorize the answers and then have you take the test. They work well if all you want is to obtain the license, but they do a horrible job of actually teaching you anything.
 

dmtuska

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
16
Ok great advice will take that into consideration. Im hoping to take a month or two to just study for the tech and General mostly and if i feel well. Ill study the Extra too, luckly i understand and know the more technical material.
 

elk2370bruce

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,060
Location
East Brunswick, NJ
A technician license will give you access to the HF bands for long range communications, General gives you access to some additional frequencies in the HF bands, and Extra gives you access to a bit more. All three will give you access to the 6 meter and above bands (2 meter VHF, etc). The technician license will let you do data and GPS location data.

I'd suggest passing your Technician license first, get your feet wet and decide what you want to do. You may find that you enjoy different parts of the hobby than you think you will now, and that might dictate what level of license you want.

The tests are not too difficult if you have some technical skills, but taking all 3 in one day will require a lot of studying.

Just keep in mind that studying the answers isn't what it's all about. Understanding the questions and knowing how to answer them, not just regurgitating answer, is what you really need. There are "cram" sessions that will help you memorize the answers and then have you take the test. They work well if all you want is to obtain the license, but they do a horrible job of actually teaching you anything.
The Technician license has very limited hf voice/ssb use (28.300 to 28.500) and cw access in many hf bands - but you have vhf and uhf privileges that are great for newbies and experienced ops al;ike. Find a local area ham club and get involved learning the many things that amateur radio offers to you.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top