HAM Radio 101 - Get Your HAM Radio LicenseWhat does it take to get your HAM radio License? I'm sure you can think of all manner of hoops that you must jump through. What you have to do to get your HAM license
- Study (it's pretty simple, really)
- Then you just have to take a simple test, made up of 35 questions.
- Pay $15 to take the Exam
- A cool call sign
- A license good for 10 years
- Privileges: All VHF/UHF Amateur bands (frequencies above 30 MHz).
- Limited operations in certain HF bands.
Preparing for your HAM License ExamClass Room Training Some people learn better in a classroom environment, or don't trust themselves to dig in and learn on their own. That's fine. There are many classes organized by ARRL (American Radio Relay League). You can find a class in your area on their website: Find an Amateur Radio License Class Self-Guided Training If you are one, who can study on your own, you can buy books (or eBooks) dedicated to HAM Radio License and Study Guides. Once you feel like you have a good grasp there are many places where you can take practice tests, that use the same questions, that you'll see on the Exam. Tidbit of knowledge: Remember that wavelength = 300 / frequency in MHz (Trust me, you'll need to know this to answer some of the questions, and it comes in handy later on while HAM'ing) Practice Tests Sites:
- http://www.qrz.com/hamtest/ (My favorite and the one, I am using right now, for my General License Practice)
- http://www.arrl.org/exam-practice (provides information and additional resources, like links to flash cards)
My Tactic to pass the examOnce you've registered you free account on QRZ.com, head to the practice tests (Resources > Practice Amateur Radio Exams). Click the green plus sign beside "2014 Technician Exam Practice Test -or- study a specific sub-category". The image below shows the wrong expand, expand the most recent version of the exam you are taking! This allows you to take a "practice test" for each subcategory (these are the real exam questions). I took each sub-category one at a time, until I could answer every question correctly, then I'd move on to the next subcategory. It may take you a few weeks, but once you can answer all the questions take the full practice exam. Wisdom from Others It may behoove you to find a local Amateur Radio Club. This is a group of people who are experienced HAM operators and will welcome you with open arms to their club. They will share their knowledge with you, answer any questions you may have and can help prepare for your Exam. Many of them will also help you figure out how to get on the air and work these fancy radios too. Many of these radio clubs offer classes for their members or to get new members. They will likely be the same people who are administering the ham exams in your area. I can't recommend this highly enough. My club meets once a month in person, but every Tuesday we have a "Net", which is a meeting via Radio. Find a Club in your Area (ARRL)
Taking your HAM Exam (hey, that rhymes)Once you're kicking butt on those practice tests (I know it won't take you long, because you are AWESOME!), it's time to find a testing location in your area. Find an Amateur Radio License Exam Session What should you bring to an Exam? Chant the mantra "wavelength = 300 / frequency in MHz"! That's all there is to getting your HAM license. It's easy, you can study in your spare time, and you get some great communication abilities!
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Budget Ham Radio Posts:
- BaoFeng UV-5R - Budget Ham Radio – Reliable and cheap
- TYT TH-UVF1 - Budget Ham Radio – Part 2: The Prequal