How To Become a HAM Radio Operator

NYECOGunsmith

Obsessed Member
Staff member
Moderator
February 10 2018 HAM Exam LOCATION Change!

Got this note the other day from the VE who runs the exams in Pahrump on the EVEN numbered months,(there is another VE who runs them on the ODD numbered months.

The ODD numbered months will still see the exams held at the Nye County Emergency Operations Center, 1510 Siri Lane, Pahrump, NV 89060.

Reason for the location change for this VE leader? New site is 3 miles closer to his home!

It is a bit more difficult to locate, if you want directions I suggest you contact me, I can get you there without getting you lost.

Additionally, there will now be NO HAM Study Class offered for the EVEN months Exam sessions, as the VE who runs them only has use of the NEW location from 1 PM to 4 PM, and since it is a drive from this new location to the EOC, we could not hold the study class (it is held by the other VE leader and myself) and still give the students enough time to get lunch and drive clear across town to get to the NEW even month exam location.

Here's the note I received:

February 10th is the next test session here in Pahrump. The time is
the same and testing begins at 1pm.

PLEASE NOTE!!! The test sessions for the even number months will have
a new location.

Carberry Square
4760 S Pahrump Valley Blvd #6
Pahrump.

People who do not know the area, Off of Hwy 160, you take Gamebird
(west) and you turn left onto S Pahrump Valley Blvd. From northern
part of Pahrump, take the 160 to homestead and head south. When you
come to Gamebird you make a right to S Pahrump Valley Blvd.
ARRL has already been notified of this location change.
 

titanNV

NRA Endowment Member
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Administrator
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mmmm hammmm....

I should probably get my license at some point. Do you know if they have exams in Mesquite?
 

Dusty

Obsessed Member
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mmmm hammmm....

I should probably get my license at some point. Do you know if they have exams in Mesquite?
Oh boy,now You've done it. I'm sure there are exams in Mesquite, but Steve will stay on You, till You cave and come out here and get tested by Him. He doesn't give up easy ya know. It might be a great time for another NV Shooters meet and greet for the hams. Lets see, who is going to buy lunch this time?:spcartman::devil:
 

NYECOGunsmith

Obsessed Member
Staff member
Moderator
I checked with the ARRL just now, there are no Amateur Radio Exams in Mesquite, closest one would be in Las Vegas.

They hold them a couple of times a month there.
 
I did have a CB license back when there were only 21 channels!
Umm, you mean 23 channels. Yeah, I started with that as most of the radios used a crystal matrix to form the 23 channels; later they came out with PLL radios just prior to going to 40 channels, all of which were PLL. I had a license too (which is no longer needed) and interestingly, I still remember my callsign; it was KIM6761. Can't beat ham radio though; many more options and today it's so advanced that I can't keep up with it. One thing for certain, we're all pretty much "appliance operators" now as all the SMD designs and super compact rigs prevents us from even thinking about repairing them ourselves (even if you could get schematics for them).
 

DonTom

Obsessed Member
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One thing for certain, we're all pretty much "appliance operators" now as all the SMD designs and super compact rigs prevents us from even thinking about repairing them ourselves (even if you could get schematics for them).
Not so true with HF CW operators, except in my case. But it used to be true with me too, when I was much younger, with more time than money. That has all reversed since those days.

Check the page of W6JL on QRZ.com, for one example. He's on every day pounding in here in Reno. He usually calls his CW CQ's on 40 & 30 meters simultaneously.

He shows all his homebrew equipment there on QRZ.COM. All designed by himself. Some stuff he builds we cannot even buy (AFAIK) such as his wireless keyer.

I usually chat with him on CW every few days. He rides a Honda Goldwing, but I try to not hold that against him.

73, -Don- AA6GA/7 Reno, NV
 
Not so true with HF CW operators, except in my case. But it used to be true with me too, when I was much younger, with more time than money. That has all reversed since those days.

I usually chat with him on CW every few days. He rides a Honda Goldwing, but I try to not hold that against him.

73, -Don- AA6GA/7 Reno, NV
Ah, you must be a "Harley guy"? I don't know much about bikes, but I have a cousin who had nothiing but Harleys and the old ones apparently had lots of problems, sort of like Jags before Ford bought them out (and subsequently sold it off). If the Honda bikes are anything like their cars, they're probably on the road more than in the shop.

Yeah, I didn't mean we have no skills today as using a straight key for CW is an art form, which is why a lot of people went to electronic keyers which at least spaced the character components properly if you knew how to use the iambic well. Of course, there are those that still own "workable" rigs like the popular Collins S-line, etc. but a lot of us old guys have "upgraded" to the new rigs which we can't work on. My first rig was an FT-101E back in '78 which was very easy to work on, especially if you had the extension boards to raise up the modules for testing, etc. The problem with a hybrid rig like that was when it came time to replace the finals, it was hard to find "matching" tubes that neutralized without a lot of trouble (especially since they were not actually RF tubes but tv sweep tubes). Now that I've retired, I told myself I'd try to get on more, but with 2 still in college, it's still hard to find the time (also living in an association I can't put up a decent antenna that they'll allow other than a vertical).

What I found interesting is that a bunch of guys in our ham club were not only interested in firearms but also in automotive; that is, they are either in the field career-wise or passionate hobbyists. Funny how the "commonality" of these interests find their way together...
 

DonTom

Obsessed Member
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Ah, you must be a "Harley guy"?
I own nine motorcycles, my newest is a Harley Road Glide Ultra. See the motor cycle thread here.

Before 2017, I didn't like any of the "nut shakers".

The new 107 Harley was so smooth when they first designed it, that some didn't like it as it was too smooth.

"We started with a 100-percent balancer but that was too smooth. So we backed it down to 75 percent for that feel but not enough to be harsh. It’s enough feel to know you’re on a motorcycle."

See here.

Yeah, I didn't mean we have no skills today as using a straight key for CW is an art form, which is why a lot of people went to electronic keyers which at least spaced the character components properly if you knew how to use the iambic well.
I can only use iambic as I am so used to it that I will make constant mistakes with non-iambic paddles/keyers.

What I found interesting is that a bunch of guys in our ham club were not only interested in firearms but also in automotive; that is, they are either in the field career-wise or passionate hobbyists. Funny how the "commonality" of these interests find their way together...
I have found many hobbies are in pairs. But often related. For an example, many who like antique guns will also be into coin collecting. Also cars are getting high tech these days, so they are related to electronics.

73, -Don- AA6GA/7 Reno
 
Also cars are getting high tech these days, so they are related to electronics.

73, -Don- AA6GA/7 Reno
Yes they are. I was in the business for over 44 years, the last 35 specializing in the driveability area and dealing with all the electronics systems (SRS, ABS, Eng perf. etc.) I thought it was unbelievable when they went to gasoline direct injection but now they have dual injection with GDI and Port injection like on the new Mustang 5.0L. Couple that with variable DOHC and no wonder they produce unbelievable HP from such a small engine. I even read that the 2018 model with the 10-speed automatic ran 11.83 sec. on a 1/4 mile right off the showroom floor; bone stock. I love what they're doing but it introduces so much more things that can go wrong if it wasn't designed or built properly for longevity and durability. My brother who lives in Reno just picked up a used 2017 F-150 and he told me about the "active shutter grille" on it that can adjust from fully closed to fully open in 16 different positions; apparently to increase fuel economy at highway speeds and also faster warm-ups during winter. Crazy stuff... but more things to go wrong. I especially don't like the new refrigerant that's going to take the place of the old R-134a; R-1234yf is the latest and get this, it's "slightly flammable". Nice.
 
Receive antenna

I have a question for the hams operators here. A few years ago I got a bug to listen to shortwave. I bought a Grundig satellite 750 on a whim. I was using the copper wire method for a while with some success. Then one drunken night I broke the main attenae. I want to know what do I need to do to listen to shortwave without building a tower. I remember looking at those indoor loops but I thought the price was kinda high.

I guess I'm just looking for opinions from people who know there ****. Cause I know nothing in this matter.
Any help is appreciated. Thank you.


Don’t worry about how high or how long... find the nearest tree or pole, what ever. Let it slope down to your window... it will work fine. Enjoy the listening.

Chuck, KB7CG Boulder City
 

chuckplumber

NRA Benefactor Member
I am a ham too, Amateur Extra, been licensed for about 35 years I guess. I, well before moving overseas was into mostly DX, also long distance VHF and UHF as well as a bit of ATV and digital modes. If I can offer any assistance to hams or perspective hams, let me know

73

Jeff
WW6J
 

DonTom

Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
I am a ham too, Amateur Extra, been licensed for about 35 years I guess. I, well before moving overseas was into mostly DX, also long distance VHF and UHF as well as a bit of ATV and digital modes. If I can offer any assistance to hams or perspective hams, let me know

73

Jeff
WW6J
Welcome! You have not said much here since September when you joined. Are you still in San Jose? I used to live in San Mateo.

I am mainly a HF CW only op. But once every couple of months, I may key up a VHF portable or something like that.

73, -Don- AA6GA, Auburn, CA
 

chuckplumber

NRA Benefactor Member
Hi Don,

I didn't have much to say. I am still living overseas, but plan to move to Dayton, NV by summer. I joined the group shortly after receiving my Nevada CFP, I figured it would be good to learn about what is going to be my new adopted state, firearm wise on here. So I mostly "listen". My license was at my Dad's place, but I lost him in August and just got around to moving it to Mom's. The last US address that I had in 2000 was in Monterey! It was living on the hill above the bay that got me into the VHF/UHF stuff. Looking forward to once again putting up a tower (or two!) and getting back into it all. Auburn is nice, I suspect that you know some of my brothers, being up there. I am also a 25+ year member of ECV. Look forward to catching you on the air
 

chuckplumber

NRA Benefactor Member
I miss the days of motorcycles... Haven't convinced the new wife on that point yet..... We are in Moscow, Russia. Before you ask, no they won't give me a license, I have an Icom 706 here as I was hopeful, 10-12 years ago that they might, but with the deteriorating US/Russia situation. It is tough, because we have a "dacha", that's a country house.We have more than an acre of land and some cool antennas could have been made. Needless to say, no guns either, excepting a pellet gun that I use at the dacha, to try to help preserve that perishable skill. Well anyhow, back soon. We are not dead set on Dayton, but is seems to tick all the boxes and we spend an in ordinate amount if time on Zillow looking at houses there!
 

DonTom

Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
I miss the days of motorcycles... Haven't convinced the new wife on that point yet..... We are in Moscow, Russia. Before you ask, no they won't give me a license, I have an Icom 706 here as I was hopeful, 10-12 years ago that they might,
It's been many years since I have worked a UA3. The HF bands have been so dead lately that I was happy to work a VE7 today, as even Canada almost seems like rare DX these days.

73, -Don- AA6GA Auburn, CA
 
Great info in this thread for preparing for the test. I passed my Technician License exam last month. I studied the practice exams on arrl.org for a week before taking the exam.

Ben
KI7UCC
 

titanNV

NRA Endowment Member
Staff member
Administrator
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I checked with the ARRL just now, there are no Amateur Radio Exams in Mesquite, closest one would be in Las Vegas.

They hold them a couple of times a month there.
Actually closest are in St George! That's good news for me!
I'll have to study. I haven't studied and relied on my limited memory of my limited knowledge of being a 2-way tech in the 90's - only got 60% right on the practice test! [emoji23]

I used to have a some sort of license from my days on local public radio in Santa Cruz but I don't think that'll work!

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