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How To Become a HAM Radio Operator





NYECOGunsmith

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Repeaterbook.com will let you see all the repeaters in all states. The section on NV , particularly southern NV is well covered. The owners of Repeaterbook.com are friends of mine, based in Las Vegas, and they try to keep it current.
 
Hi, went to that site & it's pretty much over my head. Very interesting, but didn't see anything to help a newbie out....

So, how does one become a HAM radio operator, besides getting a radio & all the equiptment it requires?

What's a good link to start off with? I'm no longer in NV, but in AZ. But I'm sure there are plenty of HAM radio buffs out here....

Still have my old base (& mobile) station & license for CB radio. Had lots of fun in the old days. But HAM is a diff medium.

So, any info in to this would be much appreciated. Thank you!
 

nlvmike

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I used a website called qrz.com. You can take the practice test as often as you want, and it is made up of the actual test questions. Once you start passing with high marks, you are ready to get your license. After that, listening a lot helps. Fun to listen to the winsystem repeaters. You can find those on winsystem.org.
 
Thanks for the qrz.com link, went to it & found what I need under reference. Lots of stuff for sale, medical bills prevent me from wanting to spend.... So, I Googled HAM radio tests & came up with a website (ARRL), they too offered the book to help study, for a price. Checked out winsystem.org & wow really peeked my interest! Their both great websites, loaded with info. I'm sure I'll have hours of reading on both sites. But regarding studying for the test; I found the same book in my library system & requested it. Seeing I'm not in NV., I look up (in the ARRL website), testing in my area. Several testing places, within 10 miles of me. So, that's not going to be an issue. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. VERY interesting stuff here!
 
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NYECOGunsmith

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Thanks for the qrz.com link, went to it & found what I need under reference. Lots of stuff for sale, medical bills prevent me from wanting to spend.... So, I Googled HAM radio tests & came up with a website (ARRL), they too offered the book to help study, for a price. Checked out winsystem.org & wow really peeked my interest! Their both great websites, loaded with info. I'm sure I'll have hours of reading on both sites. But regarding studying for the test; I found the same book in my library system & requested it. Seeing I'm not in NV., I look up (in the ARRL website), testing in my area. Several testing places, within 10 miles of me. So, that's not going to be an issue. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. VERY interesting stuff here!
Make sure the book you are studying for the Technician Class exam is the one that covers the exam period of 1 July 2018 through 30 June 2022, as the question pools change every 4 years, and studying an older, out of date question pool will most likely result in you failing the exam.

The question pools are available FREE on the ARRL.org web site, you can download all the questions for any of the three classes of license, and it also shows you which is the correct answer to the questions. Or you can send me a PM with your e-mail address and I can send you the Technician Question pool from the ARRL one of two ways, just as it comes from the ARRL with all the questions and all the possible answers, and the correct answer, or a version I have redacted which has just the questions and just the correct answer, no extra numbers, letters, etc. , saves a lot of paper if you are going to print it out, and also helps you study by just memorizing the questions and correct answsers, no false answers to confuse you with.

This link will take you to the ARRL.org Technician Question pool good through 30 June 2022:
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/VEs/2018-2022 Tech Class Pool Final with errata.pdf

IF you study the full text version, DO NOT memorize the Character , A, B, C or D which proceeds the correct answer, I will most likely NOT be the same on the exam, and yes, we have had a number of folks who failed the exam because the memorized the words of the question and then only the character that proceeded the correct answer on the ARRL question pool.

EXAMPLE, this is a cut and paste from the above link and Technician Question Pool:
T1A01 (C) [97.1] Which of the following is a purpose of the Amateur Radio Service as stated in the FCC rules and regulations?
A. Providing personal radio communications for as many citizens as possible
B. Providing communications for international non-profit organizations
C. Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art
D. All of these choices are correct ~~

Here's what you see in the above:
T1A01 is the question pool question number,
(C) is the correct answer for this question, which is: C. Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art
And the [97.1] is the part of the US Code of law that this question in found in.

The questions are all multiple choice, A, B, C or D, and in the standard collegiate format for exams, there are two answers which are nonsense, 1 which is close to correct, and then the only correct answer.
Also, in quite a few of the questions, there will be a word or phrase that is totally or partially repeated in the only correct answer.

There are three circuit diagrams at the end of the question pool, be sure you get those in the download or print out, as there are a number of questions about them in the question pool.

The exam costs $15 to take, and if you pass it, you can continue taking tests until you either have passed all three classes of license exam (Technician, General , Extra, in that order) or until you fail.
If you fail an exam, that's the end of the free ride , you have to pay to take another exam.

For example, if you take and pass the Technician exam, you can ( and I recommend that you do ) take the General Class Exam even if you have not studied for it. You might pass, you might not, but it costs you nothing and will give you experience at taking it, which will calm test jitter nerves if you do study for it and come back another day and take it again (another $15 to do that however), or you might study the Tech and General pools, take the Tech, Pass, take the General, pass and walk out with a General Class license.

Being cheap, I took the Tech, passed, took the General, passed, took the Extra, and passed and walked out with an Extra class license for the one $15 fee, but then I already had a background in radio and electronics, so knew the theory pretty well before I studied for all three classes of license, and as a federal agent, I knew the law fairly well also.
But we have had a number of folks do that, take the tests in order and go from no license to Extra in one exam session.
One fellow who did that took the exams because he was bored, he hadn't studied the question pools at ALL,, he was an electrician who specialized in the radio remote controls for the fancy stages in Las Vegas that come out of the floor, ceiling, etc. so knew the radio theory and laws. Out of the 120 total questions on the three exams, he only missed 2 as I recall, both on the Extra exam which is the most difficult of the three, with 50 questions on that one and 37 correct reqquired to pass it. The Tech and General each have 35 questions, and you must answer 26 correctly on each to pass.

There are exazm sessions at least once a month in Las Vegas, and also at least once a month here in Pahrump, and that's usually the case in most larger cities.
The ARRL.ORG web site has a listing for where and when you can find exams in your area of AZ, just by putting in your zip code.
Here;s the ARRL.ORG link for that web page:
http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session

Oh, and you don't need the CB license anymore, CB stopped requiring a license in 1982 as I recall.
But you do need the Amateur Radio (HAM) license to TRANSMIT on any Amateur Radio Frequency, and you have to have the proper class of license depending on the frequency. That's all covered in the question pools.
You can listen to any frequency without any license.