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Any Tips For Someone Thinking of Getting A H.A.M. License?


OffRoaderX

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If you can take the practice 3x and pass each time with about 85%. Your are way over ready to take the test.

Remember, you just need to pass. No one will ever know the score.

Study for the general and technician at the same time. They crossover informatuon for both the test is like 75%.

If you pass the technician, they will let you test for general on the same day.


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It's ham lower case.  Amateur radio has more facets than most people can begin to imagine.   My advice is to study for both Tech and General, it's not that much of a workload to bump up to General. 

#1 look for your local ham club, ask if you can go to a meeting and look at the club's equipment.  Talk to members. 

#2 purchase a SDR radio and start listening before you buy any equipment. 

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Fail!  There's no periods between the letters H - A & M!
It's not an abbreviation...
Sheesh!!!
Next you'll be asking about which provision in Part 97 mandates the Roger Beep! 
I know you are messing/joking with him.

We should just be as informative as politely possible and encouraging as we can be. Especially, when someone is asking for help. Could turn them off, more so if they take it the wrong way.

/rant Overall impression, I get from non-amateur radio people is that we can be condescending, know it alls that bitch too much about everything. Some of it true, especially since we do most of the self policing.

Can't tell you how much of the public safety/lmr groups think we amateurs are a joke and don't want to invite us out for events. With our relay forms and other politics and attitudes. Then those same guys praise people like Marc, can't tell you how many times I hear " I trust Marc and his small group". Because why? They do everything possible to get the objective done, then cross the tees and dot the I's later, with minimum fuss or bs.

We should aspire to be the best spoke person for the hobby

/rant

Still love your comment but I get it. Not everyone will.

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1 hour ago, OffRoaderX said:

Just curious what tips all the licensed H.A.M. operators would give to someone thinking about getting their H.A.M. license.

 

Step one: Turn off the roger beep - otherwise you upset all the sad hams! ?

A happy ham will tell you about online study sites. My favorite - hamtestonline - is unfortunately going dark at the end of next month. But, there are others such as hamstudy.org seems to be the next big thing. Their "parent" is also running the website that VEs are using to administer tests or to produce testing materials.

As far as study books, you might find a "war" of two camps: W5YI / Gordon West disciples and ARRL disciples. 

Personally, I preferred the online tool!

In my worldview, learning radio is like 'learning on the job'. The exam is just the theory barrier to gain access to the practical privileges. - With that said, for those who have no experience, GMRS might be a good gateway to get familiar and comfortable with the use of radios before getting exposed to some 'sad hams' that tell you that your signal is not good enough for their precious repeater !!! - True story !!! ?

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1 hour ago, OffRoaderX said:

Just curious what tips all the licensed H.A.M. operators would give to someone thinking about getting their H.A.M. license.

 

1. Find the study aids that work best for you. For me HamStudy worked the way I enjoyed learning. 
2. Keep a sense of humor. There’s more that joins us than separates us. 
3. If you’re social, consider visiting some nearby clubs to see if you enjoy them. 

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I would start by asking what their interests are... meaning, why do they want to get into amateur radio. This way I may be able to point out different resources. 

 

Also, I would invite them to spend time with existing Amateur Radio clubs, especially during special events. The main goal here is so they can see and experience many different aspects of technology and the personalities of people, before taking a test or spending money on equipment. 

 

I would also stress how incredibly important it is to be sure they are very selective of whom they pay attention to when it comes to technology, because a lot of people have zero clue what they are talking about.  I would provide resources on where they could find reliable printed information on how radio communications work, as well as where to find reliable information about equipment considered reliable and suitable for a particular task,without breaking the bank.

 

I think the most important thing would be to listen as much as possible, talk less, and when I do talk, it would be to give guidance towards their goals.  It's important to share experiences and opinions, but not push my hobby or opinions on them... mentor, not indoctrinate. 

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6 minutes ago, marcspaz said:

I would start by asking what their interests are...

Yep, in all seriousness, there is much more to amateur radio than is contained on the three tests. Probably the best description of an amateur radio license I ever heard is that its a "license to learn". And for those wondering which radio service is best for you, there is no rule that says you can pick just one. I use all of them. 

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On 5/14/2023 at 4:22 PM, kidphc said:

Study for the general and technician at the same time. They crossover information for both the test is like 75%.

I mentioned in another post that I took my Technician test last Saturday.  I got 100% (I studied the material, instead of just memorizing the questions), and was offered to try the General test for free.  Why not?  I took the General test, and missed passing by two questions.  But it was interesting how much the General test seems to draw on the Technician material.  Next time I test, I will try the General and Amateur Extra at the same session.

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5 hours ago, WRQC527 said:

Same as getting your D.R.I.V.E.R.S. license. Memorize the answers for just long enough to pass. Then forget it all and learn how to really do it. 

... however, here in Southern California, most drivers learn, memorize just long enough for the test, and ... ... unfortunately ... ... never learn how to drive !!!

?

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23 minutes ago, back4more70 said:

I mentioned in another post that I took my Technician test last Saturday.  I got 100% (I studied the material, instead of just memorizing the questions), and was offered to try the General test for free.  Why not?  I took the General test, and missed passing by two questions.  But it was interesting how much the General test seems to draw on the Technician material.  Next time I test, I will try the General and Amateur Extra at the same session.

Great job!

That’s right; each level builds on the previous one so by the time you have studied for the extra you understand the previous two pretty well, especially if you do it the way you did, by studying to understand instead of memorizing. 
Again, congratulations on your achievement!

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  • 1 month later...

First thing I recommend is to stay away from the answer books that just give the questions and answers to memorize.  While those will get you licensed, they aren't really in the 'spirit' of ham radio.  You should want to learn something about the inner workings of radio as part of what motivates you to get a ham license.

If you already have a strong background in radio, then closely study the rules of ham radio SPECIFICALLY for the license class you are testing for. 

Depending on the license class, the frequency allocations are different.  And that's a LOT of what you are tested on.  So know that stuff.  Having that stuff down cold will help if you run into technical stuff that has complicated formulas and math to work out and get wrong.  The test is not broken up in such a way that you have to pass each part.  You just have to answer enough questions in the overall test.

As others have mentioned.... do the online study practice tests.  Take several and make sure the ones you are using randomize the questions each time.  Taking the exact same test over and over will only teach you the answers to  THOSE questions.  If they don't ask those questions on the test, you are screwed and will probably fail.

 

When testing, consider each answer.  At least one will be totally wrong, but two will at least seem correct.  So think on those two answers.  Only one is right unless it asks for more than one answer

Good luck.  The tests are not super difficult.  I am sure you will get through it and can become a Sad Ham too.  :)

 

 

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Because my eye sight makes it relatively difficult for me to read a printed booklet (aka ARRL Study Guide), I also purchased an audio book on Audible called "Fast Track to your Technician License" by Michael Burnett.  He breaks everything down and explains it so you can understand it, resulting in choosing the right answer all the time because now you are able to apply it.  I had been doing practice test on one website, about every other day, and oddly, results were "getting worse?"  Not failing, but dropping from high 80's to high 70's.  While researching testing locations locally, and remote testing, I found HamStudy.org, and took four test, one each day, and scored 94% or better on every one of them.  That meant it was time.  It was already too late for the local testing location, and next testing was 30 days out, so I chose to do a remote test.  I signed up with PARC and tested the next day/evening.  This was conducted in a Zoom meeting and was very professional.  There were 4 proctors during my session.  I had Zoom running on my PC, and also on my phone which was placed off to my right side so they could observe my hands and my screen (which was also shared).  Results were instantaneous, and my email arrived the next day from the FCC asking for my license payment.

 

Note:  The design of the practice test in HamStudy.org is identical to the online test proctored the remote VEs.  

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23 minutes ago, WRQG411 said:

I found HamStudy.org

I used that site for my technician and general prep.  It was great.  I quizzed myself 50+ times for the technician test starting a couple weeks prior to the test date, and did the same for general (could have been 60+).  It really helped reinforce the material I already studied.  Got 100% on my technician, not sure about my general but it was high as well.

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