Radio – Become a Ham, Part 11

Hello, Frank here.

Hi everybody. I hope everybody is well. This, ladies and gentlemen, will

 be the last post for the Technician Class License Study Guide. Most of the information covered here will be basic FCC rules and regulations. You’re going to see a couple of ‘all of the choices are correct answers’, and in most cases that is the answer. Again, read these next four or five pages, understand the basic rules and whether you think they are silly, stupid or wrong is an academic exercise in futility. These are the answers that are on the test.

On a side note, I have received some criticism for what some say is teaching the answers to the test. But I don’t see it that way. Yes, there

is a whole, whole lot more information that you can learn from multiple Techinican level manuals. And if this is where your avenue of interest is, then by all means, please pursue it. And if all you want to do is pass the Technician’s test and get you a VHF radio and talk to your buddies on the repeater, then this will provide you with that venue. Remember, it’s a big stadium and we can all play whatever game we want to play. At this stage now, you should have been in touch with ARRL, located a local radio club, and made contact. These are the folks that will be giving you your test. Whether the test is at their local club headquarters, a special event like a ham fest, or down some dark alley on a late Saturday night, just wanted to see if you’re paying attention. If the day the local club gives tests is not convenient for you, ask them about other local clubs testing schedules. Some have their test the first Saturday morning of each even month, some clubs offer it on a Thursday evening. So if you try, you will find a place that the date and time fit your schedule. 

Also, you should be taking the practice tests. I read a ham radio study guide the other day that didn’t even recommend a book or course of study. This guy recommended taking the practice tests, whether free or a fee is involved and just continue to take them

repeatedly, over and over and over and over. His idea was even if on the first test you make a terrible score, no big deal. Just keep taking them and your scores will get better. I knew a man, and still know this man, that when he took his first practice test, he scored poorly. He never took another practice

test. He was one of those type that could not handle failure. Remember, life is filled with failure, what separates most of us is how we handle it. Here is a retail outlet site that I have yet to do business with, so I can’t speak pro or con. But at the bottom of the page is an interesting concept about taking the Technician’s test. This might be of help to some of you. While you’re there, I would take a look around the site to see if there is anything you’re interested in.

While your at the local ARRL club, you also should have established contact with an Elmer or teacher. Remember, it’s perfectly okay not to

know everything there is on the planet. If you have an Elmer and for some reason your personalities don’t click, ask for someone else to help you. It’s no big deal. If you want to get your license, find somebody to help you and let them teach you. There’s a lot of new jargon and things that you’re not going to know. It takes time for these things to soak in.

On a different topic. There are some great Black Friday sales going on right now. If you have an idea of the type of equipment you want or are going to need, this is a good time of year to save a few dollars.


For those of you that are interested, I will start a General class in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be a little bit more challenging, but it’s not something that most people can’t get over. You will need your General license to work the HF bands.

Okay. We’re about to wrap up this post and I cannot stress safety enough. If you don’t know what you are doing, DON’T DO IT. That’s what your Elmer is for.

Next time, I’m going to give you my recommendations for entry level equipment. As I’ve stated before, there is no perfect radio. You can start listening right now. It just depends on what you want to use your ham radio license for. Guys like myself, I primarily listen. Other guys I know that have a sharply more competitive nature are into what’s called contesting. Like I said earlier, it’s a big stadium with lot’s of areas to play in. 

Now, read these last few pages. I hope you do well on your test. Each test will cost you $15.00. So, if you don’t pass the first one, just make sure you have plenty of $15.00 bills. Take care.

We’ll talk more later. 73, Frank


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