Study for your Amateur Radio License!

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No longer do you need to past a Morse Code Test to get any of the 3 classes of Amateur Radio Licenses. You can start with the entry level ticket, the Technician Class License. With your Technician Class License you can start communicating on the most popular Amateur 2 Meter Band, participate in public service events in your area and apply to be a storm spotter and report severe weather to the weather service through the storm spotter Amateur Radio nets. Your local Amateur Radio Club will get you started.

The three classes of Amateur Radio Licenses are the Technician Class, General Class and Amateur Extra Class. With each upgrade in class of license you receive additional privileges on the HF or Shortwave Frequencies. On this page I am not going to detail any of the actual tests but I will provide you links to several good sites where you can find study guides, sample tests and how to find a radio club in your area to give you more assistance.

A.R.R.L. Welcome to Amateur Radio! - This is the first site I want to direct you to. It is a short introduction to Amateur Radio by the American Radio Relay League or A.R.R.L. The A.R.R.L. is the National Association for Amateur Radio here in the United States. If you live in another country you should look to your National Association for Amateur Radio by visiting the IARU Web Site.

In the United States the Amateur Radio License exams are not administered by the F.C.C. . They are administered by Volunteer Examiners or V.E.s . There are 14 Volunteer Exam Coordinator organizations in the United States. They can be found on the F.C.C.'s web site. There are 2 V.E.C.s I know of that publish license study guides.

The first I have already introduced you to and they are the A.R.R.L.. Click on the links in the right side bar to purchase a ARRL License Manual. You can find a V.E. exam session near you from the A.R.R.L. web site.

The other V.E.C.  that publish study guides is the W5YI Group. Click over to their web site and there is a navigation bar leading to all of their Amateur Radio Links. ( The W5YI Group also sell commercial radio study materials. )

Be careful when buying a used study guide. The test information has changed a whole lot since I took my last test in the 1980s. Do not buy a used study guide unless you know it is current.

You can take a practice amateur radio examine at QRZ.COM.

The web links above will direct you on how to study for and pass the written examines to get your entry level Amateur Radio License, The Technician Class License.

In order to communicate with thousands of other Amateur Radio Operators around the world on the shortwave or Amateur Bands below 30 MHz, you will need at least a General Class License. This is where it can really get to be fun. A General Class Amateur Radio License can be a fantastic lesson in cultural studies. With it you will be able to make friends from all over the world. Don't worry too much about the language barriers. Most Hams in other countries speak very good English. Besides, it will give you an opportunity to learn a little about other languages. Si?

Garland Texas Amateur Radio Examiner Team. Are you looking for a local amateur radio testing team to get a new or upgraded ham radio license? Walk-ins are welcome at any of our sessions. We are part of the ARRL VEC and offer exams at least monthly.

A Word About the Morse Code

Although it is no longer required to learn the Morse Code to get a U.S. Amateur Radio License, it is still widely used and will continue to be in use for a long time to come. Morse Code or CW is a preferred favorite of many Amateur Radio Operators including myself. CW is 100 times more effective in getting through the noise than any other form of communicating. Consider the fastest CW signal may have a band width of 30 Hz where a SSB voice signal could have a bandwidth of 3,000 Hz. The same power output is spread out over an area 100 times as wide making it that much less efficient. CW transmitting equipment is easier to build than any other equipment. Click on my link that says QRP Kits to find sources on how to build your own equipment. I do want to encourage the new Ham to study and learn the Morse Code because it will open up many doors for communication in this incredible hobby.

In this new high tech world, code practice comes on cassette tapes, CDs, MP3s and now there are computer programs you can download for free that generates code practice. I learned the code long ago from a 33 1/3rd rpm vinyl record and a cheap record player. Remember record players? Below I list two resources for materials used to learn the Morse Code.

Morse Trainer by G4FON  - An excellent computer program that runs in Windows and best of all, IT IS FREE. This one is my favorite. You can add in QSB (fading signals) and QRM (crowded band with other operators) and save it as a WAV file to play on your MP3 player or ipod.

A.R.R.L. - Morse Code Practice and On The Air Bulletin Schedules