AARC Education Committee
WHAT IS THIS?
These pages provide information related to education and training for potential and current hams. Please send your comments, suggestions or additional requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hover your mouse over a link for more info. (This is a work in progress - Updated 4-2-09)
Until the AARC develops the resources to be able to give organized classes, your best bet is to study one of the ARRL license manuals or W5YI books (or audio CDs) along with computer testing / teaching software. You might be able to memorize enough answers to just pass an exam but you would end up being a "know nothing ham." Learning and growing should not stop after you are licensed. Many continuing education materials are available. Ultimately, it is up to you to do the necessary work to achieve your goals. Resources to assist you are listed below.
Our local Jefferson Madison Regional Library has many ham radio and electronic related books and audio media, most of which were donated by the AARC. You can find them by searching here. Because books and media are cataloged differently, use various search phrases like: amateur radio, antenna, ARRL, ham radio, radio electronics, shortwave radio, and W5YI to find all the items.
THEAMATEUR RADIO RELAY LEAGUE has many of the books and other training media you might need to meet your various goals.
- Help For Beginners
- The ARRL Ham Radio License Manuals are valuable study aids and are reviewed here.
- And many other educational, training and self-study resources are available at the ARRL bookstore.
- The ARRL Certification and Continuing Education courses include an Emergency Communication series. The Technical Series include such topics as Antenna Modeling, Design & Construction; Propagation; Analog & Digital Electronics; RFI; Digital commo; Electronics, etc. See this link for more details on continuing education.
On-Line Exams / Training
- On-Line practice exams are available at QRZ (free) and Ham Test Online (not free). Reviews of HTO is at eHam.
- Hamilton Carter KD0FNR has a new set of free on-line practice exam sets which have online study resources, (Wikipedia, NASA, ARRL, etc...) provided for many of the questions - so if you are having a problem with the concepts behind a particular question, relevant reference materials are available at a click. Users can also track their test scores over time and see which sub-elements are giving them the most trouble. You can see his Technician, General and Extra practice tests here.
- The W5YI Group and Gordon West have a comprehensive listing of books and other training media. Their Primary Mission is to assist individuals in obtaining FCC-issued Amateur and Commercial Radio Operator licenses. You can find reviews of some of these products here and here. Many of their products are similar to those available from the ARRL. Some prefer these and others prefer the ARRL guides, so read the reviews and decide which is better for you.
- There are many types of Ham Radio education, training and exam preparation resources. A listing of other materials and consumer reviews by fellow hams is available here.
- You can download free the official Technician, General and Extra question pools from the NCVEC (National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators). Note that we do not recommend using these or any commercial equivalents to just memorize answers. They could, however, be useful in reviewing the material after study and using conventional learning techniques or in final preparation for an exam. Note that some of the on-line testing sites or other computer trainers will keep score for you and repeat questions in areas of weakness, which these question pools will not do for you.
- The Courage HANDI-HAM System has been helping persons with disabilities for over 40 years. The Courage Handi-Ham System provides tools for people with disabilities to learn Amateur Radio and technology skills and to earn their licenses. They teach technology to people with physical disabilities and sensory impairments. Ham radio, computing and more can be learned at home through the use of audio books, media on disc or at one of their residential camps. More info available at their website. Our JMRL library has Gordon West's audio training CDs. A Talking APRS system can be assembled from MisterHouse software and the Microsoft text-to-speech program. See N2IGU Bob Bellini's article in the April QST, page 51 and his home page. And there is a PSK31 digimode for the sight impaired at KH6TY.
- Real hams do Morse code, as many CW operators say. Even though it is no longer required for licensing, it is a very useful skill for serious contesting, rare DX and getting through in emergencies when nothing else does. It is also an enlightening intellectual challenge. The Koch and Farnsworth methods of learning are arguably the best. A highly rated freeware for computer learning with extensive features by G4FON can be downloaded from here and is reviewed here. There is also an active support group at Yahoo.
- Morse Code Callsign Practice RufzXP
- An excellent history of the development of telegraphy along with very useful training related info is The Art & Skill of Radio Telegraphy by N0HFF which can be downloaded from here or here. Printed versions can be purchased from the Canadian Radio Amateur Educational Society RAES. It has all the details about the Koch & Farnsworth methods.
- Also check out the FISTS organization too.
- For you old Navy signaling light types, see Superaldis. Heliograph info there too.
There are numerous hams that have many years of experience and/or knowledge in specialized areas who have constructed very informative web sites that can be used for assistance, research, self-study and just plain enjoyment. A few of them are listed here. Please send your feedback and suggest other best-of-the-best links to email@example.com.
- W8JI An extremely popular site with info on many topics
- W4RNL (SK) The best antenna site ever - by a real expert
- K0BG Everything you need to know about mobile radio operation
- ON4SKY Ham Software Reviews
- ZeroBeat has many radio communications links
- AC6V Amateur Radio And DX Reference Guide
- KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog
- WH2T Got a question about antennas? Ask Dr. Ace
- S-Meter Many links to interesting stuff
- Google Directory Good links by real people - Human edited directory
- Hoogle Ham Radio Search
- ARRL TIS Technical Information Services
A number of our members have indicated an interest in exploring the various digital modes. Here are a few links to popular sites that would be useful in learning more about this expanding area of ham radio. Hover your cursor over a link for a mouseover popup with more info on the link.
I suggest you start with just these. Download the Digipan free software and try it out (at least on receive).
- Digipan by Howard Teller
- NB6Z Digimode Comparisons
- ZL1BPU World of Fuzzy and Digital Modes
- N1SU Recommended frequencies
- Tigertronics Digimode Interface Hardware
These are for future study:
- 30 Meter Digital Group
- WA5UFH Digital on Six Meters
- Hellschreiber Club
- IZ8BLY Freeware
- N0HR PocketDigi utility for digimode on your PDA
- KB4YZ Digital Television SSTV DTV
- VDEN Virginia Digital Emergency Network
- WB8NUT Digimode Resources
- K1JT Outstanding Weak Signal Freeware
- WSPR Weak Signal Propagation Reporter
- WSPR by F6IRF
- MixW Software is reviewed here.
- HRD Ham Radio Deluxe Freeware suite is reviewed here and here.
- DXLab Freeware suite for radio control and much more. Reviews.
- W1HKJ Linux Freeware Reviews
- SourceForge Huge repository of Freeware
- APRS The originator Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
- APRS-IS (Automatic Packet Reporting System-Internet Service)
- APRS - UI-View Software Review
- APRS Links KA9VNV
- APRS Query
- FINDU Very popular APRS site.
- Findu APRS and CWOP weather stations in the Charlottesville area
- GeoURL Reverse lookup - location to nearby URLs
- TAPR Tucson Arizona Packet Radio (and much more)
- APRS hardware from Byonics
- APRS hardware RPC Electronics
- APRS hardware Kantronics
- APRS Hardware from Tigertronics
Software Definded Radios are the future of radio. AD6JV gave a demonstration at one of our meetings.
- WebSDR Listen to radios in Netherlands on line
- Web SDR is another one to try
- HamSDR Information exchange group
- HPSDR Open source collaborative project
- M-AUDIO PCI interfaces and high performance sound cards
- Soft Rock Simple & inexpensive SDRs you can build
- SoftRock40 Yahoo Support Group
- Perseus A commercial high performance SDR
- SDRadio Freeware by Alberto, I2PHD
- RFspace SDR-14 commercial high performance SDR
- FlexRadio PowerSDR Freeware and commercial high performance SDRs
- Propagation VHF from APRS Data (this is so cool)
- DX Snapshot
- ARRL Chart Forecasts
- KN4LF Daily Radio Propagation Forecast
- SpaceWX MUF, aurora & grayline maps
- VHFDX Maps
- Tropo Ducting Forecast Hepburn Maps
- Australian Space Weather
- W6ELP Freeware
- WebProp Freeware
- Beacons Hear them - from NCDXF/IARU Beacon Project
- BeaconSee See them
- Beacons from AC6V - lots of resources here
- 10m Beacons
- G3USF Worldwide List of HF Beacons
- 500 Kc Project CW PSK FSK MSK-31at 600m
- - - - and your favorite link here - - -
Send your favorite propagation related links to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lets try and make a great collection of propagation related tools to help out our contesters and DXers.
DX REFLECTORS & CLUSTERS
- eHam On-Line microwave to 160m
- F5LEN Web cluster
- JA4PXC Asia web cluster
- Japan HF 6m 2m EME Satellite web cluster
- DXSummit HF to microwave web cluster
- DJ8RZ Search above by band
- AC6V Mailing lists and reflectors
- AC6V Packet clusters
- NJDXA DX News reflector
- DXCluster Cluster tutorial and many useful resources
- - - - your favorite link here - - -
Send your favorite links to email@example.com. Help make a collection of tools to help out our DXers and those working on awards.
- WXSpots Report or see severe weather in your area
- SKYWARN National (has current WX maps & warnings)
- SkyWarn Sterling VA
- SkyWarn NoVA, MD, DC
- SkyWarn Blacksburg (good site)
- Hurricane Watch Net 14.325 MHz
- Hurricane Center
- VOIP WX Net links Skywarn and Hurricane Nets
- IRLP Internet Radio Linking Project - Cville Node # 4703 K4DND 145.45 repeater tone 151.4
- ARES Virginia
- ARES Northern VA - District 3
- VDEN VA Digital Emergency Network 2m 70cm 80m
- NBEMS Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System
- - - - and your favorite link here - - -
Lets start collecting more useful references here. Send your suggestions.
PROBLEMS ? ?
If you have any problems navigating this site or find any broken links, please send the info to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to get it fixed. This is your site and you can help make it more useful by suggesting modifications or additions.