Ham Radio License Class (Beginners: FCC Technician License)

ARRL Technicial License Study Manual cover image

The Albemarle Amateur Radio Club will kick-off a Technician Class (the entry level license) on Saturday, April 19, at 9 a.m. in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville. This will be a self-study class requiring the American Radio Relay League Ham Radio License Manual textbook at a cost of $29.95 ordered from www.arrl.org The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual will guide you as you get started in the hobby–as you select your equipment, set-up your first station and make your first contact. You will use this book to study for your license exam. Every page presents information you will need to pass the exam and become an effective operator. The class is free and you will be guided by a team of instructor/counselors. The course will end with the FCC Examination on Saturday, June 28, at the Earlysville Volunteer Fire Department at 9 a.m. For registration and/or information, please reply by email to: jecrosby@comcast.net

What is ham radio and why would you want to get a ham license and get involved in this exciting hobby? Here is an 11 minute introductory video made by a Canadian club:

And an 8 minute “DIY Magic of Ham Radio” video from the US national ham organization:

More details below the fold.

Class: Free
Book: $20.41 + $4 shipping on amazon + $1.29 tax
Exam: $15
Starter Radio: $40-60.

You do not need a radio to take the class. You might get it to take advantage of the free shipping on amazon for orders over $35 minimum.

This will not be our usual classroom instruction. If I understand correctly, after the initial meeting, you will not be meeting in a class room. Instead, you will be reminded each week for 10 weeks via email to study specific material from the book at your own convenience and you will have mentors available to answer questions. The end of the ten week study period has been timed to line up with the next Exam Session.

This class will prepare you to pass the FCC Element 2 License Exam which qualifies you to receive a FCC Technician Class Amateur Radio License. There are three classes of license currently issued and each higher license provides additional operating privileges and prestige.
Element 2 – Technician Class License
Element 2+3 – General Class License
Element 2+3+4 – Extra Class License
Note that the FCC has eliminated the Morse code test (Element 1) for all license classes.

The textbook:
Ham Radio License manual support page: http://www.arrl.org/ham-radio-license-manual
First 13 pages (sample): http://www.arrl.org/files/media/News/HRLMintro.pdf
A poor quality scan of the whole book, lets you better evaluate the book before buying: http://www.c-at.com/Customer_files/MATF/Comm%20course%202010/Comm%20course/COMMS%20course%2011-10/Skill%204%20TeleComm/arrl%20manual.pdf

Buy it at ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/shop/Ham-Radio-License-Manual-Revised-2nd-Edition/
Buy it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ham-Radio-License-Manual-Arrl/dp/0872590976/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arrl-ham-radio-license-manual-arrl/1100902867?ean=9780872590977
Powels: http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780872590977-0
Jefferson Madison Regional Library has three copies in two locations of an older edition of this book: http://aries.jmrl.org/search~S9?/Xamateur+radio&searchscope=9&SORT=D/Xamateur+radio&searchscope=9&SORT=D&SUBKEY=amateur+radio/1%2C17%2C17%2CB/frameset&FF=Xamateur+radio&searchscope=9&SORT=D&9%2C9%2C
Note that the book teaches the material and is far less guilty of teaching to the test compared to many of the online study materials.
There are many other ham study guides books available. They may not fit the one chapter per week in the allotted time before the test. The ones by Gordon West are popular; however, be warned that he teaches to the test more than the ARRL.

Online practice Tests:
AA9PW.Com – http://aa9pw.com/
QRZ.Com http://www.qrz.com/testing.html
EHam.Net – http://www.eham.net/exams/
KB0MGA.Net – http://kb0mga.net/exams/
hamstudy – http://hamstudy.org/ – this site sponsored by icom basically just gives the text questions in flash card format.
Ham Test Online: http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/
Unlike other sites that let you take practice tests online, this one will remember your results. And you can upgrade for $25 (money back guarantee) to a programmed learning mode where it provides instruction and drills you on the questions you miss.

Take practice tests on your android phone or tablet:
Ham Test Prep Android App – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iversoft.ham.test.prep
Ham Radio Study: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tango11.hamstudy

For those who would prefer classroom style instruction, there are Youtube videos available including:

Hermosa Beach Ham Radio Class. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd2mHVh0O-Y
Appears to have more coverage of the material. Video of actual classroom instruction:.

Ham Wisperer Youtube Technicial License Course. http://www.hamwhisperer.com/p/ham-courses.html
Note it appears he may teach the test rather than the material.

David Casler’s Videos:

KE0OG videos are intended to be used in conjunction with self study from the textbook.

AD7FO technician sylibus:
Blatantly teaches to the test, it is a restatement of questions in question pool order, but it has some additional notes and useful illustrations added.

ARRL instructors guide (print and CD-ROM)
Other ARRL resources for instructors:

Additional study materials:

FCC Regulations Part 97 govern amateur radio.

ARRl Band Plan Chart:

No-Nonsense Study Guide: http://www.nflarc.com/2011_Tech_class.pdf
This one rewords the test questions as statements and reorders them and adds some introductory material.

Please note that the FCC will be changing the license pool questions a few days after the exam session which immediately follows this class. Some questions stay the same others change. This should not affect you if you pass the test the first time or are learning the material and not trying to memorize the test questions and not using study materials that shamelessly teach to the test, this should not affect you. You can find copies of the old and new question pools here:

Class schedule

Saturday 2014-04-19 Intro Session. Read Chapter 1
Saturday 2014-04-26 – Read Chapter 2
Saturday 2014-05-03 – Read Chapter 3
Saturday 2014-05-10 – Read Chapter 4
Saturday 2014-05-17 – Read Chapter 5
Saturday 2014-05-24 – Read Chapter 6
Saturday 2014-05-31 – Read Chapter 7
Saturday 2014-06-07 – Read Chapter 8
Saturday 2014-06-14 – Read Chapter 9
Saturday 2014-06-21 – Read Chapter 10
Saturday 2014-06-28 09:00AM EDT – Exam ($15)
Earlysville Volunteer Fire Station, 283 Reas Ford Rd, Earlysville, VA 22936

Starter Radio Options

Look at the BF-F8+ (2nd generation UV-5R), choose a bundle with extended battery (also has a jack to allow car charging, missing from base radio and standard size battery). $58 from 409shop.
UV-B6, even newer. $38. No extended battery option or charger jack but it has channel knob, better receiver,

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