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Old 30-12-2014, 09:40   #1
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Amateur Radio License - needed?

I'm looking at taking the FCC Amateur Radio license Technician (first level) test tomorrow.

Any benefit to having this for cruising?

I'm an Electrical Engineer by schooling, so the tech questions are easy. The 'regulations' are a bit harder, but I know a good deal of them already.

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Old 30-12-2014, 10:25   #2
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

No, I don't think its necessary. Butttt... I am licensed, general class, and intend to use it if and when I cruise. I enjoy amatuer radio as another hobby and enjoy the added benefit it will bring to cruising. There are amatuers all over the world and usually willing to help each other. I enjoy rag chewing, dx and listening in on MMSN(14.300mhz). I plan to continue this hobby to pass the time while cruising. I also can use the equipment if need be in the event of an emergency. Just one more safety item, along with EPIRB and SAT phone, etc etc......

Just my $.02
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:31   #3
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Both of us are Hamsters and think it's one more thing that makes cruising a bit more interesting. First free email using winlink and second some great Ham nets that we use for checking into when underway. Things have really changed HF wise since cruising the SP in the 70's before SSB HF only way to chat was HAM. Now there are a lot of SSB nets as well.

So I do think it's worth the effort just for the benefits I mentioned above

Good luck on your test

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Old 30-12-2014, 10:41   #4
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

The tech level won't get you much for cruising. If you are a decent study, then read all the questions a few dozen times, they are all published with the answers, and take both the tech and general at the same time. You will most likely pass them both.

If you enjoy radio chit-chat, or are somebody like cruiser2b who is already has HAM radio as a hobby, then the HAM general license will come in handy. There are lots of Marine SSB nets that do not require a HAM license. You can also use Sailmail (paid service) for e-mails without a HAM license.

I rarely use use my HAM license, but do use the SSB.
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:52   #5
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Thanks for the replies.

I looked in to taking the General at the same time. A bit more reading than I can handle with staying awake, and the practice tests seemed detailed around equipment I don't know yet. But a possibility later on, easy enough.

We have a fairly large Ham convention that used to happen here in Dayton, not sure what time of year, but I'm guessing spring or summer.

I may pursue the hobby a bit more, since my early retirement days are a few years off yet.

- Ray
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:55   #6
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Hell, may get one now so I can call myself a Hamster!!


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Old 30-12-2014, 17:55   #7
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Have used Ham SSB radio exclusively for long distance voice communication and email. Unlike the marine SSB radio, the services are all free and few restrictions other than needing a General License. Might be location but haven't felt the need to use Marine SSB radio. Everything seems to be happening on the Ham bands.

Not hard to pass the General License exam with the online test prep sites. Did it with a solid day of practice after I'd gotten the Technician license. The technician license is virtually useless for a cruiser because of its restriction on SSB frequencies and limited voice transimission allowed.
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Old 30-12-2014, 18:16   #8
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

I read the three ARRL books one year on the boat (an excellent way to go to sleep) and passed all three tests at one sitting when we got home. I use HF ham radio for email (RMS Express) when we do not have WiFi or cell data service and for a little chat (but mostly listening) on nets. Is it worth it -- yes. I am a chemical engineer; as an EE who can already do Ohms law, Smith charts, and LC calcs, you will find the tests a breeze.

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Old 30-12-2014, 19:08   #9
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

There are places not in the US where you must show a license, so I am told. I also have never heard of anyone having troubles with this.
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Old 31-12-2014, 00:18   #10
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

..more than hamster amateur operator are sparkys..
Welcome to the hobby FollowingCS!
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Old 31-12-2014, 00:31   #11
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Hello, General is easy, you should try, even if you don't feel ready, you never know..

The tech license does give you some HF privileges on 10m and some lower band access in Morse code only, which is great, if you're willing to learn..

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Old 31-12-2014, 01:39   #12
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Lots of people go without it. You don't need it...but with that said we both have our license and we use them regularly.

We have been a couple of years in the Pacific on winlink for email when we don't have wifi and our favorite voyaging net (Pac Sea) is HAM. Most of the other nets we use are non-HAM.
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Old 31-12-2014, 04:54   #13
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Get the General at least. The free account is pretty good for study if you have 'net access.

HamTestOnline - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Practice Tests

And you might even try CW with us old timers.

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Old 31-12-2014, 05:47   #14
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

+1 for HamTestOnline. Very well done.
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Old 31-12-2014, 05:58   #15
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Re: Amateur Radio License - needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FollowingCs View Post
I'm looking at taking the FCC Amateur Radio license Technician (first level) test tomorrow.



Any benefit to having this for cruising?



I'm an Electrical Engineer by schooling, so the tech questions are easy. The 'regulations' are a bit harder, but I know a good deal of them already.



- Ray

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I'm an EE to. Studied the regulations the night befire, re studied as wife drove me to exam centre -. Passed. It's not complex.


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