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Old 16-04-2018, 09:09   #16
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
A good prep site is HamTestOnline - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Practice Tests.

Also see the ARRL web site...and I think they have a test prep app now.
I'll vouch for hamstudy.org. Used it to study for my Extra a couple months ago. Very helpful! If you're pressed for time, you can use this tool to study to the test and fill in the gaps that interest you later.

In the meantime, feel free to ask questions here or privately.

Tom - KD2VH
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Old 16-04-2018, 09:30   #17
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

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A good prep site is HamTestOnline - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Practice Tests.

Also see the ARRL web site...and I think they have a test prep app now.
I agree 100%...
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Old 16-04-2018, 09:43   #18
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

I used ham test online about 9 years ago, and in a matter of a month took all three exams. I am now an amateur extra.

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Old 16-04-2018, 09:44   #19
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

My General class license expired many years ago and now I want it reactivated. A few years ago the FCC changed the rules and lo and behold it is in our favor. All you have to do is pass the technicians test and your original license is back in full force.
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Old 16-04-2018, 09:44   #20
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

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I bought an SSB for an upcoming passagemaking in June. I'd really like to use the ham bands to try to communicate with family on the East Coast; however, I let my tech license with code lapse more than a decade ago. Unfortunately, I never really used it way back when except for RACES events and a couple of Field Days with my son. And even then, someone just handed me a radio and told me what to do. Now, I'm studying for real for a testing session that is coming up very soon. Can I post questions to you hams as I go through the General study guide? I just can't seem to memorize this stuff like I used to, particularly when there's not enough context. Here's one question. I know I need to memorize the ham bands, but is there a reason, for example, that 10 m is allocated to 28 MHz and 6 m to 50 MHz? Was it a random assignment or does it have to do with bandwidth or somthing where I can correlate one number to the other? I've tried to Google the answer, but all I get is that different countries have somewhat different allocations. Argh! Before I get chastised for not taking advantage of the great value that's offered in the ham classes -- I know, I know....I truly wish I had started there first
Re: 28MHz, 6 m and 50MHz. The MHz is frequency the m is wavelength. Maybe like expressing gallons as sq. inches.
That probably does not help. Reread the section on wavelength/ frequency.
That may not be your question?
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:21   #21
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

The books by Gordon West are excellent study guides. I used them to easily pass the three tests. If you have to start all over, you have to pass the Technician test before you can take the General test. You can take all three tests in one sitting if you want to. No connection with Gordon West other than a very satisfied customer.
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:30   #22
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

+1 after letting mine lapse for 25 years!!!
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:31   #23
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

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Why not just remember the formula once and calculate the wave length when needed? That was the point of posting it I think.
This is good advice that applies to all of the test questions that require calculations. If you have a good study guide, it will have the formulas -- not just the correct answers. Memorize the formulas. When you sit down to take the exam, the first thing you should do is write the formulas down on your work sheet. This is especially important when taking the Extra exam.

There is no shame in asking questions. Hams love to help people get their license. The Ham term for a mentor is an "Elmer." Don't be afraid to ask an Elmer! I've got an Extra, and I still turn to "Elmers" for answers to specialized questions. Eham.net and other Ham forums have a special forum for such questions: eHam - Index

Good luck!

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Old 16-04-2018, 11:05   #24
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

As posted earlier if you can prove you had a higher license you can now get it back by passing the technician class exam. There is no Morse code requirement anymore for any of the license classes.

Taking the exam is easier these days due to the VEC program. All tests are administered by volunteers. To find testing locally check out the ARRL website.

A good way to study is to get a study guide and READ it. Take practice exams until you consistently pass. The practice exams will quickly point out where you need more study. The question pool changes every few years and just changed. While the study guides are keyed to the current question pool you can get by with a recently out of date guide. Learn the principles and you can pass the test without memorizing the current question pool. Sometimes I think they change the question pool so publishers can make more money.

The European CEPT reciprocal agreement now requires that USA hams hold an extra class license. The EU people think that the general class license does not cover enough material.

73, Brian N7BMW, ARRL volunteer examiner
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Old 16-04-2018, 11:11   #25
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

Get the practice discs. It's the best way.
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Old 16-04-2018, 11:48   #26
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

Go to ARRL website and you'll get probably all the info you need. But here is a 5 minute history to answer some of your questions, all I know in one easy read. I think it's accurate.

Initially the ham bands were set up in "unused" spectrum by international convention. They were also set up very significantly, on multiples of a lower frequency. The reason for this is that lots of older transmitters produced harmonics of their intended frequency. A harmonic is double or triple or four times or more, of the frequency of the intended, or "fundamental" frequency. Big problem in the old days, not so much now, for many reasons, mainly better gear.

So they set up one band we call 80 meters, at 3.5MHz as the lower frequency end. It's called 80 because that's the approximate wavelength at 3.5MHz. They set up the next higher band we call 40 meters, at 7.0MHz at the lower end. If you had a "dirty" transmitter operating fundamentally at 3.5MHz it's harmonics would occur at 7.0MHz, 14.0MHz, 28.0MHz. These just happen to also be set up as ham bands for that reason. So the only folks we might interfere with our harmonics will be other hams. NO PROBLEM ). But even higher order harmonics are possible and they used to interfere with the old TV channels above 54MHz. I know that from personal experience.

The international agreements apparently were not fully enforced or comprehensive. At some point the 40m band became infested with lots of foreign broadcast stations due to its good frequency for long range but predictable propagation. For many years those stations made it almost impossible to use the 40m band for SSB. Situation seems better now.

The 10MHz ham band is a relative new-comer, and its not for voice transmission far as I know. It has no harmonic relationship to any other ham band.

A semi-educated guess is that 50MHz band was set there to be just below the old television frequencies. The second harmonic at 100MHz may have been between channel 7 and channel 8, where there was a wide gap in TV frequency assignments. You won't use 50MHz unless you get a special rig.

OK, I'm very sorry but you really should know or at least be able to find, before operating, the various frequencies assigned to your level of license and to your operating mode (voice, code or data). I don't know if its in the exam, but really you don't want to go outside of the assigned band - nobody will catch you but its just pretty bad behavior.

You really should memorize the frequency limits of each main ham band by its name - there are only six of them in the HF (high frequency) spectrum. I don't know how you can be a ham without that. No more morse code so it's pretty easy. Any yes, memorize that formula for frequency vs. wavelength as its kind of like the most basic thing you could know about radio.

Send me a private message if there's anything else I can help with, and welcome back to the ham community!

Doug, KG6U
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Old 16-04-2018, 12:53   #27
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

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A semi-educated guess is that 50MHz band was set there to be just below the old television frequencies. The second harmonic at 100MHz may have been between channel 7 and channel 8, where there was a wide gap in TV frequency assignments. You won't use 50MHz unless you get a special rig.
A bit of trivia for you. The 50 Mhz band predated TV. The reason there was no channel one on TV was that it was accidentally allocated over the ham band and had to be removed.

These days most new HF transceivers include 6 meters (50 Mhz).
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Old 16-04-2018, 15:47   #28
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Angry Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

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A bit of trivia for you. The 50 Mhz band predated TV. The reason there was no channel one on TV was that it was accidentally allocated over the ham band and had to be removed.

These days most new HF transceivers include 6 meters (50 Mhz).
Interesting and thanks for the info!
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Old 16-04-2018, 18:23   #29
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

I let my old N6VFJ expire by mistake too, had fun for years but then sold my rig to go back to school. I worked hard back in the day to pass the CW dictations, and so I was sad to check my FCC registration and see it was long past the 2 years.

I recently passed the FCC-MROP test. My thanks for all the links in here so I will get around to passing the Amateur General or Extra. Good luck, Gamayun, passing yours.
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Old 16-04-2018, 23:33   #30
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Re: CQ'ing all Hams and SSB users

All these great suggestions....thanks! This is why I think I'll get more out of my ham license this go round than the last time. I live on my boat and my intention is to use my SSB even when we're not moving -- and it'll be even better still when I'm out at sea and want to talk with others. I don't have much time before my offshore trip to get licensed and my testing session is this Sunday (22 April). I'm a little surprised, when I take the practice exams at ARRL, at how many questions I am missing. Having some context from reading the manual is much more helpful than just blindly remembering the answers to the test question. And asking questions here helps cement some things in my brain, too....I truly do want to learn and understand what I'm doing. Maybe I'll even get back to learning CW. That would be a hoot.
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