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Old 03-12-2008, 08:22   #1
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HAM book reccomendations

Getting ready to head to the bookstore and wanted advice on which book to look for. I want to get the Technician class FCC license and I'm looking for a study guide. Maybe even a Dummies series.
I already have a fairly good head for electronics specifically radar. I've already downloaded the question list. I mostly need the rules and regs stuff.

Any advice?
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:25   #2
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see ARRLWeb: ARRL Home Page
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:33   #3
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get a book called Now Your Talking.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:22   #4
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I studied using Gordon West's CD's and books....both are excellent and entertaining. It teaches you the theory...not just the correct answers to test questions. But it does that as well.

http://www.gordonwestradioschool.com...materials.html

You can buy his study materials for a whole lot less than the MSRP on Amazon.com
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:36   #5
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Went to Barnes and Noble, only book for radio on the shelf was the dummies book by Ward Silver. I'll start there I guess.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-12-2008, 19:24   #6
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HamTestOnline™

Is great for studying to take the tests. If you go though the questions until you get 90s on the tests you will do excellent on the test. I studied for the tech exam and almost passed the general exam
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Old 03-12-2008, 21:13   #7
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HamTestOnline™

Is great for studying to take the tests. If you go though the questions until you get 90s on the tests you will do excellent on the test. I studied for the tech exam and almost passed the general exam

Great site!!! Took practice tests and passed first try. (Barely) transmission modes and "Jargon" are my weak points so far.

Won't take long though.
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Old 07-12-2008, 21:20   #8
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Why stop at a tech license? It's basically useless for a cruiser, as you're limited to UHF/VHF frequencies. Well, you can use HF frequencies, but the caveat there is that those allocated for use by tech licensees are only for CW use - Morse code, not phone/voice.

Of course, I'm assuming you're getting the license for cruising use. If it's for just working local repeaters while coastal cruising, then you're fine...
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Old 07-12-2008, 22:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amytom View Post
Great site!!! Took practice tests and passed first try. (Barely) transmission modes and "Jargon" are my weak points so far.

Won't take long though.
I third the support of hamtestonline. That site is excellent. But if you want to really learn -- and not just pass a test -- then start reading books and take a course or two. Stuff by Gordon West is pretty good.

There are two goals in Ham: getting a license and learning. My opinion is that they are often mutually exclusive goals. The way practice tests and online sites work, they get you to memorize responses and to recognize rules. You will pick up some theory, but not much.

When you start mucking around with HF -- the staff of cruising -- you really will need to know what you are doing.

If you are close to a Ham Radio Outlet, then visit. Their people can really help! And don't hesitate to call them for help -- Gary at the Phoenix, AZ store and Bill at the Anahiem, CA store are very, very helpful. Bill is a damn wiz genuis with the Marine stuff.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:52   #10
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I wholeheartedly agree about Bill at the Anaheim HRO, and in addition to being a wizz bang genius about all things marine/ham radio, he is a hell of a nice guy too.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:23   #11
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I've been reading the Dummies book and think that HAM for HAM's sake may not be for me. HAM for cruising's sake is though. I'll probably not stop at tech as noted before general is what I need for HF. What are the big benefits of the HAM bands in HF versus just the marine SSB?

I have RADAR experience and worked the MARS station of my ship way back when... The tech portions should be a quick refresh but the jargon and rules are new.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:52   #12
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Just got our General/Tech last Saturday...

We just bought an ancient Icom IC-M700 Marine SSB becase we wanted to be able to talk to Don Andersen on the Mexican nets and are planning a crossing this year. We have friends in Fiji who got a HAM rig and their tech licenses and are now unable to partiicipate in the local cruiser's net in Fiji because it takes place on a general band (20 meter). We decided to tackle the general for that purpose and because we're in a rush (leaving soon) we just crammed the 2 Gordon West books. they were educational and helped us memorize the answers we needed. We read through the question pools together the general pool took us around 10hrs to read aloud to eachother and we spent aother 3 days taking practice tests online at qrz.com and reviewing sections we werent understanding/were consistantly getting wrong.

Saturday we took both tests and passed so with a little effort the books work. I am sure a mountain of actual learning is ahead of us but without the ability to put these theories into practice it isnt that useful to reallly dig into the theory IMO.

Now I will see how hard it is to rig up our radio at home and mess with it.

Cheers,
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:23   #13
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Quote:
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I am sure a mountain of actual learning is ahead of us but without the ability to put these theories into practice it isnt that useful to reallly dig into the theory IMO.
I cannot learn technical stuff without hands on experience. It just does not work for me. When I was doing hamtestonline some of my friends and some folks on boards kept saying how I was missing all the theory, that I really was not learning anything. They were right: All I was learning was how to pass the tests and I had (and still have) no problem with that approach. I needed the license in order to practice to use the theory.

Anyway, I very much agree with your point.


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Old 08-12-2008, 10:24   #14
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Originally Posted by roblanford View Post
I wholeheartedly agree about Bill at the Anaheim HRO, and in addition to being a wizz bang genius about all things marine/ham radio, he is a hell of a nice guy too.
Rumor has it he can hit a bass E. He will need it for Handel's Messiah!
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Old 17-01-2009, 20:06   #15
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A very good Ham book is the ARRL's Amateur Radio Handbook. Check out www.arrl.org

If you join the ARRL, you get a very nice magazine with plenty of advertising from the manufacturers of Ham radios and fine articles on "how to". It keeps you abreast of what is going on in Ham radio.
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