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Old 20-05-2012, 05:01   #1
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Ham Exam.... prep?

I am looking into getting my Ham Radio General license. I will be studying for the next 3-6 months. I plan to take the test at the end of the year. I was wondering how long you all studied and what training material and sources you used to prepare. I have a backround in electronics, both navigation and HF comms with the navy.


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Old 20-05-2012, 05:18   #2
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

I did mine in Australia. I did a course run by a club, it was only slightly dearer than sitting the exam on its own, but it was very basic.
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Old 20-05-2012, 05:33   #3
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

Many amateur radio clubs* offer classes, and there’s numerous free on-line amateur radio study guides, including:
Online Basic Amateur Radio Course
Amateur Radio Exam Generator - Spectrum Management and Telecommunications
Study for your first ham radio license

* AARL (American Radio Relay League) ➥ American Radio Relay League | ARRL - The national association for AMATEUR RADIO
ARRL | Licensing, Education & Training | Getting on the Air
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Old 20-05-2012, 05:37   #4
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

Start by going to the ARRL web site Licensing, Preparation & Exams. They have on line courses and study materials available. Their study book chapter questions are taken from the course.

With electronics background you should be on easy street.

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Old 20-05-2012, 05:43   #5
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

With any kind of electronics background, it shouldn't take a week to prepare for the exam. Just go to one of the practice exam websites like eHam.net Ham Radio Practice Exams and take the test until you get over 85% of the questions right.
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Old 20-05-2012, 05:44   #6
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

A 4 or 5 day stretch of cramming just before the exam will get anyone thru. I have a military electronic background but my wife whose closet association with electronics is playing a saxaphone, passed the general using the same method. The longer that you study just means you have more time to foret what you read or studied 3 days prior!
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Old 20-05-2012, 05:49   #7
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

I looked at a few different things but liked the ARRL study books a lot more.

Technician License Manual.
General Study Manual.
Extra License Manual.
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Old 20-05-2012, 06:13   #8
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

I am in the same boat with Dynamo's wife. I took an ARRL prep course, and took the on-line sample tests provided by ARRL. I put a bunch of cheap paper in my printer, and if I missed a question I printed it out. I carried a stack of papers with me wherever I went for about a week before the test (it was growing bigger every day), and studied whenever I had a couple of seconds to spare. I can't believe I passed the test, and only missed four questions. For me, a totally non-techie, it was an accomplishment and I think the tests were a big help.

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Old 20-05-2012, 07:22   #9
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

HamTestOnline™ - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Ham Radio Practice Exams at HamRadioLicenseExam.com while not free is a more organized way to prep for the test. You should also buy the ARRL study guides for more background information. If you have any kind of a brain you'll have lots of questions as you study the test questions.

Then, if you find the subject intensely interesting, get the ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook. This is crammed with information and technique.

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Old 20-05-2012, 07:31   #10
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

If you get stuck "B" is the most common answer in multiple choice exams.
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Old 20-05-2012, 07:57   #11
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
If you get stuck "B" is the most common answer in multiple choice exams.

our old navy saying was when in doubt, charlie out!

Thanks everyone for all the responses, I will look at each recommendation. I am in a situation now that will require me to occupy my time for the next 3 months so I figured this would be a good time to learn and study. I have been doing electronics now for some 20 yrs, but I sure could use a refresher especially on antennas and propagation. I also want a full understanding of the use and fcc regs. If I didnt have all this time on my hands I would probably just go for the quickie exam cram and take the test.
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Old 20-05-2012, 08:51   #12
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ARRL is a great resource....many online practice tests also....I also used a Gordon West CD to study/earn Extra class. Easy to cram and learn the exam, as said before, but also fun to try and learn the material....will come in handy..with your electronics background, you will find formulae etc easy and practical down the line when building antennas, SSB installs, etc.

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Old 20-05-2012, 09:10   #13
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

I'm also using the ARRL course books and CD exams. There is a similar set of materials for th commercial classes as well through some other organization too. It is odd you can get all the exam questions with answers before the test. They publish the entire question pool. For anyone doing the exams you really want to push up to the General Class so you can use most of the technologies available to amatuers. Actually knowing this stuff will help you. The course books do a nice job of teaching the why parts of the material.
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Old 20-05-2012, 11:12   #14
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

No one has mentioned Gordon Wests's Books or Classes... Gordo is a long time HAM and friend to the Maritime Community, frequently giving classes to boaters on Maritime SSB.

Gordo writes great prep book for the Tech, General and Extra licenses.
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Old 20-05-2012, 12:06   #15
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Re: Ham Exam....prep?

I used Gordon West's book for the Technician License. Studied the questions for a couple of weeks and passed the test. For the General, googled sites with sample questions, spent a serious day going over the questions, took the test and passed. Must have done well as the tester asked if I wanted to take the Extra Class Exam next.

Going over the practice exams is relatively painless and will almost guarantee you passing the test with a minimal amount of time invested. It isn't a well rounded learning experience, however. There is a lot more to Ham Radio operation that you can get from books but takes a lot of studying but getting up on the air is the best motivator to increase your radio knowledge. My interest was getting the license and getting on the air so I'd have HF communications for a TransPac. Still don't know much about radio theory or whats under the cover of my radio and no one is going to accuse me of being an electronics geek. My ICOM 718, SGC 230 Tuner, and backstay antenna kept me in contact all the way to Hawaii without paying the exorbitant costs of a marine HF radio with it's limitations.
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