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Old 28-10-2008, 09:03   #16
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We have three Extra class operators in our family and as RickD states - it is not an easy test. That being said, it is not impossible to pass either, it just requires a lot of study time. For use in cruising, I don't know that you would gain enough to make it worthwhile. It gives you a small bit of extra bandwidth to use over the general.
Our oldest daughter did pass her extra class test when she was seven, so again, its not impossible:
ARRLWeb: Last Year's Youngest General Now This Year's Youngest Extra

(But then again, I think she is a whole lot smarter than I am )
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Old 28-10-2008, 09:41   #17
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Originally Posted by clausont View Post
For use in cruising, I don't know that you would gain enough to make it worthwhile. It gives you a small bit of extra bandwidth to use over the general.
That's the key point: it gives you extra privileges - access to more frequencies. And the drawback: you can only talk to other Extra licensees (except for hams in other countries where there may be some overlap with their "general"-equivalent license frequency privileges and that of the USA's Extra license privileges.

And yes, if you look up my license given in my sig below, you'll see that I'm only a General ticket holder, not Extra. But I will go for the Extra, if for no other reason than "it's there!".
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Old 28-10-2008, 10:53   #18
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As a HAM RADIO Operator, I would HIGHLY recommend everyone getting their Extra Class.

however.....

as a person who knows about radios and what folks like sailors need them for, I'd say "Go General" and stick with that.

You don't NEED the Extra.
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:09   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD View Post
Go here: ARRLWeb: Exam Session Search for a list of all testing across the nation.

Go here: QRZ Ham Radio for practice tests and also:

AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » Amateur Radio Exam Practice

eHam.net Ham Radio Practice Exams

KB0MGA.net Practice Ham Radio Exams Home

W8MHB Michael Burkhardt's Ham Radio Shacketeria

All of those are free. Don't bother with the "pay" places, please.
I agree, those are good resources. However, www.hamtestonline.com is a pay place and is worth the money. Its software drills you in the areas that you are weakest while reinforcing your knowledge in areas that you have better command of. I found the site invaluable. Sure, you can take a lot of practice exams, but the time you spend doing it that way is far more than the method used by hamtestonline. With new information, you are hit with graphic boxes to explain concepts and then drilled in just those areas before moving on to new material, and then you are brought back again to stuff you were just exposed to. They are using all the right techniques from learning theory -- and it works.

They charge 30 bucks for two years -- and you can take their materials up to Extra. That is way worth the price of admission.

Michael
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