How do I Become a Ham? It’s reasonably easy! Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator (Ham) opens many doors to a fun and rewarding hobby with many aspects (see ARRL –What Is Ham Radio). But, to become a Ham you must pass an exam administered by a Volunteer Examiner Team. The test is required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This is because being a Ham carries with it some responsibilities and capabilities that the Family Radio Service (FRS) or Citizen’s Band (CB) does not. FRS operators can only use up to 1/2 watt of power, and CB is limited to 4 watts, while Ham operators can use up to 1,500 watts on most bands! FRS is good for about 3 miles, and CB is limited by law to 150 miles. With Ham Radio, the world is not even your limit. You can bounce signals off the moon or use orbiting satellites to talk to any licensed Ham worldwide. Whereas all other radio services are allowed only very few channels or frequencies to work with – Hams have literally thousands! The Technician License The first level of the Amateur Radio Operator is the Technician Class which allows you all Ham Radio frequency use privileges above 30 MHz, as well as additional privileges on certain HF frequencies (below 30 MHz) including the 80-, 40- and 15- meter bands using Morse code (CW), and on the 10-meter band using CW, voice, and digital modes. On frequencies above 30 MHz, Technicians may operate FM voice, digital modes, amateur television (ATV), single-sideband voice, CW, and several other interesting modes. As mentioned before, you can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple station equipment, or even through linked networks using D-STAR or linked repeater networks. The Exam Morse code is no longer required for any Amateur Radio license! The Technician Class License exam covers basic regulations, operating practices, and basic electronics theory, with a focus on VHF and UHF (above 30 MHz) applications. Don’t let this scare you. You can do it! – Many folks from all walks of life routinely pass their Technician exams on the first try. There is no age requirement. The youngest known Ham in the US was 5 years old. There are several study materials available to help you pass the exam. Many people rely on the study materials from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). They provide both study guides and a CD (ARRL Training and Education). One of the most popular and more intuitive study guides is published by the W5YI GROUP, Gordon West, (WB6NOA). Visit the ARRL or books sellers such as Amazon.com to purchase a Technician Class study manual. Practice Tests The exams are never as hard as the new Ham thinks they are going to be! They consist of 35 multiple-choice questions taken from a pool of only 400 questions. These questions are known, as are the answers. You can download the entire pool of questions from the ARRL and other sources. There are also several websites Like QRZ, AA9PW, or HamTestOnline that have practice exams made up of questions pulled at random from this pool. You should sign onto one of these websites and repeatedly take the exam until you routinely receive a grade of 90% or higher. When you take the real exam, you will see the exact same questions. The answers may be in a different order, but they will be the same answers that you have already seen several times! Once you are passing the online practice tests with regularity, consider studying for the next level up: the General Class License. Because, when you pass the Technician Class test you will get a FREE General Class test – and who knows? You may walk out as a new Ham with HF privileges! So, yes, you can do it! Allow yourself about three weeks to study. Where to Take the Exam DTARC’s testing team will test anyone who believes they are ready. We only need a few days to prepare. Most times this can happen in a day or two. We will meet where it is most convenient for both examiners and candidate. Many times, it has been the candidate’s own dining room table. Also check the calendar page for meeting times and dates. Tests can be given after meetings. After you pass The FCC generally takes at least two weeks to process the paperwork and grant you your very own “call sign” such as “KB7JVO”. But how you will really “become a Ham” is what happens afterwards. It will be helpful for you to borrow or purchase an HT (handy talkie) for starters so that you will have folks all over your local area to talk to on the air. Though, not a requirement for being a Ham Radio operator, consider joining your local club. It will be your ready source for helpful assistance and answers to questions, as well as opportunities to get real ‘hands-on’ practice with radio gear and operating procedure. Helpful mentors you will meet in the local club environment are called “Elmers” and even the most seasoned Ham knows a few folks they consider an Elmer. DTARC gives a full year’s membership to any area Ham who passes an exam administered by our team. It is often said by new Hams that they are apprehensive about asking other Hams for help because they fear that their questions are dumb ones… Well, there are NO dumb questions in Amateur Radio – only good ones… believe it or not, it’s in our Amateur’s Code as well as in FCC regulation to place high regard in assisting and training up new Hams. If you have any questions about becoming a Ham – helpful and kind assistance is just an email away! Please email: Club@wy7dt.com
How do I Become a Ham? It’s reasonably easy! Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator (Ham) opens many doors to a fun and rewarding hobby with many aspects (see ARRL –What Is Ham Radio). But, to become a Ham you must pass an exam administered by a Volunteer Examiner Team. The test is required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This is because being a Ham carries with it some responsibilities and capabilities that the Family Radio Service (FRS) or Citizen’s Band (CB) does not. FRS operators can only use up to 1/2 watt of power, and CB is limited to 4 watts, while Ham operators can use up to 1,500 watts on most bands! FRS is good for about 3 miles, and CB is limited by law to 150 miles. With Ham Radio, the world is not even your limit. You can bounce signals off the moon or use orbiting satellites to talk to any licensed Ham worldwide. Whereas all other radio services are allowed only very few channels or frequencies to work with – Hams have literally thousands! The Technician License The first level of the Amateur Radio Operator is the Technician Class which allows you all Ham Radio frequency use privileges above 30 MHz, as well as additional privileges on certain HF frequencies (below 30 MHz) including the 80-, 40- and 15- meter bands using Morse code (CW), and on the 10-meter band using CW, voice, and digital modes. On frequencies above 30 MHz, Technicians may operate FM voice, digital modes, amateur television (ATV), single-sideband voice, CW, and several other interesting modes. As mentioned before, you can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple station equipment, or even through linked networks using D-STAR or linked repeater networks. The Exam Morse code is no longer required for any Amateur Radio license! The Technician Class License exam covers basic regulations, operating practices, and basic electronics theory, with a focus on VHF and UHF (above 30 MHz) applications. Don’t let this scare you. You can do it! – Many folks from all walks of life routinely pass their Technician exams on the first try. There is no age requirement. The youngest known Ham in the US was 5 years old. There are several study materials available to help you pass the exam. Many people rely on the study materials from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). They provide both study guides and a CD (ARRL Training and Education). One of the most popular and more intuitive study guides is published by the W5YI GROUP, Gordon West, (WB6NOA). Visit the ARRL or books sellers such as Amazon.com to purchase a Technician Class study manual. Practice Tests The exams are never as hard as the new Ham thinks they are going to be! They consist of 35 multiple-choice questions taken from a pool of only 400 questions. These questions are known, as are the answers. You can download the entire pool of questions from the ARRL and other sources. There are also several websites Like QRZ, AA9PW, or HamTestOnline that have practice exams made up of questions pulled at random from this pool. You should sign onto one of these websites and repeatedly take the exam until you routinely receive a grade of 90% or higher. When you take the real exam, you will see the exact same questions. The answers may be in a different order, but they will be the same answers that you have already seen several times! Once you are passing the online practice tests with regularity, consider studying for the next level up: the General Class License. Because, when you pass the Technician Class test you will get a FREE General Class test – and who knows? You may walk out as a new Ham with HF privileges! So, yes, you can do it! Allow yourself about three weeks to study. Where to Take the Exam DTARC’s testing team will test anyone who believes they are ready. We only need a few days to prepare. Most times this can happen in a day or two. We will meet where it is most convenient for both examiners and candidate. Many times, it has been the candidate’s own dining room table. Also check the calendar page for meeting times and dates. Tests can be given after meetings. After you pass The FCC generally takes at least two weeks to process the paperwork and grant you your very own “call sign” such as “KB7JVO”. But how you will really “become a Ham” is what happens afterwards. It will be helpful for you to borrow or purchase an HT (handy talkie) for starters so that you will have folks all over your local area to talk to on the air. Though, not a requirement for being a Ham Radio operator, consider joining your local club. It will be your ready source for helpful assistance and answers to questions, as well as opportunities to get real ‘hands-on’ practice with radio gear and operating procedure. Helpful mentors you will meet in the local club environment are called “Elmers” and even the most seasoned Ham knows a few folks they consider an Elmer. DTARC gives a full year’s membership to any area Ham who passes an exam administered by our team. It is often said by new Hams that they are apprehensive about asking other Hams for help because they fear that their questions are dumb ones… Well, there are NO dumb questions in Amateur Radio – only good ones… believe it or not, it’s in our Amateur’s Code as well as in FCC regulation to place high regard in assisting and training up new Hams. If you have any questions about becoming a Ham – helpful and kind assistance is just an email away! Please email: Club@wy7dt.com