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Thread: I wanna be a HAM

  1. #1

    Default I wanna be a HAM

    radio operator, that is. I'm certain there is a thread on this somewhere on here...but couldn't find it. (4:10 on a Friday probably explains that!) Could anyone offer advice, great websites, etc.?
    When a Southern girl says, "Aw, hell no!" -- RUN.

  2. #2

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    Hi kimmie7!
    OK there are a zillion places to go to learn the material for the test. I started by watching my neighbor, who is now a silent key. He taught me the theory and how it applied to what he was doing on the air waves. Lacking a neighbor, find a club. Read books, and study test questions online.

    There is no code requirement, anymore, but knowing code is REAL handy. There are lots of people who are out there on CW bands.

    Start with the Technician test. Reasonably easy and it gives you the license to learn. Join a club and get active so you can use THEIR equipment. The rest will take care of itself.
    We learn from history that we do not learn from history. Georg Wilhelm F. Hegel

  3. #3

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    Thanks! I will start looking for a local club.
    When a Southern girl says, "Aw, hell no!" -- RUN.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    Check out http://hamuniverse.com/

    Go down the left side of the page to License study. They have test for all three class levels. I suggest taking the test repeatedly until you can pass at least 75% of the time and your set.

    Good luck
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Lake LBJ, Texas
    Posts
    7,956

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    I did a weekend class with my local club. Learned some good stuff, as well as meeting the club.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Florida, last exit before the keys.
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kimmie7 View Post
    Thanks! I will start looking for a local club.
    hamstudy.org
    is another good place, it allows you the ability to print out the entire test bed of questions with only the correct answer showing... very helpful when trying to get this stuff memorized...
    Alot of people dont want to admit this but the test is all about knowing the right answer, not understanding it. Unless you have been in this field professionally or have been raised by a ham YOU WONT. It is kind of hard to have a working knowledge of something without being able to physically do it. that will come later with time and experience.
    My old elmers that taught would teach us how to remember the test answers by word or number associations with the questions, if you were good at memorizing things for tests in school you should be fine... I wasnt, I had to go over the stuff daily for about a week or two then i took the test missed 3 but got my license.
    Now I go to classes, help out the others in the club building radios and antennas, etc... this is the part where I now learn the stuff i tested on. Now I am studying for General, then on to Extra... that is the goal anyway.
    ALSO when you get your license you can use echolink, which is a program for your computer( you will have to do some port forwarding on router) and smart phone, where you can get on the air. I was talking to a guy in Alaska while I was shopping for shoes the other day, totally cool... alot of older hams shun this saying it isnt really radio... but oh well its technology and as always i use the stuff to my benefit not the other way around.

    Good luck and welcome aboard it is awesome... especially when you talk to someone from around the world.
    Last edited by Sandman1; 07-24-2015 at 10:10 PM.
    One day somebody's gonna have to make a stand,
    One day somebody's gotta say enough!

  7. #7

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    I'm very excited to get started, appreciate all the input. I'll let you guys know if/when I pass my license. ;-)
    When a Southern girl says, "Aw, hell no!" -- RUN.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Lake LBJ, Texas
    Posts
    7,956

    Default

    My attempt to be a ham has been frustrating. Without a mentor or Elmer, it's a maze of equipment and directions to do what you want. I have an HT and a mobile. The HT sits on my desk, not being used. I either can't program it, screwed it up, or both. Tried 2 different programs and it either doesn't work, or I'm too low to pick up a tower.

    The mobile has not been out of the box. To install it, I need a waterproof grommet to pass through the cab of my truck. I have not looked hard, but have not stumbled on one. So it sits there.

    Get some hands on help with whatever direction you think you want to go.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Texas,coastal bend area
    Posts
    418

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    Tech and then General are pretty easy to get , I used an app for my iphone and studied for a couple of weeks before taking each of the tests, take practice tests til you are getting 85% + regularly. After you pass the test join a club or find a ham friend to help you with all the fun stuff(setting up your equipment,etc). The more you do things the more you learn and the better you get at doing things. Also, work on simplex comms , if things get bad chances are there won't be repeaters to play with.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mountains & Lakes of the extreme NorthEast
    Posts
    1,777

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    Once you get your ticket, configure/build up your own repeater, test it out on a height of your own land and put it away in an EMP resistant container. When things get bad, you can break it out and have localish comm around your BOL. That is what I have done.

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