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  • Official amateur radio license exam notice

    Ok, I've got the materials in hand, so we're official.

    What: Amateur radio license examination
    Where: Skybox 206
    When: Sunday at high noon

    Cost: $14 gets you the ability to take each of the three tests once

    What you need to bring:
    • Government issued photo ID
    • $14, cash or check
    • Your FCC Registration Number, or your Social Security Number
    • Your current license, if upgrading
    • Pen or pencils
    • A calculator whose memory you can clear


    You are strongly encouraged to get your FCC Registration Number (FRN) beforehand. Otherwise, you'll have to give us your SSN. We don't want that responsibility. Get your FRN by registering on CORES .


    Why?

    Amateur radio is a legitimate avenue for radio experimentation. Having your license grants you the ability to use higher power, more frequency ranges, and more versatile modes.

    So do I need to study?

    Yes, but the tests aren't that hard. The Technician and General exams are 35 questions, and the Extra exam is 50 questions. The questions are multiple choice, and the entire pool of questions is published and freely available. To pass the Technician (entry-level) exam, I suggest one of two avenues:
    1. Read the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual book through once in the week preceeding the exams. Most libraries have several copies available.
    2. Take online practice exams and memorize the questions. Several are available, they all have the same questions. I like the QRZ.com user interface, but you have to be sure to manually increment the test number to get coverage of the question pool.

  • #2
    Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

    If anyone has further questions about the exam, please feel free to ask in the Wireless Village. One of us should be there, and be able to answer any of your questions.
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

      Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
      If anyone has further questions about the exam, please feel free to ask in the Wireless Village. One of us should be there, and be able to answer any of your questions.
      Yaaaaaaaay! I got my FRN and I am ready to pounce on you with all kinds of questions. My first question is this: I have a radio. When I turn it on it makes a funny crackling sound. But when I push the button on the side it stops crackling. And when I let the button go, people on the radio shout at me. Why is this? :-D jk....

      See y'all soon.

      Valkyrie

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

        Please let me score her exam. I'll make sure she knows the answer before even coming close to passing ;)
        DaKahuna
        ___________________
        Will Hack for Bandwidth

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

          Get yourself prepared the right way. Don't study the "theory". I tried this, it does not help. Just memorize the question in the pool. ARRL has all the questions for Tech, General and Extra for you to study. Just download them and read every question twice over before you take the test.

          http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html

          EDIT: NOTE, these are the EXACT questions that testers are REQUIRED to use. So your not going to get a question that is not in above pool link

          -KE7RDN
          "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

            A slight correction, hackajar: They are the exact questions, and they are even the exact answers. However, a) you don't know which questions will actually be used so you have to memorize all of them, and b) the answers aren't necessarily in the same order. That is, what's published in the pool as answer A will not necessarily be answer A on the test you get. So as long as you memorize the text of the answer and not just the answer letter, you'll do fine.

            Having said that, I will also disagree on the "learning the theory doesn't help" part. But that's a discussion that is far more involved than I want to get into here. Feel free to hunt me down (I'll probably be in the HHV most of the con) and we can discus further there if you want.

            In the interest of getting more hams, I agree with "by any means necessary" and strictly speaking, you really don't _NEED_ theory to be a Ham, so I don't really disagree with the "Teach To The Test" philosophy that gets so many peoples' knickers in a twist. But it sure is nice to have people who know what the hell they're doing on the air, and that comes with experience, which is sometimes easier to start with knowing the theory.

            Then, there's the discussion whether the theory they have in the test is worth a damn, but again, more than I want to get into here...

            ...damn. I think I just started and stopped about 3 different discussions before I even click "submit." I think I should just quit while I'm behind. :)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

              [QUOTE=SmittyHalibut;97828]A slight correction, hackajar: They are the exact questions, and they are even the exact answers. However, a) you don't know which questions will actually be used so you have to memorize all of them, and b) the answers aren't necessarily in the same order. That is, what's published in the pool as answer A will not necessarily be answer A on the test you get. So as long as you memorize the text of the answer and not just the answer letter, you'll do fine. <snip>

              In the interest of getting more hams, I agree with "by any means necessary" and strictly speaking, you really don't _NEED_ theory to be a Ham, so I don't really disagree with the "Teach To The Test" philosophy that gets so many peoples' knickers in a twist. But it sure is nice to have people who know what the hell they're doing on the air, and that comes with experience, which is sometimes easier to start with knowing the theory. <snip>

              Thank you SmittyHalibut. While I want to pass the test(s), I also wish to understand the theory. It's kind of how I am. I don't just want to "know the right answer," I want to know the "why' of the right answer. I suppose that I will just probably take the most basic test this go around, work on the theory, build on that for the following exams. Thanks to all of you for your advice and support. See you soon!

              Sapere Aude

              Valkyrie

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                Heh. While I commend your desire to learn the theory, I hinted to another rant of mine, which is whether the Ham tests are decent tests of said theory or not. It's kinda a toss up. There's some good material in there, but there's also a few questions that I, as an EE guy (graduated with CPE (Computer Engineering) but spent the first few years of my college carrier as an EE major and stayed heavily on the EE side of CPE) contest are flat out wrong.

                There is a lot to the test that _is_ rote memorization: Rules, Frequency bands, the FCC's somewhat arbitrary "safety" guidelines, etc.. Don't think that just learning Ohm's law will get you through.

                My suggestion is to get something like The ARRL License Manual which appears to be the newer version of what they used to call Now You're Talking which hasn't been updated since 2003 it seems. I used to teach Ham Radio classes with the Now You're Talking books and they were very good. (I actually studied for my technician in 1991 with the first edition of Now You're Talking.)

                Anyway. The ARRL books are pretty good about presenting the material in an easy to understand way, but still being detailed and correct. If you really get into it and want more nitty-gritty detail than you can shake a dipole at, there's always The ARRL Handbook. It's targeted heavily toward hams (big shock, I know), but it covers a fair bit of decent electronics theory.

                I wish you luck and look forward to seeing you on Sunday at Noon! :-)

                (And, be glad you don't have to do morse code anymore. :-)
                Last edited by SmittyHalibut; August 5, 2008, 02:10.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                  Thank you for heading this up. This is way cool. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                    Is there a chance to get two exams going this weekend? I'm talking at 1pm on Sunday, and that seems too tight of a schedule for me to make both.

                    EDIT: In case my original post came across too demanding or any hint of special favors, I'd like to expand my thoughts behind the post:

                    1) The state I live in has a butt-load of test dates, so if it's not possible to have more than one, that's fine
                    2) I know people are leaving on Sundays - having two test dates instead of one seems like a better chance of getting more people participating.
                    3) I wrote this without much decent sleep - party here went on until 4am... hard to get decent sleep when a bunch of drunk people are playing rockband 5 feet from you.... man I love DefCon >:-)
                    Last edited by Grendel; August 5, 2008, 09:52.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                      Originally posted by Grendel View Post
                      Is there a chance to get two exams going this weekend? I'm talking at 1pm on Sunday, and that seems too tight of a schedule for me to make both.

                      EDIT: In case my original post came across too demanding or any hint of special favors, I'd like to expand my thoughts behind the post:

                      1) The state I live in has a butt-load of test dates, so if it's not possible to have more than one, that's fine
                      2) I know people are leaving on Sundays - having two test dates instead of one seems like a better chance of getting more people participating.
                      3) I wrote this without much decent sleep - party here went on until 4am... hard to get decent sleep when a bunch of drunk people are playing rockband 5 feet from you.... man I love DefCon >:-)
                      Running an exam session requires a dedicated space, and at least three of us to be in the same room at the same time. It was a challenge to get our schedules synched on Sunday, so I doubt we'd be able to add another session. However, we may still be going after your talk is over...

                      -Jon

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                      • #12
                        Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                        I thought it was an excellent turn out.

                        Of 18 Technician tests administered, 16 passed.

                        Some of those people were then given the option of taking the General exam at no charge and some showed up just to take it. Of 5 General tests, 5 passed.

                        Some of those people were then given the option of taking the Extra exam at no charge while some showed up just to take it. Unfortunately of 7 Extra tests, 0 passed. But I did leave just as another Extra examinee showed up so he may of passed. In their defense the Extra exam is a real nut-buster, especially when you take it without studying at all.

                        In all we had 7 Volunteer Examiners Signed in, but one left before we could get the group photo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                          The late arrival learned that mild inebriation does not help when taking the element 4 exam, leaving the score 0 for 8 for the Extra class.

                          Congratulations to the 16 new hams, and the 5 new generals.

                          Thanks again to all of the guys who showed up and spent most of an afternoon helping run this thing. Having extra hands definitely helped keep the chaos to a minima. This should definitely be repeated next year...

                          -Jon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                            to follow up previous posts, and for future use. Yes theory is important, and yes test questions are random, and yes answers are rearranged (A could be C). But that said, I have learned a lot after I passed the exam, it was just getting passed these odd questions first though.

                            Also, I printed all the questions and took a highlighter to the correct answers, then went back and read the question and only the correct answer. This way, no matter what order they were in, only the one correct answer I read would pop into my head, not the incorrect answers. It also helped me _Learn_ about HAM too, as questions tend to be filled with tidbit "Gotchas" in typical hardware hacker fashion
                            "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Official amateur radio license exam notice

                              Along with another testing session, we are looking at incorporating more ham radio topics into the Wireless Village next year such as antenna theory and construction.
                              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                              Comment

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