Well, as you can see by my callsign, I do not have a license yet. I hope to take the next available test in my area! Is this a nice study guide?
I thought I should get my feet wet in a nice forum for this stuff as I am sure I will need some help.
So, any good stories you guys have? Rookie mistakes you made that should be avoided by a newbie such as myself? Things not to do? What not to say on the air? Looking for some good info, but some laughs are good too!
Well I dont't know where to start. There are a couple of good books out there - the Ham Radio Guide For Dummies would probably be a good start but much better if you are in the USA is the ARRL Handbook (I think thats its name). In fact the ARRL Website is probably a good place to start. Things to do;
1. Listen, Listen, and Listen again. It's the way that you find out how things work, what the radio procedure it, how to conduct yourself on the radio.
2. Treat people on the air as you would wish to be treated. There is no anonymity on the air - we all use callsigns in fact we are proud of our callsigns! So be nice.
3. Politics and religion generally are not good on the air.
4. Remember anyone could be hearing you. Its not a private channel.
5. This only my opinion, but HF (3 to 30 MHz) is where its at as far as the fun goes. 2m and a handy talky only gets you so far - in fact I have never owned one.
6. Morse code is not compulsory but it is a challenge and I find it fun. The advantage is you can run low power and still make some outstanding DX contacts.
7. Experiment - build your own antennas for a start. Its a great learning experience and saves you a great deal of money. My first contact was made with some wire from the hardware store, 10m of coax, a PL259, and a an old plastic 35mm film canister, 2 egg insulators. Total cost under £5. Strung up a dipole cut for the 20m band, tuned it over a period of a few hours (by trimming/folding - not with an antenna tuner). Had no luck for 2 days in the last week of December 2010 and then OE4RLF for Austria came back to me. It felt great.
8. Dont let the curmugeons grind you down. Just ignore them.
9. Ham radio is not CB. Not even a tiny little bit. But it is a close cousin of Shortwave Listening, and thats a great hobby to get into as an adjunct to ham radio.
10. Listen, Listen. LISTEN before you transmit.
Well thats what I could think of off the top of my head!
"The world is my country and to do good is my religion" - Thomas Paine, pamphleteer, radical, intellectual and author - 1737-1809.
Scott Carpenter - motorcyclist, banjo picker, piper, surfer and Skeptic.
We have fun on 2m too, in case you were wondering. .-.. --- .-.. We (mostly) don't have to worry about the curmudgeons. And our on-air gaffes don't usually go halfway around the world, though when they occur in the middle of a busy net... well, yeah.
Originally Posted by 2E0OZI
Get an ht and come join us! Bring some of your HF fun down here.
Regarding the OP, the tech No Nonsense Study Guide looks pretty good, maybe even better than the ARRL guide. (It doesn't have all the "facts" and "sidebars" and other stuff that's good to learn at some point but extremly distracting and irritating when all you want is to pass the test.) When I tested I basically just read an old Novice manual from the '90s and then memorized from the QRZ flashcards. I see the NC4FB site has flashcards too, but they don't seem to let you create an account where they record what answers you've gotten correct so far.
I think http://lcwo.net is a pretty decent site for learning Morse Code. Hope you do well on your journey to becoming a ham! If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.
73 de Sarah kj4oxy
What you get out of amateur radio depends on what you put into it. The ARRL Handbook is nice but it has way too much information in it, still you'll want to pick up a copy. There are some excellent references in there.
When you have a question the answer is usually in there and you will have questions.
The best thing to get are this; http://www.arrl.org/shop/Ham-Radio-L...d-2nd-Edition/.
There are study guides put out by Gordon West that are good as well. There are practice exams you can take here on QRZ.
One thing that works for some folks is the Ham test online; http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/.
These are fine and will show you what your weak points are and the test will start throwing the questions in that area so you can be up and running in no time.
Now, which license are you going for?
When you go in to take your test take the other class tests as well. It won't cost you any additional funds and it'll be good experience for you. Who knows, you may even pass them.
Have fun and good luck
Whenever I'm bringing someone new into the hobby, we come straight here for the practice exams. First I'll give them a 'cheat sheet' to help learn Ohm's Law & a copy of Part 97. I start with some of the easier subsections. A question comes up & we discuss the 'why' behind it before answering. Then we'll repeat that same subsection a few times. There's two ways to use the practice exams. Many people just memorize the correct answer & can pass after seeing the questions enough times. The other way is to use them as a study guide & get a good idea of what you need to know (& learn it in the process).
I'll also 2nd the 'listen, listen, listen' portion. I had my first HT for a few months prior to taking my first exam. I never transmitted of course but I listened to as many repeaters as I could.
Two words off the top of my head...persistence and patience. There are tons of stuff for the young Ham to absorb, and we all have to start at the bottom, except for those with a background in electronics. Learn as much as you can about antennas and feedlines. I bought a used Kenwood TS-520 and put up an 80m vee just so I could motivate myself to upgrade and get on HF. Finding a great Elmer is also critical. Learn as much theory as you can. Enjoy 2 meters for what it is. Join your local club. Your enthusiasm will be much appreciated. Remember it takes time to climb up the ladder, whether you're talking about license class, or just acquiring the skills of a good operator. Don't write off CW, because it's a wonderful mode. Welcome to the best hobby in the world.
I like OZI's stuff. One I might add is don't be quick to take offense. When I started out I felt like I was getting dissed a lot. Turns out most of the stuff I imagined was just that, stuff I imagined.
I have a testing group that tests once a month and I have found that it's quite easy to spot those who only took the pratice tests and the ones who studied the ARRL Manual. If they pass and those who didn't study the books usually miss a lot of questions where the others will only miss 2-3 after all it really is a simple test.
When making out paperwork I ask them 2 questions one is too apply Ohms law and the other is give me the length of a 20m half wave dipole. Those who do so win a year membership in our club and a club hat, I don't give away a lot of hats a lot of the people we test are there for Ecomm or save the world. They have no concept of life beyond the repeater of what the hobby really is about.
We do all we can to elmer the new ops but when they have no intrest what can you do. It seems the power that be wants them to start studying the Nimms Bs and all that other stuff and nothing about the hobby. Then when it comes time for an excerise and they need HF ops they have none all are Techs and the few who upgraded to general have no HF equipment of knowledge to use it.
The need to study and know the material is the basis for the license and to ever progress they need to know this material.
73 de Fred N0AZZ
The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
ARRL member, ARRL and W5YI VE
DX the thrill of the chase
""D-STAR making use of the 2/ 440m repeaters for real world Digital Voice usage around town and around the world""
" Not one of us can do what all of us can do " ** Max Lucado