Studying for Tech ticket - getting there !

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KA2PTE, Jul 10, 2017.

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  1. KA2PTE

    KA2PTE Ham Member QRZ Page

    These practice exams are wonderful resources on this site. I like how it tracks your score progress too.

    I am improving little by little :

    t2014 2017-06-12 23:39:18 60.00%
    t2014 2017-06-27 02:06:56 65.71%
    t2014 2017-07-02 04:59:49 62.86%
    t2014 2017-07-03 00:13:38 60.00%
    t2014 2017-07-04 04:40:29 74.29%
    t2014 2017-07-05 02:13:14 74.29%
    t2014 2017-07-10 01:29:59 71.43%

    I am gonna go with QRZ's recommendation that I get to 80-85% before I take my shot.

    My weak points are some of the rules and regulations, and the types of transmissions on certain bands. Back when I was a novice there was not really much data type transmissions, at least not available for hams, it was mostly sophisticated military transmissions that you more or less just tuned past.

    1 question I meant to ask was, can any ham give an exam ? Or does it have to be a ham who is a greater class than the ham seeking an upgrade?
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's not just any ham. An exam must be given by a group of at least three accredited Volunteer Examiners (VEs), and none of them can be family members of any of the examinees. To become an accredited Volunteer Examiner, one must meet the standards of an agency called a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) that has an agreement with the FCC. The ARRL is one of the largest VECs, but there are several others.

    I happen to be a VE under the ARRL program. The process of becoming a VE is that one has to pass an exam regarding the rules for administering exams. The exam to become an ARRL VE is open-book, and may be completed at home. That makes it sound really easy, but on the other hand, there are many essay questions, and the answers aren't published anywhere (to my knowledge), so the process of completing the exam is likely to force you to read and become familiar with the exam procedures.

    An Extra class ham who is a VE can give exams for Technician, General, or Extra class. A General class ham who is a VE can only give Technician class exams. A Technician class ham can't become a VE. That's not quite exactly the same as saying that the examiner must have a greater class than the ham seeking an upgrade.

    For anyone interested in becoming an ARRL VE, see here:
    KA2PTE likes this.
  3. KA2PTE

    KA2PTE Ham Member QRZ Page

    @AG6QR -

    Thanks for explaining that, interesting.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can find a VE test session near you on the ARRL web site.

    You can contact me offline if you need help with specific questions. My email is my call .
    KA2PTE likes this.
  5. KA2PTE

    KA2PTE Ham Member QRZ Page

    So am still improving, I scored 80% or more 2 times in a row, then it seems once in a while they throw me a test with all my weak points and I go back down into the mid 60%.

    For some more support, I attended a local Ham club meeting for the 1st time. It was a great experience, met alot of local Hams, and there was someone else studying for the exam too.

    There is another club about 60 miles or so north of that one, which I will check out in a couple of weeks as well. They have VE scheduled sessions and invited me to their regular meeting where a member will be discussing an SDR USB dongle or something.

    As I have been out of the loop for 32 years (hard to believe its that long) its interesting seeing all the new stuff goin on w the www.

    I find myself still clinging to the nostalgia days with my Heathkit cw transmitter and my Hammarlund HQ-129X reciever. That tube gear sure was fun
    to use and how I got my 1st start.
  6. KA2PTE

    KA2PTE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok Im up to 80-90% almost every time, so I decided to take the test at a Ham fest tomorrow. Already contacted the Ham doing the VE in the AM, and he recommended I take some
    General class practice exams while Im am at it. I was taking some as I was practicing for the Tech, and not getting over 60%. Took a few more recently and Im in the 60-65% area with less than 8 taken. Might try a few more tonight, but I don think Im close enough yet. He did say if u pass the Tech u can take the general right after for free, so maybe I will if I feel brave.
  7. KA2PTE

    KA2PTE Ham Member QRZ Page


    Ok guys, u are in trouble now! I passed the Tech exam ! muhahah!

    Took the general for free afterwards, but didnt make it.

    My 1st ham fest since 1985, really great to be there and meet the Hams and get active again.
    I bought a set of Radio shack stereo speakers from 1 of the vendors, and listening to the k3fef sdr with them now...
    ah , life is good. Hehe.

    I guess I will try to get a dipole up for 80m soon, maybe an inverted V or something. Another ham that stopped by my store
    said because of the elevation above sea level, a dipole needs to only be about 10 feet of the gnd to get good propogation in
    the ionosphere. I love 80m because I use to cw on it back in the day w my novice ticket.

    Never did 2m but I guess thats mostly whats in use around here , and all I need is a small hand held. Could have got 1 today at the fest I guess,
    but not sure what ones work with the repeaters in the area.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
    N6QIC likes this.
  8. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the warning, and welcome back. Just one word of caution. Always be ready to question some aspects of any advice you are given. Even from the best intentioned knowledgeable sources.

    You were told that a VE that is a relative can not administer a ham exam for you. That is MOSTLY true. But a Cousin is a relative, and that relationship is NOT spelled out as in the VE manual as one of the relationships that is not allowed. I would think it would NOT be advisable to be tested by your Cousin, to avoid any appearance of impropriety, but it is not prohibited. You never know exactly how specific the advice you received is. So be prepared to question it.

    You were given advice about a dipole antenna supported 10 feet off the ground. There is one universal truth about any antenna. An antenna deployed at any height will work much better than an antenna in a box on a shelf. Question anything else.

    The height of a dipole in wavelengths above the ground has known affects on the Impedance and the Radiation Pattern. And the wavelength of 80 meters is 4 times greater than the wavelength of 20 meters. So at the same exact elevation, they would yield quite different results.

    Here is a link to a good explanation of the affects of different wavelength elevations of a dipole above ground. And not all ground is created equal, which can be another variable.

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