Studying General

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by KB3SKU, Mar 17, 2009.

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  1. N9IVX

    N9IVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all! I became a Novice operator 20 years ago, upgraded to a Technician Plus soon after, was into it for about 5 years but drifted away until recently. I'm hoping to upgrade to General class privileges and set up my first HF station in the next month or so. I have a couple questions for the forum: Is the January 2007 question pool the latest revision I should be studying and what is the minimum score/grade needed to pass?

  2. WU8Y

    WU8Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, the 2007 General pool is valid until 2011.

    The passing mark is 26 correct of 35 questions. 47 CFR 97.503(b).
  3. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    General Test

    Just remember that math symbols represent real values (numbers) that are shorthand for those values, much as single words do.

    Equations represent a complete statement, much as a complete sentence represents a thought or concept.

    For example, using an engineering calculator or equivalent, find the resonant frequency of an LC cicuit using the equation
    F = 1/[2*pi*SQRT(L*C)]; * means multiply; 1/something means take the inverse or simply divide 1 by the "something." SQRT(L*C) means multiply the L times the C and THEN take the Square Root of the L*C value.

    Hit the CLEAR key on your calculator.

    A. First, take 2 times pi = 2 * 3.14 = 6.28. Write that down or commit to memory.


    B. Second, take the L (inductor) value; let's say it's 25 uH or 25 microHenrys or 25uH, which is 0.000025 Henrys or 25E-6 Henrys or 25E-06 Henrys.
    Then take the C (capacitor) value; let's say it is 300 pF or 300 picoFarads. This is 0.000000000300 Farads or 300E-12 Farads.

    C. Next multiply your L value times your C value (L*C) and write down that answer. It should be 7.5E-15.


    D. On your calculator find the square root (checkmark) symbol or SQRT(). Take the value you calculated above in C and hit the answer key. It should be 8.66E-8 or 8.66E-08 depending on how your calculator displays it. Write this number down.


    E. Now take the answer from D and multiply it by 6.28; it should be equal to 5.44E-7 or 5.44E-07. Write this down.


    F. Now divide 1 by the answer in E. (5.44E-07) or 1/(5.44E-07); it should be 1.838695E06 Hertz, or 1,838,695 Hertz (one million, eight hundred thirty eight thousand, six hundred ninety five Hertz),or
    F = 1.838695 MegaHertz (MHz), which would be a frequency in the 160 meter band.

    Just do things step-by-step and you will get there. Have faith.


    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  4. N9IVX

    N9IVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    WU8Y thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.
  5. K9PAC

    K9PAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Keep at it! I studied about 12 hrs per week for 3 weeks and yesterday, 4/11/09, I took and passed my General. If a 56 year old stagehand who was a Theater/English major 30+ years ago can do it, you can too.
    Read the book and take practice tests and read the book and take practice tests and then read the book and take practice tests...

  6. KD0EAH

    KD0EAH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Take the practice tests.

    It's as easy as P=IE
  7. KB9YIV

    KB9YIV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Sent you a PM

  8. KE5ZFJ

    KE5ZFJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Help with passing the General exam

    I recommend as well as taking the online tests and studying the books, listen to the General pod classes found on by John Martin, KF8KK and Mike Dell, N7LMJ.

    It really helped me studying while I was drving to and from work.
    I used the ARRL book and the podclass on my ipod.

    John and Mike also have a pod class for Extra.
  9. KD0DKI

    KD0DKI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Jimmy Buffet wrote a song called "Math Sucks" I tend to agree but I use it all the time without knowing it.

    Everything I learn needs to apply to something I need to do (I don't know why). When you get an equation that seams to be in greek try to think of how you would use that equation. Model the idea, own the reason you need to learn it.

    A safe hight for an antenna so you don't cook your neighbor or your self maybe? RF is not a toy (well there is 11m) it can be dangerous but by learning how to manage the danger we stay safe.

    I some times think the math questions in general are more about safety then really knowing the math. I'm working on general and taking my time because I really want to understand the concepts.
  10. K7AAR

    K7AAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Has the OP taken his test yet?
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