Trouble understanding theory and circuit concepts

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by W5PB, May 27, 2017.

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  1. W5PB

    W5PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm the same way when it comes to learning vs memorizing. I could do that but it seems like a waste of time. In that's respect, having my lisence expire was a blessing in disguise as it forced me to go back to square one and relearn everything I had forgotten.
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    1. The ARRL QST archives are a treasure trove of articles and projects. Definitely worth the membership cost.

    2. 73 Magazine (defunct) is another source for projects, though one must understand they were published without any sort of technical review, and, particularly in later years, may have errors, be incomplete or largely conceptual.

    3. In my studies I made a master list of all formulas for reference, and a set of flash cards with formulas, concepts and definitions for review. Even the act of creating the lists and cards acts to reinforce the material.
    KU4X and W5PB like this.
  3. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    These are still great tools to use for learning if you don't just put something together and just take it back apart. Just cause they advertise them for kids they are great for adults too.
    Put the project together and then learn why it works before taking it apart. Some come with books that do more then just tell you to put A here and B here and etc. They have books for them that once you put it together it teaches why it does work. So if someone says these are just for kids they are full of crap. We used things like these in college. They looked a bit different back in the 70's and were not labeled as toys but they did the same purpose. I would like to have one of these again to relearn some of the stuff I learned in college but then never used in the real world.
    Some of the people on here that would never touch one of these because they would think they were way above these intellectually but not me. I keep looking at them and thinking of buying one. I think you could learn a lot from these but I don't already know everything as some do. And my brain has forgotten more then it ever learned in college and I am not ashamed to say there is a lot I don't know or have forgotten.
    There are lots of these kits to choose from. I just did a quick Amazon lookup. But try to find one with a study guide. I wish I would have book marked it when I did.

    This is how I lived my working life cause I knew I did not and never would know everything. And don't be ashamed of doing what this said..............................................
    know everything.jpg
    I have had to take a lot of certification tests in my engineering life that were always open book. They did not give a hoot if you could do it from memory, they wanted to know if you could find it and then use the info to answer the question.

    Here is another one that looks like you could learn a lot from. 750 kit.jpg
    I think I might get me one of these.

    That is my opinions.
    John, WB0MPB
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
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  4. W5PB

    W5PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just an update. I'm here at HamCom, went straight for the VE session this morning. I passed the extra exam! If I judged the VE's pen strokes correctly, I only missed 4 or 5 questions.
    K8MHZ, W8YPV and KA0HCP like this.
  5. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    A new Callsign and a new license class. A brand new you. Congrats on the Extra. No so tough after all.
    W5PB likes this.
  6. W5PB

    W5PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you! My current call is a vanity, just got it recently. Going to hang on to it for a while and maybe I'll get lucky an snag a 1x2 at some point.
  7. KW5KB

    KW5KB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats! Well done!

    I was going to second that it is not just possible to pass without a calculator, but actually ace it without a calculator. (I know because I did it at the first Saturday exam session in Arlington last month)

    For some questions a mental estimate will get you close enough, and others there are trends in the answers that save you the work if you recognize them. And also just luck in the actual questions you get.
    W5PB likes this.
  8. W5PB

    W5PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I brought my calculator but didn't need it. The test I was given had no calculations and none of them involved referring to any of the diagrams.

    I have noticed there are patterns to some of the questions and some are worded so that you can guess the answer with careful reading.

    Then again, I have also encountered some questions while studying that had to answers that seems to be very similarly worded and were difficult to figure out.

    I still have a chapter and a half yet to read in the study manual, which I still plan in completing. But after 3 months of study I felt ready enough to try it.
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Questions involving logs and trig functions call for a calculator - unless you've memorized the log and trig tables, which I can't imagine doing, but some claim to have done. For dB questions, I was always able to pick the correct answer without doing the math. 3 dB is x2, -3dB is 1/2, 6 dB is X4, -6 is 1/4, 10 dB is X10, 20 dB is 100X 30 dB is 1000X, etc.. The current General test has one that really requires you to do the math though.

    I studied for my Extra in 1972, and it took me about 6 months to prepare. Like you, I wanted to actually understand the material. I used the License Manual, the ARRL Handbook, Bill Orr's Radio Handbook, and a big study guide for the FCC First Class Commercial ticket to prepare. I learned a lot, and have continued to learn since then. I'd say most of what I know came after I had the license.
    W5PB likes this.
  10. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually you do not have to memorise the actual tables, but only the "trig" function values for a very few cardinal points (0,30,45 and 60 degrees),
    and then remember the sign rules when moving around the quadrants in unit circle together with the definitions of the derived functions (tan, cot)
    For "logs" the same reasoning applies.

    A friend at University long ago said that "you can make a living out of EE by just remembering that:
    1. kTB = -174 dBm/Hz
    2. sin(x) = x for small x and
    3. U = R times I "
    I am sometimes inclined to believe him... :)


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