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How To Become a HAM Radio Operator




NYECOGunsmith

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Reminder, HAM radio Exam this coming Saturday, 11 March 2017 at 1300 hours (1PM) in Pahrump at the Nye County Emergency Operations Center, 1510 Siri Lane, for anyone interested.

There will also be a Technician class study from 8 am to 12 noon at the same location, if you have been studying for your Tech class license and want some extra study, have questions answered by three old hams, two of whom are Electronics Engineers, call Dick Grady at 775-513-4388 and make a reservation for the class.

This class ALONE WLL NOT give you the information you need to be able to pass the exam, you will need to have studied the material for a couple of weeks in advance.

Also, for the HAMS in Las Vegas, The Mt. Potosi Low UHF Repeater, 449.250 (-) PL 141.3, part of the Tri State Repeater Association Network , is DOWN with no estimated return to active use.

High winds brought down the tower that the repeater's antenna is on, and took out the power source also.
 
Steve,
Would the class be appropriate for a Noob?

I know how to use the "press to talk". haha. Im interested in class if Noob friendly.

Pat

Reminder, HAM radio Exam this coming Saturday, 11 March 2017 at 1300 hours (1PM) in Pahrump at the Nye County Emergency Operations Center, 1510 Siri Lane, for anyone interested.

There will also be a Technician class study from 8 am to 12 noon at the same location, if you have been studying for your Tech class license and want some extra study, have questions answered by three old hams, two of whom are Electronics Engineers, call Dick Grady at 775-513-4388 and make a reservation for the class.

This class ALONE WLL NOT give you the information you need to be able to pass the exam, you will need to have studied the material for a couple of weeks in advance.

Also, for the HAMS in Las Vegas, The Mt. Potosi Low UHF Repeater, 449.250 (-) PL 141.3, part of the Tri State Repeater Association Network , is DOWN with no estimated return to active use.

High winds brought down the tower that the repeater's antenna is on, and took out the power source also.
 
Pat,

Tech Class is the noob class in ham radio. with that said I have to believe that the class would be noob friendly. get a copy of Now You're talking! and do a little reading. Tech Class is all about how to be a ham operator and a little bit of band info. Not hard just a little time and reading. When I got my first license there were five classes now there are just 3. Good Luck as you learn more.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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Steve,
Would the class be appropriate for a Noob?

I know how to use the "press to talk". haha. Im interested in class if Noob friendly.

Pat
Pat, the class is geared towards newbies....but it is designed to help folks who have been studying the Technician Class Question pool on their own for a couple of weeks or more, and who are having trouble remembering some or all the answers to the questions.

We provide memory tricks and such for that, and explain how and why (to a limited depth of course) things work, what you can and can't do in regards to the law, and we give tips on where to purchase radios most economically, how to build your own antennas, etc.

Then after reviewing all the questions in the pool, plus the above , we give the exam.

With folks who have studied for 30 to 60 minutes a day for 2 to 4 weeks in advance of taking the class, plus taking the class and then the exam right afterwards, we have a 98% pass on the first try rate.

The class alone, with no prior study, would not likely be enough to see a successful passing of the Technician class exam, although we have had two people who did just that.

One person worked in radio controls for stages and such and was an electrician with an electrical engineering background as well, the other fellow has a true eidetic memory, anything he sees or hears, he remembers. He listened to us go over all 404 questions in the pool, with the correct answers, plus the other info, took the test and scored a perfect 100% correct answers.

But those to are the exception.

If you currently don't have a Technician Class License, I would suggest you start by downloading the Current 2014-2018 ARRL Technician Class Question Pool, from this link: http://ncvec.org/page.php?id=362

The one you want is the "
2014-2018 FCC Element 2 Technician Class Question Pool.doc"

And also down load the graphics (schematics) that go with it, the ones you want there are:
Graphic T-1.jpg
Graphic T-2.jpg
Graphic T-3.jpg

In the word doc format, you can go through each question, the correct answer is shown by a letter in parenthesis ,A, B, C or D, do not memorize the letter that goes with the correct answer, it will most likely not be the same letter associated with the correct answer on the exam!

We have had two people fail the exam because that is the way they studied, they memorized the question and the letter that was shown on the ARRL pool as the correct answer, don't do it!

Go through the word doc, and erase all the incorrect answers , leaving just the correct answer and the question.

Now if you study that for 30 to 60 minutes per day, for 2 to 4 weeks, and take the free practice exams located on QRZ.com, you will quickly learn the material.

When you are passing the practice exams on QRZ.com with a score of 80% or better, you are ready to take the real exam, as it only requires a passing score of 74%, you have to get 26 out of 35 questions correct on the real exam.

If you want more practice, then sign up for one of the study sessions.
We offer them each month on the same day we hold the exams, that is the second Saturday of every month, at the same location posted above. But you must call Dick Grady and register for the class, it is free, but unless we have at least one person wanting to take the study class, we don't hold it. This month we have 3 people who have signed up for this Saturday's class.

The three of us who teach it have nearly 100 years combined radio experience, and if we don't know the answer to your radio question, one of us will find it for you and get back to you ASAP.

Dick has a Masters Degree in Electronics, and worked for Bell Labs for 35 years designing and building all types of radio gear.

Jerry was in the Navy for 25 years, and was a communications specialist there the entire time, he has 50+ years of using radios behind him, and is extremely active on HF,VHF and UHF every day, he contests and works world wide HF nets constantly.

If you have any other questions, post 'em here and I will try to answer them for ya.
 
Thanks for the response and ton of info, guys. Always appreciated.

I think I will take your advice and read up and plan on attending next months class/exam. I havent seen the thread updated in a while, I am glad to see you guys are still doing it!

Pat
 

NYECOGunsmith

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Thanks for the response and ton of info, guys. Always appreciated.

I think I will take your advice and read up and plan on attending next months class/exam. I havent seen the thread updated in a while, I am glad to see you guys are still doing it!

Pat
Will look forward to seeing / meeting ya.

The class and exam are located at
The Nye County Emergency Operations Center
1510 Siri Lane, Pahrump, NV 89060.

Class starts at 0800 (don't forget to register for it in advance with Dick Grady at
775-513-4388), break for lunch at 12 noon, exam starts at 1300 (1 PM).
Bring $15 (cost of the exam, goes to ARRL/FCC) , and a photo ID , or two non photo ID's, a #2 lead pencil and and a black or blue ink pen.

From Las Vegas take Highway 160 / Blue Diamond Road WEST towards Pahrump.

At the third stop light you come to in Pahrump, which is BASIN st. turn right.
Go up to Kitty Hawk (self storage will be on the left / north west corner, Sheriff's Office and Jail on the north east corner of the intersection) and turn left (north) onto Kitty Hawk.

Go down to the first street on the right, which is Siri Lane, and turn right, then an immediate LEFT, through the double gates, into the parking lot of the EOC at 1510 Siri Lane. There should be a large yellow sign hanging on the fence next to the gates saying "Amateur Radio Exams Here Today".

Use the door on the North side of the building (single man door near the west end of the building , close to one of the radio towers, follow the signs) to enter the room where the class and exam are held.

If you see a white, 4 door H1 HUMMER in the parking lot, you are in the right place.

If all you see are Sheriff's department squad cars, you are in the wrong place, and have some 'splainin to do! You should have turned LEFT into the EOC from Siri Lane, not RIGHT into the Sheriff's Department access controlled / restricted parking lot!
 
Steve,
We have met! You schooled us on some Skeet shootin a few years back! Speaking of, I need a refresher.

Anyway, thanks for the details. I put in my calendar and second Sat in April is booked, so see you in May. I will make sure to register with Dick.

Pat
 

NYECOGunsmith

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Steve,
We have met! You schooled us on some Skeet shootin a few years back! Speaking of, I need a refresher.

Anyway, thanks for the details. I put in my calendar and second Sat in April is booked, so see you in May. I will make sure to register with Dick.

Pat
Ahh, now I remember!

I just shot 4 rounds of skeet last Friday, first skeet in almost 2 years , been busy since the wife took ill and then passed, guess I can't go that long and expect to go straight, only broke 92 of 100 , posted rounds of 21, 24,23,24, and by that fourth round my arthritic shoulders were getting tired lifting the gun......guess I will have to do a lot more of it and get back in the swing of things..........so maybe you can give me the refresher this time, Pat.

I'm getting old and the memory ain't what it ..........who's this again, and what were we talkin about?
 

Ed1963

Pro Constitution
I have a question my brother in law passed away in Wisconsin feb 1st he's had the same ham radio operators license since like 1957. how would a person go about a finial sign off for him or would a person get in trouble if they just done it. thanks for the info


oh yea also may have some equipment very old in great working order for sale later this year.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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I have a question my brother in law passed away in Wisconsin feb 1st he's had the same ham radio operators license since like 1957. how would a person go about a finial sign off for him or would a person get in trouble if they just done it. thanks for the info


oh yea also may have some equipment very old in great working order for sale later this year.
Sorry to hear of your loss, and that your brother in law is now a "silent key" as we Hams say.

No one other than the license holder may use the licensee' s call sign, so there is no way for you or anyone else to legally "sign off" on the air using
His call sign..

You can send either a copy of his obituary or a photo copy of his death certificate along with his name and call sign to the ARRL, the American Radio Relay League, and they will put his name, call sign, state and city in the QST Ham Radio magazine, in the Silent Key tribute section, that's the usual final sign off for a ham.
 

Ed1963

Pro Constitution
Sorry to hear of your loss, and that your brother in law is now a "silent key" as we Hams say.

No one other than the license holder may use the licensee' s call sign, so there is no way for you or anyone else to legally "sign off" on the air using
His call sign..

You can send either a copy of his obituary or a photo copy of his death certificate along with his name and call sign to the ARRL, the American Radio Relay League, and they will put his name, call sign, state and city in the QST Ham Radio magazine, in the Silent Key tribute section, that's the usual final sign off for a ham.
thanks will have my wife do so
 

SundevilSG

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I really need to quit being lazy and get on this.

My boy is getting older and I'm looking forward to taking him camping and exploring in a few years.

I'm sure its been asked, but does anyone have recommendations on a good, entry level battery powered handled suitable for hiking and camping?
 

NYECOGunsmith

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I really need to quit being lazy and get on this.

My boy is getting older and I'm looking forward to taking him camping and exploring in a few years.

I'm sure its been asked, but does anyone have recommendations on a good, entry level battery powered handled suitable for hiking and camping?
On the EXTREME low cost end, Bao Feng UV5R for under $30.

For durability, ease of use, reliability and ease of repair if needed, Yaesu FT60 for about $150.

Both are VHF and UHF dual band radios, the Yaesu is far easier to use however, and is waterproof to 3 meters for 30 minutes as I recall.

And you can use them with just the Technician Class or higher license.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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PS, next exam session in Pahrump is Saturday 13May 2017, if you start studying now, spend 30-60 minutes per day studying, that should be plenty of time to pass the Tech license exam.

See previous posts in this section for the free study materials from the ARRL, or drop me a note and I can point you to them.

I am a VE and will be working that exam session by the way.
 

Jesu27

7.62x39 solution
I have a question for the hams operators here. A few years ago I got a bug to listen to shortwave. I bought a Grundig satellite 750 on a whim. I was using the copper wire method for a while with some success. Then one drunken night I broke the main attenae. I want to know what do I need to do to listen to shortwave without building a tower. I remember looking at those indoor loops but I thought the price was kinda high.

I guess I'm just looking for opinions from people who know there ****. Cause I know nothing in this matter.
Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
 

ricklaut

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Others with experience in shortwave listening may come along and offer better advice, but I'd start with a "long wire" (50+ feet). You can attach it with an alligator clip, and extend it up and way, avoiding metal and other wires, preferably getting it outdoors. Cheap and easy rules the day as you learn & figure out what works.

Loops can be effective, but as you saw, they can be expensive. Some swear by them as they aren't as prone to picking up noise.
 

DonTom

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I have a question for the hams operators here. A few years ago I got a bug to listen to shortwave. I bought a Grundig satellite 750 on a whim. I was using the copper wire method for a while with some success. Then one drunken night I broke the main attenae. I want to know what do I need to do to listen to shortwave without building a tower. I remember looking at those indoor loops but I thought the price was kinda high.

I guess I'm just looking for opinions from people who know there ****. Cause I know nothing in this matter.
Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
Receive antennas are not very critical. Just a long wire will do for HF and it really does not have to be that long or high. The poorer antennas will often give less unwanted noise as well as less wanted signal. But it's mainly the signal to noise ratio that is important on the HF bands. So just run a random wire and see how it works. For lower frequencies you probably want the wire to be longer, but just about anything longer than 20 feet or so should work fairly well. Just try any random wire antenna length and see how it works and experiment a bit.

Transmit antennas are very critical, unlike receive only antennas. With receive antennas, the idea is simply to get the best signal and less noise,
but they usually go together on HF anyway. So just see what works.

-Don- AA6GA/7 Reno
 
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