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Author Topic: Online Training  (Read 1794 times)

Posts: 74


« on: June 15, 2007, 07:46:38 AM »

In our busy world today, a lot of hams simply don't have the time to attend hours of lecture type training. And sometimes, EMCOMM and other groups tend to not use those folks.

Should an amateur get training, which equates to knowledege? SURE! But, how can the busy ham get training?

There are a lot of good resources online that a ham can look at, read, even take tests online to score himself. I'm not going to publish a long list of links here, but offer suggestions, and others might want to add their own.

(1) The ARRL has a lot of info online that cost nothing to read, and a lot of it is available to non-members. On example is the "Public Service Communications Manual". The "TIS" menu also has some good stuff.

(2) KY ARES and Colorado ARES both have a full menu of training guides and tests online for all kinds of topics to do with EMCOMM.

(3) You can Google "MARS Basic Training Course" and come up with some online links to their training, which is great training for Net Control operators, as it teaches "Circuit Discipline".

(4) Yahoo Groups and other online groups can be a good source of training and info, especially for digital mode operation. Just do your email box a favor...check the "I'll read the posts online" deal so your inbox doesn't start dragging the ground!

(5) EHam has some good stuff in its forums.

(6) The National Weather Service as well as the Hurricane Watch Net have great training guides for Skywarn and Hurricane reporting.

There is a literal encyclopedia at your finger tips, all of which can be researched at your leisure.

That said, training is good, but experience is the best test for the training. If you are able, get involved with a local group.

Scott NA4IT

Posts: 410


« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2007, 09:27:14 AM »

Well said.

Posts: 2415

« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 01:06:04 AM »

The ARRL Emcomm training courses used to be totally free when the grant money was available, Now there is a nominal charge to take the level I, II or III courses. They are not all that expensive, and overall, Provide LOTS of good information.

Dont forget FEMA/DHS NIMS training, Also totally free:

Many great courses to take, Nice certificates issued upon completion.

All of this can be done without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Combine such courses with some on-air net training will go a long way toward making anyone a very helpful radio communicator!

Posts: 297

« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 07:36:32 AM »

The online courses are wonderful.  I completed the ARECC ones from the ARRL and a lot of the FEMA online courses, while studying at law school at the same time.  The FEMA ones are completely free, so there's really no reason why not to take them.  I was interested in radiological disasters, so I took the FEMA course on that subject.  You will learn a lot by taking any of the courses (ARRL or FEMA).  These still won't replace real-world experience though.   The folks over at REACT International offer a package to be a certified "Ecomm" operator (they'll even send a nice certificate for a very nominal charge).  The REACT course is very similar to the ARECC Level I, but I think it's a little better because it does not focus solely on amateur radio.

73 de KB3LSR

Posts: 166

« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2007, 07:34:31 AM »

While the ARRL ARECC Courses are OK, it will be rare to find anyone to be willing to spend $150 to take them. A few will take the entry level course, but it does not seem to be that many. I suspect that most of the radio amateurs who do take the courses will be doing it to fulfill ARRL requirements for ARES positions.

Although I took all three courses when they were subsidized, I would not have done this if I would have had to pay for them. The value of the course work to me was mostly making sure that I was not missing anything from past knowledge and experience and while I may not agree with all the material, (either did some of the mentors), it gives you a perspective on current thought. Having the documents in computer form is useful since you have a ready reference.

I strongly support that any emergency material needs to be freely available and I have written to my ARRL Division Director and Vice Director, but never received any response back.

The entry level FEMA courses really do not have a great deal of value specific to radio amateurs since they are general information on the overall structure of Incident Command and the naming conventions. As a radio operator, I don't deny that it can be useful to know some of the jargon, but for most of us, you would need access to this material in order to keep it fresh in your mind since we don't use it that much and it does not seem to follow conventional structures, e.g., civilian DoD.


Rick, KV9U


Posts: 1045


« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 05:07:14 AM »

The Virginia RACES training is also free.

The latest version being taught by the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management can be downloaded at the URL:

Additional material is contained in the RACES Resource Library at:
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