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Author Topic: Lots of Question-Looking in to the Hobby  (Read 1413 times)

Posts: 6

« on: August 06, 2005, 11:32:17 AM »

I may want to join a local club or look in to buying a base station. Of course I need to get a liscense first and I am looking in to that as well.

I was a Radio Message Router in the Air Force in the 70s and I am now semi retired..

Looking for some advice on what type of equipent and antenna I should get etc.....

I will find out how to study for the test and where to take it, but I'm dumb as a stump about the equipment.
Thanks for any advice anyone can provide...

Posts: 185

« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2005, 03:10:30 PM »

Welcome! Ham radio is a great hobby and there is soooo much that can be done with but I will try to give you the basics.

Amateur radio covers many bands and has three license levels. Each level is granted via an exam consisting of electronic and radio theory, FCC regulations, and good amateur practice. There is also a mode code exam for the two higher license levels. It's only 5 words per minute. The basic level (technican) does not require a morse code test. The next 2 levels will. This may change shortly, but now the code exam is part of the testing. The upper 2 are the general and amatuer extra license exams. These require more in-depth knowledge of theory and regulations, but they also have more privileges than the technician. The amateur extra is the highest class and the most technical. To attain any of the three levels, one must pass each level exam before going onwards. While it is possible for someone to take all of the tests in one day, most people  upgrade their licenses going though each level test over a period of time.

The technician exam is simplest, very basic knowedge of theory and no Morse code exam. I believe the current test is 35 questions, multiple choice. Technician have all amateur commnications modes above 50 mhz. The modes are, AM,FM,single sidebands, Morse code, TV, data, and satillites. The tech privileges are mostly all local signals, however, but you can also bounce signals off the moom, too. There are few long distance communications but at times, atmospheric conditions allow some long distance contacts.

Generals have privileges that allow them to make international radio contacts throughout the world on the shortwave bands. The modes are the same. There's little FM on these bands. Lots of Morse code and data are there, and slow-scan TV, and voice.

The amateur extra class enables an extra to do every possilbe mode on the entire amateur bands. The differences between a general and extra privilges are in the amounts of space in each band. Extras have everything, generals have a bunch, techs can't do anything on shortwave unless they pass a Morse test but only get a little sliver of freuqencies.

I suggest you visit Everything you need to know about ham radio and the license classes are there.

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