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Study Material for Tests

Paul Guido (N5IUT) on August 26, 2006
View comments about this article!

A new question pool is now in use for the Technicians Test (Element 2). All tests after July 1, 2006 till July 1, 2010 will use the new pool. To download the new pool go to the NCVEC web site at
The ARRL has released their book on the test with a new name. The old Now Your Talking book is now called the Ham Radio License Manual. A new release of Gordon West's Technicians Class Study Manual is also available.
Instructors and students can find current testing and training information at N5NA's web site at . The site has links to free Power Point presentations, Study Guides, Morse Code training, and much more. This information can be used by both the instructor and student. If you know of someone that wishes to get their Amateur Radio license and wants to learn more about what is on the test, point them to this site for links and information.
In April 2006 I started working on the idea of a new type of free study guide for the test, one that would be a collaborative effort by instructors. I called the name of the endeavor the Radio Teacher Project with the goal of collaboratively creating a Study Guide with the features of a textbook created from the new question pool. A web site was created at to support the project. Last week version 2.0 of the Technicians Test Self Study Guide was released.
This textbook styled study guide for the new test was created to support the new pool of questions. All 339 questions from the pool are addressed in the guide. The guide is 100 pages with 105 review questions, 64 figures and has an index that contains over 250 terms.
The Radio Teacher Project site also contains instructor notes for download on all ten subelements of the new Technicians test question pool.
Two experimental video examples are on the Radio Teacher Project web site. The two videos on AM and FM are rough but show the potential of video lessons and training.
The new General Question Pool will be released around January 2007 with more questions and complex subjects to be covered.
This new project needs instructors and others interested in promoting Amateur Radio to help out creating the new General Test Self Study Guide.
We are looking for writers, editors and subject matter experts with the desire to help create a free guide for the new General test. Please email the address on the Radio Teacher Project web site if you wish to help.
Paul Guido, N5IUT

Editor, Radio Teacher Project

Member Comments:
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Study Material for Tests  
by K0BG on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
From outward appearances, you're duplicating the efforts of others. Nonetheless, I'm sure some folks will find it useful. Your competition already has the editors, teachers, etc. in place, so it will be an uphill battle.

In any case, good Luck, and you'll need it, as I know first hand how much effort it takes to maintain a dynamic web site.

Alan, KBG
Study Material for Tests  
by N4OYO on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Looks like a great study guide and I plan to make use of it. I am tasked with getting 10 to 15 law enforcement officers if central Florida their Tech ticket and this looks like just what I need. Thank you.

W. E. Reeve
Power Point Presentations for new Tech Pool  
by N5IUT on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Bob, K3DIO has created a wonderful set of Power Point Presentations for the new Technicians Test Pool. The presentations make a great compliment to the Radio Teacher Project Technician Study Guide.

***** Message posted by K3DIO
Power Point Presentation for new QP

These sites are where you can download the Power Point Presentations for the new Tech QP. Suggest you go to the first URL listed and read the description of what you'll be downloading. Mike has done a super job on his site to make it easy to download and read what you're getting.

The Second URL is an FTP site compliments WB5QNG, Allan, and is easy to operate to download the files. Most of you already know N5NA, Alan, and his site and the goodies he has there.

Each PPT has three sections to them. The first is what I call the Information part. This is the guts of the lessons. The second part is what I call: `Take Aways` and this section is a condensed set of the `info` section. The third section is the questions and answers for that sub-element. There is lots of custom animation throughout the PPT`s. Each question in section three will show the correct answer by the next mouse click.

Public domain, free use, non-commercial use, no charging to use..those who participated in this project are giving back to our hobby and we would request that you do the same. Please feel free to send any comments and/or suggestions to me as my next project is for the current General License and any and all input will be greatly appreciated.

Bob, K3DIO
RE: Study Material for Tests  
by K8MHZ on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I think that the request for input from teachers and the ease of networking with same is what makes this effort different. Count me in. I have also requested to join the Yahoo discussion group.

My concern is quality not quantity. While the push for emcomm operators certainly has merit we must also realize that there are other provisions of 97.1 that we must adhere to.

As teachers we have the responsibility to assure our students will be a welcome part of the hobby / service. There must be more to our classes than just learning to pass the test.

Thanks for the extra effort.
Study Material for Tests  
by K1CJS on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!

Your effort seems to be taking a different track from similar efforts, but still seems to be missing the point of studying for the ham radio license. The potential ham ought to be studying the material to find out the how and why of the subject that the question is being asked about. If this is what you are stressing--not just the question and the correct answer choice--then you are indeed going in a better direction. If you are just going the question and correct answer choice route, you are definitely just doing the work others have already done.

In either case you are doing something useful, more useful than those who are just sitting on the sidelines and moaning about the dumbing down of the ham radio hobby. I will be watching this thread to see what develops and the answer to my question--and I may be interested in helping out. I have an ARRL email address and can be reached there.

73, Chris, K1CJS
RE: Study Material for Tests  
by N6AJR on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I always see the license ass a permit to learn, so any way (legally any how) to get ticketed is fine, then go from there in the direction you like, be it cw, or ssb, or sstv, or psk31, or DX, or moonbounce, contesting, or a hundred other ways. It would be impossible to teach all of these on an entry test, or even the extra test.

I always reccommend folks get a ARRL handbook , new or from the last 10 years, and any other books on stuff that intrests them like antenns etc.

Then I send them to for the question answer, question answer, format to learn about what they need to learn. then when they start hitting 80% or so there, I send them to for the 35 questions then the answers at the end, to give them confidence for the "real " test.

I also steer them to to start on the code learning, and tell them its an Ham thing , whether required or not.

I also send them to, and tell them to click on "exams" and type in their zip code. this will bring up a list of local testers, usually sponsored by a local club , and have them call the contact number and go check out the club (or 2 or 3) and find an elmer.

so I try to encourage them to start learning and find a passion in ham radio that could last a lifetime. men and women, boys and girls, knowledge and confidence, a powewrfull team
Study Material for Tests  
by K5LBU on August 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Wow just what I have been looking for. I am trying to get my students in my middle school intrested. I have 3 classes each day and we started going over the Tech class last week. If any go all the way great if not at least they have heard of Ham radio. I am willing to use anything I can find that will help me get it across to these 7th and 8th grad students. Now if I can just get some Spanish speaking hams and some African American hams come and talk to each of my classes I think that would help a bunch also. I do have a good station at my school. The station is active and we put out a great signal. Our call is K5OMS. my email at school is we are on the west side of Houston. My call is K5LBU
RE: Study Material for Tests  
by K8MHZ on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!


Check your log. We worked 2-16-06 22:40 Z

I actually use your QSL card along with others from schools I have worked to try to get middle school aged kids interested. My daughter is a 13 year old Tech Plus first licensed at age 11.

Keep up the good work and hope to catch you on the air again soon. Please feel free to email me with questions or ideas. Also check out the Yahoo group. I joined it and hope to see others do the same. Yahoo groups are great for networking.


Mark K8MHZ
RE: Study Material for Tests  
by N5IUT on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
In the mid 1970�s while I was in Junior High, my father and I would build various electronic projects from Heathkit, other kit makers and few from scratch. Depth Finders, Tachometers, Weather Stations and Deer Feeder Timers were created in my fathers study and put to use.

My father enjoyed the process and the pride of using the quality equipment that we built together. It was fun taking a box of parts, a manual and using the proper tools and techniques, learned from my father, I could make something that worked.

We never had a kit or project that we could not complete. If there was a problem we worked on it as hard as necessary until it was solved and we never gave up.

When looking through the Heathkit catalog I was drawn to the Amateur Radio Equipment. I would go to the school library and check out books on Amateur Radio and electronics.

My father got me a Hallicrafters SX-71 from a local commercial radio shop. I would tune in hams and shortwave broadcasts from around the world. This was as close as I would get to Amateur Radio for the next ten years.

Due to a lack of resources and connections to the local Amateur Radio community, other interests soon took over like a `fume`. Gunpowder fumes (deer hunting), Gasoline fumes (a drivers license) and those that wore Perfume.

Finally in 1986 my father and I took an Amateur Radio class at the Red Cross building in Corpus Christi, TX. I received the call N5IUT and my father passed the tests a few months later and is licensed as N5JKH.

A lot has changed in the last thirty years. Finding a local club, information or current news on Amateur Radio is as close as your computer.

If there are kids, like I was, interested on learning about Amateur Radio they should have information available to not just practice the tests but study for them.

The real books on the subject are priced from $17 to $25 plus tax and they are worth the money. But for many younger students of Amateur Radio this is a very real and large expense. Let us not forget the test is up $14.

This free guide is not as good as a real textbook on the subject but should suffice for many. There is also a Yahoo group for hams and those that want to be hams that need help. The URL is this group will help and guide anyone with questions about Amateur Radio.

With my experience in electronics I would not need the guide I edited to pass the Technician test. I could use one of two other complete guides that are clear and concise on the new test. Of course I am speaking of the N8KBR series of guides for all current test located at and the KB6NU No-Nonsense Technician Class Study Guide located at

I edited the Radio Teacher Project Guide for an audience of a Junior High student. It can be used for self study or in a class room environment.

For years I have over-taught the Technician Class. My preferred method of teaching is Lecture, live demonstrations and hands-on-projects. I rarely use power point slides or video. Some students have passed the Tech and the General tests at the end of the course. I intertwine Code practice and Tech lecture in my three hour six week course. Code is taught for 20 minutes then lecture for 35 minutes then a break. I do the same schedule for the second hour. On the third hour I lecture first and give another Code lesson before the end of class.

I give the student an audio CD that has all of the code covered in the class to take home for practice during the week. The next week they exchange the take home Code CD with the next Student CD that covers the letters just learned.


Paul Guido
Study Material for Tests  
by N5IUT on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
To N4OYO and K5LBU,

I hope that the Study Guide will work out for you both. If you see something missing or would like some changes made to the guide please do not be shy. It was written in a way that makes it very easy to edit. I am at your service.

The current project is an Instructor Guide for the Study Guide. The next small project is a common Equations and Tables listing for Amateur Radio.

Thank you for being involved in the hobby/service and its future.

I have found some of my greatest rewards in Amateur Radio in adding to the ranks of capable Amateur Operators.


Paul Guido, N5IUT
Study Material for Tests  
by N0AH on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Do you remember the flash cards NASA used to train monkeys going up into space??? I think you can buy the same type of thing on-line and/or at HRO.
Study Material for Tests  
by N5IUT on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!

I think that depends on what drives someone to become a ham. In the post 9/11, Katrina/Rita era many law enforcement, security, and other such as groups such as Church organizations would like to have their people licensed. Many of these Hams will get the license and never get on the air.

But some that receive a license, the motivated and `life learners`, from the groups will go farther into the hobby/service. They will join local radio groups and become active on the air.

I know of two such cases that I have been involved. Many years ago I needed some mechanical equipment repaired at a local shop. I took the equipment to the Tech`s bench and noticed not one but two scanners running on his bench. I asked if he was a Ham and he said no.

I retrieved my hand held radio from the car and demonstrated it to him. I gave him a handout that I used at an earlier scouting demonstration. The handout had popular Ham web sites and testing/training information on it. I gave him my email address and phone number with instructions to call and ask me if he had any questions. He earned his license and is now the President of a local radio club.

In another case, a student from one of my classes is now the President of the San Antonio Radio Club. He has been active and involved in our area plus he assisted in Louisiana after Katrina.

In the guide we expanded the Safety section to include things not on the test. Such as assigning a Safety Officer to watch but not participate in field operations.

The guide points the student to resources such as the ARRL and Gordon West books, Wikipedia and HamWiki. If the student wanted to find out more about a subject these are great places to start.

The guide also tells the student how to find local clubs using the ARRL web site. There they can hopefully find an Elmer or Instructor to answer their questions.

Only 105 out of 392 questions from the pool are in the Study Guide. The questions are in review sections after an illustrated narrative on the subjects from the subelement covered.

When in High School I received a scientific calculator from my father. I think that I learned more practical mathematics by just trying to figure out what function each button preformed.

How can we attract more people with a curious nature into the hobby/service? I wish I knew the answer.


Paul Guido, N5IUT
RE: Study Material for Tests  
by N5IUT on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!

If you wish to use flash cards as a training method for your students here is a free resource on the web.


Paul Guido, N5IUT
RE: Study for Tests  
by QRZDXR on August 27, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Years ago when ham clubs were ham clubs and not entertainment centers for dog and pony shows. ham clubs used to have a session at first for theroy and then a session for code practice where everyone joined in. You didn't have a ham that didn't know what a antenna was and could make one out of wire instead of buying it at the candy store.

What happened to these great teachers and clubs?

As the degression of the ham radio service went from real techs to appliance users things changed. It wasn't the guy with the knowledge that was phrased, but rather the guy who came in with the biggest and most expensive radio. Today its go buy something to make it work. But, do they really need to buy it? Most don't know because the old hams that did are disgusted and gave up the hobby after the ARRL and others speculated on new funds.

Public service was not the big push back then. No, rather it was the individual and his knowledge. How to make do and use what he had. If an emergency came he didn't have to go to school and pass a test so he could participate. He respected the efforts of others and joined in as a group to help out. He was wanted-- not discouraged because he didn't take the flake course. Where did he learn how to message handle? why from others at the club meeting of course. that is where a common ground was provided for all hams in the area.

I keep hearing the same old broken record; like the last club meeting we had, where they pushed the FEMA, RACES and other services again. Oh that is important but most came to learn about the antenna launching device. The leaders of the club didn't think that was important and so it didn't materialize which was a great loss to others. Next month were having some pompous ham talk on space comm. Oh wow! that should be entertaining. Most are still working on buying a 2 meter antenna and what type of coax should they use-- to just talk to each other-- and you want them to think about putting thousands of dollars into what!!!! so they can listen to something go beep beep beep every 90 min for 15 seconds!! get real!!!

One gets tired of--- you're only here to service the public. they come for a education and instead are beaten into submission for a emergency services' shown equipment that is way beyond their reach and current capabilities -- and yet where is the help other than entertainment?

As one said at the last meeting, " If they have this junk at the next meeting again, I am going to quit and join another group". I agree. Ham radio is not just about doom and gloom or some guy's ego. It should be about the love of radio and how to do it.

I keep asking about what a ham club should be. I keep getting back the emergency service junk that the leadership is ramming.

I would rather see radio clubs be radio clubs and provide education, promote knowledge and proficiency as well as some social while doing it. After all it is a hobby and a club is supposed to be a group!!!--built on collective knowledge.

Yet the ARRL-- and others that have written here, strictly are looking at ham radio as a mean of getting cheap emergency services while being paid members of police or fire dept.'s. I wonder who is going to answer their call for assistance then if that is all they are about.

Field days are a flop. (our club canceled theirs due to lack of interest) Then again when you only have a two or three HF people and the rest are no code tech.'s--gee any wonder

I don't think that is what it's supposed to be about cheap commutations. I can see where this is going to lead into new frequency wars in the future when everyone says their a emergency group net takes precedent over others. thank God for CW bands so we stay away from the whining and bickering and loss of licenses for interference with these groups that is going to eventually happen.
RE: Study for Tests  
by SSBHAM69 on August 28, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
You don't need to study for the tests anymore. Didn't you read the article in last months QST about the girl who just kept paying the money to take the test until she passed. No studying. It was a Christmas present for her dad. He must be so proud.
RE: Study Material for Tests  
by N5IUT on August 29, 2006 Mail this to a friend!

Thanks for the positive reply and helping others get on the air. You are correct our hobby/service has a great deal to offer people of all ages. Thanks for Elmering others.

The new Technicians Test pool is very different then the older versions of the tests. If you know of someone that wants to get their license please direct them to current information for the test.

I have taken many training courses only to find out the test does not match the course that I took. I would not want, and I am sure that you would agree, to read a book or study guide and not have it teach me the information to pass the test.

I would also recommend the AA9PW.COM web site for learning the code.

Paul Guido, N5IUT
RE: Study for Tests  
by KC8VWM on August 29, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
As one said at the last meeting, " If they have this junk at the next meeting again, I am going to quit and join another group". I agree. Ham radio is not just about doom and gloom or some guy's ego. It should be about the love of radio and how to do it.

I keep asking about what a ham club should be. I keep getting back the emergency service junk that the leadership is ramming.

I would rather see radio clubs be radio clubs and provide education, promote knowledge and proficiency as well as some social while doing it. After all it is a hobby and a club is supposed to be a group!!!--built on collective knowledge.


Just a few comments.

Firstly, I want to say that I read your post trying to grasp your current frustration. "Taking you pulse" if you will.

Secondly, it occured to me that you just aren't happy with the way things are going at your local club level.

Now this is just a constructive suggestion, but have you ever considered the idea of speaking with the club president in private about your concerns?

I mean not whining or complaining per se, but rather offering up some suggestions for improvements explaining a logical rationale for these suggestions in order to improve things?

Obviously, as you say if they don't have two meter antennas in the air then perhaps building them during a social gathering would be fun and take all the emergency emcom "seriousness" out of the meetings.

For example, mabey you could suggest that space communications isn't exactly for someone with a freshly minted ticket without an outdoor two meter antenna yet, but perhaps if the group were to start building jpoles as a "project" it would be a more practical approach before introducing the idea of space coms to the same group of individuals?

Perhaps the meetings would be a good place to share jpole building expoeriences with one another and they could share thier "tips and tricks" with each other.

I think club meetings in groups like this should be informative, refreshing, and somewhat entertaining.

Like any other club meeting, it should involve something of interest for everyone. Perhaps this could be better achieved by presenting a voting process on what the club members would like to have a speaker talk about in upcoming meetings. For example take 3 things about amateur radio to talk about and let the members decide instead of ramming any old subject matter down thier throats.

Have a 5 - 10 minute session to discuss "topics" to be discussed at the next meeting. The trick is to get everyone involved and make them feel like a contributing member of the club.

Go around and say hello to everyone. Introduce yourself. Make them feel welcomed and you are glad to see them. Thank them for coming to the meeting.

Simple things to consider... But they do go a long way in promoting your club meetings.

"Be entertaining" Learn a few stupid "clean" jokes. Find them on the internet just before you go to the club meetings.

Have fun at the meetings. It's supposed to be that way.

73 Charles - KC8VWM
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