Passed the Technician & General Class Ham License

This is a discussion on Passed the Technician & General Class Ham License within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Yesterday I passed both the Technician & General Class amateur radio tests. As part of my overall preparedness preparations, I felt it is important to ...

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Thread: Passed the Technician & General Class Ham License

  1. #1
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Passed the Technician & General Class Ham License

    Yesterday I passed both the Technician & General Class amateur radio tests.

    As part of my overall preparedness preparations, I felt it is important to have this particular skill set, equipment and the ability to communicate world wide. So, about a month ago, I decided to go for it in earnest.

    I sat for both tests yesterday and walked away with my General Class license. Well, as soon as it comes in the mail.

    I encourage anyone who is serious in being prepared for any type of short or long term calamity or break-down of society whether it's man made or a natural disaster to get their amateur radio license.

    Even if the power grid is down, cell phones are out and communication satellites are not operating, you can still communicate globally via ham radio using an external battery and solar chargers for a power source.

    In any emergency, having the flow of information, and knowledge of what's going on around you is invaluable to enhancing your ability to survive the events.

    Keeping an extra back-up ham radio, battery, antenna and solar charger stored inside a small Faraday safe will protect your back-up equipment against EMP attack and allow communications even after EMP kills most of our technology. Trust me, there are tons of people who are doing this, so there will be a lot of people to communicate with in the event of an EMP attack on our power grid.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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  3. #2
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    Agreed! I was interested in ham radio ages ago but was discouraged by the licensing requirements and specifically, the need to pass a Morse Code test. (I learned Morse in the Scouts, but my transmit-receive rate was about 2 letters a minute!) Just this summer I did an on-line Technician license review with no preparation, just my tech knowledge from years in aerospace test, and I think I scored around 70%. That was pretty encouraging so I think I'll pursue the license over the winter.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    Congrats! The code was tough for me too. I passed my 13 wpm, but not by a whole lot. I can send it pretty quickly but I cant decode more than about 2-3 wpm. They did away with the 20wpm requirement for Extra thank goodness.

    I would really like to build myself a self sustaining HF rig out of a Pelican case. A series of batteries and solar power along with a mobile HF rig (i've got the Yaesu which is tiny and puts out 100w) and a portable HF antenna (i've been half way around the world with a 100w mobile HF rig using 4 slinky's and some parallel feed line as an antenna). It's pretty fun, but nerdy as a pocket protector.

    Are you set up for HF now? If so, whatcha got?

  5. #4
    Member Array kc5cychris's Avatar
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    Way to go. I don't get on that often these day but love to work hf congratulations
    Kc5cyc
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  6. #5
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    Smitty, the Morse code requirement has been removed from all classes of the ham test. No Morse code requirement for Tech, General or Extra class.

    That has drawn a lot of new people to the hobby.

    I used HamtestOnline as my study for the tests. It is awesome.

    I bought the "standard" study guide for the Technician class from ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) and never took it out of the package when it came in the mail. Everything you need to learn to pass the test can be done at hamtestonline.

    It's an online tutorial. It gives you feedback as well. You can try it out for free. When you sign up you have a choice for either, Technician, General or Extra class license. I forgot how much it cost but it's good for two years once you sign up. I enrolled in both the Tech and General. I passed both Tech and General in less than a month studying. As far as I'm concerned, that's worth the price of admission. If I ever decide to go for my Extra class license, I'm definitely enrolling for it at hamtestonline.

    Here's a little secret. I was scoring between 95% - 100% on all my practice tests for the Technician Class. I took the test approx. 10 times. Felt real confident on passing the Tech test. Then I got side tracked with other things going on and barely studied for the General class test. In fact I did not make it completely through the General portion of the study segment. I only took two of the General class practice tests and flunked both times with a 71% each time (74% is passing).

    I went ahead and took the General class test yesterday since you can take it for free if you pass the Technician test. I figured I didn't have anything to lose, and it didn't cost me anything extra. I ended passing the General class test too. So, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday.
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    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  7. #6
    Member Array bigjason6's Avatar
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    Congrats Bark'n and welcome to the community! Did you get your call sign yet? Mine is KG6TOP

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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Congrats. I've been a Tech since 1994. Never felt the need to upgrade as I mainly used to stay on 2 Meter. I haven't been on there in 4 years. I've thought about upgrading tho to atleast General. Would be nice to be able to get on HF if the world goes to pot.
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    Bark'n go to qrz.com do a call search, put in your town only. The data will come back for all calls in that town.Mon or Tues your call will show up. You can then legally operate.
    Hope to hear you on HF
    KW0R
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2wji View Post
    Congrats! The code was tough for me too. I passed my 13 wpm, but not by a whole lot. I can send it pretty quickly but I cant decode more than about 2-3 wpm. They did away with the 20wpm requirement for Extra thank goodness.

    I would really like to build myself a self sustaining HF rig out of a Pelican case. A series of batteries and solar power along with a mobile HF rig (i've got the Yaesu which is tiny and puts out 100w) and a portable HF antenna (i've been half way around the world with a 100w mobile HF rig using 4 slinky's and some parallel feed line as an antenna). It's pretty fun, but nerdy as a pocket protector.

    Are you set up for HF now? If so, whatcha got?
    Yeah, even though CW is no longer a required element to any of the tests, there is still a lot of CW going out over the bands. Morse code is far from dead. I do think that no longer requiring it as a portion of the test has brought a lot more people to the hobby.

    I highly recommend USNERDOC YouTube channel. Retired Navy ER Doc, he is also a prepper, ham radio operator and manufactures great first aid kits for austere environments Amp3. He has a lot of great Ham radio projects on his YouTube Channel including some cool antenna projects.

    Check out these YouTube videos for some ideas of a Go-Box. I really like the set-up on this first one posted below. One of the larger set-ups, but definitely one of the most professionally made set-up as well.

    Go Box made by KC6TYD


    Go Bag for Yaesu HT by USNERDOC (KF7ETX)


    Portable Battery Power and Portable Antenna by USNERDOC


    Nice manpack radio with Yaesu FT-857 by drjet666


    Another vid of manpack radio
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  11. #10
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    I had no clue they had done away with code requirements. Knowing that I am going to finally pursue something I have wanted to do but thought the code requirement was just not worth the time required to learn.
    "The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
    - Lt. Col. Oliver North

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjason6 View Post
    Congrats Bark'n and welcome to the community! Did you get your call sign yet? Mine is KG6TOP
    I'm told my call sign should be posted in the online database in about a week. Then another week or two before I get it by snail mail. But I can start transmitting as soon as it shows up in the online database.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  13. #12
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    Congratulations and welcome to the Amateur Radio family Bark'n!
    We had a test session here this past Thursday (I'm a VE here in Maine) and a half dozen people walked out with smiles... 5 new Technicians and 1 Extra. I've been a ham since the late 70's and Missus Whoppo got her General ticket 5 years ago.

    - WA1RB
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echo_Four View Post
    I had no clue they had done away with code requirements. Knowing that I am going to finally pursue something I have wanted to do but thought the code requirement was just not worth the time required to learn.
    I think it was back in 1997 when they finally dropped Morse code for all the license classes. That alone has drawn a lot of people to go ahead and get their license.

    But Morse code is far from dead. There are still a ton of people sending code on the airwaves.

    With all the online software and programs that teach Morse code on the computer, I'll likely someday give it a shot. But at least it's no longer required to get any class of license.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  15. #14
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    Last time I looked into it was when I was going through a field radio operator's course in the Marines in 95. I figured if they didn't require any of the comm bubbas to know code I didn't need to know it either. I never though about looking to see if it ever changed. I am signing up at hamtestonline right now.
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Smitty, the Morse code requirement has been removed from all classes of the ham test. No Morse code requirement for Tech, General or Extra class.

    That has drawn a lot of new people to the hobby.

    I used HamtestOnline as my study for the tests. It is awesome.

    I bought the "standard" study guide for the Technician class from ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) and never took it out of the package when it came in the mail. Everything you need to learn to pass the test can be done at hamtestonline.

    It's an online tutorial. It gives you feedback as well. You can try it out for free. When you sign up you have a choice for either, Technician, General or Extra class license. I forgot how much it cost but it's good for two years once you sign up. I enrolled in both the Tech and General. I passed both Tech and General in less than a month studying. As far as I'm concerned, that's worth the price of admission. If I ever decide to go for my Extra class license, I'm definitely enrolling for it at hamtestonline.

    Here's a little secret. I was scoring between 95% - 100% on all my practice tests for the Technician Class. I took the test approx. 10 times. Felt real confident on passing the Tech test. Then I got side tracked with other things going on and barely studied for the General class test. In fact I did not make it completely through the General portion of the study segment. I only took two of the General class practice tests and flunked both times with a 71% each time (74% is passing).

    I went ahead and took the General class test yesterday since you can take it for free if you pass the Technician test. I figured I didn't have anything to lose, and it didn't cost me anything extra. I ended passing the General class test too. So, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday.
    Bark'n, thanks for the guidance! I think I'll follow your lead on this.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

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