- Category: Education
- Last Updated on 05 December 2012
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Amateur Radio is often called Ham Radio and is a hobby enjoyed by many throughout the world. Amateur Radio operators use various types of equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation, and self-training. If you're interested in Amateur Radio, here are some sites you can visit to get a better idea of who we are and what we do.
How Ham Radio Works - From "How Stuff Works." Includes frequencies, operating modes, activities, equipment, antennas, and Hamfests.
Wikipeda Amateur Radio - History, activities, practices, licensing, in space, and Amateur Radio in pop culture.
LEARA Training Classes:
No classes planned at this time.
Throughout the history of Amateur Radio many more experienced members of the ham radio community have mentored newer members in every facet of the hobby. These mentors are known as "Elmers." LEARA has a group of Elmers who are ready and waiting to assist beginners and those willing to learn more about Amateur Radio.
If you (or someone you know) is a new licensee or is thinking of becoming an Amateur Radio operator and would like assistance, please send an e-mail message to LEARA's Elmers or contact Marv - W8AZO. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Please indicate:
- Your name.
- Call sign. If not yet a ham, indicate that you are interested in becoming one.
- What kind of help you need (e.g.: basic operation, radio/antenna set-up & tuning, CW practice, etc.).
- Your home address. This will be used so we may match you with a nearby "Elmer."
- A phone number where the "Elmer" may contact you.
- Any other details that might help us choose the proper Elmer for you.
How do I get my Ham Radio license?
You can get your Ham Radio license in three easy steps:
- Study the question pools or training manuals.
- Take practice tests.
- Find an exam session near you.
Question Pools & Training Materials:
If you're interested in studying for any Amateur Radio license class, you'll need to be aware of the material that will appear on the exam. The ARRL VEC Question Pools include all possible questions you might see on the exam. The Question Pools change every few years, so if you've put down the books for awhile, you should get the latest questions.
Here are the latest ARRL VEC Question Pools. They are available for free and for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Question Pools include any graphics or diagrams you would need. The ARRL Question Pools are simply the questions and answers. They do not include explanations of the questions and answers as you would find in a training manual. The ARRL and W5YI offer excellent training manuals for every Amateur Radio license class.
If you're looking to go more in-depth, you look at the ARRL Licensing, Education, and Training page.
Once you feel you know the material well enough, you can take some online sample tests. The HamExam online testing system will tell you the correct answer if a question is answered incorrectly and tells you if you passed the exam. If you create a logon, the system can learn which questions you know well and which ones you need help with by tracking your answers.
Don't take just one practice test because the question selection for the actual exam is random. Take sample tests multiple times to make sure you know the material thoroughly. Another good site for practice exams is QRZ.
Exam Testing Sessions:
Once you feel you know the questions well enough and have passed online sample tests, you're ready to take your exam. Both the ARRL and W5YI websites keep listings of testing sessions. Check these sites often (once or twice a month) as they are frequently updated.
Once you've decided on a date and location, contact the Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) to reserve a seat at that session. Even if walk-ins are allowed, it's still a good idea to contact the VEC to verify information such as: location, directions, date, start time, testing fee, what forms of IDs are valid, and what test you plan on taking so the VEC has enough copies. You definitely need to contact the VEC ahead of time if you have any special needs or any assistance is required in completing the exam; such as a large print edition. For the exam session you are allowed to bring pencils (so you can change answers) and a calculator (basic and scientific are OK. You are not allowed to bring calculators that store programs or text). The testing fee for the exams is about $15.
Once you've passed your exam and received your license, you're ready to become a LEARA member! Congratulations! To help you get started in Ham Radio or started with your new privileges the ARRL offers a wide selection of products you will find useful.