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Why would I want a Ham License when I can get on CB without taking a test?Amateur Radio is a high-tech hobby that has something fun for everyone. Hams are people from all walks of life no matter what age, gender or physical ability. Anyone can hold an Amateur License - there's no minimum age. Hams practice courtesy and respect for others.
Most of all, Amateur Radio is fun! Unlike Citizen's Band (CB) radio, there's more than just one way to communicate. Using a small 2-meter hand-held radio you can stay in touch with other hams in your area and operate from almost any vehicle, boat or just about anywhere. Hams can send live TV in realtime or just still pictures over the air. Technician class Hams can operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television and more. You can search for hidden transmitters in a foxhunt and take part in contests. You can even make international radio contacts via Ham Radio satellites and communicate directly to hams aboard the International Space Station. Using the computer and Amateur Radio, you can talk or use your keyboard to communicate with other hams locally or around the world.
And that's just part of what you can do as an Amateur Radio operator. There are also nets and roundtables where you talk in groups, emergency communications and services, building your own equipment and antennas, weather spotting and hamfests.
Amateur Radio is a service which promotes and encourages the honing of technical and operational radio skills in order to have qualified operators to depend on in an emergency. It was created to experiment on cutting edge communications technology and techniques and to promote goodwill and the free exchange of technical knowledge among other Hams throughout the world. Having to earn the license, Hams treat their privileges with respect. Since an Amateur Radio operator's license is a privilege that can be taken away for misuse, close attention is paid to the FCC's rules. Proper etiquette on the air is maintained through informal suggestions, peer pressure and volunteer Official Observer notices. It's a family-friendly environment.
So how do I study for the Technician Class License exam?Books - ARRL's Tech Q&A 6th Edition (ARRL Link) for $17.95 + shipping. It's a quick and easy study guide with the questions and answers just like you'll see on the test. But it won't leave you in the dark - the book briefly explains the answers, so not only do you learn the answers to the questions, you learn about amateur radio in the process.
If you want more detailed explanations, you might prefer Ham Radio License Manual Revised 3rd Edition (ARRL Link) for $29.95 + shipping. You'll get the same questions and answers with this book, but you can also learn about radio and electronics fundamentals, operating station equipment, communicating with other hams, regulations and radio safety. A CD is also included to use with your book to review the study material and to take randomly-generated practice exams using questions from the actual examination question pool.
Of course, there is some free help too. After reviewing lots of material, the best of the what we found is on our Study Material To Earn Your Technician Class Ham License web page. We know this helpful and instructive information will get you that license!
Ready to take the test? Try it online first!Now it's time to put the book away and take the test... at home. No, you can't get your license this way, but you can see if your studying paid off. Just go to the bottom of our Study Material To Earn Your Technician Class Ham License web page to take a sample test. These tests use the complete and current official VEC (Volunteer Examiner Coordinator) approved question pools and answers. Each test taken is composed of a unique combination of questions that are selected at random in accordance with the official guidelines set forth for each element and each subelement.
Where do I take my exam?Ready to take the test? Check out our Louisville Area Amateur Radio Testing Sessions page to learn what you need for the test and where you can go to take it. If you're not from the Louisville area, then go to ARRL Exam Session Search to find testing in your area. Good luck and hope to hear you on the air soon!