Could you use a study/motivation partner? [Ham Radio Study]

Ken's recent reply in this thread has got me thinking...

There is an item on my bucket list that has been there the longest: Passing my amateur radio exam.

When I first started studying, it required morse code. This has changed.

Question:

Is there anyone else here who has the same goal and would like to become a motivation partner in learning and passing the test? We'll steal this thread to post up some accountability about spending some time studying, and toss tricks/etc back and forth.

We can celebrate passing the exam on this thread..

Anyone else want to get this off their list with me?

OBC
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Comments

  • 31 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have my Extra ticket, it's a great goal to shoot for. I'm not currently active, but I have still all my ham gear in the closet. Gonna bust it out one day. And I'm gonna build my newly-acquired unbuilt HW-9 someday, too!

    Ironically, I like CW for its purity & efficiency. Plus, I'm a grumpy old guy and "that's the way it was' back in the 1970's when I got my Novice ticket, WN4CIK. Ten years ago when I went to upgrade from Advanced to Extra, I was extremely disappointed that the code requirement had been dropped.

    Good luck on your quest, OM. 73's
    You'll find me in the new Robotics forum.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I studied for the Tech license using the ARRL's "Let's Get Talking" (Or is it "Now You're Talking"? I don't remember) a few years ago. The day I showed up at Amateur Electronic Supply to take the test, I expected to be one of maybe three people there. Instead, there was a line around the building - it happened to be about three days after the code requirement was eliminated, and every Tech in town was there to upgrade to General.

    I passed the Tech exam easily (and Jeff, I have no doubt that you'll fly through it as well). Then they told me I could try for General without having to pay anything extra. Why not? I took it, and passed by the skin of my teeth, without having studied for it at all (and Jeff, I'll bet you could go right to General as well).

    Paul
    KC9KST
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    This book is all you really need:

    BTW, even though Amazon has the "same" book for less, don't buy it from them. It's not the latest edition and does not include the current pool of exam questions.

    Here's where you can find an exam session near where you live:

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Jeff,

    I want to join you. I noted the walkie talkies I purchased a few years ago at Sam's Club stated the radios required a technician's license to use.

    I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one buying them (and using them) who didn't have a license.

    Anyone know what kind of license I need to send a radio up in a weather balloon?

    I'm off to buy the book.

    Duane

    Edit: I just purchased the book. $40.45 shipped.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Someone with a basic understanding of circuit design and radio transmission should be able to pass the technician test with very little preparation. Some of the questions are just common sense, such as whether it's a good idea to install a tall antenna under power lines. The only questions that require some memorization are the regulatory ones, like what is the region number for North America. When I got my technician license I prepared by just taking the online tests until I felt like I knew it pretty well.

    You may want to study up on all three levels. If you pass the technician test you can take the general test, and if you pass that you can take the extra test -- all on the same day. I only studied for the technician test, but I passed the general test also. I missed passing the extra test by one question.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    OBC,

    You've been putting this off for awhile, haven't you?

    :)

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    What kind of license does one need to have a microcontroller send an automated message?

    I image a lot depends on the transmission frequency and power?

    I've been thinking about this for a few years now. Thanks Jeff for getting me to take some action.

    Duane
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Duane Degn wrote:
    What kind of license does one need to have a microcontroller send an automated message?

    A Technician Class license is all you need for that, but you will be restricted by frequency and power. See this:

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Back when I took the test for the technician class license I studied Morse code by writing a program on the C64 that would sound out the beeps for the key you hit. But sadly today I have to admit I barely remember a dit for a "E" and dah for a "T".
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    As a teen, studying for my General Class license, I made my own Morse study tape by writing down pages of random letters -- too many to memorize -- and recorded them using a code practice oscillator. Then I could play back the tape and compare what I copied to the original list. When I took the test at the FCC office in Indianapolis, their code was much cleaner, more regular, and, thus, easier to copy. It was still a struggle to copy 13 wpm, but I passed. I've never been able to copy that fast since.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    @PhiPi: I did that too, using a cassette tape recorder! Random letters are great for real code practice.

    After I got my Novice license, I used the tape recorder to automate my CQ call. I recorded a minute of "CQ CQ CQ de WA4CIK" from my hand-keyed oscillator, and played that audio back through a bridge rectifier & filter, to drive a relay which keyed my trusty Heathkit DX-60B.
    You'll find me in the new Robotics forum.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I had the matching HR-10 receiver but no money to buy a transmitter for Novice operation. So I borrowed my uncle's DX-20 until I passed my General test and had some bucks for a better transmitter, a Johnson Viking AM/CW unit that I picked up at a hamfest. I later modified it for FSK to use with a Western Union TTY.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 8,080Vote Up0Vote Down
    Duane,

    Your on! Just ordered the same book. Amazon Prime $29.95 (shipped)

    (Double checked ISBN, right book. Yes there are a bunch of the old copies up there, cheaper.)

    Anyone else want to join the fun?

    OBC
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    Jeff,

    I want to join you. I noted the walkie talkies I purchased a few years ago at Sam's Club stated the radios required a technician's license to use.

    I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one buying them (and using them) who didn't have a license.

    Anyone know what kind of license I need to send a radio up in a weather balloon?

    I'm off to buy the book.

    Duane

    Edit: I just purchased the book. $40.45 shipped.
    <br>
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 8,080Vote Up0Vote Down
    /hangs head in shame...
    OBC,

    You've been putting this off for awhile, haven't you?

    :)

    -Phil
    <br>
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    OBC wrote:
    /hangs head in shame...
    Hey, man, no need to. Just whisper "PropCam", and I'll be right there with you. :)

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Is Morse Code still required to achieve the rank of First Class in the Boy Scouts?
    Maybe they should now require ASCII and EBDIC.

    I'd love to get a license, but being in Taiwan creates a real barrier to doing so. Even if I got the US license, I doubt I'd be allowed to use it here.
    Hwang Xian Shen, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
    WTF? --- just may mean "Was That Funny?" , or maybe something else.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Loopy they don't allow amatuer radio in your country?
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I found this web page describing the situation there:

    http://pa2bx.nl/PA-to-BX/?Amateur_radio_in_Taiwan

    I don't think that Taiwan can issue internationally recognised licenses, which could cause problems, and there are difficulties operating there with foreign licenses.
    Leon Heller<br>G1HSM
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    thanks for that info Leon
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    It doesn't look like getting a Taiwanese license is that onerous a task. Even the code requirement for the Class 2 license is only 5 wpm -- the same as the U.S. Novice requirement used to be. It's interesting that they have to inspect one's equipment, though, before being allowed to use it.

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Apparently things have evolved a bit in Taiwan. I just wonder if the exam is available in English. It certainly does seem possible.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the internationally recognized aspect. It is the local national police that I care not to upset.

    Lets see, is that .. Dit-dah; Dah-dit-dit-dit..... can't get to C quite yet. 25 Characters per minute should be possible though.. eventually.
    Hwang Xian Shen, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
    WTF? --- just may mean "Was That Funny?" , or maybe something else.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Jeff,

    Needing some sort of external motivation or pressure is something I can identify with. After 10 years on the fringe of Ham Radio, what finally pushed me over the threshold was a solo sail to Hawaii. An uncle of mine, an Extra Class ham, offered to keep in touch with me. Once I had a compelling reason, the ticket took no time to obtain.
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Can you use lightning bolts as antennae?
    Seriously - if you could figure out a way to modulate one of those suckers...
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Jeff,

    Do you know when the next test is in your area?

    I used the link Phil provided and found this.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=85704&d=1317869725

    I'm not sure if I want to take it this soon or not.

    I guess, I'll wait to see how hard the material is I need to learn.

    Do you have a time in mind when you'd like to take the test?

    Duane
    276 x 114 - 5K
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 8,080Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Duane

    Book arrived today.. Sweet! I'll be working on section 1 this weekend.

    I haven't found the test locations/dates yet. Perhaps they are listed on the website.

    test_session.JPG


    Looks like the time-frame for this should be about 1 month.

    OBC
    228 x 158 - 10K
    <br>
  • edited October 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Your test date is two days before mine.

    So are you planning on taking the test on Nov. 10?

    I haven't received my book yet. I'm not so sure if I want to try to be ready by Nov. 12 myself. I think I need to take a look at the book before I commit to trying to be ready for the test in a month.

    Duane
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Jeff,

    How goes the studying?

    I picked my book back up today to read the first chapter (not done with it yet). My test (if I choose to take it) is on the 12th but your is tomorrow.

    Are you going to take this test or wait for the next one? I haven't decided myself.

    Duane
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    How'd it go OBC? @ajfabio (vayaconqueso) and I just got our technician licenses this past week! We're still waiting on our callsigns, but ajfabio only took 2 days to study and take practice exams. You'll have no problems!
    Whisker is a hardware and wetware hacker, and produces geeky content on a daily basis. Atdiy is a cardiovascular nurse by day and an electronics n00b at night. Together we're the Toymakers (Tymkrs) and we post videos/blogs on electronics, DIY projects, and whatever else we happen upon! Visit us at http://tymkrs.com, http://zombietech.tv, and http://firstspin.tv! Our projects are on https://www.reddit.com/r/Tymkrs/ and you can chat with us daily at #tymkrs!
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 8,080Vote Up0Vote Down
    I had to push the date forward to the next month as my work schedule got in the way of getting out of town soon enough to make the trip.

    The extra study time won't hurt me.. I'm still a little baffled by antenna theory.

    OBC
    <br>
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cool post!!!!
    '
    Mores code...much better then text.
    __Walt McDonald__

    The Truth is out there
    It's not rocket-surgery
    I see why we don't have any water,All of the pipes are full of wires!
    E=WMc2
    Now with WiFi
    Not in the Spin Bunch
    import RPi.GPIO as GPIO

    ABB M202 certified
    ABB M211 certified
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