Do I need to get a Licence to operate my ham radio?

g-man

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You don't need a calculator to take the Tech exam. I'm not sure you're looking at good information.
I'm going by this study info: Technician Class License Prep • AmateurRadio.com

It is detailed in that it goes into every possible exam question and answer but not so detailed as to give a lot of background knowledge. Just briefly explains the questions and possible answers and keys in on helpful ways to memorize some answers.

Check out lesson 16. Math for electronics

Radio operators are responsible for the signals they transmit and the potential interference those signals may cause. You need an understanding of how radios and receivers work to be able to do that.
This is true however the FCC regulations portion would cover answers to this. Gladly would want to study "rules of the road" so to speak.

This statement says to me that you are looking at Amateur Radio (ham radio) from only your personal use perspective. You don't appear to have an understanding of the full scope of the hobby. Amateur Radio is not just people sitting in their house trying to talk to someone a long distance away. Amateur Radio is not just home stations, mobile, handheld, and repeaters. These radios can be used to control remote equipment, to send and receive data, they can be integrated with Global Positioning Systems, they can be used as beacons for navigation, they can assist with search and rescue operations, and a myriad of other things. Related technology was the basis for Bluetooth, wireless connectivity, and cellular voice and data networks. The Technician License is a minimum barrier for entry. More advanced licences allow for greater access to bands and greater ability to experiment.

This is true. I DON'T really want to be a ham radio operator. I am being forced to take the test if I want to use the most useful radio for my intended purpose. I don't really care that others use this type of radio for all other things. They're probably not going to be on the same bandwidth anyway. Do I need to know all aspects of a tractor trailer because I share the road with them when I'm driving??

True that I don't have a full scope of the hobby nor do I really want to know the history and every other aspect of radio operations.


I do only want the radio for my intended use. I don't want to be a "ham" radio guy. Your response seems to fall into the "yes man" category.

"it's just the way it's always been and has worked well" is a typical good ole boy response. Nothing will ever be improved if you accept this mentality.

Why not limit a "trail users" radio to say the 2meter band and handful of frequencies on those bands. Then pre-program radios to be sold specifically for trail or road use much like a CB. Then have a smaller scope of test knowledge based on FCC rules and use of those bands. I guess that would just make too much sense.
 
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g-man

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Maybe a GMRS radio would be better for ORV use?? Just pay for the license and no test. Pre-set channels, no chance of fouling up somebody else's signal. What are the downsides to GMRS?
 
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FRS and GMRS were created for your purpose. If you don't want to learn the Amateur Radio rules or meet the minimum standards, then don't.

There actually are frequencies set aside in the Amateur bands for trail users, but cutting out a special piece of the bands and creating a different license class would be a convolution. Especially when other services already exist for the purpose.

FCC regulations spell out what is and is not interference, but do nothing to help you understand why or how. That's what you're supposed to be getting out of learning enough to pass the test. Memorizing answers will get you through, but you won't actually know anything.

Yes, you really should have a general understanding of how tractor trailer works if plan to safely share the road with them. Likewise, you should have a general understanding of how these radios work before you're allowed to blast RF all over the world. The Technician License and test are absolutely the bare minimum of understanding.

A 100w radio is powerful enough to hurt people with its' radiation, let alone interfere with life safely radio traffic. People don't recognize the risks when they don't understand the equipment.
 
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Why not just use FRS or GMRS instead of HAM? No test and will work fine for you.

This is true. I DON'T really want to be a ham radio operator. I am being forced to take the test if I want to use the most useful radio for my intended purpose.
Forced? If you want to use it, take the test. Your doing the easy thing and just memorizing the questions, keep with it.

Do I need to know all aspects of a tractor trailer because I share the road with them when I'm driving??
No, but if you want to be a tractor truck driver should you know everything associate with it? How about flying a plane or driving a car?

I don't want to be a "ham" radio guy.
Then don't be one. If you want to use the privilege of these certain frequency band, then go ahead and get your license.

Why not limit a "trail users" radio to say the 2meter band and handful of frequencies on those bands. Then pre-program radios to be sold specifically for trail or road use much like a CB. Then have a smaller scope of test knowledge based on FCC rules and use of those bands. I guess that would just make too much sense.
They have done similar in the past. Use to have five licenses and now three. They have also have ditched the morse code requirements, just to make it easier for people to get into the hobby and allow it to grow.

Express your idea to the ARRL and/or FCC and see if they want to pursue it. That's how things change. But remember that since you don't want to follow the simple steps to 'join' into a hobby that people use and have used for years, doesn't mean that they will abide by your request.

Edit: Apparently this was posted above...
 
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Kofoed

 
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Maybe a GMRS radio would be better for ORV use?? Just pay for the license and no test. Pre-set channels, no chance of fouling up somebody else's signal. What are the downsides to GMRS?
For you, none, no test. But you may only hear another guy using FRS on the channels that are common with GMRS. You can use MURS, too, no test.
 

jonheld

 
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I suggest spending some time on a study site like HamTestOnline - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Practice Tests
It is an automated test site that reinforces areas that you are weak in. You study at your own pace and on your own time. It uses actual pool questions.
You don't need a calculator to take the technician exam. You have bad information. If you can memorize a few things that you're weak in, you'll pass with ease.

FWIW, I'm not a "ham guy". I use it strictly for trail comms and road trip coms when traveling within a group. I find that using repeaters that are local to trail rides are extremely handy. It's really easy to coordinate events between a remote campground and off road area when cell service is not available.

I have also had the horrible experience of calling for a medivac chopper when one of our group was crushed between 2 trucks in Moab a few years ago. s*** happens sometimes. Without the availability of a repeater, things could have gotten worse than they already were.

That said, I am a casual ham user. It stays off 99% of the time, just like my winch. But I wouldn't go anywhere without one.
 

Brentbba

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I know the pool questions changed a few years back, but 11 years ago when I took the tech exam, you could miss every 'math' question related to the electrical stuff and still pass the exam! I read Gordon West's book once thru completely and LEARNED the history of amateur radio, etc. I skimmed thru all the questions and answers a second time (yes, all the questions you'll see on the test are there!), took a few practice tests you can find online. Very easy.

The tech exam and license is more about operating courtesy to all of us. As Cruiserdrew said, the next two levels get into much more detail. I'd started to study for the next one and it got deep into antenna's, wave lengths, etc. that I said, I'll never use this info. The tech license for 2m use was enough for me. I'm not a 'HAM' guy, but I know the proper courtesy's required of the law and the license. My primary usage is off road, however, during some of the fires here in SoCal, all you had to do was listen to the traffic on some of the repeaters and the groups that run them to really understand where amateur radio has some of it's roots. There was a lot of emergency traffic coordinating fire watch, info with hospitals, etc. It was amazing and gave me a real up close understanding of the practice 'nets' these groups do on a regular basis to be prepared to help in a real emergency. While I was already familiar with why those weekly nets were run, this was real. It just isn't about your comms offroad and flaunting the law. Do we all speed at some point...yes. Do I use my cellphone without handsfree...NO. Discussion of use by a non-licensee with a licensee there is legal and all the licensee 'need do' is announce third party traffic. It's not brain surgery.

On getting caught - has he!! frozen over? There's a repeater out in the San Fernando valley somewhere that's a 'known' problem. Users cussing, etc. on a very regular basis. The FCC can't even effectively shut it down. You think they've got the time and resources to go after an individual user offroad? That's still not an excuse for operating without a license.
 
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FWIW, I got my ham license to be more helpful as a volunteer at a local car racing event (forest rally); all of the comms are handled by ham radio, seeing as the event takes place spread out over many miles of logging road in large swaths of forest (often with enough elevation change that there are more than a few dead spots).

I own a Baofeng UV-5R with a non-factory antenna, and that has been enough radio for most of my use. I'll probably put a dual-band radio in my truck at some point before next year's rally so I can do 50W (and stay inside with the windows up, AC on, and mosquitos outside while doing so), but the UV-5R was enough for what I've done so far, and I'm pretty sure I've forgotten a very large chunk of the material on the test. I've never communicated via a permanent repeater (I listened in to the local net a few times while I was living in Montana and decided I had no interest in getting further involved).

I'm still happy I got the license, because it opens up further options at this point for comms (as noted, I'll probably put a dual-band radio in my truck at some point in the next year).
 
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FWIW, I got my ham license to be more helpful as a volunteer at a local car racing event (forest rally); all of the comms are handled by ham radio, seeing as the event takes place spread out over many miles of logging road in large swaths of forest (often with enough elevation change that there are more than a few dead spots).

I own a Baofeng UV-5R with a non-factory antenna, and that has been enough radio for most of my use. I'll probably put a dual-band radio in my truck at some point before next year's rally so I can do 50W (and stay inside with the windows up, AC on, and mosquitos outside while doing so), but the UV-5R was enough for what I've done so far, and I'm pretty sure I've forgotten a very large chunk of the material on the test. I've never communicated via a permanent repeater (I listened in to the local net a few times while I was living in Montana and decided I had no interest in getting further involved).

I'm still happy I got the license, because it opens up further options at this point for comms (as noted, I'll probably put a dual-band radio in my truck at some point in the next year).
One thing to consider in a dual band is the ability to cross band repeat. I use that often to allow me to be out of the vehicle with my cheap UV-5R and still have the 50 watt radio.
 
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Why not limit a "trail users" radio to say the 2meter band and handful of frequencies on those bands. Then pre-program radios to be sold specifically for trail or road use much like a CB. Then have a smaller scope of test knowledge based on FCC rules and use of those bands. I guess that would just make too much sense.
You obviously haven't even looked into taking the test because it's already paired down to the bare minimum it could possibly be and it costs $15.
 

g-man

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You obviously haven't even looked into taking the test because it's already paired down to the bare minimum it could possibly be and it costs $15.
Wrong! Took my tech. test in Sept and passed. Can't understand how you think it's paired down to the bare minimum. Pile of info in a lot of different directions to study. I will say I learned some terminology in regards to circuitry that was helpful. But still it's a lot of info to prepare for it.
 

g-man

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thanks. FWIW I found up to date study material on the ARRL exam review. Free but need to sign in with an email address.

My experience with the VE's was that they were friendly and helpful. they did NOT push their agenda ..ie trying to recruit etc. I did receive some promotional materials in the mail from the ARRL after my being added to the registry. Basically selling ARRL memberships, magazines, etc. All in all a positive experience.
 
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thanks. FWIW I found up to date study material on the ARRL exam review. Free but need to sign in with an email address.

My experience with the VE's was that they were friendly and helpful. they did NOT push their agenda ..ie trying to recruit etc. I did receive some promotional materials in the mail from the ARRL after my being added to the registry. Basically selling ARRL memberships, magazines, etc. All in all a positive experience.
Just like you pay to join Blue Ribbon or Tread Lightly for offroading, The ARRL does tons of work for the ham community. They fight to keep access to the frequency's.

After the FCC screwed up testing the ARRL took over the and administers the VE program.

They run events and do a lot for education. it was mentioned above that the study material was free from them. Sorry for the commercial.
 

ChaseTruck

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... I will say I learned some terminology in regards to circuitry that was helpful....
I'm sure you're all caught up on what a superheterodyne receiver can do for you..

P.S. For passing the tech exam, I just memorized the diagram for the correct answer :)
 
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