Do you like to communicate? Do you like wireless technology?
Ham radio is exactly what you need.
Amateur radio is unique because it allows you to communicate while being near, being in different countries, being in space and so on.
Ham radio is not just radio, it is a whole network of hams around the world. They communicate with each other, enjoy using the radio.
Besides the endless enjoyment, Ham radio is quite useful. You can find help or help someone in emergency situations when you can take it only through Ham radio.
Ham radio fans are much more than you think. Worldwide, it is more than 2.5 million people.
Do you know what distinguishes all these people? All of them are licensed.
Using Ham radio requires a license.
Even if you hear the child on the radio, it means that next to him there is an adult who necessarily has a license, otherwise, he or she cannot use the radio.
But a license does not necessarily mean a lot of problems. And I will try to prove it to you.
Ham Radio Licensing Requirements
The license is needed to work on an amateur radio frequency.
How to get ham radio license? You need to pass the license tests.
What will be in the tests? As a rule, tests cover the theory of electronics, as well as the rules and norms of Ham radio.
Should I prepare for the test? Required. On the Internet, you can find an endless amount of textbooks that are accessible to all.
Licensing is available for everyone and no matter how old you are. Are you too young or old? You still have the right to take the test and obtain a license.
Licensing agreements in different countries are not the same. Today you will learn how it works in the United States. There are several license classes here.
Each class gives you the opportunity to work in specific ranges with the help of some modes. The rule is that the higher the license class, the more frequencies are available for use.
There is good news: testing is in the light form now. It means that you need to answer 35 questions by writing. It is important that the requirements for Morse code are also simplified.
Why Should I Get A License?
If you want to use Ham radio, you might ask this question: “Why should I get the license?”
Yes, everyone must get a license before going on the air. It is necessary so that you know the rules of Ham radio. It is very important that it be legal.
Why is this necessary? The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulates the operation of Ham radio. At least that is the case in the USA.
You should also keep in mind about responsibility. Ham radio will be the only means of communication in an emergency.
It also works as a car driving license. You can drive a car only if you have a “proof” (that is, a license) that you know how to drive and know how to do it.
The Ham radio license is also valid for 10 years and then it needs renewal.
What Are License Classes?
In the USA (and in many other countries), there are several license classes for using Ham radio.
As I said, each class works at certain frequencies.
Today, there are 3 licensed classes: technician, general, additional.
Technician License Class
This class requires a technical exam. Technician class has privileges in VHF, UHF and beyond. It is believed that this license class is useful for local communications. But it has limited options for HF.
General License Class
Also, you can meet the name “General”. In order to obtain a license for such a class, you must pass a technical and general exam. It is a more advanced level in which technical characteristics and a more extensive radio spectrum are available to you.
Extra License Class
This license class is even more advanced. Therefore, to work in this class, you need to pass technical, general, and additional (extra) exams.
Obviously, this class has more advantages. You have opportunities for both technical and general class at the same time and more spectrum in several HF-ranges.
That is, this license class allows you to communicate with hams around the world.
But there are certain conditions: as a Ham radio user, you can only have one license per license class. If you have passed 3 exams, you will not receive three different licenses, you will receive one license Extra class.
How Are Amateur Radio Exams?
The main form of the exam is written.
One exam consists of 35 questions (the number of questions depends on the class of license). Previously, there was a test of knowledge of Morse code (enough 5 words per minute). Now, this part of the exam is not, regardless of class license.
All exams, without exception, cover topics such as the rules and methods of operating Ham radio, electronics, distribution, antennas, and safety.
Let’s analyze each license class:
Technician class exam is relatively simple. It includes 35 questions from a pool of 400 questions. The general class is already a more difficult exam but also has 35 questions from a pool of 500 questions.
And the most difficult exam for the extra class, because it has 50 questions from a pool of 700 questions.
How is the exam?
Some group of radio amateurs is voluntarily going and holding the exam.
You can take the exam regularly in any part of the country. Exam places are equipped for people with any physical abilities. That is, if necessary, you can get a test in Braille, or organizers can read questions out loud.
Inexpensive. Usually, volunteer organizers charge about $15. They need this amount to cover the cost of the exam.
If you are going to save, it is better to pass 3 exams at the same time.
What Class Of License Do I Need?
Ham radio has only three licensing classes now. Therefore, you can choose any.
To save on the exam, many choose the extra license class. But saving is not the only criterion in choosing the right class.
For example, such a licensed class as a technic. Having a license in this class gives you the opportunity to communicate in the city and no more than that.
If communication within the framework of one city is exactly what you need, then pass such an exam, get an appropriate license and enjoy life. Especially since this exam is very simple.
The other license class, general, has other features and capabilities. It is this licensed class that gives you the opportunity to use Ham radio for emergency communications (this is not always local, with the exception of hurricanes and many other incidents).
Actually, in an emergency, you can use Ham radio with any license, it does not matter. The fact is that using Ham radio in case of emergency still requires some basic training and practice. That is why you need a license.
In addition, the general license class allows you to communicate around the world on a short wave.
You can also go to sea, live on a boat – you need a general class license.
Extra class is a combo option for those radio amateurs who need everything at once.
A license of this class allows you to be professional and use all the features of Ham radio. Having an extra class license you have full access to all frequencies.
Such a license gives all operational privileges in Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. You can also be the examiner who conducts the exam.
This license gives you the right to be a certified broadcast technologist. Plus, it is prestige and great training.Now you have all the information and the final choice is yours.
What Exams Do You Have To Pass?
It depends on the specific case:
A) You have never used Ham radio and you do not have any license. It means that you need to pass the exam technique. And only after that, you can pass the rest of the classes.
B) Your license has expired in the last 2 years (i.e. your grace period has expired). In this case, you do not need to pass the exam, but only to renew the license.
C) Your license was valid until 1987 and has expired. If the license was a technician class, then you will receive a general class license. In such a situation, you have 2 options: take an exam or provide proof that you had a license of a certain class.
D) Your General or Advanced class license has expired. In both cases, you will receive a General license, because the advanced level no longer exists.
You can get a general class license by attending a VE session. And do one of the following: take a technical exam or provide proof that you had a license of a certain class.
E) Your General, Advanced and Amateur Extra license has expired. You will either receive a loan for the general exams (element 3) and extra (element 4), or you will need to confirm that you have an Extra class license.
F) Your starter license has not expired. You do not need to pass the exam. Just wait until the license expires and pass the exam for the Technician class.
G) Your license has not expired, but this class is no more. If there was a “Technician” or “Technic Plus” you will receive a license “Technician”. If you had an Advanced Class license, then you need to pass the Extra class exam and obtain the appropriate license.
And a little more information on this issue: you have no opportunity to get a commercial license or a license from another country.
How Can You Confirm An Expired License?
If you have an expired license, then you can get a loan for an exam of a particular class.
For example, if you had an Advanced level license, then you receive a credit for taking the “General” class exam.
All evidence must be submitted on test VE. IMPORTANT: All evidence must be reliable and you are responsible for their accuracy.
What do I mean by “evidence”? It is the original or a copy of the expired license that the FCC has already issued to you, and it can also be a reference copy of the license that you took from the database.
You might say: “I received my license in the mid-70s. Where can I find it?”The FCC issued a “License Verification Letter”, which says that you received a license.
Proof can also be a list from the 1967 Radio Amateur Phone Book.
Now you are fully packed with information about Ham radio and how to become a happy user of such a nice radio. So, go to Ham Test Online and get ready for the upcoming exam!