reply to post by n0b0DY
Getting your ham license (ticket) is so easy now. There are 3 classes of license in the USA
Technician General Extra
No more morse code is needed for any of them.
You must take a written multiple choice test for each of them.
You can find the test questions and answers at many websites.
Below are a couple of them.
You can take all three tests in one sitting, if you pass each one in succession.
The examiners will submit your passing scores to the FCC, and in about 3-4 days
you will check the FCC website to get your callsign, then you can get on the air!
Back when I took my exam, I had to wait for 6 of the longest months of my life to get my ticket in the mail from the FCC!
Well, maybe it was only 3...but it FELT like 6! hi hi < ham laugh on morse code.
The examiners are volunteer hams from your local area. There is sometimes a small fee to take the tests (under $10).
Sometimes the club conducting the test will cover the costs (free). They are prohibited by law to make any money doing this.
But I guarantee, they will gladly accept a box of doughnuts on test day! Hams are notorious eaters!
Without knowing where you are, I can give you a website that you can search for a testing session in your area.
All major cities in the USA have ham radio clubs that have testing locations, and most will offer free classes for prospective hams.
I highly recommend this route! You will meet and most likely befriend them, and they, you.
Find out where your local radio club is and call them.
I absolutely promise you that they will be extremely glad to help you in any way they can!
The simple reason for this is the fact that most hams (we) are getting old and dying-off. If we have no new hams to use our precious radio
we will loose them. They are worth untold Billions of dollars to corporations. They want them real real bad!
Or you can study the test on your own, and walk into a testing session. This is the route I took, and wish I hadn't.
Hams are like a big global family, we all call each other by our first names and helping each other is the name of the game! Been that way for
The old-timers that help you learn the ropes (mentors) are known as "elmers" and we all have to have them. I have been a ham for 20years
and I have many "elmers" that help me learn the ropes of a new mode or new tech that I become interested in trying.
You have stated your primary interest is in radio astronomy, and the hams at SETI will be your elmers. As I am sure you are aware, they are all hams
too. They are also very interested in getting your 3M dish in their network. Heck, they probably have the preamps and extra cable laying around their
shacks that they would give you to help you get going! They will show you all of the new software defined radios (SDR) they are currently using and
developing. Free software to point your big dish, and so-on.
Register your new callsign at QRZ then look up the calls of the guys in the program...most have e-mail addresses there. send them an e-mail.
Once you get your ticket. Get on the air and have fun!
Study materials and practice tests here:
Find a test in your area here:
Find a club in your area:
And a whole lot more: hello-radio
And if that didn't help... and no listings are shown for the area you are interested in, send an email with your specific exam location and test
date needs and they will strive to assist you.
73 es gud luck
edit to add:a whole lot more
[edit on 11-3-2009 by Zeptepi]