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Can we do a HAM class?

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#1
BEAR

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I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I'm finally going to try and get my HAM license in March at an upcoming test. I've been watching some YouTube videos on it and I have the Apps for the test prep but its sooooo dry, especially since I really don't know what they're talking about. I was wondering if some of the HAM guru's in the club could put on a class to explain some of this and help better prepare people for a HAM test. Please BOD or someone can we please do this?


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#2
DHappel

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hmmm....despite most of us having a licence I wouldn't begin to say many of us are up to putting on a class.  Perhaps Jared but I don't know if he'd actually be up for that.  

 

If you've been through the apps a few times and have done any studying at all you'll pass.  The 'ham crams' are designed so you can come in with NO knowledge at all, sit through a couple hours' data dump, then immediately take the test and pass.  They don't pretend that they're teaching you about HAM; they're teaching you to pass the test.  So exactly what you need to know and nothing more.  I don't know what the first-time pass ratio is but I'd say 90% or more.  The fact that you've already done some prep means you'll be better prepared than most.  

 

In short, I'm sure you'll pass.

 

As for actually knowing much about HAM, maybe Jared would have an interest in doing a short training but I wouldn't speak for him on that.  I know I'm certainly not qualified to do it myself.


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#3
BEAR

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hmmm....despite most of us having a licence I wouldn't begin to say many of us are up to putting on a class.  Perhaps Jared but I don't know if he'd actually be up for that.  

 

If you've been through the apps a few times and have done any studying at all you'll pass.  The 'ham crams' are designed so you can come in with NO knowledge at all, sit through a couple hours' data dump, then immediately take the test and pass.  They don't pretend that they're teaching you about HAM; they're teaching you to pass the test.  So exactly what you need to know and nothing more.  I don't know what the first-time pass ratio is but I'd say 90% or more.  The fact that you've already done some prep means you'll be better prepared than most.  

 

In short, I'm sure you'll pass.

 

As for actually knowing much about HAM, maybe Jared would have an interest in doing a short training but I wouldn't speak for him on that.  I know I'm certainly not qualified to do it myself.

Thanks Don. I was thinking about a full class but even a short class that just pertains to how we use it would be nice. I would like to see the club put on some workshop type classes in the future. Not even stuff that involves going to Hollister or something. I.E. Map and compass, Navigation, HAM/CB, wilderness survival. All these could be done in the parking lot at Mexxi's or site similar. Just a thought.


Concord CA,
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#4
DHappel

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Good to know.  We have our next BoD meeting coming up in Feb and will discuss.


Don
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#5
lithium1330

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Hey Bear, good suggestions... we have BoD meeting coming up in Feb and will put this in the discussion hopper. 

Last month, the club did a recovery class at Carnegie. We had good turn out and Don & Colin showed recovery essential and more important how to use them. 

And I'm sure there are other trail-related stuff of interest & benefit to members... and we'll see about prioritizing them. 

 

 

As for your HAM study... .i took my exam few months back and did a self study via www.hamstudy.org.

I just spent 30min - hour the couple evenings before my test weekend, and went through _all_ the questions in the pool for technician lic. 

It's an short-term memory exercise: you read the questions, you remember answers, then you regurgitate morning of exam. 

I read about how someone's 12yr kid got the Technician exam on first try and better score than the parents... yup, mostly memorization. 

Not to say there is no value in exams in HAM... but a lot of folks suggest... pass the test first (cram, etc.), then have the license to explore the concepts & world of HAM. 

Also, local HAM club is another great option once to really learn and get the most out of HAM license. 


Chris

#6
BEAR

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Hey Bear, good suggestions... we have BoD meeting coming up in Feb and will put this in the discussion hopper. 

Last month, the club did a recovery class at Carnegie. We had good turn out and Don & Colin showed recovery essential and more important how to use them. 

And I'm sure there are other trail-related stuff of interest & benefit to members... and we'll see about prioritizing them. 

 

 

As for your HAM study... .i took my exam few months back and did a self study via www.hamstudy.org.

I just spent 30min - hour the couple evenings before my test weekend, and went through _all_ the questions in the pool for technician lic. 

It's an short-term memory exercise: you read the questions, you remember answers, then you regurgitate morning of exam. 

I read about how someone's 12yr kid got the Technician exam on first try and better score than the parents... yup, mostly memorization. 

Not to say there is no value in exams in HAM... but a lot of folks suggest... pass the test first (cram, etc.), then have the license to explore the concepts & world of HAM. 

Also, local HAM club is another great option once to really learn and get the most out of HAM license. 

I agree and this is what 90% of the people do I would say and I just need to suck it up and do the cram.  I just have a hard time memorizing stuff when I don't really know what it is. I.E I have no idea what a 2 meter band is. ;) I will put the meeting in my calendar and will try to attend. its very close to my house so really no excuse.


Concord CA,
2006 LR3 SE with HD
Baja Rack, Gap EAS IID tool, LEDramized 40" light bar and work lights, BFG TA/KO tires, ARB Fridge Freezer, Front Runner Drawers, PowerTank 20lbs Co2 tank, Front Runner Rear Ladder, Traxide duel battery kit. Tactical Rovers Sliders and Rear Bumper

On Instagram @ bear_republic_overland
"waiting for an adventure"

SmugMug https://nclrbear.smugmug.com/

Instagram https://www.instagra...ublic_overland/

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#7
AlysonH

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There are all kinds of requirements for putting on an official class and I think one of them is having certain ratio of general licenses and technician licenses and possibly even a specialized license too. Also I think the class would have to be advertised as public and we'd have to post that somewhere public on a HAM forum or something.

If it was just a hey can someone who knows have a little workshop on how to use the radios, that would be fine assuming those who know have time and desire to do that.
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#8
Phil.

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i think the sponsors of those ham cram classes are already well setup with the venue, powerpoints, etc. and yes it's just about studying the answers. i finally got around to doing one last year. they're only requirement was to do a sample test. once not necessarily more than that. then as they were getting set up, they had us do a printed out test just to be sure. but they really just clicked thru a ppt that showed the answers. there was an easy to figure out code at the lower corner that told you the answer. often times they'd tell you the answer without really explaining why and a lot of the folks (esp the non-technical) were asking to slow the pace down. that worked for like the next question or two then they had to click thru the rest of the questions. they showed us all possible questions and answers. i hadn't seen a lot of this stuff since my undergrad days. they said it was 100% pass rate for anyone taking the exam and i coulda sworn i was headed towards being the first. but i only got two wrong. whew!

 

the alternative mentioned above (how the club uses ham, etc.) sounds similar to the "hands-on" class i heard them mention. i like that idea. i still haven't bought a radio. haha


Edited by Phil., 27 January 2017 - 01:44 PM.

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#9
lithium1330

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I agree and this is what 90% of the people do I would say and I just need to suck it up and do the cram.  I just have a hard time memorizing stuff when I don't really know what it is. I.E I have no idea what a 2 meter band is. ;) I will put the meeting in my calendar and will try to attend. its very close to my house so really no excuse.

 

I hear ya. I too have horrible, terrible memory. Just ask my girlfriend. (I surprise myself everyday when I am able to find my way to the office/work). 

Anyways, I think you're making this difficult by trying to dissect the subject.

Think of it like Land Rovers... Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear/Grand Tour) once called Land Rovers "the most unreliable car in the world is the most reliable car in the world" 

Yeah...that sentence makes no sense at all, yet it is the true definition of a Land Rover. :)

 

 

 i like that idea. i still haven't bought a radio. haha

 

Phil, not sure you heard/saw this in your study materials for Technician test (I think it was a new question for 2016)... but it basically says: if you don't yet have a radio,... you can take the ARRL paper after you pass the test,...  roll up into a tube shape and talk into it. It is directional, and coverage should be good for 2 meters (like, someone 6.5ft away). ;) 


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Chris

#10
BEAR

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There are all kinds of requirements for putting on an official class and I think one of them is having certain ratio of general licenses and technician licenses and possibly even a specialized license too. Also I think the class would have to be advertised as public and we'd have to post that somewhere public on a HAM forum or something.

If it was just a hey can someone who knows have a little workshop on how to use the radios, that would be fine assuming those who know have time and desire to do that.

You're absolutely right. I think you have to be certified by the ARRL to have a test. I was just looking for a class on how the radios work, how to hit a repeater, How to use it to get help if needed, what the bands mean and do, mobile units and portable units. I also wanted to learn how to find my position with my radio. I've heard you can do that.


Edited by BEAR, 27 January 2017 - 04:12 PM.

Concord CA,
2006 LR3 SE with HD
Baja Rack, Gap EAS IID tool, LEDramized 40" light bar and work lights, BFG TA/KO tires, ARB Fridge Freezer, Front Runner Drawers, PowerTank 20lbs Co2 tank, Front Runner Rear Ladder, Traxide duel battery kit. Tactical Rovers Sliders and Rear Bumper

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#11
GraemeWare

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... I also wanted to learn how to find my position with my radio. I've heard you can do that.

 

Nahhhh, that's called a map ....

 

Graeme


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#12
AlysonH

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Nahhhh, that's called a map ....

Graeme


You'll probably need a compass too.

#13
AlysonH

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You're absolutely right. I think you have to be certified by the ARRL to have a test. I was just looking for a class on how the radios work, how to hit a repeater, How to use it to get help if needed, what the bands mean and do, mobile units and portable units. I also wanted to learn how to find my position with my radio. I've heard you can do that.

I am not aware of being able to use ham radio to find your position on a map and if that is possible, I believe it would be much faster to use a compass.

I know certain radios will send out a signal (APRS packet) every 30 seconds or so which someone could login to a website and see where you are, but if the one with the radio is lost and doesn't have cell reception, well...

Edited by AlysonH, 27 January 2017 - 04:57 PM.


#14
BEAR

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Yes the APRS is what I'm thinking of. Question answered!


Concord CA,
2006 LR3 SE with HD
Baja Rack, Gap EAS IID tool, LEDramized 40" light bar and work lights, BFG TA/KO tires, ARB Fridge Freezer, Front Runner Drawers, PowerTank 20lbs Co2 tank, Front Runner Rear Ladder, Traxide duel battery kit. Tactical Rovers Sliders and Rear Bumper

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#15
AlysonH

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Also please feel free to join the board at the next meeting on February 25 to bring up your ideas for ham radio instruction classes. If you're there in person you can better help the board see your passion to have a class
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#16
BEAR

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Also please feel free to join the board at the next meeting on February 25 to bring up your ideas for ham radio instruction classes. If you're there in person you can better help the board see your passion to have a class

I just checked and didn't see a time.


Concord CA,
2006 LR3 SE with HD
Baja Rack, Gap EAS IID tool, LEDramized 40" light bar and work lights, BFG TA/KO tires, ARB Fridge Freezer, Front Runner Drawers, PowerTank 20lbs Co2 tank, Front Runner Rear Ladder, Traxide duel battery kit. Tactical Rovers Sliders and Rear Bumper

On Instagram @ bear_republic_overland
"waiting for an adventure"

SmugMug https://nclrbear.smugmug.com/

Instagram https://www.instagra...ublic_overland/

IMG_1224-S.jpg


#17
Jethro

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So Nick has become extremely proficient with all of that. Even uses to connect to GPS and transmit via SMS to phone numbers his location and messages.

He's helped me connect to repeater, set up an echo link license to use your mobile phone on the repeaters etc.

I'd definitely hit him up.

On land navigation, I'd look into this group that puts on team challenges requiring map, compass and Ham Radio skills to solve problems.

https://www.meetup.c...NorCal/?gj=ej1c

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#18
AlysonH

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I just checked and didn't see a time.


It's from 10am-1pm. I haven't updated the calendar yet, sorry.

#19
TomOwen

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Hey Bear,  

 

The classes, especially the Cram and Exam courses teach students how to PASS THE TEST. Sure, part of that is connecting to repeaters (Offset, etc...), Call sign beg/end and 10 min intervals (on the test ;-) )  but more of it (the "Dry stuff") is about radio theory, propagation and understanding how all this works and the various regulations.  Really good info, even interesting to some, but not much to do with how to actually use a radio per se.  But again, these classes are designed to shove info in and quickly put paper under your pencil to spit it back out so it lands in the right boxes to PASS the test.

 

While the club doesn't have the right number of appropriately licensed Hams to proctor a test, (nor could we for other reasons) even if we did come up with a class (of which there are plenty online, books, etc..) it would likely be more difficult for you to retain it into test day.  What we could do is help you with your radio, programming repeaters (now that you know all about off-sets, frequency shifts, etc... ;-) and useful, practical stuff like that. E.g. Many of us have a Baofeng HT. Cheap, entry level radio. Hard to program, but many have the software... but at a MORG or on a trip, there will be a bunch of hte same radio and folks who can help.  Looking at a Mobile Rig and an install like Chris Solis in his LR4, or Don in his LR3? Great, many folks run the same Yaesu ft-8800 and like the Baofeng, we can help there too... Or you can go rogue like Drew and go Kenwood .... 

 

Either way, sign up for a cram/exam, get and app so the test question are familiar - donate a saturday at an Elks lodge or (something similar) and get on air.

 

Good luck!

 

Tom


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#20
RedRover

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Hey Bear,  

 

The classes, especially the Cram and Exam courses teach students how to PASS THE TEST. Sure, part of that is connecting to repeaters (Offset, etc...), Call sign beg/end and 10 min intervals (on the test ;-) )  but more of it (the "Dry stuff") is about radio theory, propagation and understanding how all this works and the various regulations.  Really good info, even interesting to some, but not much to do with how to actually use a radio per se.  But again, these classes are designed to shove info in and quickly put paper under your pencil to spit it back out so it lands in the right boxes to PASS the test.

 

While the club doesn't have the right number of appropriately licensed Hams to proctor a test, (nor could we for other reasons) even if we did come up with a class (of which there are plenty online, books, etc..) it would likely be more difficult for you to retain it into test day.  What we could do is help you with your radio, programming repeaters (now that you know all about off-sets, frequency shifts, etc... ;-) and useful, practical stuff like that. E.g. Many of us have a Baofeng HT. Cheap, entry level radio. Hard to program, but many have the software... but at a MORG or on a trip, there will be a bunch of hte same radio and folks who can help.  Looking at a Mobile Rig and an install like Chris Solis in his LR4, or Don in his LR3? Great, many folks run the same Yaesu ft-8800 and like the Baofeng, we can help there too... Or you can go rouge like Drew and go Kenwood .... 

 

Either way, sign up for a cram/exam, get and app so the test question are familiar - donate a saturday at an Elks lodge or (something similar) and get on air.

 

Good luck!

 

Tom

 

Tom's got it.  If we went over the material you need to know for passing the test, you'd likely forget it before you take the test.  Unless you have a deeper interest in the material, it's best to 'cram' the answers, take the test and move on for the type of radio work 99% of our club members do.

 

Don, if you want help putting together an event where I review Amateur Radio fundamentals that focuses more on real-world usage instead of book stuff I can work on that... probably soonest would be the April MORG for availability.

 

Jared


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