Training Resources

TRAINING/INFORMATION RESOURCES:

Below I have listed several means to aid those interested in becoming amateur radio operators. Some are FREE self study web sites or video training sites, while others are pay sites. Also, I have setup the links to open a new tab in your web browser.

https://hamexam.org: this website is totally free and is sponsored by ICOM. It does request you create an account; however this is only to track your progress. You will be presented three modes of study, 1) study mode where you will be given question & distractors; 2) Read questions, here you can select which sub-element and area you wish to review; and 3) Take a practice test. If you have a problem with any particular sub-element/area the system will focus on that area by asking more questions in that area while continuing to ask questions in areas you are not having a problem. The system will display a progress chart and allow you to concentrate on an area you prefer.

https://hamstudy.org: this website is totally free and I could find no sponsor, however donations are accepted. This site also offers an iPhone version; I don’t know if it also offers an Android site. Like the site above, it too requests you create an account in order to track your progress. You will be presented three modes of study, 1) Flash Cards where you will be given questions & distractors; 2) Practice exam; 3) Read the questions pool. If you have a problem with any particular sub-element/area the system will focus on that area by asking more question in that area while continuing to ask questions in areas you are not having a problem. The system will display a progress chart and allow you to concentrate on an area you prefer.  Once you answer a question you can see an explanation of the correct answer by clicking the dog-eared tab in the upper right corner.

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If you are the type that prefers having hands on study guides, ARRL offers several books but you don’t have to be a licensed HAM to get them, however they are not free. Simply follow this link to ARRL. You can, if you wish, create a free account and explore the world of Amateur Radio. For the more advanced ARRL offers a podcast, The Doctor is In and starting in March 2019 ARRL will be hosting a new podcast “So, Now What” the target audience will be newly licensed hams. Looks like “So, Now What podcast is up and running, check it out.

Another good source is the W5YI Group; this is suggested by Gordon West Radio School. And the items can be purchased here. For the Technician level course book is $24.95 and the book with the software package is $34.95. There is also an audio study course for $29.95. If you are looking for the more advanced courses they are also available there.

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To those that are somewhat more computer savvy there is youTube. This is, in my opinion, more for the person who has his Technician, General, or Extra ticket and looking to enhance their know-how. Here you can find detailed information on a plethora of topics in amateur radio. Topics I’ve found range from basic radio setup to building a complete HAM shack (that is what amateur radio operators call the room/space they use to set up their radio gear). Don’t let that statement mislead you, there are lots of beginner information on YouTube too. All you have to do is enter some search criteria and you will receive a list of videos related to you request. Remember, the more specific you are in your criteria the more accurate your results will be.

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Two other video training options, one is Bob Heil’s HAM Nation. Bob’s show appears weekly on www.twit.com and can be found on YouTube. The really neat thing about using twit is that you can download each episode to your computer.

The second is Amateurlogic and is hosted by Gorge Thomas. They offer two different shows one called AmateurLogic and the other HAM College. The former is somewhat more advanced dealing with some rather advanced electronics, however the latter is geared more to the new ham. Here you can also download episode to your computer.

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While the main focus is learning what is needed to get an Amateur Radio License two areas that seem to be a problem for lots of would be operators are basic math (namely Algebra) and basic electronics. Here are two really good tutorials on these subjects on Youtube, Simply Electronic and MathAntics. These should help some.

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Ever wonder how the sun affects amateur radio? How about why, sometimes it is easy to make long distance contacts on the HF bands (DXing) and other times almost impossible? Or, why are the bands so noisy today? Dr. Tamitha Skov will inform you, using non-scientific terms, just how solar activity affects our ability to communicate over radio. Dr. Skov’s has a weekly segment on Bob Heil’s HAM NATION  show also. More than likely you will never look at the Sun or the Earth in the same way again.  After all, Space Weather is just like the weather in your own backyard, it’s just a little further up. After watching the video below click HERE to go to her site and learn more.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of information available on the internet. As I find more I will update this list. If any of you out there in never never land have a favorite TRAINING sight(s), email them to me at the above address. Once I review them I’ll either post them here or email you as to why I didn’t use them