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Thread: Ham License

  1. #11

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    I just finished going through the 426 questions in the question pool. Despite having a EE degree (from 1981) and also having read the license manual cover to cover, I still found 63 questions that I could not answer via logic or calculations. In other words, these are questions I would just have to memorize.

    The good news is that 63 out of 426 is 14.8%. You can miss up to 25.8% of the questions and still pass, so theoretically I should be able to take the test and pass easily right now.

    My point is not to brag, or admit stupidity. I am just saying that if you already have a basic grounding in the technology then reading the book should be all you need.

    I am somewhat annoyed by the specific knowledge they want me to memorize that has nothing to do with anything I ever intend to do, but there is not enough of it to stop me from passing, so I can't complain too much.

    Given that each question is multiple choice with 4 possible answers, you have a 25% chance of getting them right through random chance. Often one or two of the answers is nonsensical, so you can improve those odds even further.

    Knowing that the 6 meter band is best for bouncing signals off the ion trails left by meteors is pretty useless information, but at least I can use it to impress women at parties (not).

  2. #12
    Site Moderator JimCR120's Avatar
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    Ok, I like ham with most anything. It tastes yummy. I am aware of such a thing as a HAM license but have little knowledge about it. If it's as easy as it would seem here I suppose I'll jump on in and experience the process and then get those cool letters into my signature too. I do have an avionics and electronic warfare background so maybe that will be helpful. We'll see. I'll post the progress here.

    @Litterbug, thanks for the link to the radio site. Since seeing PsyBorg's handheld at FF this year I've been considering getting one. Do you have a particular radio you recommend?

    @PsyBorg, which radio do you have/recommend?

    I appreciate this thread and the info in it. I suspect others will find it helpful as well.
    Truths in life:
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    2) In this existence we are part of the problem or part of the solution. The choice is ours.
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  3. #13
    Troll Spammer LitterBug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimCR120 View Post
    @Litterbug, thanks for the link to the radio site. Since seeing PsyBorg's handheld at FF this year I've been considering getting one. Do you have a particular radio you recommend?

    I appreciate this thread and the info in it. I suspect others will find it helpful as well.
    If you want a quick, easy, and cheap handheld, The Baofeng UV-5R is an easy way to get your feet wet for $32.99 on Amazon. I have the newer BF-F8HP version, which is about double that. I also picked up a better Nagoya NA-771 antenna and magnetic mount Nagoya UT-72 mobile antenna. So for < $100, I am able to do Weather Spotting, Search And Rescue, use the local repeaters, ETC.

    I have been listening on the HAM bands and studying on and off for close to 40 years. FPV is what finally pushed me into picking up my license and joining the other HAMs of the world in transmitting.

    Cheers!
    LitterBug
    Last edited by LitterBug; 09-13-2017 at 02:28 PM.

  4. #14
    Fly Angry PsyBorg's Avatar
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    Like Litterbug I have a uv5r but mine is the -2. This one is the multi powered one I believe is the difference. It can be set 1 watt or 5 watt. It seems like a solid piece of gear. Some uber hams frown on it and give it bad reviews but I keep mine with me and use it as a police scanner since I don't have my HAM licence yet. I like to have it with me on the off chance something goes wrong as I don't have a cell phone and cant call anyone.

    I will make it a point to get the licence over the winter though. I got side tracked on my original time plan with FFE. If you do get the uv5r get the programming cable and the higher gain whip antenna. I did not get the cable as the person who pointed me in the direction of the uv5r said he has it all and was going to help me program it. Sadly he has been in and out of the hospitals for a while now with heart issues so I have not bothered his recovery with trivial things like the radio.
    BILLS LAW: Bills Law specifically states that it covers ANYTHING that Murphy may have forgot, omitted, or plain didn't know in the first place. There fore if it can happen it WILL happen to ME.

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  5. #15

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    Aug 2017
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    It's kind of shocking how many people misinterpret the HAM license rules. At my field, there are board members of the club that think if you are an AMA member, you are covered. I had to tell them repeatedly that no, it does not matter - this is the FCC coming down on this. All of the drones I have that use something other than Wi-Fi for transmission state on the package, "If you are operating this product in North America, an Amateur Radio (HAM) License is required."

    I went through and got my license a few months ago, back in...May? June? I'd honestly have to go back and look. It took some prep time from me; I'll be honest that I did not read the AARL book, but rather took multiple online practice tests to drill into my head the questions I needed answered. Some of the stuff was basic practice, like grounding, power strips, and safety measures, but knowing space station signals and communications was something that I didn't think would EVER apply to me. Sure, it was kind of interesting, but I'd rather devote my time and money into planes and quads than into radio antennas and transmitters for HAM operation.

    It's great that people have an interest in it, and I can see its uses, but it's just not my cup of tea. All that aside, I have my call sign on my Spektrum Dx6 and on my headset; I did put it on the bottom of my 220 frame as well, but I have NO idea how the heck I'd stick it on my Inductrix Pro/Tiny Whoops and have it be legible. The rulings on some of this, I really think it needs to change. People need to have knowledge of how it works, how to prevent interference, etc.; it's like the old crystal radios of 30 years ago, when everyone had to have different frequencies or else there were conflicts. Now we just have the different frequency bands for channels (and potential bleed over, in some cases, if someone's running a powerful enough transmitter). I think it'll eventually be straightened out, but it's going to be probably 20+ years at the rate we're going...

    Bottom line, get certified. It's not worth the fight. The FCC is like a slow moving, blind elephant - it's big, it's difficult to move, and it doesn't see the little people in front of it before it tramples them.
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  6. #16

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    Jun 2013
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    Well I passed the test. Now it is just a matter of waiting for a week for my call sign to show up on the FCC database.

    If I had taken it cold I might have passed. As it was, I studied way harder than necessary and aced it. I agree with sprzout, for FPV purposes it is mostly a waste, but at least I am being respectful of the community.

  7. #17

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    Jun 2013
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    Just 4 days later and I yam a ham. KM6MSP.

  8. #18
    Skill Collector rockyboy's Avatar
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    Congrats from one yam to another
    I want YOU to join us in the 2018 Flite Test Forum WWII Design/Build Challenge!

    My hanger listing, build threads, conversion projects, and Taranis radio mods are Over Here....

  9. #19
    Troll Spammer LitterBug's Avatar
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    Time to start up a DX fpv repeater club

    Welcome to the party!

    Cheers!
    LitterBug

  10. #20

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    Aug 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by LitterBug View Post
    Time to start up a DX fpv repeater club

    Welcome to the party!

    Cheers!
    LitterBug
    Whoa, let's not get CRAZY, now...LOL

    Although, some of the ground station stuff I've seen has been pretty impressive for FPV displays...
    Hangar:

    Blade Conspiracy 220, Inductrix Pro, Blade Glimpse, FT Sea Duck, FT Duster, FT MiG-3

    Workbench:

    Possible Crimson Skies plane? We'll see!!

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