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The Amateur Radio License "ELMER" Thread

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#1
If anyone studying for a Amateur Radio license has questions this is the place to ask them so all may benefit from the answers.

Note: If you have a question please tell us your Location as laws are different in different countries.

If you hold an Amateur Radio License then please monitor this thread so that prompt assistance may be provided to those just entering the hobby of Amateur Radio.

Thurmond
K5TWM ARRL VE
 
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RAM

Posted a thousand or more times
#2
I found these video series helpful. Putting the link here in case it helps anyone else. Be careful, the questions can change and this video series is from 2010. It should still help with basic understanding.


 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#4
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#6
With the part 97 rules we are allowed to use quite a bit more power at 2.4ghz than part 15 devices. Would it be possible to use this super wifi to control planes, provide telemetry data, and/or FPV instead of the typical rc transmitters? Would I need any more station IDing beyond putting my call sign in the SSID, Mac address, and on the model?
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#7
With the part 97 rules we are allowed to use quite a bit more power at 2.4ghz than part 15 devices. Would it be possible to use this super wifi to control planes, provide telemetry data, and/or FPV instead of the typical rc transmitters? Would I need any more station IDing beyond putting my call sign in the SSID, Mac address, and on the model?
Since you mention Part 97 I am guessing you are in the USA. Yes you can use wifi boosters for all you stated (see DJI Lightbridge offerings), but it is far better to use some good antennas and low power since you can interfere with other 2.4GHz control if running high power. All hams are required to use the lowest possible power to accomplish their communication needs. It would be best to fly with 433MHz for long range control. Your Call Sign and Contact information belong on a card attached to your transmitter if using more than "stock" power.

Thurmond
 
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IFlyRCstuff

Flyer Of Many Things
#8
Thanks to all above, I am a 13 year old tryin to get it so, it is not as easy as it could be. I actually have an electronics background (since I was about 5) building and repairing ciruits, but frequency stuff and regulations...
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#9
Thanks to all above, I am a 13 year old tryin to get it so, it is not as easy as it could be. I actually have an electronics background (since I was about 5) building and repairing ciruits, but frequency stuff and regulations...
The Tech test is mainly FCC rules with just a sprinkling of electronics and radio knowledge. You will do just fine.

Thurmond
 
#10
Since you mention Part 97 I am guessing you are in the USA. Yes you can use wifi boosters for all you stated (see DJI Lightbridge offerings), but it is far better to use some good antennas and low power since you can interfere with other 2.4GHz control if running high power. All hams are required to use the lowest possible power to accomplish their communication needs. It would be best to fly with 433MHz for long range control. Your Call Sign and Contact information belong on a card attached to your transmitter if using more than "stock" power.

Thurmond
Sorry, yes I'm in the US. So would this http://https://www.sparkfun.com/products/155 be something to look into if I wanted to start thinking about DIYing a controller? I'm going to be ordering a realativly cheap 4 or 6 channel transmitter to learn to fly with, but I want to stretch my skills a bit. I am hoping to use RC planes and quads to do surveys for my ecological engineering degree, so rather than paying an extra $50 for every new button or function it make sense to use something like a raspberry pi and or an arduino. I'd like to make it modular so I can try out different radios, switch layouts, and the like.

You make a good point about wanting to keep the power as low as need to get the job done. So far all of my licensed transmissions have been under 5w. I am a little worried about losing signal with a very directional antenna. Would I need to build some kind of tracking mount to keep it lined up?

IFlyRCstuff I used a smartphone app and just bashed through the test until I had the rules down. The electronics questions are pretty basic. You'll be able to pass it.
 
#14
Since I want to use the 433 Mhz frequency for long-range telecommand and fly FPV, I will need to get an amateur technician license. I also have some students who would like to do the same, so they are studying for the test coming up in a couple of weeks.

The aforementioned app has been a huge help - after using it to study, I am able to get 100% on all practice exams. I have my students using the app also, and they are making a lot of great progress. To assist with retention, I have also been using the Ham Whisperer videos (although I have found some errors in them, and they tend to put my students to sleep). I ordered the ARRL study guide (http://amzn.to/1Llt22V) since I want to actually understand the concepts and not just memorize answers for the test. I have also used the study guide as a reference when helping my students to understand the material since some of it is over their heads.

Between the app, videos, and study guide, anyone willing to put the time into studying should have no problem passing the test at all, and more importantly will actually come away from their study sessions understanding what is being discussed. It was this understanding that motivated me to keep learning rather than just stop when I had the minimum amount of knowledge needed to simply pass the tech test and use long-range/FPV systems.

For anyone thinking that they are just going to do whatever they want without getting the licenses needed to legally do so - PLEASE don't be that guy. That type of thinking is what ruins fun activities for all of us, and ultimately leads to over-regulation and bans; we have enough of both already and don't need any more. Worse still, that attitude is what gets people hurt or killed. Given the issues that we face at this point in time, we need to show the general public and government agencies that we can be responsible, self-regulating individuals who ensure that we are being safe while having fun. What you learn is only going to make you a better, safer pilot.
 
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#15
To those who are just getting their Amateur Licenses, welcome. To those with their licenses, hi ya. I'm a licensed amateur AND have a commercial General phone license. I'm working on some stuff now (finally retired and get to play) where I need some really upper range UHF and some decent power (slightly under a watt). As this has a commercial application, I found myself having to be very careful as to what I did with the Amateur license and what I do with my commercial license. The circuit and antenna stuff can be developed (as long as I use the Amateur bands and rules) using my Amateur license. At the point it becomes a viable commercial design (or I start marketing) the Amateur license no longer becomes a vehicle for development. Its a fine line. The reason I bring this up is somewhere in the posts it sounded like someone was working toward a commercial venture. There could be some issues with using a drone (quad, etc.) to take aerial photographs for hire while using your Amateur credentials to actually fly the drone [as an example]. Not a lawyer; but, I would recommend caution.

If anyone has a similar situation I would like to hear how you handled it. It can get sticky. All that said, Amateurs have always been the ones to explore new horizons first. Hope that never stops.
 

Norlin

Junior Member
#16
I just got my technician class license on Saturday (took the exam on my birthday hah) and I just wanted to plug a resource I found helpful:
http://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/

His no-nonsense study guide is a great supplement to the manual and really highlights all the questions that will be on the exam. Am checking the FCC database everyday just waiting for my call sign to show up! At my exam there were 5 people taking the technician-class license and one doing the general. According to the examiners, this was a huge turnout :) Also to note, if you go to take an exam, you pay once and can take exams up to the point that you fail, for example, if you take your technician class exam and pass, you can then immediately take the general class. If I had known this, I would probably have studied to take multiple levels. As it was, I took the general class exam for a laugh, but of course failed because I hadn't prepared at all for it, but it was nice to see what the questions looked like.
 
#19
Over the years I have taught many licensing classes and have enjoyed 100% pass rate for all students in Tech and General classes. My textbook of choice for these classes is the Gordon West license manuals, they cover all questions on the test and provide the correct answer and a good, easy to understand reason for the answer. These books can be purchased off amazon.

73,

Art/K0ACP
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#20
How cool is this? My RC club, CRRC (shameless plug for the Charles River Radio Controllers) is dedicating our May club meeting to getting members their amateur radio license. Makes sense as one of the board members / officers is also a VE (Volunteer Examiner).
Everyone,

The Board has decided to do a FCC licensing session
for the May meeting. We have made arrangements to
have the needed
exams and personnel at the meeting. The first part
will be a quick overview of the questions in the
exam (with answers). We strongly recommend that
everyone that is or may fly quads in the future
attend the meeting.

The exam fee is $15.00. The study guide for anyone
taking the test is
http://arrlexamreview.appspot.com/. Please sign up
for an account and you will have lots of resources
to help you prepare for the meeting/exam.
I do find it funnyish that there is an assumption that quad/multirotor hobbyists are also FPV pilots, but I guess that's pretty much a safe eventual assumption these days.
 
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