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firemagi 12-30-2012 08:39 PM

Ham License Advice
 
I have no experience with Ham and am considering taking a course to get my basic license. Because my application will be 95% in the marine environment, I'm wondering if anyone who has gotten their license can tell me if it makes a difference where I take the course from? For example, is it preferred that I take it from a sailing club, or is a ham club just as efficient, or is an online course just as good. As I have found out, the course cost varies dramatically from venue to venue and I'm curious about the difference the venue actually makes.

Thanks in advance.

windward54 12-30-2012 08:57 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
All three methods will get you licensed, and have worked for everyone. And with the proper study guide, you can even just study the book, take on-line tests for practice and pass the actual test if you want to. I took a couple of classes with Gordon West, and was glad I did. The tech class was geared for emergency response and the general class was more boater oriented. A good instructor will go over the uses of the various equipmen, and proper radio etiquette, things you just don't get from reading a book and taking a test. Sailing/yacht clubs will have a boating slant, which tends to make the material a little more interesting.

Cruiser2B 12-30-2012 10:02 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
Find a local amateur radio club, visit with them. They will help and assist you getting your license. I, like you, looked into my license for using HF on my boat.Bought the a few study guides and went to a local club, got hooked up with some locals and am now a General class operator. Picked up Tech in October and General a week ago. Looking back I probably could have got both same day. Go to ARRL. org to find a club in your area. One thing I found was the 2m/VHF, 144-148Mhz, is used quite a bit here in Hampton Roads and around Chesapeake cruising areas. A great way of communicating and finding out local knowledge while cruising the chesapeake. Good Luck:)

wind_magic 12-30-2012 10:26 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
Fire,

Go here http: // www.arrl.org/ exam_sessions /search (take the spaces out, Sailnet messes up links) and put in a zip and search radius then hit the search button and it will tell you where the exam locations are in your area. Study the pool questions, pass the test, pay your money, and get your license, its as simple as that.

Getting licensed is easier than ever, but knowing what you are doing takes just as much effort as it ever did, it is important not to confuse the two.

firemagi 01-02-2013 10:49 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
Thank you, everyone. I checked things out and think I'm going to pay the extra money to take the sailor specific course. 2 classes per week for 3 weeks and it's taught by a sailor who's written on the subject. I don't like to throw money away, but I think the extra dollars gets me a better instructor with a greater understanding of my specific application.

The more interesting it is, the easier it is to learn.

blowinstink 01-02-2013 11:17 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
I found that about 10 hours with Gordon West's book and / or the online prep sites (try QRZ.Com) was enough for me to pass the tech and general tests. AS pointed out above, you shouldn't confuse that with knowing what you are doing (or knowing anything other than how to pass the test -) but it is a start. Personally, I'd be leery of handing over any cash to someone running a course unless I knew exactly what I was getting for it above and beyond the test prep which is widely available for free.

Of course, YMMV.

Luck,
-M

Cruiser2B 01-03-2013 11:44 AM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
Good Luck, I would interested in seeing the course material. There wasn't anything on General test that I just took that had anything "Marine" specific. Recently there was a class session from a group of hams before the exam session, FREE! it was a 3 week course, 2 nights a week. I did not attend because of college classes and finals but again it was free.

Coquina 01-03-2013 12:22 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
You guys.......the OP is from CANADA. ARRL and QRZ are not going to be much help ;)

wind_magic 01-03-2013 01:20 PM

Re: Ham License Advice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Coquina (Post 970395)
You guys.......the OP is from CANADA. ARRL and QRZ are not going to be much help ;)

Nice catch, I hadn't noticed that. :D Oops! :laugher

windward54 01-03-2013 06:44 PM

Ham License Advice
 
That darn South-of-the-border bias strikes again. Whoops.


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