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killarney_sailor 09-18-2010 07:36 PM

Just passed my HAM test
I had not done a test that required any studying for many years but had to put in quite a bit of studying to pass my HAM test. Pleased that that is out of the way. Wanted it/needed it because a lot of the cruiser nets in the Pacific use HAM frequencies rather than regular SSB ones. Interestingly I also found out that there is a Mississauga Maritime Net. Mississauga is the Toronto suburb where we have been living during hurricane season further south. Apparently the people on this net are very keen to provide any assistance they can for cruising boats.

nasomi 09-18-2010 08:13 PM

Congrats, I used to have my license back in the day, but never bothered renewing it. However I've been thinking of looking back into it. They have a no-code license that doesn't require you to know morse according to a friend of mine, who's still a licensed opperator.

It's a lot of fun, and quite useful.

trisstan87 09-18-2010 08:37 PM

I did not know that HAM is used more often then not in the Pacific region. Thanks for that tid bit and congratulations on your accomplishment. One step closer to the dream right? Great news.

F4d3d 09-18-2010 10:51 PM

Congratulations. :)

I'm interested in becoming a HAM operator - what time commitment was involved to properly prepare for the exam? Did you write the Canadian exam or the American one? Do you have any other information that I might find useful in deciding if I should take the plunge?

pontiakos 09-18-2010 11:16 PM

Congratulations- KA3ZHX.. F4d3d- Google Gordon West, his site wil have all the answers u r looking for...

edguy3 09-19-2010 06:04 AM

Since the regulations are coordinated internationally, the Canadian rules are very similar to those in the US.

In the US, the time commitment can vary greatly depending on your background and ability to take tests. The local club used to do a technician licensing course that went on for 2 hours a week over 10 weeks. Here is a syllabus: No Code Technician Class Syllabus . You will want to take the next level, General, exam for access to the lower frequencies. This license requires knowledge of more radio theory.
In Canada, this second license is a bit different.

The code requirement has been removed in both countries.
Ed ( w2VON)

See also:
How to Become a Radio Amateur

ffiill 09-19-2010 07:02 AM

Here in UK three levels same as in US-however you are only allowed to operate at sea on full licence.Just been reading up on this for whats called in UK intermediate licence.
According to Radio Society of Great Britain and ofcom our regulatory and radio licencing body International Regulations do not recognise either of the first two stages of licences and certainly in UK restrict both transmission power and frequency bands.
Is this not the same in US and Canada?
However if you have a Marine long range certificate or full Ham licence you can transmit either Ham or Marine frequencies.
Again in UK once you progress beyond your first stage Ham licence for your intermediate and full you have to know your electronics-basic circuitry etc.
If you take a Marine operators long range certificate training course all you need to know is how to operate radio and work in emergency situations.
However over here that can cost you 1000 UK!
Of course over here you can register your boat and be given a vessel call for free so long as a qualified operator works the radio.
As for the Nets watch out for Russell Radio Bay of Islands NZ-If you find yourselves chatting there is a nice bar/cafe right next door to look forward to when you arrive there after a transpacific trip.
No I cheated I flew from LA and drove from Auckland!
By the way my brother in law used to live in Missisauga(Barrisdale Drive/Road)-now lives in Severn,Orillia.Always remember the address as Barrisdale ,Loch Horn is about 40 miles away-nothing there only a name -it should have been Barrisdale Sydney Australia but the empty ex slaving immigrant ship wrecked itself over here so the poor residents of Barrisdale were "cleared" to the Maritimes instead of Australia!

sailingdog 09-19-2010 07:17 AM

Congrats KS.

killarney_sailor 09-19-2010 10:11 AM

Canadian test

Originally Posted by F4d3d (Post 645476)
Congratulations. :)

I'm interested in becoming a HAM operator - what time commitment was involved to properly prepare for the exam? Did you write the Canadian exam or the American one? Do you have any other information that I might find useful in deciding if I should take the plunge?

What you need is to pass the Basic test with honours (>80%) since this allows you to access all frequencies. A regular test (>70%) limits you to frequencies above 30 MHz which is not very useful. I studied using the notes at HAMSTUDY.COM - BASIC AND ADVANCED AMATEUR RADIO COURSES. I think it was $20 for access for a month. You can also get a book that has the same info. After the prep I used a test generator program from Industry Canada to practice. It randomly generates questions from a data bank so you can do it as often as you want. The test is not hard but there is a lot of memory work.

I wrote the test in the kitchen of a volunteer examiner (they are all over the country). Took about an hour.

F4d3d 09-19-2010 12:30 PM

Thanks for the info, K_S, I'll check it out.

Off topic... I spent a month aboard a Bristol 45.5 in the Caribbean a while back. What a beautiful boat! :)

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