Though it’s not nearly as popular as it was in its heyday, amateur radio – commonly known as “ham radio” – is a hobby that’s both fun and rewarding. However, it’s not something novices can simply jump right into. In order to operate a ham radio console, prospective operators need to obtain a technician class, general class or amateur extra class license – and in order to get licensed, they need to pass a comprehensive exam. Fortunately, passing your amateur radio certification exam on the first try shouldn’t prove difficult, provided you’re armed with the following study aids.
A Practice Console
While it may not be essential to passing the certification exam, having a console to practice on can significantly increase your chances of success. With this in mind, either purchase a console of your own or borrow one from a friend. For best results, make sure this console contains a high-quality directional coupler, like the kind from Werlatone.
The most important study aid you’ll need to acquire is the current edition of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Handbook. This book contains a bevy of important information on beacon transmitters, frequency synthesizers, APRS trackers, RF connectors and many other pertinent subjects. If you’re unable to find this book at your local hobby shop, there are many places from which it can be purchased online – including the ARRL’s website.
ARRL Ham Radio License Manual
In addition to the most recent edition of the American Radio Relay League Handbook, you’ll also need to get your hands on the latest version of the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual. As the title suggests, this manual provides in-depth explanations of the different license types. This manual is designed to educate prospective ham operators on what earning each license entails, as well as the privileges allotted to various license holders. It will also provide you with examples of what types of questions you should expect to see on your exam. Like the ARRL Handbook, the License Manual can be purchased through hobby shops, online retailers and the ARRL’s official website.
If you’re interested in obtaining an amateur radio license, don’t let an exam discourage you. Regardless of the type of license you’re aiming for, consistently working with the proper study aids should enable you to pass with very little difficulty. A reliable practice console and the latest editions of the ARRL Handbook and License Manual are sure to prove invaluable in helping you become a licensed ham operator.