General Class Ham License – On-Line Help for Your Self Study

You may have been redirected here from You’re in the right place! By popular demand, I am adding a set of videos to help you upgrade from Technician Class to General Class. Lew French, KCØUER, helped with the video duties. Click here to meet both Dave and Lew in a 3½ minute video. Does this method of video-aided self study work? Read the comments from users.

Studying for your General Class Ham Radio License

The General Class License is the middle level of amateur radio licenses and has vastly-increased privileges on the HF bands—and you can use these to talk with the world! Watch the video below to learn how. It tells you what self-study book to buy, where to get it, how to study it, and takes you through the introductory chapter.

Guided Self Study

Although the book is self study, sometimes it’s helpful to have a guide. Out here where I live in Southwestern Colorado, there aren’t very many people, let alone hams! That’s why I’ve created this video guide to your self study. It’s in convenient chunks—short videos followed by short sections of self study. Enough – let’s watch this 4½ minute video!

Note that this video is available in a variety of resolutions, including HD.

The links I talked about

The ARRL General Class License Manual For Ham Radio, ISBN 978-0-87259-811-9, 978-1-62595-030-7 (BE SURE TO GET THE 8th edition, which is valid starting 1 July 2015) is a mandatory adjunct to this course. In fact, just as with the Technician set of videos, it is the course! These videos give you an overview of the sections you’ll be studying, along with a few videos of how things actually work. Each video introduces a section of the Manual, which you then study. Try out the test questions, then come back for the next session.

You can get the General Class License Manual by clicking on this link at Amazon. (Be sure to get the 8th edition, valid starting 1 July 2015.) It’s actually somewhat less expensive on Amazon than at the ARRL website, and Amazon’s shipping charges are less too, which will save you a few dollars.

There’s a General Class License Manual Support Page on the ARRL website that provides additional material to supplement the manual.

If you have a question about any section, simply post a comment under that particular video. Others may have the same question! I’ll post my reply to every question.

All the videos

Each video is on a “post,” meaning you click on the link below, and it takes you to the post with the video. Each post has any additional text to help you. You then return to this page. Be sure to keep track of where you are! The videos are numbered the same way the sections are numbered in the license manual, and as they are uploaded the links will be live. Good luck! If you prefer to work from a YouTube playlist, you can find it below the list of videos.


I’ve had numerous requests to put these together into a YouTube playlist. As noted at the top of this post, these videos are introductions to the respective sections in the book, so just watching the videos won’t cover all the material in the question pool. But some students find it easier to watch the videos in groups. The playlist totals eight hours of video!

What do you do when you’re ready to take the test?

Go to, enter your zip code, and search for an examination session in your area. Good luck!

Yes I want your comments!

No instructional course is ever complete, nor is it perfect. Please comment! Please put the comments right on the same post as the video you’re commenting about. Or, you can comment on the video on YouTube. Don’t worry, I see them all!

Have fun!

There’s probably a ham radio club near you (and with your Technician Class license, hopefully you’re a member of one!). Go to to locate a club near you. Attend their meetings and introduce yourself. You’ll find yourself instantly among friends. And your new friends can provide assistance as you study for your test. After you pass your test, they can help you equip yourself for your new privileges, too. Enjoy!

67 Responses to General Class Ham License – On-Line Help for Your Self Study

  1. willie odom says:

    how to proper connection 50watt hf amp to a hf 500watt amp and tuner’

  2. Come visit us over at the Hamstudy booth!!…. 1901-1902 in the corner of the
    Maxim building (building 1) directly (I think it is West…. hard to tell without the Mountains)
    across from the ARRL Expo in the Tesla building (building 2)
    I have wanted to meet you for some time.
    Send me a text if you get lost.

  3. dcasler says:

    Yes. I hope to pick up the new book at Dayton, and will start upgrading videos after that. I hope to get them all updated quickly.

  4. Greetings Dave,

    Are you updating videos for the 2019 and beyond General Class?

  5. Rick Ruscigno says:

    Hi Dave! Thanks so much for your expansive wisdom! I am VERY new to the hobby. I’m set to take ALL THREE exams on Sat. 26 Jan 2019. I watched your video on creative antenna solutions for small spaces and restrictive HOAs. I live in an apartment in NYC and cannot modify the structure at all. I was hoping you could do a lesson on apartment dwellers and HAM shacks! 73 brother!

  6. David Casler says:

    There is currently no thumb drive for the General videos.

  7. Marlin Heckendorn says:

    I looked for a link to buy a flash drive with all the General videos on it. I did not find I… should I have found it….


    PS I bought the Extra flash drive, watched it, and passed. Now I am the “official teacher” for my club… since I’m a teacher already !!! I need that General flash drive.

  8. Adam Hess says:

    Dave- I took my technician and general and passed both last weekend. I’m in Puerto Rico and decided to get my HAM license after Hurricane Maria left us 10 days with no communication. Finally got it done- now the real learning starts. Thanks for the resource- I know it takes a lot of time to produce these, and for the most part is thankless. I, for one, have appreciated the immense effort and the knowledge imparted.

  9. David Casler says:

    I don’t have a General memory stick yet.

  10. Bill Sheehan Jr, says:

    Is there a way to download these videos to my ipad so I can watch them while commuting and do not have wi-fi?

    These are great.


  11. Robert Eng says:


    I am retired new ham; will be getting my General License soon with your help. Just want to tell you of my huge appreciation for your videos o General License training. Your teaching is clear, relevant, impactful, and loaded with information. You make learning enjoyable. Lew probably needs to put some real information into his section on electronics and not just encouragement, though. Fortunately I have some background in the material on chapter 4. Again, best wishes and many thanks. KD2NXD…73!

  12. Ken Wenzel says:

    Passed the General Test tonight. Thank You!

  13. Dave says:

    Congratulations and welcome to amateur radio! I’m glad to hear my videos played a part. You have my best wishes for years of satisfaction from your newfound hobby.

  14. Wayne Crawford says:

    You featured prominently in flashbacks multiple times during my technician and general license exams this week. As a non-engineer, your videos were immensely helpful to me in not only passing the exams, but also truly learning the fundamental concepts. I cannot express the satisfaction to having achieved a lifelong goal of amateur radio licensure. Hopefully my budget will accommodate its proper utilization. Hope to talk to you soon, perhaps on a ERC net?

  15. Mike Schmelzer says:

    Thank you so much for putting these videos together and providing them online! I am preparing for the technician and general license tests by reading the book and watching your material. There are many areas that your explanation was critical to understanding the book’s explanation. I look forward to chatting with you on air soon.

  16. Korky Kathman says:

    Many thanks for your excellent videos and tutorials! Passed both my Technician and General Class in one sitting today, scoring a perfect score on the technician and only missed one on the General. I credit your excellent visuals in your General Class series with really bringing home some of the concepts that were a little vague in the book!

    Again, Thanks!

  17. Thanks Dave, I didn’t run across that page before. I actually DO have a good friend that’s a HAM, but he’s only a Technician Class, and recently became active again after a few years off. He was the one that thought I should ask!

    I’ll review your page of questions. As usual, thanks!

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