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“…the best way to prepare for a test might be to master the material it purports to cover, rather than amassing a series of tricks and hacks around the act of test taking.” – Jason Tanz, Wired, 2 Jun 2015
Studying for your Ham Radio License
The Technician License is the gateway to amateur radio. And it’s within your reach—easily! Watch this short video 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.
See what other people think of this approach!
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 of short videos followed by short sections of self study. Enough — let’s watch the video!
The links I talked about
The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, (Fourth Edition) is a mandatory adjunct to this course. In fact, 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 video.
You can get the manual using the following advertisement from Amazon.
It’s the same price there as from www.arrl.org, but at Amazon it qualifies for free shipping, which will save you several dollars.
Wherever you see a mouse symbol in the manual, you can go to www.arrl.org/ham-radio-license-manual for more information.
If you have a question about any section, simply post a comment on YouTube under that particular video. Or, use this link to this website’s question page: Ask Dave. Others may have the same question! I’ll post my reply to every question.
All the videos
All the new videos listed below have a direct link to YouTube. You can use your browser’s “back” button to return to this list. The videos are numbered the same way the sections are numbered in the license manual. Good luck! (As an aside, all of these videos are available on a YouTube Playlist shown below the video list.)
- Chapter 1, Welcome to Amateur Radio. (Updated for Fourth Edition.)
- Section 2.1, Radio Signals and Waves, for video click here. (Okay for use with 4rd edition) (Updated for Fourth Edition.)
- Section 2.2, Modulation, for video click here(Updated for Fourth Edition.)
- Section 3.1, Electricity, for video click here.(Updated for Fourth Edition.)
- Section 3.2, Components and Units, for video click here(Updated for Fourth Edition.)
- Section 3.3, Types of Radios and Radio Circuits, for video click here.(Updated for Fourth Edition.)
- Section 4.1, Propagation, for video click here.
- Section 4.2, Antenna Fundamentals, for video click here.
- Section 4.3, Feed Lines and SWR, for video click here.
- Section 4.4, Practical Antenna Systems, for video click here. Also, see this excellent video by K7AGE that walks you through building your own inexpensive outdoor 2-meter ground plane antenna.
- Section 5.1, Transmitters and Receivers, for video click here.
- Section 5.2, Digital Communications, for video click here.
See also this video about using packet radio bulletin boards.
- Section 5.3, Power Supplies and Batteries, for video click here
- Section 5.4, RF Interference (RFI), for video click here
- Section 5.5, RF Grounding, for video click here
- Section 6.1, Contact Basics, click here for video.
- Section 6.2, Band Plans, click here for video.
- Section 6.3, Making Contacts, for video click here.
- Section 6.4, Using Repeaters, for video click here
- Section 6.5, Nets, for video click here
- Section 6.6, Emergency Communications, click here for video
- Section 6.7, Special Activities, Modes, and Techniques, click here for video.
- Section 7.1, Licensing Terms, for video click here
- Section 7.2, Working with the FCC, for video, click here
- Section 7.3, Bands and privileges, for video, click here
- Section 7.4, International Rules, for video click here.
- Section 7.5, Call Signs, for video click here.
- Section 8.1, Control Operators, for video click here
- Section 8.2, Identification, for video click here
- Section 8.3, Interference, click here for video.
- Section 8.4, Third-Party Communications, for video click here.
- Section 8.5, Remote and Automatic Operation, click here for video
- Section 8.6, Prohibited Transmissions, for video click here.
- Section 9.1, Electrical Safety, click here for video
- Section 9.2, RF Exposure, click here for video.
- Section 9.3, Mechanical Safety, for video click here.
- Preparing to take your examination, for video click here.
By popular demand, here are all the Tech videos in an ordered playlist:
What do you do when you’re ready to take the test?
Go to www.arrl.org/exam_sessions/search, enter your zip code, and search for one 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. Don’t worry, I see them all!
There’s probably a ham radio club near you. Go to www.arrl.org/find-a-club 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 get on the air, too. Enjoy!
The audio from the title page
I’ve had a request for the audio that accompanies the title in each video. It’s quite a mishmash of several recordings. I rendered it out as a single file, which you may listen to by clicking near the very left of the audio player (it’s black on black, for some reason).
Or you may download it by right clicking on this: Technician Video Start Audio and selecting the appropriate item to save the file (for Chrome it’s “Save Link As…”). Never fear, if you accidentally left click on it, just use your browser Back button to return to this page.