Getting your ham radio license takes some time but it does not have to be an ordeal. Here's our basic outline of how to get your license.
STEP ONE: Study.
This is not a test that you can pass by "winging it". You'll need to study the specific terms and knowledge base for the ham radio test. There are several options for this:
1. Take a local class. Many of the local ham radio clubs offer classes at no charge. They will vary in length depending on who is offering the program. The Portland Amateur Radio Club has a free Beginning Ham Radio meeting series on Zoom. The Clark County Amateur Radio Club holds classes in Vancouver. Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club offers classes in Aloha, Oregon. Covid may be affecting their meeting status for some time. You can also search this database for upcoming classes near you: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class
2. Study online. There are a ton of great resources online for learning the necessary terms and concepts for ham radio online. Watching The Ham Whisperer YouTube series, and then following up with online study tests of the test pool questions (Technician class) over the weekend you plan to test can be especially effective.
3. Purchase or borrow a book. AARL (the national association for amateur radio) has test manuals you can purchase. Another book you can check out is Technician Class 2014-2018 FCC Element 2 Radio License Preparation. A great, free resource is the 2018 No-Nonsense Technician Class Study Guide. Combine these resources with the online test pool questions, and you should be able to pass the test.
STEP TWO: Take the test.
The ham radio license test is $15. You may take the test more than once on the date that you test, but you will have to pay $15 for each exam. It is multiple choice.
Ham radio tests are held through our local club on the first Sunday of every month at 7 pm at the Round Table Pizza on 82nd and King Rd in Clackamas. There are many testing options in the Portland area. AARL has a fantastic search feature to find one that works for your schedule.
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