Thread capture from Anomalies Network.
<script language="JavaScript1.1" type="text/javascript"> <!-- var avline = avatar_line(""); if(avline) { document.writeln(avline + "
") } // end if // --> </script>
Member # 6119

<hr style="color: rgb(93, 119, 144);" size="1"> I've been interested in Amateur Radio since I saw my first HAM station at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, CA. A good friend of mine was setting up the station for troops to send messages back home (training units didn't get phone calls). He had his Technicians license (not sure I'm speaking in the correct terminology here) and was working on the Morse code portion of his next test. The base was part of an emergency network in case the volcanos in California decided to become active. Anyway, I never followed up on it and now here I am wondering what I need to do to get my license and what if any suggestions anyone has for equipment for the beginner.

You don't have to know everything, just know where and how to find the information.

Answer: - Start here.

Here's a rundown though. JB if you privately send me your location, I will get you in touch with the local ham club there as well, who will find someone to assist you personally in getting your license.

In the US there are currently three classes of licenses now. According to the material I pulled from the site URL I gave you, it says that technician classes do not require a code test, but I seem to recall that all three license classes had a code 5 words-per-minute code requirement. Perhaps they eliminated it and I missed it.


Hams enter the hobby as Technicians by passing a 35-question multiple-choice examination. No Morse code test is required. The exam covers basic regulations, operating practices, and electronics theory, with a focus on VHF and UHF applications.

Technician Class operators are authorized to use all amateur VHF and UHF frequencies (all frequencies above 50 MHz). Technicians who pass a 5 WPM Morse code examination are entitled to limited power outputs on certain HF frequencies. "Technicians with HF" may operate on the 80, 40, and 15 meter bands using CW, and on the 10 meter band using CW, voice, and digital modes.

The General Class is a giant step up in operating privileges. The high-power HF privileges granted to General licensees allow for cross-country and worldwide communication. Some people prefer to earn the General Class license as their first ticket, so they may operate on HF right away.

Technicians may upgrade to General Class by passing a 5 WPM Morse code test and a 35-question multiple-choice examination. The written exam covers intermediate regulations, operating practices, and electronics theory, with a focus on HF applications.

In addition to the Technician privileges, General Class operators are authorized to operate on any frequency in the 160, 30, 17, 12, and 10 meter bands. They may also use significant segments of the 80, 40, 20, and 15 meter bands.

Amateur Extra:
The HF bands can be awfully crowded, particularly at the top of the solar cycle. Once one earns HF privileges, one may quickly yearn for more room. The Extra Class license is the answer.

General licensees may upgrade to Extra Class by passing a 50-question multiple-choice examination. No further Morse code test is required. In addition to some of the more obscure regulations, the test covers specialized operating practices, advanced electronics theory, and radio equipment design. Frankly, the test is very difficult, but others have passed it, and you can too.

Extra Class licensees are authorized to operate on all frequencies allocated to the Amateur Service.

Rick Donaldson