Well, we have previously said that you need a ham radio license to own a ham. However, it is crucial to note that there are many, yet easy steps to get a ham radio license from FCC (Federal Communications Commission). This article will help you know those steps.
Also, you will learn the basics of ham radio technology. Here, we will tell you exactly what you need to do to get a license.
Now, let’s get started.
What you need to know about the Licensing test
Truly speaking in order to learn all the exciting relevant topics of broadcasting electronics, physics and math with signal propagation and antenna, you must do a huge study which may not be possible for a beginner.
That’s why, as a beginner, you need to get an entry level technician license from FCC. You don’t have to fear. See, the tests need an ordinary man’s common sense and some basic book knowledge, which we believe you have. You see, the questions are quite easy to tackle.
In fact, in all the ham licenses that you need before getting the license, the technician license is the easiest to get. However, it is totally impossible to learn everything so as to become a master and get a certification “(license) exam.
Thus, the guide which we are describing below with essential tips will help you to get entry license as quickly as possible.
The Three Types of HAM Licenses
However, for the beginners who have more understanding in this subject, they may obtain 2 or 3 licenses from FCC. That is the Technician, general and extra licenses.
However, to fully understand the details as well as familiarize yourself with them, we highly recommend that you read the below ARRL Ham Radio License Manual guide.
For the first 2 licenses; the FCC offers a short course, which is easy to learn. Nonetheless, the third one is a bit difficult to qualify. However, many people have made it so; you should not avoid taking the test. You may also make it.
However, most hams are using the first 2 licenses. So, if you do not have the courage to do the 3rd one; you are also good. In fact, most ham radio operators are working satisfactorily with the first 2 licenses including the general one.
The 1st ham radio technician license allows you to broad cast locally and in some cases; you may be allowed to do limited international transmission. The entry level license needs to do a very easy examination of 35 questions out of which you will have to answer at least 26 questions correctly.
The questions have multiple choices. The examination is held on monthly basis all over USA. Also, the questions are randomly set from a pool of 400 question published earlier.
These questions are related to basic regulation, radio theory and operating practices. The general class license holders however, enjoy the privilege to transmit all over the world.
In this level, too, questions have multiple choices. Nonetheless, they are trickier than the entry level. The general class license exam consists of 35 questions, too. You definitely must answer at least 26 questions perfectly well.
Examples of Some of the Questions
To ensure that you get familiar to some of the questions that you may encounter; we decided to have a few examples here.
- What is the function of an antenna tuner?
- What is the conductor type needed for the RF grounding?
- How much current flows in a circuit of 220v with 80 ohms resistance?
- Which is the most common cause of a co-axial cable fault?
- What type of modulation is needed for VHF transmission?
- For volume control; what type of equipment is used?
- What is the decibel change for an increased power of 50 watts to 200 watts?
The above are just a few examples. So, don’t expect only seven questions. No, we have already said that they will be 35 and you need to answer 26 correctly.
Once you pass, you will have a chance to get a license. That will mean that you qualify to buy a ham radio. Nonetheless, you don’t buy once and call it over. No, you must renew the license once in a while. So, how do you go about it?
How to Renew the Ham Radio License?
In order to have a ham radio license renewal; you first check the license expiry date which is printed on the license. If the expiry date is 90 days away; you just note down in your calendar. If, however it is within 90 days, you should go to FCC page and type the call sign into the form and try to note down the number under the “FRN” column.
Next, you need to click the register button and if you have FRN (Federal Registration Number) click log in. After some days, FCC will send a letter to you. The letter has a password.
With this password; you can easily log in the site and collect all the necessary information regarding the renewal of your license. No matter which way you use to renew your license; you must first have an FRN.
Processes of Renewing a HAM License
There are 3 main methods by which you can renew your license. The good thing is that they are very easy.
1. Online: You can renew your license in the fastest way possible through FCC online base information and with no cost at all.
2. Renew via ARRL: ARRL stands for American Radio Relay League. If you are a member of ARRL; you can use NCVEC 605 form and email a renewal application form to ARRL. The league will take care of renewal and they will do it fast.
3. Renewal through FCC: You should fill up the FCC form correctly and submit it directly to FCC. You get your license renewed promptly, too. However, must note that, if you are going renewals online; you are to create account an on ULS (Universal License System) and pick a suitable password.
How do you do that?
First, go to the site from any internet browser. Then click on “log in” under “online filing”. Next, enter your FRN and password.
Once you fill up all the required data, you will automatically have your license renewed. Remember, if you are an ARRL member; this system is free and very easy. After that, there’s a special online form (NCVEC 605). Fill it and print out.
After that, mail it to ARRL/VEC, 225 main streets, Newington, CT 06111. In this case; you need not to have the FRN. The ARRL will arrange for your FRN. If, however, you are not an ARRL member; the best way to renew your license is through your mail. In this case you need some special requirements.
First, you need to obtain an FRN and apply through the 605 form. You can do that with your call sign above. If your license’s listing does not show the FRN, then you should fill up the FCC form 160 and wait for the call back from FCC, so that they can give you the FRN.
On the other hand, if you have an FRN, you can download the form FCC 605.
Nevertheless, there are two parts of the form: one main part and the other is schedule D, which you need not to fill. The main part has several pages. Nonetheless, you need only the last 2 pages. You can print them and fill up as per their instructions. In case there is the schedule D, don’t fill it. Fill the last page only.
For more information about the ham radio license, you can visit ARRL websitye which is the online home of the national association of Amateur Radio.