Becoming a Ham

How to Become a Licensed Ham    

Important: If learning Morse Code has kept you from becoming a ham, you’ll be glad to know that on February 23, 2007 the FCC eliminated Morse Code testing. 

                    Amateur Radio Operator Licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). There are three license levels, the first being the Technician License, then the General class and, the highest level is the Extra Class License. As you increase your license level you will attain greater operating privileges. This includes operating modes, frequencies and permitted operating power.To prepare for the license exam, there are a couple basic options. There are purely Q&A guides that are primarily a rote memorization of practice questions and answers.  Then there are texts whose goal is to instruct you in the various essential topics in addition to providing sample questions. The latter approach is widely preferred over rote memorization. While it might take a bit longer to prepare, it will give you a solid foundation for the FCC exam and your exciting new hobby. The FCC exam is a multiple choice style. With an understanding of the core information, the correct answer will be obvious. Either of the following publications will be quite helpful in your study: ARRL Ham Radio License Manual (cat. #ARR 0222) $29.95. Published by the leading amateur radio organization in the U.S., the American Radio Relay League. www.arrl.orgGordon West Technician Study Guide (cat.# GWTM14) $21.95.

Both of these publications discuss the essential information and include a pool of sample questions and answers to prepare you for the actual FCC exam.

The above materials can be purchased locally at Amateur Electronic Supply, 28940 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe, OH 44092, (440) 585-7388 or via their website ( ).

Volunteer Examiners in the area conduct testing on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Information is available at > click on “VE Team”.    Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or are ready to schedule your exam.