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Feb 05, 2011, 01:14 PM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
Thread OP
Discussion

Get your technician's license. It's easy. Here's why and how.


So, you know that scene in Back to the Future where Doc is setting up a cable to funnel 1.21 GIGAWATTS of power straight through the flux capacitor to send Marty back to the future? He's setting up the cable from the lamp post to the top of the clock tower.

A cop shows up and asks him whether he has a permit, which Doc proceeds to pull out.

Now, the cop has actually NO IDEA what the permit is for. For example, maybe Doc's permit is for only 1.1 gigawatts of power. Maybe the permit is only for SPACE TRAVEL, not TIME TRAVEL. The permit could be total bull. It doesn't matter. Once Doc pulls out an official looking permit, the cop's job is done. Later, when people start asking the cop: "HOLY - that guy just vaporized that future-looking car going 88 mph with a bolt of lightning, and you did nothing to stop it!", the cop can say "but he had a PERMIT".

The point is, when you are flying FPV, at some point a cop is going to notice you standing there looking blankly into goggles with lots of antennas and controllers standing around. Or worse, you are going to have an ESC burn out and your plane is going to go down, setting the lipo on fire. It's at this point that you are going to want to have your FCC permit. It won't matter that the FCC license has nothing to do with whatever FAA regulations might be put in place, or how high you were flying, or whether you were flying line-of-sight. The point is that you have a PERMIT. And that permit is going to save your backside.

How to get your technician's class license (no morse code needed):


It is really easy. First, find a test site:

http://www.arrl.org/exam_sessions/search

Next, read a study guide:

http://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uplo...tudy_Guide.pdf

Finally, take all 11 practice exams:

http://www.qrz.com/testing.html

Once you do this, you will know EVERY SINGLE QUESTION that could be on the test. You will kick its butt.

It took me an hour of studying and I only missed one question. Plus a lot of what you learn will help you with your FPV electronics.

I can't stress enough how important it is to get this done by the FPV community. If we want to respond to the bad press of recent events, acting responsibly with our permits and licenses is the best way to do it.

-Tom

(edit: I didn't write this to make cops look bad. I work with cops. I like cops. But they can't know every FCC and FAA regulation which is why getting your license will usually be enough to diffuse suspicion).

(edit 2: I actually had the whole crash/lipo fire thing happen to me after I wrote this, so this is no longer an academic example)
Last edited by BloomingtonFPV; Apr 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM.
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Feb 05, 2011, 01:42 PM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
Took me about only about 10 minutes to take the test after studying using the practice tests. For a few minutes of your time and $15 it was definitely worth it.
Feb 05, 2011, 02:04 PM
Postcards From The Purple Edge
tuppertn's Avatar
+1 on all of it.

Do it legally...er, as legally as possible. This form of flying might eventually become completely illegal, but we'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

kendall
Feb 05, 2011, 03:18 PM
I AP'd myself again......
aviatordave's Avatar
And another benefit is that most states offer amateur radio license plates for your car. Just something cool to have
Feb 05, 2011, 05:27 PM
Registered User

Passed My test Today!


Passed my Technician Class test this morning. Run by VEs from the local Ham club: Hill Country Amateur Radio Club. Good bunch of guys. Took the test in about 15 min. Missed one answer out of 35 due to a senior moment ( I'll be 73 in April). Only took two weeks of preparation & study.

It's not much work to get legal in FPV and you might discover a new hobby to spend $$ on!

CR
Feb 05, 2011, 08:06 PM
Crashomatic
CrashMeUp's Avatar
Anyone know such a cheap test valid in other areas of the world ? ^^
Feb 05, 2011, 09:00 PM
Registered User
I did mine in a one day cram session.
Last edited by cactus; Feb 05, 2011 at 09:17 PM.
Feb 05, 2011, 10:56 PM
Registered User
I took an online training class here. It was well worth the $20 in my opinion.

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/
Feb 05, 2011, 11:05 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
I got the vanity plates for my car too. The test was quite easy. The value of the license is well worth it.

-Alex
KJ4RIV
Feb 06, 2011, 02:14 AM
Registered User
keysersoze's Avatar
I've been a ham for a few years now. I am not a fan of the vanity plates, because it tells anyone your full name and address, that you probably have electronics at that address, and that you are not home right now.
Feb 06, 2011, 05:13 AM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
Now if only I can remember to stick the license in my pocket.

Pete
Last edited by PeteSchug; Feb 06, 2011 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Danged keyboard alays misses letters
Feb 06, 2011, 08:10 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchug
Now if only I can remember to stick the license in my pocket.

Pete
Iíve only been a ham for only a month now but I wonder why so many people put their call sign on the osd or in view of the camera. Doesnít that make it easy to find you if someone intercepted your signal? From what Iíve read all that is required is a sticker on the side of the vTX. Also I didnít think you needed to actually carry the license. You just had x number of days to show it if need be. Is this right?
Feb 06, 2011, 08:19 AM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
That's not true. You need stickers on the Tx side, so for RC control, if you are Flying a Dragon Link for instance, you need the sticker on the Tx. You also need a sticker on the plane due to the VTx. You do need to broadcast your call sign every 10 minutes minimum.

Why do you care if someone finds you if you are not doing anything illegal? Are you flying in restricted airspace? Something else to hide? Trust me, if they want to find you, it is easy to use DF equipment to find you, so don't think you would be somehow hiding by not broadcasting a call sign.
Feb 06, 2011, 08:45 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee180c
That's not true. You need stickers on the Tx side, so for RC control, if you are Flying a Dragon Link for instance, you need the sticker on the Tx. You also need a sticker on the plane due to the VTx. You do need to broadcast your call sign every 10 minutes minimum.

Why do you care if someone finds you if you are not doing anything illegal? Are you flying in restricted airspace? Something else to hide? Trust me, if they want to find you, it is easy to use DF equipment to find you, so don't think you would be somehow hiding by not broadcasting a call sign.
I knew I needed a sticker on my vTX but I dont think I need one on my rcTX do I? I am only on 72 Mhz. I thought rc aircraft were exempt from the 10 min broadcast rule. Its not that im doing anything wrong but why tell someone where you live? I can see how they could find where you are flying but how could they know where you live without your call sign?
Feb 06, 2011, 09:25 AM
KB3VOJ
cherokee180c's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by indycobra
I knew I needed a sticker on my vTX but I dont think I need one on my rcTX do I? I am only on 72 Mhz. I thought rc aircraft were exempt from the 10 min broadcast rule. Its not that im doing anything wrong but why tell someone where you live? I can see how they could find where you are flying but how could they know where you live without your call sign?
72MHz is not flying on Amatuer frequencies. The sticker rule is for Hams flying on Ham frequencies. The DL transmits on 433mHz and is not even legal for you to use without a Technician Class license in the U.S.

Again, what does that matter? If they want to track you down, they can find you at the flying field. At that point, they will find out where you live as they ask for ID etc. Nobody is sitting there waiting to catch you or recording your flights. The issue will come if you are doing something stupid and complaints from neighbors or other people start rolling into the Police. I personally like broadcasting on 2.4, which is right in the middle of the wifi frequency band that is under part 15 rules. The only reason you need the license to broadcast on that frequency is that the power levels we are using is illegal under part 15 and only allowed for Hams under part 97 rules. This space is so full of other junk that nobody is going to sit there looking for analog video. Most other transmissions are also designed to handle a lot of interference, so you are not very likely to cause anyone else issues either.
Feb 06, 2011, 07:43 PM
Out of the way, Peck!
If i get caught flying FPV where/ when i'm not supposed to, i'll just bribe the cop.

Because if you watch closely, that's exactly what Emmet Brown did. Which is why i found it so funny you used that movie clip to make your point.

KC9PZN
Feb 07, 2011, 06:12 AM
Me a long time ago
Flypoppa's Avatar
Has anyone been aproached by anyone in authority and questioned if they have a licence? Or have insurance? Or have permission to be flying there?
I fly with 1.2gig FPV. No one has ever questioned me.
Oh yes. G6ITD.
Feb 07, 2011, 01:20 PM
Registered User

Now You're Talking!


Quote:
Originally Posted by indycobra
I took an online training class here. It was well worth the $20 in my opinion.

http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/
I found this book "Now You're Talking!" at my local library. It's a study guide for the Technician test keyed to the the exam test questions. You study in segments and then are referred to the specific exam questions as you go along; so you learn about the subject instead of just memorizing the answers. The book I found is from 2005 but most of the questions are still in the current ARRL question pool. There's also a General class book available from ARRL and other sources.

I also found the 2010 ARRL handbook at the library, in the reference section.
Couldn't check it out so I ordered the 2011 version from Amazon.

Anyhoo, there are lots free resources. Here's a great source for the practice tests:http://copaseticflow.blogspot.com A Google search will turn up plenty more sites.

CR
Feb 07, 2011, 09:39 PM
Registered User
slopo's Avatar
Hi there, I have been lurking for a while, but had to chime in on this one.
I took my Ham test two days ago; and indeed - it was easy. I drank a 6-pack, and took a dozen or so practice exams on hamradiolicenseexam.com the night before. I only missed a single question on the real test, and it took about 15 minutes...

In lieu of the ongoing issues with the FCC and MMA it makes no sense for someone in the US to use these frequencies and NOT be licensed. All you are doing is giving Uncle Sam ammo to cause a real headache for those who want to legitimately use these freq's for the hobby. If you can afford to spend a hundred+ hours building a plane, spend a few more and get licensed to use the spectrum. ...just my 2 cents.

--Ray
Feb 07, 2011, 09:47 PM
The lunatic is on the grass
ridgewalker's Avatar
"Hi there, I have been lurking for a while, but had to chime in on this one.
I took my Ham test two days ago; and indeed - it was easy. I drank a 6-pack, and took a dozen or so practice exams"

That gave me a good laugh!!

Good to hear you passed!!

I'll be taking the test in a couple weeks.


Can having a HAM license be of any help for getting a job?


Ridgewalker
Feb 07, 2011, 10:08 PM
Registered User
What about us here canadians eh???

We take the same test on the same site eh??
Feb 07, 2011, 11:05 PM
Registered User
slopo's Avatar
Hey Ridge, don't sweat the Tech exam - it really is pretty easy. You will also learn in your studies that Ham operation is not permitted for commercial use. However my boss practically fell out of his chair when I told him about my cert. Today he gave me a really nice (and expensive) handheld radio. Who would have guessed?

Phil - I know that the Canucks have their own version of the test, so I would check it out before wasting my time studying the US version. But I was recently in Windsor - there was a radio station really close to some strip clubs.

--Ray
Feb 08, 2011, 10:44 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgewalker
Can having a HAM license be of any help for getting a job?
Ridgewalker
It darned sure can't hurt if you're applying to the right employer.

CR
Feb 08, 2011, 10:49 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilphil26
What about us here canadians eh???

We take the same test on the same site eh??
Look here: http://copaseticflow.blogspot.com/

Click on your flag and find out.

CR

15 minutes later: I took the Canadian version of the practice tes since my last post. Passed it easily. Except for a couple of things unique to our countries, it's the same as the US test.
Last edited by Charley38; Feb 08, 2011 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Left out the link.
Feb 19, 2011, 12:53 PM
Registered User
Tankogen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slopo
Hi there, I have been lurking for a while, but had to chime in on this one.
I took my Ham test two days ago; and indeed - it was easy. I drank a 6-pack, and took a dozen or so practice exams on hamradiolicenseexam.com the night before. I only missed a single question on the real test, and it took about 15 minutes...

In lieu of the ongoing issues with the FCC and MMA it makes no sense for someone in the US to use these frequencies and NOT be licensed. All you are doing is giving Uncle Sam ammo to cause a real headache for those who want to legitimately use these freq's for the hobby. If you can afford to spend a hundred+ hours building a plane, spend a few more and get licensed to use the spectrum. ...just my 2 cents.

--Ray
1+ for your 2 cents
Mar 10, 2011, 05:06 PM
Registered User
CaliDave's Avatar
BloomingtonFPV, thanks for this thread.

You're 3 steps are perfect. It took me a few weeks of night time studying. Also, good advice on studying the first 11 tests... there were questions from each practice test on my main test.

I had it bookmarked and it was a big help in giving me get direction on taking the Technicians test.

Pretty simple in the grand scheme of things, and a lot was helpful to what I'd like to do with FPV, so it's not a waste.

-Dave
KJ6NCQ
Mar 10, 2011, 07:26 PM
AoM Furballer
Flench's Avatar
When I first got my technician's license back in 1986 I had to learn morse code . Took me all summer ...
Mar 10, 2011, 07:33 PM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
Thread OP
Ouch. I don't know Morse code despite the fact that Samuel F. B. Morse is like my great-great-great-great grandfather. My son's middle name is actually 'Morse' because of this...
Mar 10, 2011, 07:37 PM
... - .. .-.. .-.. -.- -. --- .-- .. -

Mar 10, 2011, 07:38 PM
It's pronounced Caveman...
It's definitely a good feeling getting your technician license... Considering how little effort and expense is required, there really is no excuse for not having a license and being in this hobby.
Mar 10, 2011, 07:46 PM
Registered User
CaliDave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrape
... - .. .-.. .-.. -.- -. --- .-- .. -

-.-- --- ..- / .- .-. . / .- .-- . ... --- -- . / ... -.-. .-. .- .--. .

I had to use some translation for that as you may have guessed... I'm new school... the easy Technicians license.
Mar 10, 2011, 07:47 PM
Registered User
CaliDave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4v3man
It's definitely a good feeling getting your technician license... Considering how little effort and expense is required, there really is no excuse for not having a license and being in this hobby.
And now I too can say that!

I felt like a dork being so excited to get my call sign.
Mar 10, 2011, 08:33 PM
Registered User
Test date is March 20th for me. Hopefully I'll have my DL by then
Mar 10, 2011, 09:18 PM
FPV Racer - N4FPV
Eddie James's Avatar
Great thread - thanks for posting it.
Mar 10, 2011, 09:24 PM
- .... .- -. -.- ... / -- .- -. / -.-. --- --- .-.. / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - --- .-.
Mar 13, 2011, 01:25 PM
Questionable judgement
bracky72's Avatar
I just took the exam. Perfect score.

I almost passed the general test and plan on taking it again after some studying next month.

It only cost $15 but what a sweet piece of fpv gear.
Mar 13, 2011, 01:26 PM
Suspended Account
wtg
congrats
Quote:
Originally Posted by bracky72
I just took the exam. Perfect score.

I almost passed the general test and plan on taking it again after some studying next month.

It only cost $15 but what a sweet piece of fpv gear.
Mar 13, 2011, 05:33 PM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
Thread OP
Nice. I missed one question and they wouldn't tell me which one. Still bugs me.
Mar 13, 2011, 09:00 PM
Registered User

Being good stewards of the FPV hobby


I was just thinking, now that I've been studying for my ham license, maybe a way to encourage legal radio frequency use would be to use the standard terminology in ham, rather than FPV specific colloquialisms, for example instead of the term "blue screen" use "carrier squelch", and to toss in the phrase "RF burn" time to time to grab people's attention

Also, after learning about SSB transmissions, I've come to learn that the cheap equipment FPVers use is a bandwidth hog (especially once you start doing HD transmissions), taking away spectrum available to other users. I also now understand how essential a bandpass filter is in transmissions to keep spurious frequencies from being released (which can not just at the harmonic frequencies, but then also the sidebands on those harmonics (thank you Joseph Fourier!).

I now appreciate there's a lot more that goes into a radio system than just hooking it up and flying it about. I also understand that it's not just about memorizing all the answers to the technician's license exam and then hooking everything up. If your going to play on amateur bands, you really need to be a good steward of those bands and do your best to minimize your spectrum use.

Those people throwing 1 watt unfiltered transmitters 1000' into the air are really being jerks, and poor stewards of the hobby, especially when one considers the atmospheric phenomena (such as inversion layers) that will allow transmissions to go much further than intended.

So, the moral being, even if you get your technician's license, be sure to actually understand how radio works and how to minimize your transmitter power and boost the sensitivity and selectivity of your receiver instead. And be sure to clean up your transmissions, to leave as small of a spectrum foot-print as possible (which includes using lower resolution cameras with a lower data rate that needs to be transmitted). This, if anything, will show FPVers are serious about mitigating any harmful consequences of the hobby.

Rant finished
Mar 13, 2011, 09:53 PM
Registered User
Tom,

You're exactly right. I am a detective and I've been flying FPV for several years. My colleagues have no idea about FPV, but many of them are former military guys who know that certain radio equipment requires training. If an FPV pilot were to produce a technician's license, I am confident that any of my fellow officers would be satisfied.

-TL
Mar 13, 2011, 11:47 PM
Suspended Account
Thats funny because I do some surveillance as well

and the other spy guys have no idea how to set up proper surveillance

they actually have no idea but just set stuff up and have no ham license

fpv sure helps with ground installations to catch the bad guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by wtl0715
Tom,

You're exactly right. I am a detective and I've been flying FPV for several years. My colleagues have no idea about FPV, but many of them are former military guys who know that certain radio equipment requires training. If an FPV pilot were to produce a technician's license, I am confident that any of my fellow officers would be satisfied.

-TL
Mar 14, 2011, 07:38 AM
Don't leave it Stock
mrfliboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BloomingtonFPV
Nice. I missed one question and they wouldn't tell me which one. Still bugs me.

Ditto here, still wondering KC9RNB
Mar 14, 2011, 04:03 PM
Pen
Pen
FPWhat?
Pen's Avatar
I bought the technician study manual to study from and then have as a reference. It came with SW that included practice tests. Just for the heck of it, I took the SW test before I even opened the book and passed it. I read through the book and the questions and really learned a lot.

Taking the advice of my HAM buddy, he told me to go online and print out all of the General questions and read through them and give that a shot. I read through the questions and only looked at the right answers and highlighted them so they would be the only thing familiar to me.

I took the test for real, passed the Technician in about 10 minutes, then tried the General and passed it as well, for no extra money. They asked if I wanted to try the Expert exam too, but I was late for something so couldn't even try it. I didn't do great on the General, but I remembered enough to pass it, just reading through the questions one time.

-darren
KK4ARU
Mar 14, 2011, 11:06 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Thanks for posting this info. I just got my FPV gear and wanted to get my license prior to flying with it in the spring. I read the study guide last night and went through 11 practice tests. I passed all eleven. Missed a couple questions here and there. Tonight I went through 11 tests and only missed two questions out of all 385. Fingers crossed for my test tomorrow....

Doug
Mar 15, 2011, 12:15 AM
Questionable judgement
bracky72's Avatar
Good luck. I hope you get them all.
Mar 15, 2011, 02:41 AM
Registered User

Cw


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flench
When I first got my technician's license back in 1986 I had to learn morse code . Took me all summer ...
I joined the local ham club <kerrhams.org> & when they found out I was a CW radio operator waay back in the Navy they pointed me to places to get my speed back. I used to be able to copy encrypted @ 25 or so. Are you operating CW?

73

CR

KF5JTH
Mar 15, 2011, 09:12 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Aced it! 100% baby!
Mar 15, 2011, 09:13 PM
No thrust...It'll bust...
troynh's Avatar
Great job!
Mar 15, 2011, 09:19 PM
Questionable judgement
bracky72's Avatar
Congrats!
Mar 15, 2011, 11:21 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
They asked me if I wanted to take the General test afterwards. I told them I was going to take my time so that I could ace that test as well sometime in the future...
Mar 20, 2011, 07:38 PM
Registered User
Passed my technician's exam!! Had to drive all the way out to Lubec, Maine (the eastern most town in the US) just to take it, but the club there was super friendly and everyone was just having a good time. I can't wait to get my call sign an post it on my OSD!!
Mar 20, 2011, 07:40 PM
No thrust...It'll bust...
troynh's Avatar
Congrats! I'm in the same boat as you with regards to driving 1-2 hours away to take the test.

-Tim
Mar 22, 2011, 01:49 PM
Going above and beyond
SupaRC's Avatar
Because of this thread I was able to study for an hour and pass the test first try with a 97% to get my call sign

Thanks!
Last edited by SupaRC; Mar 22, 2011 at 01:57 PM.
Mar 22, 2011, 02:12 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SupaRC
Because of this thread I was able to study for an hour and pass the test first try with a 97% to get my call sign

Thanks!
Congrats!
Mar 26, 2011, 09:47 AM
Questionable judgement
bracky72's Avatar
I got my call sign today.

KD8PTM signing on!
Mar 26, 2011, 12:19 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bracky72
I got my call sign today.

KD8PTM signing on!
Got mine too... KC9TWQ signing out.
Mar 26, 2011, 12:51 PM
Questionable judgement
bracky72's Avatar
I'm going all in and getting a license plate so when a cop roles up on me he has an idea of what I might be up to before we even speak. Plus I wanna be super cool.
Mar 26, 2011, 09:45 PM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
Thread OP
This is a brilliant idea with the license plate. Too bad Indiana only puts plates on the back of cars. I'll have to park so the cop will see it driving up.

Tom

KC9TPL
Mar 26, 2011, 10:01 PM
...
Last edited by scrape; Jun 27, 2011 at 11:18 PM.
Mar 26, 2011, 10:16 PM
Questionable judgement
bracky72's Avatar
We also use a single rear plate in WV. I like not having the front of my cars defaced.

Mar 26, 2011, 10:59 PM
Suspended Account
I got licence plate, stickers etc hehehe

But never used them.

HAM clubs sell them cheap and emergency people give them away so they come in magnetic form.

The best sign is "do not disturb"
Mar 27, 2011, 12:11 AM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David22
I got licence plate, stickers etc hehehe

But never used them.

HAM clubs sell them cheap and emergency people give them away so they come in magnetic form.

The best sign is "do not disturb"
I don't want to advertise "Hey I've got electronics in my car, come rip it off"

Even though I don't plan on having any ham radios in the car, there are times when I'm transporting several thousand dollars worth of RC gear or astronomy gear, and I don't want the attention that would bring.
Mar 30, 2011, 10:58 AM
Registered User
Disarray's Avatar
I want to get my technician's license. I am doing fine with the technician tests from the link in the first post but I am bombing the general tests. Am I correct in my understanding that all I need to be concerned with are the technician tests?
Mar 30, 2011, 11:03 AM
It's pronounced Caveman...
A Technician license will get you what you want. Some people just enjoy learning about radio wave transmission, and thus pursue the higher classes for the fun of it.
Apr 01, 2011, 08:11 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disarray
I want to get my technician's license. I am doing fine with the technician tests from the link in the first post but I am bombing the general tests. Am I correct in my understanding that all I need to be concerned with are the technician tests?
If all you want is to get legal for operating a video transmitter on the amateur bands, then the tech license is all you need. That was why I got my tech license. There are amateur bands that technician-class licensees aren't allowed to operate on. If you want to expand your horizons as a ham, then you need to study up for and pass the general test.

I'm slogging through the general test manual now; plan to take the test on May 8.

73,

CR
KF5JTH
Apr 01, 2011, 09:47 AM
Going above and beyond
SupaRC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djdavid60
I don't want to advertise "Hey I've got electronics in my car, come rip it off"
Or as someone else here mentioned. "I am not home and here is my call sign which anyone can look up to get my name and address"
Apr 01, 2011, 10:16 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by SupaRC
Or as someone else here mentioned. "I am not home and here is my call sign which anyone can look up to get my name and address"
No big deal, can get that from the 'phone book. But anyway, all modern cars are chock full of electronics.

CR
Apr 01, 2011, 12:23 PM
Gravity is patient............
Why can't I just pay a license fee? I am not going to build a radio, and I don't have any interest in HAM. It seems silly to me to have to study and take a test when all this really is, is a government money grab without any real purpose, pretty much like everything they do.
Apr 01, 2011, 12:27 PM
First to go over 106K feet
Crist Rigotti's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
Why can't I just pay a license fee? I am not going to build a radio, and I don't have any interest in HAM. It seems silly to me to have to study and take a test when all this really is, is a government money grab without any real purpose, pretty much like everything they do.
Because that is the way it is. If you think it is wrong. Work at changing it. Of course there's more to getting a license than just a money grab..as you put it.
Apr 01, 2011, 12:50 PM
Gravity is patient............
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crist Rigotti
Because that is the way it is. If you think it is wrong. Work at changing it. Of course there's more to getting a license than just a money grab..as you put it.
Wasn't meant as a slight. Certainly if you are going to be in HAM radio it's extremely important. But in the case of FPV, just because we're running a 1/2watt tx at some government specified illegal frequency it seems silly to have to learn technical info we'll never need to know. Charge us a fee to use the band (to help keep out too much traffic) and leave the HAM licenses to people who really need to know and want to expand that field.
Apr 01, 2011, 01:00 PM
Postcards From The Purple Edge
tuppertn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
Charge us a fee to use the band (to help keep out too much traffic) and leave the HAM licenses to people who really need to know and want to expand that field.
In order to "use the band" appropriately you need to know some of the basic stuff that HAMs know. You should know the basic rules and how to play nicely with others. You also learn good stuff about RF propagation, antennas and such as part of earning the right to legally use your equipment.

There are many reasons to get your license, not just to build your own DXing rig. Playing with analog TV (that's what you're doing) is well within the realm of what HAMs do.

kendall
Apr 01, 2011, 05:29 PM
Going above and beyond
SupaRC's Avatar
Part of getting licensed and having a call sign to put on your broadcast feeds is so that if you unintentionally interfere with important gear they can look you up and resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.

It is that or they have to complain to the FCC to break out the directional antenna signal finding vans and triangulate you down. They will be less forgiving at the end of this hunt when they find some yahoo who couldn't be bothered to get his HAM license or did but didn't follow the rules of broadcasting his call sign.
Apr 04, 2011, 10:23 AM
Registered User
Here's another plug and bump for this thread! I passed the exam on Saturday, and missed one....Arrgghh! For those of you that have iThings, there is a great app that made studying easy. It was $4.99, and worth every cent!

Cheers!

SLCPilot
Apr 04, 2011, 10:55 AM
Registered User
CaliDave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
Why can't I just pay a license fee? I am not going to build a radio, and I don't have any interest in HAM. It seems silly to me to have to study and take a test when all this really is, is a government money grab without any real purpose, pretty much like everything they do.
You do have an interest in "HAM" since you want to use the frequencies.

The point of any "license" is to prove you are at least competent and have the necessary knowledge with the activity at hand... what's the point if you just have to pay for a license? You're mistaking "license" for "tax".

FPV frequencies fall under these in some cases and if you want to use them legally then you simply have to do some homework. Same for driving, flying a real plane, fishing, hunting, etc. Sure you'll learn more than you may need for your FPV rig, but it surely can't hurt you... could expand your mind on areas you haven't thought about and in my case, learned good stuff on antennas which I hadn't know before studying for the Technicians exam.

As far as the government money grab... they had a test site setup in a room at a fire station, official forms/tests, 3 exam testers, mailed my test to the East Coast for processing and entered me into the system and assigned me my callsign. One week later in the mail I received my license and other paperwork, and all for $15... and I could have taken all 3 exams had I passed each one in progression. Also, when you learn more about the amature radio bands you'll learn that some of the frequencies we are using are under threat of being sold off. The money we spend helps to pay for the protection of those frequencies... allowing those who've worked to their licensing as well as those who don't the ability to use them with little/no interference. A little respect for that is in order IMHO.

If you're complaining about $15 to spend to learn a bit more, fly FPV frequencies legally, then maybe FPV isn't for you. You'll spend that much on one BEC. Many many times more "studying" about how to execute your build (if it's going to be successful). Is STUDYING for a few nights and the cost of 2 fast food lunches too much to ask to play by the rules while making yourself a smarter person?
Apr 04, 2011, 11:20 AM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
I Couldn't have said it better CaliDave.
Apr 07, 2011, 03:01 PM
Gravity is patient............
Ok ok I give lol. I am taking the test on 4/16 and I appreciate this thread because it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get this done.

The practice tests are a great help. I've passed them all, now I just have to make it by the real one next week. I will be really happy to have the technician license and I have learned alot already just prepping for the test.

The way the world is looking lately, it might not be the worst thing in the world to have an amateur radio station and the knowledge to use it.
Apr 07, 2011, 03:21 PM
Registered User
CaliDave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
Ok ok I give lol. I am taking the test on 4/16 and I appreciate this thread because it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get this done.

The practice tests are a great help. I've passed them all, now I just have to make it by the real one next week. I will be really happy to have the technician license and I have learned alot already just prepping for the test.

The way the world is looking lately, it might not be the worst thing in the world to have an amateur radio station and the knowledge to use it.
Good for you! That's the spirit.
Apr 07, 2011, 04:27 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
Ok ok I give lol. I am taking the test on 4/16 and I appreciate this thread because it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get this done.

The practice tests are a great help. I've passed them all, now I just have to make it by the real one next week. I will be really happy to have the technician license and I have learned alot already just prepping for the test.

The way the world is looking lately, it might not be the worst thing in the world to have an amateur radio station and the knowledge to use it.
Very cool Targetlocman! If you can pass the practice tests, you can pass the real test. The questions are exactly the same, even down to the same multiple choices.

Then you'll be a card carrying nerd like the rest of us

Doug
Apr 13, 2011, 10:50 PM
Registered User
I passed the test two days ago. The practice tests really helped a lot.

It feels great. I should have taken the test years ago, why did I wait so long?

My nerd quotient has gone up by at least 10 dB!

Apr 13, 2011, 11:13 PM
Gravity is patient............
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdscientist61
I passed the test two days ago. The practice tests really helped a lot.

It feels great. I should have taken the test years ago, why did I wait so long?

My nerd quotient has gone up by at least 10 dB!

Only two more days till my big test! Looking forward to getting mostly legal!
Apr 16, 2011, 09:33 AM
Gravity is patient............
I passed!! Just one question wrong. Very easy to do when you follow the op's links to study and take the practice exams.

Thanks to the op because without that info I probably would have never done it.
Apr 16, 2011, 10:08 AM
Registered User
Congratulations! I love watching my callsign pop-up on on the OSD. When it does, I jokingly say to my wife/co-pilot, "KB1VKN broadcasting live" in as much of a baritone DJ voice as I can muster. We're sad people
Apr 16, 2011, 03:14 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
djdavid60's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
I passed!! Just one question wrong. Very easy to do when you follow the op's links to study and take the practice exams.

Thanks to the op because without that info I probably would have never done it.
Congrats!!!!!
Apr 16, 2011, 03:38 PM
Registered User
CaliDave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targetlocman
I passed!! Just one question wrong. Very easy to do when you follow the op's links to study and take the practice exams.

Thanks to the op because without that info I probably would have never done it.
Look at how far you've come in 13 posts! Hahah, congrats!
Apr 20, 2011, 08:23 PM
KK4BTL
dustydonnay's Avatar
Got it! Not so bad! Guess I'll study for the next one now... keep going. Thanks for the advice! D
Apr 20, 2011, 11:05 PM
Navigator
volto's Avatar
I have been trying to contact people for 2 months to get mine, no answer until a day after they held the test. So annoying. Next test is in the fall, may have to take it someplace else.
Apr 24, 2011, 02:30 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by volto
I have been trying to contact people for 2 months to get mine, no answer until a day after they held the test. So annoying. Next test is in the fall, may have to take it someplace else.
Yeah, get on the ARRL website and find out where some other the VECs are running a test session in your area.

CR
Apr 24, 2011, 02:32 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustydonnay
Got it! Not so bad! Guess I'll study for the next one now... keep going. Thanks for the advice! D
GoodONya! I'm taking the upgrade to General on May 7th. Hate to be the low man on the totem pole.

CR
Apr 27, 2011, 05:29 AM
Kiwi in Germany
whakahere's Avatar
Does anyone know where I can take the test online. I contacted my local German ham radio and they only have the test in German. Since my German is not good enough for taking tests in they suggested that I take the test in English (from either the USA or the UK) and then transfer my license to German.

I would prefer to do it in the UK as that is part of the EU ... and I can borrow a friends address there
Apr 27, 2011, 07:11 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by whakahere
Does anyone know where I can take the test online. I contacted my local German ham radio and they only have the test in German. Since my German is not good enough for taking tests in they suggested that I take the test in English (from either the USA or the UK) and then transfer my license to German.

I would prefer to do it in the UK as that is part of the EU ... and I can borrow a friends address there
Whose test do you want to take? Each country has its own.

CR
Apr 28, 2011, 09:56 AM
Kiwi in Germany
whakahere's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley38
Whose test do you want to take? Each country has its own.

CR
I was talking to the German radio club and they said since my German isn't good enough they think it would be best if I take a test from a english speaking country. I would like to take one from the UK (online if possible) so I can transfer it to the german license. Much easier because the UK is in the EU and they licenses are better at transferring.
Apr 29, 2011, 10:23 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by whakahere
I was talking to the German radio club and they said since my German isn't good enough they think it would be best if I take a test from a english speaking country. I would like to take one from the UK (online if possible) so I can transfer it to the german license. Much easier because the UK is in the EU and they licenses are better at transferring.
I've done a bit of research. So far as I can tellnoone pffers a test online. You have to show up to a test sesson in person with proper ID and pay a nominal fee. All the tests are proctered. I see that you're a Kiwi. NZ has its own ham society that administers their exams and provides study materials. Here's their URL: http://www.nzart.org.nz/ The UK has its own deal too.

I found a USA Ham club in Germany: http://www.qsl.net/da1bt/

You might get with them and ask if they have a VEC in order to take the USA's test in English.

You can Google all this stuff but I surmise that you'll have to show up at any test session in person.

CR
Apr 29, 2011, 11:28 AM
Navigator
volto's Avatar
I wish the title of this thread were true. If I could just take the damn test I am sure it would be easy. Any volunteer coordinators on here? Maybe someone can mail me the test, and I will mail it back completed with my fee.
Apr 29, 2011, 11:50 AM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
Thread OP
I thought there was an active member (Ian?) in Colorado Springs. That is close (at least by Colorado standards). He may know where you could do it.
Apr 29, 2011, 12:24 PM
KF5LDN FPV Junkie!!!
Wizzard033's Avatar
Ha!
Last edited by Wizzard033; Apr 29, 2011 at 02:01 PM.
Apr 29, 2011, 01:27 PM
Kiwi in Germany
whakahere's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley38
I've done a bit of research. So far as I can tellnoone pffers a test online. You have to show up to a test sesson in person with proper ID and pay a nominal fee. All the tests are proctered. I see that you're a Kiwi. NZ has its own ham society that administers their exams and provides study materials. Here's their URL: http://www.nzart.org.nz/ The UK has its own deal too.

I found a USA Ham club in Germany: http://www.qsl.net/da1bt/

You might get with them and ask if they have a VEC in order to take the USA's test in English.

You can Google all this stuff but I surmise that you'll have to show up at any test session in person.

CR

Thanks for all the info. YEa googling like mad but found nothing online. I would love to do it in NZ but since I am living at the other end of the world it is pretty hard to turn up for a test in my home town The USA Ham club looks interesting. I'll look into that, thanks
Apr 29, 2011, 05:40 PM
Gravity is patient............
Tomorrow is 2 weeks since I passed the test and I still don't appear in the database.... I thought it was about a week???
Apr 29, 2011, 09:20 PM
Yeah Im New
GliderKid's Avatar
In the practice test there are 100 tests it says do I do the first 11?
Apr 29, 2011, 09:20 PM
...
Last edited by scrape; Jun 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM.
Apr 29, 2011, 09:38 PM
KC9TPL- Get Legit
BloomingtonFPV's Avatar
Thread OP
I think there are 11 tests total, each with like 35 questions. Do them all. You'll learn a ton and get almost all the real questions correct.


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