Our Text



Reading Assignment

Read Chapter 7, Pages 7-1 to 7-10 in your text before you continue.


What do Hams do? Ham Radio was authorized:

  • To provide emergency communication capability.
  • For the advancement of the art and science of radio.
  • For the advancement of communication and technical skills of radio.
  • To provide a trained reservoir of operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
  • To promote and enhance international goodwill

Somehow it makes little sense that amateur 'ham' radio continues to thrive in the age of Twitter, Facebook and iPhones. Yet the century-old communications technology - which demands such commitment that you must generally pass an exam to receive a license - currently attracts around 350,000 practitioners in Europe, and a further 700,000 in the United States, some 60 per cent more than 30 years ago. More .......


Amateur Service - Hams must have no pecuniary interest (private and personal, non commercial).

License actually contains two parts. Operator License - the person holding authorization (license) to operate an Amateur Radio station and the Amateur Station - The station is also licensed - equipment capable of transmitting on frequencies authorized for Amateur Service.

There is no age limit or citizenship restriction for a ham license, except it is not available to representatives of a foreign government.

At this time there are three levels of operator privileges: Technician, General, Amateur Extra.

Some personal identification information is required: Tax ID (Social Security number); A Current Mailing Address; A Federal Registration Number (FRN), easy to obtain from the FCC site.

The license is free and good for 10 years. It is renewable within 90 days of the expiration date. If your license has expired and is still within the allowable grace period for renewal (2 years), you may not continue to operate a transmitter on amateur service frequencies until the ULS database shows that the license has been renewed.

The licensee has several responsibilities: You must prevent unauthorized operation of your station. You must provide personal information as required - keep a current mailing address on file.

Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct mailing address.

The station licensee must make the station and its records available for FCC inspection upon request by an FCC representative.


Federal Communications Commission

Amateur Radio operations covered by FCC rules published in Part 97 of Title 47 - Code of Federal Regulations or Part 97 for short.

The FCC URL is www.wireless.fcc.gov/uls You can go there to: Register for on-line access to your license information; Obtain your Federal Registration Number (FRN); Make changes to your address and other information; Renew your license; Search for other station information; View your new call sign before it is even mailed to you, which allows you to begin operating right away!


Preparation for the exam is fairly straight forward. You are reading this so you already know of SFARC's efforts. Get a license manual from the ARRL & study the content. Combine the manual with this preparation course for further help. Use the links to the question pool. Look at the question pool with hints (there is a link at the bottom of the left hand menu. Take the quizzes on this site.

There are, of course, many sites that offer practice exams. Just do a Google search.

The best method is to visit several sites and take the practice tests until you are consistently scoring over 90%.

When you feel ready, check the ARRL site for an examination time and location of an exam. SFARC sponsors a test session the first Saturday of every month. Check the W6EK.org site (SFARC) for directions and more information.

The exam is a proctored exam with multiple choice questions, the same ones you should have been studying.

You pay a single $15.00 fee, which is good for taking each element once at the same session. If you fail an element, you can take it again immediately, however, you do have to pay another fee.

The exams are administered by Volunteer Examiners (VEs), who are donating their time.

You need to bring a photo ID, pen and blank paper, $ 15.00, optional calculator & A COPY OF YOUR CURRENT LICENSE IF DOING AN UPGRADE.

You may operate a transmitter on an amateur service frequency after you pass the examination required for your first amateur radio license as soon as your license appears on the FCC website in the license database. (URL is just above in the FCC section)

When you upgrade from Technician, to General or Extra, you can immediately begin operating at your new level upon receipt of the CSCE (Certificate of Completion).


Your quiz will tell you what information you need to know. Pass the quizes - pass the exam!

Tips on how to remember the correct answer are included.

You can take the quiz as often as you wish.

No one but you will see the quiz results.

Take Quiz 16


This module outlines the laws and practices that are something that all hams need.

Recommended reading

Operating Tips for New Hams on HF

Review the Term Glossary in Chapter 10 of your Ham Radio License Manual

Practice Exams are available at www.arrl.org/exam-practice and there are links to many other test practice sites also.