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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Radio - Technician Class, Romanchik Manual Update

Hello, Frank here.

Hi all, hope everybody is doing well. What I want to bring you today is the update to the Romanchik Technician manual. Every
few years or so, the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, gets together with a group of ham radio operators and reviews the questions for each level of testing. This year, in July, the new questions and answers were put into effect for the Technician level exam. Now, I don't know much about this process. I would presume that it is done through some type of coordination with ARRL, the American Radio Relay League. They get rid of some of the questions and answers and add some new ones. So, if you're using the Romanchik Technician manual, which I highly recommend, then you will want the upgraded, up-to-date, ink still wet version. Here it is.

I want to send you to a post I wrote a few months back, it's called Radio - Become a Ham. It has links to many sites that will help you get your Technician's license, or for that matter, your General or Extra licenses also. Look  
around in the above mentioned site, which is Radio - Become a Ham, and it will answer most questions you have about getting your ham license. But, remember, ARRL is your best friend when you have local questions.
The FCC is the governing authority over all radio communications. There are three levels of tests, the Technician level, which for most people, with a little bit of study, is an easily passable test. The General level is just a little bit more complicated than the Technician level. The Extra class, I am told, is going to require some more work.

Some people think of ham radio as quite an expensive hobby, and it can be if that's the route you choose. There are some folks that get into the Technician class level with a $40.00 brand new, hand held radio. So, you can take it from $40.00 to as high as you want to go. Many ham operators never go past the Technician level because their goal is to work with a local ham radio club helping with search and rescue type operations. The minimum equipment required for this duty is the $40.00 radio I mentioned earlier. Then there are other folks in ham radio that want to learn Morse code and talk to folks all around the world, and this can be done also. By the way, you do not have to learn Morse code for any of the three levels of licensing. But if you want to learn it, good for you.

There are safety issues with operating a radio. You are emitting, if you are transmitting, an RF signal, radio frequency. These are things you will learn, but don't ever shortcut safety.

I have another short post I want you to read called Wanna Be a Ham? It's short, easy to read, and has some information you might want to consider. 

FEMA and Homeland Security both use ham radio operators during emergencies. As you will find in my posts, I encourage people to get their ham radio license so that they will have communications during an emergency. Who knows, there may come a day when the electricity is off. It might be a natural disaster, a hurricane, tornado, flooding, earthquake, wildfires, natural disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Ham radio can be a very handy tool. There is also the possibility of disruption from government, martial law, quarantine, use your imagination. There are lots of reasons we need alternative forms of communication. And, besides that, it's a cool hobby.

Go to "Things To Read" then, "Frank's Radio Communications". Take a look at scanners, GMRS, CB and shortwave. You may find some other interests you enjoy. You don't have to be a ham radio operator to participate in radio communications. But if you are a ham radio operator, it will extend your world of emergency radio communications a great deal. There are also radio clubs if you're the type that likes to join groups. It's a whole lot safer than bar room fighting and you may enjoy a higher level of association with ham radio folks. Read the posts. Here is the new Romanchik manual. You can get your ham radio license from start to finish at a total cost of $15.00 from the included posts under Frank's Radio Communications. That $15.00 is the fee you pay to take your test to get your license. 

That's about it for today. Here in a few days, I'm going to introduce this $40.00 hand held radio I'm talking about. I will also introduce you to some functional, commercial radios that are perfectly legal on the ham frequencies. If you're into the search and rescue thing, they're also perfectly legal there with proper permission. Take care. Safety first.

We'll talk more later. 73, Frank

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