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Posted: 3/29/2012 9:20:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2012 8:56:52 AM EDT by 9mmprn]
I am the "back up" to our Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and apparently our office has a couple of HAM radios I will need to be able to operate if the SHTF. I thought it was kind of a cool job duty but I don't know jack about HAM. Are there usually classes to go to or is it only online? I'd prefer to take a class as I'm a little ADD and focus better when there is an instructor in front of me.

Thanks


I can see my title requires clarification. I shouldn't have used the word "requiring". No one is going to fire me if I decided not to get my license. Lol. I want to get my operators license. I didn't mean to make it sound that way. My apologies. See my post below.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 9:40:29 PM EDT
unless something has changed your employer cant "make" you become a ham and you cant be paid to use amateur radio. im sure someone will be along shortly with the link to the info, i cant remember it off the top of my head.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 10:16:32 PM EDT
Google your city and "Amateur Radio Club". Contact a local club, ask about licensing.

If that doesn't work, go to ARRL.com and search for an exam location/time.


I believe that amateur licensees may operate as a part of their jobs in certain very limited circumstances, such as a classroom teacher using the radio as a teaching tool, or a hospital emergency room using it to communicate in a disaster where ARES/RACES is activated. However, the last time I read anything about those rules/regs was years ago. I would certainly question whether an employer could compel an employee to get an amateur radio license as a requirement of the position...
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 2:04:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:
I would certainly question whether an employer could compel an employee to get an amateur radio license as a requirement of the position...
One of the very first things you'll learn on your way to becoming an operator in the amateur radio service is that you can't have what's called a "pecuniary interest" except in very limited circumstances. Meaning you can't get paid to be an amateur radio operator which you're employer is proposing.

Two things for you to read
http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-modifies-amateur-rules-to-allow-participation-in-disaster-and-emergency-drills-on-behalf-of-an-e

http://www.arrl.org/part-97-amateur-radio
Scroll down a bit and open up 97.113. The intent is that if you happen to be an amateur radio operator then you can participate in the drills. What had happened before was that amateurs who happened to be working for EOCs, hospitals and the like couldn't participate in their own drills as they were still 'on the clock'.

Personally I think your employer requiring you to get a license as part of your job way oversteps the intent of the rule.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 3:44:21 AM EDT
Employer needs an Ametuer Radio operator for the position. If OP wants to retain his position he needs to hit the books. The rules are bent perhaps.

Hit QRZ.com and start studying. Hamtestonline.com was also very helpful.

Now OP can study at work on the clock and not be shirking his duties. Once licensed OP can play radio as part of his duties as well. You would get no complaint here.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 3:47:40 AM EDT
you should get your license for you anyway. its a very fun and rewarding hobby that could also save your life.

have a hard time concentrating and I found ham test online to be very useful. it remembers where you are and how you are doing so you dont have to. way better than a book imo, and worth every penny iirc $20 for tech.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 3:48:55 AM EDT
It may be violating the rules a little, but doing something I am sure will like while on the clock seems like a whole lotta win!
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 4:22:06 AM EDT
+1 for Ham Test Online

check the stickies at top of page too
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 4:49:52 AM EDT
I bought an app for my phone and started taking the exam there. Took my test and passed a few weeks later. Fixing to start studying for my general.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 4:52:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2012 4:54:58 AM EDT by m193]
HamTestOnline is all you need to know. I went to take the Tech exam and passed it and the General after about 3 wks of using HTO. I probably put a little over 10 hours into studying.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 5:10:00 AM EDT
Check for hamfests in your area. A hamfest is like a gunshow for Ham radio stuff. They usually offer classes/cram/study sessions at them followed by test taking.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 5:19:58 AM EDT
if it's for EMCOMM (I'm assuming by the job title it is) then I'd assume they can have him get his ticket, or find someone who will...



Find a local club, see when they're giving a test. Either see if they are going to do a "one day class/test" session (or maybe a weekend, 2 days).


Failing that, hit up the stickied threads here, post back with all your questions and start looking at hamtestonline.com



good luck!
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 5:22:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 5:40:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2012 5:41:28 AM EDT by HELOBRAVO]
Getting a basic license is a joke, don't worry about it. Read up online and do online test a few times.
I did it for work.
It's like a retirement home radio channel! Enjoy!

Link Posted: 3/30/2012 6:44:32 AM EDT
Requiring an employee to become licensed as a ham... that just rankles me. And it is certainly not amateur radio at that point. And unless you happen to use those brands and models of radios quite often, you may very well not be able to use them when it is really needed. If you are being paid for that time, well, then something is wrong.

That being said, here's a copy/paste:

Go to this site:

http://www.w5ddl.org/

And on the left side you will see links to Classroom Presentations (in PowerPoint) for Tech and General, as well as links to practice exams for Tech, General, and Extra class. If you don't have PowerPoint, there is a link for a free PowerPoint Viewer.

In each of those two links you will find both the separate chapters, as well as a zip file containing all of the chapters.

Here is another site with classes:

http://www.rarchams.org/class/technician/chartsppt09/index.htm

There are also courses of study that may be subscribed to at:

http://www.hamtestonline.com


(NOTE- When you print out these guides, yes, print them... take a Magic Marker and black out all the wrong answers. This way you study only the correct answers and everything else looks unfamiliar. Seriously, print, black out, study. Just take my word for it and do it.)

Study Guides - right click on these links and Save As:

Tech: http://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/2010_Tech_Study_Guide.pdf


General: http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=358 2011 General Test Pool links


Extra: http://abacus.nmsu.edu/~shoran/PDF/Extra%20Class%20Amateur%20Radio%20Course.pdf

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Instructor%20resources/ExtraClassSylalbus2009jan-AD7FO.pdf

http://w5jck.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=28

http://www.nyc-arecs.org/2008-2012%20Extra%20Study%20Guide.pdf

and

http://kb6nu.com/extra-class-easypass-how-everybody-can-be-an-extra/



Podcasts:

http://hamradioclass.com/

http://hamradioclass.com/shownotes/

Practice Tests:

http://www.qrz.com/ham/

http://www.radioexam.org/

http://aa9pw.com/radio/

http://www.eham.net/exams/

http://www.w8mhb.com/exam/

http://www.hamtestonline.com

http://hamexam.org/


Testing Locations

http://www.w5yi-vec.org/exam_locations_ama.php

(Search by State)

http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml

(Search by State, Country, or Zip Code)


Here's what to do... study the study guides a few evenings. Then begin doing the W5DDL classroom presentations. You can do one or two a night.

Also begin taking the practice tests. With all of those sites, each time you take the test it will have a different random draw of questions from the question pool... just like the real test you will take. I would also suggest you take the practice test on a different site each time. This will help you get used to the appearance of the test being different, just as it will be when you take the actual test. Take two or three (or more if you have time) of the practice tests each night after going through a chapter from W5DDL.

By the time you are finished with the W5DDL classes you will be ready for the Tech test, and you will pass.

BUT WAIT!!! There's more!!!

When you are confident that you will pass the Tech, and are passing by 90% or more, begin study for the General. If you are smart enough to pass the Tech, you are smart enough for the General, too.

With the General comes greatly expanded band privileges. Keep up with studying the Tech guides and the practice tests, but add the General.

Link Posted: 3/30/2012 6:46:06 AM EDT
Now my question is, why are government and private entities (city hall, fire department, hospitals, etc) buying amateur radio gear? Aren't there radios and govt/business frequencies and licenses that can be obtained for their use? Why are they co-opting amateur radio?
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 7:01:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 7:06:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Now my question is, why are government and private entities (city hall, fire department, hospitals, etc) buying amateur radio gear? Aren't there radios and govt/business frequencies and licenses that can be obtained for their use? Why are they co-opting amateur radio?


Interoperability with us. The .gov can't have people everywhere with today's budgets. With a ham radio operator on staff to communicate with ares or whoever the ham is at the scene.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 7:23:04 AM EDT
I don't like this because of the fact as it violates what AMATEUR radio is. If your JOB is requiring you to get a license to use while on the clock that means you are no longer an amateur. The .gov already has plenty of spectrum. Your telling me they can't use 150HZ the way we use 2 meter? They have seen how benefical radio operators can be and now want to jump into the mix.

Past all of that if you want to get a license because you want to and use it the way its ment to be used then welcome aboard. There are some very very smart people in this forum to help you out.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 8:31:09 AM EDT
Maybe I used the term "require" a little too loosely. No one is going to fire me if I decide to not get an operators license. I guess I just see it as a requirement because the guy I am a back up for is just months from retirement and there isn't a soul who has any interest in this besides me. In fact, I don't think any one else in my department even realizes what a HAM radio is or that we even have them.

Thanks for all the links guys. I suppose I thought that getting the license was going to be more involved than it really is. I am sure I'll be posting here with all kinds of questions in the next few weeks.




Link Posted: 3/30/2012 8:47:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Because they have been told in am emergency situation sometimes ham is all that works.


This is the answer. The correct MOA is for these agencies (EOC, 911 center, Mobile Command Vehicles, and even hospitals) to partner with the local clubs to do some good old-fashioned communication planning. My agency (state) has placed amateur equipment at various locations to incubate these relationships with our regional offices and the local clubs. Some took to it and others not so much. As the COML for the agency, I was not required to possess an amateur radio license, but it sure did help when we recently went through the acquisition process for a MICOM running 125W over a B&W 90' folded dipole for NVIS.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 9:01:45 AM EDT
I see it the other way around. Consider yourself lucky that you're being involved at this level and that your organization cares enough to have backup people to do this.

My gf is a police/fire dispatcher/911 operator for a town of about 15k people and she's the one in charge of actually sounding the emergency civil defense sirens during her shift.

The story she tells of the city manager, the police chief and the radio traffic between squad cars during severe weather would drive you completely nuts.

If it's cloudy with wind, one patrolman starts off with a whole "the sky is falling" routine.

The others basically don't know if there's a tornado until they see the cone and debris.

If someone calls in on the phone with a report of a wall cloud with rotation, the chief and city manager start wringing their hands about sounding the sirens.

There is an active RACES net in this county with a repeater in their town, do they even listen to it when making decisions? No!

We had skywarn training in the county a few weeks ago, who from the city attended? My gf and two "reserve" firemen who happen to be hams. And my gf is stuck inside manning a radio, she can't go outside and spot.

So while it may not completely legitimate that they are "making" you get a license, feel fortunate that someone has actually done some planning for a disaster for the greater good of your organization.



Link Posted: 3/30/2012 9:03:00 AM EDT
My wife works for the Feds and they have a requirement for a MARS station. He boss knew that I was a ham and encouraged my wife got her Tech license to help them out. She now wants to upgrade to General, so as far as work giving her the nudge it was a good thing for me.

Now I don't get any grief when I want to buy a new amp or antenna tuner! Please don't tell her that most ham gear costs more than $200.00.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 11:10:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
My wife works for the Feds and they have a requirement for a MARS station. He boss knew that I was a ham and encouraged my wife got her Tech license to help them out. She now wants to upgrade to General, so as far as work giving her the nudge it was a good thing for me.

Now I don't get any grief when I want to buy a new amp or antenna tuner! Please don't tell her that most ham gear costs more than $200.00.

Wish my wife's boss would nudge her to get a license That would save me all kinds of grief...




Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 11:33:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By joemama74:
I see it the other way around. Consider yourself lucky that you're being involved at this level and that your organization cares enough to have backup people to do this.




Thanks. I do.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 2:48:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Now my question is, why are government and private entities (city hall, fire department, hospitals, etc) buying amateur radio gear? Aren't there radios and govt/business frequencies and licenses that can be obtained for their use? Why are they co-opting amateur radio?


Because we have the expertise.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 2:54:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
My wife works for the Feds and they have a requirement for a MARS station. He boss knew that I was a ham and encouraged my wife got her Tech license to help them out. She now wants to upgrade to General, so as far as work giving her the nudge it was a good thing for me.

Now I don't get any grief when I want to buy a new amp or antenna tuner! Please don't tell her that most ham gear costs more than $200.00.

They (MARS) recently upgraded the membership requirement to a General license. When I first got involved in MARS you only needed a technician ticket....and you got HF privs on MARS freqs.

If you get involved with MARS....you'll never look back.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 3:01:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pcsutton:

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Now my question is, why are government and private entities (city hall, fire department, hospitals, etc) buying amateur radio gear? Aren't there radios and govt/business frequencies and licenses that can be obtained for their use? Why are they co-opting amateur radio?


Because we have the expertise.


You should talk to some of the engineers that worked for Motorolla during the development of the P25 system, they can tell you a whole lot about it!

When 2 people key up at the same time on an analog system the strongest signal usually will get through, but you know there was a double. You can then instruct the other operator and get a repeate.

When there are massive loads on the digital systems, there are a lot of data packet collisions. Also when getting out of range there is data packet losses. Talk to some of the people that have worked mass casualty incidents on a digital system and I am sure they can tell you a whole lot.

Ham radio has the ability to cover the local area, and cover thousands of miles. There are a ton of people that can work through problems and get the information out, and best of all they do it for free!
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 5:57:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 9mmprn:
Maybe I used the term "require" a little too loosely. No one is going to fire me if I decide to not get an operators license. I guess I just see it as a requirement because the guy I am a back up for is just months from retirement and there isn't a soul who has any interest in this besides me. In fact, I don't think any one else in my department even realizes what a HAM radio is or that we even have them.
OK. I'll retract my claws a bit.

Getting licensed in your case makes sense since the outgoing guard is the only one who knows anything about the amateur radio service. Really, the only way to fully understand what we can and cannot do is to experience it yourself. That knowledge can't be read from a book or from some third party report. Getting licensed. Getting on the air and logging some serious chair time you find out for yourself what works and what doesn't with the equipment you have available.

My suggestions for getting your ticket. Study the entry level Technician and mid-level General in parallel. There is a lot of overlap between the two tests. Purchase and read the ARRL Study Guides. Take practice tests online at QRZ.com. When you're getting 85% or better on the practice tests, you'll be ready. Oh, and the morse code requirement was dropped in 2007 so don't bother learning that yet. Then get on the air and find out for yourself our capabilities and practice the drills. When the SHTF is not the time to be fumbling your way trying to pass traffic through a net.
Link Posted: 3/31/2012 8:26:39 PM EDT
One fellow here told of his local EOC getting some top of the line amateur radios and keeping them under lock and key, to be taken out and used when there is an emergency.

So, what if the people who are to use that gear are not familiar with the radios and can't immediately operate without studying the manual? Where are the manuals? What do you mean in the box? Where's the box? The janitors threw them out?



This is a clusterfuck waiting to happen.
Link Posted: 3/31/2012 8:42:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
One fellow here told of his local EOC getting some top of the line amateur radios and keeping them under lock and key, to be taken out and used when there is an emergency.

So, what if the people who are to use that gear are not familiar with the radios and can't immediately operate without studying the manual? Where are the manuals? What do you mean in the box? Where's the box? The janitors threw them out?



This is a clusterfuck waiting to happen
.


THIS...all day long.


Link Posted: 4/1/2012 6:07:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JoeRedman:
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
One fellow here told of his local EOC getting some top of the line amateur radios and keeping them under lock and key, to be taken out and used when there is an emergency.

So, what if the people who are to use that gear are not familiar with the radios and can't immediately operate without studying the manual? Where are the manuals? What do you mean in the box? Where's the box? The janitors threw them out?



This is a clusterfuck waiting to happen
.


THIS...all day long.



mother of hell THAT isn't going to turn out like they think it will


like some who think they can do the same..... you need time on the radios to understand them... theory alone isn't going to work

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