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Thread: So why not?

  1. #1
    Web Wheeler
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    So why not?

    So I've recently become the head VE (Volunteer Examiner, I give the license tests) of the local club here in Carson City and I'm curious about why some of you guys aren't using ham radio off-road, or other places for that matter.

    I've only been licensed for just under 5 years. My reason not being licensed sooner was simply a lack of knowledge about ham radio. Like so many, I had a CB for trail use and it worked fine. Once I was introduced to ham radios, I found the advantages to ham and I can't imagine not having one in my rig.



    So whats your reason? such as:

    Don't know anything about it other than some guys around here use them.
    Cost?
    Why should I have a license just to use a radio?
    The test is to complicated, I could never pass!
    I can't figure out why my tail lights don't work, how am I supposed to understand all that electrical stuff!



    I'm just looking for honest opinions and answers. No shame here in misinformation or lack of information.
    Its just a road with a few rocks, keep driving!

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    Wheeler
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    I'm glad you asked this question.

    I was studying for the exam earlier this summer and planning to take a prep session and the test here in Reno in August when some family issues came up and I didn't make it. I was studying using the Gordon West book and study materials. I have to say it was a bit daunting. The book seemed to get down into the weeds awfully fast with out enough (for me anyway) big picture discussion about how all of the pieces fit together. I'm pretty sure I could memorize enough to pass the test, but I'm not sure I would know what to do with it later. Cost isn't much of an issue since an entry level hand held can be had for less that $100.

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    Wheeler
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    When it comes to using it most of the info on the test does not matter much. Heck I took mine 26 years ago and have forgotten 99% of it. Don't need to know much to be able to key down and say your callsign.
    So don't let the daunting physics slow you down. Just memorize the multiple guess questions and move on. My sister got her ticket when she was 11. Planning to have my 8 yearold do it sometime soon. I think the record youngest ham was 5.

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    Time is my issue. Between work and family, studying for a license so I can legally talk to wheeling buddies on occasion is hard to make time for. 90% of the time I wheel alone anyways so the only real reason to get my ticket would be the safety net factor.

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    Web Wheeler
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    They take the tests on saturdays. I am either working or watching my kids. I have not had a free Saturday in years that matched the test dates.
    Some people are as useful as a football bat.

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    Best tool in the jeep is the dual band radio. So much benefit for a small investment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJRENO View Post
    I'm glad you asked this question.

    I was studying for the exam earlier this summer and planning to take a prep session and the test here in Reno in August when some family issues came up and I didn't make it. I was studying using the Gordon West book and study materials. I have to say it was a bit daunting. The book seemed to get down into the weeds awfully fast with out enough (for me anyway) big picture discussion about how all of the pieces fit together. I'm pretty sure I could memorize enough to pass the test, but I'm not sure I would know what to do with it later. Cost isn't much of an issue since an entry level hand held can be had for less that $100.
    Actually none of the license study books I've seen discus the big picture. Ham is a hobby with many many areas of interest. Its mostly a on the job training type of thing. One of the reasons for the electrical stuff is your opening the door to a hobby that includes high voltage, high amperage, and radio waves that can cook you. Although you might never venture that far into the hobby, its stuff you should be aware of. The basic electrical stuff will come in handy on basic vehicle stuff. Like being able to figure out how many amps a group of accessories draw and what wire gauge is safe at a given distance, or double that distance. Sounds simple but you'd be surprised how many people don't understand that and cause BIG problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Scott View Post
    Time is my issue. Between work and family, studying for a license so I can legally talk to wheeling buddies on occasion is hard to make time for. 90% of the time I wheel alone anyways so the only real reason to get my ticket would be the safety net factor.
    The safety factor is a big one. Your never alone when you have and know how to use your radio. Emergency communications are a big thing with hams. You can make a call out requesting someone make a land line call for you. You will always get a response. Were lucky to have a really BIG reach with the local repeater system. I talked to RareCJ8 between Rubicon Springs and my house in Carson. Hawthorn to Fallon to Winnamucca to Sacramento to I don't know how far north, up past gold lake somewhere and everywhere in between is the foot print of the local system. Someone is always listening.

    Quote Originally Posted by WILLD420 View Post
    They take the tests on saturdays. I am either working or watching my kids. I have not had a free Saturday in years that matched the test dates.
    Are you ready to take your test? If you've taken the online practice tests and passed 6 or more times in a row, I can make arrangements for most any time and day. Send me an E-mail.


    Time is always tough, but I don't know anyone who's done it and hasn't found it time well spent. Thanks for your honest input guys. I'm still interested in what others have to say.
    Its just a road with a few rocks, keep driving!

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    are there any one day marathons avl ? with schedule, commitments and family (plus a bit of language barrier on the terminology on my part) I seem to always push it on the back burner...
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    Web Wheeler
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    Quote Originally Posted by seal13il View Post
    are there any one day marathons avl ? with schedule, commitments and family (plus a bit of language barrier on the terminology on my part) I seem to always push it on the back burner...
    No not really. Occasionally there's a "ham cram" but that's just a pre-test review. You still need to have studied the materials. There are multi evening or weekend classes. Watch SNARS.org and CVHAMS.com. The best bet is just answer a few questions each evening on your own. Some prefer a book, some prefer online study. ARRL Q&A is strictly a list of the questions and answers. The Gordon West book gives a brief explanation for each question. The full ARRL book is very detailed, more of a full on text book with a complete list of the questions and answers. Try https://www.hamradio.com/search.cfm for books. https://hamstudy.org/ is very well rounded source. As for the language barrier, my only suggestion is talk to other hams. I know all the guys on this board would be very willing to help out with terminology or what ever. Ham radio and electricity itself has a language of its own so its a bit of a language barrier for all of us.

    Good luck
    Its just a road with a few rocks, keep driving!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILLD420 View Post
    They take the tests on saturdays. I am either working or watching my kids. I have not had a free Saturday in years that matched the test dates.
    That's also a lot of my friends problems. Saturdays are a work day for a lot of them.


    The other ones I think it boils down to they are too lazy to read a study book or they don't realize how much opportunity ham radios can afford them
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    we will test anyone anytime and just about any were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CashMoney View Post
    That's also a lot of my friends problems. Saturdays are a work day for a lot of them.


    The other ones I think it boils down to they are too lazy to read a study book or they don't realize how much opportunity ham radios can afford them
    they don't realize how much opportunity ham radios can afford them
    I think you've hit the nail on the head. Like so many tools, until you use it you just don't see the advantages.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEVADABILL View Post
    we will test anyone anytime and just about any were.

    nn7k 775 771 5656
    There's two offers for tests on your schedule.
    Its just a road with a few rocks, keep driving!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x Adventurer View Post
    they don't realize how much opportunity ham radios can afford them
    I think you've hit the nail on the head. Like so many tools, until you use it you just don't see the advantages.



    There's two offers for tests on your schedule.
    Thanks, I passed the info on to both of my buddies that I had bought the gordon west study guide for. Hopefully that will get them some more incentive to get it done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Trooper View Post
    haha If I have wood for more than 4 hours due to Viagra I am not calling there hot line. I am calling that woman's sisters, cousins, friends & quite possibly her mother.
    Quote Originally Posted by 89jeepcpl View Post
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    "The dog don't like you planting stuff there. It's his backyard. If you're the only one who craps in something, you own it. Remember that."
    -I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Casci
    I piss excellence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEVADABILL View Post
    we will test anyone anytime and just about any were.

    nn7k 775 771 5656
    Bill is a good dude and yes, he can set up an exam session just about anywhere at any time. He was one of the VEs when I got my Amateur Extra ticket.
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    Why would I get a license from the .gov to talk on the radio?
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    I've been wanting to get mine for a while. Saturdays have been my issue but looks like now its time to start studying

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    Quote Originally Posted by BUILTnotBOUGHT View Post
    Why would I get a license from the .gov to talk on the radio?
    Just like u need one to drive on public roads.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

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