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You are here: Home > Books > How to Get Your First Ham Radio License

How to Get Your Ham License

Getting your first ham license has never been easier.  Before you can get on the air, you’ll need to get a license so that you can legally get on the air.  In the United States, we have three classes of licenses -  Technician, General & Extra.  You no longer need to learn Morse code in the United States.  Licenses are good for 10 years. Exams are administered by volunteers all around the country on a regular basis. Once your exam is passed, your information is forwarded by the volunteers to the FCC for processing. We are pleased to provide you with the needed study materials to assist in get your license.  We have multiple books, audio courses and software to choose from.  We recommend, for the technician class, buying the following:

Gordon West’s Technician Study Guide
Tech Q & A from the ARRL
W5YI Technician Software Package - includes Gordon West Technician Study Guide

With these three great study aids, it will be possible - for the average person - to be ready to pass the Technician exam in about 15-25 hours of study.Here are the various license classes explained by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL):

Technician License

The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called "short wave") bands used for international communications.

General License

The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.

Amateur Extra License

The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations

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Tech Q & A
Tech Q & A
Our Price: $16.95 ONLY THREE (3) IN STOCK

License Manual:  Tech Q & A 5th ED more info
Tech Q & A
Tech Q & A
Our Price: $19.90

License Manual:  Tech Q & A 5th ED more info
W5YI Technician Class Manual
W5YI Technician Class Manual
Our Price: $24.95

Gordon West's 2018-2022 Technician Class Manual is your complete study guide along with answer explanations.  This manual has been reorganized into logical study topic order along with highlighted keywords and hundreds of relevant website links for further assistance.   Also included is a bonus CD "Getting on the Air."  The Technician Class Manual will introduce you to using your Technician privileges, UHF/VHF operations and equipment and instruction on how to make DX contacts with Technician privileges. more info