Between the help offered by local clubs, the many Ham books available for purchase, and the freely available resources on the Internet, there is a wealth of information out there to get you started. LMARS also has an Elmer on hand to assist new Hams. There are three Amateur Radio classes: Technician, General, and Extra. Each class has its own multiple choice test that must be passed in order to attain that license. You will probably want to start at the entry level class, Technician, although you could take all three tests in one day and get your Extra license. The difference between the three Amateur Radio classes is the amount of radio spectrum you are allowed to use. As a licensed Technician Operator, you will have plenty of spectrum to play around in. You will be allowed to use voice communications, Morse code, and digital packet (using a computer to type your messages to other people, similar to an Instant Messenger).
So, where to start? First, buy a book. A book will teach you the exact information needed to pass the exam. Next, join a local Ham club. Joining a club will give you hands-on help, experience, and equipment recommendations.
Are you in the Orlando area? Join LMARS! join lmars!
If you're located elsewhere, use the ARRL Club Search to find a club near you.
You have your book (and read it cover to cover) and you've possibly joined a club. Now what? Take some online practice tests to prepare yourself for the real thing! These online tests are identical to the actual tests you will face.
You're now ready for the real test. If you're here in the Orlando area, LMARS offers testing, as well as LARA and the OARC. Visit our Licensing page to view testing dates, times and locations.
Visit our Licensing page to find out more about how to get into the hobby!
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