Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lesson 4: General Class Exam Course G1D

Here is lesson 4 and the G1D questions.  This lesson deals with the Volunteer Examiner program.  Being a VE is a great experience and also a great way to give back to the hobby.  It's fairly easy to become one.  Once you pick up your General Class license you can just go to the ARRL website, take the test, and mail it in.  There are other Volunteer Examiner Coordinators which can endorse you, but the ARRL is definitely the biggest.  The questions in this section are fairly straight forward and you should be able to breeze through it.  However, if you happen to have any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comment box.  Thanks!

73,
Andy
KE4GKP

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lesson 3: General Class Exam Course G1C

Here is lesson 3!  The G1C questions primarily go over power limitations, bandwidths, and baud rates.  There is a bit of memorization which goes into this lesson, but there are some things to keep in mind that will help you remember the numbers a little easier.

Here are the things you need to straight up memorize:

The maximum bandwidth for RTTY and data using unspecified code on 2m and 6m is 20 kHz.

The maximum bandwidth for USB communication on 60m is 2.8 kHz.

For the purposes of the exam, Ham operators on all HF/LF bands (10m - 160m) can use up to 1500W PEP output for transmissions.  There are two exceptions: 30m and 60m.  For the 30m question, you need to know that the 30m band extends from 10.1 to 10.150 MHz and you can only transmit up to 200W PEP output.  For any other question just providing the frequency, the answer is going to be 1500W.  For 60m you can only transmit up to 50W PEP output relative to a half-wave dipole.

For the questions on signal rate (baud) there is a bit of trick.  For all the baud questions on the exam, the same four possible answers are given: 300 baud, 1200 baud, 19.6 kilobaud, and 56 kilobaud.  56 kilobaud (the fastest possible answer) is an incorrect answer for all the baud questions so you can knock it out right away.  The way the rest break down is: HF bands below 10m (12m - 160m) use the slowest signal rate (300 baud); 10m is in the middle at 1200 baud; and the VHF bands (2m and 6m) are the fastest of the three categories at 19.6 kilobaud.   The higher the frequency, the faster the baud rate.  If you can remember that breakdown, you will get those right!

Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or questions in the comment box.

Until lesson 4...

73,
Andy
KE4GKP

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lesson 2: General Class Exam Course G1B

Hello once again!  Here is lesson two of the General Class license course.  This lesson covers the G1B questions which basically deal with more rules and regulations.  Luckily, the majority of the answers make sense so there is not too much memorization.  The two things you do need to memorize are:

The maximum height of an antenna without having to seek permission from the FAA and register with the FCC is 200ft.  If you live near a public use airport, check to make sure that an antenna that high is not going to create an aircraft safety issue.  The height restriction for those who live near airports may be less than 200 ft.

The maximum power a beacon station can transmit is 100 W PEP output.

And that's pretty much it.  As always if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them in the comment box.  Until lesson 3...

73,
Andy
KE4GKP

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lesson 1: General Class Exam Course G1A

Hello again!  After a bit of a break, I am tackling the General Class license course!  The questions in these lessons are only good until the end of June 2011 so don't delay in getting your upgrade!

This lesson covers the G1A group of questions which primarily deal with frequency allocations.  There is a lot of memorization for this group.  I've broken down what you need to know here:

The band frequencies you need to memorize are:
75/80m     3.525 - 3.6 MHz and 3.8 - 4.0 MHz
40m          7.025 - 7.125 MHz and 7.175 - 7.3 MHz
20m          14.025 - 14.150 MHz and 14.225 - 14.350 MHz
15m          21.025 - 21.2 MHz and 21.225 - 21.450 MHz
12m          24.890 - 24.99 MHz
10m          28-29.7 MHz

On 30m you can only use RTTY, data, and CW.  Image transmission is not allowed!

On 60m is USB voice only!  You can not even use CW on 60m!

It is also important to not that General Class operators can use the entire Amateur privilege on 160m, 30m, 17m, 12m, and 10m.  They do not have the whole amateur privilege on 15m!  Don't get tripped up by this question on the exam!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them in the comment box.  Until lesson 2...

73,
Andy
KE4GKP

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving on to General Class

Hello again!  It looks like the Technician Class Exam Prep videos have met with some good results which honestly makes me pretty thrilled!  Based on the comments from the various posts on this site and my YouTube channel, I am going to start on a General Class license course vice a Morse Code or electronics course (though I still plan on tackling them in the near future).   Like the Technician Class courses, the intent of the videos is to essentially coach the exam.  They are designed to get you past the exam so that you can go on and do great things in Amateur Radio!

In the Technician Class videos, I tried to knock one out per day for posting.  The General Class questions are a little more in depth and the average number of questions per sub-element is higher so I don't think I'm going to be able to maintain the same tempo as I did with the Technician videos.  However, rest assured that I am working diligently on the project and will get them out as soon as possible.  The other factor to take into account is that the General Class questions are scheduled to change in the summer of 2011... so time is a factor.

With that said, please let me know if you have any suggestions on ways to improve from the Technician videos.

I hope these videos continue to prove to be a useful tool in preparing for the Amateur Radio exams.  I appreciate all the supportive comments everyone has made!  I hope to start getting the new videos out in the next week or so.

73!
Andy
KE4GKP