How to Get a Ham Radio License

By eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

Ham radio is a wonderful hobby. Think of talking with another ham in some distant country or taking part in the many weekend contests on the air. Even some of the astronauts are licensed hams and when they have time, talk with other hams on earth from the shuttle! So study and take the exam for this rewarding pastime.

Order a license study manual. Each license level has its own set of multiple choice questions. Be prepared to understand basic theory, algebra for electronics, propagation, FCC (Federal Communication Commission) rules and regulations.

Begin with the Technician class license. To move to the next level, General class, a Technician class license or test must be passed. To receive the Extra class license, both Technician and General class tests or a General license is required. Each step up means more operating frequencies.

Find a local ham club in your area. These clubs usually meet once a month and have many amateur radio activities that include community service. They are very helpful and many give the FCC tests. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) provides a search engine to locate a local club. Just supply your zip code at

Locate a testing site. Use the ARRL website to locate times and places for tests. They also have a search engine that tells you where and when by state, zip code or country.

Take the exam.