FAQs Prospective Students

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) are provided to help answer prospective student’s questions on the technician ham radio class. Any additional questions on the class or obtaining an amateur radio license may be sent to Rich Adamy KA4GFY at ka4gfy@arrl.net coordinator for FCC License School.

Q: What is the Technician amateur radio license?
A: The Technician license is the introductory amateur radio license. There are a total of four license types: Technician, Technician with Morse code, General and Extra. Each license type, beyond the entry level Technician, provide additional operating frequency privileges.

Q: What can I do with the Technician amateur radio license?
A: The Technician license allows you to operate an amateur radio station on all amateur radio frequencies above 30 MHz. The Technician frequency privileges include the popular 2 meter band where most local and area communication occurs. An amateur with the Technician license can use voice repeaters using a mobile or hand-held radio to communication with other hams in the area or around the world via internet connections or amateur radio satellites. Many hams use their technician license to participate as severe weather storm spotters or to provide emergency communications support.

Q: Will I have my Technician amateur radio license at the end of the technician class?
A: The class will prepare you to take the Technician amateur radio license exam, known of Element 2. The license examination session is administered by Volunteer Examiners (VEs) who are hams from the local area. The scheduled VE testing session will be held on the final night of class.

Q: Do I have to know Morse code to get my amateur radio license?
A: Morse code is not required for the entry level Technician license. However, passing a 5 word-per-minute code exam does provide more frequency privileges. The 5 word-per-minute code exam is also required for the more advanced General and Extra licenses.

Q: Are there any age requirements to get an amateur radio license?
A: No, anyone can obtain an amateur radio license as long as they pass the license exam.

Q: How do I enroll to take the technician ham radio class?
A: You may register by emailing Rich Adamy KA4GFY at ka4gfy@arrl.net

Q: How much does the technician (or General) ham radio class cost?
A: The fee for the technician class is $50. The fee includes the exam fee and a copy of the “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual – All you need to become an Amateur Radio Operator” (also known as the Technician Class Manual).

Q: Where and when does the technician ham radio class meet?
A: The technician ham radio class will meet on 10 consecutive Tuesday evenings at ALEXANDRIA POLICE HQ., 3600 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria, VA. The class will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at approximately 9:00 p.m.

Q: Will there be ham radio class homework?
A: Following each class, the student will be expected to review the material presented during the class, read the appropriate chapters in “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual – All you need to become an Amateur Radio Operator” study guide and review questions in the question pool for the Technician exam. The complete question pool for the Technician exam is published in “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual – All you need to become an Amateur Radio Operator” publication. Computer software and web sites are also available to assist reviewing the question pool and to take “practice” tests.

Q: Where and when do I take the Technician amateur radio license exam?
A: The Alexandria Radio Club provides license exam sessions twice a year. Club members serve as Volunteer Examiners (VEs) for the testing sessions with a VE testing session being held on the final night of class. Prior registration for the VE testing session is not required and you do not have to be a class member to come take an exam. The fee for walk in exams is $14.00.

Q: What topics are covered on the Technician license exam?
A: The Technician license exam, known as Element 2, consists of 35 multiple-choice questions. The test covers basic FCC rules, communications methods and procedures, basic electronics and safety topics. A passing score is 70% or 26 questions answered correctly.

Q: Who are the instructors for the technician ham radio class?
A: All instructors are members of The Alexandria Amateur Radio Club and hold Extra Class amateur radio licenses.

Q: Do I need a radio to attend the class?
A. A radio is not needed to attend the class. The instructors will demonstrate different types of amateur radio equipment during the class and there will be discussion on what characteristics to consider when purchasing your first radio.

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