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I provided this info to a friend and thought others might be interested.

This last week we discussed amateur radio and I suggested Gordon West study guides. The 2010-2014 Technician Class by Gordon West can be ordered at http://www.w5yi.org/ . Check under Product Catalog/Amateur Radio on the left hand side of the web page. Currently there are approximately 343,597 Technician Class License, 161,220 General Class License, and 127, 674 Extra Class License these numbers do not include the older class license of Novice, Technician +, and Advanced with a total population of roughly 82,000.

While there are other amateur practice test web sites the one I liked the best was AA9PW.com, I used this site for Technician, General, and Extra Class License test. The questions and answers used in these practice exams are the official questions provided by the FCC and are organized to mimic the actual written tests as closely as possible. What this mean to you is there will be no surprise test questions only the order of the individual response to the test question changes, so don’t memorize the response to question 1 as “a”.

Also once you test out for the Technician Class License you are good for the next 10 years, prior the end of the 10 years you submit a 605 forum to the FCC and you are good for the next 10 years at no cost and no testing.

Although one can still test for Morse Code since about 2007 Morse Code is no longer required so don’t worry about Morse Code.

As with most things there are a number of amateur radio manufactures I refer Yaesu radios. The key driver was at the time I purchase my radio Yaesu seem to be the only one with software to program all the repeaters and there are thousand and thousands………. An example list of amateur radio manufactures:

Yaesu: FT-8800 Dual Band with dual read outs; FT-7900R Dual Band with single read out.

Kenwood: TM-D710A Dual Band with dual read outs; TM-V71A Dual Band with dual read outs

ICOM: IC-2820H Dual Band with dual read outs

Alinco: DR-635T Dual Band with dual read outs

The newer models all have toys I do not have which has driven cost. There are dual band radios with single read outs which are less costly I had the Yaesu FT-7800 which worked just fine. However if I had Yaesu FT-8800 Dual Band dual read out I would most likely not have my FT-8900 Quad Band dual read out today. At the time I got my radios I found Ham Radio Outlet had the best prices, http://www.hamradio.com/index.cfm.

I know a number of people wonder why anyone would bother with amateur radios with the latest and greatest new cell phones, iPods and so on available. The first responders during more than one fire requested people to stop using their cell phones because they were taking up all the available band space, mean no room for the responders to communicate via their cell phone type devices. The quality of sound and the ability to communicate via amateur radios is light years above and beyond anything currently in use i.e. CB’s or GMRS type radios we used this week. In this morning LA Times there was a story about Verizon changing their business plans - Verizon Wireless to base smart phone plans on data use, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-verizon-plans-20120613,0,2851382.story. This did not sound good to me. And lastly there are a number of places where cell phones don’t work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a modified Yaesu FT-2800 (I think that's the model) I use for a race radio in the 155MHz range.

One of these days I will have the spare coin to go get my HAM license. Until then, I just listen to everyone and stay off the mike unless operating under our team's registered frequency.

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