Ham Radio Classes
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Amateur Radio Licensing Classes in the Los Angeles Area

Please visit the Practice Ham Exam page first.  Since the actual examination question pools (the actual questions and answers of the examination) are published, and entry level amateur radio Technician license has been rewritten several times to make it easier, many people find classes unnecessary.  

Amateur radio classes have changed dramatically since restructuring.  Prior to restructuring, few people passed licensing exams without classes.  Today classes for many are optional.  In years previous, one was trained to a level akin to an electronics technician in order to pass an exam.  Today most Technicians class license holders pass the exam do not know how to operate a radio, let alone set-up a communications link in a disaster.    These skills are not asked on the tests so they did not study it nor did they seek out this knowledge.  If their purpose was emergency communications, then they have acted in a self-defeating matter.  

Most classes teach the test.  They teach customers how to "beat the test."  Customers are learning shortcuts to merely pass the test.  There are few traditional classes left which teach a sound foundation to understanding radio electronics.  Such a foundation is essential in a major disaster in which a geniune ham will need to be able to independently set-up an emergency communication link without help from ham radio store salesman, manufacturers' technical support, and email listservs.  






Traditional Classes

There are very few traditional classes left that teach the fundmentals of radio electornics. 

The San Fernando Valley Amateur Radio Club (SFVARC), W6SD, with a permanent club station and meeting place at Northridge Hospital, is one of the oldest, biggest and most experienced clubs in the country.  They offer a free 10 week Technician course, visit: http://www.w6sd.com/Classes.htm and contact: Bill Miller, K6NEQ, (818) 368-4438, bill@itga.com.  Marv Fagenson, K6HCJ, (818) 757-3311, k6hcj@sbcglobal.net, ocassionally teaches a free 9 week general class. 

The second is Pasadena Amateur Radio Club, W6KA, http://www.qsl.net/w6ka/.

They teach an eight week free Technician class.  W6KA meets at the headquarters of Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena.  Contact: Mark Siegel, W6MES, (818) 951-6369. marks@keyway.net.  [Mark co-founded the Sunland-Tijunga Neighborhood Council].  The classes are held at the Sierra Madre Volunteer Police Station, 242 Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre, CA. 



Sam Szarka, AD6XS’s www.hamquick.com offers an on-line tutorial to pass the Tech test.  Jack Weber, N1JLW has set up a Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HamRadioHelpGroup/

Teach-to-the-Test Classes for Free

Of the teach-to-the-tests classes, I have seen, Walt Ordway, K1DFO, walt.ordway@juno.com  of the Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club (PVARC), K6PV runs the best.  I even entrusted a family member to him.  Walt teaches a free class quarterly in a park recreation center in Palos Verdes.   There are two half-day Saturday sessions.  The third Saturday is the exam.  If you are minor, the Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club will reimburse you for the cost of books and the test, up to $40. 

Send an email to NERP

Teach-to-the-Test Classes for Fee

Another resource is the nationwide locator of ham courses http://www.arrl.org/FandES/courses/  provided by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) – the national organization of amateur radio.   Not all courses are in this database.  Most of these classes require a fee.  The going rate is about $300 per person.  Most courses are about a day long. 

Also try contacting local amateur radio clubs and ask them if they are offering or know of any courses http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/clubsearch.phtml.  Not all clubs are affiliated with the ARRL and will not be listed. 

Send an email to NERP