Here is the handout of a recent FREE HAM Radio Class I presented for my friends/neighbors/community.


 WHERE/WHAT TO BUY? (I’ve ordered from Rob several times). Check out the dakota alert systems, they are awesome SECURITY….even in grid down. (HAM Radio outlet) — I suggest the FT-60R (or for those on a budget tyt or px-888k, or KG-UVGd)

See this article on “selecting the right radio”

Recommended antennas


  • flexible difficult to damage, car door etc.
  • good high gain
  • not heavy so your radio doesn’t tip over
  • doesn’t seem like it’d put high stress on the connector because no leverage (because its super flexible) whether in your pack or on your hip.

HAM RADIO on a Motorcycle?!?

Yep, there are tons of advantages to a radio on a bike.  Communicating with your other riders, weather alerts, just-in-case and “heads up” on the trail. I recently installed a helmet headset and I’m pretty happy with it. Mic goes in your helmet and two speakers insert into your helmet.  a PPT (Push to talk) mounts on the handle bars. Even if you have a rider, running a radio so you can talk is nice!

I’ve used a similar setup for helping my neighbors in the flood response. Being able to hear while operating noisy equipment like an ATV/bike is very helpful.
The ham radio guys were super excited to talk to a motorcyclist. They have talked with planes, boats and even space stations, but many said they’ve never talked to a motorcyclist.
Why not use FRS you say? Most FRS radios only have one pin and 1 watt, if you buy a cheap ham radio, you get two pins for more robust and you can “program” your radio for closer to 4 watts (not FCC approved, but it can be done).


BaoFeng 2 PIN Full Face Motorcycle Headset Earpiece Mic, for BaoFeng / Kenwood / WouXun / PuXing / Linton Two Way Radio Walkie Talkie, Black


For non-helmet headset, try:

Retevis 2 Pin PTT Mic Covert Acoustic Tube Earpiece Headset for Kenwood PUXING Baofeng UV-5R UV-5RA 888S Retevis H777 RT7 RT21(1 Pack


Research in progress:


  1. battery shell (aa or aaa)
  2. scramble option
  3. programmable via chirp
  4. two prong’d headset
  5. 6 meters would be NICE
I have a couple of tyt with scramblers


See schedule for next exam at  J. Reuben Clark Law Building (BYU).



Preparing for HAM exam – fast track:

(first level of licensing is Technician)
* Flash cards | QUIZER

* THE ACTUAL test questions

ALSO, search PLAY STORE on your smart phone/tablet for HAM radio study, there are some pretty helpful apps.
Answer’s bolded and larger text – kindle:




What is the cost of the exam?
Usually less than $15 cash–bring TWO forms of ID to the test.

How often do you need to renew license? Every 10 years. You may renew online.

Do I have to learn Morse Code? Not for the last 10+ years.

Call Sign LOOKUP/search FCC
HEADS UP: Your full name and address can be looked up by using your call sign.

Storing your RADIO:

I suggest you store your radio with battery disconnected in an EMP proof bag & an AMMO can…in your trunk.

ALSO, you should get a ear-piece for your radio (hands free and privacy).
AND a battery pack you can thumb in AA or AAA batteries.

 HAM Class details

Please read the following carefully so we may have a successful class and you will
pass the exam and earn your license.

Location: Room 206 in the J. Reuben Clark Law building on BYU campus.
Room 206 is in the Southwest corner of the building.
The top of the interior map is East and the left is North. Enter the East facing doors just
West of the circular drive for passenger loading and unloading. Go to the
West end of the foyer turn left and follow the West wall South to room 206.

A parking permit is not required on Saturday. Don’t park in the usual restricted
spots like handicap without a permit, the Dean’s spot, delivery…. etc.

An interactive map of campus is here:
It is building #16 on the map; the J. Reuben Clark building (JRCB).
Another map is here: It is building
#16 in this map also.
GPS N 40 14.977′ W 111 38.718′,-111.645303,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x874d90b9b5243097:0x1be554f898be4823

Time: 8:00 am. To make this work you need to be on time. We have a lot of material to go
through. Lunch is 1 pm to 2 pm. Self-study and exams 2:30 pm to 5 pm. We need to be out
of the building by 6 pm. If you arrive at 7:30 am it will give you plenty of time to find the
room, refresh yourself (fancy talk for go to the bathroom) and get settled in your seat.

During the morning instruction there will not be enough time to take questions and get through all of the material. If you have questions write them on the class handout
(pick one up in the back of the classroom on your way in) and we will have a question
and answer session at the end of the instruction. Usually the answers to your questions
will be answered in the presentation. Before breaking for lunch we will discuss briefly
purchasing equipment you will need to get started in Ham radio.

Please read as much of the following free document as you can before the class. If there is
something you don’t understand skip over it. Please don’t be discouraged if you get confused.
There is nomenclature and concepts you may not be familiar with. By the end of the class you will know enough to pass the exam.

The guide is free in .pdf format but if you want to put it on your Kindle or Nook it is $7.99
and you can get it here:

If you want REALLY concise here is a list of every question and the correct answer that will
be on the exam.

The exam is taken from a pool of 426 questions to make a 35 question exam. A specific
number of questions is used from each sub-element in the pool to make an exam.
Details are in the next link below.

Please register here and start studying. This is the website we will use for self-study in the afternoon:

Hamstudy is free but Richard KD7BBC is very appreciative of donations to keep the website going. After you use it you will realize how good it is and how much time he has devoted.

Have even more time? Watch the videos here on Youtube:

Technician Class Ham License – On-Line Help for Your Self Study

He mentions the ARRL study manual. You will NOT need it to take the class and pass the exam.

If you need to cancel please let me know ASAP. It will not be fair to end up with empty seats!!

What you need to bring: Pen, An internet capable device, preferably a laptop but a smartphone or tablet will work. The device needs to have wi-fi for the internet connection
on the public open wi-fi that is available. I have several loaner laptops available. Let me
know if you need one. The internet will be used for studying in the afternoon and will not be
needed in the morning for the classroom instruction portion of the class.

Registering for the exam is not required to attend but we would really really like you to beforehand. You will have to register to take the exam.

Register for the exam session here:

Be sure you are registering for the exam in Provo, Utah on the 19rd of September 2015.

Occasionally someone has difficulty with this process. You will do fine if
read the instructions very carefully and don’t skip any steps.

During the registration for the exam session you will obtain a Federal Registration Number
(FRN). The FRN is issued to you by the FCC so they can keep track of all your
dealings with them. The FRN is used lieu of your Social Secuity Number. After you have
entered your information on the FCC website for your FRN the next page is confusing.
Your FRN is at the top of the page. Highlight the FRN and copy and paste it or write it
down to enter into the registration page on Be sure to print out your (Personal Identification Number) PIN for the exam session and
FRN once you have completed everything on….. If for some reason you do
not take the exam the day of the class you will need your FRN to take an exam later.
Finding out your FRN if you don’t have a license is difficult so don’t lose your FRN. You will
also need to provide the FCC with a password which you will use later to use the Universal
Licensing System (ULS) so you can change your address if you move or renew your
license. DO NOT LOSE YOUR PASSWORD!! you will need it later for access to the FCC
website to print out your license, renew your license or change your address.

You are right I repeated that….. don’t lose your password for the FCC ULS……

You need to bring two forms of ID. One with a picture like a driver’s license.
14.00 cash or check to pay for the exam.

ID requirements for test sessions are rather liberal. One of the IDs needs to be with a picture.
It is often difficult to find ID for children. If a child does not have ID with a picture we
will accept the picture ID of the accompanying adult plus another issued to the child.

The following are good for ID with preference given to something with
your picture on it issued by a government entity that also has your current address:

Social Security card
Birth Certificate
“Green” card
Driver’s license
State ID card
Concealed Weapons permit
Medicaid card
Military ID
Library card if it is not a card your name has been written on but the name is
embossed on the card by machine.
Student ID
School Faculty ID

If you can’t find anything else a canceled letter addressed to the test candidate will work for
ID but only as a last resort. If you have any questions about what is appropriate for ID
please e-mail me before the day of the class and exam.

As part of security in the building please stay on the main floor and don’t go wandering
around the library or building. Students have been asked to report anyone just wandering
around and we don’t want a visit from the guys with badges and guns!!
Please be patient trying to learn this stuff. Several years ago a woman and her mother
were in the class and the woman kept laughing when I said something. Finally at the break I
asked her why she kept laughing. “I don’t understand any of this. You might as well be
speaking Greek.” I told her to just keep listening and then in the study period she would get
a better idea of how much she really understood. She only studied a couple of hours that
after noon and went in and passed the exam just fine.


I’ve used a few different software solutions, including the software from the radio’s manufacturer.

Recently I’ve tried the open source chirp along with the correct USB driver.

I like that I can import/export CSV files. Use the same desktop management software between different/supported radios.

Before installing chirp, make sure your radio is supported. Because chirp is open source, it has a lot of cross vendor support.

I was able to configure my radio to communicate with FRS/GMRS radios by reading this article

ch1 462.5625 tone mode (tsql), tonesql 67, power low
UPDATE: Chirp can import all FRS/GMRS frequencies.


Using your work’s “motion sensor” under your desk to turn OFF your radio when you are not at your desk!

These are the items I purchased to auto-turn-off my radio when not at my desk (the static bothers my co-workers that are staff’d 24×7).

I had to order three of these until I found one that worked!

Make sure you get at least the 1 amp


Share →

2 Responses to HAM Radio Quick Start

  1. Carl Ross says:

    Thanks Thomas.

  2. Ted Milner says:

    Great info! Thanks for all you’ve put into this… It is a real service to those of us just starting out…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *