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  #1  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:23 PM
RichWilson RichWilson is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 21
Default Using APRS Requires an Amateur Radio License

Folks,

APRS is an outstanding service, and it is part of a much greater digital service developed by amateur radio operators -- "hams". With all this talk about APRS in our airplanes, it may need to be restated that you need a license to use APRS.

The license involves studying electronics and radio theory and operation, and passing an FCC test. The test isn't difficult, but it isn't a gimme either. It will take you about a month of study, and then another month to get your testing scheduled and taken. Then, assuming you pass the test, you will be issued an amateur radio callsign. Only after obtaining your callsign are you able to operate an APRS station (or other type of amateur station).

I'm sure not trying to scare anyone away from APRS or ham radio....but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that using APRS is not like getting a CB radio..... the license is NOT just a "permit." Its a real license, just like that pilot certificate you exercise and worked hard to obtain.

Thanks for listening.... now, everybody, go out there and get those ham licenses and get on APRS.

Rich Wilson, WR4RW (ham callsign)
N707RW (RV-8)
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:32 PM
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petehowell petehowell is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 1,781
Default Good to Re-state

Rich,

Good to bring this up again - a technician license is required to operate the within the APRS system.

My experience was a bit different with studying. The only studying I did was to take a few - Ok, about 10, practice exams on the web over 2 nights. I was then able to walk in for the exam the next Saturday. I know I did not get 100%, but I did pass. Hopefully Sam will chime in with his experience.

The exam is offered at my city hall every 2 weeks. Many Ham radio clubs also offer the exam on regular basis.

Practice exams can be found here:

http://www.qrz.com/testing.html

Good Luck!!
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:35 PM
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kevinh kevinh is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 1,375
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichWilson View Post
The license involves studying electronics and radio theory and operation, and passing an FCC test. The test isn't difficult, but it isn't a gimme either. It will take you about a month of study, and then another month to get your testing scheduled and taken.
I'm totally with you on all that you wrote, but these times vary widely - especially if the applicant has some basic electrical knowledge. To get the test scheduled, many local Ham groups have frequent weekend tests (or even 'ham crams').

I spent a couple of evenings reading web articles and taking practice tests and went to one of the biweekly test days we have in my town. 30% ohms law, 30% relation between freq and wavelength, 40% other (mostly regs).

I originally got my ham license because local pg types use ham radios as the preferred form of communication - aprs turned out to be a nice bonus.

KI6GII
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:38 PM
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n5lp n5lp is offline
fugio ergo sum
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carlsbad, NM
Posts: 1,833
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichWilson View Post
Folks,

APRS is an outstanding service, and it is part of a much greater digital service developed by amateur radio operators -- "hams". With all this talk about APRS in our airplanes, it may need to be restated that you need a license to use APRS.

The license involves studying electronics and radio theory and operation, and passing an FCC test. The test isn't difficult, but it isn't a gimme either. It will take you about a month of study, and then another month to get your testing scheduled and taken...
Rich, as a fairly long time ham and APRS operator I have been following the thread fairly closely. I think it has been made clear that an amateur radio license is necessary. I do disagree that this should take 2 months. I think just a few hours of study would suffice for most people on this forum to prepare for the necessary license, as it is now. A local storm chasing group has emphasized licensing and many people have done it in one day, with the help of a class and prescheduled testing.

Radio operator N5LP (somewhat mourning the demise of morse code requirements).
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:40 PM
Yukon Yukon is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 920
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichWilson View Post
Folks,

APRS is an outstanding service, and it is part of a much greater digital service developed by amateur radio operators -- "hams". With all this talk about APRS in our airplanes, it may need to be restated that you need a license to use APRS.

The license involves studying electronics and radio theory and operation, and passing an FCC test. The test isn't difficult, but it isn't a gimme either. It will take you about a month of study, and then another month to get your testing scheduled and taken. Then, assuming you pass the test, you will be issued an amateur radio callsign. Only after obtaining your callsign are you able to operate an APRS station (or other type of amateur station).

I'm sure not trying to scare anyone away from APRS or ham radio....but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that using APRS is not like getting a CB radio..... the license is NOT just a "permit." Its a real license, just like that pilot certificate you exercise and worked hard to obtain.

Thanks for listening.... now, everybody, go out there and get those ham licenses and get on APRS.

Rich Wilson, WR4RW (ham callsign)
N707RW (RV-8)
Rich,

Have you looked at the Technician test lately? It's been diluted quite a bit from what I remember years ago. The code requirement has even been dropped. With every verbatim test question being made availabe for 17 bucks, anyone with a passing interest in APRS or electronics will easily pass the test with a couple evenings of study.
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:54 PM
Norman CYYJ Norman CYYJ is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 1,158
Default

For the simple (simple) amateur license if you can spell you name correctly you have the ability to pass the written exam. They have gone and made them so simple to keep the ham numbers up. Not like it was 40 years ago.

VE7SAY advanced.
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2008, 12:02 AM
Yukon Yukon is offline
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Location: Phoenix, Az
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman CYYJ View Post
For the simple (simple) amateur license if you can spell you name correctly you have the ability to pass the written exam. They have gone and made them so simple to keep the ham numbers up. Not like it was 40 years ago.

VE7SAY advanced.
Sorry to tell you Norm, but they have even stopped issuing the "advanced" license! What's the country coming to?
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2008, 12:53 AM
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godspeed godspeed is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Corpus Christi,Texas
Posts: 395
Default Radio license

ok now that I am getting a lic what kind of handheld
ham radio do I need to get so I can do some ham radio
stuff too.

It been a long time since I talked
On am or side band this could
be another fun hobbie

Danny
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2008, 07:35 AM
the_other_dougreeves the_other_dougreeves is offline
 
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Location: Dallas, TX (ADS)
Posts: 2,181
Default

Now that's what we need .... an airborne platform to work VHF QSO contests! Beats hauling all that **** up the side of Mt Pinos every year....

TODR
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2008, 08:03 AM
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AltonD AltonD is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by n5lp View Post

Radio operator N5LP (somewhat mourning the demise of morse code requirements).
I am with you.

N4IDH
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