Amateur “Ham” Radio Training – Free

Anne Arundel Radio Club is hosting FREE training to become an amateur “ham” radio operator! The training is for the entry level license (Technician) and will be held consecutive Saturdays from 0830 to 1200, beginning 07 October and ending 11 November with testing offered after the last class. There is no age limit, there is no longer a morse code requirement and an electronics background IS NOT necessary.
The text for this class is “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, 3rd Edition” and may be purchased from Amazon (please use and register so that Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis CERT is your charity).
Davidsonville Family Recreation Center
3789 Queen Anne’s Bridge Road
Davidsonville, Maryland 21035
The clubhouse is about 1¼ miles from the intersection of Maryland Routes 214 and 424. From that intersection proceed ¼ mile west on MD 214, Central Avenue, then make a 45 degree left turn onto Queen Anne’s Bridge Road. After about 1 mile, you will cross Wayson Road. At this point, you will see a chain-link fence on your left. This is the Davidsonville Family Recreation Center. Proceed to the gate and turn left into the center, go straight ahead between two buildings and up the hill. At the top, you will find ample free parking. The Anne Arundel Radio Club is the last building on your right. It is near an almost 200-foot repeater tower and is clearly marked. You really can’t miss it.
Like all classes, a notebook and writing utensil will come in handy. If you purchase your text through the club, we will provide those to you along with your book at the first session. Again advance notice is the key to having such materials on hand. On the first day of class, the club will likely provide free coffee and donuts for all. Typically the club will also have sodas for sale throughout the course. If you want to bring a snack or breakfast, please feel free to do so. Our clubhouse is relatively well equipped, with heat, water, adequate restroom facilities, and a working refrigerator and microwave.
FAQ :: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there age requirements?
No ! If you pass the test, you get a license. That being said, the youngest US ham on record was 6 years old, but she had the benefit of growing up with
licensed parents and siblings. My feeling is that this course is not beyond the ability of the average teenager, and can likely be passed by those in the 10 to 12 range if they have a strong interest in the hobby. I do know a little knowledge of algebra helps.
2. Is this class going to be over my head?
No ! We try to keep everything at a level that the average person can understand. It is the instructors’ goal to teach the material using plain English with as little geek-speak as possible. Our function is to help you understand the material as best as we can. You might, however, learn a little geek-speak along the way.
3. Do I need to pre-register?
No ! But if you know you are going to take the class, we would appreciate it. This helps us know how many to expect on that first class date, how many supplies and handouts to prepare, and even helps us know how many donuts to buy. But if someone wants to come along last minute, that is great. We always plan for a few extras. We track class interest by the number of pre-registrations.
4. How does one dress for a ham radio class?
Dress comfortably. You are going to be there for several hours. Jeans and a t-shirt are just fine.
5. What do I need to bring with me?
You will need note-taking materials. If you are purchasing your book through the club, we will provide those to you at your first session. A calculator capable of doing logarithms and square roots might come in handy occasionally but is certainly not necessary. The dollar store sells one suitable for the test.
6. What if I can’t attend all the classes ?
Missing a class is not going to doom you to failure. We can provide you with the class materials, and the book should help you cover the rest. That being said, missing a number of classes may lower your chances of passing the test. Read, Study, & Ask Questions.
7. Is your class really totally ‘FREE’, with no strings attached?
Yes ! Obviously, we would love a few new members for our club, assuming that idea interests you. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. We are totally happy that we could help you move forward with your Amateur Radio hobby. If you complete the course and pass the test, we will give you a free membership in the AARC for the remainder of the membership year.
8. How much does the book cost?
It sounds awful to say, but it varies. The Kindle version is probably the least expensive for approximately $20, but of course, you must own the equipment to read the Kindle files. With shipping included most print versions are in the $30 range. In past years I can say that has been less expensive than purchasing the book either from the AARC or the ARRL, but not by much. Your decision may come down to what is most convenient for you.
9. Can you tell me about the qualifications of the instructors?
All of our instructors hold Amateur Extra class licenses. Several are Electrical Engineers and all are quite expert in the subjects they teach.
10. What if I have a question that is not listed here?
Email our Training Coordinator, Keith Miller/AE3D or phone 240-758-0423 and leave your name and number. He will get back to you shortly.