Care Required:  
Ham Radio is
Quack Quack Quack Logo

Shiawassee Amateur Radio Association [SARA]

"Whiskey 8 Quack Quack Quack"    ~    Established: January, 1958 an ARRL Affiliated Club since 1961
IARU: 2 Grid Square EN72wx   Latitude: 42.9819 N   Longitude: -84.1164 W   Alitude: 760 ft.

Meets at: James P. Capitan Center, Lower Level; 149 E. Corunna Ave.; Corunna, MI 48817 Monthly: 2nd Tuesday @ 7:00 PM

You're invited to a SARA club meeting!  7:00 PM the 2nd Tuesday of each month in Corunna, MI.

Contact us at:   SARA / W8QQQ <Email>

    Page Last Updated: 02-Apr-2021

Go to footer ↓


Quick Information:

SARA Meetings Details

SARA Calendar from the W8SHI site.

Details: VE Testing.

Go to:  Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


SARA Club Items

Go to:  Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Download SARA's Excel Files:


Go to:  Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓



 Google Search
  Search only "W8QQQ Site"   Search "All the Web"

Quickly Find Something! Select your Search Range ~ either choice opens in a new Window.

Coax that connects things! topic divider

License Classes Vs Test Elements

The regulations that govern the Amateur Radio Service in the United States are Part 97 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Federal Communications Commission [FCC] is responsible for administering these regulations. The FCC requires that all radio amateurs pass a test before attaining the privilege of operating an amateur radio station. All the ham exams are built from established "question pools", with a pool for each of three elements that are used for the tests {Elements 2~4 -- hey it is the government and they start counting anywhere}. These align with the three classes of ham radio licensing which are:

Technician class (Element 2) Pool is effective July 1, 2018 and is valid until June 30, 2022. The test contains three schematic diagrams. See the ARRL web link for additional Technician License information. {You can go to NCVEC Technician Test Pool for the current listing of test questions and all details}.

General class (Element 3) Pool is effective July 1, 2019 and is valid until June 30, 2023. Contains about 460 questions and 1 schematic diagram.

Extra class (Element 4) Pool is effective July 1, 2020 and will be valid until June 30, 2024. The test is 50 questions. New questions have been released (Feb 2020).

The question pools are reviewed as part of a regular process. Each question pool is reviewed and updated on a four year rotation. Generally each pool will have more than 10 times the test level number of questions (a '50 question test' will have about 500 questions in the 'pool' from which test questions are pulled). The National Conference of Volunteer Examiners [NCVEC] is a group of volunteers which control the question pools. A quick link on that page gets you to free specific pools in 'pdf' format or you can use the ARRL Question Pool link for similar information.

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

Suggested Study Process: (steps)

The following steps can quickly lead you to an amateur radio license. It is highly reccommended that you follow these steps:

  1. Contact a radio club for social contacts and further your education on the hobby. You may do this at any time. Clubs can play a very large part in your progress!
  2. Read and review testing material. A nice set of study cards to use can be found at: Technician Study Cards (K4USD)
    Great for quick access on your cell phone or tablet.
  3. Do sample tests on a web site. The ARRL has 'Ham Review' app to help you at any level: ARRL EXAM REVIEW app site. You need to establish an account and respond to an email, but then your review is just a click away.
  4. Analyze results and restudy the weaker topics. Review all questions missed.
  5. Contact a test coordinator and schedule a test. Check with that local club to see what is available in your area.
  6. Pass the test.
  7. Buy and setup equipment to support your interests.
  8. Enjoy the hobby!
  9. Continue to operate, learn and upgrade to higher license classes. There are a liftime's worth of details in the broad areas of amateur radio application.

As in any technical area, mathematics leads the way to a quicker understanding, but the mathematics level can be at very basic levels for any of the amateur radio tests. In today's world, computers and mathematics seem to be required, but you can decide what level you wish to let these influence your ham future. The final answer should always be: "It is your 'hobby' and should always be fun!". If not, you are doing it wrong. Do not let influences push you to an unhappy state, just set your pace and enjoy the journey. Make it one of your fun hobbies!

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

Math Tutorials: {to assist you, if required}

Here are some very basic mathematical guides for your review:

Mathematics is a scientific language (tool) for understanding detailed interactions of real world relationships in an accurate and precise manner. It is used in engineering and science to explain how things work in our universe. Most details are explained using simple levels of math! Complex math becomes a 'shorthand method' to show many complex relationships. Luckly a good mathematics understanding of what hams require is all in the 'simple math' language operations. Most require little more than a few simple algebraic concepts. You can get through these with very little effort, so have no fear. Advanced concepts can be explained in higher mathematics quickly and precisely, but they are NOT required for licensing.

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

Technician Class Test Makeup Details:

The actual test is a multiple choice 35 question test with four answer choices per question. The 35 questions are drawn from a "test pool" of 'greater then 10 times the required test questions', broken down into 35 different groups (sections). Each section has a single question drawn, on a random basis to make up an individual test. The 'pools' are publicly released six months before becoming active for testing. The questions, with correct answers displayed, and Part 97 references are all freely available. The challenge to a new candidate is to read Part 97 [See: FCC Part 97 References] and then study every possible question from the entire pool. Part 97 is about 35 pages of material to understand. The logic involved is not difficult, but it does take a little effort. If we were to make a slide presentation of each question and a follow up slide showing the correct answer, we would have 792 different slides. If you looked at each slide for an average of 1 minute, you would spend over 13 hours going through the slides - this is NOT very efficient in a classroom environment, but gives you an idea of how much study is really required to fully cover the topic. If you want to pass-the-test, then you must be prepared. Actually if you just read a question and answer once, you probably will score above 65%. Just a little time using "self study" and you will do fine and be at (or above) the 85% level quickly. If you can score 85% on test exams, you are ready for the 'real deal'.

We present here links to the Part 97 and to the 'Technician Class - Element 2' question pool. Please take the time to read and study this information. You will notice many questions are closely related and thus if you understand that portion of Part 97, you will be able to answer many of the subelement T1 questions quickly.

The NCVEC Organization (home page) coordinates the question pools for amateur licensing.

The Technician Question Pool used is from the NCVEC pages. Links from this page will get MS Word; Adobe PDF; ASCII text files of the question pools for your use. If the question is on a regulatory basis (subelement T1), the Part 97 paragraph is referenced. The correct answer to the question is listed in the pool. You should read all the possible answers and know why some are incorrect as this helps you remember the reason for the correct answer.

If you read through part 97 and review the 'technical aspects' of the test you are along way towards passing the first time you actually try. In the Michigan area there are 'one day classes' that will almost gaurantee passing. Some of these are in the Ann Arbor area, costs are not high and testing is the last thing in the class. They take about eight hours and many have started that way. They have a success rate in the 90% range. Those having trouble are the ones who come without any reading of the material. They think someone will force feed the required data and are suprized it require work and preparation before the class. A few minutes each day for 30 days will always be the best route to success.

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

Element 2 ~ Subelement T1

It is reccomended that you study the T1 subelement in a 'self-study' manner. Individual concentrated study is the quickest method to obtain the required knowledge. Use the NCVEC link page for the FCC Part 97 References and click on the desired paragraph numbers to read the paragraph information. The information is used for the T1 subelement. The paragraph numbers being referenced in the pool questions, are what you will want to read closely. In subelement T1 all but five questions come directly from the Part 97 regulations and have reference data. That means 63 of the 68 questions in this subelement (T1) are understanding the FCC rules. T1B01 & T1B02 are about the International Telecommunications Union [ITU] which is a United Nations [UN] agency for information and communication technology. The ITU divides the world into different regions and the United States of America [USA] is in region 2. T1C02 and T1C04 are about USA callsign format and foreign country operations - best you just memorize these at this point.

The table below shows the test's subelement makeup of Element 2 used for the Technician exam. The subelements are labeled: T1; T2; etc. and have a number of questions (parenthsis in first column). Areas covered are subdivided into groups and the total questions in this area of the question pool is listed. Following the table we will present study guide and class links used for studying the non-regulatory questions ~ these will deal with the radio and electronics knowledge required.

FCC Rules, descriptions and definitions for the amateur radio service, operator and station license responsibilities 6
A ~ F
Operating Procedures 3
A ~ C
Radio wave characteristics, radio and electromagnetic properties, propagation modes 3
A ~ C
Amateur radio practices and station setup 2
A ~ B
Electrical principles, math for electronics, electronic principles, Ohm's Law 4
A ~ D
Electrical components, semiconductors, circuit diagrams, component functions 4
A ~ D
Station equipment, common transmitter and receiver problems, antenna measurements and troubleshooting, basic repair and testing 4
A ~ D
Modulation modes, amateur satellite operation, operating activities, non-voice communications 4
A ~ D
Antennas, feedlines 2
A ~ B
AC power circuits, antenna installation, RF hazards 3
A ~ C
10 Elements
35 Questions


If you reached this point (read the Part 97 and read through the test questions) then you are already nearly 20% of the way to your license and have completed the T1 subelement - congratulations! As you have seen in the table above, there are 35 groups (sections) in the Element 2 test. The rest is basic electronics and radio information which is "basic common sense" and you will be able to pass the test by just reading and understanding the material as you go. Many do this in a 'one day, eight hour course' by having someone read the information to them. If you have average reading skills, you can do it in about four or six hours on your own.

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

Some Study Guides for the Technician Class License (Easy Reading!)

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

Practice Exams for Technician Class License

SARA has a tradition of supporting licensing and education of new hams. The following exam practice aids have been developed by other hams to support that effort and are shared freely with any others who want to obtain or upgrade to a particular license. These are in addition to the ARRL Exam Review site listed above. Check these out to see which one(s) will be most useful to you:

Remember to take lots of 'practice exams' as they help you prove to yourself that you are getting better. Also, the questions you do get wrong, show which subelement you need to concentrate on for further study. If you pass several tests in a row above the 85% level, you can seriously consider taking the real test and have an excellent probability of passing it. We invite local vistors to come to the club for assistance in getting their first license or any level of 'upgrade'.

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓


Coax that connects things! topic divider

After passing the Technician Class License Test - then what?

You will probably wish to buy a radio and setup a station, but that usually leaves many wandering along with no clear direction. Please consider, the social aspects, further education, personal involvement, and the impact of your decisions to those around you. These will lead you to a direction for you to follow. Always remember it is YOUR plan and journey. Look at SARA's Beginning with a License web page for some suggestions. Come and talk to others 'on-the-air' and get involved with your local radio club. The people you meet can discuss questions and assist you in making the many choices you need to sort through. Many will become friends through this process.

Free Study Guides are available from KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog for higher class licenses, there are some here having a small fee, See: KB6NU Web Site. He has Technician, General and Extra Class Guides. They will help you get through the Q & A portion of getting to the proper license class. These with a little 'hands-on' electronics will get you well along learning all the amateur radio electronics you desire. Dan Romanchik helps out the hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor, MI and he has been active in clubs and ARRL during his ham radio career. Read his blog for lots of good stuff, KB6NU Blog.

COVID 19 impacts the ability of holding test sessions. Dan's approach is to have 'online' sessions for his classes. Check his links above for details.

When ready you may be interested in Upgrading to General  (ARRL Site).

Then, you may be interested in Upgrading to an Extra Class license (ARRL Site).

* * * * * * *

REMINDER: The ARRL has 'Ham Review' app to help you at any class of license. ARRL EXAM REVIEW app site. You need to establish an account and respond to an email, but then your review is just a click away. {It is 'free'.}

REMEMBER: SARA can provide 'Elmers' and assist you in many ways ~ just ask us! (personal contact/email/'on-the-air' methods are possible). It is usually easier if you are local, but we can do email and/or internet and/or 'on-the-air' methods to assist anyone anywhere. Even during COVID 19 we can figure out something.

Coax that connects things! topic divider

Go to:   Top of 'Content' ↑       Top of Page ↑       Go to footer ↓