The Amateur Radio General Class License Exam

I will be offline the reminder of this week while I study for the amateur radio General Class license exam which I will take this coming Saturday.

I was off-the-air for decades (regrettably I let my old license expire) until I returned in March of this year when I passed the Technician Class license exam. I intend to go for the Extra in another three months (DX on 20 has always been my passion). But first things first…I need to continue to study for the General Class exam. A lot of things have changed* in my decades-long absence. <g>

A typical ham radio station — photo taken from a public domain archive

Here is the General Class license exam study guide (current pool) that I used. Correct answers are marked in red and are bolded:

**My studying tells me a LOT has changed**

  • The ARRL is much more influential and powerful than back in my day, but QST, the magazine, is only a shadow of what it once was. That is a shame.
  • There are band plans.
  • You no longer have to go to a stuffy FCC office to take an exam.
  • No CW license requirement!
  • FCC enforcement has been turned over to a volunteer organization.
  • Technology has advanced exponentially. Computer-controlled rigs and antennas are the norm.
  • The cost of gear has increased beyond one’s imagination. Back in my day homebrew and kits were very common. Those days are long gone.
  • Several questions in the pool are totally irrelevant. They deal with circuits from my day!
  • This list could go on and on.

Regular blog posts will return this Sunday.

Update: Sunday, May 3, 2014: I passed! 33 out of 35. Don’t know how those two got away. Anyway, I’ll take it. I’m a true “slant AG” for the next two weeks or so until the FCC updates my license class in its online database.