NEAR-Fest Forum

NEAR-Fest Official News and Information => NEAR-Fest - The Basics - What You Need to Know. => Topic started by: W1RC on April 05, 2014, 09:54:25 AM

Title: Upgrade Your License - Here's How.
Post by: W1RC on April 05, 2014, 09:54:25 AM
One of the best things you can do at the 'fester is to upgrade your amateur radio license at the  Volunteer Exam session ( that our friend Bruce, W1LUS, and his team have been conducting ever since NEAR-Fest I in May 2007.  The VE session is held Saturday morning at 10:30 AM in the Meeting Room located at the Arts & Crafts Building.  If you currently hold a Technician Class license the next level, General Class, will give you many new privileges in the HF bands.  Then there is, of course, the "big one", the Amateur Extra Class ticket.  The only thing standing between you and all this added enjoyment and fun is the F.C.C. exam for which you must prepare if you intend to pass.  The Amateur Extra Class examination appears difficult and intimidating but this is only if you are not prepared for it. 

Here are a couple resources that you can use.

First of all there is HamTestOnline ( that actually teaches the material so you go into the exam session with a full understanding of the material.  The $30.00 tuition for the General Class section gives you two years of access to the site.  There are also a course of study for Technician ($25.00) and Amateur Extra Class ($35.00).  Check out the site and take as many practice exams as you would like at no charge.  This might be enough for you to learn the answers to the questions but if you want to truly UNDERSTAND the questions and approach the test with the confidence that only comes from being well prepared you really should subscribe and follow the computer-assisted instruction course that HamTestOnline ( provides.  Success is guaranteed or they will refund your money.

HamTestOnline ( offers complimentary access to the Extra Class course to any General Class accredited VE team member.  They also have a great special deal to help non-licensed CERT team people wanting fo get their Tech Class license.  The details are spelled out in the FAQ ( on their Web site.

Try a  practice test ( on HamTestOnline.

Take another practice test ( on eHam.

Here is a free General Class study guide. (

And another one. (

You should also be aware that a new General Class question pool went into,effect on July 1st, 2014.  The previous Technician Class question pool expired on June 30th 2014.  Going forward, the current Extra Class question pool will expire on June 30th 2016.  It's always a good idea to check the expiration date on any study guide you intend to use to make sure that you are not studying obsolete material.  Believe me, it has happened before; someone studied from obsolete materials and only found out when they sat for the exam and failed.
I recommend HamTestOnline ( first if for no other reason because the question pools are always up to date and you actually learn something other than how to recognize the correct answers without having a clue what it really means. Regardless, if you are too cheap and don't want to pay then check out the other resources I have listed.  Personally I wish there had been something like HamTestOnline ( when I was writing tests.   But do something that will increase your enjoyment of this wonderful hobby of ours and upgrade.  Shoot for the top class while you are at it.  My daughter did it at age 13 (Extra Class, Boxborough 2012) and so can you.

Full information on the May 3rd 2014 VE Session at NEAR-Fest XV. (

Finally, NEAR-Fest wants to thank John, W1AI, and Christina, KT1NA, owners of HamTestOnline, for providing us with several scholarships so we can help our valued volunteers upgrade their licenses at no charge for helping us run this wonderful hamfest.


MisterMike, W1RC
Title: Re: Upgrade Your License - Here's How.
Post by: W1RC on May 20, 2014, 06:33:39 PM
NEAR-Fest is pleased to announce that our esteemed Director of Commercial Operations, John Goran, K1JJS, used and passed the Amateur Extra Class exam on May 3rd 2014.

Congratulations, John!  You are free to terrorize all amateur radio frequencies.


Title: Tech-In-a-Day Saturday, April 11th, 2015 in Gloucester MA
Post by: W1RC on March 14, 2015, 01:05:00 PM
if you want to get your Technician Class amateur license and are willing to devote one full day to this endeavour this message will be of interest to you.

My friend Stan Stone, W4HIX, and the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association Are conducting their next Tech-in-a-Day class on Saturday April 11th, 2015 in Gloucester, MA. Here is the information on the class:

They do this every six months.  Cost is $5.00 plus $15.00 for the exam fee.  Such a deal!

Now you have NO excuse.


MrMike, W1RC