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Zero to General in 30 days?

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by Fishmongerjoe, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. N0NB

    N0NB Active Member

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    Per Wikipedia, the FOIA was signed into law by President Johnson on July 4, 1966 and became effective on July 5, 1967. If I understand correctly, Dick began his efforts sometime in the mid to late '70s and I never heard that he used FOIA to obtain the exams. I'd always heard that he would interview people as they left the FCC exam site for what they could remember.



    Funny thing is that many remember the man and his books but very few admit to using them to pass the exams during that time frame!
     
    n8fgb likes this.

  2. DainBramage

    DainBramage Well-Known Member

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    Close, Dick (KL7IHP) published his book series, The Final Exam, in the early 1980.
    He did ask questions to people exiting the exams, in fact. after his books became popular, people willingly contacted him and provided that information.

    The question pool was NOT released to the general public under the FOIA at that time, Each question had to be requested individually, and The FCC then deliberately slightly changed the questions so that the previously released questions would not be relevant.

    The FCC changed the questions to attempt to defeat his actions.

    In 1984 , the FCC grew tired of dealing with it and created the VEC system and the question pool was then released to the public.
     
  3. BBB

    BBB Well-Known Member

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    Yes you can do it. Technically for $15 you could walk in an exam location with no HAM license and walk out an Extra Class. As others have said, study hard but also bring some spare cash and show up as early as you can for the exam(s).

    Here's the deal. While at the test site, the first exam costs $15 upfront, pass or fail. If you failed and want to try again during the same visit it's another $15. If and when you pass the first exam, then you can take the next exam for free as long as you've passed and so on. If you do not pass you can pay an additional $15 and try again. I'm not sure how much you have to pay the examiners to take the test for you. Probably in the $500-$1000 range. haha :ROFLMAO: just kidding!

    Take note that the (VE's) examiners probably only have a set time that they are willing to stay at the exam site, so I doubt they would let you try more than two or three times at any given class level no matter how much money or checks you've brought.
     
  4. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker Sr. Member

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    That depends on which VEC you are using. there is more than one. I "think" there are about 12 (maybe more) and each one has different rules.
     
  5. W2EKG

    W2EKG 201 Mike Action

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    My local VE will leyou take exams all day.
     
  6. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    ....zero to extra in 2 hours?

    Or, 45 years, depending on how you look at it.

    I had experience in military, land mobile, commercial, maritime, and broadcast radio before I took the exams.

    Tech, in my sleep. literally . It was an early morning test after a late night. The coffee hadn't quite kicked in.

    Gen, by now the coffee had taken effect and I was at least wide awake. Going over the test after first completing it I found at least three "oops, that was dumb" answers and corrected them. At least one third of the test was remedial , reintroducing questions from the tech. A bit more on digital, circuit components and the dreaded "math".

    Extra , I actually sweat a bit here. From a crystal set in the '60's through military ULF/VLF/HF/VHF/UHF/microwave to business bands and broadcast, it took all I knew plus the service specific questions...
    and the dreaded math :)

    About Hamstudy.org , do it . It really does help. I didn't memorize, I identified what I didn't learn and worked on it. The dreaded "math", was memorizing formula nothing more.

    So which was it ? The 45 years or the weeks leading up to the 2 hours? Both, I needed the refresher as I hadn't done any design or diagnostics in near ten years. I'd wired a mic, followed a lightning strike through a cb radio, rebuilt my TRC-458, even built a few simple kits but the calculator and board etch stayed in the drawer.

    My testing came from 11m boredom, continued interest in radio, and a dare. Family member started poking me as over the years I had fixed some of his junk that others couldn't figure out. It began with a few choice insults and examples. "If that guy can do it you can" . That guy is still convinced an A-99 is the gods gift to radio waves. Mentioned emcom as it applies to family. Finally says "I can't think of a reason you're not a ham other than the test. Well, he's still a general and I'm an Extra :)

    I'm a VE now. I teach and mentor. I try to help where I can. It just isn't easy deprogramming years of CB nonsense, mass media fiction, advertising hype and hearsay. It's no easier starting from scratch. The one thing that helps is a willingness to learn. With that I can do anything.

    73
     
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  7. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

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    That's the truth. Unfortunately some hambone myths are even harder to invalidate.
     
  8. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    and actually even easier to ignore. Many of us have been in the trenches for decades. CB myth's take more effort to quiet because because they're louder. Hammy Hambone can be more easily dismissed with well published fact that the CB culture would not pay attention to . IE;"Secret CB says that ..."
     
  9. Hurricane145

    Hurricane145 Well-Known Member

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    I admit it! I used it for my extra class exam. It was absolutely SPOT ON with the questions and answers that I had. It was just what was going on at the time. I didn't expect it to be so exact. I have heard that there were books for the Morse code exam as well but it wasn't a problem for me. I don't remember seeing any books for that in spite of all the claims that there were. Bash certainly made a few buck with his books but that came to an end not too long after when they published the question pools. He was just ahead of the game and saw the opportunity.
    I remember there was a question about the Boolean equation on the exam. I can't say I have ever needed to know that or even had to look it up after all these years! I do think that a lot of what was on the different exams back then was poorly put together. A lot of it was to try to trick you into answering incorrectly.
    Like on the Morse test. They would send "QTH here is Seattle WI" instead of WA and ask what state the guy was in, and something like "rig here is Icom IC-520S". With stuff like that they shouldn't be administering the tests in my opinion. The written exam questions are probably more straightforward and relevant now.
     
    #24 Hurricane145, Jan 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
    N0NB likes this.
  10. Hurricane145

    Hurricane145 Well-Known Member

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    He did that early on.
    Later as I recall, If you bought the book there was a form inside to fill out and send to him regarding any different questions or answers that you may have encountered. He would send you a rather tongue in cheek certificate for your efforts.

    I still see an occasional Bash book at a hamfest table.
     
    #25 Hurricane145, Jan 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  11. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker Sr. Member

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    [​IMG]

    Bash wasn't the only one. this was printed in 1956.
    but, the questions were only "similar":rolleyes:


    BTW, Dick himself, never upgraded to Amateur extra
     
    #26 Road Squawker, Jan 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  12. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

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    The no nonsense study guides and/or the Gordon West books will take you to general or extra. It's just memorizing the answers to get you on the air but it works. What's important is that you are a good operator and promote the hobby in a positive way.

    Whatever you do, don't feed the trolls. I've heard more recordings, noises and deliberate interference on the amateur bands than has been on cb in years. Don't get involved in it.
     
    N0NB and Fishmongerjoe like this.
  13. Fishmongerjoe

    Fishmongerjoe New Member

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    Still on track, for February test. Have the tech exam to whee I’m comfortable and have move on to general. General exam I’m running 20-23/35 so I have som work to do.
     
  14. N0NB

    N0NB Active Member

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    Even ARRL published a Q&A guide up to right before the VE system came into being. I know, I bought one for the Tech/General in '82 or so. Unlike the Bash books, which I've never actually seen in person, the book was touted as to being similar to the actual exam questions, but not verbatim, etc.
     

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