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- Doug Elliott VA3DAE / LARC Education Coordinator / cell/text: 519-630-8925 / email: email@example.com
LARC will once again be offering a course to enable interested people to get their ham radio license. Like last year, it will be presented online, using Zoom, but we will still cover all the material, provide lots of opportunities to get your questions answered, and administer a final exam that qualifies you for the license issued by the Canadian government.
The goal of this course is to enable you to become a licensed amateur radio operator (also known as a “ham”), so you can take part in the wonderful world of ham radio. The license that you will receive after writing the exam is issued by the federal Canadian government, and is yours for life, with no additional fees. Along with the license comes your personal call sign, such as VA3DAE, used to identify you on the air.
To achieve this goal, you will need to read the assigned chapters in the study guide before each class, attend the classes where the instructor will review, reinforce and demonstrate the material, and test yourself periodically to ensure you have a good understanding of the topics you have studied.
An important goal is the health and safety of all participants, and we will be presenting this year's course online, using the Zoom conferencing software. We'll schedule a practice session for those who might not be familiar with Zoom, and will provide assistance to make sure everyone is fully able to take part in the course. The final examination is currently planned to be in a large room at the 427 Wing, where our club radio station is, with students spaced out to achieve social distancing. We're continuing to monitor COVID-19 related recommendations and will make sure none of our procedures risk anyone's health in any way.
Age: There is no age limitation for Canadian Ham Licenses. We have had students from 11 to 81 take the course and become active operators.
Citizenship: There is no requirement to be a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant. Everyone is welcome.
Prerequisite training: There is no need for you to have any particular training before taking our course. You don’t have to be a math wizard, or have a technical background. Our course is longer than some other courses because we cover all the material from the ground up, making no assumptions.
Course Delivery: To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, we're delivering this course over the Internet, using the popular Zoom software. This requires that students have an internet access device ( PC, Mac, Smartphone, Tablet ), and devices with a larger display are preferable to make it easier to see the presentations. A reliable Internet access is also required. An attached camera is desirable, but not mandatory, but a microphone is needed to allow you to ask questions. If you have any questions, or would like to test your setup, get in touch with the Education Coordinator using the contact details at the top of this page.
We try to accommodate students with disabilities and have had successful students with visual impairments and learning disabilities. We can do the final exam orally if needed. Please let us know if you would like any assistance.
The course will be presented on Saturday mornings from September 11 to December 11, excluding the Thanksgiving Weekend (no class October 9). Each session runs from 9 AM to approximately noon, with a couple of breaks. You will be able to connect to the meeting 20 minutes before it starts, and you are encouraged to arrive early, especially if you aren't familiar with Zoom. We will also have a Zoom practice meeting a few days before September 12, so you can try out Zoom if you haven't used it much, and get the hang of it before classes start. An invitation to this session will be emailed to registered students around September 9. (Another good reason to register early!)
The first session on September 12 is an introduction and overview of Ham radio and will be informal, like all of our sessions. Nothing in this first session will be on the exam, and we'll try to answer all your questions and explain what ham radio's all about, as well as the structure of the course.
The full schedule of topics covered in each session is at the end of this document.
All of the sessions will be recorded, and we can make the recording available to any registered student who was unable to attend on Saturday morning, or who simply wants to review the presentations. Please make your request to review a session via email to the Education Coordinator, via contact details at the top of this file.
The last session on December 11 will NOT be a Zoom session, but will be held in person at the 427 Wing where the club's radio station is located. All COVID-19 recommended procedures will be followed, and we will not do anything to risk anyone's health. The exam is administered by senior members of our club who are volunteer examiners accredited by the Canadian government. They're also instructors for the course.
The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions, each with 4 possible answers, and there is no practical time limit. The pass mark is 70% but you really want to get 80%, which gets you the privileges to do international radio communications. There are websites that let you do practice exams for each chapter in the study guide, and full practices exams as well. We will assist you with the paperwork required to submit the exam results and get your ham license and personal call sign from the government. This is usually complete within a week of writing the exam.
Once you have decided to join us in the course and work towards your ham radio license, these are the steps you need to take:
If you have any questions about the course, or any other topic related to Ham radio education, please contact our Education Coordinator:
Doug Elliott VA3DAE
phone or text: (519) 630-8925