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ARRL Ham Radio License Manual

Discover the Excitement of Ham Radio

Discover the excitement of ham radio. The Amateur Radio service offers a unique mix of public service, technology and experimenting with electronics–all with an emphasis on fun. Some hams use their skills to provide communications during emergencies and disasters when all else fails. Others enjoy talking to people across the country and around the globe, participating in local contests and building experiments. The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual will guide you as you get started in the hobby–as you select your equipment, set-up your first station and make your first contact.

  • Easy-to-understand “bite-sized” sections. Use this book, and pass the 35-question Technician Class license test.
  • Includes the latest question pool with answer key, for use July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018.
  • NEW! Use with ARRL’s online Exam Review for Ham Radio.
  • Designed for self-study and for classroom use. Intended for all newcomers, instructors and schoolteachers.

Product Details

  • Contents

    Every page presents information you will need to pass the exam and become an effective operator. You'll cover small sections at a time:


    • Welcome to Amateur Radio
    • Radio and Signals Fundamentals
    • Electricity, Components, and Circuits
    • Propagation, Antennas, and Feed Lines
    • Amateur Radio Equipment
    • Communicating With Other Hams
    • Licensing Regulations
    • Operating Regulations
    • Safety

  • Foreword

    Welcome to the diverse group of individuals who make up Amateur Radio! There are more than 700,000 amateurs, or “hams,” in the United States alone and 3,000,000 around the world. Hams come from all walks of life, all ages and every continent. Hams are busily communicating without regard to the geographic and political barriers that often separate humanity. This is the power of Amateur Radio — to communicate with each other directly, without requiring any other commercial or government communications systems.


    Amateur Radio was born along with radio itself. Marconi, the father of radio, considered himself “an amateur” and many of the wireless technologies and systems we take for granted today had their origins in the workshops and imaginations of amateurs. Governments make room for Amateur Radio when valuable radio spectrum is allocated because they know and respect the flexibility and inventiveness of hams. Amateur Radio is an excellent training and educational opportunity for a country’s students and technicians. In the face of emergencies and disasters, the amateur’s ability to innovate and adapt is legendary.


    Hams come to Amateur Radio from many walks of life and many interests. Perhaps you intend to provide emergency communications for yourself and your community. Technical experimentation might be your interest or you might be one of the burgeoning “do-it-yourself” community, discovering the pleasures of building, testing, using and learning. Making new friends via the radio, keeping in touch as you travel, or exploring where a wireless signal can take you — these are all valuable and valued parts of the Amateur service.


    A time-honored ham tradition is that of helping newcomers learn about the ways and skills of Amateur Radio. These helpers — known as “Elmers” by other hams — are everywhere. You are almost certainly near another ham and probably an entire ham radio club! They’ll gladly help you get started. There’s more information in Chapter 1 about connecting with them. If you need assistance, the staff here at ARRL Headquarters will be more than happy to help too.


    As you read this book, getting ready to pass your first ham radio licensing exam, you will find that there is a lot more material here than just the answers to exam questions. That’s the ARRL way of going the extra mile to help you learn about Amateur Radio. “Of, By and For the Amateur” is the ARRL’s motto. By providing this extra information, we help you learn the “why” behind each question so that you are prepared when ready to get on the air. Keep this book handy as a reference to help you understand how ham radio “works” and you’ll have more fun and be a more effective operator.


    Most active radio amateurs in the United States are ARRL members. They realize that since 1914, the ARRL’s training, sponsorship of activities and representation, both nationally and internationally, are second to none. The book you’re reading now, The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, is just one of many publications for all levels and interests in Amateur Radio. The ARRL will be there to extend a helping hand throughout your ham radio activities. You don’t need a license to join the ARRL — just be interested in Amateur Radio and we are interested in you. It’s as simple as that!


    David Sumner, K1ZZ

    Chief Executive Officer

    Newington, Connecticut March 2014

  • Publication Details

    ARRL Order No. 022

    Softcover: 336 pages

    Publisher: The American Radio Relay League, Inc.; Third Edition (April 2014)
    Language: English
    ISBN: 1-62595-013-0
    Product Dimensions: 8 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches
    Shipping Weight: 1.31 pounds

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