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Technician Course

The Technician course introduces students to the electromagnetic spectrum and amateur (ham) radio. This course spans ten lessons, beginning with radio waves and an introduction to ham radio equipment. As you progress through the course, you will delve into various topics such as frequency, propagation, antennas, electrical components, modulation, and transmitters. You'll also get hands-on experience with activities like using a web-based SDR. Optional activities, such as learning to solder, are also included in the lessons. Each lesson's learning objectives can be viewed by clicking on the respective lesson title in the table below. By the end of the course, you will be prepared to take the Technician License Exam.

The course is completely free to join. To enroll, simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the registration button. Once you successfully finish the course, you'll earn a digital badge and a certificate of completion. 

Lesson One

This comprehensive lesson is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the Ham Technician license exam, the entry-level license for Amateur Radio enthusiasts. Through engaging content and practical insights, you will explore what makes Amateur Radio unique, understand the regulatory framework set by the FCC, and discover the wide range of activities and community interactions that await you in the world of ham radio. Whether you're new to the concept or eager to dive in, this course provides a thorough introduction to Amateur Radio and guides you step-by-step toward becoming a licensed ham radio operator. 

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the uniqueness of amateur radio:   

2. Recognize the role of the FCC’s in regulating amateur radio and the significance of its rules and guidelines.  

3. Identify amateur radio activities from casual conversations to emergency response and technical experimentation.  

4. Locate ham radio communities to support, learning, and collaboration.

5. Demonstrate readiness to start operating a ham radio by applying the knowledge gained from the course to real-world scenarios and initial communications.

6. Prepare for the general technician license exam

Lesson Two

In this lesson we will introduce you to the world of amateur radio and prepare you for the ARRL Ham Technician Exam. This lesson provides essential knowledge of radio signals and waves, ensuring a solid foundation for exam success. Engage with interactive lessons, hands-on activities, and real exam questions to gain a thorough understanding of “The radio spectrum, radio signals, basic radio equipment, and tuning into radio stations. Throughout the lesson, you'll apply your knowledge through practical exercises. You'll learn how to locate radio stations and confidently tackle practice questions that mirror the "Radio Signals Fundamentals" section of the Ham Technician Exam.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the radio spectrum and various signal and wave types. 

2. Identify and explain key properties of radio signals

3.Recogonize and use basic radio equipment. 

4.Locate and tune into basic radio stations, such as amateur repeaters and broadcast stations, using radio receivers.

5. Prepare for the exam.

Lesson Three

This lesson introduces the fundamental concepts of amateur radio and its relationship to the electromagnetic spectrum. Participants will explore the role of frequency in radio communication, examine the amateur radio bands allocated within the spectrum, investigate band plans and frequency allocation, analyze propagation characteristics across different frequency bands, and apply this knowledge to practical scenarios in amateur radio operation.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the basic principles of the electromagnetic spectrum and its significance in radio communication. 

2. Explain the role of frequency in transmitting and receiving radio signals.

3. Identify the amateur radio bands allocated within the electromagnetic spectrum.

4. Describe band plans and frequency allocation for amateur radio operations.

5. Analyze the propagation characteristics of radio waves in various frequency bands.

6. Apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios in amateur radio operations.

7. Prepare for the exam.

Lesson Four

This lesson delves into the fundamental principles of propagation, antennas, and feed lines in amateur radio operations. Participants will explore how radio signals propagate from one location to another, gain a foundational understanding of antenna design and operation, examine the construction and utilization of feed lines, and learn practical techniques for optimizing antenna systems. By the end of the lesson, students will have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively design, build, and troubleshoot antenna systems for amateur radio applications.

Learning Objectives

1. Explain how radio signals propagate and the factors that influence propagation.

2. Understand the basic concepts of antenna design, including radiation patterns and gain.

3. Describe the construction and use of feed lines in amateur radio systems.

4. Analyze the standing wave ratio (SWR) and its implications for antenna performance.

5. Apply theoretical knowledge to the practical design and implementation of antenna systems.

6. Prepare for the exam.

Lesson Five

This lesson provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of electricity, electronic components, and basic circuits. Participants will explore key concepts such as voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and inductance, gaining an understanding of how these elements interact within electrical circuits. Additionally, learners will be introduced to common electronic components and basic radio circuits, laying the groundwork for further exploration in the field of electronics and radio communication. 

Learning Objectives

1. Define the fundamentals of electricity and circuits.

2. Explain the concepts of voltage and current and their relationship in electrical circuits.

3. Describe the properties of resistance, capacitance, and inductance and their role in electronic circuits.

4. Understand the concepts of reactance, impedance, and resonance in AC circuits.

5. Identify common types of electronic components and their functions.

6. Analyze basic radio circuits and their components.

7. Prepare for the exam.

Lesson Six

This lesson provides an in-depth exploration of modulation, the basic operation of transmitters, receivers, and amplifiers, digital mode characteristics, and power supplies and batteries in the context of amateur radio operation. Participants will gain an understanding of how information is combined with radio frequency (RF) signals through modulation techniques, learn the essential functions of transmitters, receivers, and amplifiers, explore digital modes commonly used in ham radio communication, and examine the importance of power supplies and batteries as supporting accessories for radio equipment. You will also review questions from the actual ARRL Technicians Exam.

Learning Objectives

1. Explain the concept of modulation and how information is combined with radio frequency signals.

2. Describe the basic operation of transmitters, receivers, and amplifiers in radio communication systems.

3. Identify common modulation techniques used in ham radio, including amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), and digital modes.

4. Understand the characteristics and advantages of digital modes in ham radio communication.

5. Discuss the importance of power supplies and batteries in supporting radio equipment operation.

6. Demonstrate the proper operation of radio equipment, including tuning, modulation selection, and signal reception.

7. Prepare for the exam.

Lesson Seven

This lesson focuses on the practical aspects of operating in amateur radio, covering topics such as making contacts, using repeaters, participating in nets, engaging in public service communications, collaborating with amateur emergency organizations, and operating via satellites. Participants will learn the procedures and etiquette associated with each aspect of amateur radio operation, emphasizing the importance of good amateur practices for successful and effective communication. You will also review questions from the actual ARRL Technicians Exam.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand where and how contacts are made in amateur radio, including the use of call signs, frequencies, and operating modes.

2. Describe the role and function of repeaters in extending the range of VHF and UHF communication.

3. Explain the concept of nets and the protocols for participating in organized on-air gatherings.

4. Identify opportunities for participating in public service communications as an amateur radio operator.

5. Describe the role of amateur emergency organizations in providing communication support during emergencies and disasters.

6. Explain the basis of operating via satellites and the unique challenges and opportunities associated with satellite communication.

7. Prepare for the exam.

Lesson Eight

This lesson provides an in-depth exploration of the rules and regulations governing amateur radio operation, as outlined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and international radio governing bodies. Participants will learn how FCC rules are organized, understand the mission of amateur radio, explore the different types of licenses available, examine the licensing exam process and the role of Volunteer Examiners, discuss the responsibilities of licensees, and gain insight into frequency and emission privileges, international radio rules, and amateur call signs. By the end of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the administrative regulations that govern amateur radio operation.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the roles and responsibilities of control operators and control points in amateur radio operation.

2. Identify the privileges and responsibilities associated with guest operating under the supervision of a control operator.

3. Explain the protocols and methods for proper identification on the air, including station call signs and operator call signs.

4. Discuss the guidelines and limitations for third-party communications and interference mitigation in amateur radio.

5. Describe the principles and guidelines for remote operation and automatic control of amateur radio stations, including prohibited communications.

6. Prepare to take the Exam.

Lesson Nine

This lesson provides an in-depth exploration of the rules and regulations governing amateur radio operation, as outlined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and international radio governing bodies. Participants will learn how FCC rules are organized, understand the mission of amateur radio, explore the different types of licenses available, examine the licensing exam process and the role of Volunteer Examiners, discuss the responsibilities of licensees, and gain insight into frequency and emission privileges, international radio rules, and amateur call signs. By the end of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the administrative regulations that govern amateur radio operations.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the roles and responsibilities of control operators and control points in amateur radio operations.

2. Identify the privileges and responsibilities associated with guest operating under the supervision of a control operator.

3. Explain the protocols and methods for proper identification on the air, including station call signs and operator call signs.

4. Discuss the guidelines and limitations for third-party communications and interference mitigation in amateur radio.

5. Describe the principles and guidelines for remote operation and automatic control of amateur radio stations, including prohibited communications.

6. Prepare to take the exam.

Lesson Ten

This lesson provides essential knowledge and skills for working safely with electricity and managing radio frequency (RF) hazards in amateur radio operations. Participants will learn about AC safety grounding, lightning protection, RF current management, RF interference (RFI), RF exposure rules, and tower and antenna installation safety. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and implementing safety practices to mitigate risks associated with electricity and RF exposure in amateur radio activities.

Learning Objectives

1. Demonstrate an understanding of basic electrical safety principles and practices when working with electricity in amateur radio settings.

2. Identify the importance of AC safety grounding and lightning protection measures in safeguarding amateur radio equipment and operators against electrical hazards.

3. Explain strategies for managing RF current and mitigating RF interference (RFI) to ensure safe and efficient operation of amateur radio stations.

4. Interpret RF exposure rules and guidelines set forth by regulatory bodies to evaluate RF exposure levels at amateur radio stations.

5. Apply safety protocols and procedures for tower and antenna installation to minimize risks of accidents and injuries during installation and maintenance activities.

6. Prepare to take the exam.

Lesson Eleven

This lesson is designed to prepare individuals for the Ham Radio Technician license exam administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Participants will receive comprehensive instruction and guidance on the topics covered in the exam, including radio theory, regulations, operating procedures, and safety practices. Through a combination of lectures, practice exams, and study resources, students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully pass the exam and obtain their Technician-Class license. Additionally, the course will provide valuable insights into the amateur radio community and the opportunities available to licensed operators.

Learning Objectives

1.Demonstrate an understanding of basic radio theory and principles, including electronics fundamentals and radio wave propagation, to effectively communicate in the amateur radio spectrum.

2. Interpret FCC regulations and operating procedures governing amateur radio operation, including call sign protocols, frequency allocations, and regulatory compliance, to ensure legal and responsible radio operation.

3. Apply safety practices and procedures when working with amateur radio equipment, including electrical safety precautions and RF exposure mitigation strategies, to minimize risks and ensure personal and equipment safety.

4. Utilize exam preparation resources and study strategies effectively to maximize exam performance and pass the Ham Radio Technician license exam administered by the FCC.

5. Identify post-exam considerations and next steps in the process of obtaining an FCC Registration Number (FRN), scheduling the exam, and obtaining a Technician-Class license and call sign, to navigate the licensing process successfully and join the amateur radio community.

This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC). Learn more about this organization here.  

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