Author Topic: Extra vs General  (Read 12278 times)

Offline NightOwl

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Extra vs General
« on: April 10, 2009, 12:03:32 PM »
I had such good results with the ARRL manual for Technician that I'm about to order the same for General.  Trying to decide whether to throw in the Extra manual to qualify for free shipping.  8)

Maybe the rest of you can tell me, what does Extra mean in reality?  How hard is the material?  (Keep in mind that I'm good at multiple choice tests and I have an electronics background.)  Are the benefits worth the effort?

There's something to be said for getting it done and never worrying about it again.  On the other hand, it's another $30 or so for book and test and another month of study.  I just don't know enough about the difference in license levels yet.

Maybe I should try a practice exam...

ken

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 05:57:45 PM »
Being an extra class license operator, maybe I am a bit biased, ha. 

Without the HF band privileges, you are stuck with mostly local communications until the 10M band opens up.  Being able to reach outside your immediate area, or state in an emergency will improve your ability to communicate.  So, first I would advise to get your General ASAP to be able to take advantage of the HF bands, regardless of your decision about the manual. 

Consider that the Extra Class license will give you a "slightly" larger portion of the bands to play in, maybe useful when the bands are busy.  The cost of the study guide is probably pretty cheap to get the extra band privileges privileges IMO.  The Extra exam is more complex, and will probably require a calculator, and goes into more detail than the general exam.

My suggestion is to download the (free) question pool for the Extra exam first, and look it over, see if you need the theory part for study.  If you are a good test taker, (read that as able to memorize the answers) then just study the free question and answer pool and go with that.  If you are basically cheap like me, you may want to try the exam with the free information before spending the money on the manual.  Hope this helps.

Hmm, how many feet of coax cable can you buy with that 30 bucks, ha.

Offline NightOwl

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 07:17:45 PM »
Well...  $18 for the study guide and $15 for the testing session.  Approximated as $30.  This time I just ordered the General book and an educational item for my son.  I'll decide on the Extra after doing General.

From looking at the band privilege charts, though, I definitely need to get my General...

Offline bonnie

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 08:05:40 PM »
Maybe the rest of you can tell me, what does Extra mean in reality?  How hard is the material?  (Keep in mind that I'm good at multiple choice tests and I have an electronics background.)  Are the benefits worth the effort?

Maybe I should try a practice exam...

The reason that Extra was important to me was because I am a woman and a lot of women seem to get their ham radio license and stop at technician only because their husband pressures them to get licensed.  I got the Extra to show I am interested in ham radio.  I don't know much about electronics, though I am picking up a lot now being involved in radio.  I'm horrible at math and I passed.  The Extra is similar to what the Advanced was like when I took it. 

My husband got his Extra later after they eliminated the Advanced and the code went down to 5 wpm.  He knows electronics really well.  He studied for one hour and missed passing the Extra by one question on his first try.

Offline Pukwudji

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009, 05:04:08 PM »
I would suggest reading or printing out and reading the Extra class question pool.  Read through it at least once.  When you take your General test and pass you can take the next test for free.  If you have at least read the pool and maybe taken a few practice tests you will at least have a chance at the Extra and saved yourself from another $15.

-Brian

adp113

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2009, 04:42:12 PM »
I had such good results with the ARRL manual for Technician that I'm about to order the same for General.  Trying to decide whether to throw in the Extra manual to qualify for free shipping.  8)

Maybe the rest of you can tell me, what does Extra mean in reality?  How hard is the material?  (Keep in mind that I'm good at multiple choice tests and I have an electronics background.)  Are the benefits worth the effort?

There's something to be said for getting it done and never worrying about it again.  On the other hand, it's another $30 or so for book and test and another month of study.  I just don't know enough about the difference in license levels yet.

Maybe I should try a practice exam...

Not to sound assey here but, the basics of the ARRL tech study book should have explained the differences in license classes.  Every license class equals more band privileges.  General is nice, but wait till you hear a station on 14.215 and you can't work them because your only allowed down to 14.220.

Offline radiomacgyver

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009, 05:51:30 AM »
I suggest doing the online practice test from http://www.eham.net/exams.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 04:35:59 PM by DeltaEchoVictor »

Offline N5DWI

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 11:37:18 AM »
I've been a ham since 1956, and a Morse operator exclusively. 

I'm extra class and of course that entitles me to a little extra band allocation on the HF frequencies. 

However that extra space is for mostly for Morse, so, unless you're using Morse, there is no real advantage in getting your Extra class.

But, if you're an overachiever, the Extra class license does give you bragging rights even if you never use Morse.

And if you have any desire to become a VE (Volunteer Examiner), you are not allowed to administer Extra exams unless you hold an Extra class license.

FWIW,

John, N5DWI

adp113

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2009, 02:54:57 PM »
I've been a ham since 1956, and a Morse operator exclusively. 

I'm extra class and of course that entitles me to a little extra band allocation on the HF frequencies. 

However that extra space is for mostly for Morse, so, unless you're using Morse, there is no real advantage in getting your Extra class.

But, if you're an overachiever, the Extra class license does give you bragging rights even if you never use Morse.

And if you have any desire to become a VE (Volunteer Examiner), you are not allowed to administer Extra exams unless you hold an Extra class license.

FWIW,

John, N5DWI


20 meter allocation:
General SSB  14.225 - 14.350
Extra SSB 14.125 - 14.350

40 meter allocation:
General SSB 7.175 - 7.300
Extra SSB 7.125 - 7.300

That is a lot of extra space to talk.  Most of the 20 meter dx is below 14.225
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/Hambands_color.pdf

Offline Radjoman

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 04:46:56 PM »
As said above the highest class license doesnt add very much more spectrum, and it doesnt bring any new modes of operation at all.

The nets are almost always in the General portion of the bands anyway, and now on 40 meters (7mhz) the international broadcasters have been moved up higher and the ham band lowered a bit to allow comms without so much interference in the evenings, so the Extra isnt quite as valuable there. (FYI the European shortwave broadcasters come on strong in the evening in the US especially on the east coast and the powerful AM carriers cause annoying heterodynes and whisting from 7200 and higher to a SSB receiver, rendering the band almost useless. You can get a DSP notch filter to help with this but it costs quite a bit)

Getting an Extra class license today is very easy, just memorize the questions. I take my hat off to all the Extras who traveled hundreds of miles to an FCC field office, to send and receive 20WPM code without knowing what the test content was beforehand, and the Advanced and Extra class operators who learned the science to take a closed book test before the internet made it so easy to get the license.

Offline Steve W

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2009, 05:25:34 PM »
20 meter allocation:
General SSB  14.225 - 14.350
Extra SSB 14.125 - 14.350

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/Hambands_color.pdf

May have been just a typo, as the correct 20m SSB for Extra Class information is:

20 Meters

General class:
14.025-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.225-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image

Amateur Extra class:
14.000-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.150-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image

There is a nice text only summary at:  http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/allocate.html

adp113

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Re: Extra vs General
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2009, 03:19:48 PM »
May have been just a typo, as the correct 20m SSB for Extra Class information is:

20 Meters

General class:
14.025-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.225-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image

Amateur Extra class:
14.000-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.150-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image

Yeah it was a typo.  I was working 40 meter and typing about 20 meters so I wrote the lower edge as the 40 meter edge.

Which, 40 meters is where that extra band space is really nice.  With the broadcasters gone below 7.200, having that extra space makes a world of difference when chasing states or DX.

There is a nice text only summary at:  http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/allocate.html