The Anne Arundel Radio Club provides FREE courses on various facets of Amateur Radio on a yearly basis, plus others as need dictates. Our current schedule of courses, open to the general public, include:
The Technician License Course: This class is designed to introduce the average person to the world of Amateur Radio, and provide them with all the information needed to pass the FCC Element 2 Exam which results in a Technician Class Amateur Radio License. This Saturday morning, 6 class series class, begins March 4th, 2017 and ends April 8th. An earlier class series will be held October 8, 2016 through November 12th, if enough students are pre-registered by the end of September. All classes begin at 8:30 AM and end at noon. The text for this class will be "The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, 3rd Edition". Students may opt to purchase this text through the AARC with advance notice, or directly from the ARRL or Amazon.com. It is available in both print and Kindle format. Approximately one hour after the final class ends, 1 PM on April 8th, 2017 (or November 12th 2016), the Laurel VEC will be providing FREE testing in the AARC Clubhouse. So you can finish the course, and pass your test the same day.
The General License Course: This class is designed for the Technician Class License holder, to increase their knowledge of Amateur Radio, and provide them with all the information needed to pass the FCC Element 3 Exam, which in combination with Element 2, results in a General Class Amateur Radio License. This Saturday morning, 6 class series class, begins April 22, 2017 and ends June 3rd, with no class scheduled on May 27th, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Classes begin at 8:30 AM and end at noon. The text for this class will be "The ARRL General Class License Manual, 8rd Edition". Students may opt to purchase this text through the AARC with advance notice, or directly from the ARRL or Amazon.com. It is available in both print and Kindle format. This class has been scheduled to provide a week's time to study between the end of the course, and the next Laurel VEC testing date at the AARC Clubhouse. We will hold a 'Cram Session' the morning of June 10th, the first Laurel VEC test date at the clubhouse following course completion, if their is enough interest.
All classes will be held at the Anne Arundel Radio Club's clubhouse on the grounds of the Davidsonville Family Recreation Center, 3789 Queen Anne's Bridge Road, Davidsonville, Maryland 21035. The club is about 1 1/4 miles from the intersection of Maryland Routes 214 and 424. From that intersection proceed 1/4 mile west on MD 214, Central Avenue, then make a 45 degree left turn onto Queen Anne's Bridge Road. Proceed approximately one mile, where you will cross the intersection with Wayson Road. At this point you will see a chain link fence on your left, behind which are some military style structures. This is the Davidsonville Family Recreation Center which was once a Nike Missile Control Center. Proceed to the gate and turn left into the center, going straight ahead between two buildings and up the hill. When you get to the top you will find ample free parking. The Anne Arunde Radio Club is the last building on your right. It has two 40 foot towers attached to it, is adjacent to an almost 200 foot repeater tower, and is clearly marked. You really can't miss it.
Like all classes, a notebook and writing utensil will come in handy. If you purchase your text through the club, we will provide those to you along with your book at the first session. Again advance notice is the key to having such materials on hand. On the first day of class the club will likely provide free coffee and donuts for all. Typically the club will also have sodas for sale throughout the course. If you want to bring a snack or breakfast, please feel free to do so. Our clubhouse is relatively well equipped, with heat, water, adequate restroom facilities, and a working refrigerator.
Thought preregistration for classes is not required, it is appreciated. To do so, email your name, address, phone number, and email address to our Training Coordinator, Keith Miller/AE3D firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him by phone at 301-805-1854.
In 2016 we held a second Technician License Class in the fall. We may do the same this year depending on interest. In other words, keep checking this site to see if we have scheduled one. If you are interested, preregister. We track interest by the number of preregistrations.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there age requirements?
No! If you pass the test, you get a license. That being said, the youngest US ham on record was 6 years old, but she had the benefit of growing up with licensed parents and siblings. My feeling is that this course is not beyond the ability of the average teenager, and can likely be passed by those in the 10 to 12 range if they have a strong interest in the hobby. I do know a little knowledge of algebra helps.
2. Is this class going to be over my head?
No! We try to keep everything at a level that the average person can understand. It is the instructors job to teach the material using plain English with as little geek-speak as possible. Our goal is to make sure you understand. You might, however, learn a little geek-speak along the way.
3. Do I need to preregister?
No! But if you know you are going to take the class, we'd appreciate it. This helps us know how many to expect on that first class date, how many supplies and handouts to prepare, and even helps us know how many donuts to buy. But if someone wants to come along last minute, thats great. We always plan for a few extras.
4. How does one dress for a ham radio class?
Dress comfortably. You are going to be there for several hours. Jeans and a t-shirt are just fine.
5. What do I need to bring with me?
You will need note taking materials. If you are purchasing your book thorough the club, we will provide those to you at your first session. A calculator capable of doing logarithms and square roots might come in handy occasionally but is certainly not necessary. The dollar store sells one suitable for, you guessed it, a dollar.
6. What if I can't attend all the classes?
Missing one class is not going to doom you to instant failure. We can provide you with the class materials, and the book should help you cover the rest. That being said, missing a number of classes can lessen your chances of passing the test substantially.
7. Is your class really totally 'FREE', no strings attached?
Yes! Obviously we would love a few new members for our club, providing that idea interests you. But if it doesn't we are totally happy that we could help you move ahead with your Amateur Radio hobby. If you complete the course and pass the test, we will give you a free membership in the AARC for the remainder of the year.
8. How much does the book cost?
It sounds awful to say, but it varies. The Kindle version is probably the least expensive for approximately $20, but of course you must own the equipment to read the Kindle files. With shipping included most print versions are in the $30 range. In past years I can say that Amazon.com has been less expensive that purchasing the book either from the AARC or the ARRL, but not by much. Your decision may come down to what is most convenient for you.
9. Can you tell me about the qualifications of the instructors?
All of our instructors hold Amateur Extra class licenses. Several are Electrical Enginneers and all are quite expert in subjects they teach.
10. What if I have a question thats not listed here?
Email our Training Coordinator, Keith Miller/AE3D email@example.com or phone 301-805-1854. He is retired, and would enjoy hearing from you.