Welcome to Ojai Valley CERT




This blog provides information to those interested in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) activities in The Ojai Valley, CA. CERT works in partnership with OVARC (Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club) which provides Ham Radio Communications - http://www.ovarc.org/.

http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert is a good place to begin learning about CERT. The fact is, immediately after a major disaster, each of us will be on our own while Emergency Services Personnel (Fire, Hospital, Police, Hospitals, etc) figure out what happened and how to respond. CERT teaches valuable self-preservation skills and empowers each of us to be of service to ourselves, family, neighborhood and community. By integrating CERT with Ham Radio, citizens can effectively communicate actionable information from the field to the Emergency Operations Center -- help will be on the way sooner.

Please check out the CERT Calendar & Map at the bottom of this web-page and sign our Guestbook (top right of page).

Ojai Valley (CERT, Ham Radio, Red Cross)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Upgrading Ham Radio License

There are three classes of Ham Radio License -- Technician, General and Extra.

The last couple years, I've been Technician Class.

Today I sat the written exam and passed the General Class -- wahoo!! This upgraded class gives a Ham Radio Operator additional frequencies (including High Frequency) and opens the door to becoming a Volunteer Examiner on behalf of the FCC.

The road toward upgrading my license included several forms of learning material:

-ARRL's General Class License Manual Book (www.arrl.org)
-www.qrz (Free online web-site where you can drill sample tests)
-www.hamtestonline.com ($49 for 2 years giving you access to all three classes).

The book is good for learning the material and self-testing by reviewing the questions and answers in the back of the book. Also useful if you're not at a computer.

QRZ is great for doing a quick self-test to see if you are retaining the information -- I found after 1 week of reading the manual my scores where exponentially better.

HamTestOnline is a paid service that essentially replaces the paper-based manual. The good thing is you don't have to flip back and forth to the questions --- they appear on the screen. You get immediate feedback if you get something correct or incorrect. If you were incorrect then it will dynamically ask the same question later (just as your brain is about to forget again!!). Only comment is that the book does a better job of explaining the details of the material.

By using all three forms of learning, I did really well on the exam this morning and was extremely relaxed throughout.

Of course, there are also audio programs (CDs typically) if you do a lot of driving and prefer studying that way.

Whatever your learning style is -- just go and do something!!!


Paul (KI6USA/AG) -- As a suffix to my callsign (KI6USA) the "/AG" means that I have a temporary license to operate with General Class privileges while the FCC processes the new license.