Ted’s essays

Bitterroot Ham class starts Saturday

I am reposting this to catch any stragglers. Response has been good enough to assure the class will take place. I will know in a few days how many new FCC license holders will be testing mid-May.

One thing that holds many potential licensed hams back is their lack of electronics, radio, electrical or related background. I absolutely promise that electro-mechanical incompetents can and do pass this test.

Another question I get is the expense. Paperback Technician Manuals are $30. Spiral-bound are $33. The testing session costs $17. Passing your first test earns you the FCC Technician license with no further costs between now and renewal ten years from now.

Radios can be purchased for $25. It goes up…up…up from there. No more, probably less than golf, shooting, boating, racing …

Come to class. I will order any additional books after that as a bulk-purchase that avoids shipping costs. We will have them before the second class.

Amateur radio communicators come in all sizes and flavors. You can do it if you want to.


I am bringing another amateur radio operator licensing class to Darby, Montana. I have not kept track, but think I have personally assisted 15 or 20 people to earning their FCC licenses through my study groups in the Darby, Montana library. My track record garnered me the assignment as the local ham club (BARC) education coordinator.

The club has many people who know radio A LOT better than I do, but none who can teach as well. The snide saying goes, “Those who CAN, DO. Those who cannot, TEACH”. I’m okay wearing that. Good instructors are as rare as good anything else. I did not choose this calling, blessing or curse. It chose me. Run with your talents.

If you want to print out a copy of the above flier, here is a .pdf of it:


Value added feature of this post is the class schedule below. Here is my lesson plan:


Welcome to Amateur Radio
FCC, licensing, getting your license
March 16th, 1000-noon, Darby Library
books available from instructor for $30 [+ $3 for spiral bound] (save $10.45 shipping)

Radio and Signals Fundamentals
March 23rd, 1000-noon, Darby Library

Electricity, Components and Circuits
March 30th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

Propagation, Antennas and Feed Lines
April 6th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

Amateur Radio Equipment
April 13th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

Communicating With Other Hams
April 20th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

April 27 no class – library unavailable

Licensing Regulations
May 4th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

Operating Regulations
May 11th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

May 18th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

FCC License Test Session – Tech, General, Amateur Extra
May 20th, 4:30-6:00pm, BJ’s Restaurant

Baofeng operation, programming
May 25th, 1000-noon, Darby Library

Baofeng review, practice
June 1st, 1000-noon, Darby Library