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Showing 1-10 of 261 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 267 reviews
on June 19, 2011
This is the Seventh edition and it covers the question pool in place between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2015. Be sure you get the right edition for the question pool you're studying!

Excellent book. I'm very pleased with it. The book is laid out rather like a textbook: they take a subject like Antennas and discuss that in depth. After each section, they refer you to the relevant questions in the question pool (included in the back of the book) so you can immediately test yourself. Every question in the pool is answered (one way or another) in the text.

The question pool is set up so you can test yourself, and each question has a reference back to the page where it's answered in the text. So if there's a specific question you want answered, you can quickly find it in the text.

The book is heavily illustrated, well laid out and well written. The print is relatively large so I don't need my bifocals to read it. It's large and quality bound. Some books fall apart as soon as you open them; not this.

I have not tried the CD-ROM with the computer testing. I used the online tests on QRZ.com instead, so I can't evaluate it.

If you're already familiar with the concepts and all you really need is the question pool with a few notes, you'd be better off with another book. But if you want something that covers the material in-depth, rather than just answering specific questions, I don't think you can find a better book than this.
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on May 23, 2012
This is a wonderful resource and contains within it everything you need to both learn the subjects covered by the General Class license test and also to pass it - these being two slightly different objectives.

The book itself is well laid out and well written, providing an easy to understand explanation of the theory and principles that one needs to know. As a stand-alone manual/textbook, it deserves very high marks.

Now for the 'secret sauce' in the book. Interspersed in the text are references to specific questions from the question pool, alongside the text that represents the answers to the questions. So you know which parts of the book to concentrate on to pass the test (as opposed to generally understand the entire subject as a whole).

I found it helpful to highlight the exact phrases in the text and link them to the question pointers.

Moving on to a 'learning to pass the test' strategy, there are several things to do. The back of the book has the entire pool of questions, and the answers to each question, and it would be possible to learn them by rote. In addition, each question is also cross-referenced back to the text in the book.

So I'd test myself each question. If I knew the answer and understood it, great. If I didn't, I'd then flip back to the appropriate page in the book and bone up on the theory behind the question and answer until I did know it. Then on to the next question, and so on.

Okay, so far so good. But wait, there's more. Also provided with the book is a CD that loads a program onto your PC (not Mac compatible) and you can use this for several different purposes. You can use it to auto-generate tests and test yourself, to see how you are doing. This is great (although I also very much like the auto-generated tests on eham.net). It also allows you to step through the test questions, either in order, or randomly, and each time you answer a question it then immediately tells you if you got the answer correct or not - this is good; and also then explains the answer - this is great.

So if you get a question wrong, you are immediately given a mini-overview of the topic by the program. This makes it a very efficient way of learning. Only if the mini-overview is insufficient do you then need to go back to the text book.

If you do need to go back to the book, you can zero in immediately on the specific point you need to understand because of the way the specific paragraphs in the book are labelled by the questions that refer to them, allowing you to first get the exact answer/explanation you need, then to read on around the paragraph, before and after, to put it in a broader concept.

Effective use of the book and the software together means you should be able to learn all you need to know in very short order to pass the test. In my case - and I say this not to boast, but rather to simply indicate the efficacy of this learning method - I spent a week of moderate learning prior to sitting the test. At the start of the week, before opening the book for the first time, I was passing about 25% of the questions on eham.net generated tests, and totally lost/out of my depth. At the end of the week, I was getting 34 or 35 of the 35 questions every time, and feeling very comfortable, due to the incredibly efficient learning process this book allows. Best of all, I wasn't merely regurgitating rote-learned answers that I didn't understand, I was feeling comfortable with the topics being tested and the underlying knowledge needed.

Oh yes. The final 'for real' exam? It took me about 5 minutes, and I got all 35 correct. Not because I'm clever. But because this book and learning system is so effective. Thank you very much to the people who designed and wrote it.
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on August 10, 2013
This is an excellent book on helping you to upgrade your Technician Class Ham license to the General Class license. After reading and studying this book, especially the chapters on Radio Signals, Antennas, and Propagation (specific ionospheric conditions and periodical changes), you will not only become a near expert at what kind of radios and antennas for purchase to suit your needs, but you will "ace" the exam! There are more electronics study here than in the Technician Class, but believe me they are still very, very, very basic! After taking the Technician Class license exam and then studying this book, 10 days later I took the General Class license exam and got a 100% score!! You don't need to mess around with online stuff regarding sample tests or whatever, simply read this book, answer all the questions in the back of the book, take all the sample tests with the supplied CD that comes with this book that will load on your computer.....you will not only be more educated in Ham Radio equipment and usage, but confident enough in passing the General Class license exam the very first time!! Highly recommended!
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on October 5, 2014
This is the right book to get, to if you want your general license. But be careful, there are a couple of mistakes. The worst is the "US Amateur Radio Bands" diagram on page 1-2. This is the wrong diagram, it's already out of date! The correct, current diagram is on page 3.8.

Anyway, I read the book in a week or two, skipping the section on the questions, and then ran through the online practice test about 8 times, passing each time. I took the actual exam yesterday, and only missed one question, passing easily.

The information is densely packed in areas, and very technical, but accurate and usually well explained, so you get an idea of what is going on.

Many of the diagrams showing shapes of antenna field strengths are lacking sufficient orientation information. I still don't know if I'm looking down from the top, or from the side, or what.

There are a lot of formulae included, but most of them aren't important enough to memorize. Don't bother.

The safety section is humorous in a subtle way. The FCC has limitations on human exposure to radio waves, but there exists no backing scientific evidence that any such exposure is harmful. Here is what the books says:
"Exposure to RF at low levels is not hazardous. At high power levels, for some frequencies, the amount of energy that the body absorbs can be a problem." The problem is then explained in the next section: "heating".

So, yeah, if someone touches an antenna that is transmitting, they might suffer a painful RF burn. And if they are a couple of inches away, they might be able to warm up their cold hands, if the power level is sufficiently high, and the frequency is tuned properly for human body resonance. But that's it.

Then there is a section on making sure that your radio waves aren't going to cause problems. Literally, the only problems that this could cause are if someone finds out that you've got a directional antenna pointed at them, and then freaks out due to ignorance of the science. Or, there could be a problem if your station is out of spec, and the FCC comes down on you.

But other than that, the adverse health effects of radio waves coming from your antenna on people walking past are exactly as dangerous as the gravity waves coming from your antenna.
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on September 17, 2015
This is good to read AFTER you have passed the test. If you goal is to pass the test ASAP then get the
book that only goes over the questions and their answers (with short explanations)
It seem to work best with most people.

I did like the software that came with this book as it remembered your past testing so that you could go over just the questions
that you missed. The competition s software doesn't
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on April 22, 2015
I have used ARRL license manuals since 1967 and they continue to improve exponentially. This manual is well written, classroom quality with clear explanations. It is superior to the manuals published back in the day. It appears ARRL may have engaged education and training expertise to construct a clearer, cleaner and comfortable learning system. The addition of a CD with exam questions is a major help. The ARRL website is another resource recommended when using this publication. I advise any user to make notes, test yourself on the exam questions when prompted (also found in the back of the book) and take careful note of the tables, diagrams and sidebars. Make it a point to review the definitions in the rear of the book. When prompted to research a detail on the net, another book or resource please do so, especially if you do not understand the concept. This publication sets up a complete learning experience but the onus is on the student to follow the instructions and master the material. I look forward to upgrading in the future with materials from ARRL. I recommend these manuals to any person pursuing a license. The best of luck and 73's to all.
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on February 21, 2017
This is the standart study manual for the Technician's level ham radio license. It's thorough, but a tad too technical. Not too user- friendly for younger trainees, those with less-than-average tolerance for high- tech explanations, etc.
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on January 30, 2014
I read this book through about four times total and did all the questions. I marked in it those that I got right and those that I missed. By the time I finished I was getting the original ones I got right - wrong, and vice versa. So that was when it was time to stop studying and take the test. I got one question wrong on the test and was issued a General class amateur radio license.

There were minor written errors but I spotted them myself and that actually made me feel more confident about my learning level. The cd program was somewhat helpful too but it had an annoying feature. When I went back into it I never could figure out how to pick up from my last session. I couldn't find that feature and don't know if it exists to this day.

I 'play' all my study books for amateur radio 'forward' as they say; so it is gone. Would I recommend this book to study for your General class amateur radio license? Yes.
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on December 18, 2014
I recently have had a renewed interest in an old hobby after 40 years. After considering a lot of resources, I decided to go ahead and use online resources to take (and ace) the entry level Amateur Technician License back in early November. With that background, and a new license and callsign, I decided to go for it... the Amateur General ticket I failed to get 40 years ago. I again did some research and came across this volume, and I am glad I did. I am now very confident, after about 4 weeks with this book, that I will pass the General at the end of January. I take online exams daily for about 3 weeks now (I haven't installed the book's accompanying exam CD yet), and have yet to flunk one single exam.

I very highly recommend this book. As the forward states, it won't teach you everything, but it WILL prepare you to pass the exam and have the tools to learn the hobby and its art.
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on June 16, 2017
This is a great book to read and become familiar with weather you get your license or just want to know these facts. The craft is one that should never be neglected or forgotten.
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