How to Become a Ham Operator

Getting Your License is Easy!

You can obtain your license through self-study. Although this is more difficult, it can be done. Many hams of all ages have studied this way AND OBTAINED A LICENSE!
You can obtain your license via a classroom setting. Amateur radio license manuals prices are approximately $25.00 each and can be purchased online or at the start of scheduled classes (if available). There is no age limit. Classroom training is probably the best way to learn what it takes to get your amateur radio license as interaction is a very good learning tool. There are usually multiple instructors that will help you get through the material.
Feel free to contact one of our instructors (listed below) for more information.
There are currently 3 classes of Amateur Radio licenses:
[Element 2]

  - pass a 35-question written exam
  - all VHF/UHF Amateur band privileges (frequencies above 30 MHz)
  - limited operations in certain HF bands
[Element 3]

  - pass a 35-question written exam
  - all VHF/UHF and most HF Amateur band privileges (10 through 160 meters)
Amateur Extra
[Element 4]

  - pass a 50-question written exam
  - all Amateur band privileges

Note: As of February 14, 1991, demonstration of proficiency in Morse code telegraphy was removed from the Technician license requirements. Morse code is no longer a requirement for any amateur radio license class.
The following external websites contain practice exams (question pool and answers).
   QRZ       -
   EHam      -
   ARRL      -
   Ham Study -
Written exams are given locally every other month in Abilene, TX and every other month in Brownwood, TX. You should be able to take an exam at one of the locations any month of the year.

Key City Amateur Radio Club (KCARC) Instructors:
   NAME                CALL SIGN    E-MAIL
   Bill Shaw           KJ5DX
   Nathan Howk         AF5FJ
   Randy Robinson      N5JZH
   Ron Harden Jr.      KB5HGM

Elmers (Mentors) are experienced hams that are available to help you obtain your license and for questions about Ham radio.
Key City Amateur Radio Club (KCARC) - Although club membership is not required, it is highly encouraged. Club meetings are usually held on the second Monday of every month [except December] at 7:00 pm / 1900 hrs.

   Cobb Recreation Center
   2302 State St.
   Abilene, Texas 79603
KCARC members can provide guidance on how to install a radio; operate a radio; program a radio among other facets of the hobby. The club also offers some training in emergency communications. For advanced emergency training, you might consider joining several local organizations like Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES).