Are there courses I can attend?
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Yes. Courses are available at almost every amateur radio club; even some Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Colleges run a Novice or electronics course of some description.
The cost of a course can vary from club to club, and most clubs insist that you become a member to do the course. There are a few clubs around that will take you through the course without you becoming a member, but these are rare.
Other avenues include courses by correspondence through the Wireless Institute of Australia; some clubs also run correspondence courses. The Gladesville Amateur Radio Club (GARC) in Sydney transmit courses via their Amateur Television (ATV) repeater located in the Blue Mountains. GARC has been transmitting courses for as long as I can remember, and the video tapes of the transmitted courses are available for hire. GARC also have classes that you can attend at their clubhouse.
If you choose to study at home consider visiting Ron Bertrands study site here. Ron has an Online study course that will introduce you to the basics and take you right through to AOCP level. Ron is the same teacher that appears on the GARC videotapes (and ATV transmissions) and was the teacher at the Gladesville club for over ten years. His student pass rate is in the order of 90%. If you decide to use Ron's course for yourself or for a club course he only asks that you tell him that you are using his material... there is no other charge for the course.
Some other study materials that I would recommend include:-
Although this last book is a bit deep to study from it is an excellent reference manual covering everything you would ever want to know about Amateur Radio.
Other Good books for study purposes include The Arrl General Class License Manual. The ARRL, as always, has put together a book that makes studying for upgrades easy. The General Class License Manual contains everything you need to pass your General Class written exam, and station suggestions to help you get on the air using your new HF privies.
Another good one is The Arrl Antenna Book. Although this book is angled toward radio amateurs who already have their licence, it would be of interest to all interested in antennas.
At the bottom of this page is a search box for Barnes and Noble, use it to buy these books on line if you like.
It's updated yearly by hams and covers the field from theory to actual construction projects. In addition to antennas it covers transmission lines, antenna tuners, towers and the correct way to install them, rotators and many other topics related to antennas and their operation.
I'm buying a new one this year. My 8-year-old one is getting tattered from continual use, so it's time to get a fresh one. However, they are so good I save the old ones too, this is the antenna Bible. Everybody should have one.
This page is by no means comprehensive, although it will steer you in the right direction. All contact points mentioned on this page appear on the "Further Info" page of this web site.
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