The Calgary Amateur Radio Association runs a "Get Started!" in ham radio course that will get you licensed so that you can get on the air. Class sessions are held once each year, normally starting early to mid January.
For more information you can email John (VE6TUG) at firstname.lastname@example.org , attend one of our meetings (visitors always welcome), or drop by our Koffee Klatch each Saturday morning in the food court at CHINOOK or SunRidge shopping centres. Look for the folks having a good time. Or you can contact the club using any of the methods listed on the contacts page.
Rather surf first and ask questions later?
Then check out the Beginners Info link on the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) page. To help get you started, download the Industry Canada Question Bank. The question bank has every question (and answer) that is on the Basic and Advanced test.
While the exam generator will help you memorize the correct answers it doesn't teach you the theory behind the question. For that the CARA class is perfect. Not only do you know the answer but you know why its correct. Plus you'll get instruction on how to operate properly. Different technologies like APRS. How a repeater works and be able to ask other HAMs questions. Just remember once you get a HAM talking you might be there for a while.
Passing the Basic Qualification Exam (70% pass mark) is the starting point for becoming a ham, and it will get you "on the air" with access to many of the ham bands.
Anyone who achieves a mark of 80% or greater when writing the Basic Qualification Exam will be granted additional privileges that previously required passing a 5-word-per-minute morse code test. These additional privileges include access to the HF Amateur Bands (HF bands are the bands normally associated with the very long distance communications).
Passing the Advanced Qualification Exam (70% pass mark) will allow you ADDITIONAL PRIVILEGES INCLUDING ACCESS TO THE HF AMATEUR BANDS (HF Bands are the bands normally associated with very long distance communications) as well as allow you to build and install transmitters and repeaters. More about amateur radio qualification levels and privileges can be found on Industry Canada's Amateur Radio Centre website at Spectrum Management and TelecommunicationsStart Date: TBA
The test is 50 multiple choice questions covering safety, regulations, operating practices, and theory. The pass mark is 70% for an Advanced Qualification. There is a "Practice Exam Generator" software program that can be downloaded from the IC web site at Amateur Radio Operator Certificates . This will give you an idea of what to expect.
"What if I have to miss some classes?" Depending on your dedication to catch up on missed material, you can miss a few classes, and still comfortably pass the exam. So, making it to every class is not as important as keeping up with the material. If you should need to drop out for any reason, your course fee covers you for any future CARA Advanced course scheduled.
If you have any questions on the course, please call me at (403) 293-7879 or e-mail me at email@example.com