Amateur Radio License

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While you can monitor Skywarn Nets and spot without a radio license (via phone or internet), you will need an Amateur Radio license in order to participate in a Skywarn net.


At-A-Glance

To get your license:

Note: There is no Morse Code requirement for any license class.

License Classes

There are currently three classes of amateur radio licensing.

  • The entry-level license, known as Technician Class, grants full operating privileges on all amateur bands above 30 MHz and limited privileges in portions of the high frequency (HF) bands. Skywarn nets generally operate in the 144-148MHz (2-meter) band. Portage County uses 145.390MHz. Other areas operate their nets on the 440MHz (70cm) band; there are other Skywarn activities on the 50MHz (6-meter) band. A Technician-class license satisfies the licensing criteria for all Skywarn activities.
  • The next level, known as General Class, requires passage of the Technician test, as well as a 35-question multiple-choice General exam. General class licensees are granted privileges on portions of all amateur bands, and have access to over 83% of all amateur HF bandwidth, however the DX windows on most bands are not included.
  • The top US license class is Amateur Extra Class. This license requires the same tests as General plus a 50-question multiple-choice theory exam. Those with Amateur Extra licenses are granted all privileges on all US amateur bands.

Books

Both of the recommended books have the entire exam question pool. If you can answer the questions in the book, you will pass the test. Both the ARRL and Gordon West have books for each license class.