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Examinations for new Amateur Radio licenses and for upgrades of existing licenses are held in Pahrump six times a year on the second Saturday of odd-numbered months.  For the exam schedule, see  You will need a $15.00 test fee, and one photo ID or two non-photo IDs.


Are you interested in becoming a Ham (Amateur Radio) operator? If so, we offer a study class in the mornings of the days when Amateur Radio exams are held in Pahrump (See above for schedule).   This study class is for the Technician class license only.  The location is 1510 Siri Lane, Pahrump.   For directions to the class site, see the web page

The study program requires you to obtain ahead of time a copy of the Technician Class Question Pool, a group of about 400 questions out of which 35 will appear on your exam.  The Pool can be found in license study books, and it is available online for free.  Make sure that the Pool you study is labeled “2014 to 2018”.

To download the Pool for the Technician Class Ham License for free, go to  and download the Element 2 Question Pool in Word or text format.  Also download the Figures (electrical diagrams) that are part of the Pool.  Now you have several choices. You can print out the document (it is 76 pages), and go through it question by question highlighting the correct answers. The questions shown are all multiple choice, with answers being A, B, C, or D. The correct answer for each question is shown in parenthesis right after the Question number, like this: T1A02 (C) [97.1]. Please do not memorize just the letter that precedes the answer, as it probably will be a different letter on the actual exam. To save paper, delete all the wrong answers before printing.  Or to not use any paper, download the question pool to your mobile computing device (laptop, Ipad, etc.), study from that device and bring it to the class. In the class session we will have AC power available to power your mobile device.

Study these questions for 30-60 minutes a day for 3-4 weeks and you should be able to pass the exam easily.

On exam day, a review will be held from 8:00 AM until noon.  We will review each question and its correct answer.  We also will explain other things which will help you pass the exam.

If you wish to attend the study class, you must pre-register by contacting Dick Grady at the phone number or email address below. If nobody preregisters, there will not be a class that day.

Also see the No-Nonsense Study Guide for the Technician license. This Guide explains Amateur Radio and gives answers to the exam questions in a conversational fashion. Shown in bold type are phrases in the answers to the questions in the exam.

You can find practice exams at: QRZ Ham Radio. Try some practice exams for free at this website.

An exam session begins at 1:00 PM. Bring a sack lunch for yourself as we will take a lunch break around noon.

The pass rate for this study program is more that 90%

If you are interested or need additional information, contact Dick Grady AC7EL at (775)751-5242 or via email to


Field Day – June 25-26, 2011 Nye County Training Facility
 2871 E. Mesquite Road Pahrump, Nevada

What is Field Day? Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN! ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.

We use these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fund-raisers such as walk-a-thons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities.

But despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems — or maybe because they ARE so complex — ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur Radio people (also called “hams”) are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations.

What is the ARRL? The American Radio Relay League is the 150,000+ member national association for Amateur Radio in the USA. ARRL is the primary source of information about what is going on in ham radio. It provides books, news, support and information for individuals and clubs, special events, continuing education classes and other benefits for its members.

Why is Amateur Radio Often called “ham radio,” the Amateur Radio Service has been around for a century. In that time, it’s grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications technology. Its people range in age from youngsters to grandparents. Even rocket scientists and a rock star or two are in the ham ranks. Most, however, are just normal folks like you and me who enjoy learning and being able to transmit voice, data and pictures through the air to unusual places, both near and far, without depending on commercial systems.

The Amateur Radio frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where you as an individual can develop and experiment with wireless communications. Hams not only can make and modify their equipment, but can create whole new ways to do things.

Why I become a Ham Operator
By Carol Bird, KE7KHD

Contrary to popular belief, not all Ham Operators are “little old men” who sit in a shack outside in their backyards, trying to talk to anonymous voices in the dark.  They are not nine year old girls who are looking for extra terrestrial life in outer space.  They are real, every day people who help and make a difference.  Here is a story where being a Ham Operator made a difference.

Tuesday evening, around 9:00 pm, Steve’s cell phone went off.  I was on the computer and thought, “this can’t be good”.  No one normally calls after 9:00 pm unless there is a problem.  Sure enough, it was a Ham Operator relaying a message.  Let me explain.  Part of being a Ham Operator is to assist in message handling and trafficking.  Whether it’s a normal every day situation or a crisis.  Ham Operators are the go-betweens. 

On this particular Tuesday evening, a Ham Operator was relaying a message.  Greg Doyle, one of my husbands friends, was camping in Death Valley.  His truck broke down.  There was no eminent danger or even near an emergency situation to declare.  But he was stuck.  And in a very remote part of the Death Valley where cell phones were absolutely useless.  But, Greg had his hand held 5 watt radio and could get a clear line-of-sight signal to the Mt. Potosi repeater, approximately 120 miles away.  When he got through to a fellow Ham, he asked that a message be relayed to Steve to change over to the Potosi frequency.  Steve did right away and sure enough, Greg was able to connect.  His truck’s fuel filter was clogged.  They had plenty of food and water, also shelter.  But he was definitely not getting out of the valley unless someone could bring him some tools to work on his vehicle.

Immediately Steve copied down instructions on how to get to Greg.  He went to work putting together the tools needed to change the filter, along with his survival gear and other items that might come in handy.  Greg had also requested that we make a couple of phone calls to his family and friends.  They would need to make arrangements to fly his son home and let others know of his situation.  But this is all part of being a Ham, making connections and passing along those all important messages. 

By the way, at this point in time the news was calling for sixty percent chance of rain for Wednesday.  Flooding in the desert is a very serious situation not to be taken lightly. 

Wednesday morning, 5:00 am, Steve was up and getting ready for the day.  His wife, (by the way, the author of this article) was up to fixing breakfast and a lunch.  Steve always carries a bag of extra food and water in his vehicle, but some additional provisions were stocked.  He started out for Death Valley at 7:00 am, but he didn’t find Greg until almost 1:30 pm.  It was a long and confusing drive to find someone out in the middle of no where.  At one point, he was told by a local resident, that the road was impassible.  Having turned around a couple of times, Steve decided to see for himself if the road was as bad as stated.  It turned out that it was drivable and since his H1 HUMMER had plenty of clearance, he made it over the flooded roadway and connected with Greg about 2 hours later.  Once Greg’s vehicle was fixed, they headed for home.  Another 5 or 6 hours down the road.

I’m writing this article today not just to let you know how “convenient” it was to be a Ham operator.  But to let you know how supportive and helpful the Ham community is as a group.  No one turns you down.  Perhaps they can’t help right away, but they can find someone who can or notify the authorities about your situation. 

Greg was one happy camper when he knew that Steve was going to show up.  And very happy to be a Ham. 

For more information on becoming a Ham Operator, please visit the websites or  

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Silent Key

Richard T. Gamble, 75, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer and passed away peacefully at his home on February 6, 2010, in Pahrump.

He was born June 6, 1934, in Denver, Colorado and was raised in the Denver area.  He moved to Seattle to raise his own family and retired to Pahrump with Marilyn, his wife of 46 years.

Richard served in the Air Force (1953-1957) and the Colorado Air National Guard (1957-1967).  He retired from the Boeing Everett plant in 1998.  He was an active volunteer with several emergency amateur radio clubs including Southern Nye County ARES and REACT.

He is survived by his children Cheril Firsching and her husband Adolf of Monroe, WA., Denise Armstrong of Denver, Colo., and Laura DeMinter of Monroe, WA., and Grandchildren Ivory, Amanda, Christian, Kelsey, Angela and Lindsey, and his two brothers Doug Campbell and Robert Campbell both of Broomfield, Colo. He was preceded in death by his son Brett Gamble.

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