It's like pulling teeth!

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It's like pulling teeth!

Postby Sid » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:21 pm

Chaps,

I'm desperate to take my foundation exam after doing some online training / reading up etc.
However, it's like pulling teeth trying to find somewhere to take the exam?

I've tried to use course / exam finder searches etc, but when I email regarding taking exams etc, I never seem to get a reply?
I don't think it's helping this hobby much if you can't find where to take an exam or nobody gets back to you.

I'd be grateful if anyone can help. My location is kinda between Guildford / Hindhead in Surrey.
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby m0lsx » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:59 pm

Sorry about that.
Every single trainer & every other person involved is a volunteer.
I often feel that one issue is that, training clubs ask trainees to first contact people who may not be directly involved in the training & that causes delays. As it adds in extra & unneeded people.
My personal experience is that emails are often a poor way to achieve a response. Getting on the phone, for some reason, seems to work much better.
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby G4RMT » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:43 am

Despite what many feel about them, the RSGB is in charge of all the exam stuff, so phone them and explain your problem. They will sort it for you. Many like them, many have no faith in them and many like me have no beef but don't want to be a member. OFCOM, on the other hand, have given them so many ham radio powers, love them or not, they are in charge from a practical viewpoint.
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby Sid » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:30 pm

Thanks guys,

I'll have a ring round and keep you informed.
Do I have to attend formal training, or can I just swat up myself and then just take the exam only?
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby m0lsx » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:42 pm

Sid wrote: Do I have to attend formal training, or can I just swat up myself and then just take the exam only?


You do not have to attend formal training. But a big part of both the Foundation & Intermediate exams are practicals & so it's not as simple as just attending an exam.
At foundation level, there is a really simple Morse code part. You also have to show you understand how to set up a transceiver & use it & a few other bits. They are all easy to do. But it takes time & it is normally spread across the second day of training, with each item needing a signature & some one to one time.

The RSGB book, Foundation Now, is a complete course, with all the information needed to pass within it. But make sure you get the most up to date version of the book, as an out of date book with out of date information, could cost you a pass.
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby m0lsx » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:54 pm

One point worth making is that a poor club, will train you to pass the exam. But a good club will train you to pass the exam & include lots of chances for questions & learning that will help you to change that pass into a usable licence.
Many many people pass the exams. Fewer become amateurs & use their licences beyond the first few weeks. Partly because gaining that pass is only part of what you need. It takes more than money & a pass to make a hobby out of someone & my shack is full of kit brought from people who passed the exam, spent money, but who did not do anything beyond talking for the sake of talking.
Training via a good club will open up horizons for you. Even if you are not interested in all that is available, simply being surrounded by people with different areas of interest can make a world of difference.
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby G4RMT » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:35 pm

I didn't realise there was even mention of Morse nowadays, which to be honest, I'm pleased hasn't been allowed to totally die.

I worked just a few years ago on a few shows with an illusionist - and one of his clever bits was to sit at a small table, across from his glamorous assistant and read her mind when a member of the audience wrote down words only she could see, and he was blindfolded in a scarf tested by another member of the audience for total non-seethrougness.

He was so annoyed when at the rehearsal I sat in for him so he could check what it looked like from the front, and got every one right! His assistant simply made sure her foot could touch his under the table and spelt out the words in CW! Two hams around a dinner table in a restaurant can do exactly the same and it's mega impressive and nobody ever works out how it's done. I've 'proved' a psychic link with a friend many times.
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Re: It's like pulling teeth!

Postby Sid » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:32 pm

Thanks guys.

I'll buy that book and have a good read.
I won't give this up anytime soon - I find it quite fascinating, and would be useful if the "grid" ever went down.... :mrgreeny:
Just frustrated I can't TX at this time..... :sad:
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