Just Open Up the Tops of Their Heads and Push All this Ham Stuff Down in there – The HamCram

                Open Brain - thank you to the unknown artist!

Developed by  Richard W9PE the HamCram program is a 102 slide power point presentation to teach the Technician License test material.

W9PE has fully updated the exam for the post July 2006 question pool and very generously made Ham Cram available free for non-commercial use by the amateur community.

Using HamCram is simple.  The main part takes place in one day, with an overall time line of:

  1. Announcements, PR releases and Sign-Up – Get the word out and sign up candidates.
  2. Pre-HamCram meeting at least two weeks before.  Hand out materials, explain the process and basically pump up the candidates to work through the material BEFORE the HamCram session.
  3. HamCram Event Day – usually a morning 3 hour session, break, afternoon 3 hour session, and then an on-site VE Session.
  4. Follow up, Assigning of an Elmer/Mentor, help preparing for Retesting for anyone who didn’t pass.
  5. Repeat as necessary!  Yeah!

Remember HamCram is not a full all-topics to great depth sort of course.  It is a skinned-down bare bones “get-through-the-test” program.  It does cover 100% of what the FCC says a prospective new Amateur needs to know to be licensed as a No-Code Technician.

Some amateurs are puzzled and/or deeply bothered by a course that so sharply focuses on only what the FCC test contains.   HamCram should be considered just the first bit of learning an amateur undertakes, and when those fellow amateurs concerned about HamCram start thinking of HamCram as nothing more than “Step Number One” in a life-long amateur radio learning process they are usually more comfortable.

Mancorad W9DK ran its first HamCram in 2006.

 The W9DK 2006 HamCram Class

Our 2006 Ham Cram class and instructors are pictured above.  We licensed 6 new Technicians and several of those who had exam-fright plan to retest during 2007’s first HamCram session.

Recommendations:  Consider Ham Cram as a tool to get entry level members involved and on the air as Technicians.  Ham Cram as a very focused “teach what is tested” method does not pretend to cover all the things that would be nice for a new ham to know.

It does get them in the door, licensed and ready to start their real learning.

Mancorad W9DK awards new licensee’s a one-year club membership in recognition & praise of the work a new amateur put in.  We have been able to grow our club using the Ham Cram Program, our gratis grant of a first year club membership for the new ham, and our ongoing event/elmering efforts for new amateurs.  Your club can do the same!

The 2007 HamCram at W9DK Mancorad is in planning, with dates for the spring session to be announced in the next few weeks. 

Again the link for W9PE’s Ham Cram is http://www.w9pe.us



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