For additional information about Amateur Radio, I recommend our national associations free resources:

Taking the exam:

Wherever you decide to go, I would suggest you get your FCC FRN number now (free).  This way you do not have to give your SSN to the examiners and so it doesn’t show-up on various paper forms!  There are several Volunteer Exam Coordinator programs to choose from but generally your limited to what program is most popular in your area.  The process is different between VEC’s but the FCC paperwork is the same and the exam question pool is exactly the same.

EARS/Edmond VE Coordinator:

You can RSVP for an Exam in Edmond at .

Other locations for exams:

OKC: FAA club (W5PAA) has exams but I don’t see anything on their website.

ARRL VEC Locations:  Just limit your search to Oklahoma otherwise the results are not accurate.

W5YI VEC Locations:  (I have our ARRL club listed here and in ARRL)


Several of the other clubs use the “Laurel VEC” which is another great VEC.  The list of Laurel VEC test sites is available here:  (Just use CTRL-F to find and search for “, OK” without the quotes)


Midwest City:


Elk City:

Yukon (Integris SW Hospital)

Online forums, news, etc

QRZ.COM is the best online database, free membership, classifieds, forums.  I strongly encourage you to setup a QRZ page with at least your e-mail and cell phone number.  This way if someone hears you sitting on your microphone PTT, they can call your cell and tell you!  Also if someone hears you asking for help with an antenna or something else they can look you up on QRZ and call your suddenly off-air.  Lots of reasons to have contact info on QRZ and it’s only shared with other QRZ members has lots of reviews and forums, classifieds, etc. 

Local Vendors:, KM5QX sells good coax, connectors, ground wire, etc at reasonable rates – Sells some other things as well such as books.  He lives in Mustang and takes his trailer to various club events.  9600 STEVENS AVENUE, MUSTANG, OK 73064-2338.  Mike is a great person and will show you how to do things.  He is more than a salesman; he is an Elmer and he really enjoys our hobby.

Last weekend of July, Annual Oklahoma City “Ham Holiday” Trade Show,  with vendors from surrounding states.  2013 we even had Bob Heil as a speaker! 

Almost Local Vendors:

Associated Radio in Overland Park Kansas:

Ham Radio Outlet ( has 15 locations with a new store in Plano Texas. 

MTC Radio in Paris Texas:

Most popular mail order vendors:

DX Engineering is where our friend and long-time member Tim Duffy, K3LR, has created a huge store and online enterprise in Akron OH. 

GigaParts,com has a small store in Huntsville Alabama near NASA’s Rocket City.  They drop-ship a lot of things direct from the manufacturer so their prices can be lower but I bought one or two things that appeared to be in stock but were not.  They do have several items in stock on the floor however. usually has good prices also.  They are in Gardena California., They have lots of connectors, antenna mounting pieces, and a little of everything else. is another store with an online presence.  They are located in Reynoldsburgh Ohio. 

RTSystems has the best radio programming software and interfaces.  This software has been the standard setter for years, much better than even the manufacturers own software because this looks the same and acts the same for any brand and model.

Quick Silver Radio is another store with an online presence that specializes in DC power, connectors, etc.  They have also attended our local hamfest.

CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio.  This became really popular in the last few years with the introduction of the Chinese radios.  You may consider buying the programming physical interface from RTSystems and then use the free CHIRP software.  Like RTSystems software it also provides a common programming interface for all your different radios.  Also you can generate a programming file to import repeaters using this web utility:

West Mountain Radio has the most popular digital mode interfaces, PnP is inexpensive.  They also sell a lot of power stabilization products and specialize in Anderson Power Pole products.  These have become the most popular DC connector for everything but they are not good in a high-vibration environment like a motorcycle or other stiff suspension vehicle.  These solve the problems on Field Day where a power supply is shared but the radio has a pin connector and the power supply has spade connectors.  Put Anderson Power Poles on everything then you can mix and match.  Other vendors sell Power Pole connectors and tools that are generic brands but they are interchangeable.

HEIL is the best audio equipment, but can expensive (although now they have a $20 headset/microphone for many HT radios!)  Bob Heil actually attended the Oklahoma City Ham Holiday one year and talked to everyone, autographed things, etc.  He was also the speaker for the dinner that year.  He has a really fun story about Amateur Radio in his life.

For QSL cards you can buy blank postcards at the post office and hand-write your information or get fancy with a publishing program and print at Quick Print.  3.5 inch tall by 5.5 inch wide is the international standard, however in the US only I’ve seen larger.. You won’t need QSL cards until you work people on satellite or HF usually.

Speak to an Extra licensed amateur before buying.  Try to find someone with experience with the product before buying.  Hams are people with a variety of experiences and biases.


If you have a smart device that can play FREE podcasts, I strongly suggest the ARRL “So Now What” and the more advanced “The Doctor is In” podcast!  If you have an Android, I recommend the “Player FM” app from the play store which is free and does not have advertisements!  It can download podcasts on WiFi for playing later.

EARS has a newsletter written and sent via MailChimp.  Your welcome to sign-up as a club or non-club member – so you can stay up-to-date with events in town.  Sign-up here:

Other HAM Clubs in the area:

And don’t forget  The monthly magazine alone is worth the membership fee.  Without them we will lose our frequencies to commercial use.

And CQ magazine, who also publishes a monthly periodical

APRS:  One of the neatest APRS TNC’s I’ve seen is from Mobilinkd, .  They have a little device that receives GPS data from your cell phone or tablet via Bluetooth, and that map displays your location and the location of others in real time as you receive their beacons.  For Android devices you need the app “APRSdroid” and “Open Street Maps”.  For Applie iOS they use the “” app.  This device with a Kenwood TM-V71A works quite well.

Things not to do:

Always be aware of where your PTT is and never, never, never set it in your seat.  Every few months someone will do this and we get to listen to all kinds of personal information.  If it occurs for a long period of time we will turn-off the repeater.  If it is offensive, we will turn-off the repeater immediately.  We’ve had a number of people public embarrass themselves this way.  Don’t do it.

APRS:  Do not APRS Beacon on voice repeaters.  There is one standard APRS Digital Repeater frequency and that is where APRS belongs.  If your using APRS, make sure you either dedicate a radio and antenna to APRS only or have a dual VFO radio that will operate on both VFOs independently without you having to switch back and forth between the ‘active’ transmit.  Kenwood mobile radios are good at this.  They have a ‘DATA’ port for your APRS or other data and it can be programmed to transmit and receive on VFO A or VFO B (generally B).  When your data equipment wants to transmit an APRS packet the Kenwood will automatically use that VFO you’ve programmed.  Data is secondary – so if your currently transmitting on the other VFO then the data transmit will be on hold.  Yaesu mobile radios are not good at this.  With the Yaesu analog mobile radio if your on VFO A listening to a voice repeater and the APRS hardware requests to transmit a beacon, the Yaesu will beacon on whatever band your using – VFO A or VFO B.  Also keep in mind, if you do use two separate radios you will need to put their antennas as far away from one another as possible since most likely you will be talking on a 2M voice repeater and the APRS beacon repeater is also on 2M.  Not doing so could cause damage to either radio (depending on power output levels and distance between antennas).  Every year during the OKC Memorial Marathon and other events someone inadvertently is beaconing on the voice repeater… for half an hour… until we decode the beacon an call them on a cell phone.

Created Sept 2013. Revised Oct 2020.