If you have ever wanted to learn about amateur radio (also known as “HAM” radio), or wish to upgrade from Technician to General license for more radio privileges, then we have the class for you. While the classes are not required to take the examinations, it may be helpful for those who would like to ask questions, talk with other radio operators, or like a classroom setting instead of self-study. Please indicate which class you would like to register for by clicking the links below, and filling out the short form.
WCARES (Williamson County ARES) offers free classes to help prepare for the ARRL license exams for both the Technician (beginner) and General (intermediate) amateur radio licenses. You don’t have to live in Williamson County and there is no age requirement to enroll in the WCARES classes. For those that would like a review of the material, you can audit the classes even if you already have the license. Children are welcome to enroll with at least one accompanying parent or guardian in attendance (enrolled or auditing). Each student is responsible for obtaining the current ARRL licensing manual for the appropriate license class. Manuals can be purchased from ARRL.org or Amazon.com – links are provided below.
The class session dates for 2023 will be Feb 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th and Mar 4th… followed by the March 11th test session. The sessions are held each Saturday in February and the first Saturday in March depending on any severe weather conditions. The second Saturday in March is an opportunity to take the radio exam you just prepared for to earn your license (or upgrade). This test session is with the Nashville VE team beginning at 9AM that morning (registration begins at 8AM). Check out the Nashville VE website for more details on the test session. If you cannot make it to this one, no problem, there are other test sessions held on other dates and other locations in Middle Tennessee if you want more time to study. The ARRL website has a list of exam sessions with a search form here.
Each class session will go over amateur radio concepts and will be taught by various volunteer instructors from WCARES amateur radio operators with experience in the subject matters. Chapters in the manual will be reviewed with the assumption that students have already read the material for those sections indicated on the syllabus. You should receive this syllabus a week or so before the first session at the email address you provide when you register. Classes will be located in one of the training rooms (or as indicated by the monitor at the main entrance) at the Williamson County Public Safety Center building located at 306 Beasley Rd in Franklin, TN (37064). (location on Google maps) The building is located behind another warehouse-like facility and is accessible at the far end of the drive way and through the black gates. Follow the main walkway to the main entrance and look for the room. Usually, we are able to use Room 133 or 134 which are down the corridor to the right of the main entrance; any classroom changes will be announced by e-mail.