Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just one week left to go - and the question numbers have changed!!

Countdown timer: 1 week 0 days to go

Can you believe how fast time has gone around? And here I am, with just a week to go, an anxiety building, thinking about the subjects I still have to cram in !

Just a quick note on something I copped onto today. In Section A the number of questions on various subjects has CHANGED.

There are no longer 12 questions on theory and circuits etc, but just 10.
There will be 6 questions on propagation instead of 4.
There will be 7 questions on antennas and feeders instead of 4.

The above has been confirmed to me tonight by the IRTS. The change was obvious between sample paper revision 3 and revision 4 but to be honest I only saw it today!

Some people might consider this a boost. I certainly know some people who are anxious about the first part of Section A. It seems that the IRTS has rearranged section A slightly to focus on more practical areas and less on the theoretical.

My advice right now is this:

Make sure you can rhyme off all the formulae needed for Section A.

Ohm's Law and its variants - V=IR, I=V/R, R=V/I.
Power and its variants
Inductive reactance
Capacitive reactance
Resonance R = one over two pi square root of LC!

Here is the impedance formula:

How to calculate resistance, impedance and capacitance. Remember resistance and inductance in series = R1+R2, L1+L2 etc, and in parallel is R1xR2/R1+R2; and all this is the opposite with capacitors - i.e. CAPAcitors Capacitors Add in PArallel. So parallel = C1+C2, series = C1xC2/C1+C2.

It's handy to be able to identify various diagrams. These might include the filters (low-pass, highpass, band stop etc) and a balun and a transformer and an oscillator etc but don't stress out on this. Getting one question wrong won't make you fail.

Propagation = 6 questions, so use QADV and answer 30 questions at a time. You'll see a pattern emerging and eventually you won't be able to get anything wrong!

7 questions on antennas and feeders. Again, keep answering questions in QADV.

The other sections are the same as they were in Sample Paper revision 3. 15 questions in Section B covering the operating rules and procedures and the licensing conditions. Remember this is based on the new Radio Amateurs legislation introduced in June and not the previous Radio Experimenters legislation. Read document 09/45 on Comreg.ie to catch up if you haven't done so already. Remember at least one, but probably two, questions in Section B will relate to callsigns. See earlier posting for list of European prefixes. History would show it is European countries which are asked about and not anything obscure.

In Section C, electromagnetic compatibility and transmitter interference are now in one section of 7 questions. Again, hit QADV and answer a couple of hundred questions and you'll see a pattern emerging. QADV works. When you see the same questions coming up over and over and over again you eventually get them right!! I have done 1,400 questions in the past fortnight and got 83% of them right.

For safety (3 questions), one piece of advice is to learn the appropriate values for plug tops, thus:

3A = 550 watts
5A = 1100 watts
13A = 2850 watts

This is one area that I knew nothing about and hence got a question in Sample Paper rev.4 wrong.

Best of luck guys. If I don't update between now and next week, it's because I've got my head in the books!! See you there . . .


  1. I have the upmost confidence in you.
    You will have a callsign real soon.
    Best 73's

  2. Thanks a million Barack. Hopefully . . .

  3. I think you will have no problem with test.
    The second Lady, Michelle and my daughter's, Malia and Natasha sends their best wishes for your exam.
    Best regards,
    Barack Obama.
    US President.

  4. Yes, I got best wishes from Brian Cowen today also!


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