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Amateur Extra

An Amateur Extra class license is the highest category of amateur license currently awarded by the FCC. An Amateur Extra licensee has the highest level of operating privileges available to the amateur radio service including, satellite communications, space station operation, remote control, use of all amateur allocated frequencies and maximum transmission power operation.

The amateur extra license is granted regardless of age to persons; citizen or alien who successfully complete a written examination (agents of foreign governments are prohibited from being licensed).

As is the case for all amateur radio, the allocated spectrum may only be used for non-commercial activities including experimenting, emergency communications, public service communications and general communication of a non-business nature.

An amateur extra class license holder may build, modify or repair equipment used in the amateur bands.

Amateur Extra Exam

To receive an Amateur Extra license, an applicant must pass a written examination of FCC Amateur Elements 2, 3 and 4. The candidate may attempt all three elements in a single sitting, or sequentially take and pass the elements.

Due to the amount of material involved in exam preparation, most candidates choose to take the elements in sequence over time -- typically years.

Upon successfully passing element 2, the candidate is awarded a Technician Class license. Having passed elements 2 and 3, the Technican license is upgraded to a General Class license. Upon passing elements 2, 3 and 4, the General Class license holder is upgraded to Extra Class. No license is awarded if elements are taken out of sequence.

Amateur Extra Exam Element 4

Element 4 covers the following nine key areas although, the exam is heavily weighted towards electrical principles, circuit components and circuit theory.

  • FCC Rules and Regulations
  • Operating Procedures
  • Radio Wave Propagation
  • Amateur Radio Practices
  • Electrical Principles
  • Electronic Circuit Components
  • Practical Electronic Circuits
  • Signals and Emissions
  • Antennas

For more information about Amateur licensing, visit the FCC page here.

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