EggsHam version 0.08 (C) Copyright 2001 Bridget Spitznagel
This version has the July 2007 "General" question pool.
If you notice any problems, please let me know.
EggsHam is a PalmOS application for people in the U.S. who want to get an amateur radio license. (If I've lost you already, start at http://www.arrl.org/hamradio.html and come back later.)
You don't need to know Morse code for the entry-level "Technician class" license. All you have to do is pass a 35-question multiple choice exam (and the questions and answers that are used to compose these exams are even publicly available!). What are you waiting for?
EggsHam generates PRACTICE amateur radio licensing exams, from the July 2006 question pools. (Note - Only the General pool has been updated in this year. Expect a new Extra pool in July 2008.) EggsHam will grade your practice exams for you, let you look at the right answers afterwards, and record your last n scores for viewing as a bar graph.
You can download the question pools themselves (in plain ASCII text), as well as the figure sheets (in pdf format) from http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html or various other web sites.
Practice exams will not teach you the material that the question pools are testing. (I guess that's kind of obvious but I figured I should say it anyway.) If you are just starting out, I suggest that you first read the book _Now_You're_Talking_ which you can order from amazon.com or arrl.org. After reading this book a couple of times, you should know the material and you can try taking some practice exams to see what areas you might need to re-read. When you are ready to take a real exam, you can consult http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml to find an exam session near you.
Here's how to install and use this application.
You should have received 5 files -- but you probably won't need them all.
For example, if you have no license and your goal is to get Technician, install EggsHam.prc and EggsHamTechnicianDB.pdb. Another example: if you have a Technician license with Morse code privileges and your goal is to upgrade to Extra, install EggsHam.prc, EggsHamGeneralDB.pdb, EggsHamExtraDB.pdb, and EggsHamFigDB.pdb.
Here's a short walk-through.
Start the application on your PalmOS device.
First, you get to select which kind of exam you are taking.
If you have remembered to install one or more of the question databases, you will see one or more choices listed (for example, if you installed the General and Extra databases, you can choose to take either the General or Extra practice exam).
Pick one and proceed.
Now you have an exam "in progress".
You are at the Exam Summary screen.
You will see a screen with a list of 35 or 50 numbers. There are three buttons at the bottom: Grade, History, Quit (I'll get to those in a minute.) Each of these numbers represents one of the questions on the exam. We'll come back to this screen in a minute.
Tap on one of the numbers (or the space to the right of the number).
Now you are answering a particular question.
The question number will be listed at the top of the screen.
[If this question mentions a Figure, and if you have installed the figure database, you will see a button next to the question number.]
Then you see the text of the question.
Then you see the text of four multiple-choice answers.
There is a dashed line, between all this text and the part of the screen you can manipulate.
If you don't see all four answers in that space, you will see little "scroll up or down" arrows in the lower right corner. You can also use the hardware scroll buttons to scroll the text up and down.
Below the dashed line, you see "Answer", "Certainty", and two buttons "Next" and "Up".
There is a popup list below "Answer". Pick one of the letters on it.
There is a popup list below "Certainty". Pick "25%". Using the "Certainty" indicator is completely optional; it is for people who like to keep track of the questions that they felt sure of and the questions they were just guessing on. (25% means "wild guess" - there are four answers and you picked one at random (you are not penalized for a wrong answer, so if you really don't know the answer, pick one anyway!) 33% means that you've eliminated one obviously wrong answer, 50% means that you've narrowed your guess down to two answers. 100% means you are sure you're right.)
There is a button "Next". This will take you to the next question.
There is a button "Up". This will return you to the Exam Summary.
Pick "Up" and proceed.
You are at the Exam Summary screen.
Next to the question that you answered, you will see a black bar and a letter. The black bar shows your un-Certainty about the question; a short black bar means you were not sure, a tall black bar (such as you see now) means you made a wild guess. The letter shows that you have picked an answer for this question.. it should match the answer that you picked.
Answer a few more questions at random and set the Cartainty indicator at random. Then press "Grade" and proceed.
You are at the Exam Summary screen with a graded exam.
In place of the "Grade" button, you should now see your score. (For a 35-question exam, you need to get 26 correct to pass.)
Any question that you did NOT get right is now inverted: the background is black and the foreground is white.
(You can tap on questions to view the right answer, which will now appear in their title bar along with the question number.)
At this point you would review the questions that you got wrong, and if you had been using the Certainty marker, you could see which ones were a wild guess (and you expected to get wrong), and which ones you thought you would have got right.
You can press "History" to see a bar graph of the last few exams (of this type) that you have taken.
You can press "Quit" to stop taking this exam: you will be given a choice of really quitting it (which you would do after taking, grading, and re-examining your current set of questions) or pausing (which will simply set this exam aside and allow you to work on an exam of a different type for a while). Suppose that you loaded the Technician and General databases, and selected the General exam. Then you worked on the exam for a while, pressed "Quit" and selected "Pause". You go back to the starting screen where you can choose between Technician and General again. Now, if you select General, you will resume the old exam you were working on; or, you can select Technician, let a friend try out a sample Technician exam for a while, and you can return to your own practice exam later.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
If you find a bug in the software or a garbled question, please REPORT IT. You can email bugs to i0lanthe at users.sourceforge.net.
Known bug: Practice exams in EggsHam may contain some questions that
have been formally "withdrawn" from real exams (e.g. questions that
became outdated after an FCC rule change. There are a few of these in
each pool). You can get the list of withdrawn questions at
(If EggsHam is not displaying the pool question number, just go to the preferences menu and turn on the "question numbers" preference.)