1. FAQ
2. Problems with Glider Ratings
3. Gaggle Flying
4. Gear Setup
5. Flymaster Setup
6. Flytec 6030 Setup
7. Spot VS Delorme
8. XC Task Clinic
9. GPS Comparison
10. Sprint Tasks
11. DIY Cell Mount
12. DIY Flight Deck
13. DIY Catheter
14. Incidence Reports
15. Creating Waypoints
16. Creating Airspace
17. Resources
18. FTV Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the SoCal XC League?
Who can fly in the league?
What skills should I have to fly with the league?
What gear do I need to fly in the league?
Why do I need a HAM license and how do I get my HAM Technician's License?
We use the 2M amateur radio bands to communicate in the air and on the ground via our handheld radios. These are restricted frequencies and require a license to use them. That being said, the FCC wants to encourage as many people to get a license as possible in the event of catastrophes to help with communication. They have even removed the morse code requirement which was a big speed bump to getting a license in the past. Getting as many people licensed is important for our community just as we don't want unlicensed pilots in our air, the HAM community doesn't want unlicensed people messing around with their airwaves. Further once you have your license you'll be able to get on repeaters to increase the range of your radio beyond line of sight which can be really important for difficult retrieves.

To get your HAM Technician license you need to do two things:

1. Study the test:
My suggestion is to study using one of the following options:
  1. http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/ online course- $24.95 (Technician course) - This is what I did, it took 9 hours + 1 hour of review and I got 100% on the test. You won't learn much from this course but you'll know the right answers
  2. http://www.nc4fb.org/wordpress/online-technician-license-class/ - Online free course. I took a look through and it looks succint and thorough and you can't beat the price!
  3. Gordon West - Tech Guide (WB6NOA) book - http://www.w5yi.org/catalog_details.php?pid=69&sort=4 $20.95 (recommended by HAM examiners)
  4. Ham Radio License Manual - Revised 2nd Edition book - http://www.amateurradiosupplies.com/product-p/16001.htm?gclid=CKS13baK6bYCFeU5QgodOAsA6Q (not recommended by me, too tedious, terribly written)
  5. Study guides (basically just a list of all questions on the exam so you know what to study):
2. Take the test:
The test is 35 question multiple choice that takes 30 minutes if you go over every answer twice. A passing grade is 74%. The cost of the test is $15. Basically there are two types of exams, 'walk ins' and 'no walk in's. Basically just what it sounds like, 'walk ins' don't require you to schedule in advance and 'no walk ins' do, just phone them in advance and tell them you will be there and I think that's all there is to it. Here is the main site to find an exam: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session The search mechanism does not work well so don't restrict the search too much. Just put in a zip code and a radius and that should be all you need.
Can hang gliders fly in the league?
What does a typical day flying with the SoCal XC League look like?
How much does it cost? Where does the money go?
How does a task get scored in the league?
What do the overall points mean?
I'm not comfortable flying with the league yet but want to come out and learn. What options do I have?
I think the league should fly at site x, how can I help make that happen?
Who runs the league?
What is the NorCal XC League? When/Where do they meet?
What happens if the weather is not flyable?
What happens if a task is stopped halfway through?
What happened to the women's division?