RadioStudy Version 1.0

FCC License Study Software
For Commercial and Amateur Elements

Matt Roberts - matt-at-kk5jy-dot-net

Updated: 2017-02-01


Summary

I recently spent quite a bit of time studying for the FCC commercial licenses.  While there is study software available, mostly on the web, I could not find any that would let me practice the entire question pools in a single study session.  What I wanted was a simple application that would allow me to quickly work through the thousands of questions in a flashcard style, with a single keystroke or mouse click per question.  This software is intended to fill that gap.

The software worked so well for my commercial study, that it has been extended to work for the three classes of Amateur Radio licenses in the US, as well.  The text of the question pools for each of those licenses is now included with the software installer.

Operation

The software offers a single window, displaying a question, and prompting for an answer.  The main idea is to study the entire question pool, one question at a time.  Each question is displayed in a large and clear font, and the user feedback is done either through large buttons, or through a corresponding keyboard input.

RadioStudy Screenshot
Figure 1: Main Window

The current question file name is shown in the upper right hand side of the display, and a new file can be opened by selecting File and then Open.  The four buttons at the bottom left can be used to select an answer, or the corresponding letter can be pressed on the keyboard.  Practice can be moved to the next or previous question by selecting one of the buttons on the lower right, or by pressing P or N.

The program will respond with a green checkmark for a correct answer, or a red X for an incorrect answer.

RadioStudy Screenshot
Figure 2: Correct Answer

RadioStudy Screenshot
Figure 3: Incorrect Answer

Once a question has been answered correctly, navigating to the next question can be done by pressing the spacebar, or clicking most areas of the window.

Navigating to a specific question can be done by pressing G or Ctrl-G.  This will open a prompt to enter the question number (e.g., 1-1A3) or its sequence number (e.g., 3).

RadioStudy Screenshot
Figure 4: Navigate by Question Number

The software offers some additional features to aid in study.

The File menu allows you to open a new question pool, or exit the program.

The Calculator menu item starts the Windows calculator application.

The Go menu allows you to navigate to the first question, a specific question, and randomize the question presentation order.
RadioStudy Screenshot
Figure 5: Additional Features

When the program exits, it will remember the current question pool, the question order, and the currently presented question.  This allows a pool to be studied in sections over a period of time.

Cautions and Limitations

The questions presented are from the pools taken before the software was published, and are believed to be correct.  However, you should verify the question and answer accuracy before relying on the software to properly practice.  Also, the software does not display any figures from the question pool, such as schematic diagrams.  You will need to consult the original questions (or the included PDF versions) for diagrams.

The software does not track incorrect answers or the overall score.  It is only for practicing the entire pool.  To practice with scored tests, there are several online web services.

Software Downloads

Beta versions of the software used in this project are available for download.  Source code is available in ZIP files, and as a binary MSI installer for Windows.  The Linux version of the host software can only be built from source.

RadioStudy 1.0 Downloads  (Click Here)

The software and source is being released under the GPL version 3.  The license is available on the download page.

2017-02-01 - This release removes the outdated Extra and General pools, and adds the current General pool.  The current Extra pool was already included with the previous version.

2016-06-29 - The Amateur Extra class license pool will be changing on July 1, 2016; this release includes that question pool, as well as the pool expiring after June 30.

2015-05-12 - The current software also works with the text of the questions for all three Amateur Radio license pools.  These are included along with the commercial question files.  When opening a new question pool, the amateur radio questions are in a folder called Amateur.

2014-08-10 - The current GUI source code builds and runs on both Linux and Windows.  The RadioStudy.exe executable file can be run on either Windows or Linux, regardless of where it was built.  Note that the Linux build is still largely untested.

Links

FCC Commercial License Summary at FCC.gov.

Copyright (C) 2014-2017 by Matt Roberts, All Rights Reserved.