Benicia Amateur Radio Club


Comments from past “One-Day” Ham Radio Class attendees:

Well run.  Fairly intense, but doable when following all the suggestions made by the organizers. Everyone was friendly and answered all my questions. You guys and gals are doing a great job to get people out there on radio. The CERT groups congratulated me on getting my license and my next step is getting a hand held radio. Thanks for your hard work.

Huge thank yous for helping me obtain my Technician license!

I appreciated the guidance the class offered and hope to get some practical knowledge soon. I feel like I’m overflowing with information… [snip] My intention is to be prepared for situations when I’m off-roading in my Jeep. Thanks again for all your assistance. 

…. it was actually the first time in my life where I crammed for something without trying to learn/understand…and that was a bit unsettling.  Nevertheless, I can totally understand and appreciate why the approach was a necessary step to get my foot into the otherwise tightly closed door to the world of amateur radio, and I’m now thrilled to be on the “inside”!  And I now look forward to actually understanding the things that I’m apparently licensed to do! And, thanks again for all the selflessness demonstrates by BARC.  Every volunteer was kind, gracious, and welcoming—not to mention extremely well-organized. Thank You!

The class was great. Study guidance was spot on. 

I really enjoyed the class, it put the finishing touches on some prep work I was doing in advance of attending the  class. I found it extremely beneficial and will want to participate in your next class so I can take my General test. I also very much enjoyed the hands on [GOTA Class] the following Tuesday at the Benicia Fire Department. It’s obvious that the Benicia Amateur Radio Club is surrounded with very knowledgeable members.
Thank you,

I enjoyed it a lot. It was not only fun, but it was easy to follow the instructions you provided and made it easy to get my license and retain some of the information better then just studying by myself. I couldn’t have been happier with the results.


Thanks for a GREAT class. It was amazing to sit in a room with 90 other students and use a stress-free method to work toward the test. Replacing the stress of the test with methodical study was super helpful. The friendly Elmers and clear instructions on the paperwork and the study method made the day straightforward and successful.
Being able to train 86/90 people to pass the test is a HUGE accomplishment, made possible by all the organizational effort the people of BARC put into creating and running the class.  <snip>
Nice touches – friendly Elmers, snacks, QST back issues & HRO catalogs and the amazing, unexpected certificates. <snip>
KC & CC, Malibu, CA (scored 94% and 91%)

Just a note to say Thank You to you and the many volunteers of the BARC for a fabulous welcome into the world of amateur radio.  The organization of your one day class is second to none. Starting with the clear and complete information emailed prior to class, the many volunteers who were all friendly and professional as they spent their Saturday directing traffic, registering guest and grading the many test.  The refreshments, supplies, magazines, and calligraphy on our certificates were all very gracious – Thank You.

There was a lot of information to memorize in a short time, seating was a little cramped, but I walked away with a passing score and much respect for you and your friends at BARC. I hope to give back in some little way – maybe being an Elmer for a day 

I am blown away by the fact that I passed the technician test today. I truly did not expect to as my brain (predictably) became mush by the end of the day – but somehow I got 88%!!  And I am now really inspired to go into more depth & learn & understand the material!

But all that aside, I was really impressed by the organization of the whole day, from ‘traffic’ directors in the parking lot, to the flow of the participants through the various ‘stages’, the structured seating, the collecting of supplies, the snax.  The timing was immaculate, like a show that has been super-well rehearsed, & the cast & crew have their roles down pat. Everyone was so friendly & welcoming too!  …snip

Thank you for such a well thought out session. The three of us are representing Sacramento CERT and had not studied for the Radio Technician License prior to your course. And, because of your session each of us passed with flying colors. See you on the air waves.

TM, (missed 1) GS, (missed 0) TB (missed 2)

Thank you all for putting on such a great class. You all made it enjoyable and It felt really professional. The system definitely worked. Cant wait to meet yall at the firehouse and start learning as much as possible.

I would like to thank the Elmers and all volunteers of BARC for the HAM Cram. I finished the test in close to 5 minutes. Had you told me that I would pack 464 question answer pairs into my head in just a few hours and then pass the exam, I would have never believed it.

Before walking into the Benicia Senior Center, I had no idea what to expect. What transpired was amazing. I have to give great credit to the very well orchestrated, timed, and organized system by which you all work. Amazing. I wish my team of employees worked so well!

Then as I followed Art’s instructions, read through the test questions as I was guided (I made it through 3 times during each period), and took the requisite breaks, I started to worry. So I would go back to each section and quiz myself on a couple questions, only to find I knew the answer. Mind-Blown!

Then it came time to pony up and take the test. Miraculously as Art had described, my pencil went like a divining rod directly to the correct answer. Yes, I missed a couple, but I finished in right around 5 minutes. 5 MINUTES! Whoa! Thank you folks so much.
D.P. [Scored 86%]

I had a wonderful experience at your one day class and test today. I was part of a large group from the Overland Bound community but met new friends from all walks of life. [Snip]…. [After the class and] just prior to the test, Art told us that our pencils will magically go to the correct answers. He was right! You just have to trust the process, it really works.
C.D. [Only missed 2]

Thank you for the One Day Class so I could upgrade to a General Class License today.  Your staff is outstanding and so gracious.  You are an amazing mentor (Elmer).  You are such a blessing to the thousands that are Hams today by your sacrifice of time, energy and sharing of knowledge. You are most appreciated,
R.Y. [Only missed 3]

Saturday’s ham cram class was a fun, fantastic roller coaster ride [snip]…. Thank you SO MUCH for making it work… it made a world of a difference for the three of us. We all passed with flying colors! Your entire team’s help in ensuring the highest % of students passing, is second to none.
[Only missed 1]

Thank you for the great class, while this is all still a little intimidating and intense the method WORKS!!!! I am one who was never good at taking tests and while I could know the answer, I am blank when it comes time to take the test. At the end I just put all logic, rationalization and overthinking behind and as you said “Your pencil will find the answer” … It did!’  I PASSED! It’s time for getting practice and getting involved and than to take my next test in May. Again Thank you.
K.D. [Scored 85%]

This note is to offer my sincere thanks for yesterday’s licensing course. The planning and implementation were first rate. I know that any venture such as this class requires a tremendous amount of effort and dedication, so to you and all of your fellow Benicia club members, I offer my sincere gratitude for your generous work.
R.T. [Only missed 2]

Thank you all so much for the class and for sending me my new call sign.  I became interested with Ham Radio, purchased 78 rpm records to learn Morse Code in the 1970’s but failed. [Ed Note: As we all should know, Morse code is no longer a requirement]. Your class has assisted me in fulfilling a dream. Thank you very much.
N.R. [Scored 92%]

WOW.  Your Team really outdid themselves. For a really stressful time you made it completely doable. Thank you for sharing your “Family”.  Sounds cute, but I will ‘talk’ to you soon…. Your help was and is very much appreciated. [Scored 84%]


 Dear Art et al.,

Thank you. I had searched online just today and made my first transmission about 17:30. Your class was incredibly well organized and I can’t believe you’re putting in the effort to find each test passers call sign. You are Ladies, Gentlemen, and scholars. [Scored 86%]

From Facebook

Thank you to all of you for your outstanding help to me in getting my Ham Radio License!! Thank you to Art Mayoff for his outstanding guidance in helping me and nearly 100 others to get their Ham Radio Licenses on Saturday, October 7th. He and his crew of volunteers are amazing!!  [Only missed 2]

Art, thank you and your club members for their work on getting people licensed…
G.G. [Scored 100%]

Being a gentleman of 70 + years and not sure of how well short-term memory still works, I took your class.

At noon, I was ready to pick up my things and leave, wondering how I could retain what information had been presented.  Going over trying to remember the info was overwhelming. Well, long story short, I stayed through three more study periods and started the test.

All of the answers just jumped off the page at me.  It took me 15 minutes to complete the test. I wound up passing with 32 out of 35 questions correct. That’s a 91% test grade. WOW!! You made a believer out of me. THANK YOU and all the volunteers who made this possible.


P. S. This was for an upgrade to General License.

I was impressed with how BARC administers the HAM tests.  I upgraded from Technician to General.  I would like to attend one of the “Get on the Air” sessions….


I would like to thank you and your staff for your friendly assistance and  donation of time to put on the event.  My friends and I had an awesome time. The 45 minute sessions and break down by sections are a perfect way to cover the large volume of information. It made the test very easy.
Both of my friends passed the test, too and are dying to get their first radio and call signs.

Hi, Art.
Thanks again for hosting the one-day cram course today at the Benicia Senior Center.  You were a great host, and the other volunteers also did a commendable job as well.  The study course and exam were both very well organized, our time was used very efficiently, and your advice was very encouraging for those people who were unsure of their ability to learn quickly and pass the test the same day.

I finished the Technician test in about 10 minutes and scored 100 percent.  Your way of teaching really makes it much easier to the average person to prepare for the test and get their license in one day.  I look forward to taking the General test with your club in the near future.

Hi Art,
Thank you again for the great class, I was able to pass the Technician test; [snip]
Also when is your next class, I would like to try for the General Class.

Thanks to you and BARC for organizing the license course that was so well attended. I appreciate your correspondence beforehand and your encouragement…. It was hard, but I was elated that I passed!  I will be joining BARC and look forward to learning how to operate my radio. 

Great I just barely squeezed through [and passed]. That was a lot of information. I have my 2 handheld radios and I am fortunate to have a local Ham Radio club that is part of my CERT group.
I liked how you stayed on point and on time.

Thanks, Benicia Amateur Radio Club! This was a very well organized event. I can’t wait to attend a GOTA (Get On The Air) session.
Matthew H from Facebook

On one of her last breaks, Jean texted me that her brain was totally fried, that she was exhausted, and that she thought she was going to fail. She was wrong! She only missed two questions! Way to go Jean!
M vA

Hi Art,
I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the class. (It helped that I passed!) The class was so well organized and ran so smooth. The volunteers were very helpful. I just wanted to give you that feedback. And I am very pleasantly surprised that I was able to retain as much as I did in the test. It was a great brain-challenge for me!

HI Art,
Thanks for the great class. For all of you considering getting your HAM license, I suggest you go for it. The one day class is pretty straight forward. If you just study the material as they tell you to, you have a 90% chance of passing the exam. <snip>… and then [they have] other opportunities and classes to help you get up and running [after you pass]. Well done to all the volunteers who made our class happen.
S C 

I had never cracked open a Ham Radio study book prior to attending [the BARC] Ham Radio Technician License study session.
   The event was very well organized.  From the moment I walked up to the entrance, I was taken care of by a cadre of volunteers who did their very best to make the day go smoothly. If there were any glitches, I was not made aware of them.
   The study session itself was quite intense.  But, I can assure anyone who is skeptical, if you follow the instructions, you will pass the test.
   Thank you to Art and his crew of volunteers for devoting an entire Saturday and helping [us] pass the Technician Class test.

I much appreciate your assistance in answering my questions prior to the license upgrade exam today. The BARC crew was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed observing some of the Field Day operations and chatting with Amateur operators at the event. Everyone was very hospitable. I look forward to upgrading to the General class license in the near future.
Again, thanks so much!
JRW, U.S.N. Retired


I wanted to take some time and thank you for Saturday.  I had a great time and met wonderful dedicated people! You made an EXTREMELY stressful event into a “reasonably” calm one. Although the pacing outside after was an ordeal!!  I am looking forward to your next class and will visit the Benicia ARC website often. I thought I heard your club offers quarterly classes….. Thanks again! Looking forward to another class!

Thank you for encouraging me to take this class. Your study methods for the class enabled me to pass the test for Technician Class Operator License. After studying only two of the six sets of questions my mind was already overwhelmed. You can imagine how I felt after 4 more sets of questions. Well, I took the test and passed with flying colors [only missed two]. I didn’t see how I could pass this test. It made my whole day when I was pulled aside and informed of my results. I didn’t realize that other people taking the test were from quite a distance away from Benicia. Many people taking the study session and the test were elderly or retired. There is still hope for us older people. Again, thanks Art.

Thanks to all of you for hosting a great class. Organized and on point. And now I am a HAM and as of yesterday I’m now known [by my brand new callsign]. Thank you Benicia Radio Crew!


…. Great class. Passed the HAM test on the first try, thanks to this class. After passing the Technician test on Saturday, my call sign showed up on the FCC website (the following Friday]. Made my first transmission as a licensed Ham on the Benicia Repeater this evening.

I just received my Technician license after going through your study and test session a couple of Saturdays ago, and also attended the GOTA meeting last week.  I wanted to express my sincere thanks to you and all of the club members that supported those activities. 

I had no background in radio technology prior to taking the class and only became interested in Ham Radio after talking to a few Benicia Amateur Radio Club members at the Benicia Maker’s Fair.  The class was at times mentally taxing, but organized in such a way that if you followed the instructions, all that info could be retained long enough to remember, take the test and pass.  I missed 2 of 35, which granted me my licence a week and half later.  The members of BARC are an awesome team of people passionate about Ham Radio and their encouragement and knowledge are there for the continued education.  Thank you BARC!!

JD, Portland OR

I want to thank you for the one day radio class. Your class helped me score 100 percent on my general. More importantly, I am really looking forward to attending one of your getting on the air sessions. Again please accept my thanks, and pass them on to your volunteer Staff.
Again great class !!


From Facebook:
Great Class

Hi Art:
Thanks for a great class.  I was skeptical that memorizing close to 450 questions for a 35 question test was going to yield over a 90% pass rate, but I decided to trust and just go with it. Good thing I did. I passed with flying colors. Thanks!

Thank you for a wonderful class and your help.

C. & W. K

Thank you very much Art.
I really appreciated your class. It was very well done. I’ll probably sign up for your next offering for an upgrade to general.
Thanks again,

….Your class was excellent, well organized and spot on. All we had to do was follow your directions to have a successful outcome. Thanks again.
G. O. & L. O.  

I want to thank you for taking a Saturday to give this test it was harder then I thought it would be and thanks for showing us your tricks for test taking.

I’d like to thank you and the other “Elmers” who helped my son & I obtain both our Technician & General Ham licenses. Without your help we may not have ever gotten them…. I look forward to seeing you again. We are planning on attending a GOTA [class] in the future.   Again, thank you.


Hi Art,

I attended your class for acquiring my General License. I wanted to thank you very much for putting on the class and presenting an excellent method of quickly memorizing the test questions enough to pass the test soon afterwards.
I was extremely worried all day that I wouldn’t pass the test, but I was the second person done and I only missed 3 questions. Once I looked at the test, I picked the first answer that jumped out at me and I knew when I finished that I had missed the 3 questions. I skipped them at first and went back and I simply didn’t recognize any of the answers so I just tried to figure them out.

Hi Art,
Thanks to you and the rest of the BARC team, I finally got my tech class license. You’re right, Gramps would be proud.  Thanks for all you and the rest of the Elmers do at BARC for making this happen. Your class albeit repetitious, boring at times, and mentally taxing; does work! Don’t change a thing. [This writer/new Ham will be requesting his late grandfather’s callsign – Art]


Thank you, it was a great class. I was impressed on how organized it was and how much effort you and the others put into helping others get their licenses.  
I’m not a morning person so the 7:30 am kick off was challenging. I barely slept the night before but still somehow passed, missing only two of the 35 questions…. I’m going to try to make the Get On The Air class Tuesday night but please keep me in mind for any further classes. I would like to at least get my General certificate.


Thank you, and Michelle, for your time on Friday… taking time to explain the Ham exam process, and where it will be held.  You eased the mind of one anxious Ham candidate.
Thank you also for a well organized Ham Cram class…. As you indicated in your introduction, there are no distractions once we are there. Our primary focus is to concentrate on the exam.  Your system works. Trust the system. 
The exam was a breeze.  I don’t think it took me more than 10 minutes to complete the exam!
Your handouts, such as, “AFTER YOU PASS THE EXAM,” are also very helpful, and thoughtful, for first time HAMs.
I am now waiting for my call sign from the FCC website!


From Facebook
It was a great class! Wasn’t sure I’d pass, but did and got my General. Thanks Benicia Amateur Radio Club!!


[License arrived today]…. Thank You!! I wish I was in Benicia.. You are an excellent teacher.


Thank you so much for all of your help. You were a great inspiration. Glad to see all the other newbies getting involved with such an awesome hobby. I’m sure I’ll be back soon for my General.


Hi Art,
I appreciate the opportunity to take this class. It was well worth it and you made it enjoyable.

Dear entire Benicia Amateur Radio Club:
Thank you so so much.  I have taken TWO of your cram classes (Tech/General) and passed both of them thanks to you. Your group is fantastic.  Wish your club was closer as I live in Lincoln and would love to be part of your team. 

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