After a lot of study and work, I took the exam on Saturday (March 8th) and PASSED! That was a great achievement.
I’d been working on this for almost two years and not getting very far. The ARRL study guide just wasn’t working for me. So, I bought the Gordon West book. That was better, but as soon as I got into the section where I had to figure out how to convert between rectangular and polar coordinates and figure out whether voltage was leading current or vice versa, I was lost. Perhaps the biggest problem was I didn’t have any clue why this was important.
I’d seen several advertisements for hamtestonline and decided to give it a try.
That made all the difference. Not only were the explanations clear, the whole study process worked very well for me. When it finally was time to take the exam, I was very comfortable with the material and aced the test. This was the right way for me.
So, what’s the benefit? In addition to joining the elite folks in amateur radio, there are more frequencies available, the license is recognized in most of the world, and I can be part of giving back to the hobby. I’m pretty stoked!!
This year is the 100th anniversary of the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. As part of the celebration, the ARRL’s flagship radio station W1AW is working from each state in the United States and most territories. This past week was Idaho’s turn and it was here in Pocatello. With Nina’s surgery and everything surrounding that, I only had a few hours available last Wednesday to be part of the activity.
John Wilson K0IP (kilowatt zero india papa) hosted the event and provided all of the hardware and equipment needed to participate. He’s up on the top of a hill, has a big antenna, and a full-powered amplifier (the full legal limit: 1,500 watts). I got there about 1:30 pm and stayed until 5:15 pm. I made more than 400 contacts in that time working on the twenty meter band. The contacts included all over the US, Canada, several in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. I had a great time!
John has more radio equipment than any fifty hams in the country. While I was there, he pulled out the equipment in the picture … a military radio from the 1920′s! Back when horses were a central component of the military! This was a horse-mounted radio package. The chest piece has a microphone, the antenna fits into the flag mount on the saddle. It was later fitted to a jeep when horses began to fall out of favor. What an interesting piece of equipment! John is usually at the Dayton Hamvention selling stuff in the flea market. Maybe this will be there??
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying having reached the top tier in amateur radio ranks!
Ta ta for now!!