After a 2 hour drive up to Granite Bay, CA I took the exam for the Technician Class Amateur Radio license. I was surprised how quickly I blew through the 35 questions and was a little hesitant to hand in my test. However, I got an excited ‘thumbs up’ from the examiners. I was told I only missed one question, a 97%. Not bad at all. Now the waiting game begins. It will still be a week or two before my license shows up in the FCC database. But as soon as I see it there I am good to go!
Um… I mean more on Ham radio. Why Ham radio? I’ve never really been interested in it up until now. Most of my friends who fly PPG use Ham radio to communicate with each other. I could be like a lot of guys and just use the Ham bands ilegally but that’s not who I am. I’ve been studying for the Technician license which will get me the privileges I need to legally use the same frequencies my buddies use.
I’ve selected the Yaesu VX-6R as the radio I want to use. The features I like are the small size and the fact that it has about a zillion features. One of the features I really like is it’s dual watch feature. I can input two frequencies, a main frequency and then a frequqncy that it will monitor every 5 seconds. If it senses a transmission on the second frequency it will switch over to that other frequency until the transmission is complete and then it will switch back to the main frequency you are monitoring. I plan to set the Ham frequency the other guys use as the main frequency, and then set the aircraft frequency our local airfield uses (MULTICOM) as the secondary frequency. As far as what frequencies it can pick up, well, almost any radio frequency. From AM/FM, to weather, to police and fire bands, aviation bands, and most of the Ham bands.
I’ve also been listening to a local repeater in the area. They have a group or “net” that meets most mornings and radio out traffic and weather and talk about what their plans are for the day. So after I’m licensed I’ll probably hook up with them and maybe learn a little more about Ham radio. I’ve got a friend who is a broadcast radio engineer who will also be MORE than eager to answer any questions I have.
So this isn’t a blog post so much as a bookmark. I’ve been studying to get my Amateur or Ham Radio license. This is a pretty good “in a nutshell” video with all the info someone needs to know to pass the entry level or Technician license.