I’ve finally gotten my Amateur Radio license!
A bit of background is in order here. As a teen, I spent many a Sunday in the parking lot of New York Institute of Technology, the local tech school. Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC) would have their hamfests there. What started as buying a few things here and there turned into an all out addiction. This was the late 80’s and early 90’s – pre-internet, pre-ebay. These hamfests were my chance to stock up on projects for the next 3 to 6 months. Eventually a few friends and I started getting tables at the ‘fest. I’d sell some of the things I had worked through and figured out, and use the money to buy new projects. I still wish that I’d held on to a few of those old apple computers – especially a Commodore Kim-1, which now probably worth a lot more than the $30 I sold it for back then.
Fast forward to today – College set in, and then a career. The hamfest memories of my youth are now just that – memories. I hear there are still great electronics fleamarkets and hamfest around in other parts of the country. Things here are much smaller.
Once in a while I would think back and wish I’d gotten my ham ticket – but never long enough to take the test and get it. Enter the Tymkrs, one of which (Atdiy) has been studying to get her tech ticket for the last few months.
I was curious to see how much studying it would really take me to get the ticket – Most of this stuff is electronics and radio theory, so it should be a breeze. I took two practice tests, and did ok on them. The local radio club site said the next local test was on Saturday. I dutifully headed down and handed over my $15 testing fee. The Hams there were very serious about the test. I was the only one test taker that day, and the tables were set up with me facing a group of older men. I felt more like I was about to defend my thesis than take a multiple choice test! My girlfriend even had to wait outside during the test itself.
I’m happy to say that I passed, and am now a “Technician” level ham. I was going to take the general test as well, but the older hams seemed to be in a hurry to get on with their Saturday activities.
I don’t have my call sign yet – still waiting for the FCC ULS to show me what my call will be.