Ham Radio

Published Friday, May 21 2010

Last Saturday I drove down to the Saratoga Fire Station and took the FCC amateur radio license exam. Well, actually I took two of them; one for the Technician class, and another for the General class. On Wednesday, I got my call sign, KJ6HZC.

I’m still surprised at how fast it went. I first got interested in ham radio in 2008, on a whim. I bought the ARRL Technician class exam study book and read the first two chapters, but then put it down when life took a couple of left turns. It wasn’t until April of this year that I picked it back up and decided I really wanted to study and get my license. Within a few weeks I was comfortable enough with the Technician and General material to schedule my exam session, and just four days after the exam, my call sign was in the FCC database. Remarkable! I understand that in the “Good Old Days,” when exams were given at FCC field offices by disinterested bureaucrats, it could take three months or more to get a license after the exam. That’s right, it may be hard to believe, but apparently the Government is actually /more efficient/ now, at least at the FCC.

I’m just dipping my toes in the water at this point. My only radio is a Yaesu VX-6r handheld (or HT, for “Handy-Talky”) with a Diamond SRH77CA 2m/440 antenna, so I’m not going to be doing any DX’ing any time soon. But I do hope to pop up on some of the local 2m and 440 repeaters and talk nets from time to time.