David's Blog | Misc ramblings about things in general, work and technical items of interest.

Oct/07

6

K2DSL is now a General Class operator

After obtaining my Technician Class amateur radio license back in August, I picked up a book to study for the General Class license. It’s a much more technical test with more questions on specific frequencies, power, components of receivers and transmitters, antennas and general electronics. I definitely didn’t study as much as I would have liked, and I didn’t ace the test this time missing 4 of the 35 questions (out of over 480 possible questions), but that is well within the passing level. So at the BARA Hamfest at Westwood High School, I became a General Class Amateur Radio licensee. Thanks to the BARA VE’s for randomly picking out a good test for me to take. The asked if I was interested in the Extra test, but I just laughed. That will take some serious studying.
Since getting my license the beginning of August I joined BARA – Bergen Amateur Radio Association – which is a local amateur radio group that meets in Ridgewood, NJ. I also participated in my first contest which was the ARRL 2007 September VHF QSO Party.


It involved heading up to an ex-Nike missile sight in NY State on what turned out to be a rather warm Sept weekend, putting together a huge tower, antennas, raising the tower, setting up all the various radios and computers for logging and then the contest itself. There were 4 major radios setup on multiple bands (70cm, 1.25m, 2m and 6m) as well as 2 other radios setup for simplex operations. It was the first time I operated a station not communicating simplex on 2m/70cm or through a repeater. Once I saw how the process works and the software used for logging, I spent most of my time on 2m making a good number of contacts. I did use all the stations and it was a lot of fun. The next day, taking down the equipment was also a lot of work and the lowering of the tower went without a hitch. We dismantled all the equipment, loaded the truck and went back to the location much of the equipment was installed to unload the equipment off the truck. It’s really quite a workout for a hobby you would typically spend sitting on your behind.
A special treat was late Saturday night, N3CRT (Charlie) made contact with a satellite as it passed overhead and made contacts across the country by bouncing his signal off the satellite.
Today I also attended my first Hamfest. It’s really interesting to see the vast mix of people that attend, but all are extremely friendly. The hamfest isn’t a very large one and I look forward to attending other ones. I even ran into a very large vendor that lives by my sister-in-law in South Salem, NY. He doesn’t have a storefront but sells via the web or at hamfests. It’s all top notch stuff and I would have qualms about buying equipment from either George at Radio Oasis or as mentioned in my first ham post, Gene at KJI Electronics. They are both outstanding.
So for now, 73’s and all the best.
K2DSL

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