Saturday, October 18, 2008

CQ, CQ, CQ... KB3RUX in da house!

After putting it off for years and years, I decided that it was either now or never so last month I got a book and started studying for an Amateur Radio License, more commonly referred to as a HAM license.

I got myself a little handheld dual-band (2 meter and 70 centimeter) radio. (think walkie-talkie).

I studied for the first element, the Technician Class license but then with a week to go before testing, I found out I could keep testing as long as I passed so I got a book and studied the last week for the second element or General Class license.

The big day arrived last Saturday, October 11th, and I went to a local library for a testing session. There were maybe 8-10 of us testing for the three different levels. I zipped through the first test and the testing coordinators asked me if I wanted to take the second one so I said "bring it on! I zipped through that one fairly quickly too so I was offered the third test. At first I declined as I knew I was not prepared and it's about 40/45% longer of a test also.

Well the testing coordinators convinced me I had nothing to lose and would at least get an idea what the test was like so I agreed.

I did NOT zip through the third test and they say I got just about half of them right but no matter, I achieved my goal and then some, so it was a good day.

Next the waiting... You aren't official, and can't transmit until your name and new call sign appear online in the FCC database.

Well after checking everyday it finally showed up on Thursday. Due to other things going on like day to day life and such I did not make my first transmit until this afternoon. A short contact with a couple guys from not too far away. The 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands are only good for local transmissions but with the use of nearby repeaters I can reach most of Northern Delaware as well as lots of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Northeastern Maryland.

Having attained the second level or General Class, I am licensed to transmit on frequencies that will get me across the country and around the world but I need to save my pennies for a radio that will do that. But with my van going in the shop, and Annie going to the Vets and SpecialEd Boy #2 starting on braces, etc., etc., it won't be anytime soon.

So from now on, I am no longer SpecialEd, Eddie, Mr. Ed or Hey You... I am KB3RUX, that's Kilo Bravo Three Romeo Uniform X-ray!

73's and hope to catch you on the airwaves!