I first became an Amateur Radio operator when I was 14, that was way back in the last century. I went to General class before the 2 year novice license was up. A number of years later, I upgraded to Advance, and had got my current call. Today, I finally took element 4 and passed. Until I am registered in the FCC ILS, I am KD1IT/AE on the Extra frequency allotments.
Why did I wait this long? I do not know. The thing was, I took the exam at the same time I got my Advance Class, thirty four years ago. I passed the code test for Extra, but failed the exam. I decided not to re-take. Well, my good friend, David, AG7SM, got his extra, a couple of weeks ago, after being out of the hobby for a number of years, and he got an Extra Class. So I decided to get one, and called the VEC yesterday to ask if I could come in today. I did a cursory brush up on the some of the theories, etc.
I took my time with the test, and checked my work, over and over. I passed the test, and got my CSCE for element 4. I immediately sent a text to my good friend, K1LO, who lives in Hudson, NH, and David, AG7SM, saying I passed.
The examiners asked me if I wanted to be a VE. I passed on that, this go around, but I might consider doing it, and helping out. The VE test today was conducted by the Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club (OTVARC). Very nice people. There were a lot of people there getting their Technician class licenses. I think there was myself, and another ham upgrading to Extra, and one ham doing a General class upgrade. Good to see a lot of new people joining the ranks of Amateur Radio.
Anyway, I know to some, this is not exciting, and to be honest, it wasn’t all that exciting, other than I just wanted to have it. Now I do, I have more of the spectrum at my disposal, and I can become a VE, to asset others in becoming an Amateur Radio operator.
If you are not a ham, and you want to be one, please visit the ARRL or contact your local Amateur Radio Club. The sunspot cycle is at the bottom, and it can only go up from here. The bands will be much fun again, soon.
73 de Jeff – KD1IT/AE
P.S. One of the VE’s said “Why are you upgrading? Advance class is unique now that it is grandfathered”. I said “I want a bit more spectrum for CW”. He smiled and said “Good luck, young man”. (Note: I was probably the same age as he was 😉 )