Ham Radio 360: Extra Class Upgrade with W4EDF

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K4CDN, Aug 22, 2017.

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  1. K4CDN

    K4CDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some Very Interesting Discussion.
    If you've missed the podcast episode, you can listen here
  2. KB3VQU

    KB3VQU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It took me 45 years just to take the Extra. Passed it last month finally, HIHI! So now I have lots more band of static to listen to. Hope to meet you on air. TNX.
    K2MOB likes this.
  3. KB3VQU

    KB3VQU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm a no-code ham too but all I use is CW on HF. I don't even like electronics and radio. I just like to BS and talk to people. Turns out I love morse code and need my fix of it daily.

    I think that when you tell someone they don't have to do something like learn CW, they want it more! I hope there is a resurgence in morse code use.
  4. KE0DNZ

    KE0DNZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Getting your Extra - or General, or even Technician - is the beginning, NOT the end!

    The license simply signifies that, as others have commented, you've demonstrated the minimum required knowledge to pass the test.

    That's the START of your learning.

    There's no question that it's easier to be a ham these days than it used to. The dropping of the Morse code and the proliferation of inexpensive Chinese radios have opened the world of ham radio to a LOT of people that might not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise. Hopefully, that's a good thing...

    My own background might be a little different than other hams. Back in 1976 - I was 15 - I got my Third Class Radiotelephone License, and I'd studied for my Second and First Class licenses, but never got around to taking the tests (I was in broadcast radio for many years). I was aware of ham radio at the time, but I didn't have the money to get into it, nor did I have the self-discipline to master Morse (it was always kinda daunting, for some reason), so my interest went on the back burner for many years.

    Back about 2-1/2 years ago, I was told about cheap Chinese radios like the Baofeng UV-5R, and I realized that it was no longer prohibitively expensive, so I could finally get into ham radio!

    I took my Technician test and squeaked by, pretty much based on what I already knew from my earlier license. At the same time, getting 8 wrong on that test told me that I had a LOT to learn!

    So I learned.

    I took my General test earlier this year (and studied); passed it with only 1 wrong!

    I studied for my Extra, and in April, passed with 5 wrong.

    A good part of the reason that I wanted to get my Extra was so that I could become a VE (waiting for my certification to be official), so that I could help get new people involved. I've already gotten a few people interested, which I feel good about.

    I'm also in my local ARES chapter, and learning everything I can about emergency procedures.

    Do I know everything about ham radio, since I'm an Extra now? Absolutely not, nor do I make any claims that I do. At the same time, I can answer most questions that the less-experienced people have.

    My next project is going to be learning Morse code, so I can do CW; it's going to take some time, to be sure, but once I get myself up to a respectable speed, I'll probably be doing that at least occasionally (a couple of the CW guys in my local club are going to help me). I'm also starting with a straight key, not paddles...

    For young hams - and even freshly-minted Generals and Extras - the whole point here is to LEARN, LEARN, LEARN!

    Even if you don't think you'll ever use modes like, say, PSK31 or JT65, learn about them anyway! What you learn WILL be useful; the more knowledge you have, the better! For example, at Field Day, I helped point an antenna at satellites on 2 meters; now I'm thinking about getting an Arrow of my own and tracking them myself!

    If you're new, you WILL make mistakes; we ALL do! With experience, though, it's less of a worry.

    Now jump in and have fun!


    -Bob / KE0DNZ
  5. W3CWT

    W3CWT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did read that right didnt i? Saying extra class is a waste or did that go over my head? If it did i apologize.
  6. KW0U

    KW0U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very interesting and heartfelt discussions back and forth, as usual over licensing, CW, and other related topics. For what it's worth, those complaining about "the good old days" might consider that for the 1922 license, "Applicants were required to demonstrate technical expertise in adjusting and operating equipment, and a knowledge of International Conventions and US laws . The code requirement was ability to transmit and receive in the Continental Morse at least 10 words per minute and recognize important signal usage of the day (distress and "keep out" signals)." (This from http://ac6v.com/history.htm) Does anyone want to "demonstrate" before an inspector?

    Things change, maybe for the better, maybe not. Spins used to be required for a pilot's license (and in fact I just had a lesson practicing them), but that ended decades ago. Commercial licenses once required applicants to draw circuits. Maybe changing a tire or charging a dead battery should be part of a driver's license exam. And don't get me started on what new parents, home owners, and loan applicants should know. But it is unlikely that these practical skills will be instituted.

    Personally with no electronics background I went to 20 wpm Extra, then got all the commercial tickets. Never used any of the latter, or CW either, though I've been working on getting the code back. Did them all as a challenge and learned a heck of a lot. And if someone upgrades for more privileges in this wonderful hobby, why not? Have fun on the air and keep learning. We need enthusiastic people out there. Code is a tool, like anything else, and if you can legally get where you want to be without it, fine. Just know it is there for you to try.
    KG5THG and KN4DLZ like this.
  7. ND1SU

    ND1SU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know, off topic, but....if you think American ham radio regulations are illogical, try American corporate tax law. I am back in school studying accounting, and I had to take a course in that. I never wanted to be a tax accountant, and after taking that course, I really never want to be a tax accountant....
  8. F4HPX

    F4HPX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It happens I am much more accountant than an electronics engineer, hi hi.
    I just wanted to say that law texts is something to be memorized and not really to understand. The logic is somewhere probably as there is lot of different stuff covered...
    but the bands or power limits are something rather to be memorized as this is difficult to deduct... from where? There is no any formula for that.
    Accounting is btw a kind science with lot of rules and lot of logic as a mechanics but tax regulations may give you a headache for sure, especially when they change all the time or applies retroactively...
    More the system is complicated, more wealthy are the tax accountants... but I am not tax accountant.
  9. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    True. I have recently learned CW, and for the past month have been working CW only. I love it so far. And no one "made" me do it!
    F4HPX likes this.
  10. N4AWP

    N4AWP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Study and do it for YOURSELF! Doesn't matter what anyone else says or thinks. Not having to worry about being out of band is a lot of peace of mind.. GL
    K2MOB likes this.

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