extra

All posts tagged extra

I don’t mean don’t become a Ham! Amateur Radio is a great hobby and asset in emergency situations. Most newcomers go for the first and easiest license, Technician. I think it is a mistake. Technician privileges suck, excuse my French. They allow access mainly to VHF and UHF bands which depending on location can be pretty boring. Most new Ham’s first contact will be signing into a “net.” They’ll give their call-sign, get a welcome, and that is it. After that, maybe a few conversations about nothing. The first time I listened to the 2m band I heard some guy explaining how he had fixed his toilet.. Except for the occasional gem, it hasn’t gotten much better than that. Newbies buy a handheld with its little stubby antenna and get disappointed, of course.. Many will quit right then. There is more to amateur radio than a Tech license and a walkie talkie.

Ham & Wine

Ham & Wine

When I suggest to someone that they should give Ham radio a try, I always insist that they go for the General license, at least. While the Technician license allows the use of a few small portions of HF bands for Morse code and a bit of SSB voice on 10m, few take advantage of it. The General license however opens the door to a vast section of HF, which means global coverage even with the simplest radio. General isn’t difficult. With just a little bit more studying, anyone who can pass the Tech exam should pass General. The “Extra” license is harder, but still reachable by most. I passed all three in one session, so can you. Take your time and study hard, it’s worth the effort.