A good amount will required some calculating but not an overwhelming amount. I used hamtestonline.com to study. I used their program for about 15 hours and I passed. Notice I didnt say aced it. They normally recommend 30 hours of study. The Extra test was the hardest thing I have done since college.
The fun for me begins when my brain gets stuck between different phontics. Having worked in public safety we used a different set of phonetics and at times my brain gets stuck between the ham standard and the public safety standard. Phonetics cuts down on mistakes. I can get information passed much quicker and precisely when using phonetics.
When I used to duck hunt I would be up at 2 or 3 am on Saturday morning. We would hunt and then after hunting it was nap time. I like the 8 A.M. start because it gives me time to do other things during the day even if it is taking a nap. It is not that hard to adjust your day to fit in what you want to fit in.
I remember getting a report of 3 and 3 from Iraq. It took us a couple of minutes for him to get my call. He was 51 or so. I gladly sent my card and I was happy to get his back with 33. I had rather have a true signal report than a inflated 59. I understand when people are working a pile up and giving 59s to all but I like knowing what my signal is really like. I get 59's that I know are inflated and give the same at times but I prefer a true signal report!
I have work VK, Zl and others with my FT-817 and a double length G5RV. Last year's Field I worked several California stations on 15 meters. It us worth a try and very fun. I hope to get to the coast in October with my 817 and see what fun I can have. I also hope to get to the NC Mountains in August to see what kind of fun I can have with a SOTA activation.
I buy from AES because Paul in Milwaukee has always taken the time to answer my crazy e-mail questions. When I need an answer he gets it for me then I buy what I need to buy from them. I have never met him in person but he handles my questions and gives me the right anwsers. Now as soon as I can afford the TS-990 I will let him know!
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