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Author Topic: 30 year wait!  (Read 2965 times)

Posts: 8


« on: September 08, 2003, 11:45:01 AM »

When I was a young teen in the early 70s, I could not get enough of Amateur Radio. I listened to Hams every night on my Radio Shack DX-150 while I carefully studied every page of the ARRL Handbook and every other piece of technical electronics material I could get my hands on. My best friend's father was a Ham and I could just gaze for hours at the equipment in his "shack" longing for the day I could emulate him. He was, in my opinion, the smartest person I had ever known. I had set up my "shack" in the closet of my bedroom! My parents and their friends marveled and laughed at me and all of that equipment stuffed into such a small space(I even had a surplused 19" rack in there!). I had a CB license(before free Chicken Band) and all of my communicating was done via that mode. But, I continued to persue that elusive Novice ticket. Like so many others, 13WPM was just too difficult to achieve at that point in my life. I was discovering too many other diversions like sports, cars and girls to dedicate myself to such drudgery. Well, by the time I went away to college, my "shack" was dismantled and all of my gear was packed up and otherwise lost. While I always maintained a proficiency in electronics, my dreams of Amateur Radio were lost. In the last few years, I became interested in vintage audio electronics. I have restored many tube type units and always have more projects than time. While I my career is in the computer networking business(MCSE, CNE, CCNA, Network+), I still find pleasure in troubleshooting and restoring the old stuff. In my persuit of finding vintage electronics, I came across Heathkits and it rekindled those dreams of my youth. Before long, I have restored an old SB-101 and strung up a G5RV. I was bit by the bug all over again! So, at the next VEC offering, I went to get my Technician license( I also bought several 2 meter and 70cm rigs). I had no other thoughts at that time other than satisfying the desire to finally be a "HAM", but after passing the Technician, the VEC offered me General. I was initially hesitant, since I had not prepared myself. But, I figured it would be a good experience to sit the test so I would know what to expect. After PASSING the General, they offered me Extra. I said, "no way", but they insisted that it would be good experience. I only passed 50% of the Extra test, but this has really got me going again. Now, I was all prepared(and excited) to go back and pass the element 1 to validate my General Class license. Since then, the debate has ensued over whether there will even be an element 1. So, I am anxiously awaiting some kind of decision because I don't know if I should apply my efforts to studying for element 1 or 4. At any rate, I am quite anxious to get on HF after a 30 year pause.

Richard Braddock KI4BFC

Posts: 380


« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2003, 09:20:43 AM »

DON'T attempt to "wait it out". Your CSCE for your General written is only good for a year.

ANY CHANGE in the requirement for the Morse Code, will be slow coming at best. Even though this debate has gone on for many decades,  There will be the "official" time for comments, notices of proposed rule making, Notices of INTENT, and all the other "official" red tape before anything even gets close to trickling down to the individual ham.

Even if it were "FAST TRACKED" I'm thinking it would be 3-5 years off.

Good Luck

Posts: 8


« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2003, 01:18:08 PM »

Thank you for your input and encouragement. Just for the record, I am NOT opposed to learning CW. As a matter of fact, it is one of those old outstanding things that haunt me from my youth and I must get through it. The difference of being much older now has taught me that I can accomplish anything once I have decided to. I got a little sidetracked, though. I started(re-started) to learn CW using NuMorse(eval. ver.) and was getting through it pretty well. Then, when I took my tests, another HAM told me I should use CodeQuick. So, I immediately bought CodeQuick. However, I think I like the NuMorse product better and will probably buy it. Does anyone have an opinion about the little MFJ CW Trainer? So, I will set myself a goal of being an operating Extra Class Ham by the end of the year! Listen out for me!


Posts: 1490

« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2003, 05:01:24 PM »

Many people prefer the G4FON system, available for download at:

Hope to work you on CW soon.  73 de kt8k - Tim

Posts: 136


« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2003, 12:19:28 PM »

After learning the characters on a generic cw tape (back in 1982) I just listned on the air for live QSOs to improve my speed. Why not do that?
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