Newbie checking in

KO4ETB

Newbie
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Pensacola, FL
Hi!

Took my test last week, got an email on Saturday that I am legal. Thanks to the VEs up in Milton, FL!

My interests are primarily learning how to communicate while concurrently using amateur radio as a STEM tool to teach my young sons about electricity, circuits, radios, and communications. I am interested in becoming competent enough to participate in ARES or RACES, the boys want to talk to the ISS.

I'm using a Baofeng HT in my vehicle and one in the house. I'm building a "J-Pole" sooner or later, for the house but for now simply a Tidradio 771 1/4 wave antenna on it.

If you are still studying, I strongly recommend you use one of the online test pool websites. I used the ARRL (arrl.org) and Ham Study (hamstudy.org) websites, the spiral bound book, and some time. I have a working knowledge of electricity and circuits, so those portions were easy for me. Even if you know nothing, the test is passable by reviewing and understanding the test pool questions. I thought I was just "cheating" and learning the test questions. I found that I learned a lot of technical information from reviewing the test pool questions. I now have knowledge, but not a lot of understanding. I accept that understanding normally only comes with experience.

My only caution is that neither the book nor the websites, or the test for that matter, really prepare you to communicate. I don't have the "bandwidth" ;) in my work schedule to dive into a club and it is clear there is a STEEP learning curve to actually communicating. I've found help in YouTube channels like Ham Radio Crash Course, Kevin Loughin, Jim W6LG, and many others. The nature of HAM leaves no doubt that if I reached out the local clubs and Elmers they would gladly help me, I just haven't made the time.

73

Dave KO4ETB
NW Florida
 

K4EET

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,366
Location
Severn, Maryland, USA
Hi Dave, welcome to Radio Reference and congrats on passing the Tech exam! You have joined two great resources and will find a lot of help as you navigate the many aspects of the radio hobby. Enjoy everything and don't hesitate to ask questions! 73 my friend! Dave K4EET
 

ladn

Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
578
Location
Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
My only caution is that neither the book nor the websites, or the test for that matter, really prepare you to communicate. I don't have the "bandwidth" ;) in my work schedule to dive into a club and it is clear there is a STEEP learning curve to actually communicating
Welcome to the hobby! And you're spot on with this advice. Book knowledge (passing the test) doesn't always equate with working knowledge.
I've heard newly minted extras on the air in their first QSOs that didn't have a clue!

I'll also recommend Dave Casler's (KE0OG) "Ham Radio Answers" website and series of videos.

73
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,400
Dave, Good plan using radio to teach the sons about communications and electronics. My dad was an electronics tech in the Navy and that got me interested enough to take electronics classes in high school. Not surprisingly, my electronics instructor at the time was just getting his ham license. As a result, I decided that I wanted to continue with my electronics education and turn it in to a career. I've taken a few turns since then but I'm happy with my career choice. Having fun with radios? Yep, I still do. I was well in to adulthood before I got my ham license but I've had various FCC licenses over the years including CB, GMRS, ham, even IG (commerical). What's more, I recently spoke to one of my high school electronics instructors on a local ham repeater. I've haven't spoken to him in over 40 years and I'm not really sure he remembered me but hey, what a hoot!
 
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