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Old 05-21-2010, 02:40 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
<----Zenith C845
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fairport Harbor, Ohio (near Lake Erie)
Posts: 3,577
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
I never really gave it any thought before. But I tried the practice tests just to see how I'd do: passed the technician at 94.3%, flunked the general at 63.9%, stopped there and didn't try the extra.
Getting the Technician ham license would be a good start in ham radio; in fact, Technician is the new entry point for prospective amateurs, as the FCC did away with the Novice license some years ago. The Technician ticket gives its holders privileges in every VHF ham band, from 50 MHz (six meters) to microwaves; it also conveys Novice-class privileges in the HF bands (80, 40, 15 and ten meters, CW [Morse code] only). You can start out with a 2-meter handheld radio as soon as you have your Technician ticket, then work your way up to HF gear later. Many amateurs start out in this hobby with used HF and VHF gear acquired at hamfests or eBay auctions (eBay has a section devoted to auctions for shortwave and ham gear), and do very well, using just about anything imaginable as an antenna; some hams have used bedsprings, the rain gutters around their homes, random wires . . . name it -- and have worked some good DX, often with low power (QRP in ham talk). I read in an old issue of the (now defunct) Electronics Illustrated magazine of one amateur who lived in an apartment building and, of course, was forbidden to install an outdoor antenna. This fellow got around the problem--well, sorta--by loading up the metal beams of his building's elevator shaft with his transmitter. The dodge worked, according to the article, well enough for the fellow to make local contacts around town; however, the building's elevator operator became more than just a bit suspicious when he started drawing sparks off the control panel. The ham was eventually evicted for obvious reasons; however, once he moved to a new location (QTH in ham lingo) and got settled in the new apartment, he began his antenna experiments once again--this time by mounting an antenna on the fire escape. The article did not elaborate, however, on how well or how poorly this makeshift installation worked.
Jeff, WB8NHV

Collecting, restoring and enjoying vintage Zenith radios since 2002

Zenith. Gone, but not forgotten.
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