Category: Ham Radio

First Radio – VX8-DR

I’m now the happy owner of my first radio, a Yaesu VX8-DR. It’s a lovely handheld that I’m looking forward to using and getting on the air.

It’s actually not my first, I have a Micro-Trak RTG tracker that I used on K9 for Burning Man last year. I was able to use it because Phil (K6CQU) was gracious enough to let me run it under his call sign. Now I’ll be able to use it under my own call sign. Simple pleasures!

I chose the VX8-DR because it has a GPS receiver and can receive and transmit on APRS, just like the Micro-Trak RTG. I’m a bit enamored with the idea of tracking locations via ham radio operations.

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Radio Club – ORCA

I’ve joined the local Oakland ham radio club, ORCA. I’m hoping that the other folks in the club will be able to help with any issues and learning about getting on the air.

They also run a local net to help with communications in the event of an emergency. With the classes I’ve been taking through the Oakland Core program, I think it’ll be a nice match.

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Ham Technician License – KK6RUH

A couple of weeks ago on a lovely Saturday, I sat in on an all day prep / test for my ham technical license. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was around 12 years old. (Yes, I am that much of a geek 😉 The test was interesting and is predicated on the idea that you learn more / better once you have your license and can get on the air.

The prep work was to read through all the possible multiple choice questions with the answers and highlight the correct answer and only the correct answer. Then re-read the question and answer. And re-read it again. Ignoring the wrong answers with each re-read. Now move on to the next question.

It’s not about learning the material but learning which is the correct answer for that question. You’re actually at a disadvantage with this method if you actually know the material. About 60% – 70% of the questions I already knew the answers. And I just had force myself to follow their process and not work out the correct answer for myself. This goes against everything I ever learned about learning and test taking. But at the end of the day, it worked and I passed w/ 2 wrong answers. Not bad though it’ll be interesting to see how I learn and recover from mistakes as I get on the air.

Today I received the notice from the FCC that it’s official, I am a licensed amerature radio operator! My call sign is KK6RUH. Wahoo!