Hello all ...

I am taking the Technician (and hopefully General) exams on Saturday, 01/19/19. So, as you can see, I am still a very new newbie, not only to this forum but to Ham Radio as an avocation. Here's just a bit about me to get me started on this forum.

I'm in my sevent decade on this planet and recently retired. Over my career I spent 10+ years in law enforcement, 9 years as a private attorney, and then got into academia for an 18 year tenure run as a Professor. I hold the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. I am the author of a dozen books and more than thirty journal articles in academic (peer-reviewed) and professional journals.

My interest in Ham goes back to the days when I was a kid and my Dad was into CB and eventualy Ham. This would have been in the early '70s. I used to spend many nights with him in his shack while he worked on repairing radios for friends and for a small fee. For some reason, though, I didn't get into the electronics aspect of the hobby, and I never felt like he wanted me on his radio, so I remained active only in the sense that I was providing him company while he worked.

Almost a decade back my best friend got into Ham, and part of his interest came through what he learned from my dad. In time, my friend (Rick K5RHA), started to crack the hard shell I was in when it comes to Ham. My dad, by this time, was gone and I really just never got into it when I was young. Now that I'm retired, and with great support from my friend, I have slowly opened myself to learning much more about the hobby (avocation).

That brings up pretty much to the present. I took the plunge about 8 weeks ago to start looking sincerely at what this Ham Thing is all about. After a couple weeks I'd read and seen enough that I figured it was time to shoot for at least the first level license. Right away, I read in the study material and on the sites that I had signed up to supplement by book studying, that it is often a good idea to try for not just one but two levels of licnese. One site, which I've used a lot (https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com), even pushes the idea that the well prepared student can take and pass all three levels in just one sitting. I kept that idea in the back of my mind, but as I progressed in my Technician studies I found that I was open to the idea of also trying the General. That's now been three weeks of study, and I'm scoring in the lower 90s consistently on the Technician and in the mid-80s on the General. I've got 5 days to study left, and as it sits right now I'll try the Technician first, and if I pass it, I'll go ahead and take the general.

Of course, the next step (whether I have Technician alone or both T & General done) is to start putting together my radio. At this stage, I've decided to concentrate on a decent "entry level" base setup, preferably with an SDR option. I've got a budget big enough to consider a number of radio and antenna combinations, but I'm not ready to pick just yet until I do a lot more research.

Looking forward to being a part of this forum and maybe getting to know some of you here and on the air. I believe the proper courtesy when signing off is ...