Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 66

Thread: Pre-Noob

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Cool Pre-Noob

    Howdy! Iím getting into ham radio for a couple of reasons. First, my dadís an old ham, long lapsed, and I admire him enough to want to do whatever heís done. Second, I like the idea of being able to communicate without counterparty risk. However, none of this was enough to get me off the couch until I started work at a software firm where a couple of my coworkers were hams.

    So I set up an exam appointment for early April and started studying for the Technician license. It was so easy that I decided that Iíd take both Tech and General exams just in case I passed the second.

    Then the pandemic hit, and I wonít be able to take an exam until September. So Iíve been taking hundreds of practice exams from ARRL, and Iím pretty sure Iím going to pass both Tech and General. I figured Iíd get a bit of experience under my belt and then go for Extra...or maybe not. Extraís hard.

    A week ago I decided to try a practice Extra exam just to see how badly Iíd flunk it, sort of to gauge my level...and I passed it at exactly 74%! So now Iím studying for Extra too. In September Iíll take all three tests, and Iíll pass Ďem all.

    But I have no experience.

    Mostly. Yesterday I took delivery of a Yaesu VX-6 multiband handheld, and Iíve been futzing around with it since then...without much luck. So I have questions...but Iíll ask them elsewhere.

    Looking forward to enjoying my time here. Maybe Iíll find an Elmer here. My dad is a great guy, but he hasnít been on the bands in over fifty years, and things have changed a little.

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi from UK Pre-Noob (perhaps if you mentioned you name).

    Are you aware that ALL of those exams are now available online. You can sit them all from your bedroom.

    In UK we only have the "Foundation" exam available ATM (equiv to your Tech).

    When l sat the exams 30yrs ago the exam structure did not exist as it is today. EG: all stages of the licence classes must be sat.
    We had the opportunity of sitting the top exam. Or rather the 2 exams one after the other. So l done the study & got the exams behind me in a 3hr sitting. Like yourself, l was unsure if l would pass the second exam as it was super difficult, but l jumped in the deep end as nothing to lose other than the exam fee. But had to sweat for weeks waiting on the results in the post.....PASSED both (party time lol).

    So l would advise you to get those online exams booked. There is a thread on qrz.com "FCC allows remote testing". Some hams are against it. But most are for it. Take no notice of the old farts that think everyone should sit the exam as they had done 50yrs ago. You will also find more info on qrz.com re remote testing.

    Don't worry about your confidence as that will grow with time. After you get your license you can listen in then choose who you want to talk to. You will find the ham community to be supportive & help you where they can.

    So best of luck with those exams

    73 Jim


    Many of us old hams happy to help you where we can. Although your laws will vary a little in comparison to UK laws. But we all share the same frequencies, with little variation.

    BTW, good choice with the Yaesu. I have the Yaesu VX-8E
    Last edited by G7NFP; Fri 22nd May 2020 at 11:27.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G7NFP View Post
    Hi from UK Pre-Noob (perhaps if you mentioned you name).
    Hello! Sorry--my name is Dan. ("dnwiebe" is my username because I don't have a call sign yet.)

    Are you aware that ALL of those exams are now available online. You can sit them all from your bedroom.
    Are you sure? That's the first I've heard of it. Every other source I've seen says that I need three Volunteer Examiners in person to make sure I don't cheat. Heck, I even specially bought a little four-banger calculator and a box of #2 pencils (because I no longer owned either of those things) for the exam. I've got a very nice calculator on my cell phone, but the stuff I've read says I can't use that, and even with the new calculator, the VEs have to watch me clear its memory before the exam begins.

    I did another Google search, and found this in the "People also ask" dropdown:

    * Can you take your ham radio test online?

    by John Cunningham, W1AI. The FCC does not allow us to administer the actual exam online. You must appear in person so the volunteer examiners can check your ID and monitor to make sure you aren't cheating.
    I don't know John Cunningham, but I think the W1AI call sign is a little intimidating.

    When l sat the exams 30yrs ago the exam structure did not exist as it is today. EG: all stages of the licence classes must be sat.
    We had the opportunity of sitting the top exam. Or rather the 2 exams one after the other. So l done the study & got the exams behind me in a 3hr sitting. Like yourself, l was unsure if l would pass the second exam as it was super difficult, but l jumped in the deep end as nothing to lose other than the exam fee. But had to sweat for weeks waiting on the results in the post.....PASSED both (party time lol).
    Sounds like it must have been a good day.

    So l would advise you to get those online exams booked. There is a thread on qrz.com "FCC allows remote testing". Some hams are against it. But most are for it. Take no notice of the old farts that think everyone should sit the exam as they had done 50yrs ago. You will also find more info on qrz.com re remote testing.
    Okay, now I may have found the conversation you referenced. Is this it? https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/fcc-allows-remote-testing.704586/

    I understand the viewpoint of the old hams. I learned to fly back before GPS--or at least when GPS receivers were only available on very expensive planes and certainly not anything a flight school could afford. I learned to fly an IFR approach down a bearing from (not to) an NDB in a crosswind, and more than once I flew fifty miles to the only airport around with an approach like that and practiced and practiced (although never in real instrument conditions) because it was hard. Lots of money down that particular drain, because today not only does nobody ever fly NDB approaches of any kind anymore, not only does every rinky-dink little backwoods airport in the country have published GPS approaches to each end of its runway, but the FAA is taking down the NDBs because they cost too much to maintain and it's been years since I've seen an airplane that even has an ADF receiver in it. I look at the new kids coming through the system, most of whom have never heard of an ADF and some of whom don't even understand the way the FROM/TO flag works on the OBS, and I probably feel about the same way those old hams feel about remote testing.

    Don't worry about your confidence as that will grow with time. After you get your license you can listen in then choose who you want to talk to. You will find the ham community to be supportive & help you where they can.

    So best of luck with those exams
    Thanks!

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi again Dan,

    Yes they have VEs but they watch you through a webcam. Just join that forum & ask for advice on that thread. Then the US hams will be better able to steer you in the right direction.
    Sounds like you are ready for the first 2 if not 3 exams. With a pilot's license a ham exam will be a walk in the park.

    Pop back & let us know how you got on

    Jim

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    96

    Default

    50 years ago, if you passed an amateur radio license exam - including morse code, you really did something.

    Today, if you passed the exam - which I have had 5 year old children pass the Technician and 6 year old children pass the General - it is no big deal.

    Even a person that never read the book, never seen the exam before, answering what they believe to be the right answer, will get 50% right. So 74% right just tells us you don't know it all, you are basically looking for a back door into the hobby - by taking online exams over and over again until you can get a passing grade.

    The purpose of the exam is to expose you to the technology involved in amateur radio.

    Take for example Ohm's Law - you might guess C. for the answer for the question on the exam, but you might not understand OHMS LAW. Most dummies that cheats their way into the hobby even goes one step further and buys the wrong equipment, radios, antennas, and then try's to compensate with an amplifier. Only amplifiers uses lethal voltages which can kill you.

    Would you allow your 6 year old child to work on an amplifier with no previous experience and no natural fear of death.
    NO - you wouldn't! A child is not born with a fear of heights or snakes, but let them fall one time or let them get bit by a snake and their fear will warn them of impending danger.

    Do yourself a favor, buy the Technician, General and Extra Class ARRL License Manuals.

    They are not a waste of money, they are there as a guide to help guide you in the right direction.

    I GREW up sitting on my dad's knee, while he operated his radio, and from time to time he allowed me to talk to one of his friends and eventually - by the age of 6 I knew how to call CQ, how to legally ID with his call sign, how to properly tune his radio.
    I had a basic understanding of how his radio equipment worked, although I did roll it down 13 steps when he tried to hide it under his bed to keep me from using his equipment when he was not home.. 20 lbs radio and tubes - it wasn't a pretty scene.

    You can't find an Elmer online - it just can't be done.. There is too many things you need to learn and it isn't as simple as buying a walkie talkie, programming in a couple of frequencies and pls' and transmitting. Yes the world has been dumbed down in the past 50 years, but not for the better.

    Locally I have 8 repeaters all linked together with 40 other repeaters and in 4 weeks i've only heard one conversation on that repeater.
    Cell Phones has pretty much killed FM communications.. FM being local - not more than 65 miles away, its no great loss..
    Not much intelligence where I live. And those people are like you - lost until they find someone to help them.
    Honestly I can't deal with them right now because they are so dumb, they are beyond help.

    I would recommend to anyone wanting to get into amateur radio today to find a dynamic club - one that does things, not one that just eats doughnuts and drinks coffee. An active club is dynamic, they do things, not just talk about things and hang out on repeaters or talk simplex - like a party line cell phone..

    In the long run you will need to purchase a quality HF radio.. Think computer, yes you can get by with a 10 year old laptop, but when you really want to get serious your first step will be to purchase a good LINEAR 35 AMP power supply - think ASTRON. Maybe one with meters - the meters tells you what the load - radios and the power supply - generator is doing.

    You will want to purchase a GOOD HF radio - not used, because as far as I can see, everyone that buys used ends up making excuses for how it performs and very few bothers to upgrade with a better radio as they get more experience under their belt.
    http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

    Rob Sherwood does performance testing of the top models of HF transceivers, my advice would be to purchase the best you can afford, do it once, do it right. Elecraft K3, Icom 7610, Icom 7300, Kenwood TS 560sg.
    A modern radio with factory support that has a built in autotuner, does 100 w on all HF bands + 6 meters.

    Buy yourself a good Off Center Fed Antenna 80 or 160 meters, some parachute cord, maybe even a 40' tilt over tower and a vertical UHF VHF antenna - like the Diamond X 510 and lot's of low loss coax - Belden 9913 or LMR 400 and a pair of coax terminal crimping pliers.
    Make your own cables, not that twist on garbage like the Amphenol pl connectors most people uses.

    Buy yourself a 50 ohm dummy load, a good SWR meter for all bands you intend to operate, a good VOM meter, a good soldiering iron, lots of copper bonding, ground rods etc. Then come back and tell us you still want to become a ham..

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
    50 years ago, if you passed an amateur radio license exam - including morse code, you really did something.
    [grin] Okay, I think I have your number now.

    You remind me of a gruff old grump I knew on another forum, that one about hunting and shooting and hiking and camping and such. Went by the name Flower Child. He and I had some energetic times together, I tell you what. Eventually, he gave me the best compliment I ever got from him: "You know, Wiebe, you might not be quite as full of sh*t as I thought you were."

    I wouldn't be surprised if you and I end up taking the same general trajectory.

    Even a person that never read the book, never seen the exam before, answering what they believe to be the right answer, will get 50% right. So 74% right just tells us you don't know it all, you are basically looking for a back door into the hobby - by taking online exams over and over again until you can get a passing grade.
    74% definitely means I don't know it all. That's why I'm studying all those ARRL books. I'm not going to sit for the exam until I'm confident I can ace the Tech and General and go at least 90% on the Extra. I can't do it yet, but I will be able to.

    The purpose of the exam is to expose you to the technology involved in amateur radio.
    From the viewpoint of somebody preparing for the exam, it looks more like the purpose of the exam is for a bunch of bitter old farts to keep out as many annoying young whippersnappers as they can. But that's fine with me. This part may hop you all up again, but right now my main two reasons for going after all three exams have nothing to do with operating an amateur radio.

    The first one is simply that it's a challenging thing to learn, and I like learning challenging things--all kinds of things, from playing musical instruments to shooting guns quickly and accurately to flying airplanes safely to writing production-quality software. Here's another challenging thing to learn.

    The second one is that for many years I have understood digital electronics quite well, but analog electronics has been beyond me. I have a copy of The Art of Electronics that I figured would clear it up for me, but around page 44 they bring in the whole complex-impedance thing and I lose the thread and can't get it back. But when I took that Extra practice exam and barely passed, and decided I'd go for the Extra class as well as Tech and Gen, I got hold of the ARRL Extra study manual, and it explained complex impedance in a way that I finally understood, and that made me able finally to get over the Page 44 Hump in The Art of Electronics. So now I'm off and running there as well, and I suspect that further study of ham radio will stand me in even better stead there.

    And oh yeah, if I have a ham license I can also transmit with my little walkie-talkie. Can't forget that part.

    Take for example Ohm's Law - you might guess C. for the answer for the question on the exam, but you might not understand OHMS LAW. Most dummies that cheats their way into the hobby even goes one step further and buys the wrong equipment, radios, antennas, and then try's to compensate with an amplifier. Only amplifiers uses lethal voltages which can kill you.
    Wait--aren't you the guy who on the other thread was telling me that I ought to abandon the walkie-talkie and just buy a shack full of equipment while I'm at my most ignorant? I'm getting mixed messages here.

    Do yourself a favor, buy the Technician, General and Extra Class ARRL License Manuals.
    Way ahead of you, amigo. I haven't got the ARRL Handbook yet, but I almost certainly will soon, and I might even end up with the ARRL Antenna Book.

    I GREW up sitting on my dad's knee, while he operated his radio, and from time to time he allowed me to talk to one of his friends and eventually - by the age of 6 I knew how to call CQ, how to legally ID with his call sign, how to properly tune his radio.
    I had a basic understanding of how his radio equipment worked, although I did roll it down 13 steps when he tried to hide it under his bed to keep me from using his equipment when he was not home.. 20 lbs radio and tubes - it wasn't a pretty scene.
    Sounds like fun. My dad moved us from Oklahoma to Ohio when I was very young, but when I was a kid and we went back to visit his parents, I found his old ham shack with a bunch of World War II-era surplus military radio equipment, along with two whole shelves full of old Popular Electronics magazines from the 40s and 50s. I seem to remember an article in one about building a portable radio, with a big ol' 6V lantern battery to power the filaments, a 22.5V battery for the plates and grids, and a handful of AA batteries for the rest of the circuitry. I was fascinated, and when later as a preteen I began to spend summers on my grandparents' farm to help them run it, I spent some of the time repairing some of his equipment to the point where I was able to listen to shortwave traffic.

    You can't find an Elmer online - it just can't be done.. There is too many things you need to learn and it isn't as simple as buying a walkie talkie, programming in a couple of frequencies and pls' and transmitting. Yes the world has been dumbed down in the past 50 years, but not for the better.
    It's like you're a stereotype of the angry old ham! Here, can I get you to say this once for me? "Get off my lawn! Damn kids."

    Locally I have 8 repeaters all linked together with 40 other repeaters and in 4 weeks i've only heard one conversation on that repeater.
    My town's smaller: only five repeaters. Three VHF, two UHF. In the two days I've been listening--with my little walkie-talkie--I haven't heard any conversations at all. (Of course, I haven't been listening all of those two days.) But once I get licensed, there'll be at least a few conversations on them.

    Cell Phones has pretty much killed FM communications.
    I get that from people. "Why go to all that trouble and spend all that money? He has a phone: just call him!"

    Not much intelligence where I live. And those people are like you - lost until they find someone to help them. Honestly I can't deal with them right now because they are so dumb, they are beyond help.
    Well, judging from my experience with you, it seems you can at least deal with us far enough to tell us how dumb and beyond help we are. So that's better than nothing, right?

    I would recommend to anyone wanting to get into amateur radio today to find a dynamic club - one that does things, not one that just eats doughnuts and drinks coffee. An active club is dynamic, they do things, not just talk about things and hang out on repeaters or talk simplex - like a party line cell phone..
    I might end up finding a club. I don't know yet which direction I want to go. If the direction I end up wanting to go is some kind of a community thing, a club would probably be a good idea.

    In the long run you will need to purchase a quality HF radio.. Think computer, yes you can get by with a 10 year old laptop, but when you really want to get serious your first step will be to purchase a good LINEAR 35 AMP power supply - think ASTRON. Maybe one with meters - the meters tells you what the load - radios and the power supply - generator is doing.

    You will want to purchase a GOOD HF radio - not used, because as far as I can see, everyone that buys used ends up making excuses for how it performs and very few bothers to upgrade with a better radio as they get more experience under their belt.
    http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

    Rob Sherwood does performance testing of the top models of HF transceivers, my advice would be to purchase the best you can afford, do it once, do it right. Elecraft K3, Icom 7610, Icom 7300, Kenwood TS 560sg.
    A modern radio with factory support that has a built in autotuner, does 100 w on all HF bands + 6 meters.

    Buy yourself a good Off Center Fed Antenna 80 or 160 meters, some parachute cord, maybe even a 40' tilt over tower and a vertical UHF VHF antenna - like the Diamond X 510 and lot's of low loss coax - Belden 9913 or LMR 400 and a pair of coax terminal crimping pliers.
    Make your own cables, not that twist on garbage like the Amphenol pl connectors most people uses.

    Buy yourself a 50 ohm dummy load, a good SWR meter for all bands you intend to operate, a good VOM meter, a good soldiering iron, lots of copper bonding, ground rods etc. Then come back and tell us you still want to become a ham..
    Thanks! I'll save this for later, once I learn a bit more and have some experience.

  7. #7

    Default

    Forgot to mention Dan.

    That calculator you have, is it programmable?
    Only a basic (non programmable) calculator is allowed. Was the same when l sat mine 30yrs ago. I swapped a kid my calculator for his basic little calculator. He was over the moon as he knew he got a good deal lol.

    The VEs will watch your eyes via the webcam to see if they stray away from the screen. Any one of those VEs can stop the exam at any time & ask you to rotate your cam around the room. They don't need to give a reason to do that.

    You have most likely watched the video on that thread by now so you will have a better idea how it works.
    Best to get your application in now as there will be a waiting list. There is in UK.
    Best to apply to sit them all. You may do as l did & pass the lot. Don't be shy to post on that thread. It needs bringing back to the subject as it's gone off topic.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G7NFP View Post
    Forgot to mention Dan.

    That calculator you have, is it programmable?
    Nope. That's why I had to buy it special. $2.95 for the calculator, $4.99 shipping. (I don't really remember, but something like that.) Actually, it's turning out that most of the math I have to do for General and Extra (very little math for Technician) I can do either in my head or on paper and get close enough to identify the correct choice, so I may just leave the calculator out.

    2pi * 14MHz, for example. Two pi is pretty close to six and a quarter, and 14MHz is close to 15MHz. Six times 15 is 90, minus one for each of the six would be 84, plus a quarter of 14...well, a quarter of 16 is 4, and we need a little extra anyway because six and a quarter isn't really quite two pi, so let's go with about 88 for 2pi * 14MHz. Calculator says 87.96: pretty darn close.

    I can't do trigonometry in my head, at least not to ten significant digits, but for example one of the Extra questions involves finding an angle where the adjacent side is 100 and the opposite side is -25. The possible answers are -76, -14, 76, and 14. That's pretty easy: even I can tell the difference between plus and minus and between 76 and 14 degrees.

    The VEs will watch your eyes via the webcam to see if they stray away from the screen. Any one of those VEs can stop the exam at any time & ask you to rotate your cam around the room. They don't need to give a reason to do that.
    After some consideration, I think I'll take the test in person. For one thing, I found a testing center a little farther away that'll test me on August 2; I don't have to wait until September 9th for the local one. For another, I might meet some folks who know more than I do, and at the moment it seems that ignorance is my main feature. Networking would be a good thing. And third, I'm not ready yet. I passed a practice Extra this morning with 86%, which is two questions from good enough, but the one before that was 74%, which isn't even close. I haven't finished the books I want to study...so August seems good to me.

    But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate you pointing me to the remote option. I never would have known about that but for you, and I did give it serious consideration. Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default

    To be honest Dan. If it was me..... I would take the exam as l did 30yrs ago. Yes these remote exams are good for people that can't make it to a centre for various reasons. But for me, far too much hassle. Then there is a tiny minority that will look down on those who done their exams online.
    Me? I would consider those who sat the exam online to have had much more hassle to sit the exact same exam as those who sat it in person. BTW, the problem some guys have is "the potential to cheat". But l just don't see guys even thinking about cheating.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G7NFP View Post
    To be honest Dan. If it was me..... I would take the exam as l did 30yrs ago. Yes these remote exams are good for people that can't make it to a centre for various reasons. But for me, far too much hassle. Then there is a tiny minority that will look down on those who done their exams online.
    Me? I would consider those who sat the exam online to have had much more hassle to sit the exact same exam as those who sat it in person. BTW, the problem some guys have is "the potential to cheat". But l just don't see guys even thinking about cheating.
    Sometimes it's an attractive challenge to figure out how to cheat the situation, I'll admit...but I haven't the faintest interest in cheating the ham tests. As I said somewhere else, I really enjoy learning challenging things, and--especially since this has already opened the gate to something else I've been trying to learn for years--I'm looking forward to learning this.

    So how about you? What's your favorite thing about amateur radio, and why do you like it? What do you hate about amateur radio? What didn't you know when you started out that you wish somebody had told you or showed you?

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dnwiebe View Post
    Sometimes it's an attractive challenge to figure out how to cheat the situation, I'll admit...but I haven't the faintest interest in cheating the ham tests. As I said somewhere else, I really enjoy learning challenging things, and--especially since this has already opened the gate to something else I've been trying to learn for years--I'm looking forward to learning this.

    So how about you? What's your favorite thing about amateur radio, and why do you like it? What do you hate about amateur radio? What didn't you know when you started out that you wish somebody had told you or showed you?
    Interesting that you ask as l just mentioned that on another forum today.
    Ham qualifications these days are only good if you want to be a ham.

    Although that was the only thing on my mind when l sat mine 30yrs ago. But back then, the RAE (Radio Amateurs Exam) consisted of 2 exams. The 2nd one (the really hard one that many failed) was a City & Guilds in electronic theory. Which is a professional qualification that allowed me to change career & work in the electronics industry.
    So having that qualification earned me many thousands. I only realised that when l moved to a new area & took a temp job in a factory until l found work in my own field. Then l got talking to the engineers & discovered they had the same certificate as l did :-)
    So my next thought was ££££$$$$

    Many of my mates who took the exam done it to stop the authorities raiding their house & confiscating all their gear as they were using 11m ssb. (Not saying that l was on 11m ssb :-).

    So the knowledge l gained was a big win for me. Not only career wise, but l saved a fortune repairing electronic gear over the years. I even started building & repairing computers for a living at one point.

    So if you have the interest you will learn. Then you will find many applications for your knowledge. Adding those qualifications will also enhance your CV. Even though the work you apply for has nothing to do with electronics or radios.

    You will find a minority of the old guys who only want to discuss their bowels. But if you listen into a QSO before you jump in you can spare yourself that agony lol.
    So if you can hear them the chances are they will hear you. If ofcourse you have a decent antenna & enough watts. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting that ham ticket. Mine was an addiction to radios. I wanted to talk to guys worldwide. Remember, internet wasn't an option back then. Hell we never even had cell phones. And the exams were so difficult that passing them earned you respect. + You didn't get raided & gear confiscated. Am l glad l done it?....yes. Would l do it now if l had failed back then?... Yes because the exams are now super easy.
    You will pass them all. So do as l did....sit the lot in one go. I passed both exams in under half the allocated time. Some guys were writing till the end. That worried me as l thought that l blew it for being too arrogant. Was a long 3wks waiting on those results. Never needed nail clippers. But l think they tell you the same day now.

    In 2009 l thought l would add a pat testing certificate to my portfolio. With my electronic knowledge that was a walk in the park. I could have went to work as a pat tester but l didn't. I just wanted the qualification as l was between jobs & the government paid for the exam. So l thought l would take full advantage of these "free" government courses. So l already had a pedestrian fork lift truck licence. So l done the counterbalance exam then the reach exam. Passed the lot. Although l never took a job as a fork lift truck driver. I just wanted as many qualifications as l could get as they were free. But having those qualifications got me some agency work driving 7.5 ton lorries from England to Scotland. Was great fun as lorry has bed, TV, microwave. But the company didn't know l added my mag mount & mobile HF rig lol.

    Now retired & 63 next month. But must admit it's all been great fun.

    So go for every exam Dan. You won't regret it
    Last edited by G7NFP; Sun 24th May 2020 at 12:39.

  12. #12

    Default

    One thing to mention about cheating Dan.
    When l sat the fork lift truck test. There was a practical + a written exam. The examiner on the written exam went the full mile when checking everyone's identity documents.

    I later discovered why. An examiner who moved to another test centre recognised a guy from his previous test centre. He wondered why he was back to sit the same test as he passed the month before. He then discovered that his name was different.
    Turned out that he had sat many of those exams in many test centres under many names. He was charging people a fee for sitting the written test for them.

    That was 11yrs ago. But no doubt that it still happens. I have no idea how they confirm identity on the online exam. It can't be as easy as holding up a photo driving license as very easy to doctor a document that only needs to be shown to a web cam.
    But the cheaters will be a tiny minority. But l don't doubt that some guys have given it some thought.
    I remember years ago (before there was a photo on the driving licenses) many guys ended up in court for sitting driving test for people. For a fee ofcourse.
    Last edited by G7NFP; Sun 24th May 2020 at 19:14.

  13. #13

    Default

    And...ROFLMAO

    I just noticed that you stood up to the old f**t. He tends to spin a load of crap to all the new guys who post in this section. Must admit l got a little annoyed when he decided to criticise me. See the thread in this section "So green l'm still a seed".
    He gives a lot of advice on that thread that l am sure will be of great help to you.... ;-)

  14. #14

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G7NFP View Post
    Interesting that you ask as l just mentioned that on another forum today.
    Ham qualifications these days are only good if you want to be a ham.

    Although that was the only thing on my mind when l sat mine 30yrs ago. But back then, the RAE (Radio Amateurs Exam) consisted of 2 exams. The 2nd one (the really hard one that many failed) was a City & Guilds in electronic theory. Which is a professional qualification that allowed me to change career & work in the electronics industry.
    So having that qualification earned me many thousands. I only realised that when l moved to a new area & took a temp job in a factory until l found work in my own field. Then l got talking to the engineers & discovered they had the same certificate as l did :-)
    So my next thought was ££££$$$$
    It's never occurred to me that a ham license might be professionally beneficial to me. Interesting. I can't see how it could be at the moment, but perhaps there are additional careers in the offing for me the way there were for you. If so, who can say?

    Many of my mates who took the exam done it to stop the authorities raiding their house & confiscating all their gear as they were using 11m ssb. (Not saying that l was on 11m ssb :-).
    I used to be a CBer...I think I probably still have a transceiver and antenna in my truck somewhere. It's not mounted or connected, but some years ago I convinced myself that it was a good idea to have one in there for emergencies. Nowadays I have a cell phone, but I've never gotten around to taking the CB out of my emergency kit.

    You will find a minority of the old guys who only want to discuss their bowels. But if you listen into a QSO before you jump in you can spare yourself that agony lol.
    So if you can hear them the chances are they will hear you. If ofcourse you have a decent antenna & enough watts.
    Well, so far I have a nine-inch rubber-duck antenna and something between thirty milliwatts and five watts of transmit power. I haven't even been able to hear the bowel-discussers yet. (I heard what I'm pretty sure was some digital traffic on a local repeater--sounded a lot like a telephone modem--but that's the only amateur traffic I've heard yet.)

    Everyone has their own reasons for wanting that ham ticket. Mine was an addiction to radios. I wanted to talk to guys worldwide. Remember, internet wasn't an option back then. Hell we never even had cell phones. And the exams were so difficult that passing them earned you respect. + You didn't get raided & gear confiscated. Am l glad l done it?....yes. Would l do it now if l had failed back then?... Yes because the exams are now super easy.
    So do you talk to guys worldwide? Do you actually establish relationships, or do you just copy call signs, grid squares, and timestamps into a logbook? Even as a natural introvert, I could see some value in the former, but I'd struggle awfully hard to find a reason to pursue the latter.

    You will pass them all. So do as l did....sit the lot in one go. I passed both exams in under half the allocated time. Some guys were writing till the end. That worried me as l thought that l blew it for being too arrogant. Was a long 3wks waiting on those results. Never needed nail clippers. But l think they tell you the same day now.
    Yep, I'll pass 'em all. I don't mean to sound cocky; I'll just keep working until I do.

    In 2009 l thought l would add a pat testing certificate to my portfolio.
    What's a pat testing certificate?

    Now retired & 63 next month. But must admit it's all been great fun.
    Heh. I'm only ten years behind you, but I don't think I'll ever retire. (I might get laid off and not be able to find another job because I'm too old, but I can't imagine ever thinking, "Okay, that's it, I don't want to work anymore.") I had a few miscellaneous jobs before I embarked on my career, and probably two or three dozen jobs since, but they've all been in the same area. I wouldn't mind getting into a few other areas--blacksmithing, for example, or machining--but I don't have enough experience to make enough money to live on.

    But the cheaters will be a tiny minority. But l don't doubt that some guys have given it some thought.
    It's part of my nature to be constantly thinking about how to get around constraints--both A) so that dumb constraints can be eliminated, and B) so that I can predict how other people might try to get around (what I believe are) necessary constraints, and find ways to prevent it. In the case of the amateur radio exams, I understand why there needs to be a gate and why it must be kept, and while it's not necessarily easy for me to see why the gatekeepers have made some of the choices they've made, A) it's not my job to have an opinion about that, and B) whether they made good choices or bad choices, the resulting challenge gives me an excuse to learn, which is what it's all about for me anyway.

    Talk more later!

  15. #15

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G7NFP View Post
    And...ROFLMAO

    I just noticed that you stood up to the old f**t. He tends to spin a load of crap to all the new guys who post in this section.
    Yeah, but I'll bet it's not all crap. I'm probably too ignorant at the moment to reliably distinguish crap from not-crap, but hopefully I won't always be, so I'll save it up and go through it then. And anyway, at least on this board I have no reputation to defend. But in my life I've known enough crotchety old geezers (and as a matter of fact am well on my way to becoming one myself) to understand that the crotchety isn't usually personal.

    Here's a story about me. I'm an old software developer with very particular ideas about how software should and shouldn't be written. You know those nickel-plated spades that politicians use to break ground in front of the cameras on new construction projects? The ones that are engraved with something and hung on the wall in glass cases? I found a place once that made those. Well, they didn't make them, but they bought normal spades and nickel-plated them and engraved them to order.

    So at one of my jobs I bought five of those, and had them engraved with what I considered at the time to be the five worst coding sins. (Don't remember them all anymore, but I think one of them was Code Duplication, one was Multiple Responsibilities, and one was Really Bad Tests.) I built a simple wooden rack to hold them and put them in the team room, and was otherwise silent about them. Then I let the word spread around the office that if anyone committed the sin on one of the shovels, that was the shovel he'd be beaten with until he learned better.

    Of course nobody ever got beaten with any of the shovels, but whenever there was a new hire, there were a lot of hushed voices, wide eyes, and significant looks. There may have been some (totally fictional) apocryphal scare stories as well. I moved on from there years ago, but last I heard they still had the rack of shovels.

    So with that in my past, if I couldn't handle a little criticism and grump, I'd be a heck of a hypocrite.

    See the thread in this section "So green l'm still a seed".
    He gives a lot of advice on that thread that l am sure will be of great help to you.... ;-)
    I saw it. I've had fantasies about some of the Icom base stations (have you seen the IC-7610?!), but I'd have to justify that kind of expense, and I don't really even have a place to put a shack at the moment. I've been considering the attic of the house, with an indoor 6-meter antenna, but I dunno. It'd be an awfully long ground strap, and I'm not sure what the slate roof would do to the signal.

    We'll see.

  16. #16

    Default

    https://learntechnique.com/what-is-p...RoCCMcQAvD_BwE

    No doubt there is an American equivalent. All electrical appliances in "every" business must be tested every year. Companies usually have a tester come in once a year, test everything. IE: every PC, in fact anything that plugs in, right down to the tea break kettle.
    But they usually have a couple of their employees qualified to do that testing for the odd items purchased in between the annual testing. So having that certificate is a ++ to any employer.
    When l was in electronics, one of my mates mentioned to someone what my previous career was. (Registered nurse). That news went round like wildfire. So when guys sustained injuries they would come to me as they wanted their injury assessed by a registered nurse rather than a first aider. That pissed off the company. Therefore their solution was to send me on a course for a week to qualify as an industrial first aider. Which l aced ofcourse. Then a course for the defib gear, the oxygen administration. Even though l was already qualified to do all that.

    Yes l also like machining. I have a shed 3 X 5 metres. Contents = 2 lathes, 2 pillar drills, soldering station & more power tools than l can recall. Google "UKVA Maxi". Yes l am Jim532. You will find a video on that by "Todd". But be warned, he drools over it for half an hour lol. Sold those things all over the planet, USA included. For the bargain price of £150 GBP. Then another £15 for a drip tip. So yes you can make a living machining things. Shame you didn't live closer as l wouldn't have a problem with you getting some practice in on my lathes.

    Radio relationships?
    Talked to many guys many times all over the planet. But l don't form relationships & jump on planes to other countries as that could get expensive. But l have no doubt that some guys do. If they have the time + the money then why not fly across the world to see how others live. Perhaps going to spend some time with another ham would be a better holiday than jetting off to some strange country to spend the time with total strangers.

    My station is in boxes atm. I need to decide whether to build it in the house, or out the garden in my workshop
    Last edited by G7NFP; Mon 25th May 2020 at 12:19.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G7NFP View Post
    https://learntechnique.com/what-is-p...RoCCMcQAvD_BwE

    No doubt there is an American equivalent. All electrical appliances in "every" business must be tested every year. Companies usually have a tester come in once a year, test everything. IE: every PC, in fact anything that plugs in, right down to the tea break kettle.
    But they usually have a couple of their employees qualified to do that testing for the odd items purchased in between the annual testing. So having that certificate is a ++ to any employer.
    Huh. I've never owned a business, but I've never heard of anything like this in the US. My suspicion is that it doesn't happen, at least not on that scale.

    There are exceptions; for example, if your business is selling firearms, you have to be prepared at any moment to have government agents come onto your property, shut you down temporarily, and verify that the guns you have in inventory match the list they have--especially if you sell full-automatic weapons. The federal database is notoriously full of garbage, so when the feds decide to audit you you may be "temporarily" shut down for quite awhile while they essentially use your inventory to clean up their database (or just use the discrepancies as an excuse to cart you off to prison, if you piss them off).

    Or if you run a flight school, there are federal regulations about how often you have to have your airplanes professionally inspected and what you have to check for and how often; but even then, practically, it's less a government thing than an insurance thing. Your insurance company will be watching those inspections very carefully, and if one of your airplanes fails they'll instantly yank your insurance until you get it fixed. It's theoretically possible to have your actual airplane actually ramp-checked by an actual agent of the actual FAA, but it's quite rare in real life--as long as you don't do something obviously and spectacularly stupid to your airplane just as an FAA agent is walking by.

    But having an agent of the government check your coffee maker for compliance with regulations? I think if the feds tried that there'd be widespread rebellion.

    When l was in electronics, one of my mates mentioned to someone what my previous career was. (Registered nurse). That news went round like wildfire. So when guys sustained injuries they would come to me as they wanted their injury assessed by a registered nurse rather than a first aider. That pissed off the company. Therefore their solution was to send me on a course for a week to qualify as an industrial first aider. Which l aced ofcourse. Then a course for the defib gear, the oxygen administration. Even though l was already qualified to do all that.
    Wow, you do get around, don't you? Lots of completely unrelated careers there. Is that a Brit thing, or just a G7NFP thing? I don't think there's an American of my acquaintance with such a varied professional background.

    Yes l also like machining. I have a shed 3 X 5 metres. Contents = 2 lathes, 2 pillar drills, soldering station & more power tools than l can recall.
    I'd love to get into it, but I've got less room for a machine shop than I do for a ham shack. My fantasy would be to build myself a single fifty--that is, a bolt-action, single-shot rifle chambered for the cartridge fired by the Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun. (I even have an M2 spare barrel in the basement that I bought at a gun show, ready to be turned down to something that could be mounted on a non-crew-served firearm. I love to watch YouTube videos like the ones made by Clickspring in Australia, but I don't have the patience it would take for so many tiny, fiddly little parts.

    Shame you didn't live closer as l wouldn't have a problem with you getting some practice in on my lathes.
    Indeed.

    Talked to many guys many times all over the planet. But l don't form relationships & jump on planes to other countries as that could get expensive. But l have no doubt that some guys do. If they have the time + the money then why not fly across the world to see how others live. Perhaps going to spend some time with another ham would be a better holiday than jetting off to some strange country to spend the time with total strangers.
    I don't have the money to do something like that either, and to add to the pot, I simply don't like to travel. (My wife does; I don't. So she goes gallivanting around the world with our daughters and sometimes our grandson, and they love it. I stay home, and I love it.)

    These many guys all over the planet...do you and they know things about each other beyond just location and equipment? Do you talk about your families? The latest little honey-do jobs you've been at around the house? Do you wish each other happy belated birthday when you happen to make a contact at the correct time? Do you arrange with each other to try to make contacts on certain freqs at certain times, or is it strictly a happenstance thing?

    Feel free not to answer any or all of those. I don't mean to pry; I'm just curious about the DX lifestyle, because I have no experience.

  18. #18

    Default

    No electrical appliance safety checks for American companies?
    I think you will find that there are more regulations in place than you are aware of. Every business in Europe must have all appliances tested yearly. People cannot protest against safety checks.
    But it only applies to registered companies. Not private households. But any electrical work in any household must be certified by a qualified electrician. Having said that. I have completely rewired many houses. So it's very difficult for the authorities to regulate. But before l sold my houses l had the electrical work checked & signed off by a person qualified to do that.
    I am also a very good plumber. Just over a year ago l installed a complete bathroom for my mother as the plumber wanted over 2k labour charge.
    Sadly she had a heart attack 2wks after l completed it. So that house became mine the day she died as she put it in trust to me.

    Guns? Very strict control in UK. They banned all private ownership of handguns in 1995 when a psycho walked into a school with 2 handguns & killed a class of 5yr olds.

    But l have plenty experience with guns. My fav is the 9mm sub machine gun. Great feeling emptying a mag on full auto.
    Oh, forgot to mention. I was also in the army lol.

    Guns would be very easy to make with the workshop that l have. I even have the correct metals. But l would have no application for them in UK. And making firearms would result in jail time.

    If l had to take care of an intruder then my Tiberius 9.1 is always loaded & ready with a mag of Grimburgs (made in the good ol' USA).
    Have a look what this guy does to the microwave with what is a "paintball gun". But police also use Tiberius guns for less lethal. But watch the video & you will agree they can kill at close range
    https://youtu.be/3v4Qe94dAw0

    When you talk to guys on the radio, never say anything that you don't want the world to hear. Millions of shortwave listeners. And your address is also listed for them to find.
    Some guys you will get on much better with than others. So one QSO may be short & another may be very long. And yes many guys arrange qso's at set times. But if it's a distant QSO that will be controlled by the skip. Perhaps an idea if you got yourself an HF rig to listen in as a difficult thing to explain.

    But you can talk about anything you want. If you discover you have a common interest then the QSO can be very long. Or until the wife says your dinner will be burnt if you don't come off that radio.

    Somehow l feel it would be a very interesting QSO if we met on air.
    Last edited by G7NFP; Tue 26th May 2020 at 11:44.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    96

    Default

    If two people are drowning, which one do I save? The answer from a swimmers point of view is the person most alive.

    From a lifeguards point of view is the one I come across first..

    The test proves absolutely nothing, doesn't mean a thing, it just shows that you put forth an effort to attempt to learn something so that you don't hurt yourself or someone else. The only difference between amateur radio and the citizens band is 1 megahertz.

    As for us being old farts, that only shows how disrespectful you are. Good luck getting anyone knowledgeable to help you.
    With your attitude you will quickly run out of new people to talk to.. Once they discover your attitude, they won't talk to you.
    You will end up running digital modes on your computer where no one talks to each other.
    I tried to explain things to you, but your mind is already made up.. Hopefully you will stay on a walkie talkie where only a small portion of people will be exposed to your attitude..

  20. #20

    Default

    BTW Dan. Don't know about USA, but in UK the difference between CB radio (11m) & 10m ham radio is.....

    CB radio (11m)........... 4w max FM only. And only 40 channels can be used (legally).

    Ham radio (10m)........ 26dbw max (which is about 400w). all modes. And many more channels than 40.

    Hell of a difference don't you think?

    Remember to pop back & tell us you aced the exams.
    Last edited by G7NFP; Wed 27th May 2020 at 06:48.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •