Friday, October 28, 2011

Amateur Radio Update

Well another class under my belt and about 5-6 more hours of reading over the last few days. Last night's class dealt with more electronics theory. My understanding and absorption factor felt much higher than the first class so I'm slightly more confident today.

I found a 3.5 hour series of audio podcasts for the entry level US amateur radio licence course and I've listened to that while commuting over the last few days as well. While the rules and regs vary slightly, the rest of the material was pretty good.

I've also started studying the question bank for the final test, it's 1000 questions and answers published by Industry Canada. The 100 question final exam is randomly generated from this bank of 1000 so it's a great study tool if you have a good memory.

I hoping Sam (VE7SDV) will get her handy talkie programmed for the Silver Star repeater so we can test the range and effectiveness from my place out in Lumby. It will be helpful in deciding if my first radio is a dual or triband HT (above) or an all-band portable (below)?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ham Radio Classes Begin

My grandfather got me into Ham Radio as a kid. For a few years in grades six and seven I had a radio and listened to HF bands without a license or a microphone. Listening to amateur and shortwave bands is legal, but if you want to talk on the airwaves you need a license.

Fast forward to over 30 years later and I'm finally starting the classes to get my first amateur radio license. The "Basic" qualification in Canada is the starting point. I'm taking an 8-9 week course with the Salmon Arm amateur radio club and it's going to be a bit of an effort with the long commute two nights per week, I'll be spending more time driving back and forth then in a class, but I'm really excited and feel it's well worth the time invested.

The Basic license is issued if you pass the final test with 70% or higher. The Basic with Honors license comes with a grade higher than 80%. Passing with Honors is important because it comes with the right to broadcast on a bunch of additional HF frequencies.

Wish me luck! I'll hopefully have more updates as the classes progress.