I have been wanting to get my amateur radio license for about a year now. I find it interesting that there are so many people communicating all over the world. I did some studying and found that a test was being offered in Pensacola, FL on 3/8/2014.
I decided to make the trip and hopefully pass the test. My family and I decided to make a day of it and left on the 95 mile trip around 10:30am. I timed it just right so that we would be arriving in Destin, FL at lunch time. We wanted to grab some lunch at McGuires Irish Pub, one of my families favorite places to eat when in Destin, FL.
After lunch, we continued on our way to Pensacola to make it in time for the test at 2pm. We arrived exactly at 2pm and I met the guys hosting the test. The test consisted of 35 questions, which were fairly easy, although there were some curve balls in there. After passing the test, the guys told me I would receive my call sign by the end of the week. On Thursday, I checked the FCC site and learned that my call sign is KK4ZHH.
I have been listening to a local repeater in my area, but there isn’t much traffic. I have been doing some research and learned how to change some settings in my radio. There is a lot to learn and lots to experiment with, most ham radio operators love to create homemade solutions and improvements to their equipment.
A few things I learned this week:
- How to set the frequency offset on my radio to connect with the repeater
- That some repeaters require an inaudible tone transmitted by your radio to access them
- How to set the access tomes on my radio
- Protocol for making my first contact