Amateur Radio: Upgrading from Technician to General

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been slowly getting back into ham radio. When I started with Amateur Radio in 1996, there was a Morse Code requirement for all but the No-Code Technician license, which had privileges mostly in VHF bands, above 50mhz. There might have been some 29mhz (10 Meter) privileges, I don’t recall. Fast forward to 2016- now NONE of the Amateur Radio licenses require learning Morse Code! So where does this lead?

A friend has been enlisting my help to get on the air on HF (below 30mhz) frequencies, and has been working toward that end. He successfully got his Technician license, but the one he really needs is the General license, which has the HF privileges. To properly help him, I needed to understand those things myself, so it was time to hit the book. Yes, the book. I didn’t actually buy any books, but instead I went to the local library and got the ARRL’s General Q&A book, and started reading.

About 1/3 the way through, I took the online General sample test (taken from the same pool of questions as the book) and passed. I did this about a thousand more times as I went through the book, and eventually found that I could pass the General exam at 85% or better in about 10 minutes. Time for the test!

I was the only person taking the exam that day, and there were 3 VE’s present to administer the test. I sure appreciated their time. Out of 35 questions, I missed two! Not too bad for mostly memorizing the test. I also learned a lot in the process and really enjoyed the whole thing. As a result, I have my General license! KC7RYS, at your service!

So, I’ve been busy getting my friend on the air, and also getting myself on the air. In another post I’ll detail what we’ve been up to and what’s planned next. As they say on the air… 73!