Amateur Radio

April 12th, 2008

I’ve been saying I should become a licensed amateur radio operator for longer than I care to admit. Hurricane Katrina reinforced the need, and last week we had an extended power outage thanks to a tornado in the area.

I finally did it. I took and passed the technician exam, and I’m currently reviewing for the general class exam.

You don’t need to be an electrical engineer or rocket scientist to pass these tests, the electrical calculations are not that difficult or plentiful.

Some good manuals can be found at kb6nu.com, good practice tests can be found at qrz.com. Test times and locations can be found on the ARRL website.

The whole point of this stuff is the ability to operate a radio on various 2m and 70cm bands, most areas have emergency nets operating on amateur frequencies. Amateur operators have a long history of providing communication assistance during disasters. Here is one example.

Off to study some more, and shop for an HT. Currently looking at the Yaesu FT-60R

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