September 16, 2014 at 10:32 pm #3226
…radio operators here? I finally got off my butt and took my Technician and General exams last night, just waiting for the FCC to update their DB now.
This all started because I was taking photos of the storms and lightning, and someone talked me into joining Skywarn as a trained spotter (since I was out there anyway, and had good documentation) and then the guys with Skywarn have talked me into getting onto the local 2m/70cm repeaters to coordinate spotting and emergency efforts.
The bar has gotten really low – back when I was originally interested in the 80s, the CW (Morse code) requirements were the sticky point for me. Today, anyone can go get a free study guide, memorize the 200ish possible answers, take a 35 question test, and get into the Technician license with a $35ish BaoFeng handheld. Another 35 questions, and you’ve got your General license, with a lot more options.September 17, 2014 at 12:42 am #53299
Paging Zeke to the White Courtesy Telephone.September 17, 2014 at 4:52 am #53300
KD9BSB, at your service 🙂 I just recently reactivated my license. My physics teacher in high school (1990) got a crew of us into it, got us through our novice exam, and then a few of us got our tech class license. I let it slip, and didn’t get the paperwork filed with the FCC to renew it. Well, recently I felt the urge to get my license reactivated, so I knuckled down and knocked out the tech class exam a couple months ago. There were only two of us there, and the VE team talked the two of us into taking the general exam since hey, free test, no risk. Close, but no cigar.
Anywho… skywarn, eh? What all is expected/required/involved?September 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm #53301
“SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.”
We generally function as local “eyes on the ground,” or “ground truth” for the National Weather Service – they’ve got the radar and stuff, but need the input as to things like debris in the road, local flooding, et cetera.
I had an interesting conversation with one of the VEs after the exams – they made me promise that I had studied for the General before they let me take it because two of the others in my exam session failed their Technician exam.
He was very, very interested in the idea that I had built my own lightning trigger (the Arduino-based IR sensor I use) for the camera, and suggested I get QSL cards printed with some of my photos – this was his favorite:
I don’t have my call sign yet. Waiting for the FCC to update ULS.September 20, 2014 at 8:52 am #53302
de KB8LJN, originally on air 1984, licensed 1988, ran with Skywarn in Ohio from 1990-1994. No, I’m not that old. I started precociously young.
I keep telling myself I’m going to test out for Extra since I met the code requirements in gradeschool, I just haven’t yet.September 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm #53303
Well, if we ever go chasing again that’ll give us a crapload more range than the GMRS, no?September 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm #53304
KG7OCF. I’m filing for a vanity callsign – I just can’t live with a “Charlie Foxtrot” in my ID.September 26, 2014 at 11:45 pm #53305
KG7OCF. I’m filing for a vanity callsign – I just can’t live with a “Charlie Foxtrot” in my ID.
LOLOctober 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm #53306October 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm #53307
Woot. I am no longer KG7OCF. I am now WX4LTG.October 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm #53308
Nice.October 21, 2014 at 2:36 am #53309
…and now it’s WX4LTG / AE, at least until the FCC updates the DB again.
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