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Should I try for a higher class?

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  • Should I try for a higher class?

    I passed the tech exam at DEFCON, but unfortunately there weren't any more answer sheets to take the general (or maybe even the extra) exam. Between fooling around with SDRs, listening to the "This Week In Radio Tech" podcast, helping set up an LPFM (with the associated engineering), and using the No-Nonsense study guides, I think I had a decent shot of getting an amateur extra class license.

    But aside from the geek cred (and its associated shorter call sign), are there other reasons why I should try for these higher classes? I live in an apartment, so I probably can't deploy an HF antenna. I'm mostly interested in SDR-type stuff, which is primarily VHF/UHF.

  • #2
    Re: Should I try for a higher class?

    Sorry about the answer sheet thing; that's something we'll be fixing with extreme prejudice for next year.

    Tech is good enough for lots of things, as you note. HF antennas, however, don't have to be huge things; I've contacted Germany and Japan (in both those cases, from northern Florida) using just a long piece of wire and 5W, thrown out a window or laid out on the beach. So it can be fun to play with.

    In addition, you can only serve as a Volunteer Examiner (and do the ham radio exams, either with us or elsewhere) as a General or up.

    So yes, you can/should go on; if nothing else, it's not too hard, and you'll learn things. In addition, you won't run into the problem of "I'd really love to do X, but I don't have the license" right at the wrong time.

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