Sunday, January 15, 2006

General Class Ham Radio License

Back in October, I passed the Morse code exam, one of the required elements for the General Class License. Last week, I passed the written exam. The General license allows you to operate on almost all of the amateur radio frequencies, using CW (Morse code), voice, or data communication modes.

So far, I’ve made four contacts using my new license privileges, three yesterday, to Vermont, Indiana, and New Hampshire, and today’s contact was to the former Yugoslavia, now known as Serbia and Montenegro.

Unfortunately, those contacts were made using single side band voice. I have yet to actually get good enough at using Morse code to copy weak signals. I often call CQ and get no response; it could be that my sending is just that bad. The catch 22 is, to get good at it, you have to practice a lot, but to make a contact, you have to be able to send and copy the code on the air.

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