It’s nice to know the gods have a sense of humor. I got my ham radio call sign the other day KC1BGR. Every time I look at it, all I can think of is BGR=booger, and so it seems do most of the people I have given my call sign to. Well, never let it be said, I can’t be the brunt of a good laugh, so “booger” it is!
I think I need one of those lighted on the air signs. “Booger is ON THE AIR” hehehe
Well, I’m starting to put my radio shack slowly together. I assembled my dual band J pole over the weekend, now I have to figure out where to put it. My first Ham flea Market “treasure”, the mirage dual band amplifier, turned into a bust. It doesn’t work. It’s off to the manufacturer for repairs. I think I will bring a battery and radio with me next time to test before I buy.
My current plan is to be ready to take the general license exam in mid March. Once I have that license, I can take a shot at talking with a friend down in Maryland. It will be fun trying.
The astro club will be hosting a star watch at the school in Harvard tonight. Time to dust off my 12″ “grab and go” and setup in the freezing cold and inspire young minds. While one would not think it so, we have had our largest turnouts on the coldest of nights. One would think no one wants to come out in the cold and stand around looking through scopes, but they do. It should be a good turnout.
It has been way too long since my last Post. I mean well, but time goes by so quickly. Anyway, on February 12th I took and passed my element 2 exam commonly known as “technician”. The exam was hosted by the Billerica Ham Radio Club. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of people. My thanks go out to them for taking the time from their busy schedules to administer the tests. For anyone interested, The VE-exams are held the second Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the second floor conference room at the Billerica Public Library. I hope to go back and take the general class exam next month.
I went to my first ham flea market last weekend. I have always thought of astronomy as an expensive hobby. It appears that ham radio gives astronomy a good run for the money. So many toys, so little cash. I was told after the exam that ham radio was like a boat that is a hole in the water into which you throw money. After shopping around, I think I liken it to a telescope which is a vacuum nozzle that sucks your money out of your pocket throwing it deeply into the center of a black hole never to be seen again.
I had actually bought my first piece of ham equipment before I took the test. It is a HT handheld, a Yaesu FT-60r. For those unfamiliar, it is a dual band handheld radio operating in the 2 meter and 70cm bands with a max output of 5 watts, and is capable of receiving a wide range of bands. I was lucky enough at the flea market to find my first “treasure”, a Mirage BD-35 dual band amplifier that is capable of 45/35 watt output from a 5 watt input. It should work well with my FT-60. For an antenna, I am looking at a dual band J pole antenna off of ebay. I hear good things about it, and it is light and inexpensive. Where I’ll put it is another matter.
They say it takes 7-10 days for your name and call sign get listed on the ULS website. It has been 6 days since I took the test, that includes a weekend and a national holiday. I suspect that it will be next week before I can broadcast my first message. What should it be? My call sign of course 🙂 Looks like I have a new piece to the puzzle that is me.