Having studied electronics in school and now having an interest in the magic that is RF – acquiring a HAM radio license was an achievement I would check off eventually, and that day finally came!
After downloading the HAMStudy.org app and trying my hand at some of the technician pool questions, I quickly realized that a large majority of the question pool was knowledge I had already acquired through years of experience. Armed with this, I signed myself up for a General level HAM class with the idea being to take both the technician and general level license tests at the same time to gain more privileges.
I found a class online, and the following week I would be joining Zoom calls after work to prepare me for the test. Hosted by a local Makerspace, the class ran from 8:30 to 11:30pm, in a quick Monday to Thursday session, absolutely loaded with information. By the conclusion of class on Thursday I felt I would be able to ace the test, but was also itching to get outside. The students who have been forced to attend classes online have a new appreciation – that was pretty miserable.
The following Tuesday was the actual test – at the MakerSpace I had been attending the virtual classes through the week before. Although I had taken a number of practice tests and new knew I would pass, I was somewhat nervous, not having taken a written test since college!
Our tests were loaded up on a laptop and answering the questions was as simple as pressing the A/B/C/D keys. Consisting of only about 30 questions from the larger pool, I was able to complete both test levels within only about 30 minutes. A small achievement, but seeing each of the green PASS icons allowed me a sigh of relief.
After passing the exam, there are still a few more steps before your license is actually granted, and just 3 days later I got an email from the FCC looking for their payment!