General Passed, I’m now world wide!

So a funny thing happened. My wife, with no particularly geeky trappings, decided that she wanted to get an Amateur Radio License. More exactly, she decided that she wanted to do this last Wednesday. As luck would have it, one of our local clubs did testing this past Monday evening. That gave her plenty of time to study. Or so she thought, I crammed it in a weekend, why couldn’t she.

So, first I sign her up for the testing. Then I head down to the public library. Their copy of the Technician study guide was checked out, unfortunately, but I got her the Q&A book and checked arround on some of the others. She tells me she thinks the Q&A will be fine, and that she won’t be picking up the manual from the library near where she works.

At this point, I take off for the weekend with the men of my church, and come home late Sunday night. I go to work on Monday, a day she has off. Finally, as I come home and ask if she’s ready, she tells me “Yeah, I leafed through the book for a couple of hours. I think if I just pick the longest answer, I’ll get about 80%. It’s a basic test taking strategy, you know.” Doh!

Unfortunately, she didn’t do very well at all, didn’t pass, and is now steadfastly determined to do it again right. She’s got her red book and promised to hunker down to take it again in a month.

The funny thing is, I couldn’t let her do it alone. So how can I be in there with her? I guessed I’d have to take a test too. I studied for my general back in July, but couldn’t make it to the testing session that month, and it’s slipped my mind ever since. Thus, I picked up the blue book from the library when I got her Q&A, but as I mentioned before, my weekend was booked solid. I didn’t really get a chance to look at the book at all. Finally, when I tried a practice test on, I only got a 68%. Ouch.

Amazingly, I got a very good test, where I knew most of the questions, and only had to guess on 3 or 4. I passed! I’m now “Temporary AG”.

Of course, I’m now back to my original issue. She’s going to take a second pass at the technician exam in November, and  I should go with her. That means I have a month to study for my Extra. That green book is a lot thicker than its red and blue cousins.

All that said, my wife is doing something very alien to her, just to support me. I know a lot of hams have wives who are “tolerant”, but mine is truly trying to be “understanding”. How awesome is she and how lucky am I? I also joked that now I need to go out and buy a good HF rig at about $1K. She wasn’t so amused by that.


About Grant Wagner

General class ham: KC9SJQ
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5 Responses to General Passed, I’m now world wide!

  1. Dizzy-Dick says:

    Congratulations on the upgrade.

    I have held and Advanced liscense for quite a few years. Quite awhile ago, I decided to upgrade to Extra and took the test. Got 100% on the written one but flunked the 20 words per minute code test. Now they don’t require code, which I don’t really agree with that, so have not taken my Extra again, since I still can’t do 20 words per minute. I know I don’t need to, but personally, I need to.

    By the way, you don’t need a $1000.00 radio to get on the air. Go to a ham-fest and pick up a good used one. You don’t really need all the whistles and bells.

    • Dizzy-Dick says:

      A couple more things. 1st, now you will have to change this blog’s name to OpenShack for radio shack. 2nd, why does my picture not show up at the header to my replies? Just curious. . .

      • Grant Wagner says:

        I’m guess it’s because I use wordpress, and not blogger. I believe they use different services to match image to the commenter info.

        As a P.S., you sir have an awesome beard.

    • Grant Wagner says:

      About the radio, I know that but she doesn’t. I’m really holding out for that Yaesu FT-897. I doubt that I can find that model used.

      The radio is about $800 from AES, a good mobile antenna, and a good trapped dipole for the house, all the various accessories, and I figure I’ll be lucky to get in under $1100. But I know. I shouldn’t spend more than $300 on a good (but older) used HF rig.

      • Dizzy-Dick says:

        Thanks for the complament. I quit cutting both my hair and my beard when I hit 65 years old.

        My newest radio is an IC-706 MK-II G with all the HF bands and 2 meter and 440 also. I still have my original HW-101 that I built myself and it still works great. I like the old tube radios.

        Good luck, I know you will come with something.

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