Saturday, July 11, 2009

YOU MAY CALL ME "YOUR EXTRALLENCY"

Why? Because I am now an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator instead of a mere Advanced!

I was at the Indianapolis Hamfest (report to follow with some photos), having worked my way through the flea market to the the sole-and-only air-conditioned building (also, it had started to rain), when the PA system announced, "The bus to the testing location is about to depart!"

"H'mmm," I thought to myself, "I have not been exactly shining on the online practice tests (see links in right sidebar) but I have been passing the Extra exam -- why not give it a go?"

So I scurried out to the "bus" (8-seater SUV) for a rather loooong ride into the next county, were tests were being administered by Volunteer Examiners in the fellowship hall of a local church. Started to sign in, realized I needed a photocopy of my license and hitched a ride to the closest photocopier (at the town library) with another ham. Took the test, really stumped by a few questions, but hey, who knows.

Sure enough, once they'd scored the exam, I had passed!

Considering that I still have (somewhere) my Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam Element for the old twenty-words-per-minute code test, I shall count myself an old-fashioned Extra -- after all, I can prove it!

What's this get me, you may ask? Aside from bragging rights, a little elbow room: holders of the Extra-class ticket have exclusive use of the lowest 25 kilocycles of the ham bands, or most of them, anyway.

Until my Official License arrives, I have to ID myself as "W9---/AE" when using the exclusive frequencies and in International Code that slant bar is composed to the letters D and N sent all run together, a middling awkward construction, "DAHdidiDAHdit."

Can't say that I mind it!

13 comments:

  1. welcome and congratulations!

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  2. Hey, congratulationss on the Extra! Welcome to the "bottom of the band!" I haven't known too many CW ops that didn't go for their Extra. Good show.

    73 & gud dx

    Gene WA5AC

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  3. I bow before Her Extrallency!

    Just don't ask me to kiss your bug!

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  4. Way to go!

    I just took that practice exam on your sidebar.
    The results.... not so good. But, I haven't read the material in 15 years. I shall study and try again.

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  5. Congrats on the new Extra.

    Although there is some sadness in seeing the number of Advanced ops thinned. Seeing as how they are not making them any more.

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  6. Very true, Homebru and I will keep the paperwork for my old Advanced as a memento. --I was getting a little frustrated tuning the band to find a solid jam-up on ongoing QSOs from aboutN025 to 40, digital modes from there up to the 'phone segments, and maybe two conversations, interesting ones, in the bottom 25kc/s.

    Some day, I'll get one or another of my AM rigs going and see what's in the 'phone subbands. I've never done that -- a ham since Junior High School, I have never had a voice QSO below 50mc/s and darned few above.

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  7. A link has gone up. Love the new blog.

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  8. Congratulations on the Extra! Interesting new blog too!

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  9. Congrats on Extra! NOt many go that "extra" mile :-)

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  10. Congrats.
    Wb5sgn
    Cool site!

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  11. Congrats... welcome to the lower 40.

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