Saturday, July 11, 2009


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!


  1. welcome and congratulations!

  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

  3. I bow before Her Extrallency!

    Just don't ask me to kiss your bug!

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

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

  10. Congrats.
    Cool site!

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