Sunday, February 28, 2016

KM4QID - Ham it up!

After many years of interest in amateur radio but never quite putting in the time to get a license--I finally did.  I passed my technician test on January 3rd, 2016 and am offically a "ham"! After almost 2 weeks of waiting, I was assigned my call sign "KM4QID" on 01/19/16.  I like it.

Why now?  Because I was given a Baofeng UV-5R5 handheld transceiver by my father-in-law this past Christmas.  I had put it on my Amazon wishlist a while back, hoping to buy it when I got my license.  It was a big surprise to receive it for Christmas!  That was just what I needed to buckle down and pass the test.

I'll admit having some experience homebrewing electronics as a kid probably gave me an easier time than some on the test, but there was still a vast amount of information I wasn't familiar with.  There were two resources I used exclusively to pass the test.  The best was HamExam.org Amateur Radio Practice Exams. If I wasn't in front of a computer and wanted to get some studying in, I really liked the Android app Ham Test Prep.  Best part is that both are free.


The Baofeng UV-5R5 has been pretty good.  I've been able to hit local repeaters, sound quality reportedly is fine, and battery life is excellent.  I added a Nagoya NA-771 antenna (pictured), which helps greatly with reception.  As you can see, I like taking advantage of the portable aspect of the HT. I have a feeling that's going to be my favorite part of the hobby.

I'm pretty excited to be a ham.  Shortwave listening was fun, but I'm stoked to be able to make contacts.

73
KM4QID Craig

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