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Global Skywatch

personal Victory!


I determined to UP MY GAME in amateur radio knowledge this year. My primary methodology was to work towards passing the final hurdle in amateur radio to earn my Amateur Extra ticket. It demands a wide range of knowledge covering the spectrum of radio construction, operation and transmission.

Two unanticipated things I learned from this effort were:
1) I really don’t want to know how radios are constructed…
though much of that is required to pass the exam.
2) Simultaneously teaching a class of newcomers to pass their Technician level exams while studying to pass the third and final level was not helpful.

Other lessons along the way.

The ARRL study manuals are worth every penny and every hour spent reading them. The accumulated knowledge has been refined to a high level and supports the exam questions and answers with fundamental knowledge. I indexed my Amateur Extra manual intending to use it as a reference book for a long time.

I helped another sixteen people earn their first level (Technician) licenses (my third or fourth graduating class). Twenty four exams today is a local record taxing the Volunteer Examiner Team to run a great deal of paperwork in accordance with high standards, but they rose to the occasion. Seven General licenses were also earned today (2nd of 3 levels). Plus one (my) Amateur Extra.

Nearly all of us used Ham Study .org as a major tool. Between their “Study Mode”, “Read Questions”, and “Practice Tests” they cover most of the learning styles individuals might favor. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Thanks to their Study Mode, I crammed the necessary knowledge into my crusty old brain.

The Internet is an amazingly powerful tool. Inductance, susceptance, digital modes, Earth-Moon-Earth … whatever the question, The Internet has bunches of answers, a large number of which will suit your learning style. Thank you DuckDuckGo for putting that power at my fingertips without bias or censorship.

I literally and figuratively put another feather in my cap this morning … one for good luck, the other for Victory. My biggest graduating class achieved the 100% success rate I promised them 10 weeks ago. Among the graduates was a twelve-year-old boy who joined his Dad and Grandpa as a licensed amateur radio operator. Also among them was a 69-year-old crusty senior who crested the Amateur Extra hurdle (yeah, me).

A lot of personal victories happened between those two ages. Each and every one of them BEAMED when discovering they had successfully passed their exams. Accepting challenges and expending a winning effort can do that for a person.

Have you cleared any hurdles lately?

Set one