I passed my Technician

cockpitbob

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Congratulations. Now, use your Google fu and find a local ham club. This weekend they will be operating outside for Field Day. Stop by Saturday, introduce yourself as a newly minted ham. They'll probably sit you right down at a station dedicated to getting non-hams and new-hams on the air (they get extra Field Day points for that). The QSOs are easy "59 quickies" and you'll probably have someone right beside you logging the contacts for you and giving advice. You'll learn a tremendous amount, have a lot of fun, and they'll get some extra FD points. The better clubs also have really good food set-up for Field Day.[grin]
 

radioman

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Don't be a chicken and let us know your call sign when you get it. I've had my Extra for 8 years or so and talking overseas is a great experience. I talked with a fellow from Serbia. I often wonder if these fellow hams are safe from the wars over there.

Congratulations!!!

AE1Y
 

cockpitbob

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Don't be a chicken and let us know your call sign when you get it.
Lots of people don't post their call sign on the web because it's easy to look up their name and address in the FCC data base. One option for the security minded is to get a P.O. box and give that to the FCC. All the FCC requires is a mailing address, not your actual home address.
 

cockpitbob

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congrats, but don't stop there keep going to extra !!!
+1
The General is actually easier than the Tech in some ways. Get the General right away while you're still in that studying mood.
The General opens up the world of HF and talking around the globe. The Extra is nice but doesn't get you much more. No new bands, just privileges in certain portions of the bands, and bragging rights.
 

MaverickNH

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Dah Dit Dah


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Speaking of which (or coding of which, as it were), what ways have folks used to learn Morse Code? I did it as a Boy Scout (along wih Wig-Wag) but we just tapped on stuff with our eyes closed (as though seeing made a difference) until we passed the requirement.

CodeQuicK

Koch Method

Etc???
 

cockpitbob

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Speaking of which (or coding of which, as it were), what ways have folks used to learn Morse Code? I did it as a Boy Scout (along wih Wig-Wag) but we just tapped on stuff with our eyes closed (as though seeing made a difference) until we passed the requirement.

CodeQuicK

Koch Method

Etc???
Most are using some variation of the Koch method.
The one REALLY important piece of advice I have is to NOT memorize the table of dots and dashes and translate to letters. If you learn it that way (visually) then when copying the brain uses a look-up table to convert the counted dots and dashes to a letter. That look-up table hits a speed wall at about 10wpm. This is why the FCC's 2nd level test was at 13wpm. You need to learn it by sound. Each letter needs to be not a collection of dots and dashes but a more like a syllable (gifted musicians learn Morse really fast). Ideally, if someone asked you what a "W" was you would have to whistle a W to figure out the dots and dashes.

Using trainers like LCWO.net or G4FON help with this because you hear the sound, then see the letter on the screen. You never see dots and dashes and shouldn't be counting them in your head. Using the Koch method also helps. Set the dot/dash speet to 15wpm or faster, but the letter speed to 5wpm. The dots and dashes come too fast to easily count, so you learn to hear a sylable.

I did it wrong and it took me an additional year to get my head to stop using the look-up table. It really set me back.
 
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