Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Study, study, study...

I've spent the last several days studying for an upgrade test of my Amateur Radio license. I have a book with additional information for the next level of license and a couple of sources on the Internet to practice the test after reading the material.

There's a lot to understand in the art and skill of being a radio operator. One has to know about rules and regulations of proper and legal operation. There is information on the electronics of radios. Knowing about computers and how they work - beyond turning them on and using installed programs. There's knowledge to be obtained on how radio energy propagates across the "ethers." One must know how radio energy can effect he human body and how much exposure is allowable. There's a lot of mathematics involved too. That's a weak point for me. Math, beyond basic life-skills, is a little more than I normally handle. It's good there are formulas and hand-held calculators. A lot of knowledge, but like most things in life, you don't need to know all of it all the time. A problem comes up, you go refresh yourself on that bit of knowledge and figure it out. Or, get help from a more knowledgeable Ham.

One of the neat things about Hams; most will help a fellow Ham in understanding and learning. Another neat thing about Hams is their willingness to help out their community in times of needs. I've written about this in an earlier blog, and even today with the fires consuming great gobs of California, Hams are helping pass vital and needed information from Emergency Control Centers to evacuation shelters. Hams have even provided complete communications for communities where EMS and police communications have failed. These instances of assistance are not meant to be anywhere close to permanent. They do fill in until regular services can be repaired and put back on line.

But, back to my studies. I've studied and practiced the test. I've been able to pass the practice test several times. So, on the 19th of the month, I'll go test and hopefully upgrade. Getting the higher certification will allow me to communicate across a broader range of frequencies. With the additional frequencies, I can communicate farther across the world and if called on to help in the community I'll have better skills.

So, I'll keep reading and practicing until the 19th. C U later. ._._.

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