I used to have that exact Heathkit! KB4DVI
I started with a "Star Roamer" receiver kit first.
I had my Novice license and was ready for the General but couldn't quite get my code speed up to it.
NOW I understand the license is for life
I feel ripped off.
Those were fun days though.
I was WA6ZHL.
It's never too late. Especially with all the natural disasters lately, Ham Radio may come in handy when all the cell phones and land lines go down.
Yeah, Morse code. To me, that was about one step up from learning smoke signals. Still working through the Extra Class questions. Once I get to about 85% to 90%, I'm going for the real thing. (Takes min. 74% to pass, meaning you just have to be "average")
Morse... it's why 98s make cra**y 05s.
You're certainly right about being handy during a disaster situation.
The thing I did like about Morse code was that with a good antenna you could really talk anywhere with just flea power.
On the subject of testing, do you have to go to a test center? Is it online? How is it done today?
When I got my license another Ham did it for me. I think (bad memory) that higher levels had to be done by the FC*.
Except that my skilz are somewhat antiquated I could probably pass general with a minimum brush up.
Used to be you could get a Novice or Technician Class ticket by taking the test proctored by a local licensed Ham. To get a General or Advanced ticket, you had to appear in person at an F Cee Cee facility, found only in major cities. At the time I got my Technician license, that would have been San Francisco,130 miles away. They did have a Conditional license you could test for locally through another licensed Ham, that had similar priviledges to a General.
Nowadays, the testing is held in most communities and takes place frequently. Most local Ham Clubs actively participate. Head over to the ARRL website and enter your ZIP code to find places and dates in your area: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
There are 2 ~ 3 per month within 25 miles of my area. The testing sites are supervised by three licensed ham radio operators holding a General-class or higher license. Cost is cheap, $15. After all, Ham radio is supposed to be non profit
(Funny to find that eF C C is a banned word here, LOL)
KJ6NT, One of the few Advanced Class operators left. Not to active in the last few years. Enjoy
I built many Heathkits over the years. I built an HW 16 in 1975 as my novice station,crystal controlled. Also converted old military Arc 5 equipment. The last Heathkit i built was the entire Hw 5400 station. I still have an Atlas 350 xl that works well. Not active in a few years. Mike KJ6NT
Nice to meet you, fellas! I'd kinda forgotten I had started this topic, and it's nice to hear there are other Hams in this group.
Update - On Dec 2, I took and passed all three exams in one sitting, earning myself an Extra ticket. Just got my call sign issued last week, AJ6AR. Just might keep that one since AR is the first two initials in my name (also stands for "Amateur Radio"
The "F Cee Cee" no longer issues paper licenses but my wife is getting my CSCE framed:
Also, you might be interested in the article I found that ran in our home town paper when I first earned my Novice license in 1962:
Today, we're heading to Oakland in the SF Bay Area on a Christmas shopping trip to a Ham Radio Outlet warehouse. Wife said I can spend $2,000 to get my rig and antennas set up. Looking to get an ICOM 7300 as the centerpiece.
Hmm, maybe someone here would know...
Had an RF Systems MLB and it looks like the squirrels took to it like a hickory nut.
RF Systems no longer makes these (might be out of business), but it looks like Palomar makes something similar.
Anyone ever tried the Palomar and if so, does it work well?