Anyone who reads my blog, at all, knows I’ve been repairing a lot of gear for the last while. But, I’ve wanted to take it up another notch, and repair some radio equipment… mainly HF/VHF/UHF transceivers. Now, while there’s nothing against doing that and being unlicensed for Amateur Radio, I thought it would be more responsible to actually have a license so I could test said gear rather than just pumping it into a dummy load.
So, I spent a couple weeks studying, and took the Amateur License Exam 2 weeks ago, and passed Technician with no problem at all. Sadly, I was able to take the General exam right after for free, and missed it by one question! So, I have my license, and right now, have a call sign of KG7VJC, which is fine, but I have applied for a Vanity Call Sign. That takes a while, so I’m holding off on saying what that call sign may end up being.
As for a radio, I initially planned on just buying a Baofeng radio, but after never hearing anything overly great about them (other than cheap), I started watching eBay and Craigslist for used Yaesu/Icom/Kenwood HTs (Handheld Transmitters). I quickly found one, in Portland, for a Yaesu VX-8DR, a pretty high end HT that looked awesome. So, I saved up a bit, and just last week bought it while up in PDX for a bit more than I’d have liked, but I’m sure it will serve me well, and radios really seem to hold their value (I can always resell if I need to).
Anyway, I’m now a ham. I’ll post a review of the radio (and probably other radio gear as acquired), as well as be adding some repairs of transceivers once I have some to repair. I’ll also be joining a local club… as that was suggested by the person I bought the radio from (lamenting he hadn’t joined one earlier). Joining the ARRL, though, may not happen anytime soon. It’s kind of spendy.