Plodding Along

Not a lot has changed in the past couple of weeks, radio-wise. I’m still working lots of digital modes (including CW) and enjoying it. FT4 activity seems to be increasing … probably since the FT8 segments are so crowded. PSK and Olivia activity is still sporadic, but I did notice some nice signals on 20 meters around lunchtime today … strong and lots of them!

One of my coworkers just became a ham last week. He attended an outdoor testing session, to comply with the social distancing recommendations. He passed the Technician and General class licenses, and was formally granted KO4DBF after about a week’s time or so.

Our club held its first virtual club meeting last night, using Zoom. Last week I attended our QCWA chapter meeting via Zoom as well. Looks like Zoom is the preferred method of social interaction now. At work, we’re using Microsoft Teams, but I like the Zoom interface better.

As a matter of fact, I’ve got two Zoom meetings later this evening. First, our Scout Troop, and then after that, our church Choir. We’ve been doing virtual meetings for Scouts for several weeks now and it seems to be working well. The choir meeting is more of a social thing rather than musical … just to keep in touch while in-person services are suspended. Our virtual church services are on FaceBook live.

73 de Dick N4BC


I sat down and took some on-line amateur licensing exams, just for kicks. Well, I passed the Tech with flying colors. I think I missed one question, and that was from not reading the question correctly. The General was a bit harder. Let’s just say that I passed … and not by a great margin. The Extra was another story, however.  I missed 16 questions, and the maximum allowed is 13 … ABYSMAL FAILURE!!!  And … I just flat-out guessed at some of the answers I got right. It was embarrassing!

So, the moral of this story is … don’t get too smug if you’ve been licensed for a long time. The knowledge set has really changed since I tested for Extra in 1993.  Lots more satellite and solid state theory than I remember. And I still .work full-time in the world of radio communications!

You know what this is going to do, don’t you? It’s going to drive me to spend some time boning up on Extra-class theory. I guess that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

73 de Dick N4BC