A few months after my 8th birthday in 1963 and when my dad gave me that ole Wells-Gardner BC-348-J receiver. I went down to the Federal Building in San Francisco. I took a written test and Morse Code test and had received my Novice Class Amateur License, with the Callsign WB6DUN. A few months after that I went down and took another test and upgraded to Technician Class.
But again high school, sports, girls, work and yes I did indulge in a little bit of the herb smoking. And YES I did inhale! LOL! I went into the Air Force and forgot to renew my FCC Tech. Class License. Then started a family and Ham radio was long forgotten.
Since my unexpected early retirement from truckin'. I went down to a librarary and took a 35 multiple choice questions test and got my Technician Class FCC Amateur License. I was issued the callsign of KJ4RIA. But since the FCC allows a licensed Ham to get a Vanity License. I applied for my old callsign WB6DUN. So now today Whiskey Bravo Six Delta Union Nancy, is back on the airwaves again. But for now I just operate on the 2 meter band (144.0 Mhz-148.0 Mhz), due to lack of funds.
Now days with the help of many Hams, the ARRL and the FCC. It is now easier to get your Ham Ticket. There is now no more Morse Code test to take. Prior Ham Class Licenses when I had mine were Novice, Technician, Conditional, General, Advance and Amateur Extra. Today there are only
To promote and further the amateur radio hobby, to drive wireless innovation, and
to provide emergency communications assistance in times of need. Increase the number of trained radio operators and electronics experts,
and improve international goodwill.
Back in 1963 after my late dad had given me that ole Wells-Gardner BC-348-J reciever. And watching him jaw jacking on the radio waves. I caught the Ham radio bug. So a few months after my 8th birthday, and alot of studying. My dad took me down the the Federal Building in San Francisco. We went into the FCC room. It was a big, old building smell room. I went into another room and there were 4 men dressed in suits in the front of that room. I filled out a bunch of papers with the help of my dad. And then he left and the written test began. Then came the 5 wpm Morse Code test. I passed both and was issued from the United States of America Federal Communications Commission. A Novice Class Amateur Radio License, Callsign WB6DUN.Then a few months of more studying I upgraded to Technician's Class, like my dad.
Back then there were 6 different classes. There was Novice, Technician, Conditional, General, Advance and Amateur Extra. If I remember you had to take a 5 wpm Morse Code test for Novice, then 7 wpm for the General and 10 wpm for Advance. You to pass the lower class test before advancing to the next class up.
But due to the fact that I was in high school, just like my SWLing. With the sports, girls, work and partying (yes I did indulge in the partaking of the herb smoking. YES, I did inhale!), maybe not in that order. Ham radio was put up on the shelf and buried. My license expired when I was in the Air Force and never renewed it.
So jump forward some 30 years later. Now with my early unexpected retirement. I found ham radio again, just as SWLing. So I found a local Ham Club here in Kentucky and took my 35 multiple choice question test. I passed the test and was issued from the United Stated of America Federal Communications Commission a Technician Class Amateur License, with the callsign KJ4RIA. But now day with the downsizing and making it easier to get your ham ticket. No more going to the Federal Building, 4 men dressed suits. Now they have Ham Clubs and VE's (Volunteer Examiners), to issue the tests. Yes they have 3 or 4 men, dressed in jeans and polo shirts. They now do not require any Morse Code tests and they only have 3 classes of licenses. Technician, General and Advance. Also now the FCC has what they call Vanity License. I requested my old callsign. So now Whiskey, Bravo, Six, Delta, Uniform, Nancy. Is back on the Ham Band Airwaves Again.
I only operate on the 2 meter band (144.0 Mhz-148.0 Mhz. Back when I first got my license it was Mc for Megacycles.), for now due to lack of funding. I currently use a Yaesu FT-270 handheld radio. Much different from the old Heathkit DX-60 transmitter, HR-10 reciever, HW 20, a Swan 270-B Cygnet, and some home brew radios that me and my dad built together.
But the excitement of the hobby is still there. But it is not only for the excitement of the hobby. Being able to talk to someone in Japan or Germany is exciting. But it's also for the use of my services and my radios for emergency situtions and times of disaster. You don't have to be an electronics geek to get a ham license. All you gotta do is just study. but having some form of electronics background, keeps the Ham Bands Alive!
A good online Ham practice site
Ham Testing Study Guideshttp://www.w5yi.org/catalog.php?sort=4
My digital camera is packed up, plus I'm just too lazy to look for it so here is a pohot I took off the internet of my Yaesu FT-270 2 m handheld.http://www.yaesu.com/