Why should I upgrade my ham radio license from Technician Class to General Class. What’s the big deal!
Well, have you ever woken up your wife in the middle of the night to tell her about the contact you had just made on the repeater? No? Neither have I!
However, I did wake up Jennifer this week in the middle of the night to tell her that I had just made radio contact with VK0EE down on Heard Island in the Antarctic Ocean! I had been trying to make a contact with an expedition (called DXpedition) for the past three days and finally had made a contact! What a thrill to hear “K8RCT – 599- Thank you- VK0EK”! Wow, the thrill is still there! Jennifer thought the good news could have waited until morning – hi!
This contact was made with a simple dipole type antenna at 30’ and 100 watts of power. This is about as simple HF system as you can get. Cheap and easy to install.
However, you do need to upgrade your license to at least General Class in order to work the HF bands (yes, there are a few operating privileges for Technician Class in the HF bands).
The General Class license opens a whole new world of amateur radio. You can chase DX (distant stations – my passion), operate on the regional nets, not just the local repeaters, chew the rag with stations all over the US and the world, operate in various radio sports (contests) like the upcoming Michigan QSO party, and use the various digital modes to make contacts. It’s a whole new world!
So if you are interested in upgrading to General Class, you have an opportunity starting on Wednesday evening, April 13th. The classes will begin on Wednesday evening, April13 and continue for eight weeks. The class will start at 7:00 PM and each class will take about two hours. Classes will be held in the training room for New Approaches Center, 5123 N. Royal Drive in Traverse City.
The classes will be combination of both workbook study and practical instruction.
Although there is no charge for the class, participants must have a copy of the American Radio Relay Leagues (ARRL) General Class workbook, version 8 (Version 8 is new this year so old workbooks are out of date) This workbook can be purchased directly from the ARRL from their website at https://www.arrl.org/shop/ARRL-General-Class-License-Manual-8th-Edition or from Amazon. This workbook is essential for taking the class.
At the conclusion of the workbook-based classes, the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club will administer a special FCC exam session for participants. Students passing the exam will have their FCC license upgrade to General Class. The classes will then continue with instruction on the practical operation of a ham radio station.
To sign up for the Technician Ham Radio classes, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name on it to enroll for free.
I hope to see you at the class!