[AMRadio] Current Exams

rbethman rbethman at comcast.net
Mon Dec 21 10:43:03 EST 2015

I'm 65.

Like a pretty fair number of folks, I went to the District Office of the 
FCC, Atlanta, GA.

I had the Novice administered in May of 1980.

I took the trip from Ft. Benning, GA on 31 October 1980 to their office 
and sat for the General Class Exam.

Yep!  I had studied all I could.

Didn't change the fact that I was a ball of nerves!

I was sweating on the INSIDE, but tried to "look" calm.

I took the code test, then I took the written.

I walked out with a nervous smile holding an "Interim KA4PBD/AT".

Remaining military career kept me busy, and I didn't get back to upgrading.

I guess I'll remain a General.  I don't see any sense in a Q&A pool to 
read multiple times, sit down with a calculator or slide rule and walk 
out with an Extra.

Personally, it is an insult to do things that way.

Yep!  I have obtained the requisite letter from the FCC stating that I 
was issued a Tech plus on 30 May 1980.

I just haven't had the heart for the "new" system.

The learning is still taking place!  I'm now building equipment for the 
Microwave Portions of Amateur Radio.

It is intriguing to work with such tiny parts, and using hot air to 
solder bits and pieces that I almost need a microscope for!

I do have an USB Microscope.  I can usually manage with a very bright 
LED Magnifying Lamp.  I usually go back and carefully check my work with 
a jeweler's loupe.

So far the results have been great!  I haven't had to go back and do 
something twice!  Running these modules has resulted in fully functional 

I'm currently doing a burn-in run on the reference oscillator.  I've 
gotten components and partial modules from multiple sources.

I may never upgrade, but I will continue to work into the newer technology.

I may be working into microwave, BUT - I am NOT going digital!

The folks that run Microwave are running either SSB or CW.

AM is possible, but the level of technology makes it very difficult to 
modulate up at those frequencies.

Still snorting solder!

Bob - N0DGN

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