No doubt all of you are wondering how my ham radio test went on Saturday, and I'm ever so happy to report that I passed! I'm a Technician class ham radio operator, though I haven't been able to use the radio yet because the FCC hasn't issued me a call sign.
The test consisted of 35 questions, ranging from FCC regulations to semiconductor components, and I studied using a book of Vlad's written in 1993 and by reading the question pool that the American Radio Relay League provides. I also had a healthy dose of test anxiety, since as an English major semiconductors are not my forte. But now I know all about Ohm's Law. And the ionosphere. And coaxial cable! Plus, I got to take the test at NASA. How cool is that?
Theoretically, I will be able to use the Internet and thus update the blog and email while in the middle of the ocean. That is, if I can figure out how to actually use the radio. I have a feeling that Vlad knows how to do all of this stuff but made me take the test because I looked so excited about the idea of becoming a ham radio operator. At least, I hope he does, or we're going to seriously offend some hams. There's a lot of etiquette involved, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get blacklisted for talking to close to the microphone.
The only downside to all this is that I have to take another test to be able to use marine frequencies, which will no doubt mean another round of memorizing radio frequencies in between boat projects. My favorite.