Upgraded to General!

By | May 17, 2019

Upgraded to General!

On Tuesday I passed my General exam at the Radio Club of Tacoma. I had attended a class there earlier in Spring but wasn’t able to complete them due to the number of farm chores that were piling up. Once things calmed down I was able to brush up, study, and test. I’ve already started studying for Extra and would like to test before the end of the year. I’ll keep you posted! I found Ham Test Online really helpful in preparing for the test and will continue using them along with the ARRL Extra manual.

Next up? Get on the air…

I am getting ready to set up the VHF/UHF part of the shack once my antenna arrives (Comet GP-9). along with the coax (LMR-400). I recently acquired a used Icom v8000 2m rig which I may add to the set up or on it’s own along with the IC-5100 I have mounted in my vehicle. Most of the repeaters I have been listening to are 2m, as is my local ARES net so having at least 2m is a start should I decide to not take the dual-band out of the jeep.

I have been checking out HF rigs and am leaning toward the ICOM IC-718. From what I’ve read, it’s a capable, dependable rig that I can afford. It doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles, and doesn’t have 6m, but that’s OK for now. My plan for an antenna at this point is to hang a G5RV from a mast on the eave to a tall fit behind the house.

The biggest bottleneck right now is the actual room. Currently we have a room off of the garage that we’ve used as storage (and to run our poultry incubators). I’m hoping to relocate the storage to another space and then tear out the old sheetrock and add new insulation and sheetrock and run a new electric feed to the room on a separate sub-panel with shutoff. The overhead lights will stay on the house panel, so if I have to shut down the sub-panel, or trip a circuit breaker I can still see what I’m doing. The room has good access for feed lines, grounding, etc., and will give me a space that’s pet free and quiet. Until then I may set up temporarily in the ofice where my computer lives for now anyways.

So until then, 73s!