Extra! Extra!

For those that are parents, isn’t it lovely when your kids use your own words against you?

After my daughter became licensed, she almost immediately asked when I was going to get my extra class license. My wife and I encourage our kids to avoid coming up with excuses, but rather roll up their sleeves and accomplish worthy goals. Kids can spot hypocrisy faster than beans give me gas. I forgot this when my daughter asked me about becoming an extra.

“I got a lot on my plate now, maybe later this year.”

My daughter quickly quoted my wife and our mantra of “excuses stink.”

I pointed out that she was correct. So I began studying. It took me four times longer to study for the Extra class exam than it did for my Technician exam. Some of that longer study time was due to my sight impairment. The limited vision I have does not allow me to read without the aid of tools, so I mostly rely on audiobooks, audio lectures, and my Mac’s text-to-speech function to learn.

Since the material which one needs to know for the Extra exam is vast and more deep, listening to electronic and antenna theory for hours was sometimes mind numbing. The question pool is larger, and there are more questions asked in the exam. It was much more challenging than Technician and General. Still, it was more than doable.

It took me a little over a month to study and then the day came. I was much more nervous taking the Extra exam than I was for Tech and General. I don’t know why for sure, but I think it was because Tech and General are more hands-on questions, and Extra is more theory and math based. Nevertheless, I passed. A good thing done. As long as I remember to renew every 10 years, I don’t have to exam ever again. Well, unless the FCC changes its rules, which they have done from time to time.

I will never stop studying though. There are aspects of ham radio that aren’t in any of the exams. In fact, I sort of think of ham radio licenses as learners’ permits. Even though I’m an extra, I still frequently learn things from others in the world of ham radio.

73,
W7KBX

About Kyle (W7KBX)

I became a licensed ham in May of 2013 with a class of General. I have since upgraded to Extra. If you are really bored and want to learn more about me, please click here
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