I’ve been playing a little on 2m and 70cm bands since I’ve had my Technician license and been issued my calls. It’s been pretty fun, but I’d like to play a little more. I’ve now ordered on my HF radio equipment and looking forward to playing with it, but I have one problem. I can’t on a Technician license.

I actually bought my Gordon West General Class study guide before leaving for vacation. I figured between sitting at the beach and watching my daughter at the pool on vacation I’d have some time to look through it and get ready for the test.

I wound up getting through the book pretty quickly and felt like I had a pretty good grasp of the material . With that being the case it was time to start testing myself. Back to the App Store to get my testing app. It was definitely worth spending $5. You can have it randomize the answers like they do on the exams as well as review individual sets of questions if your having trouble in certain sections. It keeps track of percentages of each set of question that you get right and wrong so you know where you need to work to be proficient and make the best use of your study time. If you search the Apple app store for ham radio exam prep, you will find several. The one I used is by Patrick J. Maloney. I’m sure they’re all really good, but after using mine for the technical and doing so well I stuck with what I knew.

Now that I’m on the road to passing the exam, the next trick is to find a location to take it at. I didn’t find any resources for taking it in Galveston where we were on vacation through the W5YI guys. I searched the ARRL website and found an exam taking place the last weekend of our vacation about 40 miles away in Baytown. I just figured that would make a fun drive for us and a way to relax a bit that day as it was supposed to be very hot anyway.

After a total of 8 days of studying both the Gordon West book and my exam prep apps, exam day had arrived. We made the nice easy drive to Baytown and got there with time to spare. I took one more practice test on my iPhone and then it was off to take the real one. There were actually four of us there to test, 2 Technicians, myself with General and 1 Extra. With the prep I did, I breezed through the exam and was done in about 15 minutes. The guys graded it and was told I didn’t miss a single question and was now a General Class HAM guy!!

Now, I just have to wait for the rest of my equipment to show up in a couple days so I can play. Time to learn some patience for a few days. Until then, 73 and Good Luck on the radio.