My Amateur Radio Page

Last updated: 27-Sep-2021

Welcome to my Amateur Radio page. It is currently under development, and as such, will have things added to it as I go. As soon as time allows, I will be setting up more of my station and taking digital photos of it.

Update! {20-Jun-2006}
As of July, 2005, I have passed my Extra Class exam and am now active with the Lancaster (NY) Amateur Radio Club (LARC) as a Volunteer Examiner (VE) and recently, I was named the VE Team Liaison for the club! Being a VE is rewarding as you are helping Amateur Radio gain new members (and as such, new ideas and resources!) If you are considering this great hobby, please contact a local club and get involved. Many offer classes and most amateurs are eager to help new hams!

Update! {30-Jul-2008}
As of February, 2007, the FCC no longer requires amateur radio operators to pass a Morse code exam! It is still a vital part of the hobby, but like the rest of the world, it no longer deems it necessary to prove that an operator is qualified to know it for using the lower-frequency bands! I will leave the text and the links below intact, just in the event there are some who still feel that they would like to learn the code and keep its history alive.

{Naturally, the stuff about passing the exam is no longer relevant, but use the techniques to 'test' yourself!}

Good News! I recently (18-Feb-2004) passed my Morse Code Endorsement and then passed my written General test. So I have upgraded from Technician to General class in one evening. I really lucked out in taking my tests. This was one New-Year's resolution that I have conquered! Next year, hopefully, I can pass my Extra Class test!

See, this just goes to show that if I can pass the 5 WPM (Words Per Minute) Morse Code test, anybody can. This was the result of 5 weeks of study with the assistance of the nice folks at the Lancaster Amateur Radio Club (LARC) and their Morse Code class. Unfortunately, out of 12-14 hams that started out last January, only 3 of us passed the Morse Code test. I wish that the others could have stuck with it because it wasn't as 'bad' as I thought it would be! (Actually, I thought it would be next to impossible!!)

Words of advice: "Practice, Practice, Practice!" Download a morse tutor program and listen to the code. Memorize a few letters at a time and add more as you get more comfortable. Keep reviewing the letters that you already have memorized so you don't forget. Move onto the numbers and the few Provisional Signals (called ProSigns) for punctuation and you're ready when you have been copying generated conversations (QSO's) at 6-7 WPM! Don't worry if you can't get every single character or number or prosign - you can usually fill in blank spaces in words, as long as you write a blank for each missed character. For example, suppose you have written this down on your sheet: "NI_E TO HEA_ _ROM _OU" you can fill in the 'C' 'R' 'F' and 'Y' after you have listened to the whole test - the examiners give you as much time as you need to 'correct' your copy before handing it in with your test questions. As of this writing, you need to answer 7 out of 10 questions correctly, or failing that, if you have 25 characters in a row without a mistake, you pass! Numbers and prosigns count as 2 characters, too. So if you write down just: "QTH HERE IS NEW ORLEANS, LA." it is exactly 25 points and you pass! (By the way, QTH stands for location and 2 points each for ',' and '.') So get to it and learn the code!! I have included a few links below to find some good Morse training programs. Also, click on the link for the morse code itself and you can print out a chart of the letters, numbers and prosigns that you're likely to encounter.

As with any hobby, this is a background project, so bear that in mind. I wish I had more time to develop this (and my other web pages) but that isn't reality - just a dream!

Thank you for your patience. In the meantime, please visit the sites listed below. They are much better organized and have extensive Amateur Radio information.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope that you may visit again sometime soon!

John Maxwell

Amateur Radio Links

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