So, I finally did it. I took a plane off the ground and returned it by myself three times today (and did one go-around). It was a really great feeling. As is the tradition, the back of my shirt was cut off, inscribed with some commemorative writing by my instructor, and hung on the wall for all to see. I also talked a bit with one of the other HAMs at the flight club about his rigs and a few things the historical radio society does here. Now, I just have to get as many flights in as possible before my instructor becomes a father.
It’s a sad day in Erik-land. Stolen items were limited to JVC HDR1 receiver ($120), Hifonics Brutus 1000W Amplifier ($200), 20GB 4th Generation iPod ($60), and, the really sad part, an out of production Adire Audio 12” Brahma Subwoofer ($400). Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to beat the market to death and get the money back.
Today, I was reading a story about Jewish Nazis Jailed in Israel and disturbingly, I found out the number in the 92 Code for Love and Kisses, which is the number 88, happens to be a popular white-supremacist symbol. In fact, they both have major sections on the Wikipedia Page for 88. I guess you have to put it into context somehow on the air…
I got my callsign today:
Now, to actually buy a radio. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I think I might be happiest with a home base station after all, even though I live in an apartment. I may buy a little portable station kit to build, but that will be secondary to the large fixed station. Now, I just need to figure out exactly what I want. Power is a pretty big deal since I think I’ll be in a pretty suboptimal antenna situation. I am going to probably purchase a HamStick antenna for the balcony as I’ve seen some evidence that it may perform pretty well out there, and it’s pretty stealthy.
I’ll probably be testing for my General license on December 6th in Reisterstown. That should be fun…
So, answering a challenge I gave myself earlier this week, I’ve gotten my Amateur Radio Technician’s license the same week I passed my written exam for my Private Pilot’s license. Here’s the awesome certificate I got from the Laurel Amateur Radio Club:
I’ve also been practicing Morse Code on Linux using various tools like aldo, and I’ve found that strangely a Windows program works the best for me using WINE. You can find it here, or if that goes away, download here.
Then, run it with wine:
It should look like this:
It uses the Koch method, which is a great way to learn. I’m currently training with the speed set all the way up.
I get my callsign Monday!
Exam is done
Today, I took my written Private Pilot exam using LaserGrade!
I scored an 87% – not too bad, but not perfect. I think I missed 7 out of 60 questions. Oh well, I only needed a 70% to pass, so I think I did pretty well. Now, it’s time to solo tomorrow. That will be fun…