Saturday, May 10, 2008

Extra class

Passed my Extra today. w00t.

Back in college, the extra was a written exam that was slightly easier than the Advanced class exam, plus a 20 wpm code test. I passed the extra written once, but could never get the 20 wpm code, so I gave up on that. Now that they've gotten rid of the code requirements, the extra written is a little tougher than before (since it has some of the Advanced stuff, I think). I tried a couple weeks ago to pass it without any study, but that didn't go well. Since then, I've taken practice exams on the AA9PW exam page, and every question I got wrong I took the opportunity to learn something new. Some of the questions were formula based. For that, the W5JCK site's cheat sheets were invaluable. After taking enough practice exams, I felt confident enough to try again.

One suggestion: you'll want a scientific calculator for the test, but you don't want one that is "too smart" - particularly a programable one, since the VEs may disallow its use if they have any concerns that it is may have answers or formulas or anything like that programmed in. So for the test, I went to Walgreens and bought a cheap $8 sharp calculator. You want one that has trig, inverse trig (preferably in degrees), square root and 10x. That's all you'll need.

I don't really care all that much about the extra 200 kHz or so of HF spectrum. This was really all about checking off another box on the life experience list, I guess. That, and now I can be a full fledged VE if I want to.

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