Amateur Radio License

Last week, I finally took the tests to obain my amateur radio license. This is something I've wanted to do for years, but never made the time to do it. In fact, when I went to apply for an FRN (FCC Registration Number, basically an account with the FCC to track your licenses), I had already been issued an FRN in 2007 that I forgot about. That is probably when I first stared looking into amateur radio but never followed through with the tests.

I studied for about two weeks, and took all three tests to go from "zero to extra" in one sitting. I scored 33 of 35 on the Technician test, 35/35 on the General test, and 44/50 on the Extra test, which I think went quite well.

The next day after my test, the FCC issued my callsign, AI7KF. A very kind thanks goes to the quick work of W1MX, the MIT Radio Society, who conducted the test and submitted the test results to the FCC promptly.

My initial plans for amateur radio is to play with APRS. I purchased a Yaesu FT5DR handheld radio, which supports APRS, as well as the usual VHF/UHF bands. Depending on how things go, my next steps are probably software defined radio, such as a LimeSDR, and a HF base station (Icom 7300 perhaps?).