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Florida flat-lander refitting an Alberg 30, hull #329, for an eventual circumnavigation of the globe and the journey of a lifetime before I get too old!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kilo Kilo Four Golf Golf Foxtrot

What does it mean?!?!?!?!? Kilo Kilo Four Golf Golf Foxtrot = KK4GGF = my kinda new HAM call sign! I passed the HAM tech and general exams back in January. January 21st to be exact. I am now a delicious HAM people!

I studied about two months for the tech exam using a number of different tools, gimmicks and printed study guides. I studied about two hours for the general exam, that morning, using only the exam pool questions that have the correct answers highlighted. When I passed the tech I was asked if I want to take the general. Feeling cocky, I accepted and just barely passed. I passed though and I am amazed at my ability to take highly technical tests on subjects I know virtually nothing about!

With my current HAM license status, I can do everything that I need to do and intend to do aboard. For those that do not know what sailors use HAM and HF (high frequency) radio for, here is a list of some uses:

° Receive graphic weather files via SSB like this:

° Receive text format weather forecasts via SSB like this:

° Send and receive very short, text based email via SSB using WINLINK. Those that give a sh*t about me will love this. I can also update my Facebook page using this wonderful technology!

° Participate in marine radio networks while in transit. Radio nets are scheduled events which are used by sailors to check in, report positions, give/receive weather reports and camaraderie with other sailors/boats while in a specific area or crossing a specific body of water.

° Safety. All of the above are based upon safety while on the high seas. Chances are that if I need a rescue, HAM, SSB or HF are not going to save me but there is a small chance. Hopefully the gribs, forecasts and my own common sense will keep me out of harm's way.

Passing two tests does not make me an expert. It is for that reason I plan on taking a third and final exam; the extra! That is what it is called...The Extra Element Four. The BIG KAHUNA! I am going to take this exam in April and it will be a test. I actually took this exam the same day I took the others but failed. It was a hail Mary attempt (25 of 50=50%=fail) but I now know what to expect. While studying for this I will learn a lot which may help me and others in the future. I might end up being the radio guru in some harbors! That could be a curse actually....

I forgot to mention that internet is not available in the middle of the ocean and 90% of the places i plan to be. This is why yo.....