[TenTec] new to CW dxing

Jim Lowman jmlowman at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jul 4 17:05:24 PDT 2012

Interesting, Rick.

I took the Novice exams back in 1965, when I was in high school.  My 
mentor, halfway
down the block (Harry, WA8PVA, SK) administered the exams.

In less than a year I traveled to Detroit to take my General exams in 
front of "The Man."
Managed to pass both the General and, a couple of years later, the 
Advanced exams
on the first try.

A lot of years passed and life got in the way, but I got back into ham 
radio in 1995.
In 1997 I took and passed the Extra exams.  Code at 20 wpm was still 
required so I'm
a "coded" Extra, even though it was the VE team and not the FCC examiner.

I thought that the Extra theory test was a joke.  I brought a calculator 
and never used
it once.  I know that the head VE, a good friend of mine, probably threw 
the hardest
test in the bunch at me.  It was nothing like the General or Advanced 
exams that the
FCC administered, where I had to use my slide rule quite a bit 
(pre-calculator days).

When I took my General exams, most of the guys in the room were quite a 
bit older
and most were excellent with the code.  However, the theory gave many of 
problems.  We knew only in general what the questions would be like - no
published question pools back then.  Often equations had to be 
rearranged and
units converted.  A lot of these guys probably worked in the auto 
factories, where
only an 8th-grade education was required, so they had not yet had algebra.

73 de Jim - AD6CW

On 7/4/2012 1:11 AM, Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP wrote:
> I hesitated to throw in my "Extra Ticket" story, but what the heck.  You
> see, I failed the theory by one question.
> I think that was in 1974.  Maybe 75.
> While living in Germany, I went home for Christmas only about every 5 years
> or so.
> I had not put any thought into taking an exam because here in Germany I had
> full privileges, but I got bored sitting around the folks' house in OKC.  I
> borrowed their car, drove down to Dallas and took the General, Advanced, and
> Extra without any previous studying.
> Of the 20 people who took the CW test I was the only one who passed the
> copying part, making just one mistake.
> To my surprise the examiner had a Hallicrafters TO keyer and a Vibroplex
> Iambic paddle.
> He offered to let me use it.
> I sat down adjusted the speed to about 28 or 30 wpm, sent BENS BEST BENS
> FEET which we had practiced a lot in the Army and within about 5 seconds he
> said "you passed".  Of course 10 years of being net control in NTS cw nets
> prior to moving to Germany had not hurt.
> I did manage to upgrade my Conditional to an Advanced, but I regretted that
> I had not bought a license manual and studied.
> As a result, I did not get my Extra ticket for another 30 years, in 2008,
> after I moved back to Oklahoma.  Of course CW was no longer required so yes,
> I'm a "No Code Extra".
> The second time (2008) I was much smarter.  I bought a license manual, but
> still flunked the theory by one questions.  Turns out a new question set was
> released in July and I had studied from the old manual.  So I bought a new
> license manual, and passed the test on my third attempt, one month later.
> 73
> Rick, DJ0IP

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