Obtaining US callsign / license

Had a great time stopping by the Broward ARC meeting in Ft.Lauderdale last night; met a great bunch of very friendly hams there.

Even though reciprocal agreements between US & Canada allow VE3 hams to operate, I though it may be a good idea to attempt a US amateur license exam and obtain a callsign from FCC given the opportunity. So I showed up at 6:30pm at the club, and then wrote and successfully passed both Technician and General exams.

Each exam was only 35 multiple-choice questions (fairly easy ones compared to the Canadian Basic exam). To pass, 26 correct answers were required. There was one question I didn’t have answer for – how many hams are required by FCC to open a club. I guessed 3 and the right answer was 4.

There was not much time left to attempt the final Extra exam this time, plus I was not preparing for it, so will probably give it a try next time.

Now having the exam papers submitted to FCC, a random sequential callsign is to be allocated within 15 days.

73 for now!



Heard in Hawaii – 4,732 miles per watt

Great ops and good band conditions make it happen. Just a week after a 1,200 miles per watt QSO, there is now a 4,732 miles per watt QRP QSO with Massimo KH6ZM in beautiful Hawaii (Grid: BK29ik).

2016-03-08 03:57 KH6ZM 40m 7.054 CW BK29ik Hawaii MASSIMO A ZENOBI

Massimo used a kW into a 2-el Yagi but received me on a beverage antenna with cascaded preamps. He was coming 599 into Florida on my 7′ long mobile 40m hamstick. My 1 watt across 4,732 miles landed a 559 report and encouraging comments.

Thank you Massimo for a QSO!

Very 73’s!


1,200 miles per watt

What else to do on a leap day? Try to do something you never had time for, of course! For instance – QRP!

The conditions were outstanding on 20m today. Worked a good friend of mine in Toronto 1,200 miles away on SSB using just 1 watt of power both ways just before sunset.

The reports were 519 or rather 509 but still fairly decent copy on both sides. He used a low-hanging dipole and I had a 7′ tall hamstick on the roof of my car.

The following calculator courtesy of N9SSA can be used for quickly estimating distance between two stations: http://www.hoffswell.com/n9ssa/mpwcalc.html