Monday, July 2, 2018

Ham Radio General License KE0EUS

After getting my Technician License in May, 2015, I started thinking about getting the next license, a General License. I bought the book and started to study. I hadn't gotten past chapter 5 out of 7 chapters before I had to have shoulder replacement surgery and a follow up repair.  By the time my head was clear enough to consider studying again, the book I was studying from had expired. The questions for the test and the books are changed every 5 years. I told myself I had no interest in chapters 6 and 7 anyway so I gave up the idea. 

As time passed I joined the Denver Radio Club and pursed my VHF and UHF contacts along the Front Range of Colorado. I was plenty happy with that using my Yaesu RT-60. One day while playing around on, a call sign data base, I decided to look up the town in Minnesota where my daughter lives to see if any licensed hams lived near by. I thought it would be good to have a contact in case I needed someone to check in on her and her family. Going through the 125 names listed, I found Eric, K0EAP, whose address sounded like it could be somewhere near my daughter. He had pictures of his antennas and lots of info on his call sign page so I sent him an e-mail. He immediately wrote me back and said he could see my daughter's house from his house, they were about 500 feet apart. 

I should have known I was starting to branch out beyond my Front Range contacts with a new Minnesota email friend. It didn't take long for Eric to tell me how fun it is to have an advanced license and I should go for my General. That same week one of my local ham friends from our Denver Radio Club told me I needed to get my General license. So the idea grew on me. I got a new book, signed up for a cram class given by the Patriot VE testing at the Red Cross Center and studied for the two weeks before my test. Study I did too. I was intimidated by the math and parts that I really had no interest in. I told a few people what I was doing and to please pray I can pass this test .During the classes I felt confident that I knew quite a few answers and that I had a chance to pass fairly well. 

The General test was given the same day as our second class. I was ready, so I thought. Looking at the test before me, I wondered where did these questions even come from. Even the equations I memorized in the book did not have the answer in the multiple choice to choose from. It was like I was working my way through a foreign language exam. I handed in my test sheets and just shook my head I was sure I hadn't passed. I was feeling embarrassed and deflated.

The 7 of us taking the exam waited in the lobby for our results. We compared questions that were on our individual tests and what answers we had chosen. I realized then that I had been given one of the harder tests. Some of the people had easy questions with basic answers. I had none of those.  As we waited, the examiner came into the lobby and called out one name at a time, congratulating them. It was hard waiting for the examiner to return again and again wondering each time if this was news for me. Finally I saw the examiner heading towards me. My heart truly dropped as he had an expression that I thought wasn't carrying good news. Guys before me had received perfect scores and the level of elation in the room was high. I was feeling quite devastated. When the examiner got to me his words of Congratulations almost dropped me to my knees. I was shaking and in total disbelief. It felt like an act of God's Mercy. As the examiner returned to get my paper work to sign, I tried to clear my head and even wondered if he made a mistake. I decided if he did come back with my temporary license, I would sign the paper and leave as soon as possible before he changed his mind.

I'm happy to say it all went through. However, I did find out I most likely did have heavenly intervention. The success wasn't all mine. I called my dear Mother who I had been praying for me and told her the joyful news. It was then I learned how this all happened. My dear 88 year old Mother told me what she prayed. She said "I asked God and Daddy to be with you. If you wrote down a wrong answer, I asked them to change it to the right answer." You know, I truly believe that's how I passed my General License. It keeps me humble as I had heavenly help. I don't know what happened to my test after I turned it in but I believe it received some blessed attention.   Thank you, Mama, God and Daddy for your help! 

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