The VE session we hold in August is always kind of special to me, as it always marks my ham radio cake day. The team got together Saturday morning for breakfast at a painfully early 7 a.m., and we proceeded to our testing location to get things started by 9 a.m. We saw a handful of upgrades to Extra, a few new Generals and a smattering of new Techs. We had one individual completely bomb the Tech (an XYL, who was brought to tears with news she hadn’t passed), and a young man who couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 missed passing the Tech exam by one question. His test was the final one I graded for the day, but since he was so close, enough of us agreed to stay and let him re-test. He passed with a nearly perfect score on the next go-round.
I typically take this session as a time to pause and reflect on what I’ve accomplished in the hobby. There isn’t that much to reflect on this year, but three things do stand out: Achieving the Worked All States Triple Play, operating as W1AW/4, and the recent VHF contest.
These are three very different experiences, but yet they represent the best of the best when it comes to this hobby. The Triple Play is a testament to tenacity, operating skill, patience and perseverance. Operating as W1AW/4 required every skill I have learned to this point. It tested my endurance, speed and ability to keep calm in a hectic situation. Also, it was an historic experience, and I probably won’t host pile-ups like that again for the rest of my life. The VHF contest was notable because it was something neither I nor my companions had done before, and we were successful. We owe that to the planning and determination of KN4QD. Above all, it was just fun and I had a good time hanging out on top of the mountain drinking Coke Zeros and gazing at antennas.
I’m determined to scale back a bit, so I’m looking to sell my Yaesu FT-847, desk mic and autotuner (plus a few extras). I just haven’t had a need for this one since installing the Elecraft. Contact me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org.