So now my spanking new (to me) radio was all installed and setup, the next step was to learn more about it. One of the best ways to do this was to pass my Canada Basic Amateur Radio exam and become a licensed amateur radio operator, better known as ham radio. This also allows me to use all the ham radio bands, of which there are a LOT, providing another option over the marine bands that I was already licensed to use. This includes stuff like Winlink, which allows me to send and receive emails via the radio (which I still think is so cool)
You needed 70% or more to pass the exam but could only use the channels below 30Mhz (i.e HF) if you got over 80%. Since these were the ones I was interested in, I basically needed over 80%. And there was a LOT of material for a so-called basic test, yikes. I did my exam with Alan Mallett, who is a lovely man who loves all things radio and was very helpful with suggestions of nets to join etc. I highly recommend him if you are in the Victoria area and I think he also runs radio courses if you don’t like self study. You can find his details on the industry canada website.
SO, to cut a self-congratulatory post mercifully short, I passed with 86%. Yay! This got me another bit of paper to show I can Do A Thing, as well as a choice of callsign, which caused a few hours of agonising over. I ended up going with VE7 NBD. VE7 is the prefix for a BC operator, while NBD stands for No Big Deal, which I hope will distract from my general air of neuroticism.
Also BBW and RIP were already taken.
So yeah. Woo! I’M A HUGE HAM