Elmering Pays Off

On Feb 10, 2006, Greg wrote:

I have just decided to get my tech license at age 51 after a lifetime of interest. I have no technical aptitude to speak of. How long do you think it would take me to acquire a license after getting the ARRL materials? I am reasonably well educated, so while my aptitude doesn’t lean toward electronics, I can read and retain what I have read, I understand any answer you can provide would only be general. Also, while my first radio would probably by a 2-meter, what else would you recommend that might be of interest from a standpoint of long-range communications that license would allow? Thanks for any information you can provide.


I replied:

Well, the way the exams are now set up, you certainly don’t have to be an electronics engineer to get the no-code Technician Class license. My guess is that you will be able to pass the test with less than a month of study.

Today, Greg sent me this message:

Just thought I’d drop you a note to let you know that I took my test Friday and passed, and already received my license call letters. So it was exactly a month. One of the other guys there was taking his General exam and loaned me his book, so I’ll take that as soon as I can. I also need to learn Code, but I want to anyway. Thanks for your advice and encouragement early on. 73, KI4OBM.

How about that, eh? Greg’s message certainly made my day. And I’m very encouraged that he’s going to pursue the General Class license right away as well.


  1. sue KD5LKG says:

    I was also over 50 when I got interested in ham radio – so way to go, Greg! I got my Tech so I could sit at our town’s EOC and use 2-meters for Skywarn. My mentor was retiring from volunteer civil defense and sort of pushed me into it. Then, he pushed me into getting my General ticket. The code was hard….but one of my club member friends made me a couple of practice cd’s – randon groups of code letters and numbers and symbols, so after I had gone thru the ARRL code stuff, I took the cd’s to work – graveyard at the police department – where I drove the drunks in the cells nuts playing the tapes at full volume.
    It is way cool – I’m sort of a turn-it-on-and-talk kind of ham right now, but slowly I am trying to acquire some of the tecnical skills i need for this hobby. It took a while -I’m no genius – but it was worth the effort. Now, I’m working on Extra! And working with boy Scouts to get them interested.

    Keep up the good work!

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