Friday, 5th May, 2023

I passed my intermediate exam this morning. So now I can use up to 50 W, a couple of other random bands (that I’ll probably never use), can do remote transceiver operation (although only via radio) and design/construct my own equipment from scratch. Oh, and I can supervisor another amateur and they can use my callsign and privileges.

It wasn’t too difficult. The maths questions are straightforward, but there are several questions where the wording is cunning. Two answers seem like they’ll be technically correct, but really only one is. Sometimes because they’ve inserted a word which, in the exam writers mind, means a certain thing - although in the English language could mean multiple things. I worked through all the questions twice and wrote a list of the ones I felt happy with and the ones I wasn’t sure. After ages debating between answer A or B on these iffy questions I decided to just submit. I felt that even if I got them all wrong, I was right on the others and still get enough points to pass. In the end I did very well and scored 91%, the pass mark is 60%.

I did spend every evening this week revising and at work I did one mock paper a day at lunch. Now I don’t know what to do with myself this evening!

It’ll take a week before I can apply for my licence, and then I get to choose another callsign as it takes a different syntax.

Someone did a freedom of information request and there’s a spreadsheet of all the taken licences online, so I’ve been filtering and slicing that to see what I could get. Around 65% of the combinations have been taken, so anything meaningful is probably gone. So I’m focusing on ones that sound good when said phonetically, or roll off the tongue or aren’t confusing. Another radio guy said I should pick one that’s good for CW (morse code). I’m probably going to go for a full licence before I start learning morse code, (and will then get another new callsign) so not sure that’s super important but I might look it up to see.

Mike and Golf are single syllable letters, and being in Scotland the start of my callsign will be 2M0, so somehow making use of that would be good. 2M0MOM is available, but not sure if that’ll be quite confusing to listen to and hear.

I was explaining the radio stuff to my dad and taking about antenna etc. He asked if I was still doing the negative development. I said I only have time for one all consuming hobby at one time 😂 Maybe once I’m retired I can do all these things at the same time.

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