50 Years a Ham

On September 8, 1972 the US Federal Communications Commission issued me a novice class amateur radio license. I was 11 years old.

The novice class license was the beginner level license and had very limited privileges….and the tests reflected the beginner status. Passing the novice class test required I successfully transmit and receive Morse code at 5 words per minute, plus pass a 20 question written exam covering regulations, basic safety precautions and beginner level technical issues.

Fifty years later, the requirements seem very simple. To an 11 year old that had limited electronics knowledge, the process was quite daunting.

The ham radio hobby launched me into my career as an electrical engineer specializing in radio systems design.

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