On Sept. 21-22, the Sinbad Desert Amateur Radio Club held their Fall Campout at the Wedge Campground. At that campground the members participated in setting up HAM radios with long and/or tall antennas to make contact with other HAM radio operators around the world.
The fun of these campouts is all about getting out in nature away from the city noise and traffic. Some of the activities were, find the hidden radio transmitter, making radio contacts, hikes, 4-wheeling and just relaxing in the shade.
There was good food, comradeship, swapping of war stories about the radio contacts made, stories of how you have improved your HAM radio shack with new equipment or the latest antenna configuration you have made and tested. These are all part of the fun of the campout.
This campout saw two members attempt to pass off stiff tests about Federal Communication Commission rules, electronics, radio frequencies and proper radio usage. Passing each of three tests gives the radio operator the authorization to use an increased number of radio frequencies. There are three tests available to be given by volunteer examiners approved by the FCC.
The first test to be passed is the FCC Technician Class Test. The Technician Class Test is the first for the person that wants to become a HAM radio operator.
The second test is the FCC General Class Test. The third is the FCC Extra Class Test.
After passing a test the radio operator is given a license to use certain radio frequencies. Each test carries with it a list of frequencies available for that particular class of radio license. It is no longer required for a HAM radio operator to learn Morse Code.
As the HAM radio operator gains skills, learns and passes each of the three tests he is given the privilege of using a greater number of radio frequencies to make contacts with a greater number of radio operators around the world.