Saturday, October 17, 2009

The long wait continues . . .

I had been doing a "countdown timer" in advance of the exam, and now that it's over I should be doing a "countup timer". The wait seems eternal. It is now 11 days since I sat the exam and, it being the weekend, I know I will not receive any notification from Comreg before at least Monday.

My recently-licenced friend, Brian EI7GVB, tells me it was 17 whole days after the exam when he finally received his "golden envelope" from Comreg. By that measure, it would be next Friday before I find out. Hopefully not. The wait is agonising.

However, I'm a bit more relaxed about it now. I realise that although I found Section A tough going, I think I did enough to pass it and I reckon I did well enough on Section B and Section C. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I've been doing a wee bit of listening, as usual. While HF has been quiet all week, VHF has been more exciting. Most of the HF bands were closed a lot of the time, although right now, as I write this, there is good activity on 20 metres, and there were some openings earlier on 17 and 15 metres. On VHF, there seems to have been a resurgence of interest in 2 metres. I was particularly interested to hear a gentleman called Terry on the air, using his father's callsign - EI8Z - a nice short one!! Some of the people licenced after the June exam are regulars, including Nick EI7GOB in South Dublin, who can regularly be heard operating through the Dundalk Repeater EI2CCR. There are some new operators north of the border too who have recently joined the hobby. One local operator who had been licenced earlier in the decade - Darragh EI8IZ - is back on the air after a long break and can regularly be heard on 2 metres also. I look forward to working you Darragh IF I get the licence!! I hope also that you get set up on HF soon.

On Monday of this week, Short Wave Listeners, myself included, were delighted to hear so many people call in after the IRTS news - a total of 20 callsigns were registered. Peter EI4HX (EI0RTS) was kept busy for a long time after the news bulletin with all the callers. Ironically, the news itself was short this week.

Just checking the Dundalk Amateur Radio Society website, I see there are ZERO sunspots. This has been the norm this year. We are in a very prolonged period of low activity. Hopefully, things will begin to lift soon and we'll see some spectacular aurora - and some spectacular conditions on HF!!

Life hasn't been quite the same since Tuesday 6th October for me. I have not been doing any study!! So things have been a bit easier, a little less pressurised. I don't miss the study really, although I did learn a lot and am grateful for the experience. I hope I don't have to pick up the books again next year to try again. Obviously, as soon as the post comes with the results, I will let you know.

In the meantime, I'm trying out a new High Definition video camera. Maybe I'll point it at the sun, and see if I can see some sunspots!!

73 de

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