Welcome To The

NR6V Web Site!


Welcome to my web site. It's a work in progress, but I hope you find some interesting and useful information!

Ham Radio Heyday!

The proliferation of cell phones just about killed amateur "ham" radio. After all, if you have a cellphone, why would you need amateur radio? Well, a series of natural disasters answered the question when it became clear that ham radio was the only reliable mode of communication when the infrastructure was compromised. Today, there are more licensed ham radio operators than ever before. In late 2011, the number of licensed operators in the U.S. surpassed 700,000 for the first time! And that number continues to grow. The number of licensing classes and testing sessions grows every year. It's never been easier to earn your "ticket" or less expensive to equip your ham "shack." For more information on ham radio and getting your ham license, see my Amateur Radio page.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

No, the pinball wizard didn't get a miracle cure, but I did pass my "Amateur Extra" exam. Amateur Extra is the highest level of amateur radio license in the United States and is the toughest of all the ham tests. As an "Extra" I have access to the gamut of amateur radio bands and, as a Volunteer Examiner, will be able to administer amateur radio tests to those testing for General and Amateur Extra licenses. Frankly, I really didn't think I'd be able to pass this test, but with the variety of online test preparation resources and a bit of dedication, I was able to pull it off!

You Can Call Me NR6V!

One of the "perks" of earning my Amateur Extra ticket is that I'm allowed to apply for a shorter call sign. Known as a "vanity" call sign, these shorter calls are often easier to understand during noisy radio communications. The problem is that all the shorter call signs have been issued. Getting one with a "6" (California) is even more difficult. The only way to get one is to find one that's been abandoned. To pull it off, I had to have my online application completed and wait for midnight on the day the call sign becomes available and hope I hit the "send" button before anyone else. Some people I know have applied for six or seven call signs before success. I got lucky (or was it skill) and was successful my first time! A fellow ham suggested a mnemonic to help me remember my new call sign....Now Recruiting 6 Virgins.

My Latest Toys

My latest purchase is a pair of TYT TH-9000 radios. These are inexpensive, Chinese built, single-band mobile ham radios. I bought one each in 222-mhz and 440-mhz bands. I installed them in my second "Go Kit" to expand my capability to respond to communication emergencies. So far, they seem to be well built and decent performing radios. For about $150.00 each, they seem to offer a better value than the brand name competitors. They can even purchased from Amazon.com.