I learned a new word Saturday. I had heard it before but really didn’t know what it meant. The word is Trifectaa bettor wins by selecting the first three finishers of a race in the correct order of finish. In ham radio it is where a person with out a amateur radio license passes their technician, general, and extra exam at the same test session. We had that happen at our session on February 6, 2021.Duane Cutlip (KY4EC) of Wendell, NC.
I work in financial services and my oldest brother has been a ham operator for over 30 years (N8LPZ). I studied for almost a week every evening using mostly online (and mostly free) resources. I used Dan Romanchik’s No Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide. I found HamStudy helpful because they offered explanations of why the right answer was correct. I also went through the Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club slides and material, which helped flesh out detail and provide more context. I ended up doing all my practice exams at eHam.net There are probably a lot of options there, but I like the review options of just wrong answers or the whole test, which helped on unsure answers.I tried to take the tests in sets of 3 to gauge my progress since the questions appear randomly and there are so many questions in the pool. When I felt I had a good grasp of each test, I started taking the 3 tests back-to-back (Technician, General, Extra) to make sure that I could handle the entire pool of questions and to make sure I could complete them all in an allotted time. As I reached a point of comfort, I dumped all my study material into a (very long) Word document. Then, I would delete sections I felt I had mastered so after each subsequent edit, I was having to peruse less and less material, focusing in on the trouble spots. Not having a background in electronics or radios left me with some sections that I just had difficulty comprehending and they eventually came down to a memory exercise that I hope I’ll understand more about when I get my hands dirty. Of course, since you can’t use a radio until you’re licensed, a lot of the information to do with bands, power constraints, and FCC rules just come down to memorization anyway. In the end, I was pretty lucky, so now the real learning begins!
Duane Cutlip (KY4EC)
Thanks to Martin Brossman III (KI4CFS) for the video and Duane Cutlip (KY4EC) for granting the interview.