A year ago, March 10th, 2010, I passed both the Technician and Generall Class Amatuer Radio license tests and recieved my initial call sign of KF7IMY. On March 16th, 2011 I passed the Amatuer Extra license exam and just received in the mail (today) my new call sign AE7LV. I've had difficulty from day 1 trying to say my old call sign, I was a regular stumble tongue trying to get those calls letters out of my mouth. One day and already AE7LV is more fluid sounding as I pronounce my new call sign.
I figured that difficulty saying your call sign was a good enough reason to request a new one along with the license upgrade. Besides, being slightly egotisical, I wanted my new call sign to proclaim my new status.
I am currently the chair of the upgrade commity for the Radio Amatuer's of Skagit County, the ARES/RACES representative to the City of Anacortes Emergency Communications Center, and studying to become a Volunteer Examiner for administering test to new or upgrading hams. I just need to turn in the paperwork.
After a year I still haven't completed my ham shack, it is still a work in progress. After Christmas my oldest daughter and her 4 children moved out (after 4 years of college and obtaining a degree in Music Education) leaving the upstairs vacant. The upstairs is becoming my man cave. One corner has a twin bed and dresser for any overnighter, but the rest of it is being turned into a Library (I have between 3-5000 books) and the dormer is being turned into my Ham shack. At my back is 4 shelves of Electronic and Amatuer Radio books and 1 shelf dedicated to nothing but repair manuals (I'm obtaining all the manuals for my Heathkit equipment, a necessity).
Having built a few Heathkit projects back when I was going to college and earning my Associate of Technical Arts (Electronics), I decided to make my ham shack a shrine to the greatest producser of electronic kits in history. 80% of my gear is Keathkit, from my HW-101 80-10 meter to my Hw-2036 2 meter mobile (I do have 2 10 meter mobiles by Radio Shack but then I used to work for Radio Shack). Most of my test gear is either Heathkit or Radio Shack except for a 40Mhz Leader O'scope. My main gear is the HW-101, an SB200 1500Kw amp, a SB-610 Station Console, and an SB 630 station monitor, I have a GR68 SW for searching for traffic and just listening, and 1 of the RS 10m and a Heathkit HW2036 2m installed and a Bearcat scanner for monitoring local 1st responder traffic.
As those who are hams, besides being beekeepers, know I will have to rebuild most of the Heathkit gear I have over time, to either make it operational or keep it operational. But besides enjoying basking in the glow and warmth of Tubes, I enjoy rebuilding and homebrewing (making one's own radio and test equipment).
So until I meet you on the air, 73's from AE7LV