Victor Alpha Seven Lima India Victor

I'm a HAM!

(insert obligatory pork joke here)

After way too many hours paying for and then hardly using an online site, studying free online guide material I found randomly, then giving up trying to understand it, instead working to memorize a 1000 question bank from which I knew they would draw 100 questions and taking the practice exam with Industry Canada's exam generator until I consistently passed above 80%, I have passed the Amateur Radio Operators Basic Exam with Honours which gives me full access to the HAM bands so I can use our SSB radio for weather/email for free at sea.

This was the most studying I have done for an exam where I only needed an 80% or better since my third semester of graduate level statistics...and I'm a good test taker...and I memorize quickly. It's such a silly exam filled almost entirely with information that will be useless to someone who is simply going to use a radio at sea.

Question: If a slightly longer parasitic element is placed 0.1 wavelength away from an HF dipole antenna, what effect will this have on the antenna's radiation pattern?

Answer: A major lobe will develop in the horizontal plane, away from the parasitic element, toward the dipole.

I would tell you exactly how much I care about a parasitic element near a dipole but that kind of language doesn't suit a lady public blog.

I feel such a sense of accomplishment though because this has been a big item on our to do list since we first started a cruising to do list and this makes it particularly nice to cross off as finished.

Plus, now I can put a cool call sign on my signature like all of the other cruiser supergeeks (that I proudly consider myself part of).

My second choice for a call sign was VA7DRG because I was Dr. G in another life but it is tres clunky and so I let myself get talked out of it.

Yours truly, Livia, VA7LIV


  1. Congratulations!

    You now qualify as an uber-geek.

    bob, WA9BVE


  2. so does this make you: Dr/Reverend/Captain/VA7LIV Gilstrap? and how do you pronounce that?

  3. @Bob - Thanks!
    @Valerie - I am officially overtitled.

  4. Congrats Livia!

    BTW, I asked the local examiner about the discrepancy in the book I have been studying from. His reply? Oh, there are MANY mistakes in the book! How is that for not inspiring confidence?

    My exam has been put off until Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be able to follow in your shoes though, in spite of my memorizing potentially incorrect information.




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