I’m not the casual ham radio operator that always wanted to operate his own ham radio station. I tried CB once but had to travel quite a bit to reach other stations (trucks on the highway for example). I’ve played with SDR before and tried a few things with GNUradio and gqrx but I never got deeper into this kind of things.

note
Just to be clear on this: This is not a tutorial, this is a short story from my life that explains how I came to my amateur radio license. This article was already published in german on an older website.

In 2019 I decided to go on a preparatory course at the local ham radio club.

A confirmation email was sent to me but the docs for the course had to be changed because changes have been made to austrian laws regarding ham radio and telecommunication in general. So scripts were not up to date at that moment.

General information

The course was held in a room in a federal higher technical institute in Innsbruck.

We had to attend these blocks:

1. block

  • Friday, September 27, (15:00 to 20:30)
    introduction and law pt 1
  • Saturday, September 28, (09:00 to 18:00)
    law pt 2 and engineering pt 1

2. block

  • Friday, October 4, (15:00 to 20:30)
    operating technology pt 1
  • Saturday, October 5, (09:00 to 18:00)
    engineering pt 2

3. block

  • Friday, October 11, (15:00 to 20:30)
    engineering pt 3
  • Saturday, October 12, (09:00 to 18:00)
    engineering pt 4 and operating technology pt 2

4. block—refreshing

  • Saturday, October 19, (13:00 to 17:00)
    simulation of an exam (it was highly recommended to visit this training)

Cost report

This represents the total amount of money I had to put into getting my license.

date and timevaluedescription
12.08.2019, Monday75.56 €documentation scripts
27.09.2019, Friday90.00 €the course itself
27.09.2019, Friday14.70 €parking “Hentschelhof”
28.09.2019, Saturday48.15 €refueling
28.09.2019, Saturday10 €lunch
28.09.2019, Saturday14.40 €parking “Wilten”
04.10.2019, Friday14.40 €parking “Wilten”
05.10.2019, Saturday10 €lunch
05.10.2019, Saturday18.20 €parking “Altstadtgarage”
05.10.2019, Saturday53.11 €refueling
11.10.2019, Friday14.70 €parking “Altstadtgarage”
12.10.2019, Saturday7 €lunch
12.10.2019, Saturday18.20 €parking “Altstadtgarage”
12.10.2019, Saturday45.26 €refueling
19.10.2019, Saturday13 €parking “Markthalle”
19.10.2019, Saturday57.08 €refueling
22.10.2019, Tuesday28.83 €examination fee
22.10.2019, Tuesday14.30 €examination certificate
22.10.2019, Tuesday3 €parking “SOHO 2.0”
549.89 €total

In the end I paid 203.60€ for gasoline, 27€ for lunch on Saturdays and 110.60€ for parking my car.
At this time I drove a BMW M140i which needed around 9 liters gas per 100 kilometers—you may get away with less on that part.

The exam

The exam is split into three different topics: law, engineering and operating technology.

Every person gets three questions in law, three questions in engineering and three questions in operating technology. This happens one person at a time, so if person 1 answered the first three questions person 2 has to answer three other questions in the same topic.

We had to leave the room for a while when our examiners discussed our results. When we entered the room again we were told if we get a license or not :-)

All attendees have passed the exam and got their license. We were 15 people.

Future plans

Most of us have already requested their callsign. A workshop about different transeivers and antennas is planned for November 23 in Innsbruck from 09:00 to 18:00. At 19:00 a graduation party is planned at the restaurant Deck 47 in Innsbruck.

I joined the local ham radio club ÖVSV and I am a member of ADL714.

My shack is growing slowly. I own a few devices that allow me to setup a small station on short wave and on the digital sector within the DMR Austria network (IPSC2) and YSF (C4FM).

73 de Dominic, OE7DRT