Murgas Ham Cram: Nine Upgrades in a Day

Contributed by WT Jones, WN3LIF

The Luzerne County ARES and Murgas Amateur Radio Club Extra Class Ham Cram Session was held on February 20th at the Luzerne County EOC. It may have been the 20th of February but the weather felt more like April 20th. We had 13 registered for the Ham Cram but two had to bow out before the session so we ended up with 11 eager wannabe Extra Class Hams.

The session was rather gruelling since there are almost 700 questions in the pool and all of them had to be covered. So with the Ham Cram starting at 8:00AM and the testing planned to start at 2:00PM that left just 360 minutes to cover the 700 questions. Throw in break time and time for lunch that left about 300 minutes to get the job done. So if you figure that out it is about 30 seconds per question.

All the questions in the pool were set up in a slide show with the question first and then again with the answer highlighted. Some questions take less than 30 seconds but others just reading them took longer. Was preparation for the Ham Cram necessary? Absolutely and those that made it obviously put in the time before the Ham Cram.

The results were gratifying though. We had one who came just to take his General and he passed. Congratulations to Ron Smith, KC3EPW. That left 10 Extra Candidates. At the end of the testing 8 of them are now Extra Class licensees. That top of the shelf license that all Hams should aspire to attain.

Congratulations to our new Extra Class Licensees: KC3DBG, WA3JZN (from Montgomery County), K2LNS, KC3EPX, KB3AUD, KB3LLD (XYL of N3GTH), KC3FKW, and KC3DRF.

If you make the passing grade you’re an Extra but one person did it in style. KB3LLD turned in a perfect score! That does not diminish the achievement of the others. Passing the Extra Exam is tough. Congratulations to all of the successful candidates.

And a very big thanks to the Murgas ARC VE Team led by our VE Team Manager, Rick Rinehimer, K3TOW. Rick is always there when you need him. He brings the forms, runs the exams, and when it is all over with he takes the paperwork home and gets it out to the ARRL VEC. These things could not happen with him. And the rest of VE Team are just as essential because without them we wouldn’t have the exams. Bob Folmar, KB3VS (who also helps with the teaching chores), Ian Kellman, K3IK, and Bill Sweeney, KB3KUJ (immediate Past President of the MARC).

One more happy bit of news came during the testing session. Nick Bantell, KC3FKX, who was at the testing session to lend moral support and what other assistance he could, checked the FCC ULS web site and found that his vanity call request had been processed. KC3FKX is now K3NDB. Congratulations to Nick on his new call.

The next Ham Cram will be the Technician Class and it will be the last Ham Cram for this year. It will be held on March 19th and if you know of a person who wants to be a Ham have them register by sending an email to ec.

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