Well, my license upgrade study has definitely begun. This morning I commenced the second week and am enjoying it greatly.
I've settled on the plan of simply working my way through 'The Radio Theory Handbook', working through the questions at the end of each chapter and making notes about key concepts in a notebook for revision and easy reference (not only now, but also into the future after the upgrade). I'm also (very) slowly creating flashcards on my iPhone with the Flashcards Deluxe app from Orange or Apple. (More on that later.)
Once I've made my way through the book, I'll then go through the practice exams in the book and also the included software practice exams. As for my actual exam though I'm waiting for CRARC's calendar for next year so that I can see when they have an Examinations Day. I'm hoping for either February or March, but will just have to wait and see.
More Study – Morse Code
That's right, I'm also attempting to learn morse code. Something I've wanted to do for awhile, but just kinda been floundering around. My approach consists of three elements:
1. Basic theory of learning presented in "The Art & Skill of Radio Telegraphy" – download from here.
2. Flashcards Deluxe app
The main guidance I take from the first, is that you must learn it by learning the sounds, and stay well clear of looking at Dot's and Dashes (this is also re-iterated in the Morse Code Appendix of The Radio Theory Handbook). It also makes some great points about speed and other bits and pieces (such as when to attempt to send).
The second two items are what I've finally settled on after being unable to find a suitable iPhone app. Ideally, I wanted an app that was for iPhone (to increase the ease of practice – as far as when, where and any setup time), that was sound based (not dots and dashes) and utilised 'spaced repetition' schemes.
I came across one app that was close (Dah Dit – Morse Code Tutor), but it's repetition scheme was flawed. I contacted the developer and they said they'd improve it, but to date there has been no update. There are several other CW generators, but these have no repetition at all – however I believe they will come into great use later (once I know the letters).
Anyway, in the end I realised that before the golden age of computers in everyone's home (and pocket) people used to simply verbalise the letters through dits and dahs. So I decided why not go (kind of) back to basics and do that but with one of the modern iPhone flashcard solutions. In this way, I get the best of spaced repetition and with a workable aural solution. Further, someone had already created a flashcard deck based on the concept of avoiding dots and dashes.
Oh, and once I get the characters embedded in my brain, I plan to start to further solidify the knowledge through the use of the QOTD podcasts (and probably those other generators I have on my phone). I think once I can start copying the QOTD down then I'll truly be getting somewhere.
Anyway, there you have it. Study is under way and with a bit of work, come the new year I hope to upgrade my license and be equipped with some workable CW. 😉
P.S. Thursday net will be on again this week, come along and say hi! 🙂