With Words of Encouragement – Newly Minted Ham – Extra Class

Have had the great opportunity to encourage from a distance a friend who today took and passed his Technician, General and Extra Class exams.

Yes, from off the street he is a newly minted ham – from student to Extra Class in one test session!

Paul Coats is well known for his Saxophone and Saxophone Mouthpiece work, and has been a long time correspondent.  Though we only have the chance to get together on rare occasions we’ve worked on projects together, usually with Paul bailing me out when I have made a mess of a musical score.  

He also has written for Affordable Audio and has a Radio Controlled Airplane background.

Paul has long had an interest in SWL (Short Wave Listening) which notched up a step when I was able to put him in touch with a friend who wanted to sell an extra IC-75 Receiver.  

That interest, and finding so much activity on the bands started Paul’s interest in becoming a licensed Radio Amateur.  Once he found out how many uses it could have, specially as he lives on the Louisiana Coast, the “bug had bitten” and but hard!

Paul already has his antenna (a fan dipole) built & up, and I’ve lent him a FT-897 based station to get started.

During his spare time over the last month he has been using the ARRL books, on-line study guides and doing on-line practice tests.  As he started achieving 90-95% steady results he would move on to the next class to start preparing for that exam element.

He quickly realize he wouldn’t be happy without HF privileges, so the goal moved to General or Extra.

He’s sat the exams at a regional Hamfest, passing each element in turn.  

My role was minor – encouragement, providing links (Google would do that) and helping with questions.

Several of his local club’s members knew Paul, taking a more direct role in helping get his station ready and working through questions with Paul.

Congratulations and Welcome to the Hobby Paul Coats, Extra Class Callsign T.B.D.!!

Hopefully the FCC will have your new callsign published very soon!



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5 thoughts on “With Words of Encouragement – Newly Minted Ham – Extra Class

  1. Darrell Young KC5DHP says:

    Good Afternoon Steve,

    I just came from that Hamfest and was able to shake the hand of the New Extra Class! Paul sure had good things to say of his Mentor (K9ZW) …so don’t say a minor role, yours was a Major one!
    Encouragement is so Very Important! And it sounded as though you Did Lots! So CONGRATULATIONS Paul and Steve WELL DONE !
    “Darrell” Young

  2. Paul Coats "Brand New Extra" Call TBD says:

    It sure IS a small world, huh?

    Thank you, Darrell, and thank YOU Steve!

    Steve gave great guidance (such gems as, “If you think your head will explode, I advise duct tape.”), and I certainly think he is all an Elmer should be in this hobby that is more than just a hobby.

    This has all been quite an experience… thank you all.


  3. Darrell Young says:

    Hello Again Steve and Paul,

    Yes, it is a small world !! Hi Hi till your radio or antenna mess-up ! Paul, you be sure to email me I want to be the “second contact, Steve should be your First” kc5dhp At Arrl dot net…….
    Again, Congratulations Paul !


  4. […] mentioned in my previous write up – With Words of Encouragement – Newly Minted Ham – Extra Class – Paul has gone from a non-licensed person to Amateur Extra in one test […]

  5. Gordon Alkire says:

    To read how Paul finally took the giant step to TRY and pass his tests. This passing all 3 in one sitting is not all that common.
    Mentoring is the key and of course following very closely is encouragement by friends and other hams.
    A perfect example of DON’T give up, it will come together .
    Congratulations Paul. Job well done.


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