How to Become an Amateur Radio Operator

 

Amateur Radio is a hobby enjoyed by millions of "hams" worldwide. Getting an Amateur Radio license in the U.S. is easier than getting a driver's license. Plus, Morse Code is not required. Hams enjoy communicating with each other using various types of radio signals like voice, digital modes pairing radios with computers, Morse code,a dn more. For more information on ham radio see the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

The following is information regarding the Athens Radio Club FCC amateur radio licensing exam sessions held every other month.

Dates and Time: The first Tuesday of even-numbered months (February, April, June, August, October, and December).

Starting time is 6:00 PM sharp. DO NOT BE LATE.

Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 706 Whitehead Rd, Athens, Georgia 30606

Restroom availability: Restrooms will be available.

Please bring the following

1) Photo ID

2) $15.00 cash/check for the ARRL processing fee. [IMPORTANT UPDATE: THE FCC WILL BEGIN CHARGING A $35.00 FEE FOR THE LICENSE SOON. THIS WILL BE IN ADDITION TO THE $15.00 EXAM FEE. BE PREPARED TO PAY $50.00 AT AN EXAM SESSION WHEN THIS IS FORMALLY PUT IN PLACE BY THE FCC. EMAIL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.]

3) Pencil/pens

4) Calculator

5) A copy of your current license, if taking the General or Extra exam

6) your FRN number (https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/support/universal-licensing-system-uls-resources/getting-fcc-registration-number-frn) or social security number. Your application cannot be processed without one of these numbers.

Regarding Testing Procedures: We will practice social distancing. Also, you MUST wear a mask. Once you arrive, enter the building from the parking lot side and turn left at the end of the short hall, then turn right and enter the double doors on your right.

A Volunteer Examiner (VE) will distribute your application, an exam answer sheet, and will check your photo ID. When these are completed your application and the $15.00 (or $50.00) fee will be collected and you will be given the exam. DO NOT WRITE ON THE EXAM.

The VE will collect your answer document and exam when you are ready. Your exam will be graded. When you pass the Tech exam you will have the option of taking the General Exam at no additional cost, if you pass the General, you may also take the Extra Exam at no cost.

Once your exam(s) have been graded you and the VE will complete a certificate of successful completion. DO NOT leave without completing this certificate and be certain that the VE team has the ARRL copy of the certificate. You will not receive your license if the ARRL does not receive their copy.

This isn't as complicated as it seems but, times being as they are, knowing the testing procedures will save time and limit the personal exposure between candidates and VE members.

Please contact kf4aqo@gmail.com (James) if you have questions or comments.

 

Many Amateur Radio Clubs periodically offer classes to help you learn the material needed to pass the written exam required for the Technician class license. They also have groups of Volunteer Examiners (VEs) that administer the tests on a regular basis and at special events. Most, if not all, hamfests (a gathering of Amateur Radio enthusiasts that usually includes buying and selling of used equipment and even vendors of new equipment) offer examination sessions for all classes of the Amateur Radio license.

For information on getting on the air, go to our Getting Started page for additional information and links.