• The Triple Play (G)

    From Daryl Stout@1:2320/33 to All on Thu Apr 13 00:04:24 2023
    On the 9th day of Hamming, my radio gave to me:

    9 modes on digital, 8 the Hamfest Start Time, 7 Nights Of Net Logs, 6
    Meter Clean Sweep, 5 Band DXCC. Four sets of antennas, three different
    radios, two license upgrades, and a license, callsign from the FCC.

    Operating digital is the beauty of ham radio, as you can go farther on
    that mode than with voice, although many hams refer to voice as "phone".
    Nine such modes are CW (also known as Morse Code), Packet, APRS,
    radioteletype (also known as RTTY or "ritty"...there are at least 2 big
    RTTY contests each year), PSK31, JT65, Amateur Television, MT63, and
    Amtor (Amateur Teleprinting Over Radio).

    There are many more modes in the hobby...digital and otherwise...but
    for now, this will do. And, the digital modes can be used on the
    "digital portions" of nearly all amateur radio bands available to your
    license class...digital modes are not just for HF.

    As a side note, when I was still able to have an HF setup and indoor
    antennas at my residence; one day, on 20 meters, using an indoor antenna,
    with just 15 watts of power, inside my apartment with the windows closed,
    I worked a station in Utah, 1000 miles away, on JT-65!! Plus, I was
    seeing other stations on the other side of the world!!

    And, one time, I saw a demo of PSK31, where you had around 10 QSO's in a
    narrow bandwidth space. Various software programs, freeware and shareware,
    are available, for these digital modes.

    For those who don't want to "talk" on ham radio, digital is the mode for
    you!! Depending on the mode of operation, and the software used...the
    computer will do the logging, and identify your station for you. You just
    type in what you want to say.

    Awhile back, I heard of 2 amateur radio operators in the Hawaiian Islands,
    who could not get a decent voice QSO. So, they went up into the digital
    portion of the 70 centimeter band, fired up their computers, software, and
    went to PSK31 mode. They reportedly "never had such a good QSO".

    While PSK31 is not "error free", as packet radio is, you can still get a
    good idea as to the conversation, with what is being typed.

    On the 10th day of Hamming, my radio gave to me:

    10 Different Wouff Hongs, 9 modes on digital, 8 the Hamfest Start Time,
    7 Nights Of Net Logs, 6 Meter Clean Sweep, 5 Band DXCC. Four sets of
    antennas, three different radios, two license upgrades, and a license,
    callsign from the FCC.

    Founded by T.O.M. ("The Old Man", W1AW, Hiram Percy Maxim himself), The
    Royal Order Of The Wouff Hong is a "secret society", with the "device"
    to be used as a mode of discipline and correction on "lids" (ham radio operators with poor on the air operating habits). No explanation or
    details are known on how the discipline, or the mode of discipline, is
    to be administered to the miscreant amateur radio operator.

    You must be a paid up ARRL member...either for the current year, or an
    ARRL Life Member...to participate; and the initiation ceremony is done
    only at ARRL Division or National Conventions.

    There are no dues, no officers, and no politics in The Royal Order Of
    The Wouff Hong. And, there's nothing degrading or vulgar during the
    ceremony. You will do a lot of laughing...plus, all of the participants
    get a very nice certificate afterwards. I personally have gone through
    it twice, and look forward to doing so again.

    As for the laughter; for both the Wouff Hong Ceremony, as was for this net...you better "have an empty bladder", as it were, before the
    ceremony starts. While that wasn't my problem, I laughed until I hurt,
    and thought I was going to cry!!

    On the 11th day of Hamming, my radio gave to me:

    11 New Harmonics, 10 Different Wouff Hongs, 9 modes on digital, 8 the
    Hamfest Start Time, 7 Nights Of Net Logs, 6 Meter Clean Sweep, 5 Band
    DXCC. Four sets of antennas, three different radios, two license
    upgrades, and a license, callsign from the FCC.

    While not all ham radio operators will get married and have a family... especially a large one...and the total of harmonics may be more like one
    or two, instead of eleven; the bottom line is that we need to get new
    blood into the hobby...to replace those who are leaving the hobby by
    either letting their licenses lapse...or they die (becoming Silent Keys).

    I've personally been at license exam sessions, as a VE Session Liaison,
    as well as an administering VE, where the entire family (father, mother,
    and children) have all gotten their Technician Class license in the same day...talk about spreading the happiness around of the new licensees!!
    It was truly a joy to sign the CSCE's of the newly licensed family of

    Basically, the youth of today are the amateur radio operators of
    tomorrow. In short, if we don't replace these operators that are no
    longer in the hobby, attrition will kill ham radio...no pun intended.

    On the 12th day of Hamming, my radio gave to me:

    12 Hours at Field Day, 11 New Harmonics, 10 Different Wouff Hongs, 9
    modes on digital, 8 the Hamfest Start Time, 7 Nights Of Net Logs, 6
    Meter Clean Sweep, 5 Band DXCC. Four sets of antennas, three different
    radios, two license upgrades, and a license, callsign from the FCC.

    Always held on the 4th full weekend of June each year, ARRL Field Day
    is a chance for ham radio operators to set up portable operations in a
    wide variety of locations, running on emergency power for 24 hours,
    and to show the public, that truly..."when all else fails, ham radio is

    A similar event, known as Winter Field Day, is held during the latter
    part of January...usually the last full weekend of the month. Further
    details are available at http://www.winterfielday.com, and on Facebook
    at https://www.facebook.com/groups/winterfieldday/
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (1:2320/33)
  • From Daryl Stout@1:2320/33 to All on Thu Jul 13 00:05:04 2023

    For what you'll need to bring to an exam session to take the exam, go to https://www.arrl.org/what-to-bring-to-an-exam-session -- failure to bring
    the needed items may result in you being DENIED taking the exam.

    As a note, cheating in any form, is NOT tolerated...and you could forever
    lose your chance to get an amateur radio license...never mind the examiners could lose their licenses and accreditation FOR LIFE, if they certify an
    exam fraudulently. Plus, every examinee at that session will have to take
    the exam again, either under another VE Team, or in front of the FCC. In
    short, if you have studied well, you should have no problem in passing the exam(s).

    Note that prior to the exam session, you must go to the FCC CORES website,
    to obtain a Federal Registration Number or FRN. You can NOT use your Social Security Number on the NCVEC Form 605 at the exam session...and that form
    MUST be dated July, 2022 or later. You can obtain such by going to www.ncvec.org -- then look for the link on the lower left side of the
    page, that notes 2022 NCVEC 605 Form. Any version prior to that will
    result in a DELAY in processing your license application or upgrade.

    Plus, at an exam session, one must answer whether or not they have been convicted of a felony in state or federal court. A "YES" answer is NOT
    an "automatic disqualification", but it depends on the circumstances surrounding the conviction. For further details on this, go to https://www.arrl.org/fcc-qualification-question

    As of April 19, 2022, there is now a $35 fee that must be paid to the FCC, within 10 days of the exam, for a new or renewed ham radio license, or for
    a Vanity Callsign Request. There is NO FEE for a LICENSE UPGRADE or for a Sequential Callsign Request. For more information on the $35 fee, go to https://www.arrl.org/fcc-application-fee -- that $35 fee is payable direct
    to the FCC, and NOT to the VE Team. Once the fee is paid, the FCC will send
    you a link to download your license, within 30 days.

    Note that depending on the VEC, an exam fee may be charged. For ARRL/VEC,
    as of 2023, it's $15, per exam element. If you pass an exam, you can take
    the next exam in line for free. However, if you fail, you can re-take the
    same exam element, with a DIFFERENT set of questions, for another $15, or whatever the exam fee is.

    Once you receive your callsign from the amateur radio agency for your
    country, you're the ONLY one in the world with that specific callsign.

    As of Feb. 17, 2015, the FCC is NO LONGER ISSUING PAPER LICENSES to
    amateur radio operators. However, one will be able to logon to the FCC ULS website on the internet at https://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home using their Federal Registration Number and password, and either print an "official copy" for ones shack (and ones wallet), or an "unofficial
    reference copy", to show at a future license exam session, if you decide
    to upgrade your license, so you can get proper credit, and not have to
    take that exam again.

    For information on how to obtain a copy of your license, go to https://www.arrl.org/obtain-license-copy

    You won't have a choice in the first callsign that you get...but you
    can apply for a new sequential callsign at no charge...or choose your a
    vanity callsign. The format of the callsign is limited by both the current license class that you hold, and if such a callsign is available.

    As of April 19, 2022, there is a $35 fee for each vanity callsign request made...and, there is an 18 to 21 day waiting period (sometimes longer)
    once you apply for the vanity callsign, and to when it is issued. Once
    the new vanity callsign is issued, your former callsign is no longer valid
    for use on the air.

    So, before you apply for a vanity callsign, be sure that you want to
    CHANGE your current callsign. Note that once you're issued your first
    callsign by the FCC, it will NOT change, UNLESS you request such.

    Also, you are NOT REQUIRED to change your callsign, or upgrade your ham
    radio license. If you are happy with both, keep them. Even with just a Technician Class license, and many of the digital modes (especially if operating "internet radio"), you can still talk around the world.

    Unfortunately, not every amateur radio operator has passed a license
    exam on the first try...and for some, it takes a large amount of tries
    to pass their exam. However, it must be stressed that there is NO
    DISGRACE IN FAILING an exam. But, once you do pass the exam (even if
    just barely), as far as anyone else is concerned...once you have your
    callsign, you made a perfect score on the test(s) the first time (even
    if that's untrue). Besides, it's no one else's business on what your
    score was, how many times it took you to pass the exam, etc.

    Examinees who are disabled in some way, or who may have learning
    disabilities, or other issues...can request special exam accommodations
    at the exam session. However, they must contact the Exam Session Leader
    as far in advance of the exam session as possible, so that proper
    arrangements can be made...such as large print exam books, or reading
    of the exams to them, with the examinee telling the examiner which
    answers to mark on the answer sheet, or even giving a test at the
    examinees home...or even in their hospital room. Medical documentation
    may be required, if the disability is not obvious.

    As noted, the VE Team can "make a house call" to the residence of the
    examinee, if serious medical issues are present...but the examinee will
    have to still provide photo ID, the exam fee, and other items, as noted
    noted at https://www.arrl.org/what-to-bring-to-an-exam-session

    --- SBBSecho 3.20-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (1:2320/33)