SHHHH!! – Testing in progress at the SMRA General Class preparation/test event on February 10, 2019 at the EOC.
SMRA has a very strong and active W5YI-VEC Volunteer Examiner (VE) Team. The W5YI organization is one of 14 appointed by the FCC to act as a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) to supervise VE Teams that prepare, administer and grade exams. The VE Teams also prepare additional paperwork that gets passed back to W5YI-VEC and to the FCC to generate a Amateur Radio License or upgrade to a higher level license. W5YI-VE teams charge a $14 fee to help with administrative, processing paperwork and filing the application with the FCC costs.
The W5YI-VE Team is headed by Don K3ZR with outstanding support from Ed W3SMF and Joyce K3APE. All W5YI-VE Team members must be approved by the W5YI-VEC and hold a current General, Advanced or Extra Class license. A minimum of 3 approved VEs are required to administer Amateur Radio License testing. SMRA has about 26 active W5YI-VEC approved VEs.
Anyone can become a ham except representatives of foreign governments. There are no age restrictions. If you can pass the written tests, you can be a licensed ham operator. Recently SMRA had an 9-year-old get his ham operator license. The entry level license is the Technician Class license. To become a Technician Class operator, you need only pass one (35 question) multiple choice written test to obtain your FCC license. The class for which each applicant is qualified is determined by the degree of skill and knowledge of operating a station that the applicant demonstrates by passing a license examination before a team of three volunteer examiners (VEs).
Amateur Radio License testing is provided at 6:00 PM on regular monthly meeting nights (3rd Tuesday of each month, except December), at our annual ARRL Field Day Event in late June and at other times as requested. Last September, SMRA hosted a 2 day preparation/test session in North Middleton Township for the Technician Class Amateur Radio License. Ralph K3HQI was the instructor and the SMRA W5YI-VE Team administered the testing. The result was 7 new Technician Class Amateur Radio Licenses were granted. Note: Ralph K3HQI is a member of SMRA and he is also the ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator for EPA.
On February 9 & 10, 2019, SMRA hosted a 2-day preparation/test event focused on upgrading from the Technician to the General Class license. Ralph K3HQI was the instructor for this class also. The result was 5 Amateurs upgraded their license to General Class. Many thanks to Ralph for his extensive preparation and stamina for these 2-day events!
In 2018, the SMRA W5YI-VE team made it possible for 29 Amateur Radio Operators to obtain or upgrade their Amateur Radio License! Many thanks to Don, Ed, Joyce and all of the SMRA VEs that helped make this happen!
73, Jack NC3O, President SMRA