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Before transmitting on any frequency assigned to the Amateur Radio Service, a person must first obtain a license. To obtain a license you must prove proficiency in basic electronic theory and, in some instances, your ability to copy and interrupt Morse Code. There are currently three different classes of licenses, each providing additional operating privileges and benefits, but becomes more increasingly difficult to obtain.

The first license you obtain is the Technician Class, which now no longer requires learning Morse Code. This will give you operating privileges to transmit on 2 meters (144.000-148.000 MHz) and 70 centimeter (440.000-450.000 MHz). After the Technician Class is the General Class and then the Extra Class. Both of these require increasingly more difficult knowledge of electronic theory, antenna principles, propagation, and rules and regulations and upon successful completion allows for wider frequency operating privledges. There are many study aids, books, video tapes, audio tapes, etc., to help you obtain your license. The Uniontown Amateur Radio Club occassionally hosts a Morse Code class based on need and interest. Many individually licensed operators give their time to teaching theory and Morse Code (also referred to as CW) to future operators. This practice is commonly referred to as an "Elmer." Visit the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) for information about Amateur Radio, licensing, testing, and additional links.

Below are the upcoming test dates and locations plus names of people to contact for help or assistance.




W3PIE VE Test dates

Sunday, February 4, 2018
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Sunday, December 2, 2018

Please contact Dave Watson, N3QAS should you require any accomodations for the testing.  He can be reached at:

Testing sessions can be found by going to the ARRL website at



All testing sessions begin at 14:00 hours (2:00 PM local time).
Please arrive at the test site at 13:45-14:00 (1:45-2:00PM) for registration.

Testing Requirments
1. Two forms of identification, one must have a photo such as a drivers license, passport, place of employment security/ID card with picture etc. Non-photo ID's could be a social security card, birth certificate, baptismal certificate, school ID card, library card etc. Although not mandatory, the ARRL likes to have a photocopy of your ID's for their records so if you could provide that as well it is appreciated.

2. If you are upgrading a license, then you must bring the original and a photocopy of your current license (FCC form 660) and of any active
* CSCE's for passed exam elements for which you have not received a paper license from the FCC.

3. Calculators are allowed but one must be prepared to prove no pre-programmed formulas have been saved within the calculator. You may be requested to clear all calculator memories in the presence of a VE.

* Active CSCE's are defined as any CSCE verifying successful completion of any testing element. If the CSCE is for Element 1 or Element 3, the CSCE may not be older than 365 days from the date of successful completion. For further information, please read the content below.


Novice/Technician Plus Class Confusion Resolved:
The FCC has ceased issuing new Novice and Advanced class licenses after April 15, 2000. Beyond that, current Technician and Technician Plus Class licensees will be lumped into a single Technician Class licensee FCC database. When renewed, current Technician Plus Class licenses will be stamped simply "Technician." Technicians who have passed Element 1, the 5 WPM Morse code examination, will still be authorized to operate on the Tech Plus HF frequencies, but the burden of proof of having passed Element 1 (5 WPM or any higher Morse code element) will be on the licensee. The current "no-code" Technician license will continue to be available after the new rules go into effect, however and will continue to offer the present VHF/UHF privileges.

The FCC has stated that current Tech Plus Class licensees holding a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for Element 3B on or before April 15, 2000, may apply for a General class upgrade. The present Element 3B examination has 30 questions; the new Element 3 test will have 35, so the advantage to test before April 15, 2000, was slight. CSCE holders must attend a Volunteer Examiner session, complete Form 605, attach a valid CSCE, and pay the required application fee ($14.00 for the ARRL-VEC), if the VEC you use charges a fee. To be valid on April 15, 2000, your CSCE will have to be dated on or after April 17, 1999.

A CSCE is only good for 365 days. A licensee may take Element 1 (5 words per minute (WPM) Morse Code) and Element 3 (General Class theory) at the same time or seperately. Regardless, a CSCE remains valid for 365 days from the date of successful completion. So if a licensee took the Element 3 (General Class theory) test and passed they have no more than 365 days to successfully complete Element 1 (5 WPM Morse Code) to be granted a General Class License.

Additionally, the reverse is also true, meaning if a licensee tests and passes the Element 1 (5 WPM Morse Code) test they have no more than 365 days to successfully complete Element 3 (General Class theory) to be granted a General Class license. If either the Element 1 or Element 3 CSCEs expire prior to successful completion of the untested test element, then both must be re-taken and the above rules once again apply.

Holders of a pre-March 21, 1987, Technician Class license or CSCE who now hold at least a Technician Class license may claim credit for a new General Class license after April 15, 2000, without additional testing. This is because under the old system, the written examination for Technician and General Class was identical; the only difference was that Technician Class had to pass a 5 WPM Morse Code test, while General Class had to pass a 13 WPM Morse code test. The upgrade is not automatic, however. You will have to apply through a Volunteer Examiner test session, complete Form 605, attach documentary proof of having completed the requirements for a Technician Class license prior to March 21, 1987, and pay the application fee, if any, to the VEC involved.

Additional information and clarification:
There has been some confusion and misinformation about what pre-1987 Technicians need to qualify for a General Class license starting April 15, 2000. General Class applicants must present valid credit for Elements 1, 2, and 3 at any volunteer examiner (VE) session. Those who held a Technician Class license, now expired or otherwise, prior to March 21, 1987, may claim Element 1 (5 WPM Morse code) and new Element 3 (current Element 3B, General exam) credit. Those who held a Technician Class license, now expired or otherwise, prior to February 14, 1991, may claim only Element 1 credit, as may anyone who has ever held a Novice Class ticket. The FCC rules provide Element 2 credit only for individuals who are currently licensed (or within the two-year grace period for renewal) at least at the Technician Class level. This means that before applying for a General Class license, a former amateur licensed as a Technician Class prior to March 21, 1987, and no longer licensed or within the two-year grace period for renewal, also must obtain Element 2 credit. To currently qualify for the Technician Class license (which conveys Element 2 credit) requires passing a 65-question two part exam (Novice and Technician Class). Starting April 15, Element 2 will be a single 35-question exam.





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