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Free course allows ‘hams’ to earn initial license

The Herald-DispatchOctober 22, 2018
Garry Ritchie of Huntington is one of several ham radio operators across the Tri-State.
Garry Ritchie of Huntington is one of several ham radio operators across the Tri-State.

CHARLESTON — A course presented by the Charleston Area VE Group is helping amateur radio operators, also known as hams, gain their initial license. The course will review the question bank for the exam in order to familiarize those with the content of the examination. There are no restrictions on who may attend the class and there is no cost to do so. Seating is limited to a first come, first served basis.

The class will be given on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Kanawha County Ambulance Authority at 601 Brooks St., Charleston, at 8 a.m.

Immediately following the class, examinations for all license classes will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Cost for the examination is $15 and requires a photo ID. Persons wishing to test for a license upgrade are also to bring a copy of their present license and sign in at 12:15 p.m.

Volunteer Examiners (VE) are utilized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide personnel and facilities for these examinations at no cost to the government. The General class license grants some operating privileges on all amateur radio bands and all operating modes.

This is the most popular and license opens the door to worldwide communications. Earning the general class license requires having a technician license and passing a 35 question examination. Persons without a license may take the technician test that day and upon passing it may proceed to taking the general class test.

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