Getting Started In Amateur Radio

Here Is What Is Required

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Here Is What Is Required

 Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government. In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra. 

 The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called "short wave") bands used for international communications. 

 The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination. 

 The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations. 

Tech License

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LEVEL 1: Technician Class License

  • Exam Requirement: 35-question Technician Written Exam (Element 2).
  • Privileges: All VHF/UHF Amateur bands (frequencies above 30 MHz).
    Limited operations in certain HF bands.

The FCC Technician License exam covers basic regulations, operating practices and electronics theory, with a focus on VHF and UHF applications. Morse code is not required for this license. With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 MHz. These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple station equipment. Technician licensees now also have additional privileges on certain HF frequencies. Technicians may also operate on the 80, 40 and 15 meter bands using CW, and on the 10 meter band using CW, voice and digital modes.

General License

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LEVEL 2: General Class License

  • Exam Requirements: 35-question General written exam (Element 3). 
  • License Privileges: All VHF/UHF Amateur bands and most HF privileges (10 through 160 meters).

The General Class license is the second of three US Amateur Radio licenses. To upgrade to General Class, you must already hold a Technician Class license (or have recently passed the Technician license exam). Upgrading to a General license--which conveys extensive HF privileges—only requires passing a written examination. Once you do, the entire range of operating modes and the majority of the amateur spectrum below 30 MHz become available to you. The FCC grants exam Element 3 credit to individuals that previously held certain older types of licenses. 

Extra Class License

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LEVEL 3: Extra Class License

  • Exam Requirement: 50-question Extra written exam (Element 4).
  • License Privileges: All Amateur band privileges. 

General licensees may upgrade to Extra Class by passing a 50-question multiple-choice examination. No Morse code test is required. In addition to some of the more obscure regulations, the test covers specialized operating practices, advanced electronics theory and radio equipment design. Non-licensed individuals must pass Element 2, Element 3 and Element 4 written exams to earn an Extra License. The FCC grants exam element 3 credit to individuals that previously held certain older types of licenses.

 The HF bands can be awfully crowded, particularly at the top of the solar cycle. Once one earns HF privileges, one may quickly yearn for more room. The Extra Class license is the answer. Extra Class licensees are authorized to operate on all frequencies allocated to the Amateur Service. 

Why Do I Need A FRN

It Is Required By The FCC To Get Your Amateur Radio License

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It Is Required By The FCC To Get Your Amateur Radio License


Why do I need an FCC Registration Number (FRN)?

The FRN sets out to improve collection of delinquent government debts. As a result of the DCIA, the FCC and other executive agencies collect the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from each individual or organization doing business with a federal agency, including applicants for, or recipients of, a federal license or permit.

You register your information in the FCC’s Commission Registration System (CORES) and are immediately issued an FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password that is tied to the TIN you provided.

 You need an FRN if you are “doing business with the FCC.” To get an FRN, you need to complete FCC Form 160. The easiest way to complete FCC Form 160 is online 

W4VEC W4VEC Website

Event Details W4VEC Website

The W4VEC Sevierville Team works with Sevier County Amateur Radio Society  to provide quality testing for all who are interested in obtaining their  amateur radio license . We have provided many years of amateur radio testing and mentoring for all ...

The W4VEC team test every 3rd Thursday of the month at the King Family Library , 408 High St, here in Sevierville TN..

Required When Taking The Test :

FRN, Copy of your FCC license if upgrading, State Photo ID, cost is $12.00 Exact Cash, Test starts at 6:00 pm  we ask that you do come at least 15 minutes early to fill out all paperwork, if you have any questions please contact N4JTQ  Rick Sr Session Manager ... We also test at our Hamfest  or any special event type if requested in Sevier County. Contact  to pre register if required or any questions ...

Test on Thursday and get your license  Friday the next day 99% of the time... No long waiting !!   


These Are Our Testing Dates For 2020

Testing Starts at 6:00 PM - Testing Done Every 3rd Thursday Of The Month Unless Noted In Dates or On Our Link Page

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These Are Our Testing Dates For 2020

January 16th  2020

February  20th   2020

March  28th    2020 Sevier County Hamfest Fairgrounds  Walk In Allowed

April  16th   2020

May  21st   2020

June   18th    2020

July   16th    2020

August 20th   2020

September  17th  2020

October  15th  2020

November  19th   2020

December  No Testing 

Please be at test location by 5:45 PM  Testing Starts AT 6:00 PM 

State Photo ID / FRN # Required  Cost  $12.00 Exact Cash

Usually 3  Business  Day To Get Your License 

Pre Registration Required Unless Noted On The Link Above 

Contact Rick Sawaya Sr  W4VEC Session Manager


The club is providing a gift of an Yaesu FT-4VR VHF handheld , to the first sixteen (16) K-12 students  in  2020, who passes their Technician Element at one of our monthly VE sessions or at the Hamfest.  I will preprogram the radios for Eastern TN 2-Meter analog repeaters and standard simplex.

FT-4VR - VHF 2 Meter Mono Band FM Handheld Transceiver

The FT-4VR 2 meter HT has three output power levels:  5, 2.5 or 0.5 watts transmitting from 144 to 148 MHz. Receive coverage is 65-108 (FM broadcast band) and 136-174 MHz. The FT-4VR is compact and light, yet ruggedly constructed. The speaker provides a full 1 Watt of powerful, clear audio. The supplied 1750mAh Li-ion battery pack is capable of up to 15 hours operation (TX 5 seconds, RX 5 seconds, Standby 90 seconds). The SBH-22 3.5-hour rapid charger is included. VOX operation is available with the optional SSM-512B earpiece microphone. Other features include:  WX Channels with “Severe Weather” Alert, PC Programming (optional cable), Transceiver-to-Transceiver Cloning (optional cable), Keypad Entry, FM Broadcast Receiver, Automatic Range Transponder System (ARTS), CTCSS/DCS Operation, Busy Channel Lockout (BLCO), Automatic Power Off feature and Transmitter Time Out Timer (TOT). Size: 2.1 x 3.5 x 1.2 inches (less knobs and antenna) 8.82 oz.

President SCARS

John S. Burningham, D.I.T. (W2XAB/WQON496)
Admin: K4USD Network (

Testing Starts at 6:00 PM - Testing Done Every 3rd Thursday Of The Month Unless Noted In Dates or On Our Link Page

ARRL 1st Contact Award

New To Amateur Radio

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New To Amateur Radio

Just got your license, check out how to get your 1st contact award!

Sevier County Amateur Radio Participates In 1st Contact Award 

Make A Contact With One Of Our Members!!

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Mentoring Begins with the Local Club

At the national association for Amateur Radio we have always felt that the local radio club is where the learning takes place.  The local radio club is where the newcomer begins the journey of discovery and the seasoned veteran keeps informed of the latest technology. Regardless of where we are on our ham radio journey our local radio club is where we find our friends.

The term "Elmer" means someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams. The term first appeared in QST in a March 1971 "How's DX" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (now also VA3ZBB). Newkirk called them "the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio."

As you can see, the term is not very old. Prior to the first use of Elmer as the one who guided and encouraged us, what were these folks called? We have received a lot of suggestions; teacher, mentor, tutor, guide, helper, sage? All are appropriate but my guess would be that first and foremost they were called friend.