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The New-Ham FAQ
Fascinating Things You Might Want to Know
 Now That You've Passed Your Amateur Radio Exam

Used with the kind permission of
The Silicon Valley Volunteer Examiner (VE) Group
An organization of South Bay radio amateurs near San Jose, California.
They are affiliated with the ARRL VEC.

The questions below will introduce you to a 17 page downloadable document in PDF form.Download the complete questions and answers here!
(Note that some of the links and information in the article
 only apply if you live near San Jose, California!)

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First off, congratulations on passing your exam! We welcome you to the fraternity of amateur radio operators. You no doubt have a few questions, and we just happen to have a few answers.

The questions that are covered in the PDF document start here!

MY NEW OR UPGRADED LICENSE

How do I check my license status online?

When can I go on the air?

When will I get my paper license?

CALL SIGNS

What kind of call sign will I be given?

Will I be assigned a new call every time I pass a license exam?

Can I apply for a custom call sign? How? 

Can I choose a vanity call sign from another district?

Can I get a vanity call sign and keep my current call sign?

How much does a vanity call sign cost?

Can I apply through your VE group for a vanity call sign? 

KEEPING YOUR LICENSE CURRENT

How often do I have to renew my license?

Do I have to be retested?

What happens if my license expires?

If I?ve just passed an exam to upgrade my existing license, does my license term get extended for another ten years?

Is there anything else I should do to ensure that my license stays valid?

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Are there national organizations for amateur radio operators? 

RADIO CLUBS

Why should I join a local radio club? What do they do? 

Where can I find a local radio club to join?

UPGRADING YOUR LICENSE

I?ve heard that there?s more than one type of amateur radio license. I just passed the Technician exam?is there any advantage to going for another class of license?

How do the tests for General class and Amateur Extra differ from the Technician test?

I just passed the Technician class test. I want to take the General class test at the very next test session, but I probably won?t have my paper license yet. What do I do?

Do the higher classes of license require that I pass a Morse code test?

What?s the best way to study for these tests?

OK, I?m ready to take another exam. When?s the next scheduled Silicon Valley VE Group exam session?

BECOMING A VE

VE work looks interesting. What do I have to do to become one?

Does it cost anything to become a VE?

GETTING ON THE AIR

What kind of equipment should I buy?

Where can I buy equipment?

What kind of antenna should I put up?

AMATEUR RADIO ACTIVITIES

I know that hams talk to one another on radios. But what do they do, exactly?

FM and Repeaters

AM Operation

SSB Operation

CW Operation

Digital Mode Operation

Emergency Communication

Satellites

Equipment Construction

Software-Defined Radio (SDR)

Contesting

QSL Collecting

Awards

Special Events

Hamfests and Conventions

If you have further questions or need more info please feel free to contact the Silicone Valley VE Group Leader, Morris Jones, AD6ZH, at e-mail mojoteri AT comcast.net for more "local" information related to the San Jose, California Group.

You may also email n4ujw at hamunivere.com for general ham radio questions.

Download the complete questions and answers here!
(Note that some of the links and information in the article only apply
 if you live near San Jose, California!)


Our many thanks to the Silicon Valley VE Group for sharing this with you and I! N4UJW