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DEF CON 23 Ham Radio Exams brought to you by dc408

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  • DEF CON 23 Ham Radio Exams brought to you by dc408

    There's still time to study whether you want to test for your Technician license, upgrade to General, or Amateur Extra, or if you want to test all three at once for the ultimate DEF CON Ham Radio experience the dc408 team has you covered. With testing available on-site from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, August 8th you’re sure to find a workable spot in your schedule. Come early or reserve your spot to make sure you get to go home with an exclusive DEF CON 23 Ham Radio licensee memento for passing your exam at DEF CON! Supplies are limited.

    What you need to bring, the TLDR:
    A completed copy (using your FRN) of the forms found here
    Photo ID
    $15 cash (Bring a $20, we’ll have change)
    A copy of your current license if applicable

    What you need to bring:
    A completed copy (using your FRN) of the forms found here. Okay… so you could fill these out by hand at DEF CON but why would you want to? Also, I hope your handwriting is better than mine if you do. Only you can prevent transcription errors!
    Don’t have a FCC Registration Number (FRN)? This FCC form allows you to register for a FRN, which is delivered instantly.
    A legal photo ID. If you need to use something other than a driver’s license or passport consult this page for alternate ID options. If you still aren’t sure please contact us for approval of alternate ID.
    Cash for the exam fee: $15 for one attempt at all three license elements. Bring a $20, we’ll have change.
    If you’re upgrading an existing license, bring a copy of your current license. If your license isn’t yet posted in the FCC database bring your Certificates of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) (Original and a photocopy!) from your previous exam session.
    If you want to bring your own calculator be prepared to show one of our volunteers the memory is cleared.

    Study tips:
    There are lots of resources to help you study. Find the combination that works for you and stick with it. I like the dense presentation of information found in KB6NU’s No Nonsense Study Guide. For flashcard-style studying I settled on and an app on my phone designed to drill the needed information quickly and repetitively. The mix of tracking progress and constant availability meant I could always sneak in a few minutes of targeted study. Whatever you choose make sure it’s using the current set of test questions. The General test pool was updated on July 1, about 20% of the test pool was changed with the update.
    Happy studying! See you at DEF CON!

    Are you a VE and want to help out? See this post. Thanks!

    -dc408 Ham Radio Exams talking head
    Last edited by FortyTwoWho; August 6, 2015, 15:16. Reason: Updated available times

  • #2
    What do I need to do to reserve my spot? I've been thinking about getting license for a while now and this seems like the perfect opportunity.


    • #3
      To reserve a spot send me a private message with your legal name, license(s) you'll be testing for, and your desired timeslot in 30 min increments, e.g. 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 4:30, and we'll reserve your seat. If a slot fills up I'll post in this thread that it's unavailable.

      Happy studying!

      -dc408 Ham Radio Exams talking head


      • #4
        A fellow overseas ham here, will it make sense to grab a small 2m HT?


        • #5
          Indeed matrinpaljak. Give a shoutout on Simplex 146.580 to see who's around.

          -dc408 Ham Radio Exams talking head


          • #6
            I was told by folks with experience that it might be easier to buy some (usually cheaper than in EU) gear from US than it is to transport a rig safely (customs/fcc whatnot). So I'll just drop by to say hello.


            • #7
              That's great feedback. Hopefully it can save someone else unwanted hassle. Travel is sadly a complicated endeavor.
              Safe travels and I look forward to saying hello.


              • #8
                We're shutting down online reservations. Walk-in tests available from 10-5. Have a tight schedule? Come say hi and we'll try to make it work!


                • #9
                  Congratulations to everyone who got a new/upgraded license!

                  Did you or someone you know outside the U.S. pass exams at DEF CON? Please send them my way. We need to sync up on some paperwork.

                  Have feedback? We want to hear it! I'll be going through my private messages so we can improve!


                  • #10
                    We haven't checked every application yet but it appears the DEF CON exam licensee call signs have posted in the FCC database a week earlier than expected! Find your call sign here:

                    If your license hasn't posted DON'T PANIC grab your towel and chill a bit. If in a week your call sign still hasn't posted and you haven't been contacted feel free to reach out to us or the ARRL VEC.

                    Still need a radio? At under $30 the Baofeng UV-5R line is a popular choice for a first radio or just one you aren't afraid to lose or drop.

                    Congratulations again!

                    Hat tip to @ryancnelson who noticed before we did!

                    See you on the airwaves!
                    Last edited by FortyTwoWho; August 20, 2015, 00:02. Reason: Updated link