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Ham Radio Exams at DEF CON 24 brought to you by dc408

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  • Ham Radio Exams at DEF CON 24 brought to you by dc408

    dc408 is excited to announce a finalized schedule with expanded hours for Ham Radio Exams at DefCon this year, now on Friday and Saturday!

    Skyview 2 - 26th floor of Bally's
    Friday 1pm - 6pm in Skyview 2
    Saturday 10am - 6pm in Skyview 2

    Always wanted to get your Amateur Radio license but just can't seem to get around to it? Whether there's no test site near you, testing is only available during working hours, or you just plain haven't gotten around to it dc408 is here to help erase access problems by bringing testing to DEF CON 24. 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 1pm to 6pm on Friday and 10am to 6pm on Saturday during DEF CON you’re sure to find a workable spot in your schedule. No reservations needed but registration ends about 5pm both days.

    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.
    A United States mailing address.
    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.
    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 3, 2016, 22:13.

  • #2
    Thanks for setting this up for everyone!

    Is this the page we should come back to for the time(s) and location, or was that posted in a different thread?



    • #3
      Download the Hacker Tracker app. It shows the latest schedules and locations, but it looks like the time is above and the location is Sky View 2.


      • #4
        very cool. As far as getting back an old callsign, is that something that needs to be done after passing or can it be noted at the time of taking the exam?


        • #5
          Thanks ZeroG! Indeed the location is Skyview 2 on the 26th floor of Bally's.

          SpinachWasWeed, if your callsign has been lapsed for less than two years you can apply to get it back after you get a new sequential. If it has been longer and it has not been claimed by anyone else, you can claim it via the vanity callsign program which no longer has a fee. Don't forget if you had a license higher than Tech previously you only have to take the exam for Tech to reinstate your previous privileges. Bring proof of your previous license to get credit for General or Extra applied.


          • #6
            Hey DC408, thanks for offering this! I got my Technician on Saturday afternoon. Any idea approximately when my application should show up in ULS?


            • #7
              Hey, Like Unregistered436 I also got my Technician on Sat, any idea on how long it takes?


              • #8
                Originally posted by idr0p View Post
                Hey, Like Unregistered436 I also got my Technician on Sat, any idea on how long it takes?
                I'd heard from a friend who has his General that it took nearly two weeks to show up in ULS, and that recently there'd been some issues with people waiting longer. That is all hearsay at this point as far as I'm concerned, BUT yeah, it's the guv-mint, so it won't be speedy.


                • #9
                  Thanks to all the folks who put on the exam sessions! I'm still looking for my Technician call sign to show up in the database but wanted to say thanks!


                  • #10
                    Anyone who took their exams that has theirs show up in the ULS please let us know so we can start looking. Also can we get confirmation from the organizers that the certificates went out?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by idr0p View Post
                      Anyone who took their exams that has theirs show up in the ULS please let us know so we can start looking. Also can we get confirmation from the organizers that the certificates went out?
                      I tweeted DC408, and FortyTwoWho responded back to me on Aug 17th:

                      "It usually takes a couple of weeks for submitted licenses to be issued call signs. Keep checking back!"
                      "All will appear at once. Can also take longer since the batch is so much larger than an average submission."


                      • #12
                        I also took my technician on Saturday and have yet to receive my station ID. I went ahead and called the FCC and they said that my application hasn't even been submitted! The FCC support person said that when a proctor inputs the data, an application is immediately opened with them. She also said that they have 10 days to submit our applications to their regional person and the regional person has 10 days to electronically enter the data with the FCC.

                        I'd be a bit more understanding if the hold up was the government being typically slow, but the fact that my application hasn't even been submitted is incredibly irritating. All the while, I have no one to hold accountable unless I was to send a letter to the address of the proctor that is listed on the FCC site, lol.


                        • #13
                          Thanks! I figured there was a delay due to a lot of people getting licensed. Congrats to everyone who passed!


                          PS: if my license doesn't appear by say, the first of September, what should I do? It would suck to have paid $30 for nothing. I really would like to get my Extra :(


                          • #14
                            I passed my Technician exam at Defcon, was my 1st Defcon too so thought that was a pretty cool thing to do!

                            So hey - while we're all waiting for the FCC to process our callsigns... Any cool online resources anyone can share, about fun/cool things to do as a HAM (from a hacker perspective). For example, I understand we can transmit at higher power than non-HAM's... where is this handy to take advantage of (Wifi, Bluetooth?) What kinds of things are you planning on doing now that you have your license?


                            • #15

                              Congrats on passing your Technician!

                              You may find the attached link interesting. You should explore how the various frequencies are partitioned up and what's used for what; I think the FCC also has a nice poster you can get as a PDF. Maybe not particularly fun/cool, but I think newer people will find it very informative.