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Author Topic: Passing all exams the same day?  (Read 11950 times)
GILGSN
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Posts: 208




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« on: September 06, 2012, 10:53:10 PM »

Hello,

I decided to study for all tests at once. Even if I don't succeed, I'll be ahead for the next session!
Now, in the unlikely but possible event that I pass all three...
I am also learning Morse Code, and would like a short call sign, four characters, best weight for CW.
Finding answers has been difficult. The Vanity HQ site is a mess...
I am assuming that getting either Tech or General will get me assigned a six-character call sign.
So, if I pass General, should I check the "Do not change call sign box."
If I pass the extra, should I check that box? What would I be assigned? A five-character call sign?
Should I then immediately apply for a shorter vanity call sign? Aren't you supposed to wait for your first call sign?
I am just wondering what the best way to proceed is, would I be so lucky to pass, to get the shortest call sign possible?
Does asking for a new call sign right away slows down or cancels the issuance of the first one?
What are my options?

Thank you very much!

Gil.
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W3HF
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Posts: 700


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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 05:26:13 AM »

I decided to study for all tests at once. Even if I don't succeed, I'll be ahead for the next session!
Good planning!
Now, in the unlikely but possible event that I pass all three...
I am also learning Morse Code, and would like a short call sign, four characters, best weight for CW.
Finding answers has been difficult. The Vanity HQ site is a mess...
Compared to what? Finding vanity call info on most of the other ham radio sites (FCC, ARRL, QRZ, eHam, etc) is worse, and sometimes non-existent. I like both VHQ and AE7Q. AE7Q has better search tools, but VHQ has more already-populated lists answering the common questions.

If you can be more specific about what you want/need, people can help you. Both VHQ and AE7Q have message boards. And even though they don't seem busy, there are folks that do check them and answer within a day or two.
I am assuming that getting either Tech or General will get me assigned a six-character call sign.
Yes, you will be assigned a Group D call, as there aren't any more Group C calls being sequentially assigned.
So, if I pass General, should I check the "Do not change call sign box."
Don't worry about that box. It's only applicable if you already have a a call, are sitting for an upgrade, and want to keep the call you already have. It's irrelevant if you don't already have a callsign.
If I pass the extra, should I check that box? What would I be assigned? A five-character call sign?
Again, you would only check that box if you were taking a test as an upgrade and were already licensed. And yes, you would likely receive a five-character call starting with A. VHQ has a page called "New Hams" which lists the most recent sequential issues. Scroll through the page to your call district to see the last A 2x2 call issued. You would be soon after that one.
Should I then immediately apply for a shorter vanity call sign? Aren't you supposed to wait for your first call sign?
Yes, to apply for a vanity call you have to already HAVE a callsign. So you can't apply immediately, but as soon as you are listed in the ULS.
I am just wondering what the best way to proceed is, would I be so lucky to pass, to get the shortest call sign possible?
Does asking for a new call sign right away slows down or cancels the issuance of the first one?
As you pointed out, you CAN'T apply for a vanity before issuance of your "first" callsign, so this question doesn't apply.
What are my options?
I think you already described it.
1. Pass the test(s).
2. Figure out what callsign you'd like. Use whatever tools you want. If you don't like VHQ, try AE7Q or RadioQTH.
3. Once you are an extra, apply for a shorter vanity call. Wait until after your extra license is posted in the ULS.
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GILGSN
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 09:12:52 AM »

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer me  Smiley

So, if I understand well, I could get a five-character call sign as my first one (assuming I pass Extra)?
Would the VEC submit a certificate of completion to the FCC for Extra, or all three certificates?
Just wondering how things work when multiple certificates are submitted, regarding call signs.

About VanityHQ, the information there is great, but the web design sucks, same for the others.
No offense intended, I have nothing but praise for the efforts of the people who maintain those sites.
However, they are very confusing and look like they were built in the early 90s.
This is unfortunately true of most Ham related sites. There are exceptions, look at Eham...

Have a great week-end,

Gil.
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W3HF
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 09:48:51 AM »

So, if I understand well, I could get a five-character call sign as my first one (assuming I pass Extra)?
Yes, if your first license is Amateur Extra, you would get a Group A callsign.
Would the VEC submit a certificate of completion to the FCC for Extra, or all three certificates?

Just wondering how things work when multiple certificates are submitted, regarding call signs.
I think you are confusing terminologies, which is confusing the issue.

You (personally) will deal with Volunteer Examiners (VEs). They will give you the test, grade the test, and issue you a (single) Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) which will indicate the exam elements you passed. It will separately indicate the completion of Elements 2, 3, and/or 4. It will also indicate whether you qualify for a license--if you pass element 2 (and nothing else) you will get a Tech. If you pass 2 and 3 (and not 4), you get a General. If you pass all three elements, you will get an Extra. So there aren't "three certificates" at all. There's only one, with the final result.

Finally, the VEs will submit to their Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) the results of the test session, including a copy of your CSCE. There are only 14 VECs--the biggest are ARRL, W5YI, and Laurel--so you are unlikely to deal with them yourself. The VEC will then directly access the FCC computers to process the new license. The FCC never sees the CSCEs, or even any other paperwork. Their computer actually issues the license, but the VECs do all the work, and do it remotely.
About VanityHQ, the information there is great, but the web design sucks, same for the others.
No offense intended, I have nothing but praise for the efforts of the people who maintain those sites.
However, they are very confusing and look like they were built in the early 90s.
This is unfortunately true of most Ham related sites. There are exceptions, look at Eham...
I guess we have a different perspective then. I look for content primarily, and then functionality. Design details don't matter to me--I couldn't care less if the design is "old style" or whatever, as long as it works. And frankly, changes that seem to be nothing more than "eye candy" annoy me, as they often change the user interface, so I have to re-learn how to do things that I've already been doing.

Both VHQ and AE7Q are each the work of one person, doing it as a hobby. There's no staff, no professional web developers, not even a team of volunteers helping out. Just one person trying to keep the site running, in between holding down a full-time job, family responsibilities, and other personal activities.

If it's confusing to you, I'd encourage you to explore it a bit more, try to look past the design issues, and ask questions on the message boards. I really think you'll find what you are looking for.
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GILGSN
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 12:05:06 PM »

Quote
So there aren't "three certificates" at all. There's only one, with the final result.

Now it all makes sense, thank you!

Gil.
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KE6CT
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 02:32:15 PM »

Quote
So there aren't "three certificates" at all. There's only one, with the final result.

Now it all makes sense, thank you!

Gil.

I would just worry about passing the exams.  The VE's will handle the rest.  If you pass the Extra, let them know what type of call sign you're interested in and they'll help you.

I took the Extra at a Sunnyvale, CA VEC test session on Saturday, July 14.  I requested a shorter call sign and was issued one on the spot (AG6OI).  They told me how to fill out the form but I don't remember the details though.  My new call sign showed up in the FCC ULS database on Monday, July 16. 

I think you'll pass all three exams if you study for them. 

Good luck!





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W3HF
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 03:53:43 PM »

I took the Extra at a Sunnyvale, CA VEC test session on Saturday, July 14.  I requested a shorter call sign and was issued one on the spot (AG6OI). 
Note that this is one exception to my statement that you usually don't deal directly with the VEC. Sunnyvale VEC actually gives sessions itself, so there's no middleman. As a result, they can access the FCC computers immediately and get your license issued.

Last I checked, ARRL and W5YI VECs accounted for over 90% of the license transactions; Sunnyvale VEC was less than one-half of one percent. So you are much more likely to run into a session run by affiliated VEs rather than the VEC itself.
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GILGSN
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 04:21:35 PM »

Thanks. It's a whole lot of reading... Fortunately, a lot of the material in the Extra book is in the general one...

Gil.
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KE6CT
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 08:43:44 PM »

I took the Extra at a Sunnyvale, CA VEC test session on Saturday, July 14.  I requested a shorter call sign and was issued one on the spot (AG6OI). 
Note that this is one exception to my statement that you usually don't deal directly with the VEC. Sunnyvale VEC actually gives sessions itself, so there's no middleman. As a result, they can access the FCC computers immediately and get your license issued.

Last I checked, ARRL and W5YI VECs accounted for over 90% of the license transactions; Sunnyvale VEC was less than one-half of one percent. So you are much more likely to run into a session run by affiliated VEs rather than the VEC itself.

I understand.  I didn't to be contradictory, just posting my personal experience.  I was amazed by how fast the process went. 

When I passed the Technican and General the month prior, it took a bit longer to be added to the FCC ULS database. Sunnyvale VEC accidentally left a digit off my street address.  It was an honest mistake and was corrected quickly.  I think it took about a week.  The paper license took about 10 days or so. 

Sunnyvale VEC was really good.   
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GILGSN
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 12:02:46 PM »

Passed all three this morning  Cool

Gil.
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K2OWK
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2012, 01:53:50 PM »

 Smiley Congratulations, well done.
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W3HF
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2012, 02:52:09 PM »

Passed all three this morning  Cool

Gil -

Congratulations! Post your new call (when you get it) and whether you've decided to go for a vanity.

73,
Steve
W3HF
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GILGSN
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2012, 04:45:01 PM »

Thank you  Smiley

Technician and General were easy, Extra, I didn't think I would pass. Some questions were really hard.
They told me I should have my call sign maybe as soon as friday. It will be a long week!

Gil.
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KD5RGJ
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Posts: 34




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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2012, 11:00:37 AM »

GIL
WHAT STATE DO YOU LIVE IN? CAN YOU COME BACK AND POST YOUR CALL SIGN?
KD5RGJ-AMATEUR EXTRA
SPENCER HUDSON
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N0BOE
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 01:53:46 PM »


Looks like AK4YH

Congrats Gil!
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