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Author Topic: When was everyone licensed???.....  (Read 19143 times)

Posts: 3204


« on: June 25, 2010, 07:50:40 AM »

And do you still have your original licenses/CSCEs from your exam sessions???...I'll start it off....

Novice received February, 1985 ---Orignial License & CSCE Gone Forever.....(actually, I don't recall a CSCE from back then)......

Upgraded to General, September, 1986 ---Still have license, however, it's pretty chewed up...Still have CSCE too.....

Upgraded to Advanced, April, 1989 ---Still have license and is in good condition. CSCE Gone...

Upgraded to Extra, May, 1989---Still have the initial first license and is in good condition. Still have the CSCE as well....The crowning achievment!...LOL.....

What say you???



Posts: 10248


« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 09:24:45 AM »

It depends on which circa you're asking about.

A long time ago, you went to the FCC for your other than Novice (and Conditional sometimes), and you waited for the upgrade in the mail. You didn't operate on the new privileges until you got the license in the mail.

Later on, there was a provision to add a descriptive suffice, which indicated that you passed the next level test. No CSCE from the FCC, however, until just before they switched over to the VEC program.

At that time, you received a CSCE from the VEC who gave you the test, and you still used the suffice.

Lots of changes over the years; some good, some bad, depending on your point of view.


Posts: 2527

« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 05:04:58 PM »

Jan 1977.

It took over 6 weeks to get my ticket from the FCC.

If I remember correctly, my QST subscription started in mid 1976.

I think KP5 was my first deleted country?
China was the first country to allow ham radio again?
First new ham radio country was ZS1?

My trusty Tempo One CB rig got me interested in ham radio; I bought it from a ham.



Posts: 1321

« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2010, 12:32:15 AM »

April 29, 1963. Still have my original licence, issued by the General Post Office (who were responsible for radio licencing etc in the UK in those days), mimeographed on 4 sheets of paper!

Posts: 5639

« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 06:02:29 PM »

Originally ...

1961, KN4ZQG. It took forever (well, about six weeks really) for the license to come in the mail.

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 5688

« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 08:05:32 PM »

Which time?  *grin*  

Originally, 'twas 1959 at the tender age of 8.  Upgraded to General at some point, still a kid livin' at home, then got busy and after a bit of college, then a stint in the USAF and first marriage, somehow let it expire.  Was so busy for awhile there I didn't miss it.  

Then came back to the hobby in the late 80s or so because I got married again and my new brother-in-law is an avid ARO.  Didn't believe that he believed me and my, "been there done that" stories, so I brushed up and took all the tests to Advanced in one day.  Month later, did the Extra but kept the Advanced callsign.  

Not all that active on the bands at present, but can still copy up around the 40wpm mark.  Maybe I'll participate in local club's Field Day.  If they run a CW post, that is...

« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 08:17:17 PM by Clark McDonald » Logged

Posts: 4380

« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 10:54:38 AM »


April 1954 Novice WN5FIP.  In those days you had to find a ham to administer the test including
written, receiving code test at 5 WPM and sending code test same speed.  Then mail the test to the
FCC and wait weeks for the license to arrive (still have it and all subsequent license upgrades ).
Since the original Novice license was only good for one year no renewals, no retaking after the year expired, you were halfway through with your young ham career before you had gotten started.  Upgraded to technician while still a Novice (was possible in those days) just to see how hard the
General test was since they were the same.  Since it was so easy I then upgraded.  Stayed a Conditional (same as General) until 1979 and got a 20 wpm Extra and later had my call changed from W5FIP to KA5N cause I wanted a shorter call that nobody else had ever had (and didn't have to pay for a vanity call).
Wonderful hobby.  I have heard of many hams who said that being a ham helped get them a job
somewhere along the line.  I once told the guy who was interviewing me that I was a ham and he
said:  "We won't hold that against you."  They didn't and I got the job.  Hi Hi.
Just think, if every ham replies to your post, it will put eHam out of business.



Posts: 44

« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 08:30:21 AM »

April 2009 Cheesy

Posts: 5096

« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 09:10:34 AM »

Summer 1967: Passed 5 wpm code tests (sending and receiving) at volunteer examiner's house. He sends away for written test.

Wait six weeks

Later summer 1967: Written test arrives, take it at volunteer examiner's house. He sends it back to FCC; no idea whether I passed or not.

Wait six weeks

October 14, 1967: Novice license arrives; one of the first 2 year ones. On the air that day.

Spring 1968: Take General exam at Philadelphia FCC office. Miss 13 wpm code because examiner can't read my longhand well enough, but get credit for 5 wpm. Pass written exam; qualify for Technician to go with Novice (you could hold both at the same time back then).

Went home, taught self to block-print at 30 wpm and copy 18 wpm W1AW bulletins solid beginning to end.

Summer 1968: Go back to FCC office; pass 13 wpm code. FCC examiner "suggests" trying Advanced. Even at 14, not dumb enough to refuse FCC examiner, try it and pass Advanced.

Went home, made 2 year calendar to get ready for Extra (needed 2 years' experience)

Fall 1968: Advanced arrives. Have full privileges for a few weeks, then incentive licensing goes into effect.

Summer 1970: Back at FCC office, pass Extra. Arrives six weeks later.

1977 : Move to NY state, trade in 2x3 call from 3 land for 1x2 in 2 land. Not a vanity call; sequentially issued.

1979 - Move back to PA, keep 1x2 call.

The licenses are around someplace, as are logbooks going back to the very first day. Will dig them out sometime and record actual dates.

No CSCEs back then, no partial credit, no waivers. Most licenses require going to FCC office for exams.

Doesn't seem like 43 years.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Posts: 1626

« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 09:45:45 AM »

Took the Novice test in April 1964 and received my license in June (WN3BCQ).  Had just finished 9th grade.  What a rush!!  Upgraded to General three months later (Dad had to take a day of vacation to take me to the FCC office in Washington, DC - so lots of pressure to pass!).  Been licensed continuously since then.

Phil - AD5X

Posts: 990


« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 09:58:49 AM »

Well, Jim, I had it somewhat easier in the 1990's   Tongue

Semi-casual SWL and broadcast DXr since childhood. 5 WPM code speed in early '80s via cassette tapes but no one to "talk to". Relearned Morse in the early 90s via Amiga computer freeware, just for kicks. Relearned again in late '95 with software that I wrote in Amiga Basic then ported to QBasic. Practiced sending with a Commodore 64 and a code-reader cartridge. Again, this was all just for fun, I wasn't thinking about Amateur radio. Got up to 10+ WPM with no QSOs. A friend at tech school (who held a Technician license) learned what I was doing and urged me to get licensed. The lifelong semi-ambition of getting a Ham radio license finally made sense to me.

Late Jan. '96 obtained Tech+ with 13WPM endorsement via book learning (Now You're Talking), SWL experience and Morse software. Also, finally met some Elmers thanks to my new ticket and the local 2M repeaters. That sure helped.

Feb. '96 obtained General with 20WPM endorsement via book learning, practice tests on Floppy disk (thanks Elmers!) and the fact that the Morse test was multiple choice, as my copy was not great. I didn't want to hand over my scratch sheet as I thought it might embarrass me at best, or disqualify me at worst. But fortunately, if you get 8 out of ten right, you're in. (I wasn't even planning on taking the Morse test as I was still only good for about 13WPM and figured that I would be a General or maybe Advanced for a good while, like most people. But the VE's encouraged me to try it. "You paid for it!", they said.)

Early March '96, with my 20WPM CSCE burning a hole in my pocket, my work was cut out for me. I managed to pass Advanced and Extra in one session. I freely admit the practice tests helped tremendously, but not as much from a memorization perspective as one might think. More like showing me where I needed help. I also picked a difficult subject or two to skip studying as I wasn't likely to get more than one or two questions about them.

Took about six weeks  Cheesy

It was the Morse endorsements that really pushed me to keep upgrading. I would not have thought about seeing how fast I could get to Extra without them.

The lead VE from my first session loaned me a 20M QRP rig after I got Extra, and gave me wire to make a dipole. I still have and use that antenna.

73 Geoff
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 12:33:24 PM by Geoffrey Noles » Logged

Posts: 69

« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 11:18:20 AM »

I admit, I had it easily... too easy by some standards.  I entered ham radio late in the game (2003) as a Technician.  I purchased the study guide, although did not study for the test very much and still passed with flying colors. I went on to obtain my GROL later that year after having had several years in broadcast engineering under my belt (the GROL wasn't required then and typically a SBE certification was only occasionally asked for).  I went on to get the GMDSS Maintainer and Operator, as well as the Radar Endorsement that same year, although this was more of an option than a necessity, as at that time my boat was only voluntarily equipped.  I have since obtained my STCW for Radar, ARPA (automatic radar piloting aids), and GMDSS Operator and added them to my Merchant Mariner Credential, which required a fair amount of classroom work (about a month and a half). 

Michael KC8WUC

Posts: 30

« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 02:15:40 PM »

1982 B license (vhf, but passed all the exams minus the morse)
1984 full class A, (passed morse requirement) and still have all three pass certificates !!

Spike - G0CVL

Posts: 447

« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2010, 05:35:17 PM »

My story:

Saturday October 17, 1992.  Had my older brother drive me to ham test site after about 4 weeks of studying for my No-Code license.  I passed the test at 100% correct.  Three weeks later, November 1, 1992, One day after my 18th birthday had an automobile accident that almost killed me.  Ham radio was the last thing on my mind, as I was thanking God that I was able to walk away from a crash that in honesty, should have killed me.

Summer of 1993, Decided to go ahead and take the code requirement and get my Techinicain license in case I wanted to get on 10 meters and enjoy the openings while in college.  Passed the code test after a couple of tries.

March 1998, After graduating from college and moving to Lexington, Kentucky to work at the local ABC affiliate, decided to study for my General class ticket.  I passed on the first try after a couple months of studying the code and theory.

September 1998, Decided to go ahead and get my Advanced ticket since I had just passed the General and the material would be similar.  My Advanced ticket was probably the hardest one to get, but I passed after having studied for the exam most of the summer and taken some online practice tests.

December 2001, Started studying for the Extra ticket around the time of the terrorist attacks.  Passed the exam on the first try with one or two questions missed.

And yes, I still have all of my original paperwork.


Posts: 283

« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2010, 07:02:00 PM »

2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of amateur radio licensing in the U.S.  Wonder what the license structure will look like in another hundred years. 

Neil N3DF
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