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NL7XS
08-11-2008, 11:15 PM
I have been out of touch for at least 10 years. My Dad has been renewing my lic for me, and I would like to get started again. I am having trouble verifying my license grade.

I got my Tech in 1991 (according to the records I can look up on the web), and I can't remember if it was long before that that I got my Novice, or if I went straight to tech. I know I passed a 5wd code test, and I see I was updgraded to tech+, then it evidently went back to tech after 2002.

I have this in on the fcc site: LICENSE CLASS CONVERTED PER 97.21a3

Can anyone tell me difinitively what my class is and what steps I need to take (if any) to make general?

I will be starting out with 2m, and packet radio, and would like to talk to my pop in AK from here in WA. On that note, any recommended reading --on the order of ham radio for dummy's, (yeah, that bad)-- to get me back up to speed. I am itching to play with dstar, I think that and packet radio is what most piqued my interest.

Thanks in advance.

WA9SVD
08-11-2008, 11:38 PM
I have been out of touch for at least 10 years. My Dad has been renewing my lic for me, and I would like to get started again. I am having trouble verifying my license grade.

I got my Tech in 1991 (according to the records I can look up on the web), and I can't remember if it was long before that that I got my Novice, or if I went straight to tech. I know I passed a 5wd code test, and I see I was updgraded to tech+, then it evidently went back to tech after 2002.

I have this in on the fcc site: LICENSE CLASS CONVERTED PER 97.21a3

Can anyone tell me difinitively what my class is and what steps I need to take (if any) to make general?

I will be starting out with 2m, and packet radio, and would like to talk to my pop in AK from here in WA. On that note, any recommended reading --on the order of ham radio for dummy's, (yeah, that bad)-- to get me back up to speed. I am itching to play with dstar, I think that and packet radio is what most piqued my interest.

Thanks in advance.

There's no longer any difference between "Tech" and the old "Tech Plus" license. They're all the same, with identical privileges. But to work from WA to AK, at least on a regular basis, and current propagation, you'll at least need a General license. (Unfortunately, 2 Meters isn't going to work for that distance.) The upgrade isn't difficult; and there's no Morse test you (or anyone else) has to worry about.
Pick up a copy of the ARRL License Guide for General, and the ARRL Operating Manual, and you'll be well on the road back.

K0RGR
08-11-2008, 11:56 PM
You may want to investigate a couple other things, too.

Right now, as a Tech, you have some outstanding CW privileges on HF. You have the 'General' CW-only bands on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. Depending on where your dad is in Alaska, I'd think 80 meters at night would be pretty dependable between you two.

Now, nothing says you can't use a computer to send and receive CW. If you can get your dad to do the same, the two of you should be able to have computerized CW QSO's right now. Then, when you upgrade to General, you can move to a different mode, PSK31 is a very good conversational mode, and works better than HF packet.

Computerized CW doesn't work as well as RTTY or PSK31, but some of the CW programs out there are good enough to copy machine-sent code pretty much 100% under decent conditions.

And, of course, since you already learned the code once, you could just try doing CW on the air by ear. In time, you'll get good enough to enjoy it!

NN4RH
08-12-2008, 12:01 AM
Can anyone tell me difinitively what my class is

The FCC has the final word on that. Your FCC ULS listing shows you as a Technician.


and what steps I need to take (if any) to make general?

You have to pass the Element 3 test.

NN4RH
08-12-2008, 12:03 AM
I'd suggest that you go to www.arrl.org and browse around. You'll find all the information about your current priviledges, how to find exam sessions, the exam question pools, and a lot of other useful information.

There's been a few changes over the past 10 years!

And welcome back to the hobby!

KB2RVL
08-12-2008, 12:40 AM
In the meantime while you head off toward General, look into IRLP or Echolink. See if there are any repeaters near the both of you that have either of these systems, then you can stay in touch on a regular sked.

W0IS
08-12-2008, 02:21 AM
If you had held a technician license prior to 1987, then you would be able to automatically upgrade to General just by sending in proof of your 1987 license. http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/00/0107/

But since you were first licensed in 1991, you don't qualify, and you'll need to pass the General written test, which most people can do after an evening or two of cramming.

Your best bet to get back up to speed is probably the General Class Q&A book, shown here:

http://www.arrl.org/catalog/lm/

The part about 97.21(a)(3) is a reference to the following rule:


(3) May apply to the FCC for renewal of the license grant for another term in accordance with §1.913 of this chapter. Application for renewal of a Technician Plus class operator/primary station license will be processed as an application for renewal of a Technician operator/primary station license.

In other words, you formerly held a Technician Plus, which was converted to a normal Technician, since they are now the same thing (meaning you can use 10 meter SSB, and CW on the "general" CW bands on 80, 40, 15, and 10.

Welcome back!

NL7XS
08-12-2008, 03:24 PM
Wow, I forgot about the camaraderie of hams. I might get spoiled by all the helpful people... no one told me to RTFM! If only I can get some of the linux geeks to spend some time on a ham board... it might mellow their 'king of the castle' tune.

I will pour over the links and suggestions. Thanks again for the quick responses and matter of fact answers. I just filed for my Grandpa's callsign, so I hope to assume (vainly ;-) KAŘNEM shortly.