Very basic questions about DMR radio.

Discussion in 'Software Defined Radio (SDR)' started by K1ZNE, Feb 8, 2020.

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  1. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The reason I asked about your exam crew being an ARRL VE team is that if they are, that would explain the long processing time.
    Here is how license exams are processed and licenses issued:

    There are 14 VECs (Volunteer Examiner Coordinators) that oversee the amateur radio licensing process. They certify Volunteer Examiners (VEs) and provide the exam materials to the test teams under their purview. They also receive the test results from their teams and submit the results (electronically) to the FCC.
    It is important to remember that only the VECs are authorized to submit exam results to the FCC.

    So the process is as follows:
    1) John Doe takes an amateur radio exam (or exams), passes, and is issued a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE).
    2) The exam team leader/chief gathers all test materials associated with the exam session, reviews them for correctness and then sends them to the VEC that oversees his team. The test materials may be sent via snail-mail or electronically; this is dependent on the particular VEC's procedures.
    3) The VEC will review the submitted materials, and if complete, will prepare the electronic batch file (EBF) that will be submitted electronically to the FCC.
    4) EBFs are processed by the FCC Monday through Friday (except for Federal holidays). They are not processed on weekends.
    5) When everything works, Mr. Doe will get his new license or license update processed.

    Problems can arise anywhere along the process chain:
    1) The team chief, when conducting his review, may find a discrepancy that needs correction and thus lengthen the time necessary to send the test materials to the VEC.
    2) The VEC, while conducting its review, may find problems that will cause it to return the materials to the team chief for correction.
    3) The VEC may have entered incorrect data into the EBF. If so, the FCC will generate an error code during the batch file processing and send this to the VEC that submitted the batch file. More time to be spent correcting the error and resubmitting the EBF.
    4) The FCC may find problem areas during its internal reviews (the Red-Light Review and various Off-line processing reviews.)

    I have gone through all this to focus on the 10-day to two week processing time mentioned by the OP and ND5Y in post #14 above.
    I am not picking on the ARRL, but their VEC process requires the exam team chief to snail-mail the test results and materials to the ARRL VEC office.
    So allowing for 1-2 days for the team chief to review, package and drop the materials at the post office, 3-6 days for USPS transit, 1-2 days to clear the ARRL mail room, time for the VEC for to review and input, which may take up to several days depending on their workload, the 10-14 day timeline is not unreasonable.
    If other VECs require their teams to submit their test results via snail-mail, the same timeline would apply.
    Another point to keep in mind is that the ARRL VEC oversees approximately 70% of all amateur radio license testing, so they have quite the workload to process.

    The above shows why the CSCE is good for one year! ;)

    And one last thing: If one does not receive a license or upgrade in a reasonable amount of time, contact the team chief who administered your exam session. (That person's contact information should be on the CSCE you were given. If it isn't, the VEC contact information should be and they may be contacted.)
    Firing off a nasty email or phone call to the FCC will go nowhere if they have not received the information from the VEC, who, in turn, may not have received it from the test team. Start at the bottom and work your way up! (One exception is the somewhat recent addition of "The Felony Question." If an applicant responds "Yes" to this, their application will be delayed until the applicant responds to the FCC's queries. The response process is specific and addressed on the FCC's website.)

    Hope this helps.

  2. K1ZNE

    K1ZNE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very well explained, Bruce. I hope to have my call sign within 2 weeks, which would be by the end of February, and if I don't I will contact the exam team chief and find about. Thank you very much for your time.
    W1TRY likes this.

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