Amateur radio testing to continue during government shutdown
Oct 09, 2013 | 943 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland Amateur Radio Club will hold amateur radio license testing sessions in the months of October and November.

Sessions will be conducted on the third Saturday of those months at 10 a.m. at the CARC clubhouse at 560 Johnson Blvd., according to Derek Wooley, club president.

Wooley explained these sessions are being held as scheduled despite the government shutdown which has affected operations at the Federal Communications Commission.

“The downside to the shutdown is that applications for new licenses, upgrades and renewals will not be processed at the FCC’s Gettysburg Pa. office while government employees are furloughed,” Wooley said.

“We are going ahead and holding sessions as we normally would with hope that the FCC will return to a normal schedule soon,” said Jack McCarty, team leader for the club’s testing program.

Both explained the American Radio Relay League, as the volunteer examiner coordinator under which the club conducts testing sessions, will hold all incoming applications until the government is again operating.

The ARRL has issued notice to volunteer examiner teams that they cannot upload applications to the FCC’s servers because those servers have been taken off line.

Wooley said first-time applicants that qualify for the Technician class license, the entry class license to amateur radio, can normally go online within a week after their test session to learn the call sign the FCC has issued and can begin using their new-found privileges.

Wooley said “With the government shutdown new call signs are not being issued. New applicants will have to wait until the government resumes processing applications but there could be quite a backlog if it is several weeks before the FCC reopens.”

The F.C.C. established a procedure before shutting down whereby amateurs upgrading to the Technician, General, of Extra class licenses can use their new operating privileges while the government is in limbo.

That information is available on the ARRL’s website, www.arrl.org. Also, amateurs with renewal dates after Oct. 1 can use their expired license until one day after government workers return to work..

CARC conducts test sessions on the third Saturday of each month from January through November. McCarty estimates 50 to 60 people participate in their test sessions on an annual basis. Testing is not offered in December.

The CARC can be reached by phoning 479-4660 or website, www.carc.cc.