SCARS News November 15, 2022

Stuff You Forgot About Ham Tickets — Menu

By Peter Laws N5UWY / VE2UWY

How long is my license good for? The license term has been 10 years for over 30 years now.  It was 5 years for a long time but that changed in the late 1980s (long before that, Novice license terms were changed from one-year and non-renewable to the same term as other classes).  When N5UWY was issued in 1991 there still seemed to be hams who were surprised to get a new 10-year term when they renewed.  You can renew up to 90 days before your license expires.  Please do that.  If you wait until it expires, you still have 2 years to renew but since you have no valid license at that point, you cannot legally operate.  Don’t wait – do it before the day!  And yes, renewals, like new licenses, incur a $35 application fee payable to the FCC.

Speaking of deprecated license classes … At one point, Novices had a year to upgrade or their license was canceled.  That rule is long-gone and Novices have been able to renew forever for decades.  And some seem to!  There are still several thousand Novice licenses in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System.  Since I’ve been involved with testing here, SCARS has done its part by upgrading at least three Novices to Technician and beyond.  Novice and Advanced class licenses have not been issued since 2000 when the 13 and 20-wpm Morse code tests went away.  Like Novices, remaining Advanced licensees can renew indefinitely as their licenses expire.  Conditional-class licensees, whose privileges were identical to those of General, were converted to General starting in 1978.  A Conditional license was granted to a candidate who could not get to an FCC field office due to distance and was tested by fellow amateurs.  This predates the FCC’s delegation of all license testing to the community in 1984.  There were, also Conditional Technicians as well.  Remember that before March of 1987, there was only a General exam.  If you passed that and the 13-wpm code test you became a General.  If you could only pass 5 wpm, you became a Technician.  Like a “Conditional”, the Conditional Technician (look for references in old journals like “Technician (C)” or “T (C)”) lived “too far” from an FCC Field Office and was examined by fellow amateurs.  If you are a long-time Technician and you were licensed before 1987-03-21, we can upgrade you to General without you having to test since you already passed what amounts to the current Element 3 35+ years ago!

Which amateur classes have HF privileges?  You better have answered “all of them” because if you didn’t, you need to review 47 CFR 97, the FCC regulations for the Amateur Radio Service!  Technicians have CW privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 m, DATA privileges (yes, FT8 is “DATA”) on 10 m, and PHONE privileges (SSB only – no AM/FM/DV) on 10 m.  This has been true since at least 2007 when the last Morse code tests were given.

Why did SCARS charge $15 for a license and now you charge $35?  Since the FCC delegated amateur radio license testing to the amateur community nearly 40 years ago, Volunteer Examiner Coordinators — the FCC-accredited bodies that in turn accredit examiners — have been permitted to recover their “out-of-pocket expenses incurred in preparing, processing, administering, or coordinating” license exams.  The ARRL VEC and the W5YI VEC both charge a cost-recovery fee.  The Laurel ARC VEC, through whom SCARS’ exam team has been accredited since 2018, does not charge a cost-recovery fee and hasn’t since 1984.  Same job, just a different way of doing it.  Most or all fees collected in the past at SCARS test sessions, or anyone else’s test sessions currently, are passed on to the VEC under which that team is accredited. 

In 2018, Congress passed a law (“RAY BAUM’S Act”) that changed many telecommunications regulations.  The FCC was busy with modifying other regulations and didn’t get around to modifying Amateur Radio regulations until 2021.  As a result, the FCC now (since April 2022) collects a $35 application fee from amateur licensees that want to obtain a new license, renew their existing license, or choose a vanity callsign (upgrades and changes of contact info have no fee).  Note that this is an FCC fee, mandated by Congress, and not a permitted VEC cost-recovery fee.  Exam teams anywhere play no part in collecting the fee. None of us really likes paying a fee, but any “beefs” should be directed to Congress.  But then again … it’s only $3.50/year over the life of your license.

Ham Radio Network Meeting Follow-up — Menu

Last Saturday, Lavone Anderson KG5GWO, Justin Tuck KB5LHM, Mike Isaac, and Dian Carmody talked about the Oklahoma Hospital Radio Network (HRN). The Hospital Radio Network (HRN) is a group of Oklahoma amateur radio operators that work to link Oklahoma Hospitals using amateur radio (hams). If you would like some more information about the program, you can visit or contact Lavone Anderson KG5GWO by email at The video from Saturday’s presentation is available at this YouTube link.

Repeater Etiquette — Menu

To encourage proper operating guidelines, we provide members a guide to repeater etiquette and operating guidelines. Our on-the-air guidelines are listed here and are available on the SCARS website at Following these will help new members and not-so-new members get up to speed with the protocols, language, topics, and operations on shared radio systems.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created rules and regulations that govern amateur radio. These rules and regulations are listed in Title 47, Chapter I, Subchapter D,  Part 97 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Hams usually call these the “Part 97” rules. Those rules discuss what hams are legally allowed to do.

However, just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you should do it. Learning what you should do usually takes many years and involves a lot of hard lessons. In an attempt to help learn these lessons quicker, we have created this repeater etiquette guide.

Repeaters allow us to amplify our signal to allow others to hear our voices. SCARS repeaters, and all others, typically have hundreds of people listening at all times. This could be hams, family members of hams, people listening to scanners, city officials, or people listening on the Internet rebroadcast or recording, anywhere on the planet. When you are heard on a repeater, your performance should be representative of the host club.

Follow these guidelines and you will quickly become a better operator.


  • Take time to listen to the repeater for a while before you transmit. If you are new to the area, listen to get a feel for the operation of the locals. Otherwise, listen for at least 30 seconds to make sure you aren’t barging into a conversation.
  • To transmit, key your microphone, wait for a second, and then start talking. Repeaters and receivers have a built-in delay that may chop off the first few syllables of your statement. Hold the button firmly while you are talking. Be sure to let go of the button when you are finished.
  • Transmit your callsign when you start talking. This lets the other people listening know who you are. While the person you are talking to may know your voice, others listening may not.
  • If you wish to announce that you are listening to the repeater and are willing to converse, give your callsign and the words “listening” or “monitoring.” Stay on the channel for at least a minute because others may take a while to respond. CQ is not used on repeaters.
  • To call another station, transmit their callsign and then your callsign. Be sure to pause before you start talking. If you get no response, make this call again. If you still get no response, simply transmit your callsign and the words “clear”, or “listening”, or “monitoring”.
  • Resist the urge to quickly key to respond to a transmission. Provide a brief pause between transmissions to allow others to join in. People breaking into a conversation will transmit their call sign when the current operator unkeys.
  • Promptly acknowledge any stations that transmit their call and permit them to either join the conversation or make a quick call.
  • You do not need to wait for the repeater transmitter to drop. There are about four seconds between the courtesy tone and the repeater transmitter dropping. Let two of them go by and then key the microphone.
  • Commuting hours are popular for many mobile stations. Repeaters exist to help extend the range of mobiles and portables. Be courteous and give them priority during commuting hours.
  • Do not “kerchunk” a repeater by clicking the microphone button to see if you are in range. If you need to range check your radio, key the microphone, transmit your callsign, and then wait for the repeater to respond.
  • To ask for a radio check, key your microphone, transmit your callsign, and then the words “radio check”. More often than not, you’ll get someone to respond.
  • If you are in an emergency situation, use the word “emergency”. You will get a much better response than if you use other codewords. When someone responds, keep them informed of your situation until you announce that the emergency is over.


  • Watch what you say when you key your microphone. Speak as if your mother is in the room. Avoid ‘mild’ obscenities, including suggestive phrases and innuendos.
  • Speak as if you were talking to someone face-to-face.
  • Don’t use the word “break” to join a conversation. If you want to be involved, simply transmit your callsign. Some regions reserve the word “break” for announcing an emergency.
  • Use plain language and avoid jargon or acronyms that may be prominent in your ‘day-job’, or on HF. Others may not fully understand what your acronym means.


  • Do not monopolize the repeater. If others turn off their radios because they can hardly talk to someone except you, something is wrong.
  • Be upbeat and courteous. Don’t be the guy that’s always complaining about other hams, the repeater, or some aspect of the hobby.
  • Do not discuss the topics of politics, religion, or make disparaging remarks. While you and the person you are talking to may share certain beliefs, there are hundreds of other listeners that probably have differing opinions. Typically this results in hams turning off their radios and reduces group participation.
  • If you frequently receive jamming interference, it may be a sign that you may need to adjust your use of the repeater. This isn’t always the case, but history has shown that jammers respond to those that have caused the most friction.


  • Don’t cough, sneeze, or clear your throat on-the-air. Unkey the microphone as you feel these coming on.
  • If you hear someone trying to “jam” a transmission, or disrupt the normal repeater operation, ignore them. These people are looking for attention and typically go away if ignored. “Please don’t feed the trolls.”
  • If you feel that you need to interrupt an existing conversation, remember it is no more polite to do so on the air than if you did it face-to-face.
  • Follow a roundtable, or rotation format to allow 3 or more hams to participate in a conversation. Don’t ignore people by not passing to them for several turns.
  • Perform your legally required station identifications every 10 minutes. Use the repeater timer, or the other station as your guide. When you hear the controller identify the repeater, you should give your callsign on the next transmission.
  • Using the phrase “for ID” with your callsign is not required, or encouraged.
  • Perform your legally required station identification at the end of your conversation. Simply give your callsign. You do not need to repeat the callsign of the other operators.
  • Don’t use any CB phrases, slang, or verbiage. Use plain language.
  • Respond to calls that you aren’t familiar with. It’s a great way to meet new people and hear new stories. They may be a new ham, or new to the area, and are looking for a conversation.

Have fun and enjoy the machines. Should you have a question or would like to add to this list, please send a message to

New/Upgraded Hams

Please join the SCARS Exam Team in welcoming the following new amateurs to the air:

Bryan, W1NGR

Trudy, W5LUV (Ardmore)

Keith, KG7LDW (Ardmore)

all of whom upgraded to General.

Upcoming Exam Sessions: December 1, January 5, and February 2.

Dates to Remember — Menu

Newsletter News — Menu

This newsletter is announced in several places. Feel free to subscribe the way that suits you best. If you’re an email person, you can subscribe by visiting If you’re a Twitter person, visit us at And each newsletter announcement is posted on the Facebook group at And, if you like to search this yourself, you can go straight to the newsletter at Any way you found the newsletter, we’re glad you made it.

And, this newsletter should be for, and about, you. If you have a neat build project to share, an interesting QSO, a new radio review, a new idea, an upcoming event, a member spotlight, or if you’d like to help produce the newsletter, please send an email at These don’t have to be polished articles; we’ll edit as required. Don’t forget a picture or two. Those pictures are worth a thousand words.

Local Hamfests — Menu

Briefly, here’s the list of the upcoming local hamfests. Hamfests are always great places to buy new equipment, sell your underused equipment, and find that great flea market bargain. They are always a great place to meet local hams and learn some new tricks.

3/4/2023 | Elk City Hamfest | Location: Elk City, OK
4/7-8/2023 | Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
4/8/2023 | Ozark Con4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO
5/19-21/2023 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH
7/28-29/2023 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – Oklahoma City, OK
8/12/2023 | Reno County KS Hamfest | Location: Hutchinson, KS
8/25-26/2023 | Joplin Hamfest | Location: Joplin, MO
9/9-10/2023 | Arkansas State Convention | Location: Mena, AR
9/16/2023 | Ponca City Tailgate | Location: Ponca City, OK
9/16-18/2023 | Duke City Hamfiesta | Location: Albuquerque, NM
9/24/2023 | Springfield MO Hamfest | Location: Springfield, MO
10/01/2023 | Wichita Area Hamfest | Location: Wichita, KS
10/27-28/2023 | Hamarama Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK
11/4/2023 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK

The ARRL maintains a list of all US hamfests if you would like to travel. Click here for the ARRL list of those within 250 miles.

SCARS Is On The Web — Menu

News, links, repeater info, hamfests, licensing, and more are linked from the menu sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG!

Podcast: On The Air — Menu

The On the Air podcast is a companion to the bi-monthly On the Air magazine (an ARRL membership benefit) and takes a deeper dive into select features and projects. Each month, host Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY offers additional resources, techniques, and hints to help you get the most from the magazine’s content.

Audio Link

ARRL’s On The Air – Basic Gear for Public Service

Just over two weeks ago Hurricane Ian devastated Sanibel Island and southwestern Florida. It caused tens of billions of dollars of damage and killed more than 100 people. Arc Thames, W4CPD, the Section Emergency Coordinator of ARRL’s Northern Florida Section and Emergency Coordinator of Santa Rosa County Florida, passed traffic during the storm and shares some of his experiences. He discusses gear for ARES deployments (An HT is just fine!) and what you need to know before going out in the field.

For more information on prepping for EmComm, check out the article, “Basic Gear for Public Service” in the September/October 2022 issue of On the Air magazine.

The “On The Air” podcast homepage is available by clicking here.

ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu

ARLD045 DX news

QST de W1AW  
DX Bulletin 45  ARLD045
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 10, 2022
To all radio amateurs   

ARLD045 DX news

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by
The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral
from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks
to all.

ALGERIA, 7X.  Special event station 7R68AR is QRV until November 30
to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the beginning of Algerian War
of Independence.  Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, and
FT8.  QSL via M0OXO.  Also, 7R7A is QRV to mark the 68th anniversary
of the outbreak of the Algerian Revolution.  QSL via 7X2VFK.

TONGA, A3.  Stan, LZ1GC and Ivan, LZ1PM are QRV as A35GC from
Tongatapu, IOTA OC-049, until November 20.  Activity is on 160 to 6
meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8 with two stations.  QSL via

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, E7.  Special call sign E730ITU is QRV until
November 14 to mark the 30th anniversary of Bosnia and Herzegovina's
membership in the International Telecommunication Union.  QSL via

LIECHTENSTEIN, HB0.  Bodo, DF8DX is QRV as HB0/DF8DX until November
13.  He will be active as HB0DX during the Worked All Europe DX RTTY
contest.  QSL via LoTW.

THAILAND, HS.  Lars, SM6NT is QRV as HS0ZME from Hua Hin and is here
until April 2, 2023.  Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using mainly
CW.  QSL to home call.

BELGIUM, ON.  Special call sign OT5IDPD is QRV until December 3 for
the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  In 1992 the UN
General Assembly designated December 3 as this annual day of
observance.  QSL via ON6WL.

ARUBA, P4.  Jaap, PA7DA will be QRV as P40DA from November 14 to 27.
Activity will be holiday style on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB,
FT8, and FT4.  QSL to home call.

BRAZIL, PY.  Special event station ZW200ESQ is QRV until November 30
to celebrate the bicentennial of the Brazilian Navy.  Activity is on
80 meters to 70 centimeters using CW, SSB, various digital modes,
and on the FM Satellites.  QSL via bureau.

BANABA ISLAND, T3.  Members of the Rebel DX Group are QRV as T33T
until November 15.  Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using FT8 in
DXpedition mode.  QSL via LoTW.

PALAU, T8.  A group of operators are QRV as T88WA from Northern
Babeldaob Island, IOTA OC-009, until November 14.  Activity is on
160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB, and FT8.  QSL via M0URX.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, TL.  A group of operators will be QRV as
TL8AA and TL8ZZ from November 12 to 26.  Activity will be on 160 to
6 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, and with FT8 in DXpedition mode,
respectively.  QSL direct to I2YSB.

TURKS AND CAICOS, VP5.  Mark, WQ7X is QRV as VP5/WQ7X from
Providenciales, IOTA NA-002, until November 15.  Activity is holiday
style on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB.  QSL to home call.

INDONESIA, YB.  Hajar, YB8HZ is QRV as YB8HZ/p from Kapoposang
Island, IOTA OC-236, until November 12.  Activity is on the HF
bands.  QSL direct to home call.

and PA3FYC are QRV as ZC4RH from the Base Area of Dhekelia until
November 19.  Activity is focused on 2 meters, and 70 and 23
centimeters, using EME, Tropo, Meteor Scatter, and other modes.  QSL
via DK6SP.

ST. HELENA, ZD7.  Christopher, HB9FIY is QRV as ZD7CA until November
26.  Activity is in his spare time on 40 to 10 meters using SSB,
PSK31, and RTTY.  QSL via EA5GL.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO.  ARRL EME Contest, Japan International DX
Phone Contest, Worked All Europe DX RTTY Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint,
QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC CW Sprint, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test,
PODXS 070 Club Triple Play Low Band Sprint, 10-10 International Fall
Digital Contest, SARL VHF/UHF Analogue Contest, SKCC Weekend CW
Sprintathon, OK/OM DX CW Contest, FISTS Saturday CW Sprint, CQ-WE
Contest, AWA Bruce Kelley 1929 CW QSO Party, FIRAC HF SSB Contest
and the Classic Phone Exchange will certainly keep contesters busy
this weekend.

The K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday
Sprint, ICWC Medium Speed CW Test, OK1WC CW Memorial, Worldwide
Sideband Activity Contest, RTTYOPS Weeksprint, QRP 40 Meter CW Fox
Hunt, Phone Weekly Test, A1Club CW AWT, CWops CW Test, VHF-UHF FT8
Activity Contest, Mini-Test 40, Mini-Test 80 and the RSGB 80-Meter
Autumn SSB Series are all on tap for November 14 to 16.

Please see November QST, page 77, and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest
web sites for details.

The latest ARRL DX Bulletin is always at the top hereARRL DX Bulletin

Amateur Radio Newsline — Menu




The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at

W5KUB – Amateur Radio Roundtable Video

Tonight update about our ham radio balloon launches from Antarctica. Reviewing a new spectrum Analyzer the Rigol DSA815-TG, plus more

The W5KUB YouTube channel link is here: W5KUB YouTube.

Ham Nation / Ham Radio Workbench — Menu

These two podcasts are published bi-weekly, so we alternate them in this space.

On this packed Episode of Ham Nation we’ll be talking to our friends Chip and Janey Margelli about their beautiful Thanksgiving ham radio tradition, Valerie is back to talk to the Intrepid DX Association about their upcoming contest, Randy will be sharing his experience with Vara Winlink and Don brings us an update from Amateur Radio Newsline.

The recent Ham Nation episodes are linked right here Ham Nation.
The most recent Ham Radio Workbench episodes are linked right here Ham Radio Workbench.

73 de Mark N5HZR

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