Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ham Radio License Finally Updated

It seems weird, when I passed the technician exam back in 1993 it took about six weeks for my license to show up in the mail. That was ok, because I didn't really know any better, and I didn't have a radio to use anyway. Back in the days without online databases, you could only check the mail once a day anyway. These days, folks can get their licenses in just a day or two, they don't have to wait for the actual license to show up in the mail, and just being in the database is enough authority to use the radio. A little over a year ago, when I passed my general class exam, the upgrade was in the database in only three days. So, imagine my surprise when at the end of the week last week, after passing my extra class test the previous Saturday, the FCC still hadn't updated my license.

It turns out that there were a few problems; the first was due to an error in my paperwork that had to be corrected by the volunteer examiners before it was submitted. Then, another volunteer who did the data entry for adding the information to the FCC database was out of town for a while. Add to that a flood of new upgrades because of the recent rule FCC rule changes that removed the Morse code proficiency exam, and it took nearly two weeks for my license to be upgraded in the FCC database. Oh yeah, and one federal holiday.

I was hoping to have the upgrade posted before February 23, 2007, before the Morse code exam was eliminated, but that didn't happen. I'm glad it was upgraded before this weekend though, I'll be participating in the ARRL DX Contest, and I didn't want to have to say N3PAQ/AE whenever I used a frequency that is outside of the general class portion of the band. N3PAQ is long enough :) -- I will be changing my call sign to something shorter soon.

No comments: