View Full Version : Amateur Radio License Renewal

11-21-2007, 04:58 PM
Everybody probably knew this but me, but here goes, anyway:

My Ham Radio license will expire in February. I had not been paying much attention as this is a once a decade event. This week I got two nice letters, one from the ARRL and the other from W5YI VEC.

I get stuff from ARRL all the time so I set that one aside. The W5YI letter was in one of those offical looking brown envelopes that had "renew your license today" written all over it. So I opened it up and for $7.00 the nice folks at W5YI VEC will renew your (non-vanity)license for you. Thought that was a cool deal.

Then I got around to opening the "junk mail" from the ARRL. One letter was about "spectrum defense funding" and the other was a letter informing me my license was about to expire. Well, I aready knew that. So being the wise consumer that I am, I started looking for the fee the ARRL charges. Turns out the ARRL charges no fee for it's members to renew their licenses. Free. (sort of)

Then the letter went on to try to explain how to renew on the FCC web site. The last time I was there, it seemed the folks who invented the IRS-1040 form also worked on the FCC web site, which makes dealing with that about as much fun as paying taxes.

So I chose the ARRL route. For the cost of a stamp I get my ticket punched with no hassle.

No, I'm not bashing W5YI as they have gotten a lot of folks into ham radio over the years and a lot of their material is top notch. I'm just keeping my $7 in my pocket. Come to think of it I could use a new repeater directory.

Cool. Way to go ARRL. Just look for your letter, guys.


11-22-2007, 12:08 PM
The FCC site is not that bad now. I did my own in a flash. But going with the ARRL its just as easy. I did get my renewed license in a little less than two weeks.

Larry, W6LAR

11-23-2007, 08:38 PM
I don't have to do that until 2013, but thanks for the info. I'll try to remember that.

Jeff, N0HOZ

12-09-2007, 08:09 PM
I found the FCC site to be pretty quick and easy. I had not thought about using the ARRL.

12-09-2007, 10:57 PM
My license is a Vanty so wonder if they can renew my ticket. The last time I used the FCC site I used a system called URL or ULS ah something like that and it was a pain but I don't have to renew until 2010 so have some time to figure it.

12-10-2007, 12:37 AM
You can renew a vanity, and pay the fee by using ULS. I was able to apply, and pay for it through it. It was easy to do.

12-13-2007, 10:08 PM
I did my address change on the FCC site and no problems.


12-14-2007, 08:21 AM
I have done 3 vanity applications, and also about the same number of changes of address at the ULS site. The last time it seemed fairly simple and straight-forward. I'm sure the renewal process should be easy also.

12-14-2007, 08:50 AM

Hey Bob!

I've been monitoring the 147.15 repeater last few mornings and evenings during my drive time. Listen up!

12-14-2007, 10:22 PM
Well since Raidio and this site warming up it has fired my old tubes back up I used the FCC site tonight FRN/ULS to change my address. I found it fairly easy to navigate and now I got to look at some more radios.

My goal is to work Radio on Radio/HF by end of q1 2008

Wife is going to kill me and I can say one thing I paid cash tonight!


12-15-2007, 07:26 AM
Pick a time and freq! We'll put it up on ORR.net and see who all joins in!

Get yourself a nice used TS-570 and you'll be all set. Or a nice used something, anyway.


Richard Stouffer
12-15-2007, 09:52 AM
Pls, pls, after dark and 40 m.

12-23-2007, 01:09 PM
I think if you are a member of ARRL they will let you know when your Ham Radio license will expire. I have a Vanity call so I will have to pay a fee. But the ARRL will do it for you for free. I think I will have to go to the fcc/uls website.

12-23-2007, 01:33 PM
Pick a time and freq! We'll put it up on ORR.net and see who all joins in!

Get yourself a nice used TS-570 and you'll be all set. Or a nice used something, anyway.


A sked, sounds like fun. What mode SSB, CW? If CW then I need to put my practice in high gear.

12-23-2007, 02:36 PM
The ARRL used to send you a copy of the proper form a few months in advance of when you said "OH ***! I expired". Now they send you an E-mail with the proper link in it.

Very nice, Very very nice. I renew next year (Heck, I just got this Extra last Christmas)

12-23-2007, 08:00 PM
I think if you are a member of ARRL they will let you know when your Ham Radio license will expire. .

That's why they sent me the letter. The ticket arrived right about when they said it would. And then Sweet Wife buried it under a stack of bills for 2 weeks. But it's here and I am good for 10 years, anyway.



12-23-2007, 08:18 PM
Used ULS to change the address on 12/18/2007 and got the new paper in the mail on 12/22/2007

Was easy and faster than I expected.


12-26-2007, 11:13 AM
I have a question?

How long after you pass an upgrade test does it take for it to show up on FCC/ULS I took my upgrade test on 22 Dec 07 , so it should show up in a day or so, or should it take 10 days or longer?

Just wondering.

12-26-2007, 12:16 PM
With two sets of holidays I suspect 10 business days, but as long as you have your paperwork from the test session then you are OK.

Go ahead and enjoy your new privileges. :banana4:

Yeah, I'm a VE, too.


11-06-2008, 02:15 PM
I don't have to do that until 2013, but thanks for the info. I'll try to remember that.

Jeff, N0HOZ

2014 for me, but according to the gloom and doomers based on the Mayan calander the world is supposed to end by Dec. 21, 2012. :eek: :poke:

I got my Vanity myself on the FCC site, it was a snap.

11-06-2008, 06:19 PM
I just log on to the FCC ULS site, and renew. shortly there after an envelope arrived with my license inside. Very easy.

One Country Boy
11-07-2008, 08:36 AM
Yes... FCC site is easy to use. I've used it a couple of times. I recently applied for a vanity call. Waiting on it now. Never liked my old call. Just hung onto it as a status symble. The "WB4" is beginning to age me.:)

One Country Boy
12-02-2008, 10:48 PM
It took about two weeks to get my new vanity call sign. I thought that was quick. I remember waiting and checking the mailbox everyday for about 6 or 8 weeks for my first call. Haven't things changed in 40 years ?

12-03-2008, 10:38 AM
I waited 2 months for my first license to arrive. There was no ULS so one waited till the paper showed. That was in 1994.

I just upgraded to Extra mid November and had my upgrade showing in the ULS in 4 days with the test taking place on a Saturday. Sometimes technology works well. :)

73, Kurt

One Country Boy
12-04-2008, 12:53 AM
Congrats on the upgrade Kurt. I need to do that as well. Seems like there is not enough time to study. Maybe one day.

That long wait for my first license was about 1969. Also had to wait on the paper license. I almost wore the hinges off the mailbox checking it.

12-04-2008, 01:15 PM
Never liked my old call. Just hung onto it as a status symble. The "WB4" is beginning to age me.:)

I sort of like being "dated"

When I upgraded to Extra I had the same chance as anybody to get an A_4__ call. I chose not to. Lots of those A series extras are no-code guys. No hard feelings, but once I could copy 13 wpm and I had an Advanced license, which no longer exsists, so the 2x2 with a K prefix is sort of a status symbol.

It's a "I was in a certain place and time and did a certain thing, and no one goes there and does that anymore" sort of thing.

One Country Boy
12-04-2008, 06:31 PM
I was sorta kidding about the "WB4" call aging me.:poke: I really never like the "QBW". That's a mouthful. I've held onto it all these years actually because it was a status symbol. Like you said Wade, from an earlier time when the code restriction was to be met. I passed my Novice in 1969 (I think). I used it for almost a year. I worked 40 and 15 meters primarily and most every night. I got up to about 35 words a minute. I can't do that today, it would take some practice getting back there. Like I said, I took the General after almost a year as a Novice and went from WN4QBW to WB4QBW. It was a big day in my life but, I still worked CW and very little phone.

No offense intended but I wish the CW was still a requirement. I know, times have changed, we have all this digital stuff now days, internet, etc.... But, it made a guy or gal work ro get the ticket and was held with a higher regard and respect. You didn't hear the things on the bands that you hear now days. It was a different time as Wade mentioned.

My mentor, W4CCA, a SK for many years now. Always built his equipment. He didn't know what a transceiver was for many years. He ran a local TV and radio repair shop (almost another thing of the past). He could work on a television, carry on a conversation with me and tell me every word being said in a CW QSO being received on his homebrew receiver in the background. It always amazed me. I had been learning morse code for weeks. I was over at his shop one afternoon. He was always listening to CW, while working. He asked me if I could copy the QSO going on that he was listening to. I told him the call signs and he says, sit down at the desk and write down the conversation. All this while he still has his head stuck in the back of a big console model television set. I sit down with a pad and pencil and begin to copy. After about a page and a half he gets up, walks over, looking over my shoulder at the pad and says, "let's order your Novice written exam". He said I was copying about 10 WPM. I left the the shop beaming !!! That was how it all started.

Andy N1ORK
12-04-2008, 08:17 PM
Nice story Jim. 35wpm...WOW! I could never get over the 10wpm barrier as a Novice (kn1wnw) in '62 or '63 with a home brew 6L6 40m transmitter and a Hllicrafters SX70 (I think) rcvr. on a long wire. In '72 took my Tech test (Gen written and 5wpm) and got wa1pni which I kept till about 1992 and changed to n1cjg (new town, new call) till 2006 when I got grandfathered to General and I took n1ork. Now I'm studying for Extra and hope to take the test soon. But I plan to keep this call for a long time.
Andy - n1ork

One Country Boy
12-04-2008, 09:25 PM
:thanks:Thanks Andy. I like N1ORK too. I'd hang onto that if I were you. My new W4EWA call is a good one for CW I think too. If you sound it out another ham told me, it's like you are stuttering. Hi Hi...:) I like the "K" calls, but could not find any I was happy with. The name of my QTH is Wewahitchka. Pronounced: wewah - hitch - ka ... Just like it's spelled. It's naturally an indian name. Since most folks have a hard time figuring out how to pronounce it, people just call it Wewa for short. Hence "W4EWA". By-the-way, Wewahitchka means "water eyes". There are two lakes in the center of town. One named Lake Alice and the other Lake Julia. They look like eyes from the air. The story goes that many years ago, an indian chief named the lakes after his two daughters, Alice and Julia.

I mentioned working the Novice Bands on 40 and 15 meters. The reason for that being, those were the only "rocks" (crystals for the younger hams) I had to plug into the front of the Central Electronics transmitter I used belonging to W4CCA. I ran a whopping 15 watts. I made a pile of contacts though. I think I still have those old logs somewhere.

My improvement over the first year with my code speed was due to the help of a ham in Memphis. We had a sked at least 5 nights a week. He held a General class license but was nice enough to come down on the 40 meter Novice Band to QSO with me most every night. Although we have never met, we became good friends. He had returned from Viet Nam not long before we ran into each other on the air. He bought a motorcycle when he got home and had been hit by a woman from Florida. He was injured badly and was lying in bed in a full body cast. The only limbs not injured were his right arm and left leg. This is true. He had his rig set up by the side of his bed. He could use the morse key and control the radio with his right hand. He didn't have a lot to do so he helped me with my code. He still holds the call WA4IPZ and we exchange e-mails once in awhile. We would occassionally work cross mode, him on phone and myself in the CW portion of the band. Even after I received my General ticket we worked mostly Charlie Whiskey.

I think I ran a Hallicrafters SX-70 receiver too. I graduated to a Globe Scout Transmitter once. A whole 90 watts. My favorite receiver though was a Hamurland HQ-170. It was the "cats meow" in it's time.

Isn't amateur radio a great hobby and service ?

12-07-2008, 12:56 PM
My story is similar to Andy's. I got my Novice in 1985 or 86, but never got much better at code. Got my Tech in 86 and then was grandfathered in also. I can no longer copy code hardly at all. The medication I am on for my transplant really makes my mind wander. I really enjoy the phone portion though.