Ham radio VEC testing executed smartly
The Danville, Ky., building home to both Boyle American Legion Post 46 and the Wilderness Road Amateur Radio Club. (Schelly Stone/The American Legion)

Ham radio VEC testing executed smartly

The Wilderness Road Amateur Radio Club (WRARC) of Danville, Ky., routinely conducts FCC amateur radio exams utilizing VE examiners from within/outside of the club in Boyle American Legion Post 46 (our sponsoring post). COVID-19 had forced a lapse in the execution of that Legion testing mission since January 2020. But on Oct. 22, we resumed testing smartly, efficiently, safely and very effectively.

John K4FT, club VE coordinator, arranged for 21 applicants, from Kentucky and two other states, by pre-registering each applicant. In so doing, each applicant completed the administrative portion of their testing paperwork at home. They were given a time to take their exam in the hall of Post 46. Interestingly, they all showed up at the same time. However, the hall was big enough to accommodate all the applicants.

The post hall was opened in a sanitized condition. Exams were placed on the hall tables. Applicant temperatures were taken, and all wore masks in accordance with post policy. Applicants were directed to their respective tables with their specific exams.

As the applicants completed their exams, they took them to a dedicated evaluation table and placed the exam under a camera using “EXAM TOOL” technology. The camera immediately read, graded and provided the exam results (number of questions missed and a pass/fail grade). The applicant then signed on an iPad and left the post. Incredibly, the successful applicants received their new/upgraded FCC licenses on Oct. 26 October! This is the first time in Kentucky, and the seventh time nationally, that this innovative process/technology was utilized. Notably, Gene Klaus, our post service officer, passed the Technician test and received the call sign KO4IVI. Gene provides the Legion’s national D-STAR post-net “Veterans After Net.”

Mission results:

15 new Technicians

3 upgraded licenses to General

2 upgrades to Extra Class

Note: Of these 19 candidates, two were 15 years old.

Mission thanks to:

Ron WX4GPS: Team Liaison

VEs: Darrel AC4YD, Harold AF4MB, Chris KG4UQL, Bill W9WA and Doyle WD4HXE

On the same day, our sister post, Post 42 in Bardstown, Ky.,, conducted a VE exam session as well. This was the very first session in the history of the post. Using traditional methods and all the safety measures, they tested 11 applicants. The results were nine new Technicians and four upgrades to General or Extra class. We are always exchanging ideas between the two posts; they will be investigating the new technology as well.