By Mark Gibson (N4MQU)
Raleigh, NC The Five County VE team celebrates 1 year operating from their new home location. When the fire departments and the other community facilities closed down for community activities they sought out other facilities to hold their no charge amateur radio testing. Thanks to the owners of Supreme. T-shirts & Apparel Paulette (K4PKD) and Stan (WA2KQY) Disbrow that allows us to use their office in the capital city of Raleigh for amateur radio testing. While some the other established clubs in the area are cutting out the in-person exams in favor of the on-line exams or not doing it all the informal Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts (FCHRE) clubs VE team FCVET decided to continue to offer regular scheduled amateur radio exams. The group added rules to restrict the number of their applicants to 4 per hour and started scheduling their testing for each applicant to enforce social distancing rules. They also ask the applicants to take the Coronavirus Self-Checker. In addition to regularly scheduled exams the group has the ability to offer exams at any times mutually agreed to by the team and the applicant. They have had several exams during the week when the new amateur radio operator received their call sign before they got home. It has been reported to the group that some applicants aren’t able to meet the requirements of the on-line testing requirements.
The FCVET has tested118 applicants, issued 68 Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for technician 33 for general, 11 for extra from the Banks Road campus. We conducted our first exam and the Banks Road campus on March 7, 2020.
The VE team members comes from many of the area clubs including, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, South Wake Amateur Radio Club, Johnston Amateur Radio Society and Franklin County Amateur Radio Club and may be others.
The FCVET will still support the Five County (Central NC) area of the community as the communities open up to the group to allow the testing. All the Volunteer Examiners are being cross trained to be able to take over each of the area of responsibilities of the VE Team. The team has deputy directors that can do a testing session when the team leader schedules time off. The team will be able to expand when the eastern communities open up again and keep their home campus. In case you are wondering we take our name from the five county area of Wake, Franklin, Harnett, Nash, Johnston and Wilson County in North Carolina.
Thanks to the Laurel VEC for allowing no charge testing. Thanks to the ARRL for promoting amateur radio and allowing all VEC’s to promote their testing opportunities on their website.
To schedule an exam go to FCVET Registration Page. If the scheduled exam is not convenient click other and make a comment as to what day of the week you would like to test. The FCVET will respond usually with 24 hours.
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