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Virginia Test Session Yields Winners from 9 to 90


None of the 34 candidates at a February 28 ARRL VEC Amateur Radio testing session in Virginia’s Tidewater region went home empty handed. Among the successful applicants was a nonagenarian former licensee who had been out of ham radio for 60 years, and sisters aged 9 and 12. Every applicant passed at least one of the tests attempted. Turnout at the session, sponsored jointly by the Hampton Public Service Team (HPST) and the Southern Peninsula Amateur Radio Klub (SPARK), was impressive, said Volunteer Examiner Tom Taché, WE4TOM.

“We had some stunning results,” Taché said. “Four of the individuals who came in with no license earned their Extra tickets at this exam session, and another individual who already had a license also earned an Extra ticket.” Robert Uiterwyk, W3AF, headed the 15-member VE team.

A 90-year-old man who had not been licensed since the 1950s rejoined the ham radio ranks by passing the Technician test, then presented his 1950-vintage Advanced ticket to qualify for a General license. An 80-year-old man became a ham for the first time by passing the Technician examination. A 9-year-old girl and her 12-year-old sister both earned their Technician licenses, and a 10-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother both earned General tickets at the test session. Four candidates went from Tech to Extra in one fell swoop, passing all three license exams at the Virginia session. One of those applicants aced all three tests.

Taché said 23 candidates walked in the door unlicensed, and all left with a ham ticket in hand. Seventeen of the newbies earned Technician licenses, while another six went on to pass the General exam, and four continued on to earn their Amateur Extra license. One applicant achieved a perfect score on all three examinations. The turnout represented an all-time record for the groups’ test sessions, and Taché said it was especially impressive for an exam session not held in conjunction with a hamfest.

Taché credited three factors with contributing to increased interest in the examination session: The SPARK website, word of mouth among area hams, and Technician licensing classes that SPARK had offered in January and February.

Of the 52 examinations that were administered, six candidates who attempted the General test and two who took the Amateur Extra exam did not pass.




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