20210502 First Sunday Report

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing, Weekly Report

Weekly net

Please join us 7:00PM Sunday for the Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts net on the Carolina 440 network. You will be able to find your closest repeater here If you are not close to the repeater or are unlicensed or you would like to just listen on line try here. Tony Hall (WW4TCH) is our regular net control station.

If you have thought you would like to serve the community during an emergency the best way to get ready is to learn to call a net. Let me know if you are interested in becoming a net control operator. This net is checkin driven meaning you can bring up other subjects like, building models or astronomy.

Thanks to the Carolina 440 net for the use of the repeater. If you would like to help out or join the group click on the link.Tell them FCHRE sent you.

Our  in person dinner gathering returns!

Tuesday May 4 6:00 PM Mclean’s 418 W Gannon Ave, Zebulon, NC 27597

April by the numbers

22 applicants 11 New Technicians 2 New Generals 6 Upgrades  to General 2 Upgrades to Extra 

Sunday net checkins 

I think the system is missing a net somehow but what it shows is 33 but I know that is in error. I think it is missing the net I called.  Help the numbers look different this month by checking in. You can check in even if you are not from the area.  Check the Carolina 440 link above.

Groups IO

We hit 202 members in April and had an all time record (since June 2019) of 350 messages that means everything was counted responses to posts etc. I’ve had people leave the group due to the number of posts.  Please don’t do that. At the bottom of the email are options like no emails or mute topics.  You have options.

May 1 testing session 

19 Applicants 11 new Technicians 3 New Generals 2 Upgrades to General

A visit from the section manager 




We had a visit from the ARRL North Carolina Section Manager Marvin Hoffman (WA4NC) at the test session May 1.  He presented the FCVET with the SUGAR award.  Supporting Upgrading Growing Amateur Radio. The certificate reads in part “Recognizes The Five County Amateur Radio Enthusiasts for their superior efforts involved in organizing Volunteer Examiner Sessions During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Thank you For coming Marv.  We also welcome Marv to the FCVET.  Several times during the year when COVID news got bad I had asked the team to make sure they were still willing to conduct the exams and never got one to say no. 

Astronomy Events

Photo Credit: KD4WJD Hugh Cashion

I see the local astronomy club went out last night.  The weather has been great for astronomy.  I was out Tuesday night. With the pink moon waning looks like May 4 – 6 is a good night for ETA Aquariid meteor shower.  Looks to be partly cloudy but maybe we’ll get lucky.

Age is no barrier

Age, Amateur Radio, Testing

Are you ever too old to upgrade? On the April 3rd exam we had two people I wanted to mention two that upgraded. One person upgraded to general and the other upgraded to extra. Congratulations to Kathleene Young (KM4BYD) and Robert Sepe (KO4LZT) Kathleen is 70 and Robert is 76. They gave me permission to use their age.

70 year old Kathleen Young (KM4BYD) upgraded to general

76 year old Robert Sepe (KO4LZT) upgraded to extra

20210403 Testing Session Report

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

We had a busy testing session with 13 new licensed amateur radio operators. 11 technicians and 2 new generals. Not to even mention the 1 upgrade to Extra and 6 General license upgrades granted. Congratulations to everyone. Thanks to the VE’s KK4QEF, WW4TCH, WA2KQY, AI8U, K7RLH, N4MQU, K9JWS for the successful session.

Parking lot full of applicants and VE’s

Amateur Radio Fee Effective Date April 19, 2021

Amateur Radio, Testing

By: Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

I just started reviewing this document. Looks like Amateur radio fee of $35 will go into effect April 19, 2021. This is not for your license exam this is for your License. Laurel VEC will not be collecting any fee.

38. After reviewing the record, including the extensive comments filed by amateur radio licensees and based on our revised analysis of the cost of processing mostly automated processes discussed in our methodology section, we adopt a $35 application fee, a lower application fee than the Commission proposed in the NPRM for personal licenses, in recognition of the fact that the application process is mostly automated.[66]

Link to Rule for the Application Fees.


Please if you know anyone considering taking an amateur radio exam please do so before April 19. For tips on how to study for the technician exam see Steps to tech. Five County VE team will do anything we can to support additional activity. We have 14 registered to take their exam at this time.

Our next no charge In-Person exam is April 3, 2021. Please register at Fivecountyhre.org .

  • For the nearest free exam near you see Laurel VEC
  • For the Amateur Radio License exam in your area try ARRL
  • For online testing sessions and in-person exams try HamStudy.org.


Mark Gibson– N4MQU
Laurel VEC Team Leader

N4MQU At the FCC

Banks Road Testing Club Celebrates 1 Year

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

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. 

Our History in Photos.

First FCVET function. Tech in a day class. Five out of 9 students passed their technician exam.

Thanksgiving Fire Department

Archer Lodge Fire Department

Contentnea Vol Fire Dept

FCVET Testing at 2020 JARS Field Day. VE KM4TC with one the new amateur radio operator that passed his exam.

20210306 Test Session Report

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

The FCC surprised us by updating their files after telling us there may be delays.
Congratulation to all.

Upgrade to Extra
Samuel Robinson (KN4RWI) of Raleigh
Dennis Oeistreich (KO4IBL) of Raleigh See his story here.

Upgrades to General
Brian Boender (KO4LHQ) of Raleigh
Tyler Mcgee (KO4BZA) of Raleigh
Kenneth Bigley (KO4DHJ) of Durham

New Amateur Radio Operators
Thomas Stacy (KO4NSE) of Raleigh
Kevin Codd (KO4NSF) of Garner
Luke Wilkening (KO4NSG) of Raleigh
Joseph Pirozzi (KO4NSH) of Raleigh
Bryan Daniels (KO4NRU) of Cary

Please be sure to answer their call as they get on the radio. One of our new amateur radio operators will be starting college at UNC Greensboro. (I actually forgot who it was) I suggested they find out if there is a amateur radio club there. Does anyone know any amateurs there or know if there is a club there? I did a google search but didn’t find any.

Our next exam is April 3. Please register http://www.fivecountyhre.org/registration/

Last nights net
Thanks all for checking in. I don’t know why I wasn’t transmitting when I was closing the net but Thanks to Stan for closing it out for me.

FCVET Statistics for 2021

Amateur Radio, Testing

At $15 an applicant this represents a savings of $840 for our applicants. Not including re-takes.



20210227 Test Session Report

Amateur Radio, Testing

KG4BBS Timothy Davis Clayton Upgrade General

WD4CMS Paul Smith Cary Upgrade Extra 

















John Bagley KO4NIN Raleigh New Tech

Richard Thomas Jr. KO4NIJ  Raleigh New General

Stephen Worth III KO4NIK Holly Springs New General

Tim Carter Hurdle Mills  KO4NJD New Tech

Gregory Garretson II KO4NIL Fuquay Varina New Tech

20210206 Testing Session Results

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

Our first Saturday of every month testing session schedule resumed on Saturday February 6, 2021. Session Manager Richard Hall, (K7RLH) managed his first testing session Saturday.

Session Manager, Richard Hall (K7RLH)

We thank the VE Team Members Lannie Godwin, (KK4QEF), Anthony Hall (WW4TCH) Michael (Glenn) Tylor (NC4KG), Stanley Disbrow, JR (WA2KQY), John Stein (K9JWS), Martin Brossman, III (KI4CFS), Mark Gibson (N4MQU) and non VE helper Christopher Lougee (KO4GQM). Chris helped us with the registration desk.

Thanks to Chris for helping at the registration desk.

Waiting their turn.

Thanks to KI4CFS for producing this video showcasing FCVET on his YouTube channel.  


Martin (KI4CFS), Glenn (NC4KG), Tony (WW4TCH)

We have the following applicants that gave me permission to take the photo in order of the FCC response file. I honored all request for anonymity.  

William Mullins (KO4LYR)

Dan Hamm (KO4HAT)

Sammy Estridge III (KO4LZN)

Cormac Meiners (KO4LZS)

Robert Sepe (KO4LZT)

Angus Clark (KO4LZU)

Henrique Farinhail (KO4LZW)

Andrea Smith (KO4LZX)

Duane Cutlip (KY4EC)

Walt Paulson (KO4LZZ)

David Smith (KO4LZV)