Club FAQ

Amateur Radio is a hobby enjoyed across the nation and the world. One of the primary purposes of Amateur Radio is emergency preparedness — if a natural disaster occurs, often the only available form of communication is via radio. Amateur Radio operators aid in this by supplying necessary communications as a public service.

The easiest way to get involved with our club is to come to a meeting! If you cannot make our regular meetings, you can also send us an email or contact us though our repeater.

This club is open to all UNC Charlotte students, alumni, faculty, and staff. In order to join, apply on NinerEngage or email us. You are not required to have a radio license to join. We may also have events that the general public may attend.

Licensing FAQ

An Amateur Radio license is a license granted by the Federal Communications Commission and allows the holder to operate on a predefined range of frequencies with some restrictions.

To get an Amateur Radio license, you must take and pass a multiple-choice exam.

The exam is a 4-answer multiple-choice exam. The exams must be taken in order from Technician to General to Amateur Extra. You cannot skip exams. The exam is slightly different for each class of license. A list of classes of exam, the required scores, and the expiration date for each exam (when the questions for the exam are refreshed) can be found here.

The answer is it depends. Some groups offer testing for free while others charge a small fee, usually $10-$20. The fees range in price for different groups. Theoretically if you take all of your exams through a free testing group, your only costs will be for transportation. If you take one exam per testing session at a fee-based group, your total fees can add up to $60 or more excluding personal transportation costs.

We recommend HamStudy.org to study for the exam. In addition, ARRL has a textbook for each class of license.

You should bring a #2 pencil, your ID, an official copy of your current Amateur Radio license if you have one, a basic calculator, and enough money to cover the fee, if any.

Generally, state IDs, driver's licenses, and school IDs are accepted. However, it is up to the proctors which IDs are accepted at the testing session. We recommend an official state or federal ID.

You can get an official copy of your license by logging into the FCC CORES system. The official copy of the license is a PDF with an "Official Copy" watermark.

Yes. Most testing groups will allow you to attempt the exam 2-3 times at a minimum if time permits.

Yes. Once you pass one exam, you can attempt the next class of license exam on the same testing day. It is possible to go from Unlicensed to Amateur Extra in one sitting. However, you must do them in order.

There are currently 5 different classes of license. Novice, Technician, General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra. Novice and Advanced are retired and can no longer be obtained but are still held by many operators.

Different classes of license define what frequencies, power limits, and modes a holder may use.

We recommend the ARRL Band Chart for referencing frequency allocations for each license class.