Updated 2020-11-25: added list of teams conducting tests in Colorado
Below are resources to find ham exams.
Teams list exams in a variety of places so be sure to check all to find a team near you.
Laurel VEC affiliated teams do not charge for exams and will usually let you retry an exam if you don’t miss by too many. Laurel teams are required to list their exams on the LaurelVEC web site.
They may also list them on the ARRL’s web site (see below).
The team that I run, Patriot VE Team, is a Laurel VEC team. We offer exams in different parts of Colorado. We are not a club affiliated team (i.e., we are not a ham club) and we work with any club or group that wants to offer exams. They provide a location and their club members help with the exams, we do all the ‘paperwork.’
We use a program called Exam Tools, which is the testing side of Hamstudy.org. They provide the testing side free to any VE team. Since COVID the program has been significantly upgraded to support remote testing. We do not use it for remote testing, but if you bring a tablet or laptop you can take the exam on it. We also offer paper exams. All signatures are electronic, so there is no ‘paper’ to sign. The results are sent to the FCC at the end of the exam and the new licenses are usually issued the next business day.
A lot of teams use hamstudy.org to list exams, so check there for a team near you.
Hamstudy and Exam Tools are supported by the sales from SignalStuff, so if you are looking for a better (and lighter) antenna for your handheld please consider them.
Online (remote) Exams
With COVID a lot of teams can not offer in-person exams. As mentioned above Exam Tools is used by all the teams that are doing online (remote) exams. You can find all the online exams by going to hamstudy.org/sessions/online
Many teams also list their test sessions with the Amateur Radio Relay League. You can search their list at http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
While studying for your ham license check our General Mobile Radio Service. This is a no test license, where one license covers all your family. In many areas there are repeaters, while they will not cover the same area as ham repeaters they might work to keep your in touch with your family.
For more information on GMRS and the other Personal Radio Services see our section on Personal Radio Services.
Teams Providing Exams in Colorado
This is a list of VE teams in Colorado that are providing exams. The information was gleamed from the ARRL ham search.
|Bailey||Park County Radio Club||2nd Saturday odd numbered months||ARRL||Sharon Heckfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Castle Rock||ARESDEC||2nd Saturday every month||W5YI||Rand Denny. Reynardemail@example.com|
|Cedaredge||Montrose ARC||2nd Feb, Apr, Jun, Sep, Nov||ARRL||Art M. Phillipsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Centennial||Patriot VE Team w/Able Shephard program||last Monday of each month||Laurel||Nick Meacheremail@example.com|
|Centennial||South Metro VE Team||1st Saturday||ARRL||David Averyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Colorado Springs||Pikes Peak Radio Amateur Association||2nd||Laurel||James F. Bishopemail@example.com|
|Denver||Denver Radio Club||by appointment||ARRL||Thomas F Kocialskifirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Elizabeth||Patriot VE Team w/American Legion Radio Club||3rd Saturday or Sunday every month||Laurel||Nick Meacheremail@example.com|
|Ft Collins||NCARC||Laurel||Darren (KC0ZIE)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Grand Junction||Pinyon Mesa Contesters||2nd Thursday evening||ARRL||Denis P. Campbellemail@example.com|
|Grand Junction||Western CO ARC||2nd Saturday||ARRL||Brad K. Chesnutfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Grand Junction||Western CO ARC||3rd Saturday||ARRL||Brad K. Chesnutemail@example.com|
|Greeley||Weld Amateur Radio Society||2nd Saturday even numbered months||ARRLfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Denver||Mile-Hi VE Team||2nd Saturday||ARRL||Jeffrey Weinbergemail@example.com|
|Longmont||Longmont ARC||2nd Saturday even months||ARRL||Aaron J. Reesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Longmont||Patriot VE Team w/ Longmont ARC||3rd Sunday odd months||Laurel||Nick Meacheremail@example.com|
|Louisville||Boulder ARC||1st Thursday every month||ARRL||Angela Baunefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Monument||W0TLM ARC||quarterly; May, June, Aug, Nov||Laurel||Stu Turneremail@example.com|
|Northglenn||Boulder ARC||3rd Thursday every month|
|Northglenn||Denver VE Team||ARRL||Angela Baunefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Pueblo||Pueblo VE Group||1st Wednesday evening||W5YI||Robert D. Manginemail@example.com|
|Pueblo||Pueblo West ARC||3rd Saturday||ARRL||Edward M. MC Candlessfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Salida||Patriot VE Team w/Chaffee Co ARC||twice yearly, Apr/May and Sept/Oct||Laurel||Nick Meacheremail@example.com|
|Woodland Park||Mountain ARC||1st Saturday odd numbered months||ARRL||Dean F. Buckhousefirstname.lastname@example.org|
The Technician exam is the entry level exam in the U.S. To gain access to much of the HF spectrum you need a General class license. Many people study for both exams and take them at the same time. Consider getting your General license so that you have the ability to reach outside of the range of the frequencies available to the Technician license holder – especially if your local area is without power.
Look at the resources under our COMMUNICATIONS tab for study resources, how to decide what radio to start with (both a written page and a video), how to develop a communications plan, the Baofeng radio quick programming guide and much more.
Communications may not be as “sexy” or “cool” as some of the other prepper things that go ‘bang’ but without communications you do not have eyes and ears. In an emergency, without communications, you do not know what is going on, you cannot check on your family and you cannot call for help.