Conference Friday June 28th at Rivers Casino! Training Thursday June 27th at CoLab18!

BSidesPGH is a volunteer-run information security conference held in Pittsburgh. Security BSides is a global series of community-driven conferences presenting a wide range of information security topics.


Amateur Radio Exams by W3VC Carnegie Tech Radio Club

We will be offering the Amateur Radio exams during this yearʼs BSides Pittsburgh Conference. If you would like to take the test, we ask that you register on the FCC web site and get an FCC Registration Number (FRN). This allows us to process paperwork without needing your social security number. Please note that your Social Security Number or FCC Registration Number is required by the FCC, and you will not be granted a license if you decline to provide one on the application form. Certain exceptions apply for non-U.S. citizens who do not have a Social Security Number. Examinees concerned about the privacy of their Social Security Number are encouraged to request an FRN from the FCC before the exam date. This can be done by visiting the FCC ULS Online System and choosing the "Register" button in the "New Users" section. Please contact us ( if you have any questions regarding these policies. You must also present a valid state or federal issued photo ID. If you do not have one, you will not be allowed to test.

In order to become an amateur radio operator in the United States, you must first pass one or more multiple-choice exams to obtain a license from the FCC. These exams cover basic theory of electronics and radio, as well as FCC rules, and are administered by groups of volunteer examiners around the country, including a group here from Carnegie Mellon. We offer exams for Technician, General, and Extra class licenses. You can take any or all of the exams for a single fee. Knowledge of Morse code is no longer required to obtain an amateur radio license in the U.S.

What to Bring:

  • Legal photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport

  • $15 cash, or a check made out to ARRL VEC

  • Your Social Security Number or FCC Registration Number (FRN)

  • Your existing FCC license or CSCE, if you are upgrading

  • Pen or pencil

  • Calculator, if you need one (preferably non-programmable, or we will have to erase its memory)

  • Documentation of any disabilities you feel we should accommodate, signed by a doctor

Study Materials

The ARRL Store offers many study guides in print and audio format. Additionally, the actual questions that you will see on the exam are published for anyone to review (granted, there are hundreds of possible questions and only a few dozen will be randomly selected for your exam, so you probably shouldn't try to memorize all the answers). Many web sites offer practice tests, including QRZ and AA9PW. Additionally, the KB6NU No Nonsense Study Guides for Technician and General may be helpful.