Why Ham Radio at DEF CON® (and InfoSec in general)?
After several years of being involved running ham radio exams at DEF CON®, a common theme emerged: People were either wondering where to start, interested in learning more, or deciding what to do next. Other villages touched on related topics, but there wasn't anything specific for the growing ham community. Ham Radio is in may ways the original "hacker" culture and "maker" community, and it's a shame we don't better represent ourselves to the larger hacker community. Our goal is to fix that!
We were accepted as a new village to DEF CON 27 and though we were a small new village tucked away in the Flamingo, we had a great turnout, lots of interest, good content, and started building the foundation to be even better in the future.
Our vision is to help the community in a number of ways, including:
- Understanding just exactly how radio frequency communications work.
- Showing how you can legally transmit signals at 1,500 Watts of power.
- Gain a useful toolkit of skills allowing for further experimentation.
- Learning how the ham radio hobby and radiosport can improve your hacking skills.
- Providing a forum for hams (and future hams) in the InfoSec and IT fields to meet up, share, and learn.
For more information about the Ham Radio Village, visit http://hamvillage.org or https://discord.gg/hrv
Who may register for this testing session:
- Anyone with an interest in obtaining a new Amateur Radio license or upgrading their existing licenses.
- You may take multiple elements in a single appointment; we just ask that you have studied and are ready to pass.
- We have successfully tested over 2000 applicants in the last 6 months, including several who passed all 3 elements in a single sitting!
Requirements for testing
- Please review the requirements listed on the GLAARG-VEC website (https://bit.ly/3f29erP)
- Must have a laptop/computer with stable internet connection, camera, and audio. May use a phone or tablet as a secondary device to show the room around you.
- Able to access a modern browser. (Chrome (and its derivatives), Firefox, Safari)
- Able to use Zoom as the video conferencing platform.
- A Testing space that is clear of study materials and clutter. This place will also need to be where no one will disturb you during the exam. (Some great examples include: a porch, bathroom, patio, a spare bedroom, and others. Be Creative!!!)
- Able to clearly read a Photo ID from your camera.
- GLAARG-VEC Volunteer Examiners collect a nominal fee of $10 to cover operating costs from all applicants. This money is submitted to the organization; all test proctors are volunteers.
If you are a minor, full time student, active or veteran of the US military, or first response personnel, GLAARG will waive the $10 fee. When reaching out to schedule an appointment, please indicate this in your email.
After registering, you will be emailed a PayPal invoice to be paid prior to the session. After the invoice is paid you will receive an email containing the Zoom meeting link for your session. If you do not receive these emails, please check your spam filters and search for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com, and we will be happy to help you however possible.
- Just wanted to say thanks to you and your team for an excellent experience. Everyone was friendly, the process was clear, the exam environment felt secure but not onerous, and the VE's did an excellent job of balancing their responsibility to proctor the exam fairly while also making me feel like they were rooting for me to do well. Just spectacular.
- On behalf of the greater Clarkson University community, thank you so much for all your hard work in hosting the remote examinations. A lot of our students are excited to put their new callsign to use!
- Thank you for all your help in this endeavor. You and your team made me feel very relaxed during the whole testing process. I will definitely recommend you and ham study to anyone I run across looking To get into the hobby.
- It was truly a pleasure to meet such great folks while testing with your group! Thanks to you and all the others for helping me get started in amateur radio!
- Convenient testing, friendly examiners, immediate results, and an expedited call sign issuance - Incredible!
- The testing process was super smooth. Kudos to your team for making this as simple as it can be!
- [I] felt that I needed to reach out to you personally and thank you and your entire team for what you are doing for Amateur Radio in regards to remote testing. To assemble 94 VE’s to test some 90 or so test takers in a single day with your multi-room breakouts is truly revolutionary and I don’t even think that our group was your largest by any means. Your group may very well have permanently changed the way the exams will be conducted for years to come and this new approach may grow the amateur service at a pace never before seen. Thank you for your service . . thank you for your whole team’s professionalism.
- I was impressed with the professionalism, friendliness and obvious dedication of the VEs and everyone else involved. You’ve created a great operation in response to challenging times. I’d originally planned to test for my Extra license back in April, but COVID put everything on hold – until now.