Technician Class Series – About Ham Radio

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Hello everybody and welcome back to my blog! Today we are going to get started on the Technician Class series. As I said in my last post, I will be following along with the Technician Class book written by Gordon West, WB6NOA, with Eric P. Nichols, KL7AJ. I really like the way that they have grouped the questions together in their book. If you would like to buy a copy of it, there is a link at the bottom of this post to purchase it off of Amazon, or you can click on the link at the top of the page that says “Buy Ham Radio Stuff”.

On to the good stuff now. The answers to the questions are in bold. I have helped teach several classes over the years and one thing that I have come to realize is that if you only read the correct answers while studying it will help you remember it when you see if on the test. While you are studying, make sure that you are reading the answer, not just remembering that such and such a question was answer B. When you take your test, the wording of the questions can not be changed, but the order(A,B,C,D) can be changed. In a way, it kind of seems like the easy way of doing it, or some what cheating, but there is so much to learn about this hobby that you would have to study for a long time to learn about everything before you got your license. With this hobby, it is continually evolving so you are constantly learn anyway.

All that being said, lets move onto the questions. This week we are going to be talking about the General Ham Radio Questions…


 

Q. T1A02 Which agency regulates and enforces the rules for the Amateur Radio Service in the United States?

A. FEMA
B. The ITU
C. The FCC
D. Homeland Security

The Federal Communications Commission makes and enforces all Amateur Radio rules in the United States. Specifically Part 97 of the FCC Rules and Regulations covers the Amateur Radio Service.

Click Here to view the current(as of September 2014) part 97 rules.

 

Q. T1A01 Which of the following is a purpose of the Amateur Radio Service as stated in the FCC rules and regulations?

A. Providing personal radio communications for as many citizens as possible
B. Providing communications for international non-profit organizations
C. Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art
D. All of these choices are correct

Lets take a look at what Part 97.1 actually says:

 §97.1 Basis and purpose.

The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

 

T1A12 Which of the following is a permissible use of the Amateur Radio Service?

A. Broadcasting music and videos to friends
B. Providing a way for amateur radio operators to earn additional income by using their stations to pass messages
C. Providing low-cost communications for start-up businesses
D. Allowing a person to conduct radio experiments and to communicate with other licensed hams around the world

Out of these four answers there is only one that can possibly be the answer. Broadcasting music and videos to friends can not be the answer because with the exception of broadcasts from the ISS, music is not allowed on Amateur Radio. The “…earn additional income…” can not be the answer, because as amateur radio operators, we can NOT be paid for our services. The third answer is defiantly not it, because we can not conduct business using our amateur radio license.

 

T1A05  Which of the following is a purpose of the Amateur Radio Service rules and regulations as defined by the FCC?

A. Enhancing international goodwill
B. Providing inexpensive communication for local emergency organizations
C. Training of operators in military radio operating procedures
D. All of these choices are correct

Even though some amateur radio operators do participate in the military, this does not fall into the definition of amateur radio so that is not the answer. The same goes for answer B. even though some amateur radio operators help local emergency organizations with things like RACES, ARES and skywarn, not everyone does so and all emergency organizations have their own communications. Amateur Radio operators just provide a supplemental form of communications. Since both of these answers are not correct, answer D can not be correct either. Even through all this process of elimination, if you look at part 97.1(e) it says, Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill. So there ya go…

 

T1C13 For which licenses classes are new licenses currently available from the FCC?

A. Novice, Technician, General, Advanced
B. Technician, Technician Plus, General, Advanced
C. Novice, Technician Plus, General, Advanced
D. Technician, General, Amateur Extra

The key words in this question is “new licenses”. Up until April 2000, we use to have six license classes in the US. They were Novice, Technician, Tech+, General, Advanced and Extra. In April 2000, the FCC dropped it down to the current three, Technician, General and Amateur Extra. There are still operators who hold the Novice, Tech+ and Advanced licenses but there are not any new licenses beings issued for those classes.

§97.9 Operator license grant.
(a) The classes of amateur operator license grants are: Novice, Technician, General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra. The person named in the operator license grant is authorized to be the control operator of an amateur station with the privileges authorized to the operator class specified on the license grant.
§97.17 Application for new license grant.
(a) Any qualified person is eligible to apply for a new operator/primary station, club station or military recreation station license grant. No new license grant will be issued for a Novice or Advanced Class operator/primary station.

 

T1C10 How soon after passing the examination for your first amateur radio license may you operate a transmitter on an amateur service frequency?

A. Immediately
B. 30 days after the test date
C. As soon as your operator/station license grant appears in the FCC’s license database
D. You must wait until you receive your license in the mail from the FCC

Ok, so let’s break these answers down a little. Being that you have to identify yourself when you are talking on the radio, it’s kind of hard to believe that the answer could be immediately. After you test is graded, it has to be mailed to the Volunteer Examiner Cooridinator’s office(W5YI or the ARRL), they have to process it, then submit it to the FCC for a call sign, then they have to update their databases. It takes time, so immediately is definitely out. On the flip side of that, 30 days after the test date? Really?! I know the government is slow most of the time, but that’s a little much. Most of the time, it takes 5-7 days. Ive seen new licenses be issued in as little as three days. If you have been reading my blog for a little while, you would’ve seen my post about the last two possibilities. The FCC is not mailing out paper licenses anymore, so option D is no longer valid. Even before then though, once the call sign was in the ULS database, you may talk on the radio using it.

§97.5 Station license required.
(a) The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person  named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated license database or a person authorized for alien reciprocal operation by §97.107 of this part, before the station may transmit on any amateur service frequency from any place that is:
(1) Within 50 km of the Earth’s surface and at a place where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC;
(2) Within 50 km of the Earth’s surface and aboard any vessel or craft that is documented or registered in the United States; or
(3) More than 50 km above the Earth’s surface aboard any craft that is documented or registered in the United States.

 

T1C08 What is the normal term for an FCC-issued primary station/operator amateur radio license grant?

A. Five years
B. Life
C. Ten years
D. Twenty years

As much as I wish that the license was for life, save us some money, alas, the answer is 10 years.

§97.25 License term.
An amateur service license is normally granted for a 10-year term.
[63 FR 68979, Dec. 14, 1998]

T1C09 What is the grace period following the expiration of an amateur license within which the license may be renewed?

A. Two years
B. Three years
C. Five years
D. Ten years

This grace period saved my butt when I renewed. I mean really, how often do you look at your own license. Thankfully we are given two years to renew you license. However, during this two year grace period you are not allowed to operate, but at least you will not have to take the test again or loose your call sign.

§97.21 Application for a modified or renewed license grant.
(a) A person holding a valid amateur station license grant:
(1) Must apply to the FCC for a modification of the license grant as necessary to show the correct mailing address, licensee name, club name, license trustee name, or license custodian name in accordance with §1.913 of this chapter. For a club or military recreation station license grant, the application must be presented in document form to a Club Station Call Sign Administrator who must submit the information thereon to the FCC in an electronic batch file. The Club Station Call Sign Administrator must retain the collected information for at least 15 months and make it available to the FCC upon request. A Club Station Call Sign Administrator shall not file with the Commission any application to modify a club station license grant that was submitted by a person other than the trustee as shown on the license grant, except an application to change the club station license trustee. An application to modify a club station license grant to change the license trustee name must be submitted to a Club Station Call Sign Administrator and must be signed by an officer of the club.
(2) May apply to the FCC for a modification of the operator/primary station license grant to show a higher operator class. Applicants must present the administering VEs with all information required by the rules prior to the examination. The VEs may collect all necessary information in any manner of their choosing, including creating their own forms.
(3) May apply to the FCC for renewal of the license grant for another term in accordance with §§1.913 and 1.949 of this chapter. Application for renewal of a Technician Plus Class operator/primary station license will be processed as an application for renewal of a Technician Class operator/primary station license.
(i) For a station license grant showing a call sign obtained through the vanity call sign system, the application must be filed in accordance with §97.19 of this part in order to have the vanity call sign reassigned to the station.
(ii) For a primary station license grant showing a call sign obtained through the sequential call sign system, and for a primary station license grant showing a call sign obtained through the vanity call sign system but whose grantee does not want to have the vanity call sign reassigned to the station, the application must be filed with the FCC in accordance with §1.913 of this chapter. When -the application has been received by the FCC on or before the license expiration date, the license operating authority is continued until the final disposition of the application.
(iii) For a club station or military recreation station license grant showing a call sign obtained through the sequential call sign system, and for a club station license grant showing a call sign obtained through the vanity call sign system but whose grantee does not want to have the vanity call sign reassigned to the station, the application must be presented in document form to a Club Station Call Sign Administrator who must submit the information thereon to the FCC in an electronic batch file. The replacement call sign will be selected by the sequential call sign system. The Club Station Call Sign Administrator must retain the collected information for at least 15 months and make it available to the FCC upon request.
(b) A person whose amateur station license grant has expired may apply to the FCC for renewal of the license grant for another term during a 2 year filing grace period. The application must be received at the address specified above prior to the end of the grace period. Unless and until the license grant is renewed, no privileges in this part are conferred.

T1C11 If your license has expired and is still within the allowable grace period, may you continue to operate a transmitter on amateur service frequencies?

A. No, transmitting is not allowed until the FCC license database shows that the license has been renewed
B. Yes, but only if you identify using the suffix GP
C. Yes, but only during authorized nets
D. Yes, for up to two years

Suffix GP? What is that Gone Past? And what is an authorized net as far as the FCC is concerned? Unfortunately, you have to have a valid and current license in order to talk on the radio.

 

T1A10 What is the FCC Part 97 definition of an amateur station?

A. A station in the Amateur Radio Service consisting of the apparatus necessary for carrying on radio communications
B. A building where Amateur Radio receivers, transmitters, and RF power amplifiers are installed
C. Any radio station operated by a non-professional
D. Any radio station for hobby use

Part 97.3(a)

 (5) Amateur station. A station in an amateur radio service consisting of the apparatus necessary for carrying on radio communications.

That is what Part 97 defines as an Amateur Station. Basically this means that any piece of equipment that you have that is capable of transmitting and receiving on any portion of the amateur bands that you as a technician has access to, you are able to use to “talk” on. I say “talk” because there is so much stuff that you can do with amateur radio that you are not always using your voice.


 

Well that about wraps up our topic for today. Next Sunday we will be talking about questions that pertain to Call signs, so please come back and check it out. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my post about the Technician class question pool and even if you already have your license, maybe this post or this series will teach you something new or just remind you of something you have forgotten. If you would like to buy a copy of the book that I am using during this series, click on the picture below and it will take you to Amazon.com where you can buy you a copy.

Please like and share my posts with your friends, be they current or future amateur radio operators. Please like me Facebook, and follow me on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Until next time…

73 de Curtis, K5CLM

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