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Showing posts from 2013

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5C07)

Q) What is a usual name for electromagnetic waves that travel through space?

A) Radio waves

NJ2X Notes:
It is often helpful to eliminate the obvious wrong answers when faced with a question you are unsure of.

A. Gravity waves - Gravity (what casues the apple to fall from the tree) is not an electromagnetic phenomena.
B. Sound waves - Sound (what you hear when a dog barks) is not an electomagnetic related.
C. Radio waves - Correct, radio waves are electromagnetic phenomena.
D. Pressure waves - Pressure waves is a term used when discussing sound waves.  This is a red-herring answer that doesn't relate to radio or electromagnetic waves.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5C06)

Q) What is the abbreviation that refers to radio frequency signals of all types?

A) RF

NJ2X Notes:
The abreviation "RF" stands for Radio Frequency.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C11)

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Q) What is meant by the term "check" in reference to a formal traffic message?

A) The check is a count of the number of words or word equivalents in the text portion of the message


NJ2X Notes:
Here is an example of a radio gram.  Notice the "check" field shows a count of 12 which equals the number of words and word equivalents in the message.



FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5C04)

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Q) What is the basic unit of inductance?

A) The henry

NJ2X Notes:
The basic unit of inductance is named after the American scientist, Joseph Henry (December 17, 1797 – May 13, 1878) in honor of his ground breaking work in electromagetic phenomena and inductance.

Basis of public happiness...

There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature.  Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. -- George Washington

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5C09)

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Q) How much power is being used in a circuit when the applied voltage is 13.8 volts DC and the current is 10 amperes?

A) 138 watts

NJ2X Notes:

It is useful to memorize the PIE triangle.  By covering up one variable you get the equation.  So in this example:

P = I * E
P = 10 Amps * 13.8 volts = 138 Watts

Easy as PIE!


FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5C11)

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Q) How many amperes are flowing in a circuit when the applied voltage is 12 volts DC and the load is 120 watts?

A) 10 amperes

NJ2X Notes:
Memorize the PIE triangle to make these types of questions super easy to solve.  Just cover up the desired variable to find the equation:


In this example:

I = P / E
I = 120 watts / 12 vots = 10 amperes

Easy as PIE!


This question is from the FCC Element 2 Technician Class Question Pool
Effective July 1, 2010 for examinations and is valid until June 30, 2014

Five Fun Favorite FREE Amateur Radio Related iPhone Apps

So you are a ham and received an iPhone for Christmas and not sure what to do with it?  The ever popular iPhone is an excellent platform for amateur radio applications.  Here are five of our favorite fun free iPhone apps (life is lovelier and lighter with a little alliteration).  At the time of this writing, we are running these on our iPhone 5S and downloaded via iTunes.  Just search on the name in bold to find them in iTunes.



QRZ - Search the QRZ.COM database of 1.2 million amateur radio call signs right from your iPhone.QST - Get the ARRL's magazine, QST, delivered directly to your iPhone each month.  The electronic version of QST includes more content than the paper version by including audio, video, and other content.EchoLink - Get out on various EchoLink-enabled amateur radio repeaters around the world.  All you need is an amateur radio license, an iPhone, a Wifi connection, or a 3G cellular network connection.  This a great way to enjoy the hobby and make contacts around t…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5D01)

Q) What formula is used to calculate current in a circuit?

A) Current (I) equals voltage (E) divided by resistance (R)

NJ2X Notes:
Ohm's Law was discovered by Georg Simon Ohm and is worth committing to memory:

E = I * R

or by manipulating the terms algebraically:

I = E / R

or

R = E / I


FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5B11)

Q) What is the approximate amount of change, measured in decibels (dB), of a power increase from 20 watts to 200 watts?

A) 10 dB

NJ2X Notes:
You can use the following formula to calculate the ratio in decibels given two different power values.

dB = 10 * Log(Pa / Pb)

Using the figures in the question:
dB = 10 * Log (200 / 20)
dB = 10 * Log(10)
dB = 10 * 1
dB = 10

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5C10)

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Q) How much power is being used in a circuit when the applied voltage is 12 volts DC and the current is 2.5 amperes?

A) 30 watts

NJ2X Notes:
Memorize the PIE triangle to make this type of question super easy to solve.


Just cover up the desired variable to find the equation.  In this example:

P = I * E
P = 2.5 amperes * 12 vots = 30 watts

Easy as PIE!

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C10)

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Q) What is the preamble in a formal traffic message?
A) The information needed to track the message as it passes through the amateur radio traffic handling system

NJ2X Notes:
The preamble contains:
Message NumberPrecedenceHandling instructionsStation of originCheck (word count in text) (ARL)Place of origin (location message originated from). City/State, special location, etc.Time filed (local) (not required if sending routine message) Date (consistent with time)



FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5D02)

Q) What formula is used to calculate voltage in a circuit?

A) Voltage (E) equals current (I) multiplied by resistance (R)

NJ2X Notes:
Ohm's Law was discovered by Georg Simon Ohm and is worth committing to memory:

E = I * R

or by manipulating the terms algebraically:

I = E / R

or

R = E / I

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C09)

Q) When may an amateur station use any means of radio communications at its disposal for essential communications in connection with immediate safety of human life and protection of property?

A) When normal communications systems are not available


NJ2X Notes:
In an emergency, human life and protection of property are the priority.  This means that any means of radio communication can be used in an emergency.

Hams are good neighbors during an emergency or disaster because radio amateurs have the capability of communicating when all other means and infrastructure have been compromised.

Hams do...

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. -- Carl Sagan

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C08)

Q) What is usually considered to be the most important job of an amateur operator when handling emergency traffic messages?

A) Passing messages exactly as written, spoken or as received


NJ2X Notes:
Message traffic can be form or information.  Formal traffic messages consists of four parts: preamble, address, text, signature.  The ARRL provides a radiogram form as an aid for capturing a message.
Parts of a formatted message:
1. Preamble:Message Number Precedence Handling InstructionsStation of Origin Check Place of Origin Time FiledDate Filed 2. Addressee:
Full name (If Ham operator - call sign) Street Address - House number and street City, State/Province, and Zip/Postal Code Telephone number with area code 4. First Break
5. Body of the message
Should not exceed twenty-five (25) words by convention.6. Second Break
7. Signature - Of the party originating the message. Should contain address and phone number of the sender if reply requested.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T5D03)

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Q) What formula is used to calculate resistance in a circuit?

A) Resistance (R) equals voltage (E) divided by current (I)

NJ2X Notes:
Ohm's Law was discovered by Georg Simon Ohm and is worth committing to memory:

E = I * R

or by manipulating the terms algebraically:

I = E / R

or

R = E / I

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A01)

Q) What is the most common repeater frequency offset in the 2 meter band?

A) plus or minus 600 kHz


NJ2X Note:
An amateur radio repeater is an electronic device that receives amateur signal and retransmits it so that the signal can cover longer distances.  Many repeaters are located on towers, hilltops, or on tall buildings as the higher location increases their coverage area (line of sight).

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A02)

Q) What is the national calling frequency for FM simplex operations in the 70 cm band?

A) 446.000 MHz
NJ2X Note: If you have a radio that operates on 70 cm then it is helpful to know the calling frequency since you can use this to make contact with other stations monitoring this frequency.  If you are in an emergency situation and have a 70 cm radio at your disposal, knowing this simple fact may even save someone's life (including your own).

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A04)

Q) What is an appropriate way to call another station on a repeater if you know the other station's call sign?

A) Say the station's call sign then identify with your call sign

NJ2X Note: An appropriate way to call another station on a repeater is to simply say the stations call sign and then your own call sign.  Since the audio quality of most FM repeaters is very high there is typically no need use the phonetic alphabet.

Example: "N2AB NJ2X"

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A06)

Q) What must an amateur operator do when making on-air transmissions to test equipment or antennas?

A) Properly identify the transmitting station

NJ2X Note:
Even though you may only be testing while making an on-air transmission you still must follow the rules regarding station identification.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A07)

Q) Which of the following is true when making a test transmission?

A) Station identification is required at least every ten minutes during the test and at the end

NJ2X Note:
The key to this question is to understand that you must identify your station following the rules whenever transmitting regardless if it is a test or not.

Mobile operations observation

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Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? -- George Carlin

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A08)

Q) What is the meaning of the procedural signal "CQ"?
A) Calling any station

NJ2X Note:
The procedural signal "CQ" (calling any station) is used universally on all bands and modes by hams around the world.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A09)

Q) What brief statement is often used in place of "CQ" to indicate that you are listening on a repeater?

A) Say your call sign
NJ2X Note: Contacts made on a repeater are often "in the clear" meaning the audio is very clear so there is little need for the long call format heard on HF.  Simply dropping your call when a repeater will suffice.
Example of a call on HF: CQ CQ CQ NJ2X CQ CQ CQ NJ2X

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A10)

Q) What is a band plan, beyond the privileges established by the FCC?

A) A voluntary guideline for using different modes or activities within an amateur band

NJ2X Note:
The ARRL publishes band plans for each of the amateur radio bands.  A band plan is a very helpful reference and worth spending time studying.  Here is an example of the 2m band plan:
2 Meters (144-148 MHz): 144.00-144.05EME (CW)144.05-144.10General CW and weak signals144.10-144.20EME and weak-signal SSB144.200National calling frequency144.200-144.275General SSB operation144.275-144.300Propagation beacons144.30-144.50New OSCAR subband144.50-144.60Linear translator inputs144.60-144.90FM repeater inputs144.90-145.10Weak signal and FM simplex (145.01,03,05,07,09 are widely used for packet)145.10-145.20Linear translator outputs145.20-145.50FM repeater outputs145.50-145.80Miscellaneous and experimental modes145.80-146.00OSCAR subband146.01-146.37Repeater inputs146.40-146.58Simplex146.52National Simplex Calling Frequency146.…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B03)

Q) Which of the following describes the muting of receiver audio controlled solely by the presence or absence of an RF signal?

A) Carrier squelch


NJ2X Notes:
A carrier squelch opens the radio's audio based on the presence of sufficiently strong signal.  A radio equipped with carrier squelch automatically mutes the radio's audio when there is an absence of a signal with sufficient strength.  Most amateur radios are equipped with an adjustable carrier squelch.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A11)

Q) What are the FCC rules regarding power levels used in the amateur bands?

A) An amateur must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communication.

NJ2X Notes:
Radio amateurs have a long tradition of using minimum power to carry out contacts.  In fact, it is a great source of pride for many to break a pile up and beat the "big guns" with a few watts.  Skill and a couple of watts (QRP) can do wonders.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F13)

Q) When must the station licensee make the station and its records available for FCC inspection?

A) Any time upon request by an FCC representative

NJ2X Note:
Station records include any written documentation about your amateur radio station and operations.  Station records typically include a logbook of station operations.  However, a logbook is not required by the FCC.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2A03)

Q) What is a common repeater frequency offset in the 70 cm band?

A) Plus or minus 5 MHz

NJ2X Note:
Repeaters help extend the range of your VHF / UHF radio which typically are limited to line-of-sight communication.

Wandering wit...

If a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics. -- Francis Bacon

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F12)

Q) How many persons are required to be members of a club for a club station license to be issued by the FCC?

A) At least 4

NJ2X Note: A club station license allows members of an amateur radio club to have a station operating under a club call sign. The license is granted only to the trustee of the club. It conveys no operating privileges. To be granted a club station license, a club must have: • A name
• A document of organization, bylaws, charter, etc
• Management , list of current officers
• A primary purpose devoted to amateur service activities consistent with the FCC Rules
• At least four persons
• A license trustee designated by an officer of the club
• Trustee must hold an Amateur Extra, Advanced, General, Technician Plus or Technician Class operator license grant.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F10)

Q) Who is accountable should a repeater inadvertently retransmit communications that violate the FCC rules?

A) The control operator of the originating station


NJ2X Note:
Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

Repeater. An amateur station that simultaneously retransmits the transmission of another amateur station on a different channel or channels.


FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B02)

Q) What is the term used to describe the use of a sub-audible tone transmitted with normal voice audio to open the squelch of a receiver?

A) CTCSS


NJ2X Notes:
Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System or CTCSS is used to reduce interference on a shared two-way radio communications frequency.  Instead of opening the receive audio for any signal, CTCSS causes the two-way radio receiver's audio to open only in the presence of the normal RF signal and the correct sub-audible audio tone (sub-audible meaning that the receiver circuitry can detect it, but is unheard by the users in the audio output).

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B04)

Q) Which of the following common problems might cause you to be able to hear but not access a repeater even when transmitting with the proper offset?

A) All of these choices are correct
- The repeater receiver requires audio tone burst for access
- The repeater receiver requires a CTCSS tone for access
- The repeater receiver may require a DCS tone sequence for access


NJ2X Notes:
It is quite common for repeaters to require the use of a specific sub-audible tone to open the repeater's receiver squelch.  This helps reduce interference.  You can find the specific tone for the repeater contacting the repeater's owners or by using a repeater directory.  The ARRL publishes an updated paper bound and electronic repeater directory each year.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B05)

Q) What determines the amount of deviation of an FM signal?

A) The amplitude of the modulating signal


NJ2X Notes:
Modulation is a change or alteration in a signal.  We modulate signals in order to impart information and communicate.  Frequency is modulated in an FM signal.  Deviation of an FM signal is the component of change in carrier frequency that the modulating signal produces.

Edwin Howard Armstrong invented frequency modulation (FM) radio.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B06)

Q) What happens when the deviation of an FM transmitter is increased?

A) Its signal occupies more bandwidth


NJ2X Notes:
With an FM transmitter, the louder you speak into the microphone the greater the signal deviation.  The greater the deviation the more bandwidth the signal occupies.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B07)

Q) What should you do if you receive a report that your station’s transmissions are causing splatter or interference on nearby frequencies?

A) Check your transmitter for off-frequency operation or spurious emissions


NJ2X Notes:
"Splatter" on SSB transmissions is high-order intermodulation distortion (IMD) caused by gross overdriving.  A transmitter will generate IMD if it is driven too hard.  It is important to make sure that overdriving never happens with your transmitter or amplifier.

Scientific value of bad times...

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B09)

Q) Which of the following methods is encouraged by the FCC when identifying your station when using phone?

A) Use of a phonetic alphabet


NJ2X Notes:
Amateur radio operators often use the phonetic alphabet when transmitting their call via phone. It is good idea to practice and memorize the phonetic alphabet since you will encounter it often.   By the way, why isn't "phonetic" spelled that way? :-)

ITU Phonetic Alphabet
Letter to be transmittedPhoneticSpoken asAAlfa AL FAH BBravoBRAH VOH CCharlieCHAR LEEDDelta DELL TAHEEcho ECK OH FFoxtrotFOKS TROT GGolf GOLFHHotel HOH TELLIIndia IN DEE AHJJuliettJEW LEE ETTKKilo KEY LOHLLima LEE MAHMMike MIKE NNovember NO VEM BEROOscar OSS CAHPPapaPAH PAHQQuebec KEH BECKRRomeo ROW ME OHSSierra SEE AIR RAHTTango TANG GOUUniform YOU NEE FORM VVictor VIK TAH WWhiskey WISS KEYXX-ray ECKSRAYYYankee YANG KEYZZulu ZOO LOO

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B01)

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Q) What is the term used to describe an amateur station that is transmitting and receiving on the same frequency?

A) Simplex communication


NJ2X Notes:
According to the ITU-T, a simplex circuit is one where signals can flow in only one direction at a time.  Most amateur radio contacts are simplex since they occur on a single frequency.


---Single Frequency --->

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B10)

Q) What is the "Q" signal used to indicate that you are receiving interference from other stations?

A) QRM


NJ2X Notes:
Q-signals are codes abbreviating a detailed question or answer.  The codes, as agreed upon by the International Telecommunication Union, are used worldwide on radiotelegraph.

Q-signal abbreviations are given the form of a question when followed by a question mark.  When an abbreviation is used as a question and is followed by additional or complementary information, the question mark should follow this information.

example:
QRZ? QRZ? - means, "who is calling?"

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B08)

Q) What is the proper course of action if your station’s transmission unintentionally interferes with another station?

A) Properly identify your transmission and move to a different frequency

NJ2X Notes:
Section 97.101(d) of the Commission's Rules prohibits amateur operators from willfully or maliciously interfering with or causing interference to any radio communication or signal. 47 C.F.R. § 97.101(d).

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F09)

Q) What type of amateur station simultaneously retransmits the signal of another amateur station on a different channel or channels?

A) Repeater station


NJ2X Note:
Part 97 : Sec. 97.3 Definitions
Repeater. An amateur station that simultaneously retransmits the transmission of another amateur station on a different channel or channels.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2B11)

Q) What is the "Q" signal used to indicate that you are changing frequency?

A) QSY

NJ2X Notes:
Q-signals are standardized codes used in CW (morse code) communication to speed up contacts.  Do not use these codes for voice communication.  When using phone communications simply say what you intend.
QRG - Will you tell me my exact frequency? Your exact frequency is...QRL - Are you busy? I am busy. Please do not interfere.QRM - Is my transmission being interfered with? Your transmission is being interfered.QRN - Are you troubled by static? I am troubled by static.QRO - Shall I increase power? Increase power.QRP - Shall I decrease power? Decrease power.QRQ - Shall I send faster? Send faster.QRS - Shall I send more slowly? Send more slowly.QRT - Shall I stop sending? Stop sending.QRU - Have you anything for me? I have nothing for you.QRV - Are you ready? I am ready.QRX - When will you call me again? I will call you again at... (hours).QRZ - Who is calling me? You are being called b…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C01)

Q) What set of rules applies to proper operation of your station when using amateur radio at the request of public service officials?

A) FCC Rules


NJ2X Notes:
Be sure to read and understand the FCC rules governing amateur radio.  These are designated as part 97.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C04)

Q) What do RACES and ARES have in common?

A) Both organizations may provide communications during emergencies


NJ2X Notes:
RACES stands for "Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service," a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407).





The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.  Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in the ARES.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C05)

Q) What is the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service?

A) A radio service using amateur stations for emergency management or civil defense communications

NJ2X Notes:
RACES stands for "Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service," and is a protocol created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407). 

Many government agencies across the country train their Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) volunteers using the RACES protocol.  Volunteers serve their respective jurisdictions according to guidelines and mandates established by local emergency management officials.

RACES volunteer operators are:
Licensed Radio Amateurs Certified by a civil defense agency Able to communicate on Amateur Radio frequencies during drills, exercises and emergencies Activated by local, county and state jurisdictions and are the only Amateur Radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the Pres…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C06)

Q) Which of the following is common practice during net operations to get the immediate attention of the net control station when reporting an emergency?

A) Begin your transmission with “Priority” or “Emergency” followed by your call sign


NJ2X Notes:
It is important to understand this protocol since someday you may need it.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F11)

Q) To which foreign stations do the FCC rules authorize the transmission of non-emergency third party communications?
A) Any station whose government permits such communications.

NJ2X Note: Part 97 : Sec. 97.3 Definitions Third party communications. A message from the control operator (first party) of an amateur station to another amateur station control operator (second party) on behalf of another person (third party).

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T2C07)

Q) What should you do to minimize disruptions to an emergency traffic net once you have checked in?

A) Do not transmit on the net frequency until asked to do so by the net control station


NJ2X Notes:
Its a good idea to participate in nets to learn how they work under normal conditions.  Hams with net training can help make net operations run much smoother during an actual emergency.

The Leonids

The Leonids meteor shower is back and expected to peak on November 17, 2013 between 1000 and 1600 UTC.  The Leonids is associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle.  If you have clear night skies be sure to direct your gaze toward the constellation Leo and be ready with a wish.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B06)

Q) Which 23 cm frequency is authorized to a Technician Class operator license?

A) 1296 MHz

NJ2X Note:
You can memorize this answer.  Alternatively, you can learn and apply the underling theory which will help you beyond the test.   The relationship between a radio signal's frequency and its wavelength is described by the following formula:

wavelength in meters = 300 / frequency in MHz

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B08)

Q) What do the FCC rules mean when an amateur frequency band is said to be available on a secondary basis?

A) Amateurs may not cause harmful interference to primary users.


NJ2X Note:
A good example of a band available to amateurs on a secondary basis is 60m.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B09)

Q) Why should you not set your transmit frequency to be exactly at the edge of an amateur band or sub-band?

A) All the following are correct.
- To allow for calibration error in the transmitter frequency display.
- So that modulation sidebands do not extend beyond the band edge
- To allow for transmitter frequency drift


Note from NJ2X: You definitely do not want to transmit outside the amateur radio bands since it is illegal.  However, this is exactly what will happen if you are transmitting on a frequency that is at the very edge of one of the amateur radio bands.  That is because all modes of communication use a certain amount of bandwidth so your radio is transmitting over a frequency range and not just the frequency you are tuned to.

For example, when transmitting on upper side band on 28.500Mhz the frequency range would extend up to 28.500Mhz + 3Khz.  Technician privileges end at 28.500Mhz so any voice transmission above this frequency would be illegal if made by a technician lice…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C06)

Q) From which of the following may an FCC-licensed amateur station transmit, in addition to places where the FCC regulates communications?

A) From any vessel or craft located in international waters and documented or registered in the United States.


NJ2X Notes:

This question is from the FCC Element 2 Technician Class Question Pool
Effective July 1, 2010 for examinations and is valid until June 30, 2014

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C01)

Q) Which type of call sign has a single letter in both the prefix and suffix?

A) Special event.

NJ2X Note:
This type of call is known as a, "1 by 1".  An example would be N2B

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1D06)

Q) Which of the following types of transmissions are prohibited?

A) Transmissions that contain obscene or indecent words or language.

NJ2X Note:
Amateur radio is no place for bad language.  The hobby is enjoyed by families, the young and elderly, - mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and grandparents alike.  Don't say anything you would not want printed in the Sunday newspaper, read to your mother, and attributed to you.  It is also important to be your best while operating.  That is because your behavior on the air is a matter of national pride and the world is listening.  Like it or not, we are all international ambassadors representing our great nation.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B10)

Q) Which of the bands available to Technician Class operators have mode-restricted sub-bands?

A) The 6 meter, 2 meter, and 1.25 meter bands.

NJ2X Note:
These mode-restricted sub-bands are reserved for CW operations only.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B07)

Q) What amateur band are you using if you are transmitting on 223.50 MHz?

A) 1.25 meter band

NJ2X Note:
You can memorize this answer.  Alternatively, you can learn and apply the underling theory which will help you beyond the test.  The relationship between a radio signal's frequency and its wavelength is described by the following formula:

wavelength in meters = 300 / frequency in MHz

In the example above, wavelength = 1.34m = 300 / 223.50Mhz.  On the test, the closest answer to the calculated wavelength is the 1.25m band.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E05 )

Q) What is an amateur station control point?
A) The location at which the control operator function is performed

NJ2X Note: According to the FCC defintions (Part 97 : Sec. 97.3 Definitions):

Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E06)

Q) Under which of the following types of control is it permissible for the control operator to be at a location other than the control point?
A) Automatic control
NJ2X Note: Automatic control. The use of devices and procedures for control of a station when it is transmitting so that compliance with the FCC Rules is achieved without the control operator being present at a control point.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B11)

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Q) What emission modes are permitted in the mode-restricted sub-bands at 50.0 to 50.1 MHz and 144.0 to 144.1 MHz?

A) CW only.

NJ2X Note:
CW is synonymous with Morse code.  Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off "continuous wave" tones.  Continuous wave refers to the fact that the tone does not change frequency or amplitude.

Technician license privileges allow operating CW on HF (80m, 40m, 15m, and 10m), VHF (6m and 2m), and UHF (222 MHz, 420 MHz, 902 MHz, and 1240 MHz).  Technician license holders will do well to learn Morse code.



FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E04)

Q) What determines the transmitting privileges of an amateur station?
A) The class of operator license held by the control operator

NJ2X Note:
There are three amateur radio license classes available to the new US ham:
TechnicianGeneralExtraAdditionally, there are radio amateurs licensed under license classes that are no longer available.
NoviceTechnician PlusAdvanced

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E07)

Q) When the control operator is not the station licensee, who is responsible for the proper operation of the station?

A) The control operator and the station licensee are equally responsible
NJ2X Note: Control operator.  An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C02)

Q) Which of the following is a valid US amateur radio station call sign?

A) W3ABC

Note from NJ2X: Your call becomes a little like your second name.  It may seem a little awkward at first as you commit your call to memory in both the alphabet and phonetics.  Soon you will be introducing yourself to other hams with your call just as naturally as if you were born with it!  :-)

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C03)

Q) What types of international communications are permitted by an FCC-licensed amateur station?

A) Communications incidental to the purposes of the amateur service and remarks of a personal character.


NJ2X Notes:
The best approach to this question is to simply memorize the answer.  For some, associating the key words, "incident" and "personal" can help.

Empires of the mind

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
-- Sir Winston Churchill

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C05)

Q) What must you do if you are operating on the 23 cm band and learn that you are interfering with a radiolocation station outside the United States?

A) Stop operating or take steps to eliminate the harmful interference.

NJ2X Note:
Being an amateur radio operator means operating under a code of honor in addition to the laws.  One of the rules of The Amateur's Code is to be, "CONSIDERATE...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others."

Safe Harbor

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. -- John Augustus Shedd - Salt from My Attic (1928)


Love this quote, it makes one ask, "Am I living the life I was built for?"

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E08)

Q) What type of control is being used for a repeater when the control operator is not present at a control point?

A) Automatic control

NJ2X Note:
Automatic control. The use of devices and procedures for control of a station when it is transmitting so that compliance with the FCC Rules is achieved without the control operator being present at a control point.

Control point. The location at which the control operator function is performed.

Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F01)

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Q) What type of identification is being used when identifying a station on the air as Race Headquarters?

A) Tactical call

NJ2X Note:
During events such as Bike-a-Thons, marathons, and parades, tactical call signs are often more useful than regular call signs. "Milemarker Five" and "Finish Line" are more descriptive in these situations. Remember that all stations must still ID with their FCC call signs every 10 minutes.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C04)

Q) When are you allowed to operate your amateur station in a foreign country?

A) When the foreign country authorizes it.

NJ2X Note:
Travelling to foreign lands with your amateur radio equipment is one of the wonderful aspects of the hobby.  Hams routinely organize special trips to exotic locations for the sole purpose of operating their radios and making as many contacts as possible.  These events are referred to as DX Expeditions.  Other hams enjoy a more modest approach by simply bringing their lightweight portable radio or HT with them on trips or cruises (see our article, "Flying With An HT").

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E09)

Q) What type of control is being used when transmitting using a handheld radio?
A) Local control
NJ2X Note: Local control.The use of a control operator who directly manipulates the operating adjustments in the station to achieve compliance with the FCC Rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F03)

Q) When is an amateur station required to transmit its assigned call sign?

A) At least every 10 minutes during and at the end of a contact

NJ2X Note:
Some amateur radio operators use a timer to help remind them to transmit their call during the course of a contact.  When making contact with another amateur radio operator over a repeater, some hams simply transmit their call immediately following the repeater transmitting its own call (using it as a 10 minute reminder).


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FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E10)

Q) What type of control is used when the control operator is not at the station location but can indirectly manipulate the operating adjustments of a station?
A) Remote

NJ2X Note:
Remote control. The use of a control operator who indirectly manipulates the operating adjustments in the station through a control link to achieve compliance with the FCC Rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F06)

Q) Which of the following formats of a self-assigned indicator is acceptable when identifying using a phone transmission?

A. KL7CC stroke W3
B. KL7CC slant W3
C. KL7CC slash W3
D. All of these choices are correct
NJ2X Note: The word "stroke" or "slash" or "slant" are the spoken equivalent of the symbol "/".  For example, "this is NJ2X/portable" is spoken as, "this is NJ2X stroke portable".

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C07)

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Q) What may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct mailing address?

A) Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license.

NJ2X Note:
It is essential that you maintain your current address with the FCC.  It is a small task to update your address as compared to the hassle of losing your license.


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FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F02)

Q) When using tactical identifiers, how often must your station transmit the station's FCC-assigned call sign?
A) Every ten minutes
NJ2X Note: During events such as Bike-a-Thons, marathons, and parades, tactical call signs are often more useful than regular call signs. "Milemarker One" and "Water Point One" are more descriptive in these situations. Remember that all stations must still ID with their FCC call signs every 10 minutes.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F04)

Q) Which of the following is an acceptable language for use for station identification when operating in a phone sub-band?

A) The English language

NJ2X Note:
Amateur radio operators often use the phonetic alphabet when transmitting their call via phone.  It is good idea to practice and memorize the international phonetic alphabet.  By the way, why isn't "phonetic" spelled that way?  :-)

ITU Phonetic Alphabet
Letter to be transmittedPhoneticSpoken asAAlfa AL FAH BBravoBRAH VOH CCharlieCHAR LEEDDelta DELL TAHEEcho ECK OH FFoxtrotFOKS TROT GGolf GOLFHHotel HOH TELLIIndia IN DEE AHJJuliettJEW LEE ETTKKilo KEY LOHLLima LEE MAHMMike MIKE NNovember NO VEM BEROOscar OSS CAHPPapaPAH PAHQQuebec KEH BECKRRomeo ROW ME OHSSierra SEE AIR RAHTTango TANG GOUUniform YOU NEE FORM VVictor VIK TAH WWhiskey WISS KEYXX-ray ECKSRAYYYankee YANG KEYZZulu ZOO LOO

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C09)

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

A) Two years


NJ2X Notes:
This is important information for hams who are considering changing to a specific vanity call.  Even though a call has expired does not make it available to be reassigned immediately.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E11)

Q) Who does the FCC presume to be the control operator of an amateur station, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records?
A) The station licensee
NJ2X Note: Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

Amateur operator. A person named in an amateur operator/primary license grant on the ULS consolidated licensee database to be the control operator of an amateur station.

JOTA 2013 Fun

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The 2013 Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) was a lot of fun.  The Skyview Radio Society held their annual Radio Merit Badge course for a group of very interested boy scouts.  Big smiles all around while operating various radio stations and modes.  It is very rewarding experience to help a youth make their first DX contact.

The 10m band was wide open world-wide so we spent most of our operating time there.  Conditions were simply perfect.  We were quite impressed with being able to make a 10m AM contact with Dave, GW4GTE in North Wales.  AM DX sounds great with favorable conditions.

Our most momentous contact during the event was a 10m SSB contact with GB2GP operating from Gilwell Park in Sewardstonebury, Epping Forest, close to Chingford, London.  Gilwell park is a landmark location for the scouting movement and used a camp site and activity center for Scouting groups, as well as a training and conference center for Scout Leaders.


GB2GP is the call sign of The Scout Association Headquarters a…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F07)

Q) Which of the following restrictions apply when appending a self-assigned call sign indicator?

A) It must not conflict with any other indicator specified by the FCC rules or with any call sign prefix assigned to another country

NJ2X Note:
Indicator. Words, letters or numerals appended to and separated from the call sign during the station identification. 

The symbol "/" (which is pronounced "slash") is used to separate the indicator from the call sign.  Examples:
NJ2X/Portable or NJ2X/PNJ2X/Mobile or NJ2X/MNJ2X/QRP

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1C08)

Q) What is the normal term for an FCC-issued primary station/operator license grant?

A) Ten years

NJ2X Note:
Many hams consider their license as something they will keep for life.  This requires the minimal effort and expense of renewing every 10 years.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F05)

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Q) What method of call sign identification is required for a station transmitting phone signals?

A) Send the call sign using CW or phone emission

NJ2X Note:
Repeaters commonly transmit their own call sign automatically via CW even though all the activity on the repeater is phone.




FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1F08)

Q) When may a Technician Class licensee be the control operator of a station operating in an exclusive Extra Class operator segment of the amateur bands?

A) Never

NJ2X Note: Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C10)

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Q) Why is duty cycle one of the factors used to determine safe RF radiation exposure levels?

A) It affects the average exposure of people to radiation

NJ2X Notes:
A duty cycle is the time that a device spends in its active state as a fraction of the total time under consideration.  In an amateur radio and RF safety context, the term is used with reference to transmitters.  Different operating modes have different duty cycle characteristics since the RF being radiated is often intermittent.  A lower duty cycle reduces the average exposure to the RF radiation. 

Examples of operating mode typical duty cycles:
CW           = 40%SSB voice = 20%FM            = 100% Duty cycle is used to determine average power.  Here is the formula:

      Average power = PEP x operating cycle x (transmitting time / averaging period)


FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C08)

Q) Which of the following actions might amateur operators take to prevent exposure to RF radiation in excess of FCC-supplied limits?

A) Relocate antennas


NJ2X Notes:
Relocating an antenna is an effective way to prevent exposure to RF radiation in excess of FCC limits.  For more information about RF safety check out the FCC RF Safety page.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C09)

Q) How can you make sure your station stays in compliance with RF safety regulations?

A) By re-evaluating the station whenever an item of equipment is changed

NJ2X Notes:
Re-evaluating the station when making equipment changes is a great way to approach RF safety since it will help you consider potential risks that you may have overlooked.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C11)

Q) What is meant by "duty cycle" when referring to RF exposure?

A) The ratio of on-air time to total operating time of a transmitted signal

NJ2X Notes:
A duty cycle is the time that a device spends in its active state as a fraction of the total time under consideration. In an amateur radio and RF safety context, the term is used with reference to transmitters.  So a transmitter's duty cycle is the time a transmitter is functionally transmitting in a specified period of time.  Different operating modes have different duty cycle characteristics since the RF being radiated is often intermittent. A lower duty cycle reduces the average exposure to the RF radiation.

Examples of operating mode typical duty cycles:

CW = 40% SSB voice = 20% FM = 100% Duty cycle is used to determine average power. Here is the formula:

Average power = PEP x operating cycle x (transmitting time / averaging period)

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C07)

Q) What could happen if a person accidentally touched your antenna while you were transmitting?
A) They might receive a painful RF burn

NJ2X Notes:
RF burns are painful and harmful.  Locate antennas where they cannot be accidently touched. 




FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B03)

Q) Which frequency is within the 6 meter band?

A) 52.525 MHz


Note from NJ2X: The 6m band is also know as the "magic band".  It is a rather amazing band that behaves at times both like a VHF band and an HF band.  6m supports all kinds of interesting propagation.  Best of all, technician license holders have privileges on the band!

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1D05)

Q) When may amateur radio operators use their stations to notify other amateurs of the availability of equipment for sale or trade?

A) When the equipment is normally used in an amateur station and such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.

NJ2X Note:
It is common to hear a "swap-and-shop" during the regular course of an amateur radio net.  These can be a great way to pickup amateur radio related gear.  Local nets offer the additional benefit of being able to pickup the item locally and talk to the ham before the purchase.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1D04)

Q) What is the only time an amateur station is authorized to transmit music?

A) When incidental to an authorized retransmission of manned spacecraft communications

NJ2X Note:
When operating by phone, be aware of what is going on in the environment around your station since nearby sounds can be picked up by your station's microphone.  Is the TV or broadcast radio on?  If yes and music is broadcast then you could inadvertantly be transmitting music on the amateur bands in violation of FCC rules.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E03)

Q) Who must designate the station control operator?

A) The station licensee

NJ2X Note:
§97.103 Station licensee responsibilities. -
(a) The station licensee is responsible for the proper operation of the station in accordance with the FCC Rules. When the control operator is a different amateur operator than the station licensee, both persons are equally responsible for proper operation of the station.

(b) The station licensee must designate the station control operator. The FCC will presume that the station licensee is also the control operator, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records.

(c) The station licensee must make the station and the station records available for inspection upon request by an FCC representative. When deemed necessary by a District Director to assure compliance with the FCC Rules, the station licensee must maintain a record of station operations containing such items of information as the District Director may require in accord with § 0.31…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E01)

Q) When must an amateur station have a control operator?

A) Only when the station is transmitting

NJ2X Note:
FCC Part 97.3(13) Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.


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Project: Home Brew 9 Volt Battery Clip

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The Eveready company introduced the 9v battery type in 1956.  The familiar 9v battery utilizes a snap or clip to connect to its terminals.  Home brewers, DIY enthusiasts, makers, and kit builders all routinely use 9v batteries or battery-packs that are equipped with 9v terminals to power their projects.  All these battery powered projects require 9v battery clips to attach the battery to the circuit.

Commercial 9v battery clips are of course readily available.  The commercial 9v battery clips are rather pricey ($2.69/each at a local electronics retailer) and lack somewhat in quality.
Why buy an overpriced and inferior component when a superior version can be fabricated for FREE from readily available recycled components?  Here is how we make our own 9v battery clips using parts recycled from dead 9v batteries.



 Tools and parts used
A dead 9v batteryNeedle nose pliersSoldering ironElectronic solder fluxElectronic solderHot glue gun and glue stickStep 1: Open 9v battery case
There is a …

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1D09)

Q) Under which of the following circumstances are amateur stations authorized to transmit signals related to broadcasting, program production, or news gathering, assuming no other means is available?

A) Only where such communications directly relate to the immediate safety of human life or protection of property.


NJ2X Notes:
Human life, safety, and protection of property are of the highest importance.

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C06)

Q) Which of the following is an acceptable method to determine that your station complies with FCC RF exposure regulations?

A. By calculation based on FCC OET Bulletin 65
B. By calculation based on computer modeling
C. By measurement of field strength using calibrated equipment
D. All of these choices are correct



NJ2X Notes:
FCC OET Bulletin 65 is titled, "Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields".



Using your multimeter: Continuity Test

One of the most basic uses of a multimeter is to test if there is continuity in a circuit. Testing for continuity means to verify if a circuit, wire or fuse is complete with no open. A switch in the off position will be "open" and no continuity.  A switch in the on position "closed" and has continuity between its contacts.

Audible continuity means the multimeter produces a tone that you can hear when a circuit is complete.  Audible continuity testing is very handy since it allows you keep your eyes on your hands and the circuit you are testing.  You can hear if continuity is present without looking at the meter.

Never try to test continuity with on a circuit that is energized.  The meter may be damaged and you may be injured.

The basic procedure for a continuity test:
Make sure the circuit is not energized.Set your multimeter to continuity test.Touch the two probes together.  You should hear a tone which indicates the continuity test is working.  If you don't he…

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1B02)

Q) North American amateur stations are located in which ITU region?

A) Region 2


NJ2X Note: Region 1: Europe, Africa, the Middle East west of the Persian Gulf and including Iraq, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.comprises Europe , Africa, the Middle East west of the Persian Gulf and including Iraq, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia. Region 2: The Americas and Greenland and some of the eastern Pacific Islands.covers the Americas and Greenland and some of the eastern Pacific Islands. Region 3: contains most of non-former-Soviet-Union Asia, east of and including Iran, and most of Oceania.
View ITU region division in a larger map

FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1D07)

Q) When is an amateur station authorized to automatically retransmit the radio signals of other amateur stations?

A) When the signals are from an auxiliary, repeater, or space station


NJ2X Note:
Repeaters are useful for facilitating local communication.  The FCC defines a repeater as, "An amateur station which simultaneously retransmits the transmission of another amateur station on a different channel or channels [97.3(a)(37)]."


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FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T1E02)

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Q) Who is eligible to be the control operator of an amateur station?

A) Only a person for whom an amateur operator/primary station license grant appears in the FCC database or who is authorized for alien reciprocal operation.

NJ2X Notes:
You can search the FCC database on-line via the "FCC Universal Licensing System" by call sign, or FRN, or name.



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FCC Technician Exam Question Of The Day (T0C05)

Q) Why do exposure limits vary with frequency?

A) The human body absorbs more RF energy at some frequencies than at others

NJ2X Notes:
Heating of tissues is a potential effect of radio frequency non-ionizing radiation on the human body. The human eye is sensitive to RF.