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Showing posts from October, 2013

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.