Questions tagged [united-states]

Questions specific to rules, regulations, and practices in the United States of America.

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34
votes
4answers
35k views

What's the difference between national calling frequency and national simplex calling frequency in the 2m and 70cm band plans published by ARRL?

On the 2 meter and 70 centimeter band plans published by the ARRL, what is the difference in intended use between the calling frequencies (144.200, 432.10 MHz) and the simplex calling frequencies (146....
22
votes
3answers
490 views

What is the body of knowledge the U.S. written exams test?

I'm considering getting a U.S. amateur radio operator license. If you want to study to pass a license test, there are many resources to learn the answers to the entirety of the question pool: online ...
17
votes
4answers
102k views

Using my Baofeng UV-5R to talk to walkie talkies

I have a few walkie talkies at home and sometimes I connect my UV-5R to them to talk to them and act as another walkie talkie. At one time, I built a little simplex repeater out of it. Should I not be ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

What defines music, per amateur radio regulations?

Sometimes when I access IRLP nodes, they have a very short melody telling you that you are connected; or when my local repeater's net begins, it does the famous doorbell 8-note sequence. What is the ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Can a licensed ham use or modify CB equipment to work the 10 Meter Amateur bands?

Can a licensed ham use or modify CB equipment to work the 10 Meter Amateur bands? If so, are there any advantages/disadvantages to this?
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Does a FCC amateur license cost money?

If I wanted a FCC Amateur license, is this going to cost me anything? That includes tests, application fees, filing fees, and anything else but hardware.
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there federal laws (US) protecting antenna installation?

Are there any federal laws or FCC guidelines that allow ham radio operators to install antennas? I live in an apartment building in a large city that bans outdoor antennas. I recall reading that the ...
14
votes
1answer
7k views

How do I change my registered address with the FCC?

I just moved, and I want to change my registered address with my call-sign. Is there a form or something somewhere that I can fill out? Do I have to mail it, or can I turn it in to the FCC or ...
14
votes
4answers
564 views

Are amateur radio call signs unique among all radio call signs?

Idle curiosity: Are the call signs of amateur radio operators distinct from call signs in all other radio services, such that there can be no ambiguity even if the relevant license and band(s) of ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

How to operate IEEE 802.11 WiFi AP within the amateur radio service?

How can I properly use my ham radio license to operate an IEEE 802.11 WiFi access point within the US amateur radio service, rather than the US "part 15" regulations for unlicensed transmissions?
13
votes
3answers
300 views

Testing blind license applicants

My friend is blind and would like to take the amateur radio license exam. I understand that the question and the four possible answers can be read to them, and that is fine. The one question that we ...
12
votes
6answers
23k views

Calculating Antenna Length on the FCC Exam vs. in Reality

I have seen the following formulas for calculating half and quarter wavelength antennas: Formula for $\frac{1}{2}$-wavelength antenna (in free space): \begin{equation} \mathrm{Length~(feet)} = \frac{...
12
votes
7answers
993 views

Can I transmit anything inside a Faraday cage?

Can I perform any transmission regardless of my license as long as I'm inside an RF sealed enclosure, such that no RF will be detectable from my transmissions off my property? I imagine the answer is ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

How To Join Packet Radio BBS

I'm a complete newbie here, and on the Southeast Coast of the USA. I don't even own a ham radio yet. Some preppers and I got to talking about a dystopian time of Internet collapse where shortwave ...
12
votes
3answers
519 views

What are the relative bandwidths of the amateur bands?

While I was operating on 40 m for Field Day, I noticed a higher SWR than when I first set my antenna tuner for the band. This happened, of course, because I was in a different part of the band, but I ...
12
votes
2answers
672 views

What are the (US) rules about unlicensed low-power transmissions?

It is common wisdom that transmissions of any sort (perhaps unidentified, encrypted, in the FM broadcast band, etc.) are permitted if they are sufficiently low power. Where are the FCC regulations ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do Amateur Radio organizations in the United States oppose the relaxation of encryption prohibitions?

I saw this question stating that it is illegal to encrypt traffic, at least in the US and UK. I also heard that there was recently an attempt to get the FCC to loosen this restriction, but a lot of ...
11
votes
3answers
518 views

Resort FM radio station

I stayed at a resort in the U.S. recently that is located in an unpopulated area with virtually no radio reception. To fill the gap, the resort has its own FM station that can be heard only within ...
11
votes
2answers
683 views

Why is an exemption for music given to NASA broadcasts of manned space flight missions?

FCC 97.113 Prohibited transmissions reads: (e) No station shall retransmit programs or signals emanating from any type of radio station other than an amateur station, except propagation and ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I renew my FCC amateur license?

I have a technician class license, and my license expires in March 2014. How do I renew my license? I received a notification in the mail from W5YI-VEC informing me that I could renew my license ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Are Baofeng radios illegal in the U.S?

Having a low price budget, my search for my first ham radio to buy has led me towards Baofeng. A quick Google search on baofeng showed a lot of results that said that certain model baofeng handhelds ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it legal for a non-profit to use ham radios for emergency purposes?

I've been tasked to help update my organization's emergency contingencies and ham radios were brought up. We provide residential services to the mentally handicapped and we are looking at ways to make ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Can a ham license be used for a job?

If you get a ham license, can you, later on, get a job with that license, or at least display it on a resume? Or are there further licenses after ham radio licenses?
10
votes
4answers
947 views

What is the highest US amateur license I can get in one sitting?

If I start with no current license, can I take all the exams in one sitting to get to Amateur Extra?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Fastest Speed allowed for CW FM repeater ID in USA

What is the fastest legal WPM I can use for my repeater's Morse code identification? I am in the USA.
10
votes
1answer
349 views

Why does the FCC put restrictions on symbol rates?

This answer claims that Mostly, on HF, the FCC has chosen to limit modes of transmission and symbol rates rather than bandwidth Why does the FCC limit symbol rates?
10
votes
6answers
2k views

While backpacking, is it worth mounting the antenna to the backpack frame (above my head)?

I am planning a trip with a large group in 6 weeks. We will be spread out in small groups on a trail in a mostly desert plateau landscape perhaps 5 miles apart, but mostly in a straight line. I'm new ...
10
votes
3answers
386 views

Do I need to actually lock up my station?

Per §97.103, one is responsible for the proper operation of one's station, which of course includes that no unlicensed person uses it to transmit. I have heard suggestions (no link handy, sorry) of ...
10
votes
3answers
573 views

What is the best practice when tuning an antenna on air?

I have a magnetic loop antenna that takes a long time to tune and of course, while tuning it, I need to be transmitting. What is the best procedure for tuning on air? I understand I need to check ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What Part 97 rule allows unattended, automated transmissions, such as APRS weather stations and beacons?

What rule allows Amateur Operators to establish and operate remote, automated stations like APRS weather stations or beacons? Are there different rules specifically for beacons, or do they all fall ...
10
votes
3answers
967 views

What is the difference between FCC station and operator licenses?

I an studying for my technician class examination, and I came across this question: What may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to ...
10
votes
2answers
264 views

What is the most common amateur identification practice for mobile US amateurs operating in Canada?

When a US Amateur operates in Canada, IT and Canadian regs permit some lattitude on their identification. I have read that some will prefix a "VE3" plus their own home callsign (Ontario, meaning I am ...
10
votes
3answers
467 views

Aside from repeaters, what station types allow automated transmissions?

I know repeaters don't have to have a control operator at the radio in order to transmit given certain conditions are met. Are there any restrictions to setting up automated stations which transmit ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it illegal to key up and not identify?

So, I key up on a repeater to see if it works, or to see what cool courtesy tone they are using. I don't do anything else. Is it illegal or bad ham radio etiquette to just key up for a second, key ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Morse code allowed on FM in the USA

Let's say I get my little 2 meter FM handheld out and make a little sine-wave generator with which I pulse a morse code and if I connect it to headphones a speaker, I hear the dits and dahs of a nice ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I operate in the United Kingdom with a US license?

Can my license from the United States be used to operate while I'm in the United Kingdom?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Who enacts the FCC's rules and regulations?

I came across an old answer on this site which makes the claim: It would take an act of Congress to change this [FCC Part 97] rule. Is that correct? I was under the impression that United States ...
9
votes
3answers
383 views

Why does ARRL license examination procedure preclude students from discovering what questions they got wrong on licensing tests

I got my Extra-class ticket some time ago. I was able to discover what my score was (the number of questions I got wrong). However, my examiner was not able to tell me specifically which questions I ...
9
votes
5answers
456 views

Is a Technician license enough to assist in times of emergency?

Is a Technician license enough to assist in times of disaster/emergency or do I need General or higher?
9
votes
2answers
294 views

Full UK license visiting US: Can I use frequencies in US but not UK license?

E.g.: 7.2-7.3MHz are Region 2 but not Region 1. My license is "from" Region 1. 1.25 meter band is not available in the UK Operating from aircraft is not permitted in the UK. Would it be if I visited ...
9
votes
3answers
947 views

Are hashes (such as md5) legal in the US

If I were to implement a remote computer control system using amateur radio, would using hashes (such as md5, sha-*, etc...) for authentication be permissible under the United States rules?
9
votes
3answers
170 views

Ham Technician Exam Material

I would like to prepare for the Technician exam. I think I read somewhere that the ham Technician exam has material that is revised every 4 years. And that the new set of questions will be coming ...
9
votes
1answer
334 views

CW on phone band

In the U.S., regulations permit CW operations throughout the amateur bands. That makes the phone section of a band look tempting when the CW/digital part of the band is busy with a contest. I wonder ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

When is APRS use considered commercial?

I've heard that APRS is only allowed for non-commercial use. I was thinking of a building a weather station that uploads data via APRS (so far, non-commercial). If I then include data from that ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

HF Digital Mode Band Plan for the USA

I recently started playing with the digital modes, but have been frustrated with the difficulty in finding where certain modes are commonly used. Is there a digital mode band plan for the HF bands, to ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Using ham radio bands for telemetry

If I built a machine that went far away, say a buoy, would I be allowed to use ham radio frequencies to transmit telemetry data back to its base station, if I used my call sign? This is for personal ...
9
votes
1answer
252 views

What is emissions designator “E” when used as a type of modulation?

The FCC's rules regulating amateur radio, in 47 CFR 97.307(f), paragraph 8 defines one emissions standard/limitation as follows: A RTTY or data emission having designators with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Morse code a requirement for ham licensing?

As I recall, it used to be in the U.S. that the ability to read and send Morse code over CW was a requirement for an amateur license (and was tested, I believe). Is that still true in the U.S.? If ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What should I do if my call is being used by someone else?

I've been contacted by others who want to verify a DX with me, but I was not operating at that time! It appears that someone made several contacts using my callsign for a short window of time one day....
8
votes
3answers
435 views

What is the permissible frequency error for US amateur radio transmissions?

What are my requirements as a licensed Amateur Radio operator in the US to keep to a single frequency? How much drift can I have during transmission and still be within my license? Does it depend on ...

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