Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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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.
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 ...
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
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 ...
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....
2
votes
2answers
229 views

Why do you have to be 18 to be a Volunteer Examiner in the US?

I am a 15 year old ham, and just got my Extra class. I was really bummed when I figured out I needed to be 18 to be a Volunteer Examiner administer. Why do they make that rule?
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 ...
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....
2
votes
2answers
237 views

Technician Class HF Privileges in the USA

What are the current privileges below 30 MHz for holders in the United States of a Technician class license?
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there any good, consistently receivable signals in the US for HF receiver testing?

Having built my first HF receiver, I'd like to know if I'll need to search around for transmissions that happen to be occurring, or if there are reasonably strong signals I can count on being present ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

"Coaxial capacitors in line” in E4E04?

I've been studying the U.S. license examination question pools. For the most part, it is reasonably obvious what the questions and answers mean even when I am not yet able to come up with the answers ...
5
votes
1answer
271 views

Relicensing after a decade, can I reacquire my old call sign?

The background, I got a US Tech+ license back in the 1990's when I was in middle school. At the time I did it for the novelty of getting licensed in something and not a bit to imitate my brother. ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

SSTV on repeaters?

Just a simple question and the answer is probably no, but am I allowed to transmit a picture using SSTV on an FM 2 meter or 70 centimeter repeater? I am in the United States.
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What about the digital mode ROS causes some to consider it spread spectrum?

The FCC disallows amateur spread spectrum communications below 220MHz. At the moment the relatively new digital mode, ROS, is considered, by some, to be spread spectrum. So this mode is getting ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

How would one automate HF communications to a specific location?

There appears to be some significant interest in establishing a fool-proof* HF communications method for location to location communication regardless of current propagation conditions. Given that ...
6
votes
2answers
127 views

Is CW necessary to be competitive in most ARRL contests?

The ARRL hosts many contests throughout the year, and maintains a leaderboard of sorts to encourage competition. Is it possible to rank on any of the leaderboards without knowing or using morse code?
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
206 views

How can I use all bands when I'm a guest on an Extra's station?

I have a General class license. If I'm working with an Extra class license holder, what do we have to do to allow me to work bands outside General, but inside Extra?
5
votes
1answer
231 views

Is hiding your voice on phone legal?

Lets say I use a computer to change my voices pitch, or use computer generated voices to hit a repeater. Is this allowed, or does it have to be my natural voice coming in on phone transmissions? I ...
8
votes
2answers
139 views

How do I notify and publish information on experimental modes?

I'm considering tinkering with a new mode. Of course I'll stick to experimental channels and low power for now, but as people notice my transmissions they won't immediately understand what is being ...
3
votes
3answers
183 views

How close in frequency to another transmission can I legally transmit?

By FCC law. How many kHz away for a QSO are you allowed to start another QSO? I believe that 3 kHz is the FCC rule. Another Ham says that it's two.
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Legitimacy and Practice of Frequency Hopping in Ham Radio in United States

After reading this question, I was wondering: is frequency hopping considered ``the most effective use'' of the frequency as stated in the FCC regulation? If so, is there any restrictions on how the ...
6
votes
2answers
604 views

Can I transmit on 2 frequencies simultaneously?

Lets say I want to call out CQ on 145.340, 145.940, and 146.140 at the same time, am I allowed to call simultaneously on all three then monitor all three for replies?
7
votes
2answers
145 views

Which band will I be authorized the most bandwidth?

Lets say I want to do a bit of experimenting with some high bandwidth uses for transmitting data, high quality voice, etc. Which Amateur band will give me the maximum bandwidth, and what is the ...
7
votes
2answers
204 views

Moving from Australia to the US, Amateur radio license transfer?

Moving from Australia to the US, is there a way to transfer my license in any way, or do I need to sit the exams in full? I'm wondering if there is any concept of "credit" towards licensing, so I ...
7
votes
2answers
236 views

Is any licensing require to receive in the amateur radio bands?

I'm considering hosting a foxhunt for a local youth group (scouts, in this case), and one of the questions asked was whether those searching for the hidden transmitter need have a license of any sort. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

Why do USA transceivers limit transmit to 430-450MHz?

The FCC table of frequency allocations clearly states on page 27 that the Amateur allocation for 70cm is 420-450MHz, but I've seen a lot of transceivers that limit transmit to 430-450MHz. Why is this?...
7
votes
2answers
517 views

License upgrade - retake required?

It's been more than a year since I passed my Technician and General exams and obtained my license. If I were now to go for my Extra class license, would it simply be a matter of taking and passing the ...
4
votes
3answers
99 views

What should be in a one hour class about Radios in Boy Scouts [closed]

I have been tasked with teaching a one hour class to adults who lead Boy Scout troops about "Radios in Scouting". What should I teach them? Possible subjects include: Teaching the Radio Merit Badge ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
109 views

Is Alaska considered to be located north of line A?

I recentley moved to Fairbanks AK, and was wondering if Alaska constituted being north of line A. Being that geographically, Alaska is north of line A, but in real world applications, Fairbanks is ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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{...
8
votes
2answers
158 views

What regulatory issues/differences should I be aware of as a US ham vacationing in Europe (Poland)?

I am a US ham with an Extra Class ticket. If I were to go Poland (or possibly some other part of Europe) on vacation and bring some radios, what legal stuff do I need to know about? I know that my ...
5
votes
1answer
441 views

Secure communication over Amateur-band HSMM / 802.11 in the United States

I'm quite interested in 802.11 over amateur radio frequencies; however, all I have done at this point is reading (I don't have a ham license yet). The conventional wisdom (espoused in this ham.SE ...
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?
5
votes
2answers
127 views

Abilities to limit antenna use?

What kinds of abilities does a Home Owners' Association (HOA) in the United States have to limit the use of antennas placed on a roof to an owner of a home in the area?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What frequencies am I not allowed to use north of line A in the USA?

What frequencies can I not use if I live north of line A in the USA?