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Technician Class (Expires Jul 1, 2018)
Subelement T2
Operating Procedures
Section T2A
Station operation: choosing an operating frequency; calling another station; test transmissions; procedural signs; use of minimum power; choosing an operating frequency; band plans; calling frequencies; repeater offsets
What is the most common repeater frequency offset in the 2 meter band?
• Plus 500 kHz
Plus or minus 600 kHz
• Minus 500 kHz
• Only plus 600 kHz

This is a really important one to know because most amateur radio operators (particularly technician class licensees) operate most on the 2 meter band. There are three modes of operation that handheld radios generally have relative to frequency offset: Positive offset, Negative offset, and Simplex.

Positive offset means that when you transmit you will transmit at a frequency that is above the one you are listening on (and the repeater listens on that frequency and retransmits on the one you listen to). Negative offset means that you will use the frequency below the one you're listening on. Simplex means you will listen and transmit on the same frequency.

The frequencies used are not arbitrary; there are conventions. Generally in the 2 meter band the convention is +/- 600 kHz. Therefore if you are listening to 147.340 MHz and you transmit with a positive offset you will transmit 600 kHz (.6 MHz) above the frequency on 147.940 MHz. Similarly when listening to 146.620 MHz and transmitting with a negative offset you would transmit on 146.020 MHz.

One neat way to remember the answer to this question is "Bigger is smaller and/or smaller is bigger". A 2m wavelength is bigger than a 70cm wavelength. 600 kHz is a lot smaller than 5 MHz. So bigger (2m) is smaller (600 kHz) and smaller (70cm) is bigger (5 MHz).

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Tags: repeater band plan 2 meter arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

What is the national calling frequency for FM simplex operations in the 70 cm band?
• 146.520 MHz
• 145.000 MHz
• 432.100 MHz
446.000 MHz

A calling frequency is a sort of general meeting area (aka channel or room) where people tend to listen for other people that are calling. If people decide to have a longer conversation they can agree on another frequency to use.

FM Simplex Calling Frequencies:

• 10 meters - 29.600 Mhz
• 6 meters - 52.525 Mhz
• 2 meters - 146.52 Mhz
• 1.25 meters - 223.50 Mhz
• 70 cm - 446.00 Mhz
• 33 cm - 906.50 Mhz
• 23 cm - 1294.50 Mhz
• You should just memorize this.

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Tags: frequencies 70 cm arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

What is a common repeater frequency offset in the 70 cm band?
Plus or minus 5 MHz
• Plus or minus 600 kHz
• Minus 600 kHz
• Plus 600 kHz

When using a repeater, duplex mode is used. Duplex uses two frequencies. One to listen (receive) on and the other to talk (transmit) on. The offset refers to how far apart these two frequencies are. The one you dial into your radio is the listen frequency; the offset frequency is the transmit one.

On 70 cm, typically 5 MHz is used; while on the 2 M band, 600 KHz is used.

For these two bands, just remember Higher Frequency, Higher Offset.

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Tags: 70 cm repeater band plan arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

What is an appropriate way to call another station on a repeater if you know the other station's call sign?
• Say break, break then say the station's call sign
Say the station's call sign then identify with your call sign
• Say CQ three times then the other station's call sign
• Wait for the station to call CQ then answer it

While this is not a hard rule, it's generally considered polite to identify yourself when beginning a conversation on Ham Radio. The easiest way to do that is to indicate who you want to talk to and then say who you are.

For example: "NV7V, this is KD7BBC". Remember that whether or not you choose to identify yourself in the initial transmission you need to identify before you finish your communication, so if you don't identify yourself when calling and they don't respond you will need to identify yourself before you turn your radio off, change frequencies, or before 10 minutes have passed. Thus it's generally better to just identify when you call.

CQ is generally not used for repeater operation since there is no need for a long call; you can simply say "This is requesting a contact" or something similar. In most areas the term "break" is used to indicate emergency traffic, but even in other areas it is not necessary to make a call.

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Tags: best practices operating procedures call signs arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

How should you respond to a station calling CQ?
• Transmit CQ followed by the other station's call sign
• Transmit your call sign followed by the other station's call sign
Transmit the other station's call sign followed by your call sign
• Transmit a signal report followed by your call sign

In responding to a call, you want to first specify which station is being responded to and then specify who is responding.

You do not transmit "CQ" because you are responding to a call, not calling any station.

You do not transmit a signal report because it is unclear who you are, and who you are transmitting a report to, before you identify yourself.

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Tags: best practices cq call signs operating procedures arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

What must an amateur operator do when making on-air transmissions to test equipment or antennas?
Properly identify the transmitting station
• Make test transmissions only after 10:00 p.m. local time
• Notify the FCC of the test transmission
• State the purpose of the test during the test procedure

Remember, any time a signal leaves your station, even if you're just testing something, you need to provide your call-sign. Usually this is done with "{your call sign here} testing, testing, testing.". This makes the intent of your communication clear, and you may even find that you get helpful feedback from another ham who might be listening.

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Tags: operating rules operating procedures arrl chapter 8 arrl module 16

Which of the following is true when making a test transmission?
• Station identification is not required if the transmission is less than 15 seconds
• Station identification is not required if the transmission is less than 1 watt
• Station identification is only required once an hour when the transmissions are for test purposes only
Station identification is required at least every ten minutes during the test and at the end of the test

****Remember, any time you are transmitting from your station, even if it's just for testing purposes, you need to make sure you adhere to the "identify yourself at least every 10 minutes" rule that's common across all of ham radio.

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Tags: operating rules operating procedures arrl chapter 8 arrl module 16

What is the meaning of the procedural signal "CQ"?
• Call on the quarter hour
• A new antenna is being tested (no station should answer)
• Only the called station should transmit
Calling any station

Saying the letters "CQ" on the air is an indication that you're trying to call any station who might be listening. If you're doing this on the lower HF bands, you would say "CQ, CQ, CQ" followed by your callsign, and repeat this a few times to give other stations a chance to find and tune into your signal. If you're talking on VHF, UHF, or on a repeater, you can simply say "CQ", followed by saying your call-sign once. Example: "CQ, this is KA1AAA". Odds are good that someone will hear your call and want to chat. Just remember "seek you", as in "calling for anyone listening".

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Tags: cq arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

What brief statement is often transmitted in place of "CQ" to indicate that you are listening on a repeater?
• The words "Hello test" followed by your call sign
• The repeater call sign followed by your call sign
• The letters "QSY" followed by your call sign

Often you may want to indicate that you are listening on a repeater and available to talk to without requesting specifically that you would like someone to contact you. In these cases it is common to simply say your call sign, sometimes followed by "listening" or "monitoring" or even "mobile" or "mobile and monitoring". The specific phrases used tend to vary by area, but in all cases it is just a way to let anyone else on frequency know that you are around in case someone may want to talk to you.

Even in cases where you do want to make a contact it is common when using a repeater to say "KD7BBC, requesting contact" or something similar rather than specifically calling "CQ", simply because repeater operation is generally pretty reliable, unlike HF/shortwave operation in which it is often difficult to know what stations may be able to hear you or how far away they may be. Repeater operation tends to be a lot less formal in general than HF operation.

QSY is a Q code meaning that you are changing frequency or asking if you should change frequency.

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Tags: cq call signs operating procedures arrl chapter 6 arrl module 13

What is a band plan, beyond the privileges established by the FCC?
A voluntary guideline for using different modes or activities within an amateur band
• A mandated list of operating schedules
• A list of scheduled net frequencies
• A plan devised by a club to indicate frequency band usage

A band plan indicates, according to the local needs, what modes of operations (voice, packet, etc.) are used on what frequencies. Some restrictions are dictated by the FCC but not all. For example, the frequencies used for satellite communications and repeater use are determined by the FCC for all areas of the United States.

On the other hand, the frequencies that are used for packet radio are determined by the ARRL representative in the local area (State). You may also hear some of the band plan frequencies referred to as "gentleman agreements" indicating that we need to follow the documented plan or else risk the ire of those using it for the intended purpose.

As an example, the band plan for those operating in Utah is shown at the Utah VHF Society website. This site also provides excellent information of what is mandated by law and what is determined locally.

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Tags: band plan operating procedures arrl chapter 7 arrl module 15

Which of the following is an FCC rule regarding power levels used in the amateur bands, under normal, non-distress circumstances?
• There is no limit to power as long as there is no interference with other services
• No more than 200 watts PEP may be used
• Up to 1500 watts PEP may be used on any amateur frequency without restriction
While not exceeding the maximum power permitted on a given band, use the minimum power necessary to carry out the desired communication

There is an upper limit to how much power you can use, so "There is no limit..." is wrong.

On many bands, a Technician Class licensee can run 1500 watts PEP, well over 200W.

Even when the upper limit is 1500 watts PEP, you still can't use more power than necessary to carry out the desired communications.

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Tags: arrl chapter 7 arrl module 15

Which of the following is a guideline to use when choosing an operating frequency for calling CQ?
• Listen first to be sure that no one else is using the frequency
• Ask if the frequency is in use
• Make sure you are in your assigned band