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Subelement T2
Operating Procedures
Section T2C
Public service: emergency and non-emergency operations; applicability of FCC rules; RACES and ARES; net and traffic procedures; emergency restrictions
When do the FCC rules NOT apply to the operation of an amateur station?
  • When operating a RACES station
  • When operating under special FEMA rules
  • When operating under special ARES rules
  • Correct Answer
    Never, FCC rules always apply

None of the situations given in this question are reasons for the FCC rules to not apply. RACES, FEMA and ARES operations are all governed by the FCC rules.

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Tags: arrl chapter 6 arrl module 14

What is one way to recharge a 12-volt lead-acid station battery if the commercial power is out?
  • Cool the battery in ice for several hours
  • Add acid to the battery
  • Correct Answer
    Connect the battery in parallel with a vehicle's battery and run the engine
  • All of these choices are correct

A 12 volt lead-acid battery is nothing more than a car battery. Even if it's a marine or other deep cycle battery, the charging voltages will be the same, so they can be charged using your car in the same way you would 'jump' another car if it's battery was low. (Although, you might also consider a small solar panel for this kind of emergency.)

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Tags: mobile operation batteries dc power arrl chapter 5 arrl module 12

What should be done to insure that voice message traffic containing proper names and unusual words are copied correctly by the receiving station?
  • The entire message should be repeated at least four times
  • Such messages must be limited to no more than 10 words
  • Correct Answer
    Such words and terms should be spelled out using a standard phonetic alphabet
  • All of these choices are correct

Sometimes it's hard to understand what someone is saying, due to noise, interference from other stations, or a particular accent. The best way to insure correct copy by the receiving station is for the transmitting station to spell out the words.

Since a lot of letters sound alike in the presence of noise, interference or an unfamiliar accent, using a Phonetic Alphabet instead of the names of the letters is a great help.

Saying "Alpha" instead of "A" can help the receiving operator to know it's not an I or E or other letter that might sound like A.

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What do RACES and ARES have in common?
  • They represent the two largest ham clubs in the United States
  • Both organizations broadcast road and weather information
  • Neither may handle emergency traffic supporting public service agencies
  • Correct Answer
    Both organizations may provide communications during emergencies

RACES - Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (only active during periods of local, regional or national civil emergencies, such as hurricane Katrina.)

ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service (sponsored by ARRL)

ARRL - American Radio Relay League

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Tags: emergency communication races arrl chapter 6 arrl module 14

Which of the following describes the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)?
  • A radio service using amateur frequencies for emergency management or civil defense communications
  • A radio service using amateur stations for emergency management or civil defense communications
  • An emergency service using amateur operators certified by a civil defense organization as being enrolled in that organization
  • Correct Answer
    All of these choices are correct

The three key things here are that RACES uses amateur radio frequencies, stations, and operators. They don't have their own frequencies (like MARS does), and all the stations and operators are amateurs (unlike MARS, which does have separately licensed stations and operators). So all of these answers are correct.

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Which of the following is an accepted practice to get the immediate attention of a net control station when reporting an emergency?
  • Repeat the words SOS three times followed by the call sign of the reporting station
  • Press the push-to-talk button three times
  • Correct Answer
    Begin your transmission by saying "Priority" or "Emergency" followed by your call sign
  • Play a pre-recorded emergency alert tone followed by your call sign

During net operations there are commonly many stations participating and attempting to communicate. It is very important that the priority of your emergency be established immediately, so the first words of your transmission should convey that. "Priority" or "Emergency" should be stated immediately so that there is no confusion about your intent and need.

The term SOS does not actually make sense except in morse code and pressing the push to talk button multiple times is likely to simply be ignored as normal radio static or a malfunctioning radio. Similarly a pre-recorded emergency alert tone would probably be taken as an accidental transmission by someone. When in doubt, say it straight; in amateur radio we don't do secret codes.

Note: The closest thing to a "pre-recorded emergency alert tone" that is used is LiTZ which means Long Term Zero. This is not something that is used on an emergency net! It is an emergency repeater feature where if someone transmits a DTMF 0 tone for >3 seconds on a repeater's input frequency the repeater can provide instructions, phone/page the control operator of the repeater, or possibly phone emergency services. It is only used in an emergency when a radio operator can reach a repeater but nobody is currently listening. It is not used on an emergency net or when a human is responding to calls!

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Tags: emergency communication operating procedures arrl chapter 6 arrl module 14

Which of the following is an accepted practice for an amateur operator who has checked into an emergency traffic net?
  • Provided that the frequency is quiet, announce the station call sign and location every 5 minutes
  • Move 5 kHz away from the net's frequency and use high power to ask other hams to keep clear of the net frequency
  • Correct Answer
    Remain on frequency without transmitting until asked to do so by the net control station
  • All of the choices are correct

In an emergency, the Net Control operator is making a list of who has checked in, with the intention or at least the possibility of calling on them later. Until dismissed, it's expected that you remain on frequency.

Transmitting during an emergency, when you've already checked in but have not been addressed by Net Control is unnecessary and could interfere with another station trying to contact Net Control, or with Net Control trying to contact another station. It's better to listen and not transmit.

Moving off frequency and asking people to keep clear of the net is a strange idea, and the wrong answer.

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Which of the following is a characteristic of good emergency traffic handling?
  • Correct Answer
    Passing messages exactly as received
  • Making decisions as to whether or not messages should be relayed or delivered
  • Communicating messages to the news media for broadcast outside the disaster area
  • All of these choices are correct

A station passing a message in an emergency has an expectation that it will be delivered, not weighed to see if it merits delivery or relay. So you're expected to deliver it.

You might think you know enough to clarify, abbreviate or otherwise change a message, but it's so risky that you should just not do it - pass the message exactly as received.

Emergency messages should always specify an originating party and the party to whom the message should be delivered. The choice about communicating messages to the news media for broadcast is generally not a good idea, unless that's the destination that was specified.

So the best answer is to pass the message exactly as received.

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Are amateur station control operators ever permitted to operate outside the frequency privileges of their license class?
  • No
  • Yes, but only when part of a FEMA emergency plan
  • Yes, but only when part of a RACES emergency plan
  • Correct Answer
    Yes, but only if necessary in situations involving the immediate safety of human life or protection of property

This is a bit of a trick question; emergency plans will never take into account transmitting out of band, since if you're planning it you can always plan to not need to transmit out of band.

The rule is this: Always do whatever it takes to keep people safe. If someone is going to die unless you transmit on a police (or other) frequency, transmit first and ask forgiveness later.

Just make sure that whatever action you're taking isn't interfering with something and causing more danger than you are trying to protect against!

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What is the preamble in a formal traffic message?
  • The first paragraph of the message text
  • The message number
  • The priority handling indicator for the message
  • Correct Answer
    The information needed to track the message as it passes through the amateur radio traffic handling system

The American Radio Relay League was originally created in order to relay messages across long distances. In order to do so safely and efficiently, the Amateur Radio Traffic Handling system was created. The first part of any message sent across this system is called the preamble.

The preamble contains information such as who the message is from, who the message is to, and information about the content of the message (specifically the number of words). This information is used to facilitate correctly routing the message through the Amateur Radio Traffic Handling System without losing any part of the message or sending it to the wrong destination.

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Tags: formal traffic message emergency communication arrl chapter 6 arrl module 14

What is meant by the term "check" in reference to a formal traffic message?
  • Correct Answer
    The check is a count of the number of words or word equivalents in the text portion of the message
  • The check is the value of a money order attached to the message
  • The check is a list of stations that have relayed the message
  • The check is a box on the message form that tells you the message was received

The best practice is to use plain English and not jargon. But in the case of formal message traffic, the word, "check" means the count of words in the body (text portion) of the message.

This is a way to make sure you didn't add or drop a word from the message. This is related to the best practice of passing the message exactly as it was received.

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What is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)?
  • Correct Answer
    Licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service
  • Licensed amateurs who are members of the military and who voluntarily agreed to provide message handling services in the case of an emergency
  • A training program that provides licensing courses for those interested in obtaining an amateur license to use during emergencies
  • A training program that certifies amateur operators for membership in the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

According to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL),

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

By this statement, it's clear that ARES is not meant strictly for members of the military. Furthermore, because ARES assumes a membership of licensed amateurs, it is not intended for those interested in obtaining licenses.

Finally, ARES can indeed be a training program to help promote readiness certifications, but the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) certifies its own membership (FCC Part 97 section 407.)

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