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FCC Rules, descriptions and definitions for the Amateur Radio Service, operator and station license responsibilities.

  The FCC regulates and enforces the rules for the Amateur Radio Service in the United States.

Part 97 contains the rules governing the Amateur Radio Service. Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art and enhancing international goodwill is a purpose of the Amateur Radio Service. Allowing a person to conduct radio experiments and to communicate with other licensed hams around the world is a permissible use of the Amateur Radio Service. ITU is a United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues. Frequency assignments for some U.S. Territories are different from those in the 50 U.S. States because some are located in ITU regions other than region 2. U.S. stations operating maritime mobile are not the same everywhere in the world because Amateur frequency assignments can vary among the three ITU regions. International communications are permitted when incidental to the purposes of the amateur service and remarks are of a personal character. You are allowed to operate your amateur station in a foreign country when the foreign country authorizes it. FCC-licensed amateur stations prohibited from exchanging communications with any country whose administration has notified the ITU that it objects to such communications. The foreign station must be one with which the U.S. has a third party agreement for a non-licensed person to be allowed to speak to a foreign station using a station under the control of a Technician Class control operator. The FCC rules authorize the transmission of non- emergency third party communications to any station whose government permits such communications.

 An amateur station is a station in the Amateur Radio Service consisting of the apparatus necessary for carrying on radio communications. FCC-licensed amateur station may transmit from any vessel or craft located in international waters and documented or registered in the United States. At any time upon request by an FCC representative the station licensee must make the station and its records available for FCC inspection. Radionavigation Service is protected from interference by amateur signals under all circumstances. Harmful interference seriously degrades, obstructs, or repeatedly interrupts a radio communication service. At no time is willful interference to other amateur radio stations permitted. Indecent or obscene language is prohibited. Only when transmitting control commands to space stations or radio control craft, is the transmission of codes or ciphers that hide the meaning of a message allowed by an amateur station. When transmitting signals to control a model craft an amateur station can transmit without identifying. When incidental to an authorized retransmission of manned spacecraft communications is the only time an amateur station is authorized to transmit music.

 Technician, General, Amateur Extra are licenses currently available from the FCC. As soon as your operator/station license grant appears in the FCC’s license database you may operate a transmitter on an amateur service frequency. Ten years is the normal term for an FCC-issued primary station/operator amateur radio license. At no time may a Technician Class licensee be the control operator of a station operating in an exclusive Extra Class operator segment of the amateur bands. Two years is the grace period following the expiration of an amateur license within which the license may be renewed. You may not continue to operate a transmitter on amateur service frequencies until the FCC license database shows that the license has been renewed. When correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct mailing address, it will cause revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license. W3ABC is a valid US amateur radio station call sign. Special event call has a single letter in both its prefix and suffix. Any licensed amateur may select a desired call sign under the vanity call sign rules. K1XXX is a vanity call sign that a technician class amateur operator might select if available. Only the person named as trustee on the club station license grant may select a vanity call sign for a club station.

 At least every 10 minutes during and at the end of a communication an amateur station is required to transmit its assigned call sign. English is the acceptable language to use for station identification when operating in a phone sub-band. The call sign using CW or phone emission identification is required for a station transmitting phone signals. /KT, /AE or /AG when using new license privileges earned by CSCE while waiting for upgrade to a previously issued license to appear in the FCC license database is required by the FCC to be transmitted after a station call sign. KL7CC stroke W3, KL7CC slant W3 or KL7CC slash W3 self-assigned indicators are acceptable when identifying using a phone transmission. Repeater station simultaneously retransmits the signal of another amateur station on a different channel or channels. Frequency Coordinator entities recommends transmit/receive channels and other parameters for auxiliary and repeater stations. Amateur operators in a local or regional area whose stations are eligible to be auxiliary or repeater stations select a Frequency Coordinator. Auxiliary, repeater, or space stations can automatically retransmit the signals of other amateur stations. FCC presumes the station licensee to be the control operator of an amateur station, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records. Amateur stations are never permitted to transmit without a control operator. Station licensee must designate the station control operator. A station licensee may designate only a person for who an amateur operator/primary station license grant appears in the FCC database or who is authorized for alien reciprocal operation to be the control operator of an amateur station. Class of operator license held by the control operator determines the transmitting privileges of an amateur station. The control operator and the station licensee are equally responsible for the proper operation of the station. Amateur station control point is the location at which the control operator function is performed. Local control is being used when the control operator is at the control point. Repeater operation is an example of automatic control. Operating the station over the Internet is an example of remote control as defined in Part 97. Automatic control is the type of control APRS network digipeaters operate under. The control operator of the originating station is accountable should a repeater inadvertently retransmit communications that violate the FCC rules. Control operator of an amateur station may receive compensation for operating the station, when the communication is incidental to classroom instruction at an educational institution.

 Amateur service is secondary in some portions of the 70 cm band so, some U.S. amateurs may find non-amateur stations in the bands and must avoid interfering with them. If you are operating on the 23 cm band and learn that you are interfering with a radio location station outside the United States, stop operating or take steps to eliminate the harmful interference. Do not set your transmit frequency to be exactly at the edge of an amateur band or sub-band because of calibration error in the transmitter frequency display, modulation of sidebands may extend beyond the band edge or transmitter frequency may drift. Tactical call sign is type of identification being used when identifying a station on the air as Race Headquarters. When using tactical identifiers such as “Race Headquarters” during a community service net operation, you must transmit the station’s FCC- assigned call at the end of each communication and every ten minutes during a communication. At least 4 people are required to be members of a club for a club station license to be issued by the FCC. During an Armed Forces Day Communications Test an FCC-licensed amateur station may exchange messages with a U.S. military station. Amateur radio operators may use their stations to notify other amateurs of the availability of equipment for sale or trade. When the equipment is normally used in an amateur station and such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.

Telecommand is a one-way transmission to initiate, modify or terminate functions of a device at a distance. Telemetry is one-way transmission at a distance from the measuring instrument.

Wavelength in meters equals 300 divided by frequency in megahertz

300/6 meter = 52.525 MHz;

300/146.52 MHz = 2 meter band;

300/.7meter(70 cm) = 443.350 MHz;

300/.23 MHz(23 cm) = 1296 MHz;

300/223.50 MHz = 1.25 meter band


6 meter, 2 meter, and 1.25 meter bands have mode-restricted sub-bands. CW only is permitted in the mode-restricted sub-bands at 50.0 to 50.1 MHz and 144.0 to 144.1 MHz. Data emissions may be used between 219 and 220 MHz

 “Broadcasting” transmissions intended for reception by the general public. Amateur radio station may engage in broadcasting when transmitting code practice, information bulletins, or transmissions necessary to provide emergency communications. Only where such communications directly relate to the immediate safety of human life or protection of property may amateur stations transmit signals related to broadcasting, program production, or news gathering, assuming no other means is available.

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