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Special Interest => Open Source Tech Gulch => Topic started by: oldzoot on October 10, 2007, 01:14:18 pm

Title: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: oldzoot on October 10, 2007, 01:14:18 pm
This will serve as the ham radio license training thread.

I found http://www.hamtestonline.com  but it seems that it costs $50  for a two year subscription.   Oh well.   

If anyone wants to use hamtestonline,  I will be happy to try to answer any questions you may have about the material presented there.

Otherwise,  I will begin posting mini-lessons in this thread to get things going.

OldZoot
Title: Q-1
Post by: oldzoot on October 11, 2007, 10:06:55 am
Question:   Who is an amateur operator as defined in part 97 ?

Answer:  A person named in an amateur operator / primary license grant in the FCC ULS database.

Part 97  is the section of FCC rules governing amateur radio.     The ULS (universal listing system) is the database of all licenses granted by the FCC.   Until you are listed in the ULS as an amateur operator licensee,  you are not licensed as an operator even if you have passed a test, sent in the forms and money etc.   


other options (wrong) are:    A person who has passed a written license application.        This is wrong because the until the FCC assigns a call sign and enters your license grant in the ULS ( universal listing system ) database you are not licensed.   Without a license, you are not legally an amateur operator.


The person named on an FCC form 605 application.
  Again,  having your name on the form does not mean that you are licensed.  You need to both pass the appropriate tests and submit your license application with fees and be entered in the ULS database before you are licensed as an amateur operator.


A Person holding a restricted operating permit. 
   A restricted operating permit is for the operator of an aircraft,  aeronautical ground (airport) station or a marine station operating on a personal (pleasure) boat in some cirumstances.   None of these are amateur licenses  and thus have no right to operate on amateur frequencies or power levels.

Title: Q-2
Post by: oldzoot on October 11, 2007, 10:19:11 am
Q:    What is the ITU ?     A:    The International Telecommunication  Union


Wrong Answers:     International Telecomunication Utility

                            International Telephone Union

                            International Technology Union



The ITU is a UN organization of countries which cooperate in the regulation of telecommunications standards.   These include the assignments of frequencies for various communications services as well as types of modulation, signaling, encoding etc.   If the countries did not cooperate, the result would be chaos on the airwaves and little communication would be possible due to interference,  people not having compatible equipment etc.    Within the standards of the ITU,  countries can regulate the liciensing and operation of telecommunications systems.  '

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Telecommunication_Union
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: padre29 on October 11, 2007, 01:07:42 pm


Old Zoot, I am philosophically opposed to begging the govt's permission to act as a Citizen.

With that being said, could you fill in the details of the test such as how long it is, which "license" is required to operate which sort of equipment, the "need" for such a license and how someone who was interested in acquiring one would go about doing just that?

On occasion they have weekend long classes at a local Comunnity College that allows one to become to take a test and be "granted" a license, is there a way to do that outside of attending those classes say by taking them online?

Is this thread a primer for acquiring a license or is it meant to give general information about the subject?
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: oldzoot on October 11, 2007, 03:10:53 pm
This thread is intended to serve as an on-line class to help people get a ham license.     There are several good resources on the Internet, the best one I found so far costs money however.  that is  http://www.hamtestonline.com   it is $50  for a two year subscription.  It has interactive lessons along with lesson-by-lesson Q&A.   I figured the $50 bucks would stop a lot of people, so I am trying to do something useful here, but it is a slow process.

Regarding the license in general....  (this material copied from the ARRL web site at http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/)

The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which requires only a 35 question multiple-choice written examination. The test is written with the beginner in mind. The exam covers basic regulations, operating practices, and electronics theory, with a focus on VHF and UHF applications. Morse Code is not required for this license. With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz). These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple station equipment. Technician licensees now also have additional privileges on certain HF frequencies. Technicians may also operate on the 80, 40, and 15 meter bands using CW, and on the 10 meter band using CW, voice, and digital modes.

Technicians may upgrade to General Class by passing a 35-question multiple-choice written examination. The written exam covers intermediate regulations, operating practices, and electronics theory, with a focus on HF applications. Non-licensed individuals must pass Element 2 and Element 3 Written Exams to earn a General License. The FCC grants exam element 3 credit to individuals that previously held certain older types of licenses. Valid Forms of Examination Element Credit can be found on the Web.

The General Class is a giant step up in operating privileges. The high-power HF privileges granted to General licensees allow for cross-country and worldwide communication. Some people prefer to earn the General Class license as their first ticket, so they may operate on HF right away. In addition to the Technician privileges, General Class operators are authorized to operate on any frequency in the 160, 30, 17, 12, and 10 meter bands. They may also use significant segments of the 80, 40, 20, and 15 meter bands.

General licensees may upgrade to Extra Class by passing a 50-question multiple-choice examination. No Morse code test is required. In addition to some of the more obscure regulations, the test covers specialized operating practices, advanced electronics theory, and radio equipment design. Frankly, the test is very difficult, but others have passed it, and you can too. Non-licensed individuals must pass Element 2, Element 3 and Element 4 Written Exams to earn an Extra License. The FCC grants exam element 3 credit to individuals that previously held certain older types of licenses. Valid Forms of Examination Element Credit can be found on the Web.

The HF bands can be awfully crowded, particularly at the top of the solar cycle. Once one earns HF privileges, one may quickly yearn for more room. The Extra Class license is the answer. Extra Class licensees are authorized to operate on all frequencies allocated to the Amateur Service.

End of copied material


To get a license,  you study the material and then take a test given by a panel of Hams called VEs (Volunteer Examiners)   These tests are periodically given in public places (I took my last test at a hospital in a meeting room)  and cost about $15 or so.   If you pass the test,  the VEs give you a certificate that gives you credit for passing the test.  You submit that along with a completed form 605 to either the FCC directly  or one of their license agencies.   If you work through the ARRL,  I think the total fee is $14.


The technician license will let you use voice on VHF and UHF equipment.   This stuff is good for line-of-sight communication.   If there is a repeater on a mountaintop, you can communicate through the repeater to anyone else who has line-of-sight to the repeater.   In addition to voice, you can use digital modes such as packet which can be used to communicate from PC to PC  or to a BBS system     

The general and extra licenses add a great deal of HF priviliges.   HF is the "shortwave" frequency bands which can travel  around the world and make ham radio more interesting to many people.   The test is somewhat harder  (quite a bit for the extra) but is worth it in my opinion.


The license is really required.   If you make up a callsign and operate without a license,  someone will probably look up the callsign and question you about it and perhaps report you to the FCC.   The ham bands are self-policed (although the FCC can and does monitor at times).  In studying for the license,  you will learn some elements of good operating practice as well as the basic rules and regulations.    Once you are licensed, hams in your area will  probably welcome you and help you pick up the finer points of operating,  especially using repeaters etc.


Regarding the governments permission,    the government has a responsibility to the international community to regulate radio use in our country.   They need to make sure that people don't violate technical standards or create harmful interference that may affect others anywhere around the world.   A testing and technical program is one way to do that.   They do not insist that you go to a government agency to take classes.   There is no background check ( although I believe they do require an SSN on the form )  and when you get your license you pretty much don't have to deal with them for ten years till you renew it ( no test required for renewal ).   


Regarding the community college classes,   that can be a good way to meet other hams and learn more about the hobby quicker.  There is a longstanding tradition of "Elmering"  new hams -   an Elmer is someone who helps newcomers get started.  Hams from your area can fill you in on what repeaters are most active and interesting in the area and can let you "try on " ham radio  using their stations (they must remain in control, but you can talk or type)


oldZoot


Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: padre29 on October 11, 2007, 04:47:10 pm


Sorry to be so dense Old Zoot, but if I pay the 50 dollars, I have two years to take the course and receive a license from the FCC?

Is the online course only for one class of license or can one progress through the various license classes all online?


I'm interested in this, it just is somewhat foreign to me.
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: oldzoot on October 11, 2007, 10:28:44 pm


Sorry to be so dense Old Zoot, but if I pay the 50 dollars, I have two years to take the course and receive a license from the FCC?

Is the online course only for one class of license or can one progress through the various license classes all online?


I'm interested in this, it just is somewhat foreign to me.

I believe you would have 2 years in which to use the training material on the site.  If it took you one month to get your Tech license, then you would have 23 months left to study the more difficult material required for the General and Extra.   The material is there to progress through all the classes of license if you want to.   There is little practical reason to go from General to Extra unless you are really in to it.    When I upgraded from technician which I had held for 30 years,  I went to Extra cause I had to study anyway and felt like a challenge - but I am probably too geeky for my own good.

I wonder if several of us chipped in to pay the $50  if we could share the account.   It mentions that you might not want to do that since the "account"  keeps track of your training and progress through the courses and so two people training at the same time would interfere with each other.

I also believe that in addition to the $50 for the website training, you would need to pay the examiners their fee (currently $14 for ARRL.   

Here is how I see the costs stacking up:

Training     $50

Exam Fee   $15

2M  mobile tranceiver   $150
2M  antenna               $  40
            or
2M + 70cm  mobile tranceiver    $350
2M + 79 cn  antenna                $100
                                                                    So   technician license and base station $375 - $600

Base power supply    $ 100

To move up to general,   the training is still paid for

General test      $15                                          General license and base station  $1200

All-band radio     $ 1000
mobile antenna for old radio ( move old 2M radio to car use base 2M antenna for new all-band radio )   $50

2Meter walkie talkies are about $120  on up    dual-band 2M 70CM are about $250  on up.

Of course, you don't have to get the fancy schmancy new equipment  or even base station equipment.  A couple of handitalkies with 800 FM channels (a 2 meter radio)  is a big improvement over GMRS / FRS etc.  You could do a couple of modest 2 meter walkie-talkies  for under $250 I think.


73  ( ham talk for best regards )

OldZoot

Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: padre29 on October 11, 2007, 11:05:01 pm


So the licensing is progressive?

That sounds pretty good actually, it could work.

Where I live though OZ, external Antennas are verbotten, there are other pretty good reasons for taking up the Lisence testing though:

1. Another skill to have, 50 dollars is a fair price for a good techincal skill.
2. I have a crush on a certain Yaesu transceiver/scanner you supposedly need a Ha lisence to purchase one, they can be bought without one, it would be nice however if I actually knew what I was doing.

Isn't there a mathematical formula to peak and tune a transceiver antenna, something about the length of the antenna decides how well it sends and receives signals?

I come from a Scanner background OZ, I'm used to listening not talking .... :laugh:

"If" one or two other TMMers are interested I'll subscribe to the testing service, if not I wouldn't mind simply taking the lower level license test and then looking for the Yaesu scanner...
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: oldzoot on October 12, 2007, 12:44:44 am


So the licensing is progressive?

That sounds pretty good actually, it could work.

Where I live though OZ, external Antennas are verbotten, there are other pretty good reasons for taking up the Lisence testing though:

1. Another skill to have, 50 dollars is a fair price for a good techincal skill.
2. I have a crush on a certain Yaesu transceiver/scanner you supposedly need a Ha lisence to purchase one, they can be bought without one, it would be nice however if I actually knew what I was doing.

Isn't there a mathematical formula to peak and tune a transceiver antenna, something about the length of the antenna decides how well it sends and receives signals?

I come from a Scanner background OZ, I'm used to listening not talking .... :laugh:

"If" one or two other TMMers are interested I'll subscribe to the testing service, if not I wouldn't mind simply taking the lower level license test and then looking for the Yaesu scanner...


Are antennas forbidden,  or visible antennas forbidden?    One can hide an antenna in an attic or even a flagpole.  They can't forbid flagpoles, can they???  call the jackboots!!!    :laugh:    A matching network  ( a box with some variable capacitors and coils  in it ) can match a non-resonant antenna to a radio - so whatever piece of wire you can put up can work - certainly not as well as a "real" antenna, but good enough.

The math formula for the antenna is used to calculate the length in feet (or meters) of  a wavelength in the type of wire being used for the antenna at a given frequency.    By making the length of wire match the proper fraction of a wavelength (often a 1/2 wavelength for a dipole)  the antenna works best at that frequency.    The formula for a half wavelenght iin feet is 468 / frequency in megahertz.   so  for the  80 meter band ( 3.5Mhz) it is about 130 ft,  for 40 meters its about 65-70 ft and for 20 meters about 33 ft.  The easy way to think of it if you are comfortable with metric  is  1/2 the meters value of the band in question is a half wavelength.   The catch here is that the 80 meter band is not REALLY 80 meters,  but 75 or so,  it is called 80 for historical reasons, but the names get you a close enough understanding to realize how big of an antenna you can put in your attic  and where it will be resonant in terms of frequency.

The real effect of having a resonant antenna is in transmitting.  If you transmit with an antenna that is not resonant at the frequency you are working,  some of the transmitters power is reflected from the antenna back down the co-ax to the radio and it can cause problems for the radio.  In addition,  that part of the signal is not getting out and carrying your signal.  A matching network can prevent that from happening and make the radio happy with a non-resonant antenna.   A resonant one will work better however.

OZ


Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: padre29 on October 12, 2007, 09:48:59 pm


An external antenna of any size is out of the question Zoot, but the Technicians License is appealing, 35 multiple choice questions, can be taken remotely, and the fee is nominal.

Excellent, give me a day or two and I will be up and running on that test.

At a bare minimum, I can use the experience to learn a bit more about antennas, the largest one that I can have is a Dipole.
Title: Question T1A02
Post by: oldzoot on October 17, 2007, 11:35:44 pm
T1A02 (B) [97.1]

What is one of the basic purposes of the Amateur Radio Service as defined in Part 97?

A. To support teaching of amateur radio classes in schools [while this may be a good thing, it is not the primary purpose]

B. To provide a voluntary noncommercial communications service to
   the public, particularly in times of emergency

C. To provide free message service to the public [again, this is a good thing, but not the primary purpose]

D. To allow the public to communicate with other radio services [this is completely wrong - amateurs may not communicate with other services except in very limited emergency cirumstances]
Title: Question T1A03
Post by: oldzoot on October 17, 2007, 11:39:36 pm
T1A03 [C] [97.501]

What classes of US amateur radio licenses may currently be earned by examination?

A. Novice, Technician, General, Advanced [the novice and advanced class licenses are no longer issued and the extra class license is not listed]

B. Technician, General, Advanced [ the Advanced class license is no longer issued and the extra class is not listed.]

C. Technician, General, Extra


D. Technician, Tech Plus, General [ The tech plus is not issued, and no extra class is listed]
Title: Question T1A04
Post by: oldzoot on October 17, 2007, 11:46:16 pm
T1A04 [C] [97.509(b)]

Who is a Volunteer Examiner?

A. A certified instructor who volunteers to examine amateur
   teaching manuals [ This does not state that they are an Amateur, or that they administer license exams]

B. An FCC employee who accredits volunteers to administer amateur
   license exams [ This does not stat that they are an Amateur, or that they administer license exams.  An FCC employee may be a volunteer examiner - but they must be a licensed Amateur and acredited by one or more VECs - just like any other amateur]

C. An amateur accredited by one or more VECs who volunteers to
   administer amateur license exams


D. Any person who volunteers to examine amateur station equipment [ see above comments]
Title: QUESTION T1A05
Post by: oldzoot on October 17, 2007, 11:52:08 pm
T1A05 [A] [97.505(a)(6)]

How long is a CSCE valid for license upgrade purposes?

A. 365 days

B. Until the current license expires

C. Indefinitely

D. Until two years following the expiration of the current
   license

Discussion: The CSCE is the Certificate of Successful Completion of Element and is the document that the Volunteer Examiners issue when you pass a test element.  It is submitted with the application for license or upgrade.   It is valid for 365  days.
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: oldzoot on October 17, 2007, 11:59:56 pm
T1A06 [D] [97.509(a)(b)(3)(i)]

How many and what class of Volunteer Examiners are required to administer an Element 2 Technician written exam?

A. Three Examiners holding any class of license  [ examiners need to be general or above]

B. Two Examiners holding any class of license [ 3 examiners  - general or better]

C. Three Examiners holding a Technician Class license  [ general or better]

D. Three Examiners holding a General Class license or
   higher
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: username on October 18, 2007, 08:23:31 am
oldzoot,

First off, thank you for starting this thread. Secondly, I am sorry to say you are going to have your hands full with us :)

Username
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: Mr. Bill on October 18, 2007, 11:46:06 am
First off, thank you for starting this thread...

I just wanted to echo that.  Dunno if I'm ever going to get into amateur radio, but I am interested.

Anyway, the following outrage is not directed at you, but... What the :angry4: :angry4: :angry4: is with some of these questions?  Like for example:

How many and what class of Volunteer Examiners are required to administer an Element 2 Technician written exam?

This is something I've got to memorize in order to be considered competent enough to run a radio?  Ridiculous.  This is a bit of information only needed by volunteer examiners who are organizing an exam, and they can go look up the rules when the need arises.

What classes of US amateur radio licenses may currently be earned by examination?

If I am trying to get a Technician license, why is it of any importance whatsoever that I know that the bureaucracy no longer issues novice, advanced, or tech-plus licenses?

What is one of the basic purposes of the Amateur Radio Service as defined in Part 97?

This question could have been much more pertinent if it had been worded as: "Which of the following services may not be performed by an Amateur Radio licenseholder?"

Etc., etc.

Grr.  Seems like the point is not to test your knowledge of important issues, but just to test your "dedication" by seeing if you've memorized a list of factoids.
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: username on October 18, 2007, 12:51:28 pm
Mr. Bill,

When dealing with the government, they want to make sure you understand "they're importance", which is why that is in the test. I am sure whoever made those questions made their pension early ...

Government Turds.

Username..
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: oldzoot on October 18, 2007, 06:32:37 pm
These are the most frustrating questions in the pool - the legal regulations BS.    There are sections on technical matters which are actually relevant.   I think instead of just copying them over in order,  I will begin mixing it up a bit so that we see some good stuff mixed in with the BBS. (bureaucratic BS).   Also,  in an actual test,  there will be only 4 questions out of the BS section I believe.     I am trying to make this easier than just blind memorization - that is why i am adding the comments I make -  I am tending toward fairly dry and factual,  but may attempt to slip in some humor where possible.   

The chunks are as follows :

 FCC rules / station license responsibilities   4 questions

Control operator duties  4 questions

Operating practices   4 questions

Radio & Electronic fundimentals  5 questions

Station setup and operation   4 questions

Communications modes and methods   3 questions

Special Operations  2 questions   ( no - not THAT kind!   -  ham radio special operations!  :laugh: )

Emergency and public service communications  3  questions

Radio waves propagation and antennas   3 questions

Electrical and RF safety  3 questions.


OZ
Title: I forgot to mention
Post by: oldzoot on October 18, 2007, 06:35:26 pm
Much of what is required of Amateur operators is set forth in international treaty.    The testing standards are defined there  (within broad limits)  to ensure that no country just hands out licenses for transmitters capable of destroying everyone elses capability to communicate.   The system almost works.  mostly.

OZ
Title: Re: I forgot to mention
Post by: padre29 on October 18, 2007, 07:15:07 pm
Much of what is required of Amateur operators is set forth in international treaty.    The testing standards are defined there  (within broad limits)  to ensure that no country just hands out licenses for transmitters capable of destroying everyone elses capability to communicate.   The system almost works.  mostly.

OZ


First of all, thanks for going through all of this Oldzoot, if anyone ever had any inclination to receive a Ham license, this thread will be a boon for them.

Secondly, are the question dry by wrote memory questions or are there technical aspects such as math to configure antenna etc?

BTW, I found the pre amp that I was looking for as well as the BNC adapter.

I'll be quiet now and await your next round of Q&A.
Title: Re: Ham Radio Training Thread
Post by: Mr. Bill on October 18, 2007, 10:21:13 pm
These are the most frustrating questions in the pool - the legal regulations BS.    There are sections on technical matters which are actually relevant.   I think instead of just copying them over in order,  I will begin mixing it up a bit so that we see some good stuff mixed in with the BBS. (bureaucratic BS).   Also,  in an actual test,  there will be only 4 questions out of the BS section I believe. ...

Thanks, that clarifies the situation a lot.  I didn't realize you were going through them by section.
Title: Re: I forgot to mention
Post by: oldzoot on October 18, 2007, 11:35:44 pm


First of all, thanks for going through all of this Oldzoot, if anyone ever had any inclination to receive a Ham license, this thread will be a boon for them.

Secondly, are the question dry by wrote memory questions or are there technical aspects such as math to configure antenna etc?

BTW, I found the pre amp that I was looking for as well as the BNC adapter.

I'll be quiet now and await your next round of Q&A.

Well, it is all multiple guess so one could do it by rote.   There are technical questions ( I will do some of those tonight just to mix things up   wooo woo ! )  and some of the technical questions do involve math - at least they did in the extra class question pool.    I guess we will find out about the technician questions in a little bit. 

The "math"  in the extra segment when I took it was not too bad.   The hard part for me is memorizing arbitrary numbers like the band edge frequencies (upper and lower limits)  of specific bands.

and now,  on with the show!

OZ
Title: Question T3D08
Post by: oldzoot on October 18, 2007, 11:46:45 pm
T3D08 [C]

What is the best way to reduce on the air interference when testing your transmitter?

A. Use a short indoor antenna when testing  [ even with a short indoor antenna,  you will be transmitting and potentially interfering with stations nearby]

B. Use upper side band when testing  [ Any mode - voice, morse code,  fm  or digital  could cause interference if you transmit into an antenna.  Since the question does not say you are not using an antenna - the assumption is that you are ]

C. Use a dummy load when testing


D. Use a simplex frequency instead of a repeater frequency  [ simplex  or repeater , you do not test with an antenna connected ]


Note:    in real life,  people transmit to test their transmitters.   You key up,  you say "testing - anybody hear me? " and give your callsign.  People call you back and you talk about how your signal sounds.   - The question is about reducing interference.   In that context,  perhaps we are tuning the transmitter,  or testing it to see if it can transmit digital signals for 20minutes solid.  For those kinds of tests, you want to use a dummy load to absorb the power from the transmitter and not jam up the airwaves.   Rush Limbaugh should be so considerate  :laugh:
Title: QUESTION T3D09
Post by: oldzoot on October 18, 2007, 11:51:07 pm
T3D09 [C] [97.103(a)]

What rules apply to your station when using amateur radio at the request of public service officials or at the scene of an emergency?

A. RACES [ Radio Amateur Civil Emergency System -  good guys, but they don't make the rules ]

B. ARES  [ Amateur Radio Emergency System   modern version of RACES and again,  they don't make law ]

C. FCC  [these guys think they make the rules. Since they are issuing the licenses, let's humor them]

D. FEMA  [Federal Eschewment of My Adulthood? ]
Title: QUESTION T3D10
Post by: oldzoot on October 18, 2007, 11:55:28 pm
T3D10 [D]

What do RACES and ARES have in common?

A. They represent the two largest ham clubs in the United States [ They are not clubs, really, and are probably not as large as the Amateur Radio Relay League ]

B. One handles road traffic, the other weather traffic [ not! ]

C. Neither may handle emergency traffic  [ actually they both exist specifically to handle emergency traffic ]

D. Both organizations provide communications during emergencies


RACES is an older organization,  in some areas it is phasing out.   ARES is newer and seems to be growing.   These groups may be affiliated with government operated EOCs  or  Red Cross centers.
Title: QUESTION T3D11
Post by: oldzoot on October 19, 2007, 12:05:37 am
T3D11 (C)

What is meant by receiver front-end overload?

A. Too much voltage from the power supply [too much voltage is a bad thing for the whole radio - not just the front end]

B. Too much current from the power supply  [ This is a poorly phrased answer that is also wrong. ]

C. Interference caused by strong signals from a nearby source


D. Interference caused by turning the volume up too high  [Turning up the volume may overload our ears, but not the front end of the receiver ]


Discussion:    The front-end of the receiver is the circuit closest to the antenna.   It is often a sensitive low-noise amplifier.  Since the amplifier is set up for weak signals,  strong ones can overwhelm it and cause distortion  sometimes obliterating the signal you are trying to hear.    There are various ways to work on this problem including cutting down the signal from the antenna using an attenuator ( of course it cuts down the signal you want also but that is okay if it gets rid of the interference)  or using a circuit called a pre-selector which can tune the amplifier to be more sensitive at some frequencies than others.  If you can tune out the strong signal while tuning in the weak one,  you win.   

Regarding the power supply current answer -  power supplies only deliver the current that the load (circuit) demands at the voltage the supply is providing.   If the load diminishes it's resistance (short circuit) then the power supply will provide more current (sometimes destructively)  up to it's capacity limit.    Also,  if the power supply increases it's voltage,  the current will increase  assuming that the load (circuit) remains the same.
Title: T4A01
Post by: oldzoot on October 19, 2007, 12:15:47 am
T4A01 [D]

Electrical current is measured in which of the following units?

A. Volts

B. Watts

C. Ohms

D. Amperes

Sorry folks,  can't think of much cute to say.    All of the wrong answers are real electrical units - let's go over them:

Volts -   how hard the electricity is pushing.   Equates to PSI   in  air or water systems.

Watts    The measure of power.   It is  volts  times amps   for DC circuits.

Ohms    The measure of resistance.   Think of the difference of a 1/2 inch garden hose and a 2 inch firehose.    The bigger hose has less resistance to the flow of water than the small hose.   

Amps     How much electricity is flowing -   think of CFM   or   GPM  rather than PSI.


If you have a small hose  and you increase the pressure,   water flow will increase.

If you have a resistance in a circuit (and they all do)  when you increase the voltage,   the current will increase also.

If the voltage stays the same,  but the resistance decreases,   the current will increase proportionally

If the voltage stays the same,   but the resistance increases,   the current will decrease proportionally - think of taxes and happiness and you get the picture.
Title: Re: T4A01
Post by: username on October 19, 2007, 09:57:55 am
old zoot, Those are some great analogies :P

Honestly, I am the type of person that likes to picture things so even though I understand these terms fairly well this actually helped quite a bit.

Thank you!

Username
Title: Question T1A07
Post by: oldzoot on October 21, 2007, 01:29:03 pm
T1A07 [97.5]

Who makes and enforces the rules for the Amateur Radio Service in the United States?

A. The Congress of the United States

B. The Federal Communications Commission

C. The Volunteer Examiner Coordinators [ They are authorized by the commission to give tests & manage the question pool ]

D. The Federal Bureau of Investigation
Title: Question T1A08
Post by: oldzoot on October 21, 2007, 01:34:16 pm
T1A08 [D] [97.1]

What are two of the five fundamental purposes for the Amateur Radio Service?

A. To protect historical radio data, and help the public
   understand radio history [ Some hams do this, but it is not a fundamental purpose]

B. To aid foreign countries in improving radio communications and
   encourage visits from foreign hams [ some hams do this too, but again, these are not fundamental to ham radio]

C. To modernize radio electronic design theory and improve
   schematic drawings [ some hams do develop new technology - often on the bleeding edge of what works, but not all hams do it - it is not fundamental to ham radio.  Many hams are "appliance operators" who buy their equipment ready to use from a store. They may have only a limited understanding of how it works.]

D. To increase the number of trained radio operators and
   electronics experts, and improve international goodwill
   [Yeah, that's the ticket, a pool of conscription-ready radio operators!]

Title: T1C01
Post by: oldzoot on October 21, 2007, 01:41:07 pm
T1C01 [C] [97.5(a)]

What is required before you can control an amateur station in the US?

A. You must hold an FCC restricted operator's permit for a
   licensed radio station  [ a restricted operators permit is not for a ham station -  I think these were for boat or aircraft radios ]

B. You must submit an FCC Form 605 with a license examination fee  [ Both of those things happen,  although the exam fee is paid to the examiners not the fcc,  but they do not constitute permission to operate]

C. You must be named in the FCC amateur license database, or be an
   alien with reciprocal operating authorization
  [regardless of any other reality, for US amateurs, the database is what counts.]

D. The FCC must issue you a Certificate of Successful Completion
   of Amateur Training   [the FCC does not provide training,  and thus would not provide any certificate - nor would such a cert (if it did exist)  mean that you passed the test and were a licensed amateur]

~~
Title: Question T1C02
Post by: oldzoot on October 21, 2007, 01:46:33 pm
T1C02 [97.5(a)]

Where does a US amateur license allow you to transmit?

A. From anywhere in the world [ nope.  the FCC license is only valid in the US or in other countries who agree to honor it (called a reciprocal agreement]


B. From wherever the Amateur Radio Service is regulated by the FCC
   or where reciprocal agreements are in place


C. From a country that shares a third party agreement with the US [ A third-party agreement relates to handling messages for third parties - people who are not licensed but want a ham to pass a message to someone else for them,  perhaps using a second amateur to pass the message along.  This process is called "handling traffic"  and is one area of interest to many amateurs.]
 
D. Only from the mailing address printed on your license  [Not at all.  You may operate mobile or portable stations,  you can use public or club stations, like the one at ARRL headquarters,  and you may operate another amateur's station  as well as stations in foreign countries which have reciprocal agreements with the US]
Title: Question T1D01
Post by: oldzoot on October 21, 2007, 01:51:01 pm
T1D01 [97.17(a)]

Which of the following services are issued an operator station license by the FCC?

A. Family Radio Service [ no license required]

B. Amateur Radio Service [ yup - the operator is licensed ]

C. General Radiotelephone Service [ nope -  the station is licensed separately from the operator(s) ]

D. The Citizens Radio Service  [  I believe CB stations are licensed (if they even do that any more)  not the station/operator ]
~~

Title: Re: T1C01
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on October 22, 2007, 12:40:04 am
C. You must be named in the FCC amateur license database, or be an
   alien with reciprocal operating authorization
  [regardless of any other reality, for US amateurs, the database is what counts.]

That database the part that puts your info out there?  Or was that something else?
Title: Re: T1C01
Post by: oldzoot on October 24, 2007, 09:35:05 pm
C. You must be named in the FCC amateur license database, or be an
   alien with reciprocal operating authorization
  [regardless of any other reality, for US amateurs, the database is what counts.]

That database the part that puts your info out there?  Or was that something else?


The database is where the FCC stores the records of license grants.  I believe that when you send your paperwork in - perhaps via a Volunteer Examination Coordinator (VEC)  the paperwork is processed and the information on the paperwork entered into a computer system which issues your license certificates and makes the entry into the database.
Title: Question T2B01
Post by: oldzoot on October 25, 2007, 09:55:28 am
T2B01 [97.119(a)]

What must you transmit to identify your amateur station?

A. Your tactical ID [no such thing exists in the amateur service per-se.  Some form of tactical ID may be assigned when particpating in an emergency excercise or event,  however you are still required to properly identify with your FCC assigned callsign]

B. Your call sign

C. Your first name and your location [Nope]

D. Your full name [Nope - imagine a round-table with 4 Jims,  3 Freds and a couple o bubbas! ]
Title: Question T2B02
Post by: oldzoot on October 25, 2007, 10:01:37 am
T2B02 [A] [97.119(a)]

What is a transmission called that does not contain a station identification?

A. Unidentified communications or signals


B. Reluctance modulation [ I am reluctant to even comment on this,  but will say that it is wrong]

C. Test emission [Test transmissions must also be identified]

D. Intentional interference  [ If no one else is using the frequency,  it would not be interference - however any transmission must be identified with a station callsign ]

Discussion:    In normal practice,  a station identifies itself at the first transmission in a session,  and the last,  and every 10 minutes in between.   Thus, if you are having a conversation, you do not always have to send your callsign with each press of the transmit button.  Just as in a normal conversation,  we call each other by name,  or sometimes  name & location when there are multiple people of the same name.   Sometimes we use name and the last part of the callsign,   such as  Jim in Antioch,   or  Jim  FWW.

Title: QUESTION T2B03
Post by: oldzoot on October 25, 2007, 10:06:07 am
T2B03 [97.119(a)]

How often must an amateur station transmit the assigned call sign?

A. At the beginning of each transmission and every 10 minutes
   during communication.   [Beginning of each transmission (press of the mic key) is too much]

B. Every 10 minutes during communications and at the end of each
   communication


C. At the end of each transmission [ again, saying the call in each transmission is too much.   What if you are answering a yes-no question?   Generally the conversation can flow normally aside from the requirement to identify each 10 minutes]

D. Only at the end of the communication  [ This is not enough.   Every 10 minutes, remember ?    Also you start the "timer" with the first press of the mic key -  so you actually do    Beginning of communication,  every 10 minutes thereafter and at the end of the session ] 

NOTE: - The exact wording in B is the right answer on the multiple guess test !  Don't let my enhanced discussion confuse you of the fact that these are ROTE memory  friendly tests!
Title: Question T0B01
Post by: oldzoot on October 30, 2007, 10:41:51 pm
T0B01 [C]

Why should you wear a hard hat and safety glasses if you are on the ground helping someone work on an antenna tower?

A. It is required by FCC rules

B. To keep RF energy away from your head during antenna testing

C. To protect your head and eyes in case something accidentally
   falls from the tower

D. It is required by the electrical code
Title: Question T0B02
Post by: oldzoot on October 30, 2007, 10:48:13 pm
T0B02 [C]

What is a good precaution to observe before climbing an antenna tower?

A. Turn on all radio transmitters [This would be a bad thing.  Transmitters could feed radio frequency (RF) energy into antennas on the towers which could result in RF burns and other physical damage to your body.]

B. Remove all tower grounding connections [ it is a good idea for the tower to be grounded ]

C. Put on your safety belt and safety glasses

D. Inform the FAA and the FCC that you are working on a tower [ not required ]
Title: Question T2B04
Post by: oldzoot on October 30, 2007, 10:59:09 pm
T2B04 [D] [97.119(b)]

What is an acceptable method of transmitting a repeater station identification?

A. By phone using the English language

B. By video image conforming to applicable standards  [ there are amateur TV stations - they can identify in video ]

C. By Morse code at a speed not to exceed 20 words per minute

D. All of these answers are correct.
Title: Question T2B05
Post by: oldzoot on October 30, 2007, 11:01:26 pm
T2B05 [C] [97.119(a)]

What identification is required when two amateur stations end communications?

A. No identification is required

B. One of the stations must transmit both stations' call signs

C. Each station must transmit its own call sign

D. Both stations must transmit both call signs [this is often what happens, but only your own call sign is required]
Title: Question T1A09
Post by: oldzoot on November 01, 2007, 10:14:54 pm
T1A09 [D] [97.3(a)(5)]

What is the definition of an amateur radio station?

A. A station in a public radio service used for radio
   communications [ the public radio service would be like a police or fire radio station]

B. A station using radio communications for a commercial purpose [that would be a business radio station. Amateur stations are not allowed to be used for commercial purposes]

C. A station using equipment for training new broadcast
   operators and technicians  [that would be a broadcast station - Amateur stations are not allowed to broadcast to the public]

D. A station in an Amateur Radio Service consisting of the
   apparatus necessary for carrying on radio communications

~~
Title: Question T1A10
Post by: oldzoot on November 01, 2007, 10:19:47 pm
T1A10 [97.3(A)(23)]

What is a transmission called that disturbs other communications?

A. Interrupted CW   [CW is an interrupted carrier transmission - morse code - and  may or may not cause interference depending on if someone else is using the same frequency]

B. Harmful interference


C. Transponder signals [transponder signals are valid transmissions and generally do not cause interference]

D. Unidentified transmissions [a transmission may be unidentified without causing interference]
Title: Question T1D02
Post by: oldzoot on November 01, 2007, 10:22:45 pm
T1D02 [A] [97.5(b)(1)]

Who can become an amateur licensee in the US?

A. Anyone except a representative of a foreign government


B. Only a citizen of the United States

C. Anyone except an employee of the US government

D. Anyone
Title: Question T1D03
Post by: oldzoot on November 01, 2007, 10:24:17 pm
T1D03 [D] [97.5(b)(1)]

What is the minimum age required to hold an amateur license?

A. 14 years or older

B. 18 years or older

C. 70 years or younger

D. There is no minimum age requirement
Title: Question T1D04
Post by: oldzoot on November 01, 2007, 10:25:09 pm
T1D04 [D] [97.5(a)]

What government agency grants your amateur radio license?

A. The Department of Defense

B. The Bureau of Public Communications

C. The Department of Commerce

D. The Federal Communications Commission
Title: Question T1B01
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:08:18 am
T1B01 [C] [97.3(a)(28)]

What is the ITU?

A. The International Telecommunications Utility

B. The International Telephone Union

C. The International Telecommunication Union

D. The International Technology Union
Title: Question T1B02
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:11:04 am
T1B02 [A] [97.301]     

What is the purpose of ITU Regions?

A. They are used to assist in the management of frequency allocations

B. They are useful when operating maritime mobile

C. They are used in call sign assignments

D. They must be used after your call sign to indicate your location

The ITU regions are used to ensure that frequency allocations for neighbor countries (which are close enough to interfere with each other) are compatible and minimize interference.
Title: Question T1C03
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:12:36 am
T1C03 B  [97.111]

Under what conditions are amateur stations allowed to communicate with stations operating in other radio services?

A. When other radio services make contact with amateur stations  [nope.  Other radio services would be like police or taxis.  Hams are not allowed to talk to them normally.  The FCC could make an exception in some strange emergency]

B. When authorized by the FCC

C. When communicating with stations in the Family Radio Service  [This will probably never be allowed]

D. When commercial broadcast stations are off the air  [this is just random]
Title: Question T1C04
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:21:20 am
T1C04 B [97.301(a)]

Which frequency is within the 6-meter band?

A. 49.00 MHz  [Just below 6 meters]

B. 52.525 MHz

C. 28.50 MHz  [ Nope. Waaay too low. ]

D. 222.15 MHz  [ This is 1 1/4 meters ]

This question seems to portend a nasty amount of memorization of the frequency bands.  Don't sweat it!  There are only a couple of questions in the pool about specific numbers.   This is one of them.   Memorize that 6Meters is 50-54 MC (just under TV channel 2 which starts at 54mc)  and you will be okay.   
Title: Question T1C05
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:23:50 am
T1C05 A [97.301(a)]

Which amateur band are you using when transmitting on 146.52 MHz?

A. 2 meter band

B. 20 meter band

C. 14 meter band

D. 6 meter band

Yup.  More memorization.   We got 4 or 5 of these.    REMEMBERIZE   144-148 mc  == 2 Meters !
Title: Question T1C06
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:34:47 am
T1C06 C [97.301(a)]

Which 70-centimeter frequency is authorized to a Technician class license holder operating in ITU Region 2?

A. 455.350 MHz   [this is outside the 420-450 Mc 70 cm band!]

B. 146.520 MHz   [ this is 2 meters, remember ?]

C. 443.350 MHz
   [yowza!!! inside the band! ]

D. 222.520 MHz   [ this is   1 1/4 meters   not 70 CM ]

The VHF/UHF bands are:

144   -   148           222   - 225               420   -    450              902   -   928             1240    -   1300
  2  Meters            1 1/4 Meters                 70  CM                        33  CM                        23  CM

The other sneaky part is the mention of ITU region 2.   Thats the US.
Title: Question T1C07
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:41:51 am
T1C07 B [97.301(a)]

Which 23 centimeter frequency is authorized to a Technician class license holder operating in ITU Region 2?

A. 2315 MHz   [this is not 23 cm.  maybe like 10 cm or something]

B. 1296 MHz   [ummm  I hate to say, but the tech band is 1270 to 1295.  but they say this is the answer.]

C. 3390 MHz  [ this is even less than 10 cm! ]

D. 146.52 MHz  [this is  2 meters]


I think this question and answer are wrong.    B is the closest answer,  it is the only one in the 23 cm band,  but technicians do not have priviliges on the whole band.   This is probably in a test erratta somewhere.     
OZ
Title: Question T1C08
Post by: oldzoot on November 06, 2007, 12:44:48 am
T1C08 D [97.301(a)]

What amateur band are you using if you are operating on 223.50 MHz?

A. 15 meter band   [ 15 M  is  21Mhz ]

B. 10 meter band    [ 10 M  is 28 Mhz ]

C. 2 meter band      [ 2 M  is 144 Mhz ]

D. 1.25 meter band


I think that is the last frequency question.    :laugh:

OZ
Title: T1B03
Post by: oldzoot on December 17, 2007, 11:14:06 pm
T1B03 [C] [97.17(d)]

What system does the FCC use to select new amateur radio call signs?

A. Call signs are assigned in random order

B. The applicant is allowed to pick a call sign

C. Call signs are assigned in sequential order

D. Volunteer Examiners choose an unassigned call sign
Title: T1B04
Post by: oldzoot on December 17, 2007, 11:17:27 pm
T1B04 [A] [97.19(d)]

What FCC call sign program might you use to obtain a call sign containing your initials?

A. The vanity call sign program


B. The sequential call sign program   [ It could happen I suppose, but pretty durn unlikely! ]

C. The special event call sign program  [ I don't think they do initials - more like abreviations ]

D. There is no FCC provision for choosing a your call sign  [ There is, as in A - the vanity callsign program.  Most of the good ones are already taken though ]
Title: T1B05
Post by: oldzoot on December 17, 2007, 11:18:38 pm
T1B05 B [97.17(b)(2)]

How might an amateur radio club obtain a club station call sign?

A. By applying directly to the FCC in Gettysburg, PA

B. By applying through a Club Station Call Sign Administrator


C. By submitting a FCC Form 605 to the FCC in Washington, DC

D. By notifying a VE team using NCVEC Form 605
Title: T0B03
Post by: oldzoot on December 17, 2007, 11:32:44 pm
T0B03 (D)

What should you do before you climb a tower?

A. Arrange for a helper or observer

B. Inspect the tower for damage or loose hardware

C. Make sure there are no electrical storms nearby

D. All of these answers are correct


Think safety!   If you are up on a tower (secured with a safety line to a climbing harness)  and pass out,  it sure would be good to have someone on the ground watching out for you!   And I think we would all agree that it would be foolish to climb up a tower with loose or broken pieces parts.  And electrical storms?? that's pretty obvious.    I would hasten to add locking & tagging ( or just plain disabling ) the transmitters -  RF burns are nasty and there may be points in an antenna system where there are thousands of volts of RF energy.
Title: T0B04
Post by: oldzoot on December 17, 2007, 11:35:15 pm
T0B04 B

What is an important consideration when putting up an antenna?

A. Carefully tune it for a low SWR  [ This is often done before putting it up ]

B. Make sure people cannot accidentally come into contact with it

C. Make sure you discard all packing material in a safe place [good housekeeping, but not of primary importance]

D. Make sure birds can see it so they don't fly into it  [hmm.  nice thought, but not really]