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Subelement T1
COMMISSION’S RULES
Section T1A
Purpose and permissible use of the Amateur Radio Service; Operator/primary station license grant; Meanings of basic terms used in FCC rules; Interference; RACES rules; Phonetics; Frequency Coordinator
Which of the following is part of the Basis and Purpose of the Amateur Radio Service?
  • Providing personal radio communications for as many citizens as possible
  • Providing communications for international non-profit organizations
  • Correct Answer
    Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art
  • All these choices are correct

The purpose of providing personal communications and those for international non-profits are not in Part 97, but advancing skills are.

The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

...Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

47 CFR 97.1(c)

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/part-97#p-97.1(c)

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Which agency regulates and enforces the rules for the Amateur Radio Service in the United States?
  • FEMA
  • Homeland Security
  • Correct Answer
    The FCC
  • All these choices are correct

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates and enforces rules for Amateur Radio. All you can really do on this is memorize that, but this is a pretty fundamental thing to know =]

U.S. CODE | TITLE 47—TELECOMMUNICATIONS | SUBCHAPTER I—GENERAL PROVISIONS § 151. Purposes of chapter; Federal Communications Commission created

For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications, and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority heretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is created a commission to be known as the ‘‘Federal Communications Commission’’, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

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What do the FCC rules state regarding the use of a phonetic alphabet for station identification in the Amateur Radio Service?
  • It is required when transmitting emergency messages
  • Correct Answer
    It is encouraged
  • It is required when in contact with foreign stations
  • All these choices are correct

Using a phonetic alphabet (also called a "spelling alphabet") such as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is encouraged by the FCC rules but not absolutely required. This method is designed to keep people from mistaking similar sounding letters like B and D especially in poor quality audio or when hearing unfamiliar spoken accents.

Because it's not absolutely required, you will encounter some people using phonetic alphabet spelling in some situations and not using it in others.

It is a good idea to use this method especially when you are unsure of how clearly your audio is being received.

47 CFR 97.119(b)(2)

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How many operator/primary station license grants may be held by any one person?
  • Correct Answer
    One
  • No more than two
  • One for each band on which the person plans to operate
  • One for each permanent station location from which the person plans to operate

How many operator/primary station license grants may be held by any one person?

One

See the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47 Chapter I Subchapter D Part 97 - AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE

§ 97.5 Station license required.

47 CFR 97.5(b) An operator/primary station license grant.
One, but only one, operator/primary station license grant may be held by any one person. The primary station license is granted together with the amateur operator license.

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What proves that the FCC has issued an operator/primary license grant?
  • A printed copy of the certificate of successful completion of examination
  • An email notification from the NCVEC granting the license
  • Correct Answer
    The license appears in the FCC ULS database
  • All these choices are correct

The ultimate proof of licensing is the FCC ULS consolidated licensee database available to and searchable by the public at http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/

While there is an official paper license document, this is not the final word on whether you have a license or not because only the database shows if a license is active, cancelled, or revoked.

Tip: If you're planning to take the amateur license exam, it is recommended that you Register to receive a FRN (FCC Registration Number) before you go to the exam. The FCC will assign you an FRN anyway when you submit an application, but by obtaining one beforehand you can avoid using your Social Security Number on the license application.

Remember your FRN and password because this is what you will need to login to the FCC database to check the status of your applications or file new ones.

The FRN takes the place of your SSN in identifying you to the FCC, but it does not prove that you have any licenses.

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What is the FCC Part 97 definition of a beacon?
  • A government transmitter marking the amateur radio band edges
  • A bulletin sent by the FCC to announce a national emergency
  • A continuous transmission of weather information authorized in the amateur bands by the National Weather Service
  • Correct Answer
    An amateur station transmitting communications for the purposes of observing propagation or related experimental activities

Part 97 is the part of the FCC regulations covering the amateur radio service.

According to § 97.3 Definitions

Beacon. An amateur station transmitting communications for the purposes of observing propagation or related experimental activities.

Beacon stations are useful for determining the presence of phenomenon like Sporadic E and Tropospheric Radio Propagation without having to coordinate with a distant operator to transmit a signal for you. They usually transmit constantly using CW on frequencies set aside for beacons.

Additional information on Wikipedia

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What is the FCC Part 97 definition of a space station?
  • Any satellite orbiting Earth
  • A manned satellite orbiting Earth
  • Correct Answer
    An amateur station located more than 50 km above Earth's surface
  • An amateur station using amateur radio satellites for relay of signals

See the Code of Federal Regulation, Title 47 Chapter I, Subchapter D: Part 97 Subpart A - General Provisions

§ 97.3 Definitions.

47 CFR 97.3(a)(41) Space station. An amateur station located more than 50 km above the Earth's surface.

47 CFR 97.3(a)(16) Earth station. An amateur station located on, or within 50 km of, the Earth's surface intended for communications with space stations or with other Earth stations by means of one or more other objects in space.

Above 50 km, space station; below, 50 km, earth station.

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Which of the following entities recommends transmit/receive channels and other parameters for auxiliary and repeater stations?
  • Frequency Spectrum Manager appointed by the FCC
  • Correct Answer
    Volunteer Frequency Coordinator recognized by local amateurs
  • FCC Regional Field Office
  • International Telecommunication Union

47 CFR 97.3(a)(22):

Frequency coordinator. An entity, recognized in a local or regional area by amateur operators whose stations are eligible to be auxiliary or repeater stations, that recommends transmit/receive channels and associated operating and technical parameters for such stations in order to avoid or minimize potential interference.

Frequency Coordinators are regular amateur radio operators who are selected by repeater operators to coordinate the use of the radio frequencies for a given geographical area. This is important to keep repeaters from interfering with each other and to ensure that enough frequencies remain usable for simplex operation.

Some people may think that any frequencies can be used for simplex operation, but if you are uninformed as to the band plan selected by the Frequency Coordinator in your area, you may find yourself operating on or close to the input frequency of a repeater, thus causing harmful interference to others in the area. Click here for more information.

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Who selects a Frequency Coordinator?
  • The FCC Office of Spectrum Management and Coordination Policy
  • The local chapter of the Office of National Council of Independent Frequency Coordinators
  • Correct Answer
    Amateur operators in a local or regional area whose stations are eligible to be repeater or auxiliary stations
  • FCC Regional Field Office

47 CFR 97.3(a)(22):

Frequency coordinator. An entity, recognized in a local or regional area by amateur operators whose stations are eligible to be auxiliary or repeater stations, that recommends transmit/receive channels and associated operating and technical parameters for such stations in order to avoid or minimize potential interference.

Frequency Coordinators are regular amateur radio operators who are selected by repeater operators to coordinate the use of the radio frequencies for a given geographical area. This is important to keep repeaters from interfering with each other and to ensure that enough frequencies remain usable for simplex operation.

Some people may think that any frequencies can be used for simplex operation, but if you are uninformed as to the band plan selected by the Frequency Coordinator in your area, you may find yourself operating on or close to the input frequency of a repeater, thus causing harmful interference to others in the area. Click here for more information.

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What is 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 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.

For the full description, see 47 CFR 97.3(a)(38) & 47 CFR 97.407.

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When is willful interference to other amateur radio stations permitted?
  • To stop another amateur station that is breaking the FCC rules
  • Correct Answer
    At no time
  • When making short test transmissions
  • At any time, stations in the Amateur Radio Service are not protected from willful interference

To quote FCC rules Part 97 section 101,

(d) No amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal.

This FCC statement applies to radio communications, regardless of content, frequency, event, or time boundaries; therefore, the answer is At no time.

It is NEVER allowed to intentionally interfere with another amateur radio frequency.

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