Monday, October 13, 2008

General Test Grab Bag, Bob, Week 21

Tonight we will cover some of the procedural rules that appear in the General Class test.

First is a set of three questions dealing with an unusual situation in the ham bands. That is the situation where amateur radio is secondary to others that also use the band. In other words, the other service or services have priority over the amateur radio service in these bands. The bands are the 30 meter band and the 60 meter band.

The rule is a common sense one and allows the greatest flexibility to amateurs. Quoting from Part 97.303, "A station in a secondary service must not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from, stations in a primary service." In practice that means anytime there is interference between you and a primary service, where you are secondary, you must stop immediately, even if you are in the middle of operating and the primary service starts interfering with you. You are free to change to another frequency within the band where you aren't interfering and continue operating.

So on to the questions.

G1A14 (C) [97.303]
Which of the following applies when the FCC rules designate the amateur service as a
secondary user and another service as a primary user on a band?
A. Amateur stations must obtain permission from a primary service station before
operating on a frequency assigned to that station
B. Amateur stations are allowed to use the frequency band only during emergencies
C. Amateur stations are allowed to use the frequency band only if they do not cause
harmful interference to primary users
D. Amateur stations may only operate during specific hours of the day, while primary
users are permitted 24 hour use of the band

G1A15 (D) [97.303]
What must you do if, when operating on either the 30 or 60 meter bands, a station in
the primary service interferes with your contact?
A. Notify the FCC's regional Engineer in Charge of the interference
B. Increase your transmitter's power to overcome the interference
C. Attempt to contact the station and request that it stop the interference
D. Stop transmitting at once and/or move to a clear frequency

G1A16 (A) [97.303(s)]
Which of the following operating restrictions applies to amateur radio stations as a
secondary service in the 60 meter band?
A. They must not cause harmful interference to stations operating in other radio
B. They must transmit no more than 30 minutes during each hour to minimize harmful
interference to other radio services
C. They must use lower sideband, suppressed-carrier, only
D. They must not exceed 2.0 kHz of bandwidth

Here is a question that is Emergency Communication related. Once again, the answer is both common sense and allowing the greatest flexibility to the amateur.

G1B04 (A) [97.113(b)]
Which of the following must be true before an amateur station may provide news
information to the media during a disaster?
A. The information must directly relate to the immediate safety of human life or
protection of property and there is no other means of communication available
B. The exchange of such information must be approved by a local emergency
preparedness official and transmitted on officially designated frequencies
C. The FCC must have declared a state of emergency
D. Both amateur stations must be RACES stations

Music and Encryption...don't do it! (With a couple of very interesting exceptions!) The general idea about using codes and really about all communication in amateur radio is that you are not allowed to operate in a way that intentionally obscures the meaning of what you are communicating. If the codes you are using are generally known and so are understood generally then you are okay.

G1B05 (D) [97.113(a)(4),(e)]
When may music be transmitted by an amateur station?
A. At any time, as long as it produces no spurious emissions
B. When it is unintentionally transmitted from the background at the transmitter
C. When it is transmitted on frequencies above 1215 MHz
D. When it is an incidental part of a space shuttle or ISS retransmission
So unless you happen to be in the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station, you don't get to transmit music.

G1B06 (B) [97.113(a)(4) and 97.207(f)]
When is an amateur station permitted to transmit secret codes?
A. During a declared communications emergency
B. To control a space station
C. Only when the information is of a routine, personal nature
D. Only with Special Temporary Authorization from the FCC
Again, unless you happen to be controlling a space station (and how cool would that be!) you don't get to do it.

Here is another question about using codes.
G1B07 (B) [97.113(a)(4)]
What are the restrictions on the use of abbreviations or procedural signals in
the amateur service?
A. Only "Q" codes are permitted
B. They may be used if they do not obscure the meaning of a message
C. They are not permitted because they obscure the meaning of a message to FCC
monitoring stations
D. Only "10-codes" are permitted

Finally here is a catch-all of prohibited activities.

G1B08 (D) [97.113(a)(4), 97.113(e)]
Which of the following is prohibited by the FCC Rules for amateur radio stations?
A. Transmission of music as the primary program material during a contact
B. The use of obscene or indecent words
C. Transmission of false or deceptive messages or signals
D. All of these answers are correct

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