N5UWY's Little Helper

Post-Morse Update
I started this page back in the late 1990s when I was helping W5JA with the OUARC licensing classes. I've tried to update this to conform with the current rules.
All Those Numbers!
2007: This is all still correct, but doesn't seem to be in the question pool for Element 2, the Technician test.
Wavelength Frequency
Usual FM Repeater Offset Max Symbol Rate for AMTOR, ASCII, Baudot
Max Bandwidth for Unspecified Codes Maximum Frequency Shift
MF, HF Below 10 m All MF, HF Bands No repeater outputs below 29.62 MHz and no FM below 29.5 300 / 0.3 Unspecified codes not permitted 1 kHz
10 m 28.000 - 29.700 100 kHz 1200 / 1.2
VHF 6 m 50 - 54 1.0 MHz 19600 / 19.6 20 kHz None Specified
2 m 144 - 148 600 kHz
1.25 m 219 - 220 Data networks only None specified 100 kHz
1.25 m 222 - 225 1.6 MHz 56000 / 56
UHF, SHF, EHF 70 cm 420 - 450 5.0 MHz
35 cm and above 902 and above Varies by band. See ARRL Repeater Directory. None Specified None Specified

More Bandwidth on Bandwidths

Narrowest to widest, it's CW, RTTY, SSB, FM. Basically, data can go where ever CW emissions are permitted. On the other hand, image, i.e. SSTV, FAX, FSTV generally goes wherever phone is permitted.


Magic Circles

Hold finger over term you are trying to solve for.

Ohm's Law Power Equations.

Maximum power

The minimum legal power necessary to communicate!

2007: This is all still correct, but doesn't seem to be in the question pool for Element 2, the Technician test.
Band or Type of Operation Peak Envelope Power (PEP) License Class
All bands except as below 1500 W All Amateurs
Technician portions of 80, 40, 15, 10 m bands 200 W Technician
30 m 200 W Amateur Extra, General
Beacon stations, where permitted 100 W All Amateurs
219 - 220 MHz digital band 50 W All Amateurs
Radio control of model craft, where permitted 1 W All Amateurs
Note: Those amateurs still holding Novice-class licenses are limited to 200 W PEP on HF, 25 W on 1.25 m (restricted to 222-225 MHz), and 5 W on 23 cm (restricted to 1270-1295 MHz) and are not permitted to operate beacon stations or control model craft by radio. Amateurs holding still Advanced-class licenses have the same restrictions as Generals and Amateur Extra.

Where can I transmit again?

Technicians get CW on the 80-, 40-, 15-, 10-m bands and DATA and SSB phone on 10 m.

Technicians also get all modes and privileges on all bands above 50 MHz (6 m and up).

Technician HF Bands

Band Frequencies Authorized Modes (Maximum 200 W PEP)
80 m 3525 - 3600 kHz CW
40 m 7025 - 7125 kHz CW
15 m 21025 - 21200 kHz CW
10 m 28000 - 28300 kHz CW, Data
10 m 28300 - 28500 kHz CW, SSB

Band Plans

Band plans are "gentlemen's agreements" (gentleperson's? gentlers?) regarding where stations using the various modes are to operate. The ARRL has a full list of these plans for the bands from 160 m through 10 GHz. These bands are not strictly part of the regulations (save for the parts that divide CW and PHONE), but following them is considered Good Amateur Practice ... and following Good Amateur Practice is in the regulations (47 CFR 97.101(a)).

Some common abbreviations

Most of these are abbreviations used by Morse telegraphers and probably should only be used in CW or Data communications.

CQ - Used to establish communications with any station. "Seek You". Any mode.

DE - French for "from", as in "CQ CQ CQ DE N5UWY". CW, Data modes.

73 - Best Regards. Not "73s"! That would be "best regardses"! Any mode.

K - Back to you. CW or Data (or NYC Police and fire!).

DX - Distant station. Any mode.

QRS - Send more slowly. Reduce Speed. CW only.

QTH - What is your location? Location.

QSL - Can you acknowledge? Acknowledged. Also used for post cards that hams send to acknowledge a contact. Send Log.

QRL - Are you busy? I am busy. Popularly used as "is the frequency in use?" which is what you would say on HF phone.

QSY - Should I change frequency to ...? Change frequency to ... .

QSO - Can you communicate with ... ? I can communicate with ... . Popularly, any contact.

QRZ? - Who is calling me? You are being called by ... . Popularly used in phone contesting as shorthand for "next station please!"

CTCSS - Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System. A sub-audible tone used to control who opens a squelch circuit. Often used on repeaters to cut down on interference. PL® or Private Line®, Motorola's trademark for CTCSS. Contrary to popular belief, PL (CTCSS) provides no privacy.


Regularly issued FCC Amateur callsigns start with AA-AL, K, N or W, followed by a digit, Ø through 9, followed by one to three letters. New Techs and Generals in the 5th district get a callsign of the form KG5Qxx. New Amateur Extras get a callsign in the form of AG5xx, if they wish.

Regular Special Event callsigns start with K, N or W, followed by a single digit, followed by any single letter except X. Occasionally, the FCC allows blanket special event callsigns. For example, during the 1996 Olympics, Georgia hams with a 4th district callsign, i.e. KB4XYZ, could substitute "96" for the 4, yielding KB96XYZ. The FCC has allowed other special callsigns in the past as well, such as WW2END to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

You can also request a new callsign if you don't like the one issued by the FCC.

Remember, use that callsign every ten minutes and at the end of a communication. And please, please, please don't say "N5UWY for ID". Everyone knows why you're IDing! Besudes, that's my callsign - use your own!

Last Update: Saturday, 16-Oct-2021 08:37:39 MST
Author: Peter Laws