Reading Assignment

Read Chapter 8, Pages 8-1 to 8-13 in your text before you continue.


The control operator is an amateur designated as responsible for making sure that transmissions comply with FCC rules anytime the station is transmitting.

The control operator does not have to be present at the transmitter, but all amateur transmissions are the control operator's responsibility

The station operator is responsible for designating the control operator. Any FCC licensed amateur can be a control operator.

A control operator can operate any way permitted by the privileges of his/her license.

The FCC presumes that the station licensee is the control operator unless notified differently.

Unlicensed operators cannot operate as control operators, or be at the transmitter, unsupervised by a licensed operator.

The class of operator license held by the control operator determines the transmitting privileges of an amateur station.

If a repeater inadvertently retransmits communications that violate the FCC rules, the control operator of the originating message is accountable.


The control point is where the station's control function is performed.

Local Control

Local control, is just what it sounds like. Control is exercised locally or right at the transmitter. A base station, mobile station or hand held radio are all examples of local control.

Remote Control

A remote controlled station is a common name for an amateur radio that is controlled and operated from a remote location. Most remote base stations have similar features to any other Amateur radio station but can be controlled over a direct wired connection, the internet, or by radio.

In many ways, remote base stations controlled by radio, resemble repeaters with additional features. Remote base stations are usually run and maintained by individual hobbyists or clubs. Unlike repeaters, they are not usually open to all amateur radio operators.

When using a radio link, remote control of an auxiliary base station consists of sending the primary signal (voice or data) along with some form of control signal, such as DTMF tones, to another station to change its operating parameters i.e. turn it on or off, change frequency or transmitter power level, rotate the antenna, etc. These signals are considered one form of primary station control, for which the station licensee, and/or a control operator are primarily responsible.

In the United States, radio control link frequencies must be above 222 MHz. However, the base station being controlled may operate on any amateur frequency. The FCC says that if a radio link is used, the station where the control commands are performed is an auxiliary station, [97.213(a)] and an auxiliary station is "an amateur station transmitting communications point-to-point within a system of cooperating amateur stations

Automatic Control

Under Automatic control it is permissible for the control operator to be at a location other than the control point. An amateur radio repeater is a specialty amateur radio station that extends the range of communications for other stations. A repeater uses a receiver tuned to one radio frequency and a transmitter tuned to another radio frequency. Other stations using a repeater station transmit on one frequency but listen for signals on the other frequency. If a repeater station is in a favorable location, such as on a tall tower, the top of a tall building, or on a mountaintop, stations that otherwise would not be able to communicate with each other can each use the repeater and establish two-way communications.

Repeater stations generally operate under automatic control. The control equipment is responsible for transmitting the repeater station's call sign at regular intervals. This identification is often done in Morse code. Some US repeater stations append a /R to end of their call sign or not (used to be required in the 80s and early 90s but no longer). Some may still have a vanity "WR#xxx" repeater license where #=0 thru 9 and xxx is any 3 letter combo but these callsigns are going away when they expire.


Guest operators are also responsible for proper operation of the station while operating under the supervision of the control operator.

When the control operator is not the station licensee, the control operator and the station licensee are equally responsible for the proper operation of the station


Unidentified transmissions are never allowed.

Test transmissions with no information is allowed but basic ID rules apply.

The basic station ID rule is every station except a space station or Telecommand station must ID once every 10 minutes and at the end of the contact.

The call sign must be in English, regardless of the language you are speaking to the other station. The FCC emphasizes the use of phonetics to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

You may also ID using CW even if you are using phone or data.

You may ID a RTTY emission using a specified digital code when all or part of the communications are transmitted by a RTTY or data emission.

You may ID by an image emission conforming to the applicable transmission standards, either color or monochrome, of Sec. 73.682(a) of the FCC Rules when all or part of the communications are transmitted in the same image emission.

Even if you are using a tactical call (which is ok with the FCC) you still need to comply with the basic station ID rule using your call sign. Same thing applies with special event call signs.

Repeaters must also ID using the same 10 minute rule. Can be voice or CW (at 20 WPM or less). Most repeater control decks perform this function automatically.


Third-party means that a non-ham is involved in communication via ham radio. They could be actually speaking on the air or you could be passing a message on behalf of the non-ham.

Section 97.115 of the Commission's Rules authorizes an amateur station regulated by the FCC to transmit a message from its control operator (first party) to another amateur station control operator (second party) on behalf of another person (third party) within the U.S. no special rules apply. Just make sure the message is non-commercial in nature.

Communication that crosses international borders. Make sure that third-party agreement exists. Check for current third-party agreements from ARRL Web site or FCC sources if in doubt.

The following countries have made the necessary arrangements with the United States to permit an amateur station regulated by the FCC to exchange messages for a third party with amateur stations in: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenade, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Liberia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom (special event stations with call sign prefix GB followed by a number other than 3), Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The United Nations also has arrangements with the United States to permit an amateur station regulated by the FCC to exchange messages for a third party with amateur stations 4U1ITU in Geneva, Switzerland, and 4U1VIC in Vienna, Austria.

No amateur station regulated by the FCC shall transmit messages for a third party to any amateur station located within the jurisdiction of any foreign government not listed above. This prohibition does not apply to a message for any third party who is eligible to be the control operator of the station.


Ham Radio is used to communicate with other amateurs, conservations solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

Ham communication is generally intended for hams. Emergencies and critical situations create special circumstances. Special commemorative events may qualify as special circumstances. Normal rules return when the situation returns to normal.

An FCC-licensed amateur station may exchange messages with a U.S. military station during an Armed Forces Day Communications Test.

A Ham may offer equipment for sale, when the equipment is normally used in an amateur station and such activity is not conducted on a regular basis. An on-the-air swap meet for example.

Teachers may operate and communicate via amateur radio, even though they are paid for teaching, if it is part of a class or learning session.

Until recently employees of government agencies such as police and fire personnel were prohibited from participating in drills while one duty (being paid). They were able to obtain a wavier for a specific drill, but the rules were strict. Now, the rules have been changed to permit amateur radio operators to participate in government-sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills and tests, regardless of whether the operators are employees of the entities participating in the drill or test. Questions in the pool concerning needing a waiver have been withdrawn from the question pool and from exams.

An amateur station is authorized to transmit music only in one circumstance, when incidental to an authorized retransmission of manned spacecraft communications.

An amateur station authorized to automatically retransmit the radio signals of other amateur stations when the signals are from an auxiliary, repeater or space station.


Unidentified transmissions (not giving your call sign)are never permitted.

False or deceptive signals (using someone else's call sign) are prohibited.

For obvious reasons, False distress or emergency signals are strictly prohibited

Obscene or indecent speech is banned and also considered poor taste.

BROADCASTING is defined as transmissions intended for reception by the general public. Broadcasting via Ham Radio is prohibited.

However, amateur stations are authorized to transmit signals related to broadcasting, program production, or news gathering, assuming no other means available only when such communications directly relate to the immediate safety of human life or protection of property. For example in an emergency such as flooding etc. Amateur Radio is the communications of last resort during disasters.

This is not to mean that it is the least dependable, rather, that it is still available when all else has failed. Hams are resourceful, diverse and have communication talents that are truly astounding. Hams have proven time and time again that we have much to give and as a group we are available when we are needed the most.

The transmission of Music is forbidden.


Encryption is the process of transforming information (referred to as plaintext) using an algorithm (called a cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key.

Encryption is not generally permitted in the Amateur Radio service except for the special purpose of satellite vehicle control uplinks or radio controlled craft.


Your quiz will tell you what information you need to know. Pass the quizzes - pass the exam!

Tips on how to remember the correct answer are included.

You can take the quiz as often as you wish.

No one but you will see the quiz results.

Take Quiz 19

Recommended reading

Operating Tips for New Hams on HF

Review the Term Glossary in Chapter 10 of your Ham Radio License Manual

Practice Exams are available at and there are links to many other test practice sites also.