Extra Class question of the day: Station restrictions and special operations

August 25, 2012 Dan KB6NU

Part 97 places many different restrictions on how amateurs can use their stations and specifies technical standards that amateur radio station must meet. For example, some rules set standards for spurious emissions A spurious emission is an emission outside its necessary bandwidth that can be reduced or eliminated without affecting the information transmitted. (E1B01) The rules also state that permitted mean power of any spurious emission relative to the mean power of the fundamental emission from a station transmitter or external RF amplifier must be at least 43 dB below for transmitters or amplifiers installed after January 1, 2003, and transmitting on a frequency below 30 MHZ is. (E1B11)

There are also restrictions on erecting antennas. One factor that might cause the physical location of an amateur station apparatus or antenna structure to be restricted is if the location is of environmental importance or significant in American history, architecture, or culture. (E1B02) If you are installing an amateur station antenna at a site at or near a public use airport, you may have to notify the Federal Aviation Administration and register it with the FCC as required by Part 17 of FCC rules. (E1B06)

The 60m band is one band that has a lot of weird restrictions not found on other ham bands. For example, the maximum bandwidth for a data emission on 60 meters is 2.8 kHz. (E1B05) The carrier frequency of a CW signal must be set at the center frequency of the channel to comply with FCC rules for 60 meter operation. (E1B07)

Because RACES operation is quasi-governmental, there are some rules about RACES operations. Any FCC-licensed amateur station certified by the responsible civil defense organization for the area served may be operated in RACES.  (E1B09) All amateur service frequencies authorized to the control operator are authorized to an amateur station participating in RACES. (E1B10)

Finally, there are some questions about random rules in this section:

  • The distance at which an amateur station must protect an FCC monitoring facility from harmful interference is 1 mile. (E1B03)
  • An Environmental Assessment must be submitted to the FCC must be done before placing an amateur station within an officially designated wilderness area or wildlife preserve, or an area listed in the National Register of Historical Places. (E1B04)
  • The amateur station must avoid transmitting during certain hours on frequencies that cause the interference if its signal causes interference to domestic broadcast reception, assuming that the receiver(s) involved are of good engineering design. (E1B08)
  • The highest modulation index permitted at the highest modulation frequency for angle modulation is 1.0. (E1B12)

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