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Amateur Radio Info & Exams - Extra Regulations 2 - Control Operators, IARP & CEPT, Amateur satellites

Data on 60 metres

For data operation on 60 metres (5 MHz) bandwidth is limited to 2.8 kHz. This is the same bandwidth as voice in these channels.

This is just a limit, so narrower modes are permitted.

In these regulations bandwidth is measured 26 dB below the average power level.

Station Control & Retransmission

When you operate a hand-held radio, or a radio on the dashboard or desk in front of you, this is local control. A remote head connected to a radio elsewhere in a vehicle or room is local control too.

If you are operating through a repeater, then the retransmission by the repeater, and things like it timing out if you waffle too long are under Automatic control. Other examples are APRS station reporting position or weather. Other packet, PACTOR, and similar stations can also be under automatic control.

An interesting variation on APRS would be mains power status reporting, although reporting just my home address and the repeater site as both being off to the supply company was "interesting" enough experience.

If you are using a home station from nearby using a HT, this is remote control, and the home station becomes an auxiliary station. There are various restriction on the bands on which this can be done, although the paper does not go into these. Another example is the Remote Ham Radio system, which allows a range of stations in excellent locations to be used via the Internet. Thus the PC, smartphone or tablet becomes the control point.

Another example is that an Elecraft K3 can control another K3, including via the Internet.

An interesting experiment would be to "hack" the link between something like an FT-897D and its control head over an internet link. The serial data protocol has been partly decoded. That said, it may not be necessary to fully understand it to convey it over an IP link.


Various arrangements are in place which allow amateurs visiting between a range of countries to operate without applying for a licence. This applies to both the Amateur Service, and the Amateur Satellite Service.


The International Amateur Radio Permit is gained by applying, with a fee, to the ARRL, and permits operating in certain CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunication Commission) member countries.

CITEL members recognising the IARP are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

This is NOT needed for US Amateurs operating in Canada; just identify as AG9JK/VE1, etc, as there is a bilateral agreement.


This is the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, based in Denmark, and in this context, it relates to Amateur Radio related determinations of the Electronics Communications Committee (a successor to the European Radio Committee).

US Amateur Extra and Advanced licence holders (who are US citizens) can operate in many countries from Greenland (part of the Kingdom of Denmark) to Ukraine; Svalbard (part of the Kingdom of Norway) to New Caledonia (a special collectivity of France); Iceland to Turkey and Cyprus; and Estonia to the Azores (Portugal) under T/R 61-01. Some non-CEPT member countries which are signatories may recognise licences from other non-member signatories, others may not.

St Pierre and Miquelon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near Newfoundland is an overseas collectivity of France, where the prefix FP is used by visitors. Several Caribbean locations, and Guyane are also part member nations; while Overseas countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and overseas territories of the Netherlands are non-member signatories.

Download: T/R 61-01

US General licence holders (who are US citizens) can operate in European countries that have adopted ECC Recommendation (05)06.

Download: Recommendation (05)06

Note that CEPT membership extends to European countries beyond the European Union, and that the UK's membership has continued, despite the idiocy which is "Brexit". Crown Dependencies are included, while British Overeas Territories (BOTs) are not.

US Amateurs must carry FCC Public Notice DA 11-221, as their licence, which also must be carried, does not contain the multi-lingual text the CEPT requires.

CEPT member country Amateurs can also operate in the US (and Canada).

Australian Advanced operators can operate in CEPT countries under T/R 61-01. The VK Standard evidently is too easy for ECC Recommendation (05)06.

While there isn't directly a question on this topic, the benefit is that visitors don't have to deal with the telecommunications authorities in the countries they visit, nor the CEPT or ECC.

Operators simply follow the table of prefixes, such as FK8/AG6LE, or W4/LA7JS.

Bilateral Agreements

Off the exam, there are direct "bilateral" agreements between countries such as Australia and the US. In some cases they allow operation without applying for a licence, in others an application for a licence or permit is needed, but no exam. Likewise, some allow a person moving between countries to obtain a permanent licence to be obtained without exam. Some countries have quite open permissions, plus there are international organisations, like the ITU in Geneva, which have club stations which any Amateur can use, with prior application. UN employees in NYC can use the club station there.


The International Telecommunications Union, National Telecommunications and Information, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration all have little direct impact on the day-to-day operation of Amateur stations. ITU set rules and recommendations which guide the FCC and NTIA, and other agencies globally. The NTIA allocates channels and licences for Federal agencies. Its infamy is its last minute opposition to a regular band allocation at 60 metres (5 MHz).

In most cases Amateurs deal with the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission. That said, in many cases, notification to the FCC is NOT required, except permanent or long-term change of address.

Nor, for that matter, will Hams have to deal with Space Farce, oops, Space Force, I expect.

One body Amateurs who wish to use 2200 or 630 metres need to notify is the Utilities Technology Council, referred to it the exam by its former name, the Utilities Telecom Commission. See Spectrum Services at: utc.org

Launching a satellite is a major undertaking, even for a university, although "CubeSats", "TubeSats", and the like are lowering the barriers. While there are various legal processes, these are often handled in co-operation with AMSAT, the Amateur Satellite group: amsat.org

FM on HF

Due to bandwidth limitations, for "angle modulation", meaning FM or PM (phase modulation), the highest modulation index permitted is 1.0.

Amateur satellites

Amateurs are permitted to operate via satellites operating in the Amateur Satellite Service.

Due to the global nature operations of low-earth orbiting satellites, operation is limited to bands (or sub-bands) which are in Amateur use globally. The only requirement to operate via satellites is being permitted to transmit on the uplink frequency. To be a control operator of a "bird" requires only the permission of the licensee, and an amateur licence which permits transmission on the control frequency.

Permitted HF bands are 40, 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 metres, which excludes the long wavelength 80 metres, the 60 metre channels, and the heavily restricted 30 metre band. On VHF it is only 2 metres, the only universally available VHF band. On UHF the exam lists 70 cm and 13 cm. 23 cm is also permitted, as are various SHF & EHF.

Satellites often include a transmitter sending telemetry, including the status of onboard systems. This can be Morse, or data modes. These are specifically listed as permitted one-way transmissions, along with beacons and telecommand stations.

CubeSats are 1, 2, or 3 units, each 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm, or 1 decimetre cubed (1 dm²), also termed 1 litre. Aussies might visualise a 2 litre milk bottle.

Of significant interest is the satellite the Chinese have launched to orbit the moon, in 2018. This means it will have long periods of visibility over broad areas.

Relevant Questions

These are the actual questions from the Extra licence exam pool, as published by the NCVEC. Square brackets contain the relevant regulations number; these do NOT appear on the actual exams.

E1C01 [97.303]
What is the maximum bandwidth for a data emission on 60 meters?
A. 60 Hz
B. 170 Hz
C. 1.5 kHz
D. 2.8 kHz

Each channel is 2.8 kHz wide for voice operations, and again, this limit applies to data on each channel, answer D.

E1C02 [97.117]
Which of the following types of communications may be transmitted to amateur stations in foreign countries?
A. Business-related messages for non-profit organizations
B. Messages intended for users of the maritime satellite service
C. Communications incidental to the purpose of the amateur service and remarks of a personal nature
D. All these choices are correct

The first two answers are just plain stupid, making the last invalid. Thus, it is answer C, discussions of Amateur radio operation and equipment, and general comments on the weather, etc.

E1C03 [97.109(d)]
How do the control operator responsibilities of a station under automatic control differ from one under local control?
A. Under local control there is no control operator
B. Under automatic control the control operator is not required to be present at the control point
C. Under automatic control there is no control operator
D. Under local control a control operator is not required to be present at a control point

The control operator does not have to be at the control point of a station (repeater, APRS weather station, etc) under automatic control, answer B.

What is meant by IARP?
A. An international amateur radio permit that allows U.S. amateurs to operate in certain countries of the Americas
B. The internal amateur radio practices policy of the FCC
C. An indication of increased antenna reflected power
D. A forecast of intermittent aurora radio propagation

This is a system, called the "international amateur radio permit" which allows operation in various countries in the Americas, answer A.

E1C05 [97.221(c)(1),[97.115(c)]
When may an automatically controlled station originate third party communications?
A. Never
B. Only when transmitting RTTY or data emissions
C. When agreed upon by the sending or receiving station
D. When approved by the National Telecommunication and Information Administration

Never, answer A.

For example, a family member can't type messages into your packet BBS system if they are not a Ham.

Which of the following is required in order to operate in accordance with CEPT rules in foreign countries where permitted?
A. You must identify in the official language of the country in which you are operating
B. The U.S. embassy must approve of your operation
C. You must bring a copy of FCC Public Notice DA 16-1048
D. You must append "/CEPT" to your call sign

As the US licence does not have the text which the CEPT requires, you must carry the notice referred to in answer C

VK Advanced licences, for example, contain the required text, as do licences issued by CEPT countries. The text is in English, French, and German.

E1C07 [97.3(a)(8)]
At what level below a signal's mean power level is its bandwidth determined according to FCC rules?
A. 3 dB
B. 6 dB
C. 23 dB
D. 26 dB

This is the largest value, 26 dB, answer D.

At 1500 watts PEP, dividing by 100, then halving twice, gives us 3.75 watts PEP at this point. Even this power is potentially a problem for someone in the next state trying to listen to a Foundation licence holder in another country, using 5 or 10 watts.

E1C08 [97.213]
What is the maximum permissible duration of a remotely controlled station’s transmissions if its control link malfunctions?
A. 30 seconds
B. 3 minutes
C. 5 minutes
D. 10 minutes

If the link fails, the remotely controlled station must cease operations within 3 minutes, answer B.

E1C09 [97.307]
What is the highest modulation index permitted at the highest modulation frequency for angle modulation below 29.0 MHz?
A. 0.5
B. 1.0
C. 2.0
D. 3.0

This is 1.0, answer B, to keep within the permitted bandwidth.

E1C10 [97.307]
What is the permitted mean power of any spurious emission relative to the mean power of the fundamental emission from a station transmitter or external RF amplifier installed after January 1, 2003 and transmitting on a frequency below 30 MHZ?
A. At least 43 dB below
B. At least 53 dB below
C. At least 63 dB below
D. At least 73 dB below

It is at least 43 dB, answer A.

This is 1/20000 the power of the main signal.

E1C11 [97.5]
Which of the following operating arrangements allows an FCC-licensed U.S. citizen to operate in many European countries, and alien amateurs from many European countries to operate in the U.S.?
A. CEPT agreement
B. IARP agreement
C. ITU reciprocal license
D. All of these choices are correct

US citizens with an appropriate US licence can use the CEPT agreement to operate in Europe (plus, in many cases, overseas territories of member countries, such as New Caledonia); and many European Amateurs can operate in the US, answer A.

E1C12 [97.305(c)]
On what portion of the 630 meter band are phone emissions permitted?
A. None
B. Only the top 3 kHz
C. Only the bottom 3 kHz
D. The entire band

While voice is permitted in all of this small band, answer D, you should still respect informal band-plans.

E1C13 [97.303(g)]
What notifications must be given before transmitting on the 630 meter or 2200 meter bands?
A. A special endorsement must be requested from the FCC
B. An environmental impact statement must be filed with the Department of the Interior
C. Operators must inform the Utilities Telecom Council of their call sign and coordinates of the station
D. Operators must inform the FAA of their intent to operate, giving their call sign and distance to the nearest runway

Due to risk of interference with signalling on power lines, operators must inform the Utilities Telecom Council, answer C.

E1C14 [97.303(g)]
How long must an operator wait after filing a notification with the Utilities Telecom Commission before operating on the 2200 meter or 630 meter band?
A. Operators must not operate until approval is received
B. Operators may operate after 30 days, providing they have not been told that their station is within 1 km of PLC systems using those frequencies
C. Operators may not operate until a test signal has been transmitted in coordination with the local power company
D. Operations may commence immediately, and may continue unless interference is reported by the UTC

Operators must wait 30 days, answer B.

PLC systems use signals on power lines to command switching of various power company equipment.

E1D01 [97.3] What is the definition of the term telemetry?
A. One-way transmission of measurements at a distance from the measuring instrument
B. Two-way radiotelephone transmissions in excess of 1000 feet
C. Two-way single channel transmissions of data
D. One-way transmission that initiates, modifies, or terminates the functions of a device at a distance

The word literally means remote (or at a distance) measuring, so it is a one way transmission from measurement equipment, answer A.

This can include things like power supply status, battery voltage, etc, of a repeater.

E1D02 [97.211(b)]
Which of the following may transmit special codes intended to obscure the meaning of messages?
A. Telecommand signals from a space telecommand station
B. Data containing personal information
C. Auxiliary relay links carrying repeater audio
D. Binary control characters

Command signals to a satellite or "space station" are encrypted, as it is necessary that trouble-makers cannot command the satellite to do something damaging to its onboard systems, hence answer A.

E1D03 [97.3(a)(45)]
What is a space telecommand station?
A. An amateur station located on the surface of the Earth for communication with other Earth stations by means of Earth satellites
B. An amateur station that transmits communications to initiate, modify or terminate functions of a space station
C. An amateur station located in a satellite or a balloon more than 50 kilometers above the surface of the earth
D. An amateur station that receives telemetry from a satellite or balloon more than 50 kilometers above the surface of the earth

Telecommand is commanding a station from a distance, in other words, it is a station which transmits to a space station (satellite) to control its operations, answer B.

E1D04 [97.119(a)]
Which of the following is required in the identification transmissions from a balloon-borne telemetry station?
A. Call sign
B. The output power of the balloon transmitter
C. The station's six-character Maidenhead grid locator
D. All these choices are correct

Quite simply, this is the callsign, answer A.

E1D05 [97.207]
What class of licensee is authorized to be the control operator of a space station?
A. All except Technician Class
B. Only General, Advanced or Amateur Extra Class
C. Any class with appropriate operator privileges
D. Only Amateur Extra Class

You need to be able to operate on the bands it uses, so it is the class with appropriate operator privileges, answer C.

E1D05 [97.213(d)]
What must be posted at the station location of a station being operated by telecommand on or within 50 km of the earth's surface?
A. A photocopy of the station license
B. A label with the name, address, and telephone number of the station licensee
C. A label with the name, address, and telephone number of the control operator
D. All these choices are correct

This might be a repeater, a remotely controlled station, or similar. In these cases the documents listed in all answers must be placed in the station, answer D. The 50 km limit neans this applies to a station in a building, shelter, communications site, vehicle, ship, aircraft, etc, but not a satellite.

E1D06 [97.215(c)]
What is the maximum permitted transmitter output power when operating a model craft by telecommand?
A. 1 watt
B. 2 watts
C. 5 watts
D. 100 watts

To communicate from a typically hand-held controller, to a craft which is most usually in visual range, requires little power, hence the 1 watt limit in answer A.

E1D07 [97.207]
Which HF amateur bands have frequencies authorized for space stations?
A. Only the 40, 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meter bands
B. Only the 40, 20, 17, 15, and 10 meter bands
C. Only the 40, 30, 20, 15, 12, and 10 meter bands
D. All HF bands

It is the 40, 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 metre bands, answer A.

How to remember this? All bands from 7 MHz and up, except the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny 30 metre band (10 MHz). The latter is a band with various restrictions, such as no voice or image transmissions in most countries.

E1D08 [97.207]
Which VHF amateur bands have frequencies authorized for space stations?
A. 6 meters and 2 meters
B. 6 meters, 2 meters, and 1.25 meters
C. 2 meters and 1.25 meters
D. 2 meters

It is only 2 metres, answer D. The other bands are not available to Hams globally, with 1.25 metres is only for Amateur use in the Americas only, and 6 metres has been used for TV broadcasting in Europe.

E1D09 [97.207]
Which UHF amateur bands have frequencies authorized for space stations?
A. 70 cm only
B. 70 cm and 13 cm
C. 70 cm and 33 cm
D. 33 cm and 13 cm

Dump 33 cm (902 MHz) as it is an Americas only band, so a satellite operating on this band over areas where this is use for other services is a bad idea. It is 70 cm and 13 cm, answer B.

This is not an exhaustive list, but the answer which includes a correct selection of such bands.

E1D10 [97.211]
Which amateur stations are eligible to be telecommand stations of space stations (subject to the privileges of the class of operator license held by the control operator of the station)?
A. Any amateur station designated by NASA
B. Any amateur station so designated by the space station licensee
C. Any amateur station so designated by the ITU
D. All these choices are correct

It is any station designated by the satellite owner / licensee, answer B.

E1D11 [97.209]
Which amateur stations are eligible to operate as Earth stations?
A. Any amateur station whose licensee has filed a pre-space notification with the FCC's International Bureau
B. Only those of General, Advanced or Amateur Extra Class operators
C. Only those of Amateur Extra Class operators
D. Any amateur station, subject to the privileges of the class of operator license held by the control operator

As long as the control operator can transmit on the uplink frequency in the appropriate mode, they can operate the station as an earth station, answer D.

E1D12 [97.207(e), 97.203(g)]
Which of the following amateur stations may transmit one-way communications?
A. A space station, beacon station, or telecommand station
B. A local repeater or linked repeater station
C. A message forwarding station or automatically controlled digital station
D. All these choices are correct

These are space stations (satellites), beacons, or telecommand (remote control) stations, answer A.

On to: Extra Regulations 3 - Volunteer Examiners and Misc Regs.

You can find links to lots more on the Learning Material page.

Written by Julian Sortland, VK2YJS & AG6LE, May 2022.

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