BE Informed No.
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ITU Radio Regulations Article 25
Recommendation ITU-R M.1544
Are Implemented in FCC 47
John B. Johnston W3BE
In the following comparisons, each international regulation/recommendation
is stated and followed by the corresponding FCC rule(s).
ITU Radio Regulations Article 25; Recommendation ITU-R M.1544
Domestic: 47 C.F.R.
RR No. 1.56 defines the term amateur service as a radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training,
intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in
radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.
FCC § 97.3(a)(4) defines the term
amateur service as a radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication
and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely
with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.
FCC §§ 97.113(a)(2) and (3) say that no amateur
station shall transmit communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, or communications
in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer.
FCC § 97.113(a)(3), however, authorizes:
(i) A station licensee or control station operator
to participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration
and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are
not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar
year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
(ii) An amateur operator to notify other amateur operators
of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not
conducted on a regular basis.
(iii) A control operator to accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur
station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.
(iv) The control operator
of a club station to accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information
bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules
operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule
of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where
the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.
RR No. 25.1 says
that radiocommunication between amateur stations of different countries shall be permitted unless the administration of one
of the countries concerned has notified that it objects to such radiocommunications.
FCC § 97.111(a) authorizes an amateur
station to exchange messages with other stations in the amateur service, except those in any country whose administration
has notified the ITU that it objects to such communications. The FCC issues public notices of current arrangements for international
RR No. 25.2 says that transmissions between amateur stations of different countries
shall be limited to communications incidental to the purposes of the amateur service, as defined in No. 1.56 and to remarks
of a personal character.
FCC § 97.117 says that Transmissions to a different country, where permitted, shall be limited to communications
incidental to the purposes of the amateur service and to remarks of a personal character.
RR No. 25.2A says that transmissions between amateur stations of different countries shall not be encoded for the purpose of
obscuring their meaning, except for control signals exchanged between earth command stations and space stations in the amateur-satellite
FCC § 97.113(a)(4) says no amateur station shall transmit messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their
meaning, except as otherwise provided herein. There are four such exceptions:
(1) FCC § 97.207(f)
says that Space telemetry transmissions may consist of specially coded messages intended to facilitate communications or related
to the function of the spacecraft;
(2) FCC § 97.211(b) says that a telecommand station may transmit special codes intended
to obscure the meaning of telecommand messages to the station in space operation;
§ 97.215(b) says that for an amateur station transmitting signals to control a model craft,
the control signals are not considered codes or ciphers intended to obscure the meaning of the communication; and
FCC § 97.217 says that telemetry transmitted by an amateur station on or within 50
km of the Earth's surface is not considered to be codes or ciphers intended to obscure the meaning of communications.
RR Number 25.3 says that amateur stations may be used for transmitting international
communications on behalf of third parties only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An administration may determine
the applicability of this provision to amateur stations under its jurisdiction.
FCC § 97.115(a)(2) says that an
amateur station may transmit messages for a third party to any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government when
transmitting emergency or disaster relief communications and any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government
whose administration has made arrangements with the United States to allow amateur stations to be used for transmitting international
communications on behalf of third parties. No station shall transmit messages for a third party to any station within the
jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has not made such an arrangement. This prohibition does not apply
to a message for any third party who is eligible to be a control operator of the station.
RR Number 25.5 says that administrations shall
determine whether or not a person seeking a license to operate an amateur station shall demonstrate the ability to send and
receive texts in Morse code signals.
The FCC rules do not require passing a telegraphy examination for an amateur service license.
97.305(a) says that, with very limited exceptions, an amateur station may transmit a CW emission on any frequency
authorized to the amateur station control operator.
FCC § 97.3(b)(1) defines the term CW as International Morse
code telegraphy emissions having designators with A, C, H, J or R as the first symbol; 1 as the second symbol; A or B as the
third symbol; and emissions J2A and J2B.
25.6 says that administrations shall verify the operational
and technical qualifications of any person wishing to operate an amateur station. Guidance for standards of competence may
be found in the most recent version of Recommendation ITU-R M.1544.
FCC Part 97 Subpart F codifies the rules for qualifying
examining systems. There must be at least 1200 possible examination questions embodied in three progressively-inclusive pools.
97.503 says that a written examination must be such as to prove that the examinee possesses the operational and technical
qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee.
RR Number 25.7 says that the maximum power of
amateur stations shall be fixed by the administrations concerned.
FCC § 313(a) says that an amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.
FCC § 313(b) says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 1.5 kW PEP.
FCC § 313(c)
says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 200 W PEP:
(1) On the 10.10-10.15 MHz segment;
the control operator is a Novice Class operator or a Technician Class operator who has received credit for proficiency in
telegraphy in accordance with the international requirements; or
(3) The 7.050-7.075 MHz segment when the station is within
ITU Regions 1 or 3. FCC Section 313(d) says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 25 W PEP
on the VHF 1.25 m band when the control operator is a Novice operator.
FCC § 97.13(c) prevents an amateur station from
transmitting from any place where the operation could cause human exposure to excessive RF electromagnetic field levels.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 313(e) says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power
exceeding 5 W PEP on the UHF 23 cm band when the control operator is a Novice operator.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 313(f)
says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the UHF 70 cm band from an area specified
in footnote US7 to Sec. 2.106 of Part 2, unless expressly authorized by the FCC. An Earth station or telecommand station,
however, may transmit on the 435-438 MHz segment with a maximum of 611 W effective radiated power (1 kW equivalent isotropically
radiated power) without the authorization otherwise required. The transmitting antenna elevation angle between the lower half-power
(-3 dB relative to the peak or antenna bore sight) point and the horizon must always be greater than 10\o\.
47 C.F.R. § 313(g) says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50
W PEP on the 33 cm band from within 241 km of the boundaries of the White Sands Missile Range.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 313(h)
says that no station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the 219-220 MHz segment of the 1.25 m band.
FCC Section 97.303(s) says, in the 60 meter band, transmissions shall not exceed an effective radiated power (e.r.p) of 50
W PEP. For the purpose of computing e.r.p. the transmitter PEP will be multiplied with the antenna gain relative to
a dipole or the equivalent calculation in decibels. A half wave dipole antenna will be presumed to have a gain of 0 dBd.
RR Number 25.8 says that all pertinent Articles and provisions of the Constitution, the
Convention and of these Regulations shall apply to amateur stations.
There is no specific FCC rule or set of rules stating this requirement.
It does not appear, however, there is any conflict.
RR Number 25.9 says that during the course of their transmissions, amateur stations shall transmit their call sign at short intervals.
FCC 47 C.F.R.
§ 97.119(a) says that each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its
assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication,
for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions.
No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized
to the station.
RR Number 25.9A says that
administrations are encouraged to take the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to prepare
for and meet communication needs in support of disaster relief.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.1 says that the rules and
regulations are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in five principles,
the first of which is recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial
communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications;
C.F.R. § 97.101(c) says that at all times and on all frequencies, each control operator must
give priority to stations providing emergency communications, except to stations transmitting communications for training
drills and tests in RACES.
FCC 47 C.F.R. Subpart E codifies rules for
providing emergency communications. It includes:
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.401 Operation during a disaster;
FCC 47 C.F.R. §
97.403 Safety of life and protection of property;
C.F.R. § 97.405 Station in distress;
C.F.R. § 97.407 Radio amateur civil emergency service.
RR Number 25.9B says that an administration
may determine whether or not to permit a person who has been granted a license to operate an amateur station by another administration
to operate an amateur station while that person is temporarily in its territory, subject to such conditions or restrictions
it may impose.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.107 authorizes a non-citizen of the United States (“alien”) holding an
amateur service authorization granted by the alien's government to be the control operator of an amateur station located at
places where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC, provided there is in effect a multilateral or bilateral reciprocal
operating arrangement, to which the United States and the alien's government are parties, for amateur service operation on
a reciprocal basis. The FCC issues public announcements listing the countries with which the United States has such an arrangement.
No citizen of the United States or person holding an FCC amateur operator/primary station license grant is eligible for the
reciprocal operating authority granted by this section.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.5 (c) authorizes the person named in the
station license grant or who is authorized for alien reciprocal operation by C.F.R. §97.107 to use, in accordance with
the applicable rules of this C.F.R. Part 97, the transmitting apparatus under the physical control of the person at places
where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC.
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.5 (d) authorizes a CEPT radio-amateur license
is issued to the person by the country of which the person is a citizen.
Section II Amateur-Satellite Service RR Number 25.10 says that the provisions of Section I of this Article shall apply equally, as appropriate, to the amateur-satellite
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.3(a)(3) defines the Amateur-satellite service as a radiocommunication service using stations
on Earth satellites for the same purpose as those of the amateur service.
RR Number 25.11 says that administrations authorizing space stations in the amateur-satellite service shall ensure that sufficient earth command stations
are established before launch to ensure that any harmful interference caused by emissions from a station in the amateur-satellite
service can be terminated immediately (see No. 22.1).
FCC 47 C.F.R. § 97.207(b) says that a space
station must be capable of effecting a cessation of transmissions by telecommand whenever such cessation is ordered by the
1544 (minimum qualifications of radio amateurs) recommends:
1. That administrations
take such measures as they judge necessary to verify the operational and technical qualifications of any person wishing to
operate an amateur station
2. That any person seeking a license to operate an amateur station should demonstrate theoretical
Methods of radiocommunication
o radio telegraphy
data and image
o antennas and propagation
Radio emission safety
- Electromagnetic compatibility
Avoidance and resolution of radio frequency interference
FCC 47 C.F.R. Subpart
F codifies the rules for qualifying examination systems. It requires:
FCC 47 C.F.R § 97.501 says that each applicant
must pass an examination for a new amateur operator license grant and for each change in operator class.
FCC 47 C.F.R § 97.503 says
that a written examination must be such as to prove that the examinee possesses the operational and technical qualifications
required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee. Each written examination must be comprised of a question
47 C.F.R § 97.507 says that each question set administered to an examinee must utilize questions taken from
the applicable question pool. The three levels of question sets consist of 120 questions for which at least 89 must be answered
correctly for complete privileges. Lesser privileges for 52 and 26 questions answered correctly.
FCC 47 C.F.R § 97.523 says that
all VECs (volunteer-examiner coordinator) must cooperate in maintaining one question pool for each written examination element.
Each question pool must contain at least 10 times the number of questions required for a single examination. Each question
pool must be published and made available to the public prior to its use for making a question set. Each question on each
question pool must be prepared by a VE (volunteer examiner) holding the required FCC-issued operator license.
FCC 47 C.F.R §
97.521 says that a VEC is an organization that has entered into a written agreement with the FCC. The VEC must abide
by the terms of the agreement. To be eligible to be a VEC, the entity must:
(a) Be an organization that exists for the purpose
of furthering the amateur service;
(b) Be capable of serving as a VEC in at least the VEC region proposed;
(c) Agree to coordinate examinations for any class
of amateur operator license;
(d) Agree to assure that, for any examination, every examinee qualified under the rules is registered without regard to race,
sex, religion, national origin or membership (or lack thereof) in any amateur service organization.
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November 23, 2016
Supersedes all prior versions