General Ham Information

General Ham Radio Information

This page is for general Ham Radio information. It covers information regarding operation, communications, and radio setup. This information is good for the new Ham, as well as a seasoned OT who needs a refresher. This information is typical information a Ham would use in communication, operation, or equipment configuration. More will be added as I get time.

RST Signal Reports

An RST signal report is a report given by the receiving station on the quality and strength of the transmitted signal. Established around 1934, it uses shorthand in the form of numbers to represent the quality of the tone or voice and the strength of the signal. The "R" stands for readability, the "S" stands for strength, and the "T" stands for tone when using CW. For voice transmissions, the "T" is dropped, and the report is usually given as RS or R by S, such as 59 or 5 by 9 for a perfect report. Below is the numbering system:

Readability:

1 = Unreadable
2 = Barely Readable
3 = Readable with considerable difficulty
4 = Readable with practically no difficulty
5 = Perfectly Readable

Strength:

1 = Faint Signal
2 = Very Weak
3 = Weak
4 = Fair
5 = Fairly Good
6 = Good
7 = Moderately Strong
8 = Strong
9 = Very Strong

Tone:

1 = Very Rough and Broad A.C.
2 = Very Rough A.C.
3 = Rough A.C. Tone
4 = Rough Note, Some Filtering
5 = Filtered Rectified A.C., But Strong Ripple Modulation
6 = Filtered Tone, Definite Trace of Ripple Modulation
7 = Near Pure Tone, Trace of Ripple Modulation
8 = Near Perfect Tone, Slight Trace of Ripple Modulation
9 = Perfect Tone, No Trace of Ripple or Modulation of Any Kind

 

Standard Repeater Offsets

Band Output Frequency Input Offset
 10 Meters  29.51 MHz - 29.70 MHz -.1 MHz
6 Meters   51 MHz - 54 MHz -1.0 MHz 
2 Meters   144.51 MHz - 144.89 MHz +.6 MHz 
 145.11 MHz - 145.46 MHz -.6 MHz 
 146.00 MHz - 146.39 MHz +.6 MHz 
146.61 MHz - 147.00 MHz  -.6 MHz
 147.00 MHz - 147.39 MHz +.6 MHz
 147.60 MHz - 1467.99 MHz -.6 MHz 
1.25 Meters  223 MHz - 225 MHz   -1.6 MHz
70 cm  440 MHz - 445 MHz   +5 MHz
 "  445 MHz - 450 MHz -5 MHz 
33 cm 927 MHz - 928 MHz   -12 MHz
23 cm  1282 MHz - 1288 MHz -20 MHz 

 

 

 CTCSS Tones

Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System tones or PL Tones® are tones used to prevent a repeater from responding to unwanted signals or interference.  By using a tone, the repeater will only respond to signals with the same embedded tone. That will keep the repeater from responding to signals from close repeaters or during tropospheric ducting. Below is a table of commonly used CTCSS tones in Hz used in ham radio. 

67.0 94.8 131.8 171.3  203.5
69.3 97.4   136.5  173.8   206.5
71.9 100.0  141.3  177.3  210.7 
74.4 103.5  146.2  179.9 218.1 
77.0 107.2  151.4  183.5  225.7 
79.7 110.9  156.7  186.2  229.1 
82.5 114.8  159.8  189.9  233.6 
85.4 118.8  162.2  192.8  241.8 
88.5 123.0  165.5  196.6  250.3 
91.5 127.3  167.9  199.5  254.1 

 

 

 ITU Radio Phonetic Alphabet

The phonetic alphabet is a group of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted over the radio. This is used to avoid confusion because when conditions are less than perfect, certain letters sound the same. For instance, B, P, T, and V all sound close enough to cause  problems. But Bravo, Papa, Tango, and Victor do not sound close at all. Below is a table of the current NATO phonetic alphabet used today.

Character Phonetic Character Phonetic
 Alpha  November
Bravo  Oscar 
Charlie  Papa 
Delta  Quebec 
Echo  Romeo 
 Foxtrot Sierra 
Golf  Tango 
Hotel  Uniform 
India  Victor 
J Juliet W Whiskey 
K Kilo  X Xray 
L Lima  Y Yankee 
M Mike  Z Zulu 

 

 

 The 60 Meter Band

The 60 meter band is a fairly new band, given to us in 2011. The differences in this band in relation to all of the others is that we are limited to SSB, CW, and digital, we are limited to 100 watts ERP, and it is a channelized band. We get 5 frequencies that we are able to operate on. Of course, where you set your dial depends on what mode of emission you are using. For SSB, you just put your dial on the frequency. However, for CW and digital, you must put your dial 1.5 KHz above the frequency. Hopefully this will help clear up any confusion.

60 Meter SSB

 Channel Frequency (KHz)
1 5330.5
2 5346.5
3 5357.0
4 5371.5
5 5403.5 

 

60 Meter CW

 Channel Frequency (KHz)
1 5332.0
2 5348.0
3 5358.5
4 5373.0
5 5405.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KB4MTO / TA5ZC

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