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Hello and welcome to the new Technician class support page.

This page is dedicated to helping new Technician class Hams.

Click on this link to search for your new call sign!

Page Index:

License Study Materials

MCARC Repeater Operating Practices

ITU Phonetic Alphabet

RST System

ARRL Communication Procedures

Amateur Radio Q-Codes

UTC / GMT Conversion

  If you need a nice band plan chart for the amateur frequency bands, click on the Down Loads page. You can print the chart on card stock and hang it in your ham shack. You can also select color or black & white.

  Now that you are a new ham, you will need some equipment to enjoy your new hobby. On the Links Page there are many equipment vendors links and manufactures links to choose from. You can also talk to other hams to find good used equipment that is available for a fraction of the cost of new. A good way to find what you are looking for if you already have a two meter radio, is to check in on the club net on Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM on the 147.180+ repeater. At the end of the net during the sale and swap session, you can list a want so others will know what you are looking for. This repeater is owned and operated by the Madera County ARC. 

License Study Materials

Gordon West:



Manual Software Technician: Manual Software


Manual Software General: Manual Software


Manual Software Extra: Manual Software

Morse Code:

Cassette Tapes Software Morse Code:    


Please Observe These Operating Practices While Using The MCARC Repeaters

1. LISTEN! Monitor the repeater to become familiar with its everyday operation.

2. Identify your station. You must announce your call at least every 10 minutes and at the end of your conversation. You must identify yourself even if you are just testing.

3. PAUSE BETWEEN TRANSMISSIONS. Someone may wish to join the conversation or they may have an emergency.

4. Use discretion when breaking into a QSO.  Will you add to it or just annoy the original participant's. Don't interrupt a conversation to make a third party call unless absolutely necessary.

5. Other amateurs (and SWL's) are listening to your conversation. You advertise amateur radio for better or worse every time you transmit.

6. Many amateurs use this repeater on a regular basis. Long conversations by a few leaves little time for others. Hour long conversations are selfish and rude. They discourage others from their fair share of radio time.

7. Use simplex when it is practical. This allows other calls on the repeater.

8. Consider the needs of mobile radios during heavy travel hours. They may need to use the repeater. Give them a break.

9. Use minimum power necessary for repeater access. This FCC regulation lessens the possibility of turning on distant repeaters. Higher power doesn't make your signal louder. It just gets your transmitter hotter.

10. This repeater is not the place to conduct business or any conversation that sounds like business.

11. CHECK YOUR RECEIVE VOLUME BEFORE MAKING A CALL. If it is turned down you may transmit over someone else's conversation.

12. Amateur radio is no place for profane, obscene, or indecent language. It will not be tolerated on these repeaters.

13. Selective calling is discouraged. These tones are annoying to other listeners and are more like business radio than amateur.

14. If you hear a station alarm or if you hear flagrant misuse of the repeater, contact one of the repeater committee members. Station alarms are described in the repeater technical information.

15. The repeater costs money to operate. To help support it, you might wish to join the club. Membership is $15 per year for individuals and $20 for families with two or more amateurs living in the same house hold of which $4 goes to the repeater operating fund. Or you can contribute directly to the fund. This fund is separate from the general club treasury.

Send to:
Repeater Fund
Madera County Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 251
Madera, CA 93639

The ITU Phonetic Alphabet

This phonetic alphabet is used very frequently when giving your call sign accurately on the air. Also spelling out a word or letter can be relayed to another station accurately by using this standard phonetic alphabet. It is very important that you memorize it. 

Word list adopted by the International Telecommunications Union

A--Alfa J--Juliet S--Sierra
B--Bravo K--Kilo T--Tango
C--Charlie L--Lima U--Uniform
D--Delta M--Mike V--Victor
E--Echo N--November W--Whiskey
F--Foxtrot O--Oscar X--X-ray
G--Golf P--Papa Y--Yankee
H--Hotel Q--Quebec Z--Zulu
I--India R--Romeo

The RST System



2--Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.

3--Readable with considerable difficulty.

4--Readable with practically no difficulty.

5--Perfectly readable.


Signal Strength

1--Faint signals, barely perceptible.

2--Very weak signals.

3--Weak signals.

4--Fair signals.

5--Fairly good signals.

6--Good signals.

7--Moderately strong signals.

8--Strong signals.

9--Extremely strong signals.



1--Sixty cycle a.c or less, very rough and broad.

2--Very rough a.c., very harsh and broad.

3--Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered.

4--Rough note, some trace of filtering.

5--Filtered rectified a.c. but strongly ripple-modulated.

6--Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation.

7--Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation.

8--Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation.

9--Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind.


The RST system is used for giving signal reports to other stations. When using code (CW), use readability, signal strength, and tone. "5-9-9"

When using phone (voice), use readability and signal strength. "5-9"

ARRL Communications Procedures




Go ahead


Used after calling CQ, or at the end of a transmission, to indicate any station is invited to transmit.



Used after a call to a specific station, before the contact has been established.

Go only


Used at the end of any transmission when only the specific station contacted is invited to answer.

Stand by or wait


A temporary interruption of the contact.



Indicates a transmission has been received correctly and in full.



End of contact. SK is sent before the final identification.

Leaving the air or closing the station


Indicates that a station is going off the air, and will not listen or answer any further calls. CL is sent after the final identification.



Amateur Radio Q-Codes

Most commonly used Q-codes are highlighted

Q-Code Question Information
QAP Shall I listen for you (or for . . .) on . . . kHZ (or . . . mHZ) ? [ see QSX]  
QAR May I stop listening on the watch frequency for . . . minutes?  
QBM Has . . . sent any message for me?  
QCB Delay is being caused by . . . 1. Your transmitting out of turn, 2. Your slow ness in answering, 3. Lack of your reply to my . . .  
QCS My reception on . . . frequency has broken down.  
QCX What is your full call sign?  
QDB Have you sent message . . . to . . .?  
QIC May I establish communication with . . . radio station on . . . kHZ (or mHZ) now (or at . . .hours) ?  
QIF What frequency is . . . using?  
QJA Is my . . . 1. Tape, 2. Mark and Space reversed?  
QJB Will you use . . . ? 1. Radio, 2. Cable, 3. Telegraph, 4. Teletype, 5. Telephone, 6. Receiver, 7. Transmitter, 8. Reperforator  
QJC Will you check your . . .? 1. Transmitter distributor, 2. Auto-head, 3. Perforator, 4. Reperforator, 5. Printer, 6. Printer motor, 7. Keyboard, 8. orator, 4. Reperforator, 5. Printer, 6. Printer motor, 7. Keyboard, 8. Antenna System  
QJD Am I transmitting . . .? 1. In letters, 2. In figures.  
QJE Is my frequency shift . . . 1. Too wide, 2. Too narrow, 3. Correct ?  
QJF My signal as checked by monitor . . . is satisfactory . . . 1. Locally, 2. As radiated  
QJG Shall I revert to automatic relay?  
QJH Shall I run . . . 1. My test tape, 2. A test sentance?  
QJI Will you transmit a continuous . . . 1. Mark, 2. Space?  
QJK Are you receiving . . . 1. A continuous mark, 2. A continuous space, 3. A mark bias, 4. A space bias?  
QLH Will you use simultaneous keying on . . . frequency and . . . frequency?  
QMH Shift to transmit and receive on . . . kHZ (or mHZ); if communication is not established within 5 minutes, revert to present freq.  
QRA What is the name of your station ?  The name of my station is... 
QRB How far approximately are you from my station ?  The approximate distance between our stations is........nautical miles (or.... kilometers) 
QRD Where are you headed and from where?  
QRE What is your estimated time of arrival?  
QRF Are you returning to . . .?  
QRG Will you tell me my exact frequency (or that of....) ?  Your exact frequency (or that of...) is ...Khz (or Mhz) 
QRH Does my frequency vary ?  Your frequency varies. 
QRI How is the tone of my transmission ?  The tone of your transmission is ... 1 = good. 2 = variable. 3 = bad 
QRJ Do you receive me badly?  
QRK What is the readability of my signals ?  The readability of your signals is..... 1 = bad. 2 = poor. 3 = fair. 4 = good. 5 = excellent. 
QRL Are you busy ?  I am busy 
QRM Are you being interfered ?  I am being interfered with: 1 = nil. 2 = slightly. 3 = moderately. 4 = severely. 5 = extremely. 
QRN Are you troubled by static ?  I am troubled by static 1 = nil. 2 = slightly. 3 = moderately. 4 = severely. 5 = extremely. 
QRO Shall I increase transmitter power ?  Increase transmitter power. 
QRP Shall I decrease transmitter power ?  Decrease transmitter power. 
QRQ Shall I send faster ?  Send faster (or ... words per minute). 
QRRR Official ARRL land distress call.  
QRS Shall I send more slowly ?  Send more slowly (or ... words per minute). 
QRT Shall I stop sending ?  Stop sending. 
QRU Have you anything for me ? I have nothing for you. 
QRV Are you ready ?  I am ready. 
QRW Shall I inform...that you are calling him on...khz (or...Mhz)?.  Please inform...that I am calling him on...khz(or...Mhz) 
QRX When will you call me again ?  I will call you again at...hours (on ...khz (or ...Mhz)). 
QRY What is my turn ?  Your turn is number....(or according to any other indication). 
QRZ Who is calling me ?  You are being called by...(on ...khz (or ...Mhz)). 
QSA  What is the strength of my signals ?  The strength of your signals (or those of ...) is... 1 = scarcely perceptible. 2 = weak. 3 = fairly good. 4 = good. 5 = very good. 
QSB  Are my signals fading ?  Your signals are fading. 
QSD  Is my keying defective ?  Your keying is defective. 
QSG Shall I send . . . messages at a time?  
QSJ What is the charge to be collected . . . including your internal telegraph charge?  
QSK  Can you hear me between your signals and if so can I break in on your transmission ?  I can hear you between my signals;break in on my transmission 
QSL  Can you acknowledge receipt ?  I am acknowledging receipt. 
QSM Shall I repeat the last message?  
QSN Did you hear me or . . . on . . . kHZ (or mHZ)?  
QSO  Can you communicate with...?  I can communicate with...direct (or by relay through...). 
QSP  Will you relay to...?  I will relay to... 
QSQ Have you a doctor aboard?  
QSR Have the distress calls from . . . been cleared?  
QSS What working frequency will you use?  
QST  Is there any message for radio-hams ?  Here follows a message for radio-hams 
QSU  Shall I send or reply on this frequency ( or on ...khz (or ...Mhz))?  Send or reply on this frequency ? (on ...khz (or ...Mhz)). 
QSV  Shall I send a series of V's on this frequency ( or on ...khz (or ...Mhz))?  Send a series of V's on this frequency ( or on ...khz (or ...Mhz)). 
QSW  Will you send on this frequency ( or on ...khz (or ...Mhz))?  I am going to send on this frequency ( or on ...khz (or ...Mhz)). 
QSX  Will you listen to...?  I am listening to ...(call signs) on ...khz (or Mhz). 
QSY  Shall I transmit on an other frequency ?  Transmit on an other frequency. ( or on ...khz (or ...Mhz)). 
QSZ Shall I send each word or group more than once?  
QTA Shall I cancel message number?  
QTB Do you agree with my counting of words?  
QTC  How many messages have you for me ?  I have...messages for you. 
QTE What is my true bearing from you?  
QTF Will you give me the position of my station according to the bearings of your direction finding station?  
QTG Will you send two dashes of ten seconds each folowed by our call sign repeated . . . times on . . . kHZ (or mHZ)?  
QTH  What is your position ?  My position is... 
QTI What is your true track in degrees?  
QTJ What is your true speed?  
QTL What is your true heading in degrees?  
QTM Send signals to enable me to fix my bearing and distance.  
QTN At what time did you depart from . . . ?  
QTO Have you left port/dock? Are you going to enter port/dock?  
QTQ Can you communicate with my station by means of the International Code of Signals  
QTR  What is the correct time (in UTC) ?  The correct time is...(in UTC). 
QTS Will you send your call sign for . . . minutes now, or at . . . hours on . ..kHZ (or mHZ) so that your frequency may be measured?  
QTU During what hours is your station open?  
QTV Shall I stand guard for you on . . . kHZ (or mHZ)?  
QTX Will you keep your station open for further communication with me for . . . Hours?  
QTY Are you proceeding to the position of incident and if so when do you expect to arrive  
QTZ Are you continuing the search?  
QUA Do you have news of . . . ?  
QUB Can you give me information concerning visibility, height of clouds, direction and velocity of ground wind at . . . ?  
QUC What is the number of the last message you received from me?  
QUD Have you received the urgent signal sent by . . . ?  
QUF Have you received the distress signal sent by . . . ?  
QUG Will you be forced to land?  
QUH Will you give me the present barometric pressure at sea level?  
QUJ Will you indicate the true course for me to follow?  
QUM Is the distress traffic ended?  


UTC / GMT Conversion

Since radio signals can cross multiple time zones and the international date line, some worldwide standard for time and date is needed. This standard is coordinated universal time, abbreviated UTC. This was formerly known as Greenwich mean time (GMT). Other terms used to refer to it include "Zulu time" (after the "Z" often used after UTC times), "universal time," and "world time."

UTC is used by international shortwave broadcasters in their broadcast and program schedules. Ham radio operators, shortwave listeners, the military, and utility radio services are also big users of UTC.

Greenwich mean time was based upon the time at the zero degree meridian that crossed through Greenwich, England. GMT became a world time and date standard because it was used by Britain's Royal Navy and merchant fleet during the nineteenth century. Today, UTC uses precise atomic clocks, shortwave time signals, and satellites to ensure that UTC remains a reliable, accurate standard for scientific and navigational purposes. Despite the improvements in accuracy, however, the same principles used in GMT have been carried over into UTC.

UTC uses a 24-hour system of time notation. "1:00 a.m." in UTC is expressed as 0100, pronounced "zero one hundred." Fifteen minutes after 0100 is expressed as 0115; thirty-eight minutes after 0100 is 0138 (usually pronounced "zero one thirty-eight"). The time one minute after 0159 is 0200. The time one minute after 1259 is 1300 (pronounced "thirteen hundred"). This continues until 2359. One minute later is 0000 ("zero hundred"), and the start of a new UTC day.

To convert UTC to local time, you have to add or subtract hours from it. For persons west of the zero meridian to the international date line (which includes all of North America), hours are subtracted from UTC to convert to local time. Below is a table showing the number of hours to subtract from local time zones in North America in order to convert UTC to local time:

The second table is direct conversion from UTC to U.S.A. timezones.

Local Time Subtract from UTC:
Atlantic Standard
Four hours
Atlantic Daylight
Three hours
Eastern Standard
Five hours
Eastern Daylight
Four hours
Central Standard
Six hours
Central Daylight
Five hours
Mountain Standard
Seven hours
Mountain Daylight
Six hours
Pacific Standard
Eight hours
Pacific Daylight
Seven hours
Alaskan Standard
Nine hours
Alaskan Daylight
Eight hours
Hawaiian Standard
Ten hours


0000 8 PM 7 PM 6 PM 5 PM 4 PM
0100 9 PM 8 PM 7 PM 6 PM 5 PM
0200 10 PM 9 PM 8 PM 7 PM 6 PM
0300 11 PM 10 PM 9 PM 8 PM 7 PM
0400 Midnight 11 PM 10 PM 9 PM 8 PM
0500 1 AM Midnight 11 PM 10 PM 9 PM
0600 2 AM 1 AM Midnight 11 PM 10 PM
0700 3 AM 2 AM 1 AM Midnight 11 PM
0800 4 AM 3 AM 2 AM 1 AM Midnight
0900 5 AM 4 AM 3 AM 2 AM 1 AM
1000 6 AM 5 AM 4 AM 3 AM 2 AM
1100 7 AM 6 AM 5 AM 4 AM 3 AM
1200 8 AM 7 AM 6 AM 5 AM 4 AM
1300 9 AM 8 AM 7 AM 6 AM 5 AM
1400 10 AM 9 AM 8 AM 7 AM 6 AM
1500 11 AM 10 AM 9 AM 8 AM 7 AM
1600 Noon 11 AM 10 AM 9 AM 8 AM
1700 1 PM Noon 11 AM 10 AM 9 AM
1800 2 PM 1 PM Noon 11 AM 10 AM
1900 3 PM 2 PM 1 PM Noon 11 AM
2000 4 PM 3 PM 2 PM 1 PM Noon
2100 5 PM 4 PM 3 PM 2 PM 1 PM
2200 6 PM 5 PM 4 PM 3 PM 2 PM
2300 7 PM 6 PM 5 PM 4 PM 3 PM

A major source of confusion when using UTC is that the date also follows UTC. Suppose your local time zone is Central standard, and you want to hear a shortwave program scheduled to be broadcast at 0400 UTC Saturday. You do the math, and find that 0400 UTC is equal to 10:00 p.m. Central standard time. If you tune in at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, however, you won't hear the program. Since the date is also UTC, you need to listen at 10:00 p.m. Friday to hear the program.

To hear the latest time in UTC, you can tune to stations WWV, in Fort Collins, Colorado and WWVH, Kauai, Hawaii on 2500, 5000, 10000, 15000 and 20000 kHz to hear the time announced in UTC each minute. WWV uses a man's voice to give the time, while WWVH uses a female voice. If you live in the central or eastern United States, and those frequencies aren't usable, you can tune to station CHU, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 3330, 7335 and 14670 kHz, to hear the current UTC time. If you're like many radio hobbyists, you will soon add a second clock set to UTC to your collection of radio gear. Click here for information on 24 hour clocks




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Copyright 2019 Madera County Amateur Radio Club
Last modified: February 15, 2019