The Telegraph Office

by Neal McEwen, K5RW

nmcewen@metronet.com

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HOW TO PASS U.S. GOVERNMENT WIRELESS LICENSE EXAMINATIONS

(Taken from 1922 RCA license manual, published by Wireless Press, Inc.)

OPERATORS' LICENSE EXAMINATIONS

PART VIII

General Information Concerning Operators'

License Examinations


  The Government operators license certificates are now divided into nine classifications.

1.  Commercial extra first class.
2.  Commercial first class, first grade.
3.  Commercial first class, second grade.
4.  Commercial first class, third grade.
5.  Commercial second class, first grade.
6.  Commercial second class, second grade.
7.  Commercial second grade, third class.
8.  Amateur first grade.
9.  Amateur second grade.
   To pass the commercial extra first class examination the operator is required to have had 18 months' experience on a first class first grade license, and pass a technical examination with a grade of 85 per cent and a code examination of 30 words a minute in the Continental Code and 25 words a minute in the Morse Code.

   To pass the first class first grade license examination, the operator is required to have 12 months' experience on a first class second grade license and to pass a code examination at a speed of 25 words a minute. No additional technical examination is required.

   To secure a first class second grade license the operator is required to have six months' experience on a first class third grade license. No additional examination in theory or code is required.

   To pass the requirements for a first class third grade license, the operator is required to pass an examination in theory with a rank of 75 per cent and a code examination at a speed of 20 words per minute.

   To pass the second class first grade license requirements the applicant must have 12 months' experience, on a second class second grade license. No additional examinations in either code or theory are required.

   To secure a second class second grade license the applicant must have six months' experience on a second class third grade license. No additional examinations are required.

   To secure a second class third grade license the applicant must pass a technical examination with a mark of 65 per cent and a code examination at a speed of at least 12 words a minute.

   Should the applicant for examination only receive a second class license he can again be examined in three months' time for a first class license.

   Experience in Federal service such as the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or civil service as a radio operator gives the prospective applicant the same advantages as experience in commercial radio service except in the examination for an extra first class license.

   To obtain an amateur first grade certificate the applicant must have a sufficient knowledge of the adjustment and operation of the apparatus which wishes to operate, and of the regulations of the International Convention and Acts of Congress in so far as they relate to interference with other radio communication and impose certain duties on all grades of operators. The applicant must be able to transmit and receive in the Continental Morse at a speed sufficient to enable him to recognize distress calls or the official "keep out" signals. A speed of at least 10 words per minute (five letters to the word) must be attained.

   The requirements for the second grade amateur license are the same as for the first grade. The second grade license will be issued only where an applicant cannot be personally examined or until he can be examined. The examining officer or radio inspector is authorized in his discretion to waive an actual examination of an applicant for an amateur license if the amateur for adequate reasons cannot present himself for examination, but in writing can satisfy the examining officer or radio inspector that he is qualified to hold a license and will conform to its obligations.

Examinations

   The code test for operators' examinations consists of messages with call letters and regular preambles, conventional signals and abbreviations and odd phrases, and shall in no case consist of simple connected reading matter. The test is conducted by means of the omnigraph or other automatic instrument wherever possible.

   The test continues for five minutes at a speed of 20 words, 12 words and 5 words per minute, respectively, for the commercial first, second and lower grades; and to qualify, the applicant must receive 20, 12 or 5 words in consecutive order.

An applicant will be given credit for the maximum speed he can attain.

The practical and theoretical examination shall consist of seven comprehensive questions under the following headings and values:

A Experience  20
B Diagram of Transmitting and Receiving Apparatus  10
C Knowledge of Transmitting Apparatus  20 
D Knowledge of Receiving Apparatus  20
E Knowledge of the Operation and Care of Storage Batteries 10
F Knowledge of Motors and Generators 10
G Knowledge of the International Regulations Governing Radio Communications and the U. S. Radio Laws and Regulations  10

Amateur Station Licenses

   Special amateur stations may be licensed by the Secretary of Commerce, to use a longer wave-length and a higher power on special application. Applications for this class from amateurs with less than two years' experience in actual radio communication will not be approved. The applicant must state the experience and purpose of the applicant, the local conditions of radio communication, especially of maritime radio communication in the vicinity of the station, and a special license will be granted only if some substantial benefit to the art or to commerce, apart from individual amusement, seems probable.

   Special amateur coast stations must be operated by a person holding a commercial second grade license or higher. Inland stations may be operated by persons holding amateur second grade licenses or higher.

   General amateur stations are restricted to a transmitting wave-length not exceeding 200 meters and a transformer input not exceeding 1 K. W.

   Restricted amateur stations within five nautical miles of a naval or military station are restricted to a wave-length not exceeding 200 meters and to a transformer input not exceeding ½ K.W.

   Amateur first or second grade operators or higher are required for general and restricted amateur stations. The license does not specify the number of operators required, but provides that the station shall at all times while in operation be under the care of an operator licensed for that purpose. The grade and number of operators as required by law is determined by the service of the station.

   General and restricted amateur station licenses are issued directly by radio inspectors. Station licenses of all other classes are issued from the office of the Commissioner of Navigation, Department of Commerce. Applications and forms are forwarded by radio inspectors, with recommendations by them.

   Applications for station licenses of all classes should be addressed to the U. S. Radio Inspector for the district in which the station is located, who will forward the necessary blank forms and information.

   The owner of an amateur station may operate his station in accordance with the laws if his application for a license has been properly filed but has not been acted upon. An application for an operator's license must also have been filed and every effort made to obtain the license before the station may be operated. (Additional information concerning all licenses may be obtained from the booklet entitled "Radio Communication Laws of the U. S. and the International Radio Telegraphic Convention" on sale by the Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.)


For more information, visit the Telegraph Office

Neal McEwen, K5RW, nmcewen@metronet.com