Amateur Radio Quiz: The Band Is Hot!


By H. Ward Silver, N0AX
ARRL Contributing Editor

Summer time brings out the 6 meter “Magic Band” aficionados as action via sporadic-E (Es) propagation heats up. The annual Perseids meteor shower brings additional excitement during mid-August as the Earth sweeps through the debris of the comet Swift-Tuttle. With so many new radios offering all-mode operation on 6 meters, why not press that “50” button and join the fun?



1) Which non-amateur allocation was eventually re-allocated to Amateur Radio?
a. Low-band VHF mobile radio
b. Broadcast TV channel 1
c. Radiolocation
d. Early weather radar

2) 50 MHz is the best band for which of these propagation modes?
a. Meteor scatter
b. EME
c. Double-hop F2

3) Along with the summer’s enhanced sporadic-E season, what other time of the year is good for this type of propagation?
a. Spring equinox
b. Fall equinox
c. Winter solstice
d. Enhancement only occurs in summer

4) What was the model number of the Heathkit 6 Meter CW/SSB transceiver kit?
a. SB-110
b. SB-610
c. SB-660
d. SB-666

5) Which antenna would work the best for making CW and SSB contacts on 6 meters?
a. quarter-wave vertical whip
b. half-wave vertical dipole
c. half-wave horizontal dipole
d. full-wave horizontal loop

6) Which of the following band-plan segments is used for radio control transmissions?
a. 51-54.0 MHz
b. 50.8-50.98 MHz
c. 50.1-50.11 MHz
d. 50.0-50.1 MHz

7) What are the 6 meter privileges for Technician class licensees?
a. 50.125-50.200 MHz, USB
b. 50.100-53.900 MHz, USB and FM
c. 51.12-54.0 MHz, FM
d. All amateur privileges

8) What amateur allocation was the predecessor of 6 meters?
a. 1.25 meters
b. 2.5 meters
c. 5 meters
d. 11 meters

9) What is the calling frequency for DX stations on 6 meters?
a. 50.010 MHz
b. 50.100 MHz
c. 50.110 MHz
d. 50.125 MHz

10) Where can you find beacon stations operating on 6 meters?
a. There are no restrictions on beacon stations above 30 MHz.
b. 50.06-50.08 MHz
c. 50.100-50.110 MHz
d. 53.9-54.0 MHz

Bonus -- What does a “ping jockey” ping?








1) b -- Check here for a fascinating history of Channel 1
2) a
3) c -- This is why the ARRL 10 Meter Contest is scheduled in December
4) a -- The SB-500 was the 2 meter transverter
5) c -- Horizontal polarization is the norm for CW/SSB “weak signal” operation on VHF+ bands; the dipole’s radiation pattern will offer plenty of low-angle signal even if just a few feet off the ground.
6) b
7) d -- That’s right -- any ham can fully utilize the 6 meter band!
8) c -- Before World War II, hams had access to 50-56 Mc and 112 Mc.
9) c -- 50.10-50.125 MHz is the “DX window” on 6 meters where stations outside the US and Canada can be found when the band is open.
10) b -- Listen for the stations with “/B” after their call signs. They often send their grid square, too, so you can tell where they are located.

Bonus -- A “ping” is a signal received via meteor scatter propagation and gets its name from the characteristic sound of these short bursts of signal.