View Full Version : Operating modes & meaning

09-18-2005, 08:43 PM
What do operating modes: F1, F2, & F3 mean?

09-18-2005, 09:28 PM
FCC Part 2 Section 2.201 (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/octqtr/47cfr2.201.htm) is a good resource for 'decoding' emmision types such as the ones you listed.

09-19-2005, 04:53 AM
Steve KC2OHW,

# AI4G has given the proper 2005 response to your question.

I memorized just enough of that stuff to max the last exam I took a couple years ago. Otherwise I revert to earlier times.

Welcome to my world! If you would have asked this question 20 or 25 years ago, you would have received my response as follows:

F1--- #frequency shift keying (when you hear radio teletype signals on the low end of 80 or 40 meters)

F2--- tone modulated FM (when you hear your local 2 meter repeater identify using Morse code)

F3--- frequency modulated voice (when you hear the guys talking on two meters)

If you find reference material from 20-25 years ago, all your questions will be answered.

# # # # # # # # # # #John

09-19-2005, 05:24 AM
I just want to encourage you to get a copy of the Rules and Regs. You're responsible for everything your station emits and being in the wrong place with the wrong mode can be a big problem for you.

There are many places to get copies, but I'd suggest the ARRL's FCC RULEBOOK. Everything you need to know and then some is in it.

09-19-2005, 05:38 AM
FCC Rules and Regulations.... Don't leave home without them..
If you have a printer, you can have a copy of these for the cost of a few sheets of paper...



09-19-2005, 03:35 PM

Actually F2 was the designator for frequency modulated MCW which is NOT when your repeater identifies. MCW requires that the carrier not only be modulated but that it is also turned off and on just like normal CW. The advantage of MCW is that it can be copied with a receiver that doesn't have a BFO (beat frequency oscillator).

When a repeater identifies using a tone sending the callsign utilizing the International Morse code it is still operating in F3. The emission is still phone but the information is provided by a tone generator and not by a human voice.

Using a tone generator into a phone transmitter is legal on all bands where phone operation is allowed except for the 60 meter band. However, MCW is restricted to the 50.1 MHz to 54.0 MHz band and on all amateur radio frequencies above 144.1 MHz (remember that the lower 100 KHz of both the 6 meter and 2 meter bands are restricted to CW.

Glen, K9STH

09-19-2005, 07:23 PM
ok thanks everyone..
i knew about the lower 100khz are restricted to CW for 6 & 2 meters,but does anyone ever use them?

09-19-2005, 08:56 PM

The 100 KHz CW segments on the 6 meter and 2 meter bands are quite often used. The 6 meter portion especially when the band is open and the 2 meter portion for EME as well as terrestrial contacts.

Glen, K9STH

09-19-2005, 09:13 PM
Would HT's receive the cw or no?

09-19-2005, 09:34 PM
There are handheld portable radios (remember that HT is a registered trademark of Motorola and Motorola makes FM units) that are capable of receiving CW. However, the vast majority of handheld portable units are FM only and really are not suitable for CW reception.

Any unit that is capable of receiving SSB is capable of receiving CW. An AM receiver needs a BFO (beat frequency oscillator) to receive CW. An FM receiver might be used in an emergency or if you have no other way to copy CW but you would have to copy the change in noise level rather than a tone. I have done it but it sure wasn't comfortable to listen to the signal.

I have used CW on both 6 and 2 meters for almost 46 years as well as on the lower bands for over 46 years. CW will get through when other modes cannot even be detected.

If you have a receiver that doesn't cover 6 or 2 meters but can copy CW on lower frequencies converters are available (also can be cheaply homebrewed) that will extend the coverage of the receiver to those bands.

I am a "converter junkie" in the fact that I have acquired well over 20 VHF and UHF converters for 50 MHz, 144 MHz, 222 MHz, and 432 MHz (even have one for the 4 meter - 72 MHz band which is used in Europe). Several of my HF receivers have converter consoles hooked to them so that I can receive the various VHF and UHF bands.

If you are interested in building converters Mouser has crystals that are well under $1 that work very well for the crystal controlled oscillator circuit. They are just as good as those costing like $15 or more from other sources. It is just that these particular crystals are made for "clock" oscillators and are made in the thousands rather than one at a time. I use crystals from Mouser in several of my converters.

Glen, K9STH

09-19-2005, 10:06 PM
How do converters work, I mean as in like, if your recieving on one band and transmitting on that band as displayed then how is it really transmitting on something as in 2 meters? I'm new to the hobby so the converter thing is a new thing for me.

09-19-2005, 11:55 PM
Basically a receiving converter (which are generally referred to just as a converter) takes a signal from one frequency and changes it to another frequency. Your main receiver actually has converters as part of the circuitry. However, an external converter changes say a 50 MHz signal down to 28 MHz (6 meters to 10 meters which is a very common conversion). This allows the 6 meter signal to be received using a 10 meter receiver.

Now a transmitting converter does just the opposite. It changes the transmitted frequency from one band to another band. Going from a 10 meter transmitted signal to a 6 meter transmitted signal is very common.

Now a "transverter" is a device that does both jobs. That is when receiving the signal is changed from one band to a 2nd band. When transmitting the signal is changed from the 2nd band to the original band. For example, to operate on 2 meter SSB and CW I have an old Hallicrafters HA-2 transverter that I run into the Heath SSB "twins". When someone is transmitting on 2 meters the HA-2 receives that signal and translates it down to 10 meters which I then receive the signal on my SB-301 receiver. If I wish to communicate with the station that is operating on 2 meters I transmit using my SB-401 operating in the 10 meter band. The HA-2 then converts the 10 meter transmitted signal to 2 meters and transmits the signal on that band.

Since the same injection oscillator is used for both receiving and transmitting it is possible to transceive (transmit and receive on the same frequency with a single unit controlling both the transmit and receive frequencies). In fact, I have used my Uniden HR-2510 10 meter transceiver as the exciter/receiver for the HA-2.

A converter, transmitting converter, and transverter are basically a "linear" device. That is whatever mode is put into the device the same mode comes out. Now it is possible to "invert" the sidebands. That is if upper sideband is on the input then lower sideband is on the output. If lower sideband is on the input then upper sideband is on the output. But, that is a special case and I wouldn't worry about that right now since most converters, etc., use the injection where what goes in comes out.

There are several companies that manufacture various converters, transverters, etc. Also, especially with a receiving converter it is a pretty simple homebrew project that can be built fairly easily by someone without a whole lot of experience.

Glen, K9STH

09-21-2005, 05:32 AM
Quote[/b] (K9STH @ Sep. 19 2005,09:35)]CEY:

Actually F2 was the designator for frequency modulated MCW which is NOT when your repeater identifies. #MCW requires that the carrier not only be modulated but that it is also turned off and on just like normal CW. #
# #Since this young operator's question specifically asked about F1, F2, and F3, I was trying to relate my answer to what he may hear on todays Ham bands. I'm not sure where he got those old time designators, but I was simply trying to answer his question.

As far as MCW, how about ICW, or spark or ARC, or shipboard transmitters that used the 500 cycle mains supply to modulate the carrier? I was better versed in this stuff before I got my first ticket, as my father told me that I could use his study materials until he bought me a new ARRL license manual in 1954.(which cost 50 cents in those days). He got his Ham ticket in 1929 and first 'phone in 1934.

I knew how to improvise a shipboard field rheostat with a pail of salt water and two electrodes before I started learning the Morse code.

Golly, you're taking me back to the days of the IP 501 receiver, with this MCW business.

# # # # # # # #John

09-21-2005, 11:13 AM
The element 6 (theory) exam I took for my second class telegraph in 1977 was dated at the bottom "1954." #I'll never forget that as I've always credited that with being a big help to me in passing it. #The only trouble I had with that exam was on batteries. #I'm still not all that well versed on battery care.

A2 MCW was used on 600m for distress calling. #The autoalarm receivers operated without a BFO so that even if the transmitter used to call for help or the autoalarm receiver drifted off 600m a bit, there was still a good chance the tone modulation would activate the autoalarm. # Of course any operator aboard ship or on shore would listen with the BFO on and likely hear the CW transmissions at a greater distance as CW of course is better than anything modulated. # So for distress calling it was the best of both available worlds.