How to participate in the military cross band test,

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W4JLE, Mar 7, 2011.

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  1. W4JLE

    W4JLE Ham Member QRZ Page

    What is the “Military Cross Band Test” and how do I participate?

    After posting an announcement on that USS Yorktown would be operating in the annual military cross band test along with listing the military frequencies I have been barraged with E-Mails. Most opined that these frequencies were outside the ham band and amateurs could not operate there for the test.

    First a little background and then we will get to the how to do it part. Each year the Military conducts the annual cross band test on a weekend close to Armed forces Day. Armed Forces Day is a day for the United States to pay tribute to the men and women who protect us and our country.
    Before 1950 there were five separate holidays to pay tribute to separate branches of our armed forces:
    • Army Day: April 6
    • Air Force Day: August 1
    • Coast Guard Day: August 4
    • Navy Day: October 27
    • Marine Corps Day: November 10
    Armed Forces Day began in 1949 when Secretary of Defense Mr. Louis Johnson announced that the separate holidays commemorating the Army, Navy, and Air Force were to be combined into one celebration on the third Saturday in May. This change was a direct result of a much larger government transformation: the unification of all the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

    The Armed Forces Cross Band Test gives amateurs a chance to work military stations such as Andrews Air Force Base, Navy Communications Station Washington and a myriad of other military and government stations. In the past, in addition to the contacts, a message was transmitted in CW at 25 words per minute from the Secretary of Defense. Each amateur that copied the message received a certificate from the defense department. In recent years the message has been transmitted in various digital modes such as AMTOR, MT-63 and RTTY. There will be no message this year as the Obama administration has indicated they will have be no time to prepare and approve the message do to the reorganization of the defense department.

    Now on to how to work the military stations. You will normally find a list of stations in QST or on the net for the Cross Band test. In the case of the USS Yorktown we published

    USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) (14 MAY 1200Z - 15 MAY 0400Z)

    4010.0 KHZ LSB 80M
    7348.0 KHZ LSB 40M
    14478.5 KHZ USB 20M
    20994.0 KHZ USB 15M

    To contact USS Yorktown you simply would listen on 4010.0 LSB and you will hear the operator saying “This is November Whiskey Mike Juliet listening on 3995 ( or where he/she finds a clear ham frequency) Kilohertz OVER”
    I would transmit on 3995 and say “NWMJ this is Whiskey Four Juliet Lima Echo OVER” or if a lot of stations calling just say your call phonetically.

    BIG HINT: You will stand a much better chance of making contact if you use standard phonetics. Many of the various stations are manned by military folks that will never understand
    “This is WY4GHD, We’re Yearning 4 Grilled Hot Dogs”
    The military stations are not permitted VOX operation and are used to hearing the proword OVER. Use it to let them know you are now listening! They will do the same.

    To get an example of the stations that operated in 2010 go to:

    73 and hope to hear you during the Cross Band Test.

    South Carolina
    Navy Marine Corp MARS State Director
  2. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've participated in the past, and have a few really nice QSL cards for the effort.
    It's sad that you have been bothered by some who don't think the crossband test is somehow "illegal." It shows that apparently many Amateurs do not know or have not read §Part 97, which specifically states such operations ARE legal.
    Everyone is SUPPOSED to know the rules; specifically §97.111(a) (4)
  3. WW5RM

    WW5RM Guest

    Outside our band limits is legal? Since when?

    Legal? How is this legal if it is outside the Ham Bands? Cross Band is legal yes according to Part 97 but not outside the band limits. If thus is the case then why do we bother to not get to close to the band edge as our band width might go outside the limit? That is one of the test questions and if is incorrect then it and many other test questions in the pool needs to be changed.

    So how is it we can go outside our band limits and be legal?
  4. KI4TI

    KI4TI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Huh???? Who is operating outside band limits?????? The ham????--NO The military operator???? - NO
  5. AK4MP

    AK4MP QRZ Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm looking forward to it. Sounds like it will be interesting and I like interesting.
  6. W8NSI

    W8NSI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not Out-Of-Band Operation

    You can NOT operate out of band and that is not what this is about.

    [1] A MARS operator on board the carrier will be on one or all of those frequencies listed.
    [2] The MARS operator in question will announce the frequency (or frequency range) INSIDE the ham band that he is listening to.
    [3] You call for him in that specified frequency range and if he hears you he will answer you back.
    [4] Unless you hold a MARS license and call sign you can not go to the frequencies listed and they may not be listening for calls there anyway.
    [5] YOU must stay inside the assigned amateur radio frequencies, meaning that you can not try some kind of band edge operation that will put you out of band.

    What does all this mean? It is called split frequency operation with you listening to a frequency outside the ham band. You will be transmitting (after listening and being sure that you are not trampling on an ongoing QSO) on a frequency within the amateur radio band. If the MARS op calls someone else, then he is not currently listening on the freq you are transmitting on.

    Go back to the top of the page and carefully read the post from Fred. Lotsa good info there!

    So simple a cave man could understand it!
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  7. K2PH

    K2PH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here we go again, insulting cave men.....

    In response to your sig:
    You bet your sweet ... I am.
  8. N0WYO

    N0WYO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I resemble that remark...Sometimes..

  9. W5DQ

    W5DQ Guest

    As suggestion for those of you who DO NOT regularly use the SPLIT function on your radio transceiver, go get out the manual (if you can find it) and read the section on operating SPLIT. Split mode is where you transmit on one freqency and receive on a seperate frequency. Yes it is legal so long as you transmit WITHIN your segment of the amateur bands assigned to your license. You can listen to any frequency, daylight to dark, to hear the station you are communicating with. They DO NOT have to be on the same frequency as you are as it appears some of you might believe.

    Marvels of science ...... isn't it!!!!
  10. KN4X

    KN4X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cut him some slack ;) The test materials do drum it into your head to stay away from the band edges. It'll be a learning experience for him and a lot of others. I plan on trying to participate. You gotta admit cross band ops with another service sounds a little hairy at first, and just about the only time you hear the word MARS is when someone is trying to modify their rig.
  11. N7LT

    N7LT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for posting Fred! I just downloaded the PDF and look forward to once again working the Armed Forces Day event! I've been doing it off and on (when I remember to) for the past 20 years. Lately it's been tough working the stations with such poor band conditions. Some of the QSL's and certificates I've received in the past have been VERY nice! The official government letter in the mail sure catches your attention when your QSL/certificates arrive!

    Some of these posts crack me up! READ THE ARTICLE BEFORE YOU POST SUCH SILLYNESS! The Armed Services Day cross band comms test has been going on since.....I don't know how long, better than 20 years? (good trivia question!) Just do a search and you'll find TONS of articles about it! Pretty simple to READ the test rules/instructions and see that you'll be transmitting IN the ham band and listening OUT of the ham band while the military stations will transmitting on their frequencies and listening in the ham bands.

    So now, everyone who's posted here has to come back after the test and post their results! That would be fun to see how many made how many contacts!

    73 all and see you down the book!

    Lyndel, N7LT
  12. NE6V

    NE6V Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank GOD I've been a PROUD member of California Army MARS ...
    AAR9CD...become a member and enjoy service to our country and your community!!
  13. W9USS

    W9USS Ham Member QRZ Page

    And he has an extra ticket,whats happening to ham radio. retest comes to mind.
  14. KI4JIT

    KI4JIT Ham Member QRZ Page

    armed forices day print

    I simply want to know why I cann't print all I one page. I printed two pages and still didn't get whated I wann't
  15. N6RLS

    N6RLS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, it's only a little worrysome that so many licensed hams missed the detail from the original posting about this; that the listening frequencies would be announced as the event began... obviously not an out-of-band situation as we (hams) would be transmitting on the in-band, yet-to-be-announced frequencies (well within ham bands), and only listening on the out-of-band frequencies... not a violation of anything. Sigh.
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