The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 19

Feature

non-technical opportunities. The most obvious
activities fall into the broad topic of electronic
communication systems. The public service aspect
of amateur radio will often have clubs supporting
community activities while providing great social and
learning experiences. The preparation and execution
of those community activities requires system
design, planning, volunteerism, and logistics as well.
Participants are then users of the technology as
well as creators.
This article focuses on these three
areas: licensing, classroom projects, and
extracurricular applications of amateur radio.
There are many amateur radio resources covering
the broad interests of ECE students. Many are
offered by public safety, state, federal, and other local
agencies that want to have radio operators support
them. Technical training and projects range from
antenna design, radio construction, software design
radio implementations, data transmission protocols,
and computer applications that use data transmitted
over amateur radio allocated frequencies. There are
also many networking opportunities for students
when they attend meetings of their local club,
amateur radio conventions, and even chatting with
new friends they meet on the air, nearby and around
the world. All these doors are opened if schools take
advantage of these many resources and encourage
students to pursue them.

Coordinator (VEC) Organizations to administer these
examinations across the U.S (https://www.fcc.gov/
volunteer-examiner-coordinators-vecs). Cal Poly has
chosen the Laurel VEC organization because it does
not charge any fees for taking the FCC examination.
This no-fee solution simplifies using the FCC
technician radio examination as a learning tool in
the Electrical Engineering Curriculum and increases
accessibility of the license for first-year students.
Figures 1 and 2 illustrate an example of the local
radio club providing an entire examination process
for 160 students in a single class meeting period of
50 minutes.

Fig. 1: Volunteer examiners Cathi Okamura (KJ6OHR) and Ashley
Threlfall (KF7JDL) checking in students prior to the in-class
FCC examination. Photo Credit: Marcel Stieber (AI6MS).

Legal Use of the Radio Spectrum:
Getting Students their FCC License
By licensing college students in their first year
of study, they gain access to use the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) amateur radio
allocated spectrum. The allocated spectrum covers
a wide range of frequencies that demonstrate the
breadth of wireless communication phenomena.
There are three levels of licensing: the Technician,
General and Extra Class levels. The first year licensing
activity focuses on getting freshmen to take and
pass the technician-level examination [3]. The
FCC authorizes 14 different Volunteer Examiner

Fig. 2: Freshman taking the amateur radio technician exam as part of
an Introduction to Electrical Engineering course. Most students
complete the multiple choice examination in about 30 minutes.
Photo Credit: Marcel Stieber (AI6MS).

HKN.ORG

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https://www.fcc.gov/volunteer-examiner-coordinators-vecs https://www.fcc.gov/volunteer-examiner-coordinators-vecs https://hkn.ieee.org/ https://hkn.ieee.org/

The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019

Contents
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover1
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover2
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Contents
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 4
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 5
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 6
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 7
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 8
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 9
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 10
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 11
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 12
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The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 17
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The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 19
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 20
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 21
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 22
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The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 40
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 41
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - 42
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover3
The Bridge - Issue 2, 2019 - Cover4
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