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GOTA FAQ

Q. What is the GOTA station?

A. It is an opportunity for Novice, Technician, Technician Plus licensees, other generally inactive licensees, and non-licensed persons to experience first-hand the fun of amateur radio by allowing them to GET ON THE AIR.

Q. How many GOTA stations may a club have on the air?

A. Only one GOTA station may be used by a club at any given time.

Q. What are the bands for the GOTA station?

A. The GOTA station may operate on any amateur HF band on which Field Day operation is permitted.

Q. What modes and frequencies may the GOTA station use?

A. The modes and frequencies are determined by the license class of the control operator of the GOTA station. There must be a control operator permitted to use the frequencies and modes desired in direct control of the GOTA station any time it is transmitting.

Q. What callsign does the GOTA station use?

A. The GOTA station uses a callsign different from the call being used by the group’s main Field Day operation. The GOTA station also uses a single callsign for the duration of Field Day. Remember that you must have permission of the holder of the callsign in order to use it for the GOTA station. Also remember the rules of station ID. A two-by-three call issued to a Technician licensee may be used, but if the call is being used outside of the privileges of the licensee, it must also include the callsign of the control operator (WA4QQN/N1ND for example).

Q. What exchange does the GOTA station give?

A. GOTA stations use the same exchange as its “parent” station. This is "Two Alpha Mike Ocean" in our case.

Q. Who may the GOTA station contact?

A. The GOTA station may contact any other amateur radio station, with a couple of exceptions. The GOTA station may not work its “parent” Field Day station. It may not contact any station operated by a person who was involved with their group’s Field Day operation. Remember that if a DX station is involved, the FCC rules involving Third Party participation apply.

Q. What is considered a generally inactive licensee?

A. The GOTA station is not for everyone. The generally inactive licensee provisions pertain to someone who holds a General or higher class license but has been inactive. The intent and the spirit of this station is to provide an opportunity for persons to gain valuable on-the-air experience. This is not a station that a club “ringer” operates in order to rack up points. The list of operators of this station must be submitted with the Field Day entry. A couple of guidelines to keep in mind when allowing persons to operate the GOTA station:

  1. Any licensee who has never made HF contacts would be considered inactive.
  2. Someone who has made no QSOs in the last two years would be considered inactive.
  3. A person who operated the GOTA station as a generally inactive licensee last year would not be eligible to operate the GOTA station in the following Field Day.

In order to claim the GOTA bonus, the club/group must provide a list of operators and the number of QSOs each operator makes at the GOTA station. Clubs should use their judgment in determining the operators of the GOTA station.

Q. May someone operate both the GOTA and the main Field Day stations?

A. It is permissible for someone to operate both GOTA and the main stations. However, remember that to use the GOTA station, you must meet the requirements of license class, be generally inactive, or a non-licensed person. It is not permissible for a seasoned operator to operate the GOTA station.

Q. May a non-licensed person operate the GOTA station?

A. A non-licensed person may participate in the GOTA station by speaking into the microphone, sending CW, or making digital contacts but may do so only under the direct supervision of a properly licensed control operator.

Q. I am an active Novice licensee. May I operate the GOTA station?

A. Yes. The GOTA station may be operated by any Novice or Technician licensee, under the terms of their license privileges, or under the supervision of a control operator.