GOTA Station FAQs

Q. What is the GOTA station?

A. It is an opportunity for Novice licensees, newly licensed amateurs, 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 (GOTA).

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

A. A club may employ only one GOTA station.

Q. What are the bands for the GOTA station?

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

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? What exchange does the GOTA station give?

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). GOTA stations use the same exchange as its “parent” station.

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 and progress to operating the regular club stations in the future. The intent is not to develop a group of “permanent GOTA Field Day operators”. This is also 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.

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 best 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.

Q. How do I calculate the GOTA bonus points?

A: Please refer to the separate GOTA Scoring FAQ in this packet.

Revised: 02/2010