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The General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) is a United States commercial license, as opposed to an amateur radio license. It allows the holder to operate, maintain or install certain classes of United States licensed radio and television transmitters under the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[1] Specifically, the FCC GROL is required to operate or work on any maritime land radio station or compulsorily equipped ship radiotelephone station operating with more than 1500 watts of peak envelope power and any voluntarily equipped ship and aeronautical (including aircraft) stations with more than 1000 watts of peak envelope power. They are also required for international broadcast stations, such as the Voice of America. The license also conveys all of the operating authority of the Marine Radio Operator Permit. The Permit is required to operate or work on radiotelephone stations aboard vessels weighing more than 300 gross tons, that carry more than six passengers for hire in the open sea or any coastal/tidewater area of the United States, aboard certain vessels that sail the Great Lakes, and to operate and repair certain aviation radiotelephone stations and certain coast radiotelephone stations. GROL does not confer licensing authority to operate or maintain GMDSS or radiotelegraph (Morse Code) commercial stations. These, however, are more specialized transmitters. Because of its wider nature the GROL is the most popular FCC commercial license, accounting for about 80% of those issued by the Commission. It also does not convey any authority to operate amateur radio stations, which have their own licensing system. Like all FCC commercial licenses (except the radiotelegraph ones, which have pictures of the holders) the GROL is issued for the lifetime of the licensee. A license that can be added to the GROL (as well as the GMDSS maintainer and the radiotelegraph licenses) is "Ship Radar Endorsement." This allows the holder to install, service, and maintain Radar systems on board vessels. In the past, the FCC issued the GROL in yellow 8.5 x 11 inch "diploma-like" form. It is now issued in a wallet-sized form. Contents 1 History 2 Qualifying for the GROL License 2.1 Qualifying 2.2 Element 1 - Marine Radio Operator Permit (MROP) 2.3 Element 3 - General Radiotelephone License 2.4 Element 8 - Ship Radar Endorsement 3 Study Preparation 3.1 Study Materials 3.2 Scientific Calculator 3.3 Preparation Software 3.3.1 Comparison of GROL preparation Software. 4 Commercial Operator License Examination Managers 5 See also 6 References 7 External links History Historically, the first commercial operator licenses were issued by the Department of Commerce and then later by the Federal Radio Commission under the authority of the Radio Act of 1927. When the FCC was created in 1934 it took over this function. The Commission issued First and Second Class Radiotelephone Operator Licenses. In 1953 a Third Class permit was added. As they developed after World War II, the "First Phone" was required to be chief engineer at a broadcast station, and to work on television transmitters. The "Second Phone" was often held by radio transmitter repair persons, such as in the aviation and maritime industries. The Third Class permit had little use except for announcers who had to record meter readings and who operated from low power radio broadcast stations. Obtaining any of these simply required passing written examinations, with the Second (because it included the entire field of electronics transmission) more difficult than the First, which concentrated on television. The Third just required a knowledge of broadcast rules. From 1963 to 1978 an additional (easy) technical written test added a "Broadcast Endorsement" to the "Third Phone". This allowed announcers to be the sole operators at some limited power radio stations. As technology rapidly changed transmitters required less skill to manage. In the spirit of deregulation and to reduce its own personnel and other associated costs, the FCC yield progressively more of its control over broadcasters, and eased licensing requirements. In 1980 the name of the Third Phone was changed to the Marine Radio Operator Permit and was subsequently renewed under that name. In 1982 testing stopped for the First. Shortly afterwards all renewing First and Second Class licenses, were issued as GROLs. Like all previous commercial licenses, they were issued with renewable five year terms, but in 1985 certificates began to be granted or renewed as lifetime documents.[2] Today passing the GROL examinations shows that the holder has a knowledge of FCC broadcast regulations and communications electronics. But except for the special cases noted above, it is no longer legally required for any work in broadcast stations. Qualifying for the GROL License Qualifying To qualify for the GROL, you must: Be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the United States. Be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English. Pass written exam Elements 1 and 3. How to obtain a License: To obtain a GROL License one must submit to the FCC, Form 605 and Form 159 with Proof of Passing Certificates for Elements 1 and 3. (Some Commercial Operator License Examination Managers will submit these forms for you.) All exam questions are multiple-choice. Element 1 - Marine Radio Operator Permit (MROP) Basic radio law and operating practice. Rules & Regulations - 6 questions Communications Procedures - 6 questions Equipment Operations - 6 questions Other Equipment - 6 questions Marine Radio Operator Permit question pool: 144 questions. To pass you must answer 18 of 24 questions.(75%) Element 3 - General Radiotelephone License Electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio transmitters and receivers. Element 3 exam will consists of questions in the following categories: Principles - 8 questions Electrical math - 10 questions Components - 10 questions Circuits - 4 questions Digital logic - 8 questions Receivers - 10 questions Transmitters - 6 questions Modulation - 3 questions Power Sources - 3 questions Antennas - 5 questions Aircraft - 6 questions Installation, Maintenance & Repair - 8 questions Communications Technology - 3 questions Marine - 5 questions Radar - 5 questions Satellite - 4 questions Safety - 2 questions General Radiotelephone Operator License question pool: 600 questions To pass you must answer 75 out of 100 questions.(75%) Element 8 - Ship Radar Endorsement The Ship Radar Endorsement is required to repair, maintain, or internally adjust ship radar equipment. To qualify, you must: Hold or qualify for a GROL, or GMDSS Radio Maintainer's License,or First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, or Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate. Pass Element 8 written exam.  Element 8 - Ship Radar Endorsement Ship Radar Techniques. Specialized theory and practice applicable to the proper installation, servicing, and maintenance of ship radar equipment in general use for marine navigation purposes. Element 8 exam will consists of questions in the following categories: Radar Principles – 10 questions Transmitting Systems – 8 questions Receiving Systems – 10 questions Display & Control Systems – 10 questions Antenna Systems- 5 Key Topics – 5 questions Installation, Maintenance & Repair – 7 questions Ship Radar Endorsement question pool: 300 questions To pass you must answer 38 out of 50 questions.(76%) Study Preparation Study Materials Things you will need to prepare for the GROL License are. A good book to study for the GROL License, and or FCC Examination Question Pools Downloads Scientific Calculator You also will need a non-programmable scientific calculator. Programmable calculators are not allowed to be used during the exams. Preparation Software Seeing how many questions there are in the question pools, you might want to use a software program to help prepare for the GROL exams. Good preparation software will create practice tests, and or find out the questions you are weak in, and drill you on them. Comparison of GROL preparation Software. Dauntless Five by Five Amateur and Commercial FCC Test Prep: Drills on missed questions. The more times a question is missed, the more times it will be seen. Practice test Online help Schematics RadioTelephone Tutor: Drills on missed questions. The more times a question is missed; the more times it must be answered right. Practice test Video walk thru & program help section Schematics GROL Plus: Does not drill on missed questions. Practice test. No help file. Schematics Commercial Operator License Examination Managers The actual examinations are given by Commercial Operator License Examination managers, (COLE) and fees typically range around $25–35 per element. The FCC site has a page; that has links to Cole Managers. Only about one third of the Cole Manager links on this FCC page are still valid. FCC Cole Examination Managers Links See also Electronics Technicians Association Radio horizon References ^ http://wireless.fcc.gov/commoperators/ ^ http://www.engineer-exchange.com/content/view/60/89/ External links FCC - General Radiotelephone Operator License (PG) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) FCC - Ship Radar Endorsement FCC FCC - Commercial Operator Licenses: Examinations FCC FCC Examination Question Pools Downloads FCC Cole Examination Managers Links v · d · eTelecommunications History Beacons · Broadcasting · Computer networks · Drums · Electrical telegraphy · Fax · Heliography · Hydraulic telegraphs · Internet · Mass media · Mobile phones · Optical telegraphy · Photophone · Radio · Radiotelephone · Satellite communications · Smoke signals · Telegraphy · Telephones · Telephone patent controversies · Television · Undersea telegraphs · Videophones & videotelephony Pioneers & inventors Alexander Graham Bell · Alfred Vail · Alexander Popov · Charles Wheatstone · Claude 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