SAMPLE WRITTEN ASSESSMENT                               NAME:

RADIO EXAMS are set and marked by the AMC



The following scenario applies to the first four questions in this section:

·      You are on a fishing trip out of Moreton Bay with three (3) other persons on board

·      Your present position is 15 nautical miles due north east of Skirmish Point

·      Your boat is a 7 metre cabin cruiser with a yellow hull and white deck

·      Its name is ‘Sea Wanderer’ - radio call sign VN1234

·      Weather is good - sea is moderate

·      You are equipped with MF/HF transceiver with digital selective calling (DSC) facilities and a radiotelephony alarm signal generating device. You have sufficient battery power to complete your calls



A member of your crew has had a heart attack and requires urgent medical attention.  Write an example of the priority radiotelephony call and message you would transmit after transmitting a digital selective calling alert.


You have hit a submerged object and damaged your hull.  You are taking water fast and estimate that you will sink in about 15 minutes.  You have a liferaft. Write an example of the priority radiotelephony call and message you would transmit after transmitting a digital selective calling alert.


You have just received a digital selective calling alert and the subsequent radiotelephony distress message from the vessel ‘Saucy Sue’ VL9876 which is in your vicinity.  You are able to provide assistance and will proceed at 15 knots.  ETA at Saucy Sue’s position is 10 minutes.  Write an example of the radiotelephony call and message you would transmit to ‘Saucy Sue’.


You have sighted a large shipping container which is floating almost fully submerged.  You consider that this is a danger to other fishing vessels in the area.  Write an example of the priority radiotelephony call and message you would transmit on a working frequency after transmitting a digital selective calling alert


Write down, in order, the four steps necessary to correctly transmit a digital selective calling (DSC) distress alert and subsequent radiotelephony distress call and message

Trail Radio Exam Paper


1          On a marine radio, the function of the squelch control is to:

a          Increase the volume of the messages received

b          Increase the clarity of weak signals

c          Eliminate background interference

d          Stop other stations cutting into a conversation

2          An EPIRB is which of the following:

a          An emergency voice transmitter and receiver

b          An emergency voice and direction finding transmitter

c          A direction finding transmitter and receiver

d          A beacon transmitter

3          A limited coast station about to transmit a gale warning by radiotelephony will use a priority signal. Which one ?

a          The distress signal

b          The urgency signal

c          The safety signal

            d          Routine weather signal

4          Write the phonetic word for each of the following:

            G, O, Q, U, X, Z, S, J, V, A

5          The word SECURITE repeated three times indicates:

a          Your boat has been holed and is taking water fast and you require immediate assistance

b          The station about to transmit the message had information concerning the safety of navigation or is giving an important meteorological warning

c          The station transmitting is about to pass a message to another boat concerning an injured person

d          You wish to use the radio telegram service operated by Telstra

6          What word do you say when you have finished your transmission and do      not expect a reply ?

a          Romeo

b          Over

c          Out

d          Negative

7          A ship in distress may impose silence on other stations by transmitting which radiotelephony signal ?

a          Prudonce

b          Seelonce Distress

c          Seelonce Feenee

d          Seelonce Mayday

8          If an operator transmits a digital selective call distress alert by mistake, what is the first action that should be taken ?

a          Advise the nearest coast station of the mistake

b          Transmit an all-stations DSC distress cancellation alert

c          Transmit an all-stations DSC safety alert

d          Switch off the transceiver to cancel automatic repeats of the distress alert

9          Which of the following is correct

a          A distress message may be sent only on 2182 khz during a silence period

b          A distress message may be sent on any frequency at any time

c          A distress message may be only be sent on 2182, 27.88 and Channel 16

d          A distress massage may only be sent during a silence period on any   frequency

10        Pan Pan is a call to announce

a          Distress traffic after the initial Mayday call

b          Urgent message to follow

c          Navigational warning to follow

d          A French conversation will follow

11        The documents which must be carried aboard all vessels with regard to radio operation are:

a          Radio equipment licence, radio operator’s licence, log book of radio traffic, AMC operator’s handbook

b          Ship’s log, radio operator’s licence, equipment manuals, telegram register

c          Radio  Equipment licence, radio operator’s licence, Ship Master’s Licence, Instruction Manual

12        Which of the following frequencies is an international distress and calling frequency ?

a          2524

b          27.88

c          VHF Ch 63

d          4125

13        Which of the following is an international supplementary distress and calling frequency on VHF?

a          Ch 73

b          Ch 71

c          Ch 67

d          Ch 16

14        Which is a digital selective calling distress frequency ?

a          2182.5

b          2201.5

c          2524.5

d          2187.5

15        When a ship and a coast or limited coast station are communicating,  which station has the right to choose frequencies or transmission time ?

a          Coast Station

b          Ship Station

c          Arranged by mutual agreement

d          Either station

16        With regard to radio telephone messages a limited Coast Station is:

a          Permitted to charge by the minute for radio telephone messages

b          Not permitted to charge for such messages

c          Permitted to charge by the word for such messages

d          Not permitted to accept such messages

17        What action would you take if you received a digital selective calling urgency alert ?

a          Tune the radio to the associated radiotelephony channel or frequency

b          Acknowledge the alert by digital selective calling

c          Acknowledge the alert by radiotelephony

d          Continue listening on the DSC frequency

18        How are ship and coast or limited coast stations identified using DSC techniques ?

a          By the stations radiotelephony call sign

b          By the stations MMSI

c          By the stations radiotelephony call sign and name

d          By the stations official name

19        What is the urgency signal repeated three times?

a          Pan Pan

b          Mayday

c          Save me

d          Securite

20        A station controlling distress traffic may use the word ‘PRUDONCE’ to  indicate that:

a          Only vessels assisting the vessel in distress may transmit messages

b          Complete silence is no longer necessary and restricted working may   be resumed

c          Normal working traffic may be resumed but messages should be kept short

d          All vessels not involved in the distress situation should use supplementary calling frequencies

21        The radio power supply is generally:

a          Pure alcohol

b          Sulphuric acid / lead battery

c          Hydrochloric acid / lead battery

c          The motor of the boat

22        Your receiver is working normally, but when you press the transmit button everything ‘dies’ including dial lights etc.  Which of the following        is the most likely cause ?

a          Blown fuse

b          Faulty aerial (antenna)

c          Battery almost discharged

d          Broken power leads

23        When you switch on, dial lights operate but both transmitter and receiver sections of your set are ’dead’.  Which of the following is the most likely     cause

a          Faulty aerial ( antenna)

b          Faulty receiver

c          Faulty transmitter

d          Blown fuse

24        If there are no lights, no receiver noise and no transmitter output, the problem would most likely be:

a          Battery almost flat

b          Faulty microphone

c          Fuse Blown

d          Faulty earth

25        If you receive a shock from your radio when transmitting on your MF/HF set, the problem would be:

a          Faulty microphone

b          Intermittent power supply connections

c          Faulty earth

d          Reversed polarity of the power supply

26        Your radio fuse has blown.  Which of the following is the correct action:

a          Wrap the fuse in aluminium foil and replace it

b          Put a piece of fine wire across the fuse terminals

c          Replace with a  fuse of the same size

d          Replace with a slightly smaller fuse

27        If the battery plates are not covered with electrolyte (liquid), which of the following would you add?

a          Salt water

b          Sulphuric acid

c          Distilled water

d          Acid and water mixed

28        Which of the following would be the most likely cause of one cell of a battery needing to be topped up more often than the others ?

a          Not getting enough charge

b          Getting too much charge

c          Cell stronger than the others

d          Cell breaking down

29        Who is responsible for the coordination of all search and rescue of small vessels in inshore waters ?

a          Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR)

b          Australian Maritime Safety Authority

c          The nearest Volunteer Marine Rescue Organisation

d          State and Territory Polices

30        What is the function of the Antenna Tuning Unit (ATU) on a MF/HF set ?

a          Adjusts the ‘electrical’ length of the antenna to achieve maximum power output on different frequencies

b          Improved the quality and clarity of incoming signals

c          Minimises the effect of loud static on received signals

d          Adjusts the ‘physical’ length of the antenna to achieve maximum power output on different frequencies

31        The contamination of a battery with salt water will cause it to give off which of the following gasses?

a          Sulphur dioxide

b          Chlorine

c          Hydrogen

d          Oxygen

32        A battery being charged will give off which gas?

a          Sulphur dioxide

b          Chlorine

c          Hydrogen

d          Oxygen

33        Which of the following is the correct hydrometer reading for a fully discharged battery?

a          1150

b          1450

c          1250

d          1200

34        Two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel will produce which of the following voltages:

a          12 volts

b          24 volts

c          6 volts

            d          18 volts

35        The general condition of a battery and its ability to supply current over a period of time is best measured by:

a          Calling another station for a radio check

b          Measuring the specific gravity of each cell

c          Checking the height of the electrolyte in each cell

d          Starting the boat engine

36        Your radio receiver ‘crackles’ and incoming messages are broken.  Other stations report your transmitted signal is broken and hard to read.  Which of the following is the likely cause of the problem ?

a          Power leads frayed or broken

b          Poor earth connection

c          Antenna broken or broken and contaminated insulators

d          Press to talk switch faulty

37        Your radio is receiving incoming messages clearly but you are unable to  get a reply to your transmissions.  Which of the following is the most    likely cause of the problem

a          Broken antenna lead

b          Faulty microphone

c          Discharged or defective battery

d          Blown fuse

38        Your radio receiver operates intermittently and dial lights are flickering.  Which of the following is the most likely cause of the problem ?

a          Loose or corroded battery terminals

b          Faulty press to talk switch

c          Broken power connecting cables

d          Fracture inside the whip antenna

39        A EPIRB can only be tested:

a          By activating the test switch

b          Inside the hull of your vessel

c          With the permission of the nearest coast or limited coast station

d          With the permission of local police

40        Fine tuning of incoming signals on SSB can be achieved by adjusting:

a          The squelch control

b          The volume control

c          The clarifier control

d          The RF gain control