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Author Topic: FCC Regs on One-way Transmissions and Broadcasting For Repeaters  (Read 8708 times)
KC3NG
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Posts: 46




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« on: August 03, 2016, 02:46:33 PM »

With the advent of Technologies, FCC regs are "pushed".

What are current rules and regs concerning broadcasting or one way transmissions or recorded "messages" on repeaters?
Renee KC3NG
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 02:51:11 PM by KC3NG » Logged
W2JUV
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 03:49:36 PM »

Hap Holly KC9RP has produced the Radio Amateurs Information Net (RAIN) for many years. It is a pre-recorded program carried on many repeaters throughout the US.  Haven't heard it in a few years, but assume it is still on the air.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 08:01:47 PM »

There are no rules against broadcasting or one-way transmissions PROVIDED that the content is intended for interest to amateur radio operators and not the general public. W1AW and others have been broadcasting code practice on schedule for years.

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AB3LW
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 08:13:42 PM »

there was a program called ar newsline that was played weekly during a vhf net. when playing a recording like this to an assembled group in a net, broadcasting is legal, and sadly missed too!
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W9IQ
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Posts: 758




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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 05:08:55 AM »

If you want to tie this back to the US amateur radio regulations, then "broadcasting" is generally not legal since part 97 defines this as "transmissions intended for reception by the general public, either direct or relayed." Then 97.113.5.b says in part "An amateur station shall not engage in any form of broadcasting". The exception is in this same paragraph "except that communications directly related to the immediate safety of human life or the protection of property may be provided by amateur stations to broadcasters for dissemination to the public where no other means of communication is reasonably available before or at the time of the event."

What you are probably interested in is what the FCC calls "one-way" transmissions. Here are the allowable one-way transmissions as defined in 97.111.5.b:

(1) Brief transmissions necessary to make adjustments to the station;
(2) Brief transmissions necessary to establishing two-way communications with other stations;
(3) Telecommand;
(4) Transmissions necessary to providing emergency communications;
(5) Transmissions necessary to assisting persons learning, or improving proficiency in, the international Morse code; and
(6) Transmissions necessary to disseminate information bulletins.
(7) Transmissions of telemetry.

The regulations further elaborate on allowed one-way transmissions for beacons, telecommand, telemetry, space telemetry, and auxiliary use.

Some repeaters have the ability to automatically retransmit government weather alerts or propagation forecasts. These are allowed by 97.113.5.c:

"... propagation and weather forecast information intended for use by the general public and originated from United States Government stations, and communications, including incidental music, originating on United States Government frequencies between a manned spacecraft and its associated Earth stations."

Repeaters that announce club meeting dates or other items of general ham interest, the time, the temperature at the repeater site, a news bulletin, etc. are probably operating legally as these are all allowed one-way transmissions.

Do you have a specific repeater message that concerns you?

- Glenn W9IQ

« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 05:11:51 AM by W9IQ » Logged

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
KC3NG
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 09:32:58 PM »

Yes, among other things I am aware of a repeater that just came on the air and says, "Good moring" whether someone is or had been on the machine with no further ID and I maintained that was illegal.
Renee KC3NG
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W9IQ
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Posts: 758




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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 03:44:54 AM »

Renee,

The "good morning" transmission would likely be considered an acceptable "one-way" telemetry transmission under part 97. But, if as you say, the repeater did not ID then this could be a problem. After the "good morning"  the repeater would need to issue its ID within 10 minutes to be in compliance with 97.119.a. Be aware that some repeaters will issue a CW ID but will drop their transmitting PL  tone (CTCSS) during this time. This means that if you have a PL encoded squelch turned on, you may never hear the ID.

While this may be of interest to you, I don't think you would find the FCC having any reasonably prioritized interest in notifying the repeater trustee of his/her oversight. A kind word to the repeater trustee may get the programming corrected.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
WB6BYU
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Posts: 15677




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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 12:11:15 PM »

One also has to consider the context.  For example, there was a case where two repeaters using
the same frequency have gotten into a spat about shared coverage areas.  In that case, setting a
controller to ID every 10 minutes, even when the repeater had not been accessed, was considered
a form of attempted jamming to the extent that it interfered with the use of the other repeater.
But that had to be seen in context as part of several other actions, and an hourly ID with a time
check in most cases wouldn't be considered in the same light.

While repeaters can transmit some forms of one-way communication such as announcements,
they are still subject to the rule about identifying every 10 minutes.  That's a separate issue from
one-way communication, however.
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W9IQ
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Posts: 758




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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 01:57:19 PM »

They should have included telemetry data in the transmission... Wink

Current regulations and guidance would push this off to the frequency coordination clause. All of the repeaters I have put up had a specific PL transmit tone required so as to avoid most "interference"  with repeaters users of a "nearby" repeater that shared the same output frequency.

But then we are drifting OT.

- Glenn W9IQ
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 03:57:19 PM by W9IQ » Logged

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
WB5ITT
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2016, 04:10:28 PM »

Yes, among other things I am aware of a repeater that just came on the air and says, "Good moring" whether someone is or had been on the machine with no further ID and I maintained that was illegal.
Renee KC3NG
Did the rptr drop CTCSS on its transmit before a CW ID? or was that a tail msg or ??
Hard to say without more information...NOTE a rptr that beacon IDs every hour IS illegal unless a control op is monitoring the station during the beacon ID times....auto beacons are NOT allowed on all amateur freqs but specific subbands as noted in Part 97..

Chris
WB5ITT
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W9IQ
Member

Posts: 758




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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2016, 04:27:31 PM »

Chris,

Quote
NOTE a rptr that beacon IDs every hour IS illegal unless a control op is monitoring the station during the beacon ID times

You would be hard pressed to substantiate that according to part 97. No control op is needed for a repeater that is under automatic control (ref. 97.205.(d)). The ID is not defined as a beacon. A beacon is defined in part 97 according to the purpose of the transmission. 97.3.(a).9: Beacon. An amateur station transmitting communications for the purposes of observation of propagation and reception or other related experimental activities.

There is no prohibition for identifying more often that the regulations require provided the transmission does not run afoul of other prohibited practices. You will not find anything in part 97 that prohibits a coordinated repeater from identifying more often than required or on a periodic basis. A non-coordinated repeater may have an issue if by doing so, it is causing interference to a coordinated repeater (ref. 97.205.(c)).

With regard to a "Good Morning" or similar preambles, as long as the identification requirements are met, this would simply be considered to be an information bulletin and as such is not prohibited (ref 97.111.(b).6).

Part 97 has nothing to say regarding dropping CTCSS or not so this is not relevant to the discussion.

- Glenn W9IQ
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 04:56:38 PM by W9IQ » Logged

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
WB5ITT
Member

Posts: 105




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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2016, 04:46:52 PM »

The rules do cover it....A rptr is a rptr when in Rptr operation (repeating a user from one freq to another)..otherwise, it is like any other amateur station and must follow the rules....Read the rules on Autobeacons....a rptr is not a rptr if it beacons and NOONE keyed it...

Chris
WB5ITT
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W9IQ
Member

Posts: 758




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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2016, 04:58:17 PM »

Chris,

Try looking it up in Part 97 and quote the sections that you are alleging. While you might wish to believe what you are saying, you won't find it in the regulations. There is no such thing as "Auto Beacons" in the regulations, simply Beacons and this doesn't apply to repeaters.

I updated my earlier post to site the sections which may help you understand the situation.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
W9IQ
Member

Posts: 758




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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2016, 05:09:38 PM »

Chris,

Sorry, I should have also addressed:

Quote
A rptr is a rptr when in Rptr operation (repeating a user from one freq to another)

The FCC in prior rulings has clarified that this is not the case. An example sited is the use of a repeater for auto-patch. The FCC has clearly ruled this to be a repeater even though one side of the conversation is not "repeated". So your strict definition has been broadened by statutory interpretation - a common practice in US law.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
K6CPO
Member

Posts: 325




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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 11:35:50 AM »

Yes, among other things I am aware of a repeater that just came on the air and says, "Good moring" whether someone is or had been on the machine with no further ID and I maintained that was illegal.
Renee KC3NG

Seriously?  You're complaining about a repeater that says "Good Morning?"  I would think the FCC has better things to do that worry about a repeater that gives a greeting.  There's a lot more wrong with amateur radio in this country than a repeater that greets its users.

We have a couple here that do that and I've never heard anyone complain about it.  I think this is a "Don't sweat the small stuff" item...
 
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