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eHam Forums => Remote HF Station Control => Topic started by: N1CX on July 12, 2012, 11:43:38 AM



Title: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 12, 2012, 11:43:38 AM
So I stumbled across something recently that has me concerned for ham radio. I sent a email to the league and they said they've had their lawyers look at this and it's legal, though I suspect it's not and is against part 97 rules and regs...

Can a FOR PROFIT company buy a property where nobody lives, for the specific purpose of profiting off of said venture, and install towers, ham radios etc and sell access to said station by the hour or minute.

I say no. I say it's against the rules. ARRL staff equate this to Caribbean vacation spots geared towards ham radio. I say not even close...you can rent a villa, a house, a tent, whatever-your paying to rent the villa. Any one of these places can have a ham station setup in them. Your not paying to rent the ham station, your paying to rent a roof over your head.

A remote station setup on the internet or pstn is just that, it is access to airtime on a ham radio. For profit.. or as a buddy calls it "ham radio by the pound"

I've heard the equation of 5 guys putting their resources together and setting up a remote station for their own use, that's different-nobody is making a profit specifically off ham radio there, it's personal use and enjoyment of all.  Likewise a dxpedition villa etc is personal use and for enjoyment of anyone who stays there, whether ham or not.  This however is much different because someone is specifically profiting off ham radio access or "airtime" and the station was designed for it to specifically make a profit.

Does this now mean we can charge $5 for every phone patch we make?

Since it's hooked to a wireline I think this looks more like a for-profit common carrier than anything.

Having a heavy commercial radio background maybe I look at things different, but being a ham for ~35 years I am deeply troubled by this. I see this as "commercialization of ham radio"

Am I wrong in thinking this?


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on July 12, 2012, 11:57:42 AM
I agree. The licensee of the station is responsible for the operation of the station and I expect the same rules that prevent an "operator" from being paid to operate the station (with a few exceptions) would prevent the station licensee from profiting from its operation.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K6OK on July 12, 2012, 12:06:48 PM
I'm not a lawyer but I'll make my best guess anyway. I think the "pecuniary interest" rule refers to the operator and the traffic being passed. It does not apply to equipment for sale or rental. It's legal to sell and make a profit on radios and equipment, and by extension it should be legal to rent or lease them on a for-profit basis. You can't charge for traffic being passed and you can't accept a salary for being an operator. But it should be legal to rent or lease out your station for profit to another operator.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 12, 2012, 12:53:21 PM
But that's just the thing...you ARE paying for traffic/communications to be passed. Your paying for access to the radio..a radio that has been setup specifically for the intent to collect revenue on..

Sure you could right now lease a radio from a ham vendor somewhere it they did such a program through Lease Acceptance, Ally, or any lease company...But in this case your leasing ACCESS to a radio, it's not a physical thing, it's the capability of dialing up a ham station and using it for 48 hours to win a contest, or play ham radio, or whatever from the other side of the world.

I think if you were able to rent or lease specifically your station then it would have been done by now? Anyone got any specific pointers to that they've ever rented or leased a station from a FOR PROFIT company, not an individual?


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K6OK on July 12, 2012, 01:31:25 PM
I'm under the impression the "rent-a-shack" resorts in the Caribbean and elsewhere include profit in their fees. I see nothing wrong with that. It is commonly accepted that these arrangements are legal; payment is to rent the house and the equipment. The renter is the control operator and as long as no money is paid to or by the renter to pass traffic, all is OK.

By extension, I should be able to rent that same shack and operate it remotely. Nothing changes. There's noting in the rules that says the control operator has to physically sit there and twist the knobs. I'm still renting the equipment and I'm the control operator. I'm not accepting or paying money for the traffic. This arrangement is also OK, IMHO.

Actually, I think it would be exciting and cool if I could rent remote QTH's on all continents to hear and feel what it's like from different vantage points.  I assume it's internet latency issues that keep this concept from blossoming.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 12, 2012, 02:17:54 PM
I don't use the stuff so I'm asking. Does anyone currently charge for irlp, echolink etc access?


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 12, 2012, 02:19:09 PM
This would fall into the same instance, connected to the internet, connected to a remote radio, accessing ham radio spectrum.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 12, 2012, 02:38:12 PM
btw food for thought:  http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=1fd042880fafafd63f70c7382a7efee2&rgn=div5&view=text&node=47:5.0.1.1.6&idno=47#47:5.0.1.1.6.2.157.7

97.113a2, 3

(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise provided in these rules;


STATION LICENSEE OWNS THE REMOTE RADIO. Pecuniary interest.. he is profiting off access to this radio. He has incentive to advertise same, to promote the sale of airtime access to his station.

"(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:

(i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

(ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.

(iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.

(iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator."


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N3OX on July 12, 2012, 04:22:38 PM
There's nothing wrong with renting out a radio shack by the hour for profit.  The key in what you posted is that the station owner should have no pecuniary interest in the content and information contained in the actual communications.  

The important thing about amateur radio communications is that you are not allowed to use the radio service itself to conduct business: you can't use it to dispatch taxis or talk to your fleet of fishing boats.  You can't set up a scheme over ham radio where you accept money to provide regular HF email to boats at sea.  You can't set up a shortwave broadcast station on 20m to sidestep the proper broadcast allocations.  This is because there are other licensed and more tightly regulated radio services that are supposed to be used for these things.

It's fine to have a pecuniary interest in PROVIDING goods and services that enable others to play ham radio.  You are most definitely allowed to profit from the sale and rental of products used in ham radio, and that includes entire stations.  The situation you describe really is exactly the same as the island QTH with the ham station.

And it's not that much different from selling antennas and selling radios for profit.  

You just can't use the ham radio frequencies in lieu of the frequencies you're actually supposed to use for your business.




Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE4ZHN on July 15, 2012, 08:51:27 AM
Im no lawyer and dont play one on TV but this sounds illegal to me. But, our friends ....and I use the term very loosely... at the league seem to be able to do as they please when they please without the FCC hassling them. The FCC attacked Glenn Baxter..who I will agree is a nuisance and probably a mental case for broadcasting.....yet the league is allowed to broadcast and promote its own web site for $$ and the FCC does nothing. Glenn even used the same legal loophole in part 97 that allows the league to broadcast..yet he got shafted and the league does not??? And why did Glenn get nailed? He had a personal gripe with ..you guessed it..the league. Makes me wonder how many league members got together to shaft Glenn just because he slammed them for being the money grubbers they are. Dont get me wrong, I dont agree with Baxters agenda in the least...but why cant he do what the league does daily under the same set of rules? As nutzo as Glenn is he did have a little organization called IARN that is supposedly a ham radio organization. So in effect he was doing exactly what the league does and yet he got shafted to the tune of over 20 grand in fines while the league qrms people day in and day out with their useless broadcasts of crap. So, of course they will do this and get away with it..but if one of us tried it I bet the FCC would come down on us like a ton of bricks. This selective enfarcement...what little there is of it from the FCC is a joke. I cannot legally "rent" air time to fellow hams at my station so why should the league get away with it? This is just one more bullshit reason not to support the league. This do as I say and not as I do crap is not in the best interest of amateur radio. Its only self promotion for money by the league bean counters.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on July 15, 2012, 02:14:39 PM
What you all are missing is its the property for rent that just happens to have a kick but station and antenna farm that comes as part of the rent of the property, for those who live in the city and want a chance to compete at a great station I dont see anything wrong with that plus look at the huge investment of someones time and money to be able to do this. What you are renting is not air time but the whole qth just like they do down in the islands with a whole house/shack and antennas but now with the remote operation you dont have to pay the big bucks on air fare to get to the qth. I think for some of us who have built a station from the ground up that was able to do contest wins from will know what I mean, its a huge undertaking of time/money and logistics to do plus the huge up keep, not many may want that resposibility to do all this and fro some the cost of renting a qth all set up for contesting would be a nice thing. I stress again that its not the air time that one is reanting its the property that you are renting for a desired time period. N1CX needs to get off his hi horse here and look at the big picture, if someone buys a qth and puts the huge investment of towers/antennas/radios/computers and remote ability and say some ham who lives in the city want to rent that qth for a set time period for X amount of dollars what the end user is paying for is the rent of the qth not the air time, its in no way a phone patch arangment at all, this iss a rent of the whole qth which there is no law against at this time.
Its funny just as some want this hobby to grow there is always some out there that wanna shake there fists at old school BS, this is a hobby that could be dead in the next ten years if we keep that old school mentality.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 15, 2012, 02:36:26 PM
There's no "hi horse" as you say to get off.

I said my opinion and  I'll stand by it. I believe it's illegal. I'm entitled to my opinion, if you don't like it then you don't need to read it or stoop down and throw piles of crap or try and demean me ok?

You can spin it how you want and no-one is shaking their fists. You show me where it says in Part 97 that this IS LEGAL AND ALLOWED to accept payment for airtime. You can't.

You are not renting property. If you were then you could travel to this property and use the station FIRSTHAND not remotely. You will not have access to the PROPERTY. You have access to a ham station that was build specifically to turn a profit on by selling access to same AKA AIRTIME.

References to Caribbean contest stations mean NOTHING. They are outside of the jurisdiction of the FCC. And again you are renting a physical property not renting airtime access to a ham radio.

I'm reporting this to the FCC lets see what they have to say. It's my opinion that the arrl is pandering to this because they stand to gain huge dollars in ad revenue for qst.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AE6RV on July 15, 2012, 08:17:39 PM
If closed fee-based repeaters are legal (and they are) then this is legal.  What's the big deal?  Part 97's pecuniary interest rule is about the communications, not about the radio.  No, I am not a lawyer.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on July 15, 2012, 08:30:55 PM
You are on a hi horse sir, and the truth be told you dont even realize it, your not renting air time your renting the property and the station thats on it which comes with the property rental plus your telling all these hams that would love to op at a world class station to go frig themselves, these guys might live in a condo or apartment that doesnt allow any antennas at all, your just the type of old school ham that will make this hobby dead. To top it off its acording to your rules, there is nothing in the rules that says you cannot rent a qth with antennas and a station on it, nothing but you just dont get it, there's no air time rental at all its a property rental but its a shame that folks like you wanna beat down the advances that this hobby has to offer and by the way everyone is entiteled to there opinion but its not ok if it doesnt mirror yours, whi died and made you king! You might wanna check with your Doc cause I think your gonna have a hart attack the way your soo friggin upset about everything, lighten up there bub and take it easy. I've been a ham since 1968 and seen many changes but guys like you with there hand shaking fist in the air will make this hobby dead and maybe you dont wanna have someone rent a better qth than you and spank your ass in the next contest.
Guys like you maybe never built a real competetive station in the first place, I built with the help of some great friends a two tower station in the burbs of LI,NY, 9 beams on two crank up towers, stacks on 10/15&20 with 3el on 40ty, phased vees on 80 on a 1/3rd acre that placed 1st USA M/S CQWW Phone in 96,97 and 99 and that station was small compared to who we competed with. I know what it takes cause I built that from the ground up and I also know what it takes outa your time from everything else in life so guys like you wanna step on some fellas dream to op a great station that he rents for the seekend and is able ti live his life long dream, dude you need to get a life and stop bothering everyone else's.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on July 16, 2012, 02:18:21 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA your killing me.

You want to turn this personal? Let's see.
I been a member of YCCC off and on for ~35 years.
I was the captain of the largest winning club team EVER.
I installed my own contest station when I was 13 years old.
I installed more towers by the time I was 22 that you'll ever see in your life.
I was the tech director for a large local repeater club for many years.
I built the entire linking arrangement for 7 repeaters.
I was the Sr technician for 4 years for the company that became Nextel.
I've been to the Virgin Islands as a hand picked team of people to put them back on the air after Hugo in 1989
I wired and built all the infrastructure for the NT1Y contest station in Vt.
I built a contest station in Maine that won a World record...that still stands I believe.

It's not about ME. It's about someone doing something that MANY MORE than me feel shouldn't be allowed. You call these guys profiting off airtime sales an ADVANCE in HAM RADIO? I'd love to see the rental agreement. I'm guessing it's being re-written because of this thread alone.

Somebody make him stop. My sides hurt from laughing so much.

Now I'm on my high horse. And your on ignore.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on July 16, 2012, 05:32:37 AM
Wow you are a self apointed king of ham radio, should I be impressed or do you want me to get on my knee's and bow down.
Your the on;ly guy here who is waving his fist and maybe you dont want someone to build a station that would as the YCC guys say cause I was a memeber back in the 90ies is kick your but, you make me laugh cause its the world acording to YOUR RULES nobody else, and you say your not riding your high horse, lol.
What gets me is if someone who wants to offer a service to guys who dont have the means and property to be able to contest from and is able to offer the Dream Shot to these guys, why not but its BB like yourself that say no. Sounds like you have a personal vendeta to whoever is doing this and your agenada is personal, why dont you grow up and get with the times, maybe your still stuck in the sixty's.
You know back in the 90ies when I was building my smallish station in the burbs it was guys like you I rememeber that would tell me I was building a second teir station and that I had to stack my yagi's 1 WL apart to get any gain. Well I did what I set out to do and had fun maybe cause I didn't take the guys like you seriosly, I didnt care if my call was in the top billing in the scores but I assembled a group of guys, we had fun and we placed in these contest at the top. What I am trying to say it wasn't about me it was about a group of hams as a team and to me as long as I have been in this hobby its always about a good group of hams but you are about you and thats why guys like you will kill this hobby. You make me LOL, maybe cause you didnt think of this idea first is maybe why your soo against it or some changes in this hobby and look at this post your the only lifer here blowin his horn and from all of what you done I can see that you like telling folks what to do, its your way or the high way plus you cant  be resonable.
As far as whoever is building these stations I am sure they wouldn't invest the time and effort in doing this without doing the legal things first and I am sure there not afraid of some cowboy like you.
Have a nice day peewee....


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on July 16, 2012, 10:18:14 AM
N1CX the way you are going after this subject it clearly shows you have some sort of personal agenada, if you contacted the ARRL and they told you there is nothing wrong here what in the world do you think the FCC is gonna think. I dont know but from what you have stated what you do maybe you build stations to but have no were near the computer savy to do remote systems and maybe thats your whole stand down attitude on this subject. Sounds to me that you have a personal problem yourself and have a very close mind to new idea's. There is only one other ham on this forum who says he is against it and he probably doesnt realize how the service is presented, he is taking your word for it and belive me you seem to know how to swist words around, more like BS and hot air to me. ;D


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KK0G on July 16, 2012, 10:30:08 AM
...........You show me where it says in Part 97 that this IS LEGAL AND ALLOWED to accept payment for airtime. You can't.............

Of course we can't show where it says it's legal and allowed, that's not how laws work. Laws do NOT tell us what we are allowed to do, they only tell us what we are not allowed to do. If there is no law restricting an act then by definition it is legal.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB4LCN on July 16, 2012, 11:59:40 AM
I'll agree with K6OK. I built a fabulous remote station on a 2000 ft mountain top with a 60 ft. tower and four antennas. I allow a retired friend use my remote station while I'm at work. He also pays me for some of the electricity and the Internet connection. After 5 pm, he knows to sign off and turn the station over to me for the evening. Weekends are mine too, unless I'm away and my friend want to operate. We are both flexible.

Though I don't actually make a profit - not trying to, I can see that having enough property and someone renting out a shack to a ham might be a great way to get around having a small, postage stamp sized lot where putting up a formidable antenna may be impossible.

The FCC rule of not making a profit applies to on the air activity only. I would love to own or manage a large mountainous property and build a few towers and shacks to rent out - building those systems would be fun - as was my remote station.

Another way to do it would be to make memberships available - like a time share. There's a bunch of different ways to arrange it.

dave :)


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W5DQ on July 19, 2012, 11:46:10 AM
Im no lawyer and dont play one on TV but this sounds illegal to me. But, our friends ....and I use the term very loosely... at the league seem to be able to do as they please when they please without the FCC hassling them. The FCC attacked Glenn Baxter..who I will agree is a nuisance and probably a mental case for broadcasting.....yet the league is allowed to broadcast and promote its own web site for $$ and the FCC does nothing.

I refer you to Part 97 section 97.111-a.5.b.5 and 6 for authorized ONE-WAY transmissions such as W1AW transmits (i.e. bulletins and Morse Code practice). Using W1AW station for personal use is FREE to all amateurs with proper bona fides (i.e. a valid amateur license for US amatuer operations). There is no $$$ (as you put it) involved. Please show us proof where the ARRL is making money off the use of it's W1AW station. Promoting a website is NOT 'pecuniary interest' as related to amatuer radio operations. I have never seen where the League has advertised or promoted 'sales or profit interests' in any bulletin but rather mentions that if anyone is interested in more INFORMATION (there's that word again), contact the League.

Baxter is a nut case and has violated almost every regulation in Part 97. The FCC did not attack him. They upheld the fact that he was in violation and that is why he has run afoul of the FCC. Baxter and the ARRL are opposing ends of the spectrum and I fail to see how any ham can remotely try to compare them ??? They ought to put Baxter and his VE buddy both in the looney bin and weld the door shut!!!!

W5DQ
ARRL Life Member



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB2WIK on July 20, 2012, 03:16:22 PM
If I understand the situation correctly, I'd say it's completely legal.

Hams have actually been doing this for many decades in the form of "club membership" requirements.

There are many ham clubs that have permanent stations set up and they don't charge hams to pass traffic on them, or by the hour to use the equipment.  But, you must be a club member to gain access to the equipment, and that might be $1000 a year, or whatever they decide it will be.  If you don't like it, don't join the club!

There are remote controlled HF stations on the air like this, and have been for decades.

When "autopatch" was popular on VHF-UHF repeaters, although some repeater owners allowed open access to those, they were never required to do so.  Many systems were owned by clubs, and if you wanted to use the autopatch, you had to join the club.  And membership dues could be whatever they wanted to charge.  Nobody was forced to join a club or use the autopatch, or use the repeater.  But if they wanted use of the hardware, they had to be a club member.

To me, all these scenarios are very similar and have been going on for a really long time.  I can't recall any being deemed nor judged unlawful.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on July 20, 2012, 04:43:41 PM
My opinion (and it is only MY opinion) is that there is a difference between a non-profit club whose members contribute dues in order to cover the cost of maintaining a repeater, remote base, or contest station and someone who sets up a for-profit company to install and maintain a remote base and charge users a per-hour fee for using it. While the latter may be technically legal, it is a very "slippery slope". It would be more like a company setting up an autopatch and charging users a per-minute fee for using it in order to make a profit.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB2WIK on July 21, 2012, 01:41:24 PM
I don't see much difference.

A lot of the HF remote bases on the air, including some that have been around for decades, are privately owned by one person with no club involved.  The WA6TWF "Super Station" here in southern California is but one example.

Another example is the PAPA System here in southern CA.  It's a network of a dozen 440 MHz mountaintop repeaters, some of which are D-star, and some of which are IRLP nodes.  It's all privately owned by one guy.  To support the system, you become a "member," which provides you access privileges to the linking and to the IRLP node features, etc.

Any visitor passing through can use one of the repeaters, but won't be able to use all the features, such as turning the links on or IRLP; those are reserved for "members only," and membership is $120 a year.  Not bad, for those who really use it; but kind of expensive if you want to use it a couple of times a year.

In that case, there is sort of a "club," but the club doesn't own anything: One indivual does.  And everyone is perfectly happy with that, the system works great.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB4LCN on July 23, 2012, 03:05:02 PM
Isn't HRO, AES and other Ham stores making a profit off Ham Radio? Isn't the radio manufacturers making a profit off Ham Radio. If you follow your suggestion to its logical conclusion, we'll need to go back to the Marconi days and home-brew everything in order to be properly legal.

HRO, to name one, sells us the 'Ham Radio experience' whenever we buy a rig there. Same with building out a station and renting out the place to someone. We are selling the 'experience', we are not asking anyone to get on the air a run commercials for payment. I think you may be stretching the FCC rule on this to says something that it's not saying.

dave :)


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N9LCD on July 24, 2012, 05:51:25 PM
Where and how do I sign up?

I've been licensed 20 years and I've only worked HF twice as a "guest op" at HV3SJ.  Kind of expensive!! to go to Rome to work DX.

N9LCD

 :)



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on July 25, 2012, 08:40:11 AM
Rome isn't DX when you are in Rome  ;D


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N9LCD on July 26, 2012, 06:37:16 PM
It is -- when you start calling "CQ DX, GERMANY".

The pile-up was intimidating for a first time op!

N9LCD

 ;D


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB4LCN on July 28, 2012, 08:27:35 PM
BTW, I'm not sure that everyone's aware that there are already many ham shacks for rent out there now. So, we aren't discussing something that 'could be'. It already IS and has been available for a while.

dave :)


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K1ZJH on July 29, 2012, 10:43:22 AM
I see no reason to get the FCC involved. Does a commercial vendor of amateur gear profit from the
sale of the equipment? How is that different from paying for the use of equipment?  I see most of
those arrangements as being either cost sharing, or rental agreements. There is no financial gain
from the actual on air communications.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on July 30, 2012, 06:47:23 AM
This is just a thought to consider: Making a profit from selling amateur radio equipment - no problem. Making a profit from renting amateur radio equipment - no problem. Making a profit from renting remote access (i.e. air time) to your amateur station for which you are licensed and ultimately responsible may be a different matter ??


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W3WN on July 30, 2012, 06:52:19 AM
I'd be very curious to see the actual "advertisement(s)" that sparked this thread, to see how they are worded.  Unless I missed it, I don't see a link to them.

Without knowing exactly how the promotion of this station rental is being done...

In general, I don't see a problem with this under current FCC rules.  Reasoning:

(1)  Part 97 (in plain English) prohibits an individual being paid to operate an Amateur station, with a noted exception for specific bulletin & code practice stations.  That does not seem to be the case here.
(2)  Part 97 prohibits an Amateur station from selling advertising, transmitting music, or otherwise operating as a Commercial station.  That does not seem to be the case here.
(3)  Part 97 does NOT prohibit a station from being made available to another operator.  It does not address (for or against) the means.  Thus, it does not prohibit someone from renting their station (at cost or at a profit) to another amateur.  And THAT does appear to be the case here.

If it is not prohibited, the legal implication is that it is allowed.  It may be distasteful, and the requested rental fees might be high (for any of a multitude of reasons), but it does not appear to be legally prohibited under Part 97.

Now:  I am not a lawyer.  However, if this ever became a personal issue for me, and I needed to confirm with an attorney that my opinion appears to be correct, I'm fortunate enough that my attorney is a ham.  So if there is any doubt, I would politely suggest that the matter should be discussed with one's local Volunteer Counsel for a definitive answer.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: G3RZP on July 30, 2012, 09:26:18 AM
Surely the station 'belongs' to the renter for the period of the renting - like a house. Further, the callsign isn't that of the station - does it even need one? - but that of the renter.

But it does make the business of being open to inspection more difficult unless the station owner is readily available, and that could then get the licencee renting the station into trouble.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on July 30, 2012, 10:26:10 AM
The ability to allow another ham who live's in a city or has XYL issue's as far as installing a real nice HF antenna system is for I am sure fantastic for may who are in this type of living arangment. For those ham's that have never experianced a pile-up on there call CQDX from a great station its intense, I know I had a very competetive station in the Burbs of Long Island but local town issue's lead to the station closing down. TO Op from a station that is able to win or place high scores in the CQWW contest is fantastic but many do not realize how much work and time plus money it takes for the up keep of the station, belive me it costs so the rental fee for whatever it is in most cases cover just the basic's and maybe just maybe that type of setup might make a profit but thats a long way off. This idea is a "Feild of Dream's" to ham's stuck in condo's or apartments in the big cities, I see no reason for this idea to be looked apon as not being legal. Sounds to me that the original post was created by a ham who has personal issue's with the parties that may be inveting there time and money to get this type of station off the ground, maybe cause he didnt think of it first, who know's but he is the only one that seems to be the BB here on this post.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on July 30, 2012, 12:43:30 PM
"Surely the station 'belongs' to the renter for the period of the renting - like a house. Further, the callsign isn't that of the station - does it even need one? - but that of the renter."

Quite true if the "renter" has physical posession of the station equipment. However, I don't think it would apply if the operator had no physical access to the station and was operating it remotely via the Internet and was just renting "air time" on it.

I've seen information from the FCC stating that there must be a designated control operator who shares legal responsibility for proper operation with the licensee of the station. The licensee can certainly designate the remote operator as the control operator during the time he is using it. That presumes that he knows that the control operator is properly licensed, and knows how to get in touch with him in the event of a problem. It probably requires more than letting someone put in their Visa card number and being charged for an hour of operation, with no other interaction or verification.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N9LCD on July 31, 2012, 05:03:37 PM
Me thinks somebody is "jealous".

Any guesses who?

N9LCD


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on August 01, 2012, 06:58:30 AM
I wonder how many station's are out there for "Remote Stations To Rent", I am thinking that this has been done a whole lot more than hams think. I know of intaller's who have built whole stations for hams here in the NE who are able to do there remote control of there stations while sitting in there condo's in a warm and comfy roon somewere else, thats been done allot but not everyone might have the investment to do soo, this would allow allot more ham's to be able to have a greater Ham Radio Experiance.
Yes N9LCD, I feel you hit the nail on the head, jealous hams have always wanted to take the other guy out. It reminds me of a local ham here on LI who is now a SK who had a fantastic station, it was Arnold W2HCW, his qth had a salt water shot from NW to SSE plus his antennas were 100ft above this salt water marsh to start with and all on 100ft plus Big Bertha rotating towers. He had a fantastic qth and I had the pleasure to op that station a few times threw the years, even having a station myself at the time with stacks on 10/15/20 and 3el on 40ty, his qth was worth an easy 6db over my qth 3 miles inland. I was never jealous of Arnold station, more so I respected the intesity of how well it got out. There were threw the years many local hams who were always gunnin for him but never toped his signal. Like in the Mel Brooks movie "Its Good To Be King" but the locals were always very jealous. I respect these guys who build a station and now are able with remote site hookups be able to bring this thrill of big time radio to the average ham who might not be able to even have any antennas at all. Maybe these hams who rent a station lets say for a week can have the big time radio experiance for themselves, I ask what is wrong with that.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on August 01, 2012, 07:46:36 AM
Let us in on the secret.

Me thinks somebody is "jealous".

Any guesses who?

N9LCD


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB4LCN on August 02, 2012, 01:09:44 PM
I can see it now, Socialism seeping into Ham Radio...

It's not fair for you to have a better antenna, more powerful transmitter, a more sensitive receiver or a more comfortable ham shack chair than your fellow ham. With that reasoning,  we'll all be reduced to running CW QRP on a whip antenna.

dave :)


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on August 03, 2012, 05:40:52 AM
I think it's been here for a while. Everyone gets a 599 report, even if you had to ask for a repeat of the call sign 15 times.  ;D



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K1XV on August 15, 2012, 01:42:00 PM
I would see no problem, especially if it is organized as a situation where it is a joint use station, and several "joint owners" or authorized users have access to the use of the station.  The physical owner of the property where the station is located, and who maintains the station itself, can be paid to do so.

I think some of you take it a bit too far.  If there could be no profit motive  in amateur radio, everybody would have to run home brew equipment, and have to repair it themselves.   Or get unpaid help.  Being paid to enable others to engage in amateur radio is not engaging in amateur radio for a profit yourself.  What is prohibited is operating amateur radio equipment, specifically, transmitting, with a profit motive.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N2OBM on August 24, 2012, 02:45:54 AM
"membership is highly encouraged to help offset the cost of maintaining our repeaters"......'Regular Annual Membership is 20 US dollars'.......this sounds like pay for access, or solicitation of funds for services rendered. Doesn't it?

Just like 'private repeaters', 'Timeshare HF' seems to be a second verse here. The status quo has already been set.

In my opinion, the positive attributes of this remote HF system (including to overcome antenna restrictions) seem to outweigh the possibility or reality of abuse (profiteers; US or other).




Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W2RWJ on August 24, 2012, 04:17:30 PM
I'd be very curious to see the actual "advertisement(s)" that sparked this thread, to see how they are worded.  Unless I missed it, I don't see a link to them.

Here's an example:  http://superbertha.com/main/page_amateur_radio_remote_control_rental.html


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W8JI on August 27, 2012, 05:37:04 AM
1.) Profit or loss has NOTHING to do with pecuniary interest or legal use.

2.) The pecuniary interest rules are entirely concerned with the communication's content , and nothing else.

3.) Informational and code practice transmissions, with restrictions defined in the rules, is allowed.

4.) Baxter uses his radio to jam people, and to promote business. It doesn't matter if it is profit or loss. It is just like Alpha advertising amplifiers in a broadcast, or advertising a rental in a broadcast, even if the sale was NOT profitable.

There isn't a thing wrong with renting a station, or renting access to a station. If there was something wrong, profit or loss would have nothing to do with it. It would be illegal to generally offer the rental over the air, but nothing is illegal about the act of rental.

There was a photographer who used a repeater near Commerce, GA to exchange information with his wife about school photo shoots. That was clearly illegal, even if he lost money.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W8GP on August 27, 2012, 06:20:37 AM
For rent: 
         Fully equipped luxury cabin miles from anywhere, includes FREE access to contest superstation....


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on August 27, 2012, 12:09:49 PM
I offer a ts820s with a 50' high 40 meter inverted INVERTED V fed with 230' of rg58 at the bottom of the Blackstone Valley.

It's loud into Zero land barefoot.

$10 a day you pay to hook it to the computer.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N3QE on August 28, 2012, 10:23:56 AM
I have no problem at all with rental stations. Neither does the ARRL, they've allowed the rental stations to advertise in the back of QST since forever.

After the QSO... I know that several of the rental stations have the policy of requiring 100% QSL'ing by their renters. A fine example of good citizenship (if also some self-promotion!!!)


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on August 31, 2012, 03:44:57 AM
The only reason I think some folks might be against it is some of the old timers have issues with if you didnt build the station yourself and worked that new one on the honor roll well to them it doesnt count but thta type of thinking goed back to the 60's and 70's, its old school. Today we gotta think about keeping this hobby alive for at least another 10 years, many of the bands even if there open have little use compared to 10 or 20 years ago, only when a contest is on they seem open. The mean age for this hobby is 50-80 years old and giving someone a chance to op at a station thats world class might just keep these fellows/gals in the hobby who just might not be able to have a station at there home at all gives more fuel to to keep the hobby burning. To N1CX, what is your friggin problem, are you one of these old farts that complain about everything, you remind me of some old buzard in the 60's that use to hold court on 75mtrs and say no lid's no kids no space cadets, is this the way you wanna have hams think of you. Man time marches on and this is a new age, you should embrase new ideas instead of knocking them down, maybe since you didnt think of it first your jealous but something is very clear your jealous or your a contant complainer of new ideas, a nay sayer to anything that doesnt work in your own little world. Now for the leagal issue, the ARRL has zero problem with this, the FCC has zero problem with this, aparently the legal advisors have found ni issues with it but it doesnt seem to get past your thick skull that its leagal. Many here have stated that there fine with it but you and I will say it again but I have no idea why you have such a personal issue with it.
BTW your station cant be remoted like the newer radio's can, sorry.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on August 31, 2012, 08:33:45 AM
Unattended Internet remote base operation presents some issues that are a bit different than renting property where presumably you have some face to face contact with the renter. That's because to be legal you have to designate the remote user, who is off in cyberspace somewhere, who you may not personally know, whom you have never met, as the control operator for your station. You need to develop systems to ensure that the operator is who he says he is, that he is properly licensed, and that you can contact him if a legal issue arises.

In addition, if you are operating as a business to make a profit then you may also run into some local regulations like perhaps collecting sales tax from users physically located in your same state or perhaps zoning issues involving operating a business from your residence.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on September 02, 2012, 07:14:26 PM
Seems this is not as much about the actual legality of a pile of equipment being rented out for use, as it is a case of indignance at the thought of someone being able to buy their way into possibly winning a contest without having to actually put in the physical effort, time and cash layout of building the station on their own.

Imagine the hair pulling, caterwauling, foot stomping and empty threats that'll be tossed around the first time a rent-a-station crew wins a major contest. I can even imagine a scenario where the rent-a-station crew is QRM'ed, attacked on-air, harrassed and the target of intimidation by those who feel their whole hobby life is threatened.

Consider what ham radio is all about? How is renting a contest station instead of building it from scratch different than buying a rig instead of building it from scratch? Radio manufacturers have as much pecuniary interest in the traffic that will be passed on the radios they sell for profit as does the owner of the rent-a-station. What about the guy who owns the local ham radio store, and is a licensed ham? He has a pecuniary interest in every raio he sells for the purpose of passing some sort of traffic.

Is there a stipulation that a pile of equipmet must be licensed? In other words, can a complete, operational station be constructed and owned by an individual or club that does not hold an amateur radio license? I believe that answer would be yes, since the station is not technically an amateur radio station until an amateur radio operator keys it up. Until then, it is a pile of equipment. Anyone can own a pile of equipment and do with it what they please as long as there is a licensed operator at the helm on transmit and the equipment is operated in spec on the duly assigned spectrum. No?

§ 97.5 Station license required.
(a) The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS
consolidated license database or a person authorized for alien reciprocal operation by §97.107 of this part, before the station may
transmit on any amateur service frequency.
  Until then the equipment is just equipment.

Let's go one further. What if I am the owner of said rent-a-station, and to make a name for it I hire a group of amateur radio operators to participate in a contest with the promise to pay them a dollar per contact?

What if..... I am owner of said station and I am a licensed amateur radio operator, and I hire a group of unlicensed individuals to operate my station in a contest with my complete oversight as control operator, and I pay them a doller per contact?

§ 97.7 Control operation required.
When transmitting, each amateur station must have a control operator. The control operator must be a person:
(a) For whom an amateur operator/primary station license grant appears on the ULS consolidated licensee database, or
(b) Who is authorized for alien reciprocal operation by §97.107 of this part.


I digress..

Back to the question...

Is it legal to rent out radio equipment for use on the amateur bands? That is the crux of the biscuit....

I say, YES.

 



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WB6DGN on September 04, 2012, 10:07:14 PM
Quote
Is there a stipulation that a pile of equipmet must be licensed? In other words, can a complete, operational station be constructed and owned by an individual or club that does not hold an amateur radio license? I believe that answer would be yes, since the station is not technically an amateur radio station until an amateur radio operator keys it up. Until then, it is a pile of equipment. Anyone can own a pile of equipment and do with it what they please as long as there is a licensed operator at the helm on transmit and the equipment is operated in spec on the duly assigned spectrum.

Four pages of bickering and these few lines sum up the entire issue.  How many "hams in waiting" buy their station and spend their time listening all over the bands until they take their test and are duly licensed?  I've never heard anyone criticizing them for that; usually words of encouragement follow such a post.  As long as that transmitter is not putting out RF into a deliberate radiator (aka, antenna) there is NO control operator nor station license needed.  This interpretation of the regulations, by the way, is the action of a very trusting agency of government.  I suspect that if these regulations were being written today, no such "leeway" would exist and the presence of a transmitter would presume that such transmitter WILL be used.  At one time, the US government respected and trusted its citizens (IMAGINE THAT! Hard to believe, isn't it?).
So, folks, keep making noise about this NON ISSUE.  You just MAY see a change in the regulations that NOBODY wants.
Tom


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AB3CX on September 25, 2012, 07:43:51 PM
All I have to say is that the guys who put contest stations together don't always operate them themselves. They bring in all sorts of good ops and ringers to run the pileups for them.  Hoew is that fair??  Not sitting at the key for 48 hours straight, it should be illegal to win, right?  So now those super ops or wannabes can rent a remote station for a while, and to some hams that's intolerable.  I know some of the hams involved in this new aspect of the hobby; if you think they didn't sit down with their lawyers and study every aspect of this endeavor in advance, you are not too perceptive.  This discussion probably sounds exactly like what was being said when logging programs started sending CW.  Some people think their way is the old way and the only way; those fellas just get huffy, it's OK.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W1QJ on October 18, 2012, 05:11:00 AM
Nobody is mentioning the names of the providers of this service, so I won't either.  Suffice to say however the people behind this happen to be VG friends of mine.  I called a dinner meeting with them and my partner to discuss this very issue at hand.  They have 4 lawyers on retainer for all aspects to provide this service.  I can assure you these lawyers looked at the legality of this and it is indeed legal.  If you would like to refute this you can hire your 4 lawyers to do so but to speculate on your own behalf (not being a lawyer) is just wrong.  As of last count there are 4 locations and more being sought.  I doubt anyone would move to this level without first checking out the legality.  It's legal, and it's growing.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on October 18, 2012, 10:58:19 AM
It sounds like some are saying that an unlicensed person can set up an amateur station and provide remote access to it via the Internet. A licensed remote operator can then operate the station remotely under his own call sign, even though he has no physical access to the station equipment.

To me, that seems quite different than a situation where the "guest operator" is local and has physical access to the equipment he is using. It also seems different than the situation where the remote station is operated under the license of the owner who has physical access and joint responsibility for proper operation and maintenance. According to the FCC, the station licensee and the control operator have joint responsibility for the proper, legal operation of the station. I think it could become a little hard to enforce rules when the two are in different parts of the world, don't know each other and have little contact other than a credit card transaction.  :-\


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on October 18, 2012, 01:40:33 PM
You can pay any lawyer you want and he'll tell you what you want to hear. That's true with just about anything. That's why they're snakes.

Just because a lawyer says it's ok doesn't make it right, nor does it make it legal and legit in the spirit of ham radio and/or the eyes of the FCC.

I'm glad this thread started some discussion on this, we'll see where it ends up later on.

Would really like to know how these guys are skirting all local zoning laws........ I'm sure the town of Boothbay isn't aware of what they're doing.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K1HC on October 19, 2012, 10:24:59 AM
If someone were to charge a fee to send a message via ham radio then that would be a violation of the portion of Part 97 being discussed in this thread.  However, renting out a station is not a violation, as so many have pointed out in making comment.  I'm not one of the attorneys who may have been consulted by the ARRL on this question but I am an ARRL volunteer counsel with 34 years experience in working with Federal regulations.  Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion, so if one doesn't like the idea of renting out a station, so be it. There is just nothing in Part 97 prohibiting it. 


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KB4QAA on October 19, 2012, 01:55:12 PM
A non-ham can build a station.

However, the "Control Operator" must be licensed.   Unless some additional means, other than the internet, is provided for the internet operator to be able to shut down and adjust the radio, it does not meet this FCC requirement.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on October 19, 2012, 05:57:23 PM
The question is not whether it is legal to rent out a station. The question is whether the control operator really has "control" of the station when he is accessing it only via the Internet, doesn't have physical access to the equipment, very likely doesn't even know exactly where the equipment is physically located, has no idea if meets FCC requirements for RF exposure, etc.

Now if there is a station licensee then he has physical access and can take responsibility for those things. He can designate the remote users as control operators but he becomes jointly responsible with them for proper operation. If the licensee is wise he will properly screen his "control operators" to ensure they are who they say they are, that they are properly licensed, and that he has a way to contact them if he receives a violation notice from the FCC. The licensee's license is on the line if a violation occurs.

Renting a vacation home with a station in it is a different matter because the control operator has physical access to the equipment at the time and presumably there is a lot more interaction between the licensee and the control operator.

It appears to me that that the Internet remote base operators (at least those whose sites I have visited) are being pretty cautious about their operation. If it gets to a point where you just log in a put in a credit card number to rent an hour on the station then matters may become different. If the station owner is not licensed then that opens a whole different can of worms.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K7WFM on October 20, 2012, 07:42:07 AM
Whether this type of operations is legal in the FCC eyes or not, this has got to be, no IS the lamest thing I've read about in amateur radio to date.

Someone paying for access to a remote station, probably not even aware of how this station is configured, over the interwebs to play radio with the big *****.

The entire concept is repulsive to me and I see business fail written all over it.






Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 02, 2012, 05:08:32 PM
It appears to me that Part 97 requires the station to ID with the call sign of the licensee - not that of the remote control operator. That would preclude any remote operator from winning any contests under his own personal call sign.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 07, 2012, 08:11:10 AM
It appears to me that Part 97 requires the station to ID with the call sign of the licensee - not that of the remote control operator. That would preclude any remote operator from winning any contests under his own personal call sign.


There are some exceptions. The bolded parts are the key to this answer..

§ 97.109   Station control.

(a) Each amateur station must have at least one control point.

(b) When a station is being locally controlled, the control operator must be at the control point. Any station may be locally controlled.

(c) When a station is being remotely controlled, the control operator must be at the control point. Any station may be remotely controlled.


§ 97.103   Station licensee responsibilities.

(a) The station licensee is responsible for the proper operation of the station in accordance with the FCC Rules. When the control operator is a different amateur operator than the station licensee, both persons are equally responsible for proper operation of the station.

(b) The station licensee must designate the station control operator. The FCC will presume that the station licensee is also the control operator, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records.

(c) The station licensee must make the station and the station records available for inspection upon request by an FCC representative.


§ 97.105   Control operator duties.

(a) The control operator must ensure the immediate proper operation of the station, regardless of the type of control.

(b) A station may only be operated in the manner and to the extent permitted by the privileges authorized for the class of operator license held by the control operator.

§ 97.5   Station license required.

(a) The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated license database or a person authorized for alien reciprocal operation by § 97.107 of this part, before the station may transmit on any amateur service frequency from any place that is:

(1) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and at a place where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC;


§ 97.119   Station identification.

(a) Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions. No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station.

Here is the relevant rule that brings this all together:

§ 97.213   Telecommand of an amateur station.

An amateur station on or within 50 km of the Earth's surface may be under telecommand where:

(a) There is a radio or wireline control link between the control point and the station sufficient for the control operator to perform his/her duties. If radio, the control link must use an auxiliary station. A control link using a fiber optic cable or another telecommunication service is considered wireline.

(b) Provisions are incorporated to limit transmission by the station to a period of no more than 3 minutes in the event of malfunction in the control link.

(c) The station is protected against making, willfully or negligently, unauthorized transmissions.

(d) A photocopy of the station license and a label with the name, address, and telephone number of the station licensee and at least one designated control operator is posted in a conspicuous place at the station location.



§ 97.3   Definitions.

(a) The definitions of terms used in part 97 are:


(13) Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

(14) Control point. The location at which the control operator function is performed.

(44) Telecommand. A one-way transmission to initiate, modify, or terminate functions of a device at a distance.




My interpretation is that a pile of equipment may be operated by a duly licensed amateur, within the privileges of the license, as long as the documentation exists that assigns that licensee as the control operator. No different than if you were to rent a handie talkie for use at some event or camping trip. As long as you have wireline control, and there is a transmit time limiter that can sense loss of control and shut down the transmitter within 3 minutes of loss of control.

This may presume that the entire Internet link is over terrestrial wire or fiber links. Since this would be very difficult to verify for the consumer of such, there does exist the simple system that is used by commercial radio stations all across the land... Telephone remote control. This could be a commercial type transmitter remote control, or a homebrew analog phone with a relay attached to the ringer that would trigger a radio to standby. It just needs to work.

There are probably some scenarios implementing a mixture of V/U repeaters, a radio link system, or 10m repeater link to serve as an "auxiliary station" that might comply with the intent of the rules.

If an owner of a pile of equipment posts documentation designating the current lessee of the pile of equipment as the control operator, and the pile of equipment can be controlled over the internet, and also dialed up on the phone and shut down, then this would be perfectly within Part 97 rules. The control operator uses his own callsign, stays within his license privileges, and all is good. When the lease is up, the control operator documentation is removed, and the station reverts to being a pile of equipment waiting for the next lessee.

Ideally, but not exclusively, this sort of system would be under the guidance of a duly FCC licensed amateur radio operator who could also go through the formality of transferring control operation to and from lessees, and performing routine station maintenance.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 07, 2012, 09:24:55 AM
"(b) The station licensee must designate the station control operator. The FCC will presume that the station licensee is also the control operator, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records."

It seems to me from the above that the FCC intends that a "pile of equipment" must always have a station licensee in order to be put on the air. The rules don't say that an "owner" can designate a control operator, it says that the "station licensee" must designate the control operator.

Now if some unlicensed person gives me physical possession of his "pile of equipment" then it becomes a part of "my station" and I become the station licensee. That's a little hard to do however if the "pile of equipment" is located somewhere out in cyberspace and I've never seen it or touched it - and maybe don't even know exactly where it is located.

97.5(a) says that the station apparatus ("pile of equipment") must be under the physical control of the station licensee in order to transmit. To me, "physical control" means that I can reach out and put my hands on it. Somewhere out in cyberspace, at the end of an Internet connection, is not under my physical control in most cases.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 07, 2012, 05:15:33 PM
The FCC regulates our station, not how we go about complying with the rules. The owner of the pile of equipment does not have to be a licensed amateur, but in this case probably is. When the lessee of the equipment has his own documentation posted on site as the licensee and control operator, then the station is under his control and licensed to him, albeit remotely, which is stipulated as acceptable in Part 97.

Whether the control and responsibility for operating said station is granted by the licensed station owner, or is assumed by the lessee upon posting documentation to that effect, does not matter. Either way, physical control is now the responsibility of the lessee.

There are no regulations stating that a station licensee must have actual physical possession of the equipment to be used on air, nor that he should have ever even seen the equipment, just that he have control of said equipment, and be responsible for proper licensed operation.

Physical control can be accomplished remotely, as stipulated in the telecommand/remote control rule. The transmitter on/off control can be oeprated remotely by "wireline", which can be accomplished by telephone remote control, as indicated.

The FCC doesn't care HOW you operate the equipment, just that it be operated within the license privilege and that the transmitter can be turned off. There is no licensing for receivers. It's all about the RF Out. It needs to be controlled and on the proper frequency, and within assigned envelope. That's all.





Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 08, 2012, 05:53:45 AM
IMHO you are making a real stretch when you say that a person who does not have access to the building housing the equipment, has never seen the equipment, doesn't know much of anything about it can be said to have "physical access" via the Internet and thus qualify as the station licensee.

How would you comply with
97.103(c) The station licensee must make the station and the station records available for inspection upon request by an FCC representative.
if you don't know exactly how to get to the station and don't have a key to the front door??? I'm sure the inspector will want to lay his eyes on the "pile of equipment", not just look at the control GUI on your computer.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 08, 2012, 09:45:27 AM
IMHO you are making a real stretch when you say that a person who does not have access to the building housing the equipment, has never seen the equipment, doesn't know much of anything about it can be said to have "physical access" via the Internet and thus qualify as the station licensee.

How would you comply with
97.103(c) The station licensee must make the station and the station records available for inspection upon request by an FCC representative.
if you don't know exactly how to get to the station and don't have a key to the front door??? I'm sure the inspector will want to lay his eyes on the "pile of equipment", not just look at the control GUI on your computer.



Good points.

Let's use the example of the amateur radio operator who has his HF rig setup for remote operation via iPhone or other smartphone or PC. He's not at home, he may be sitting on the deck of a cruise ship in the Caribbean, or at Dayton showing off to his buddies at the hamfest. How would that scenario be different from the topic being discussed here, minus the equipment lease aspect?

If a ham is at Dayton showing off his remote controlled Flex 5000 on his iPhone, and the FCC inspector stops by the shack unannounced, what happens? If the ham lives alone, then it appears the knocks on the door will go unanswered. If the FCC inspector happens to be at Dayton as well, he'll get to see the control point only.

In the case of this remote control station, we can consider the following:

It is presumed the owner of the pile of equipment, in the lease agreement with the remote operator, has agreed to serve as gatekeeper for the station in the event of an FCC inspection while being operated by that lessee, and for a defined period therafter. Records of operation, i.e. "log" must be kept to track which control operators were at the helm during the period in question.

"97.103(c) The station licensee must make the station and the station records available for inspection upon request by an FCC representative." does not stipulate that the licensee personally must open the door to the shack, only that he must make the requested items available. That can be by proxy. The wording is critical here.

The station is the station and the control point is the control point. 

§ 97.109   Station control. (c) When a station is being remotely controlled, the control operator must be at the control point. Any station may be remotely controlled. states that the control operator must be at the control point, which can be remote from the station.


The definition of wireline control has been established, and I believe that a landline phone connection fulfills this requirement.

I would presume that the potential custumer of this remote radio service would have enough of an emotional stake in this to take the time to review the station facilities and operational flowcharts and diagrams, antenna patterns, etc.  The information packet would also provide detailed description of the facility location and contact information for the gatekeeper and the phone line control information.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 08, 2012, 11:32:47 AM
We are talking here about a case where the owner of all of the station equipment has no FCC license. What you want is for each control operator to become the "station licensee" during the time that he is controlling the station. I suppose that if each control operator had a detailed lease agreement, station drawings, log books, and details about how to provide physical access to the station then it might pass muster. My guess is that in most cases that level of coordination doesn't exist.

Back in the day a high school friend of mine had passed his exam and was waiting for his license to arrive. He had purchased his station equipment. I went over and helped him set up the equipment and put up an antenna. I tested and operated the station using my call sign, making a few contacts. The difference here is that I was present at the station and had full physical control over it.

I still think that being the station licensee of a station that you have never seen is a pretty grey area. Now if the owner of the equipment is licensed then he becomes the station licensee and authorizes you to be a control operator that clearly works pretty well.



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N2EY on November 08, 2012, 01:08:15 PM
This is just a thought to consider: Making a profit from selling amateur radio equipment - no problem. Making a profit from renting amateur radio equipment - no problem. Making a profit from renting remote access (i.e. air time) to your amateur station for which you are licensed and ultimately responsible may be a different matter ??

It depends on the definition of "station".

Suppose I own a nice cabin in a good location.

I rent the cabin out for money. Legal? Yes!

I rent the cabin out to hams for money. Legal? Yes!

I put some antennas up at the cabin, bring the feedlines into the cabin, and set up an operating desk. I rent the cabin out to hams for money, and they bring their own rigs, keys, power supplies etc.
to use with my antennas. Legal? Yes!

I install a rig, power supply, etc. at the cabin, connected to the antennas. I rent the cabin out to hams for money, and they don't have to drag a rig with them when they visit. Legal? Yes!

I install remote control capability on the rig, so folks don't have to drive to the cabin. Why would it suddenly become illegal to charge money for access?

IANAL, but IMHO the key factor is who is the control operator and whether the charges are for access or for communications. IOW, if it's so much per unit time, that's OK, but if I want to charge so many dollars per QSO, new country, etc, it's not.

Here's another example:

A club is formed with the sole purpose of creating an elaborate station. No club call; operators use their own. Only dues-paying club members are allowed to operate it. Legal? Yes!

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 08, 2012, 02:23:16 PM
I agree Jim, that renting use of the station is not an issue. Some of the senarios presented in some posts about the licensing of a "pile of equipment" may however. Consider the following senario:

1) I do not hold an amateur radio license.
2) I set up a station in the U.S. and provide remote access via the Internet.
3) I offer its use for free to any licensed amateur. You tell me your call sign and I give you a password.
4) You operate the station remotely over the Internet using your own call sign. Since I am not licensed I can't designate you as a control operator so I just expect you to become the station licensee during the time you are using it.
5) I won't give you the exact location (street address) of the station.
6) I won't give you a key or other access to the building that houses the station equipment.

Is this legal? I don't think so because you can't accept the responsibilities of the station licensee if you don't have physical access. You have no way of ensuring that the station is operating legally (power output, RFI exposure, etc.).

It would be like putting up a repeater with no trustee and no repeater call sign - everyone just use your own call sign to ID.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 08, 2012, 05:23:06 PM
I agree Jim, that renting use of the station is not an issue. Some of the senarios presented in some posts about the licensing of a "pile of equipment" may however. Consider the following senario:

1) I do not hold an amateur radio license.
2) I set up a station in the U.S. and provide remote access via the Internet.
3) I offer its use for free to any licensed amateur. You tell me your call sign and I give you a password.
4) You operate the station remotely over the Internet using your own call sign. Since I am not licensed I can't designate you as a control operator so I just expect you to become the station licensee during the time you are using it.
5) I won't give you the exact location (street address) of the station.
6) I won't give you a key or other access to the building that houses the station equipment.

Is this legal? I don't think so because you can't accept the responsibilities of the station licensee if you don't have physical access. You have no way of ensuring that the station is operating legally (power output, RFI exposure, etc.).

It would be like putting up a repeater with no trustee and no repeater call sign - everyone just use your own call sign to ID.


Why would anyone pay money to use a remote station that has such shady practices? Why would anyone enter into an agreement to operate a station that has no address?

Obviously, for this to work, there has to be a certain level of compliance with common sense practices. I'm pretty sure the intent of the remote radio provider is to actually become a successful endeavor, not some fly-by-night radio porn site shunned by the ham community in general and probably immediately confiscated by the FCC. With precise business procedures and adherence to the letter of the rules, this could be successful.

As to the pile of equipment, if the owner of such holds no amateur license, and nevers keys the transmitter on-air, then he can't possibly "transfer" control, since control would require a license. The control is assumed by the lessee the first time he keys the transmitter with his callsign on the rented equipment.

If a fellow ham lends you a radio, does he have to first transfer control of the station to you, on-air? What if the fellow ham rents the radio to you? Is he guilty of profiting from your traffic? What if you rent the radio and never key it up? What if you only use it to listen to shortwave stations? It's still a ham radio, and could possibly be used to transmit something somewhere... What then? If? If?

HRO, AES, Gigaparts and all the other ham radio stores don't "transfer control" of the equipment you buy, even if it's used. They sell it. You buy it. Some require a callsign. That doesn't ensure anything. You are responsible for what comes out of the antenna. Likewise, when you enter into the lease agreement with the remote radio site, you would assume responsibility for what comes out of the antenna. When your lease is up, then you are no longer responsible.

NOW... the owner of the equipment will need to be very careful in accepting users, since a violation could result in confiscatory action.

I'm sure these entrepreneurs have taken this into consideration, and the lease agreement will be more than an internet credit card transaction and boom, you're on the air.

As I see it, the rules are built on prescribed practice, not hypothetical opportunities to break rules. The pile of equipment analogy is simply for example. The reality is these remote radio sites are more than likely owned by licensed hams who will indeed be able to transfer and accept control, and they may well also periodically check in on things to see if everything is running well. I would, if it were my business.

That's just my interpretation. In my opinion, this could work and is legal.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 09, 2012, 06:05:14 AM
I think when a dealer sells you a radio they do indeed transfer physical control of the radio to you. It now belongs to you and you can put it on the air as part of your station - your are the station licensee. If someone loans you his transceiver for two weeks and during that time you have physical control over it then you are the station licensee and can operate it under your call sign.

What I am questioning is the case where someone gives me remote control access to his station via the Internet. I don't have physical control of the station - all I can do is operate it remotely. Certainly I can be the control operator. The question is can I also be the station licensee, operating the station remotely using my own personal call sign, when I don't have physical access to the equipment (i.e. I can't put my hands on it)? I maintain that I can't meet my obligations as the station licensee if I don't have physical access to all of the station equipment.

I guess the practical question then boils down to whose call sign do I use to ID that remote station, my own personal call sign or that of the real station licensee (or both)? I maintain that because I am only the designated control operator I should ID with the call sign of the station licensee (followed by my own call if I wish).




Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 09, 2012, 11:00:11 AM

I guess the practical question then boils down to whose call sign do I use to ID that remote station, my own personal call sign or that of the real station licensee (or both)? I maintain that because I am only the designated control operator I should ID with the call sign of the station licensee (followed by my own call if I wish).


This is probably the most contentious point in the discussion. After all, the ideal scenario of using a remote base is that one would treat it as if he were sitting right there at the console.

So, if the station is owned by a licensed ham, then the typical internet remote base indentification procedure would likely be sufficient. Most if not all internet remote base stations require you periodically, i.e., "10 minute rule" identify using the control operator callsign, and something to the effect "operating through [licensee callsign] remote in [transmitter location]. This sort of identification would not be particularly cumbersome in a rag-chew scenario.

Contesting. Now, here's the $64,000 question...

PART 97--AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE--Station Operation Standards Sec. 97.119 Station identification.

All Stations:  (a) Each amateur station, ..., must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions. No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station. .........

When calling CQ in a contest, would one have to do the whole "[CQ CQ control op callsign] operating through [station licensee] in [BFE]? That would be extremely cumbersome. Or not. It depends on the operator style. It certainly would reduce the number of actual CQ calls per minute.

This could be a limiting factor on the popularity of these remote base systems for contesters.


This brings me back around to the definition of "station". Is a "station" the aggregate of equipment poised and ready to transmit, or is a "station" only when it is operated by a duly licensed amateur operator.

§ 97.3 Definitions.
(a) The definitions of terms used in part 97 are:

(5) Amateur station. A station in an amateur radio service consisting of the apparatus necessary for carrying on radiocommunications.

? is an assortment of equipment, properly connected and certified ready for FCC compliant transmitting on amateur bands, indeed in amateur radio service, in the absence of actual transmission by an FCC licensed operator

(13) Control operator. An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules.

? is an assortment of equipment, properly connected and certified ready for FCC compliant transmitting on amateur bands, indeed considered a "station" requiring a handoff by a licensee, or is it just equipment waiting for a licensed operator to assume control
 


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on November 19, 2012, 08:26:42 AM
I find this whole post about all you hacking bunch of hens complaining about the rental of a Big Station funny. Have any of you built a station at your own qth that can compete in the major DX contests and win, I think not cause if you did you would know the extream amount of work, time and what it takes out of your family's life to do so. I have done it on a small scale and believe me it can sometimes cost allot, not just in your pockets but your relationship with your significant other, you guys have no idea but because some guy who lives in the city, cannot put antennas up can rent a big station and whoop your ass is the big deal here. Oh sorry, you old school old farts don't like that the guy didn't build it from scratch and the reason he can do it is he wiped out his credit card, well there have been many big stations built that the owners just sit back and watch the hired crew put everything together and all that guy has to do is throw a switch and operate, I would bet that pisses you all off too. These are different times and were dam luck to still have the privilege to use our HF bands, heck the way I see this hobby we will be lucky of we have our bands for another 10-15 years cause at that time all you old farts will pass on and there just is not the new blood in this hobby to keep it going. The way some of you guys complain about every new idea is self deafeating anything that is new in this hobby so take a good hard look why your complaining or we will loose what we now enjoy, some of you guy's gotta get a life and let others live there own.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K2GWK on November 21, 2012, 12:04:56 PM
What I want to know is what N1CX will do next if the FCC says it's legal.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WD4ELG on November 21, 2012, 07:20:13 PM
K5TED, I like the description you gave.  This raises a good point on which I am confused, and I would appreciate your clarification (and others as well). 

If you will allow me to use you and me in an example to help me understand and learn....

Let us say you have a rocking, DX chasing ham shack.  TH11DX or one of those huge OptiBeam monsters on a 200 foot tower.  Then we get the word that OH2BH, Martti is headed back to Scarborough Reef for one last DXpedition before retiring.

No way am I going to work BS7H with my dipole and 100 watts with the pileup.  So I ask you (oh please oh please) may I come over to your shack to work "the reef?"  Say you do know me, we had some 807's at Dayton last year.  And I tell you I'll repay the favor...I'll pay for the replacement ring rotor for your 40 meter yagi at 100 feet on that tower since it burned out in September.  I NEED BS7H for Honor Roll.  You say sure, not needed to replace the ring rotor.  I insist, because without your generosity I am not getting BS7H.  (The scenario here is that I am exchanging something of value for the access to airtime from your QTH)

QUESTIONS: How do I sign when calling BS7H while sitting in your shack?  Can I just use my callsign?  Do I need to do the full "control operator" ID thing?  Is this legal, exchanging something of value for access to airtime from your shack?

Now let us extrapolate.  I am in NC, and it is not practical to travel to your QTH in San Antonio.  But you say "hey, I can do an internet setup and let you work him from wherever you are"  I say "Actually, I will be on the road and staying in a hotel in the evenings, to this is AWESOME."  You say "No problem."  I still insist on replacing your ring rotor, because I want BS7H REALLY BAD.   (The scenario again is that I am exchanging something of value for the access to airtime from your QTH, but I am accessing it remotely)

QUESTIONS: How do I sign when calling BS7H while sitting in your shack?  Can I just use my callsign?  Do I need to do the full "control operator" ID thing?  Is this legal, exchanging something of value for access to airtime from your shack and accessig it remotely?




Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WD4ELG on November 21, 2012, 07:21:28 PM
Sorry for the typo.

The second question should have been:

QUESTIONS: How do I sign when calling BS7H while sitting IN MY HOTEL ROOM?  Can I just use my callsign?  Do I need to do the full "control operator" ID thing?  Is this legal, exchanging something of value for access to airtime from your shack and accessig it remotely?



Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 21, 2012, 07:39:38 PM
The FCC has stated that Internet remote is no different than using a very long mike cable, as far as they are concerned. The same rules apply.

What doesn't seem right to me in either senario is that you could operate the station using your call sign and take DXCC credit for working BS7H. What station location would you use on the QSL card? The remote station location or the location of your hotel room.

How about the situation where you use a 2M ht to repeater to Internet link to a DX 2M repeater and work a nearby station. Are you able to claim a 2M DX contact for DXCC credit?


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 22, 2012, 03:24:04 PM
Contests are based upon exchanges between stations, not control points.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on November 23, 2012, 08:15:12 AM
What is funny is how some work a rare dx station, years ago I was into the DXCC thing and after I hit 200 and then some I dropped the who bag. What happened is I worked a 9V1 on 75mtr ssb along with two other stations from 1 land, there were only 3 of us that worked that station and we all got the qsl card to prove it, it was a close call contact and the LP was only open for 15min and then faded into the dust. A few weeks later I was doing a antenna job with a buddy at a qth of a ham that was on the top of the honor role, he had very simple antennas, 40ft tower with a TH6 and dipoles at 30ft for 40ty and 80ty meters. After we finished the job and we had some drinks at the ham's home he shows me a 9V1 qsl card for 75mtrs ssb, it was the same date I worked the same guy too. Well that night I was on that band for over 4 hours and knowing long path opening's on that band is like clockwork, I knew this guy didn't have a fart sniff chance that he worked the 9V but found out later that he knew the 9V1's JA QSL manager and that's how he got the card. I dropped all the DXCC stuff like a bomb, to me it was BS so after that I just kept a log for my own records and didn't care a rats ass about DXCC or Honor Roll, if that's what some ham's do to get there awards on the wall it did not interest me anymore. Maybe that why I really don't care about this thread that much cause DXCC is bullcrap IMO but contesting is what I ended up after that was a whole different ball game. You cant cheat, they verify the logs and when you place a scope in the top 5 in the US they go threw it like no-body's biz cause most of the guy's checking the log's also hold record's and if your score comes close they pull out all the stops to make sure you don't take there spot. Contesting is another ball game, its fun but the same stuff that goes around in the DXCC arena also happens in contesting. Ham's take both way to seriously and life is way to short for this childhood BS.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 23, 2012, 09:04:19 AM
Contests are based upon exchanges between stations, not control points.

Depends on the contest. For example, DXCC credit requires that the receiver, transmitter, and control point all be located in the same DXCC entity (i.e. country).


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 23, 2012, 11:50:18 AM
K5TED, I like the description you gave.  This raises a good point on which I am confused, and I would appreciate your clarification (and others as well). 

If you will allow me to use you and me in an example to help me understand and learn....

Let us say you have a rocking, DX chasing ham shack.  TH11DX or one of those huge OptiBeam monsters on a 200 foot tower.  Then we get the word that OH2BH, Martti is headed back to Scarborough Reef for one last DXpedition before retiring.

No way am I going to work BS7H with my dipole and 100 watts with the pileup.  So I ask you (oh please oh please) may I come over to your shack to work "the reef?"  Say you do know me, we had some 807's at Dayton last year.  And I tell you I'll repay the favor...I'll pay for the replacement ring rotor for your 40 meter yagi at 100 feet on that tower since it burned out in September.  I NEED BS7H for Honor Roll.  You say sure, not needed to replace the ring rotor.  I insist, because without your generosity I am not getting BS7H.  (The scenario here is that I am exchanging something of value for the access to airtime from your QTH)

QUESTIONS: How do I sign when calling BS7H while sitting in your shack?  Can I just use my callsign?  Do I need to do the full "control operator" ID thing?  Is this legal, exchanging something of value for access to airtime from your shack?

Now let us extrapolate.  I am in NC, and it is not practical to travel to your QTH in San Antonio.  But you say "hey, I can do an internet setup and let you work him from wherever you are"  I say "Actually, I will be on the road and staying in a hotel in the evenings, to this is AWESOME."  You say "No problem."  I still insist on replacing your ring rotor, because I want BS7H REALLY BAD.   (The scenario again is that I am exchanging something of value for the access to airtime from your QTH, but I am accessing it remotely)

QUESTIONS: How do I sign when calling BS7H while sitting in your shack?  Can I just use my callsign?  Do I need to do the full "control operator" ID thing?  Is this legal, exchanging something of value for access to airtime from your shack and accessig it remotely?





------------------------ PART 97--AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE--Station Operation Standards Sec. 97.119 Station identification.

All Stations:  (a) Each amateur station, ..., must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions.

Let's consider the relationship of "end of each communication" and "during a communication" and "the source of the transmissions ". Also, let's stay within the assumption the control point and transmitter site are located in the U.S., under FCC authority.

I interpret a "communication" to be an exchange between two or more stations. I interpret "the source of the transmissions" to be the station transmitter. If I am the control operator of a station transmitter, then I give my callsign and the location of the transmitter, not the control point. In other words, I wouldn't state, "K5TED in Texas, operating remotely through K5TED transmitter in Nebraska". It would simply be, "K5TED Remote, Nebraska". If someone wants to know where the control point is, they can ask.

Why did I use my callsign to define the transmitter licensee?  It could be because the transmitter is located at my uncle's ranch in Nebraska. The transmitter site could actually be owned, lock stock and barrel, by my uncle, who might not even hold an amateur license. As long as he himself is not transmitting, everything is good and to the letter of the law. In fact, Uncle SI may not have ever even touched any of the equipment himself. Or he may have actually thrown the breaker to power up the shack. He could have contracted the entire station to be built by a third party commercial radio dealer, and may even have a service agreement with them to come on site as needed to do tower or transmitter maintenance. BUT...When I dial in and take control, it is MY station. Uncle Si can't turn it over to me, because he is not a ham. When I am not in control, it ceases to be a station. It is just a pile of equipment.

Now.... What if he isn't my Uncle. Or what if he is, but he charges me for electricity. What if he charges me a rental fee for the equipment. Does this change anything with respect to Part 97?

As far as donating time and equipment to a fellow ham, that's a given. I would expect the beneficiary to welcome the use of his station.

In my humble opinion, the use of "Airtime" to describe amateur radio communications in the context of this discussion is sort of inflammatory, and exists in solely as a red herring to distract from the real issues.

"Airtime" is a service provided as a vehicle for self promotion with a pecuniary interest. Even PSA's are counted as having some intrinsic value and are duly considered at license renewal time in the broadcast world. Casual or contest ham radio communications have no intrinsic monetary value to anyone besides radio manufacturers.

That's my take...


The FCC has stated that Internet remote is no different than using a very long mike cable, as far as they are concerned. The same rules apply.

What doesn't seem right to me in either senario is that you could operate the station using your call sign and take DXCC credit for working BS7H. What station location would you use on the QSL card? The remote station location or the location of your hotel room.

How about the situation where you use a 2M ht to repeater to Internet link to a DX 2M repeater and work a nearby station. Are you able to claim a 2M DX contact for DXCC credit?



You answered the DXCC question later on down the thread. If DXCC states the control point and station must be within the same entity, then that is the final answer. It doesn't change anything relative to station operation under FCC rules, but does recognize the need to follow contest rules in order to be considered eligible for specific awards. That brings up the point that if contest organizers want to stop this remote contesting in it's tracks, all they have to do is adopt the same rules as DXCC, and maybe take it further, stating that control points and stations must be local.

As for the 2m DX question, since DX by definition is based upon stations being separated by a specific delineator, that being political boundaries for the most part, it brings up the scenario where a ham is operating a 2m repeater in his own town, and communicating across the border to Canada, a scant 5 miles away. That technically is DX for some certificate purposes. Is he eligible for DX award point? What is the exact definition of DX in contests?

As long as he resides in the same entity as the repeater, and the DX station is indeed in another entity, it is a valid DX contact, in theory. It may not be eligible for points, however, unless the contest rules allow for repeater contacts.

Your question is more to the point that an operator uses a remote connection to a repeater that is local to the DX entity. In that case, no, he is absolutely not eligible for any DX trophy, since his "long mic cord" makes him directly connected to the transceiver that is local, not DX, to the station he contacted.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K5TED on November 23, 2012, 12:25:22 PM
Now, here's something to consider...

Say, for example, I have a permanent station set up at Uncle Si's farm in Nebraska. It's sort of a summer retreat for me. It's my station, I set it up, my license copy is hanging there in the shack. I'm the only ham operator who has ever used that equipment.

One winter, while I'm toiling away in San Antonio, pining for the big summer trip to Nebraska, Uncle Si decides to go on a cruise. He packs up, leaves the keys with the neighbor kid, leaving instructions to make sure Ol' Yeller is fed and watered while Uncle Si is away.

A couple days later, the neighbor kid sneaks into my summer retreat shack and starts flipping switches. Next thing you know he's calling CQ in the CW portion of 15m. He's not a ham. He has no license. He's yakking it up. Smarting off to anyone who dares confront him. Playing music. Reading poetry. Singing in a high falsetto with a funny accent. He's creating interference, and continues to do so every day for the next two weeks until the day before Uncle Si returns.

By now, many stations along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf and West coasts, Japan, Greenland, not to mention Latvia and a guy named Sven operating MM from a trawler off Madagascar have heard my station transmitting unidentified for hours on end, breaking most every rule in the book.

Over the past week, a Nebraska OO has triangulated the transmissions back to my shack. He's got it out for me, and reports the infractions, complete with logs and recordings. It's cut n' dried. My station did it. I had no idea my station was doing it, or I'd have dialed in and turned it off. I did have remote control capability...

Am I liable? Is the kid liable? Is Uncle Si liable?

Who pays the fine?





Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: WD4ELG on November 23, 2012, 04:18:22 PM
Just my opinion...

Uncle Si is responsible for securing the gear, because it's on his property.

You are responsible for making sure Uncle Si secures the gear, because you are the only ham who operates or even knows about Part 97, etc.

IF the FCC doles out a fine, I think you both get hit with one.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on November 23, 2012, 05:00:31 PM
I'd say that as the station licensee you are the one who is responsible for ensuring the proper operation of the station. If you have authorized a control operator then you and he are jointly responsible. Now if you had the station properly secured (i.e. a lock on the door or a key switch on the power) then you have made an effort to secure the station and the FCC is unlikely to access you any fines once you respond to them with the details. If, on the other hand, your station was readily available to the kid and no one warned him against using it then as the licensee you will probably be liable.

By the way, I still have a cypher lock on my hamshack door that was placed their years ago to prevent the kids from gaining access.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W3WN on November 29, 2012, 08:52:05 AM
Now, here's something to consider...

Say, for example, I have a permanent station set up at Uncle Si's farm in Nebraska. It's sort of a summer retreat for me. It's my station, I set it up, my license copy is hanging there in the shack. I'm the only ham operator who has ever used that equipment.

One winter, while I'm toiling away in San Antonio, pining for the big summer trip to Nebraska, Uncle Si decides to go on a cruise. He packs up, leaves the keys with the neighbor kid, leaving instructions to make sure Ol' Yeller is fed and watered while Uncle Si is away.

A couple days later, the neighbor kid sneaks into my summer retreat shack and starts flipping switches. Next thing you know he's calling CQ in the CW portion of 15m. He's not a ham. He has no license. He's yakking it up. Smarting off to anyone who dares confront him. Playing music. Reading poetry. Singing in a high falsetto with a funny accent. He's creating interference, and continues to do so every day for the next two weeks until the day before Uncle Si returns.

By now, many stations along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf and West coasts, Japan, Greenland, not to mention Latvia and a guy named Sven operating MM from a trawler off Madagascar have heard my station transmitting unidentified for hours on end, breaking most every rule in the book.

Over the past week, a Nebraska OO has triangulated the transmissions back to my shack. He's got it out for me, and reports the infractions, complete with logs and recordings. It's cut n' dried. My station did it. I had no idea my station was doing it, or I'd have dialed in and turned it off. I did have remote control capability...

Am I liable? Is the kid liable? Is Uncle Si liable?

Who pays the fine?
(1)  The kid is liable, and pays a fine for unlicensed operation of an amateur station.  Presuming that they can prove it was actually him operating, of course.
(2)  You might be liable for the access to the station (it's your equipment, and your license, so it's your liability, not Uncle Si's).  A lot depends on the condition you left the station in.

If you simply had it sitting in a room, no locks, everything plugged in & ready to go... a case could be made that your negligence in not securing the equipment was a factor in the illegal operation.

On the other hand, if the room had a lock, or the equipment had transmit-prevention measures... you'd taken a reasonable precaution against illegal operation.  (And the kid is also liable for breaking & entering too, let's not forget that).  Did you leave the mikes plugged in?  The antennas?  If you did not, and the kid had to go to some effort to re-assemble the station in order to (improperly & illegally) use it, that is additional proof that you took reasonable steps to prevent the station from being used.

Naturally, your attorney can give you a more definitive (and legally binding) answer.  IANALNDIPOOTV.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: W7KKK on December 12, 2012, 08:45:52 AM
It does not matter at this point.
You have done your thing by reporting it and the ARRL says it's not illegal.
So what's the point now?


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KH6DC on December 15, 2012, 09:21:31 PM
It does not matter at this point.
You have done your thing by reporting it and the ARRL says it's not illegal.
So what's the point now?

The FCC also says it's legal.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: K0IZ on December 21, 2012, 06:16:04 PM
Is this post still going on .... and on..... and on.  Enough already.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on December 24, 2012, 09:19:51 AM
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I think I just pee'd myself laughing.  ;D

Big bucks in this stuff. They're advertising here now. Wait til the full page ads show up in QST roflmao

I still offer my ts820 if you want to connect to the internet roflmao this is not ham radio nor is it in the spirit of ham radio.

Again I wonder out loud how these local towns will deal with these systems being installed in residential locations when it's a for profit business.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on December 29, 2012, 04:45:54 PM
If your still using a 820 and that's the radio you use all the time no wonder why you have such a beef with station using better gear than you, I knew there was  reason why you have such a hardon for these guys. You should go on there site and take a spin, that station is unreal how well it perform's but you having such a simple veiw on this whole subject I think it might just make you feel somewhat small. I love these crackpots that dont like anything bigger than what they have.
Jim


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: AA4PB on December 29, 2012, 06:14:13 PM
It must be a great thrill to get DXCC using equipment installed and maintained by other people. Want to work Japan just "click click" and you are operating from a monster west coast station. Want to work Europe, "click click" and you are operating from a monster east coast station. Of course DXCC no longer means much except that you know how to use a mouse and keyboard  ;D


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on December 30, 2012, 09:12:59 PM
DXCC IMO has been a lost cause for years, there are way to many ham's that have qsl cards for station's they never worked yet they have credit for these. I don't think the guys who are renting air time are guys that are big DX'ers, just ham's that cant have station's and want a dam good one for when they get on, hey if they have the money that's fine for them. I know in about 5 year's my wife is going to want to get a condo down south but still keep a house in the NE and I will for sure remote my station on that time, there is no way I want to op qrp with wet noddle antenna's in a friggin condo so remote station's do have there place.
Maybe some of these ham's might be handycaped and cannot even have a sniff of installing a station but there able to pay the rent of the station like these instead, you ham's that are so against this wanna tell these guys they cant have a little fun. N1CX has a problem with this cause just maybe he did not come up with this idea 1st and he may not like the guys do in this, sounds like a personal problem to me cause the ARRL says it leagal and so does the FCC so why all of you make all the fuss is because you want something to bitch about, many in this hobby are turning into compaining old fart's.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: N1CX on December 31, 2012, 10:50:21 AM
Somehow ke2tr came off ignore.

What's laughable here is you seem to want to turn this into a size of your johnson contest. Pal it ain't about that. I CHOOSE to have a ts820. I enjoy it. I've owned HUNDREDS of hf radios in the last 35 years. Including High end stuff like ts850sat, ts950, 930's, multiple Icoms, and virtually every Heathkit ever made.

It ain't about the size of my Johnson trust me. It's about having fun. The fact that you seem to want to belittle me is even funnier. I got a 40 meter dipole right now is that supposed to be funny too? I've had more fun in the last few years with a tube radio barefoot and a dipole than I ever have in my life of ham radio.

I've owned a large contest station. I have built more stations than you've ever seen in your life including a 11 tower monster. I really could give a crap what you think or have to say.

Just because the arrl says it's legal don't make it right. And I've yet to see where the fcc has ruled it legal. No-one here has shown me...And I'm still waiting to hear about the illegal zoning issues of having large towers installed on a private property under the guise of personal use when they're charging people $5000 to use the station. Maybe this thread printed and forwarded to a few towns would open some eyes.

Back to ignore for you pal. Have a great New Year. Spend it talking to yourself some more. :)


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on January 01, 2013, 08:14:01 PM
You have to be the biggest dick head on this forum, number one I searched the net and found nothing about you or anything that you have built, I just love the small minded piss ants like you that BS all day long and the bottom line you have done nothing on building anything. Here is a link from one of the contest forum's from my buddy JP, oh BTW  I have friends, I don't think you do. http://lists.contesting.com/_towertalk/2001-09/msg00079.html
Plus if you search the net under W2A/W2AA, JP put a page of pic's together of my station I had ton's of fun with my friends, both building and OPing between 1994-2002. BTW in 1996/97/99 that little station place first in CQWW Phone Multi Single USA, the woods on the wall and in 98 we placed 5th Multi/Multi Phone SSB CQWW USA (The station was nor designed but we just wanted to see what it would do with six op's and three station setup. As far as my johnson is concerned that my wife's business and none of yours unless you hop the fence but I must say I don't sway that way. In 96 we used KF2ET, then W2A for the other three so it had nothing to do with my call being the spotlite, I really did not do it for my call to be in bold black letter's but it was about the most fun any of us from that group had with this hobby I have been in this hobby since 1968 so I have see all type's, played around with contesting since 1977 on and off but in 93 started to build my own station that would do some battle with some very large station's. Crewed with K2UU on W2HCW's re build of his bertha from the old telrex monobander's to 125MPH Plus M2 Monobander from 40-10mtrs, in the late 70ies I help build a station here on LI with all 6 element KLM big stickers, help KR2N put up lots of monobander's of two 120ft tower's and believe me there is more cause I did work with K2UU on and off for a couple of year's re doing  more than a few station's here on LI. So what have you done and you call the radio's you have had Hi End, you are a joke, Yes I may own a TS590 now cause it's got one hellova good receiver in it plus its a great bang for the buck but have owned FT1000D's,FT1000MP's,FT990,IC751A,IC746Pro,TS850,TS930,TS830,TS820,TS520's,TR4C,Drake C lines,KWM2,CX7A,IC765 to name a few but only one doggy Heathkit which was a HW100 which was my 1st SSB rig.
As far as you building some monster contest station well who's call or maybe you work for Matt KC1XX in which you are just a worker not the builder/designer, I knew you were full of crap cause you show nothing to back up your word's at all, nada,zip. BTW if you had a station together back in the late 90ies I bet you were one of the guy's I spanked all the time in the contest's back then, for some reason the old fart mentality like yours never likes the small well designed station's that do well or you think you are better than everyone else.
Happy New Year you big turkey, maybe I'll send you a tube of preparation H, you seem to need it!


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on January 02, 2013, 11:26:52 AM
I can see why N1CX is getting so pissed off, he runs a TS820 into a 20mtr dipole at 20ft! No wonder he is so crazed at a guy in a condo working DX he shouldn't be able to work from a big station but I gotta say if the ham who rent's the station can afford to do so, so be it. I know what it cost's to put a semi larger than average station together, not with Rohn 25/45G guyed tower's but a pair of hefty priced crank-up's, then there's the cable and grounding, rotor's, not even thinking about what's inside the shack as far as cost, then the local town permits. This guy is thinking about ham radio like he is back in the 1960ies. Then you consider what the cost of building a world class station which I am sure is way over $100K and that's just the antennas, not the property, house, and what's needed inside the shack for rigs, amp's, switching that will make it all work via the net so you look at all that for one site and I bet you over and above $500K and N1CX doesn't like that cause his simple minded idea's of what ham radio should be but that's in his own mind.
This is a different age we live in, remote station's have been in growing number's and I too one day might be stuck in a condo down south which will not allow antenna's, hell I would be the 1st one to sign up, God willing maybe own my own remote station at that time as well and hell if I could rent that I would cause I don't use the radio all day, let someone else use it but I'll be dammed after all my hard work someone is going to use it for free.
I think N1CX wants a supper station for free cause he is that cheap type of ham, doesn't want to pay for anything, who is he to put down the ham's who push the envelope with this hobby.
I have heard a number of guy's run remote station's, they all use there call then portable what ever district there in, if the own or rent the station doesn't bother me one bit as long as there having fun which is were N1CX losses the battle, he is way to busy bitching about what everyone else has and he doesn't.


Title: RE: Selling "airtime" on ham radio
Post by: KE2TR on April 12, 2013, 04:07:00 PM
Hey N1CX, did you get your new QST yet? Looks like they liked the idea of Remote Ham Radio allot! No full page add just a review that is like the they are giving the guy's doing this there blessing's but you still have your old way's to knock a great new idea. Must be hard getting old and being of old fart age and acting like it.
Jim
KE2TR