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Author Topic: business talk on Amateur Radio  (Read 543 times)
K1CJS
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« on: August 10, 2004, 11:53:33 AM »

Just as an aside, I believe using your ham gear for a phone patch to your boss to conduct his business is also prohibited.  I may be wrong, but I think that is considered furthering HIS business!
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KI4DCR
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2004, 08:05:55 PM »

I've been told several different schools of thought on what's appropriate pertaining to business discussions on amateur frequencies. I'm self employed and almost daily someone will ask me what I do for a "regular job". I NEVER recruit business on the air, I know that's against the rules,I always tell folks to look me up on QRZ & email me or just call me on the phone if they start asking a lot of questions.I was told today by another ham that just about ANY mention of my "work life" is highly inappropriate I find this incredulous to believe as work is an unavoidable part of daily life for most of us. So my question is can I discuss what I do with other hams on Amateur frequencies without violating FCC or general Amateur ethics?
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N6AYJ
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2004, 08:49:38 PM »

I've been a lawyer for over 30 years, a ham for even longer than that, and have tried to keep abreast of amateur radio law the entire time.  The people who are telling you that you cannot discuss your self-employment on amateur radio are just plain wrong.  The only thing that is prohibited is using amateur radio in order to increase the remuneration provided by your business, and you are not doing that.  For example, hams have a perfect right, as a matter of free speech, to discuss their investment strategies on the air.  You cannot use ham radio to advertise or facilitate the operation of your business, but you're not doing that, either.  Also, if someone asked you on the air if they could hire you, you would be required to tell them to talk to you about it on the landline.  Aside from that, feel free to talk to your fellow hams about your self-employment and just ignore the naysayer idiots.  They don't know what they're talking about.  
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K0RFD
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2004, 09:08:27 PM »

I agree with AYJ on this one (he's only REALLY a problem when he goes off his meds)

I'm self-employed.  If somebody asks me what I do for a living, I have a right to tell them.  I do NOT have the right to use Ham radio in the course of my business, or for remuneration.  I can't solicit business on the air.  I can't tell the guy in the delivery truck where the next pizza goes.  But I CAN tell people what I do.  I can even tell them how I do it, so long as I am not using Ham radio for profit.

It's not that fine a line.  If it's wrong, you can pretty well feel it in your gut.
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KI4CFS
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2004, 09:21:57 PM »

N6AYJ, THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP!!!  I really did make some on the edge mistakes when I started and local ham's were kind enough to let me know. I think one thing that people who are employeed don't understand is that if you are fully self-employed that is a large part of your life! And if you love what you do, that is the exciting thing to share. At the same time it is important to be careful that is is not selling in any way. I think if someone did say they would like my services I know I would be revere it off the air. Also, someone did have some more business questions about what I did but they found that by going to QRZ and looking up my call sign then found out about it. I think as long as that does not go to the airways that would be find. I appreciate this discussion for I do want to honor the rules of Amateur radio. To me part of the fun is that you can not 'do business' on the air and it forces us talk about our lives or the 'personal parts' of our business / lives.

I understand the monitors of the repeater are responsible and need to speak up if something is off, just as all of us to, since it is a self-governing system, for the most part.

Look forward to other comments.
KI4CFS
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W5HTW
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2004, 11:20:58 PM »

You have been steered correctly so far.  

About five years ago I heard a number of conversations on area repeaters that were clearly business.  In one case, a woman (yes, she had a call sign) was dispatching her husband (also with a call sign) to computer repair services.  In another, another woman was dispatching her husband (both with call signs) on deliveries of construction supplies.  No one on the repeater seemed to care.  I didn't monitor for a year or so, and then when I did, I found none of that kind of communication going on.  Someone had cleaned up the act.  Many hams were brought into the hobby in the early 90s with the illusion this was something like CB-FRS-Business, and most importantly, 'free cell phone.'   That image has pretty much died away.

You would be wrong to solicit business.  You would not be wrong to, if asked about it, to suggest someone call you on the phone.  However, if you hopped into a net, and announced to the net, 'Hey, guys, I build swimming pools, and you can call me at 555-1111 for more info" you'd be way, way, way out of line.  And, if you start sending your crew to build more pools, and you dispatch them on ham bands, yeah, you are completely across the line.  

So use common sense.  Avoid the appearance of impropriety, and have fun.

Ed
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WA4MJF
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2004, 12:28:06 PM »

Well, as has been seen there area variety of
opinions on this matter.  I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on ATV.  

In reading Part 97-113,
it says, "Prohibitied transmissions...
(3) Communications in which the station license
or the control operator* has a pecuniary interest,
including communications on behalf of an
employer."  Later it makes an exception for
selling ham equipment on an irregular basis.
Also, makes exceptions for compensation for
operating a ham radio rig.

Now I think, unless your net worth is in
the 7 figure of higher range, you have
a pecuniary interest in money matters both
coming in and going out.  However, there are
those armchiar lawyers that say you only
have an interest in money matters (that is what
pecuniary means for those in Rio Lindo) that
are incoming.  Now these may be the rich ones
speaking.  My policy is that you should not try
to make nor spend money on ham radio.

So use your phone to place orders for
take out or what not, not ham radio.

73 de Ronnie

*This means if you're using a repeater for instance
what pecuniary intersts that the control operator
on duty has, too.
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WA4MJF
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2004, 12:29:46 PM »

The comment at the end of the
previous post should have said repeater
autopatch as there mus be a control op
at the control point when third party
communications are in progress.
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KZ1X
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Posts: 3228




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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2004, 01:38:33 PM »

Rio Lindo !  Ha!  LOL!
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KI4CFS
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2004, 02:09:46 PM »

Could you tell me the exact wording of the FCC on this issue or section to look up. I think that would be good to post for the discussion.

Tks!
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WA4MJF
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2004, 02:16:13 PM »

See my earlier post with the quote
marks (").

73 de Ronnie

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AK7P
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2004, 05:10:52 PM »

I have to say that AYJ is on the money with his opinion.  I went through this years ago on a repeater out west.  The lawyer is right!  Oh No!

Good Dx,

Mike AK7P
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KI4DCR
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2004, 09:20:50 PM »

Thanks to all for the replies! It was interesting to find out that I indeed WASN'T violating any rules! What's more strange, the hams that were complaining were the ones that AREN'T self employeed, hummmmm.makes ya wonder...............
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KI4CFS
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2004, 01:16:22 AM »

I appreciate the discussion. If you are self-employed and you can not mention anything related to your work what's the POINT. That is a large part of many self-employed Ham's life. It is mine, for I really like what I do and enjoy discussing it just like I like talking about Ham stuff and MANY other things. This is about connecting to people, sharing our lives, building good will, and offing emergency back up support. Thanks for the Elmer's that spoke up! I am clear where the line is and got some real vague singles before. Simple, "don't sell your product on ham radio, and don't use it as a 'business' tool!'   I love this hobby! And appreciate the comments here!


KI4CFS Martin
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