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Author Topic: Broadcasting - Is this Broadcasting over Ham?  (Read 897 times)
W7AIT
Member

Posts: 501




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« on: July 09, 2009, 10:35:45 AM »

Elmer Question:

1.  Is the senerio shown below “Broadcasting” and a violation of FCC Part 97 Paragraph 97.113 Prohibited Transmissions, / 97.113 (5) “Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be furnished alternatively through other radio services.”?

Yes / No answers appreciated.

Scenario- Reporting Automobile traffic conditions:

This takes place on a Flagstaff 2 meter Repeater WR7ABD.  Also Flagstaff AM Broadcast Radio station KJAZZ in Flagstaff has a “Automobile Traffic on the 8’s” automobile traffic announcer who covers the entire Flagstaff area including Williams, with automobile Traffic Reports every 8 minutes to the general Public; the station KJAZZ pays the announcers salary and support staff who assist him in getting the automobile traffic information and KJAZZ gets paid for broadcasting commercials during the automobile traffic reports.  KJAZZ is broadcasting its automobile traffic reports on the 8’s today and everyday.

Today, the WR7ABD 2 meter Amateur Radio repeater station 2 meter Automobile Traffic and coffee klatch net has concluded 20 minutes earlier, and **no one** has toggled the WR7ABD repeater for 20 minutes (its been dead quiet for 20 minutes).

A station comes on WR7ABD.

“This is WB7IR. Highway 40 traffic is clear from Williams to Flagstaff.  WB7IR out”.

Dead silence on the repeater WR7ABD again for 20 minutes.

Is the transmission by WB7IR “Broadcasting” per FCC Part 97 Paragraph 97.113 / 97.113 (5) and hence Prohibited?  

Answer yes or no.

2.  How many Amateur repeater stations conduct automobile Traffic nets?  3.  Is this common?  Yes / No answers appreciated.

I’m just trying to get an answer to the questions because frankly I don’t know what the correct answer is; I’ve been told in the past that I’m wrong and don’t know what I’m talking about, so I would like expert Elmer knowledge on this..  I’m not trying to stir the pot either nor get anyone in trouble.  Just want your expert Elmer answer to the three questions.

Thanks

PS:  I’m not looking for cute or snide answers like “we don’t need any stinking badges or stinking rules”, those answers add nothing useful.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21754




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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 10:47:16 AM »

"Announcements of general interest to amateur operators monitoring" have always been allowed.

In the example provided, the announcement was brief, to the point, and identified, and evidently didn't interfere with anyone since the repeater hadn't been in use.

A highway traffic report on 20 meters wouldn't be logical, since it would not be of general interest to amateurs who could hear it.  But one on a VHF-UHF FM repeater could be, since most of the listeners will be in that same area and many could be mobile.

I see no issues with it.

Repeaters have announced traffic reports, weather reports, the local time and temperature, local Bake Sales, Boy Scout outings and a zillion other things over decades and as far as I know, none of these have ever been ruled as violations.

WB2WIK/6
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K1DA
Member

Posts: 724




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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 11:07:41 AM »

The existence of "general interest" transmissions
by W1AW has, I think, demonstrates  what sort of "broadcasting" is tolerated, if not specifically authorized.  There was a weatherman on WBZ TV in Boston who for many years used the info he obtained from the "New England Weather Net" on 80 meters as part of his forecast and gave credit to those who provided it but never put the actual transmissions on the air.  So ong as THAT doesn't happen I say let sleeping dogs lie.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 14359




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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 11:28:13 AM »

97.113(5) specifies "on a regular basis". I doubt that this guy comes up every day at a scheduled time to make the traffic report. It would be a different thing if he came up every day and ran an hour traffic show giving reports he had collected for all the different highways. I don't think the FCC would have any issue with his announcement. I hear it done here in VA fairly often, especially if there is a traffic tie up of some type. You could perhaps get the same info from a BC station but it might be a little more dated info. Its actually pretty nice to be monitoring 2M and be notified in real time when there is a tie up that you can avoid - especially when you don't enjoy listening to all the other chatter on the BC stations.

I quite often turn on 2M when mobile and the WX looks bad so I can get real time info.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
WA3SKN
Member

Posts: 6523




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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 11:34:54 AM »

1. No.  This is not "broadcasting".
2. Many.
3. Yes.
73s.

-Mike.
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NA7CS
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 11:56:23 AM »

#1 - NO

#2 - Pretty much every repeater I have been on (6M, 2M es 70cm) in major cities has almost always had some type of mention of traffic conditions during the rush hours by the ops on the repeaters. Either asking for conditions, or mentioning something new which is not on the BCB traffic reports yet. Especially in the Phoenix area where traffic is much worse than up the hill in Flag.

Nr 2 does not lend itself to a strict yes/no answer.

#3 - Yes, this is very common.
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KB9VGE
Member

Posts: 24




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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 12:50:39 PM »

What about the relays of NASA TV xmissions (audio) over repeaters during missions?  I know of atleast one (in Minneapolis) that does that.
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KF6ALC
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 01:09:15 PM »

I recall reading somewhere NASA retransmissions are an exception to the broadcast rule.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21754




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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 01:15:13 PM »

>RE: Broadcasting - Is this Broadcasting over Ham?       Reply
by KF6ALC on July 9, 2009    Mail this to a friend!
I recall reading somewhere NASA retransmissions are an exception to the broadcast rule.<

::Everything is an exception to the broadcast rule, except for actual broadcasting.  Code practice transmitted (one-way) for the purpose of helping people learn code is acceptable.  Announcements of general interest to amateur radio operators who may be listening, such as club bulletins, VE schedules and a bazillion other things are acceptable.  W1AW (the ARRL station) "broadcasts" several hours each day on nine or ten bands, in voice, CW and RTTY, and those are all acceptable.

WB2WIK/6
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K4DPK
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Posts: 1120


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 06:29:25 PM »

BTW, it isn't "Is this broadcasting over ham?"

It's:  "Is this broadcasting over ham radio?"

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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