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Author Topic: Non-Licensed operators  (Read 21099 times)
N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2011, 05:19:50 AM »

Nowhere in Part 97 does the word "hobby" appear. Not even once.

I said not fully addressed.  You can run drills and tests.  In the event of an actual emergency, if you are being paid, then it's a problem.

No, it isn't. Not if it's a real emergency. See my example about the broken-down car.

As far as hobby, you're right, it doesn't say it.  It says that it's not for commercial use.  I wasn't quoting FCC regulations.  I am stating fact.  It's a HOBBY.

What's your definition of "HOBBY"?

I see the phrases "it's a hobby" and "it's just a hobby" tossed around without any real explanation of what that is supposed to mean. Usually the implication is that people shouldn't take it seriously.

Even if ham radio is "a HOBBY", how does that change the use in emergencies?
 
I realize that there are those that are doing this for the right reasons and motivations.  I don't have ea problem with them.

What I have the problem with is people getting licensed strictly for ECCOM.  What I have issue with is the foaming at the mouth wackers with their reflective vests and their ARES bling that the league has encouraged at the cost of the hobbies outward appearance to local LEO's and fire /EMS groups.  
The jackwagons that have their ARES repeater paid for by tax dollars that sit on the same site, running off the same power and on the same tower as all the local public safety repeaters and then thinking that is what they are going to rely on for ECCOM.  The loons that believe that they are going to be riding around in fire trucks with their HT's going to all the action with the firefighters because they are the last hope of freedom and civility in the world.

Your problem is with certain individuals, then. Do you think it helps the situation by calling them names?

How should it be done?

The way the served agencies work nowadays is that they have drills, tests, coordination, things setup ahead of time, registration, etc. They want people and equipment they know and work with ahead of time, not ad hoc stuff when an emergency happens. What they DON'T want is untrained strangers showing up with their own gear during an emergency wanting to help out.

This isn't new. Look back to the days of CD and even WERS.

IF it ever comes to the point that some hammie repeater is the last thing operational in an area and a state of emergency has been declared, the first thing that will happen is the repeater will be pulled from amateur service and re-purposed for public safety communications.  If it can't be but there is a working antenna is in the air, the hammie gear will be pulled and a commercial repeater will be dropped in place in ANY CASE that it's at a publicly owned site.  My guess is that if it's a private site, it will take a bit longer, but it will happen.

Maybe. So what? In any case, ham radio has made a contribution.

Truth is, the ham repeater won't be so easily repurposed in an emergency situation.

73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 05:24:52 AM by N2EY » Logged
NN4RH
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Posts: 318




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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2011, 09:24:02 AM »

Quote
What's your definition of "HOBBY"?

A hobby would be something you do solely with a personal aim, and without pecuniary interest.

97.3a(4) Amateur service. A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.
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N2EY
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« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2011, 09:55:09 AM »

Quote
What's your definition of "HOBBY"?

A hobby would be something you do solely with a personal aim, and without pecuniary interest.

97.3a(4) Amateur service. A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.


By that definition, being a volunteer firefighter is "a hobby". Unpaid volunteering in any capacity (government, public safety, church, education, public event such as the New York City Marathon) is "a hobby". 


73 de Jim, N2EY

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AA4PB
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« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2011, 11:50:11 AM »

From dictionary.com: Hobby - an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

From that definition it seems that both amateur radio and volunteer firefighter are indeed hobbies. Being a hobby doesn't preclude the activity from providing community service.

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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2011, 12:05:45 PM »

Being in the National Guard is pretty serious business for it being a "hobby". Maybe it fits the abridged dictionary definition, but it feels wrong to call it at such.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2011, 01:17:00 PM »

Don't you get paid for being in the National Guard? If so then its not a hobby.
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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2011, 07:42:08 AM »

I was sitting in on an Emergency Preparedness meeting on friday at the hospital where I work.  Our Emergency Preparedness coordinator stated that in the case of a major emergency, we would have to use non-licensed operators for the 2 ham radios we have.  I stated that as far as I knew, there was never a time when non-licensed individuals could operate an amateur station.   For those of you with more experience, Am I correct, or can a non-licensed individual operate an amateur station in a major emergency?

thanks, Phil     

I'm sure other's have seen the same and would agree that companies/employers see the amateur radio spectrum as a very inexpensive solution to insert into their disaster plans.  This frustrates a lot of us as these companies plan to utilize it for:

1. Free spectrum (no coordination or licensing costs).
2. No need to keep up on any commercial license requirements (expiration dates and build-out requirements, etc.), and
3. The employee pays for the "individual license", most if not all equipment, and is totally responsible for their actions.

Personally I have been approached to review COOP plans that include AR as the primary disaster communation portal and when I bring up the FCC Rules on AR use, most just shrug their shoulders like they don't really care.  Some, like my HOA, did the right thing and spent $200 for a 10 year license and have a very reliable UHF system that supports their day to day operations and is in the disaster planning for the association.

Until the FCC addresses this, which I highly doubt they will ever do, the AR spectrum will continue to be seen as a no cost and one size fits all solution for commercial enterprises instead of Part 90 spectrum.
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2011, 08:50:10 AM »

As long as they only use it for safety of life and property communications in an emergency, the FCC and us fellow amateurs have nothing to complain about. We may, however, have something to complain about as their customers or clients, if their plans are inadequate. Owners, regulatory agencies for the business area or insurance companies might also have a role here in ensuring that a business has sound emergency plans, and that communications are addressed as part of that. Some businesses could be fine with only having amateur radio as a backup, while more critical businesses should have more layers of redundancy.
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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2011, 09:52:31 AM »

As long as they only use it for safety of life and property communications in an emergency, the FCC and us fellow amateurs have nothing to complain about.

There is more than adequate frequencies in the commercial areas of the spectrum.  There is no need for them to utilize AR to compliment their COOP plan's when those licensed are supposed to have no pecuniary interest.  If they coodrinate with the local hams to have a volunteer sit at their location(s) to provide for external non-business "status" type communications, I have no problem with that.  It is when they make it someone's job to have a ticket and be that external portal on behalf of the company to reach a higher corporate authority is what I have issues with.
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KU2US
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2011, 08:12:20 PM »

Read Part 97. In no way, shape or form does Part 97 describe Amateur Radio as a HOBBY! It does describe amateur radio as a SERVICE! Amateur Radio is a Federal Service when needed FIRST!. The hobby aspect comes into play when part 97 states that operators should demonstrate their radio capabilities and further their experience. This comes in the form of rag chews, special events, QSO parties, nets, even DX. So to say that 97 states that amateur radio is a hobby is 100% WRONG! Yes we treat it as a hobby, but the things we do on the air actually gives us operating experience when we are needed for an emergency. We are familiar with operating protocol, message handling and equipment operation. no one should operate a ham radio in any circumstance unless they are licensed and experienced or if a control operator is present.
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KS4VT
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2011, 02:49:02 AM »

That would be true, but if you look up "amateur" is states - "a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons."

So we are to consider it a pleasurable hobby or pleasure radio?  I know some who get an elevated blood pressure while listening to the radio..lol

Either way, there is no other one word description that we can really use for amateur radio other than "hobby", especially if you look up the proper definition of the word - "an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation." 

Even though the FCC doesn't state that it is a hobby, just by them calling it "amateur radio", it is what it is..

Oh and as to the word Service, the FCC classifies every wireless segment under their jurisdiction a Service - http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=wtb_services_home
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2011, 04:52:07 AM »

That brings us back to unpaid volunteer firefighters, members of the Civil Air Patrol, or other people who provide a life- and property-saving service to the community without getting paid for it. Some members of state defense forces pay their own way. Are they engaging in a hobby?

Part of amateur radio is a hobby, while part of it is emergency service. There's really no conflict there, except for in the minds of people who say "wait - it's a HOBBY, nobody's life should be saved by a HOBBY - life saving should only happen on union time between 9 AM and 5 PM weekdays".
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K7RBW
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2011, 06:48:00 AM »

I think saying that using the radio for non-emergency communications somehow means you'll be ready to handle emergency communications is a bit naive. That's like saying driving to work trains you drive a fire truck. Sure you might be able to drive it better than someone who's never driven anything, but there's a lot more to it than just moving the truck around.

The only thing that trains for for emergency communications is training for emergency communications. Operating the radio is a pretty small (albeit important) part of working comms in an emergency.
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KF7CG
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2011, 08:54:56 AM »

Let us draw the point down to this. Amateur Radio is not Emergency Communications, that is a specialized field with its own protocols, procedures, equipment and mindset. Amateur Radio is an alternate unpaid voluntary service with its own rules, protocols, equipment and mindset that may be used in times of need in an emergency communications capacity.

There are just too many differences between Amateur Radio and Emergency Responder Communications for it to be anything but an alternative assisting service. That is well and good. Amateur communications protocol works well for communication on the Amateur Bands and maintains operators within the bounds of licensure, if Amateur Radio is used as a plain language alternative message handling service it performs at its best. Not Profession Emergency Communications but a viable alternative to the same ends.

KF7CG
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2011, 10:22:48 AM »

I think saying that using the radio for non-emergency communications somehow means you'll be ready to handle emergency communications is a bit naive.
Which is why we keep harping on the importance of training.
Let us draw the point down to this. Amateur Radio is not Emergency Communications
No, Emergency Communications is part of Amateur Radio; instead say that Emergency Communications is not the same as day-to-day First Responder Communications.

I agree with the rest of your post, but what we're arguing against here are people who cry and moan "Amateur radio is just a hobby, nobody should use it to save anybody's life, nobody should train for emergencies, I've got my guns that's all I need". When they say "Amateur Radio is not Emergency Communications", that's what they mean. If you take it to mean, it's not supposed to replace first responder radios in day-to-day operations, then you're right.
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