Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Making Weather Announcements  (Read 3983 times)
KK4HOK
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« on: July 01, 2012, 11:23:34 AM »

Our club's repeater (UCARS) doesn't officially have a skywarn program or a RACES net, or anything like that, but I hope to build interest in the area somehow... someway.

Is there anything 'unkosher' about keying up on the repeater when there's a NWS warning/watch placed out?  Would there be a suggested format about going about it?  The repeater isn't super busy, so I don't believe it would be cutting into anyone's conversations, but it'd at least get some activity on the repeater and maybe help keep people aware that are just scanning along or something.


Any thoughts on this practice, along with a way to possibly get a program like that running?


Thanks!
Logged
K6LCS
Member

Posts: 1533


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 11:43:03 AM »

The FCC has some answers ...

Q: What types of one-way communications are amateur stations authorized to transmit?

Section 97.111(b) provides for one-way communications. In summary, auxiliary, beacon, space and stations in distress are specifically authorized to make certain one-way transmissions. Additionally, an amateur station may transmit the following types of one-way communications:

-Brief transmissions necessary to make adjustments to the station;
-Brief transmissions necessary for establishing two-way communications with other stations;
=Telecommand;
-Transmissions necessary to providing emergency communications;
-Transmissions necessary to assisting persons learning, or improving proficiency in, the international Morse code;
-Transmissions necessary to disseminate an information bulletin; and
-Telemetry.

Q: What is an "information bulletin"?

The term is defined in Section 97.3(b). It is a message directed only to amateur operators and consists solely of subject matter of direct interest to the amateur service. The control operator of the station transmitting an information bulletin is responsible for determining that the subject matter is of direct interest to the amateur service.

Q: Does an amateur station transmitting information bulletins have to share the channel?

Yes. Section 97.101 provides that each station licensee and each control operator must cooperate in selecting transmitting channels and in making the most effective use of the amateur service frequencies. A specific transmitting channel is not assigned for the exclusive use of any amateur station. Section 97.101 also provides that no amateur operator shall cause interference to any radio communication or signal. There is no exemption for amateur stations transmitting for information bulletins.

Q: Is broadcasting prohibited?

Yes. Section 97.113 prohibits amateur stations from engaging in any form of broadcasting or in any activity related to program production or news gathering for broadcasting purposes.

Q: Is there an exception to this prohibition?

Yes, there is one exception: Communications directly related to the immediate safety of human life or the protection of property may be provided by amateur stations to broadcasters for dissemination to the public where no other means of communication is reasonably available before or at the time of the event.

Q: What is "broadcasting"?

Section 97.3 defines the term "broadcasting," in the context of the amateur service, as a transmission intended for reception by the general public, either direct or delayed.

Clint K6LCS
Logged

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12832




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 12:05:08 PM »

I would also suggest that before making such use of the repeater you obtain the okay of the repeater trustee.
Logged
KK4HOK
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 12:08:48 PM »

I would also suggest that before making such use of the repeater you obtain the okay of the repeater trustee.

I can clear it by him at our next meeting, but he seems open to the idea of trying to get more activity on the repeater in general.  There's the neighboring county that has a decent skywarn program, but they don't really focus much on our county as only the very west side of it can hit those repeaters.  I figured this could be a good segway into seeing if there's enough ham interest in weather in range of this repeater, and trying to get some awareness around it.

Reading what K6LCS posted, it almost sounds like you shouldn't though ... Would you be able to argue that weather alerts aren't a "subject matter of direct interest of the amateur service"?  Or am I just interpreting this wrong.
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12832




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 12:34:38 PM »

There's an exemption for NWS broadcasts

Title 47 Part 97 Amateur Radio Service
97.113 Prohibited Transmissions
(e) No station shall retransmit programs or signals emanating from any type of radio station other than an amateur station, except propagation and weather forecast information intended for use by the general public and originated from United States Government stations.

I belive you could also consider the manual reading of the content as having direct interest to amateur radio. The hurricane and maritime mobile nets broadcast storm information over amateur radio all the time.
Logged
KK4HOK
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 12:37:10 PM »

Awesome.  At least that clears the legality of it... now I'd just say, what's the best way to go about it?  Granted, most nets have a preamble and materials they read for those each night ... is there a "preamble" of sorts for keeping people informed with wx announcements?
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12832




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 12:46:43 PM »

I haven't heard of any special "protocol" to be used. Since you are the one doing it I would think you get to design it and clear it with the trustee or repeater committee if the club is organized that way.

In my area the repeater controller handles it all. When it gets an alert from the NWS station for the area the controller make a weather announcment follows message and starts taking audio from the NWS alert receiver. You could legally do the same thing manually if you want to.

Logged
KK4HOK
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 12:48:02 PM »

I'm actually looking into figuring out how to do that ( I have a post up in the repeater subforum ).  The repeater down in SC can do that, and it's been going crazy today with the storm warnings coming through.  That'd be the ideal way, but this can do in a pinch!
Logged
K6LCS
Member

Posts: 1533


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2012, 01:50:15 PM »

Just broadcasting, "It is gonna rain ... " is not - IMHO - an allowable one-way broadcast on the amateur bands.

Such information is defined as a "broadcast" by the FCC: a transmission intended for reception by the general public, either direct or delayed.

Why do you believe there is a need for this information on a ham repeater in your region? What is your target audience? Most savvy hams already know of sources for weather information. And those that live in regions with weather extremes - whether hams or not - have plenty of sources for weather information.

Clint K6LCS
Logged

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
KK4HOK
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2012, 02:18:49 PM »

Just broadcasting, "It is gonna rain ... " is not - IMHO - an allowable one-way broadcast on the amateur bands.

Such information is defined as a "broadcast" by the FCC: a transmission intended for reception by the general public, either direct or delayed.

Why do you believe there is a need for this information on a ham repeater in your region? What is your target audience? Most savvy hams already know of sources for weather information. And those that live in regions with weather extremes - whether hams or not - have plenty of sources for weather information.

Clint K6LCS
How would you go to justify Skywarn in general then on ham bands?  Wouldn't announcing NWS alerts be a pre-cursor to preparing your gear for an activation or anything along those terms?  If the FCC has an exemption for NWS broadcasts, how would that even be a valid argument?
(That's just how I am seeing it.... maybe I'm wrong?)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 02:23:15 PM by KK4HOK » Logged
K6LCS
Member

Posts: 1533


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2012, 03:49:55 PM »

>> ... [my club] doesn't officially have a skywarn program or a RACES net, or anything like that, but I hope to build interest in the area somehow... someway ...

Then how about making a presentation at an upcoming club meeting on these topics - and see if the club believes there is a need for this to happen?

I would think that would be the proper way to proceed in your case.

Clint K6LCS
Logged

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
KK4HOK
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2012, 03:53:28 PM »

The club president wants to do it, and I want to do it.  It's a smaller club (around 10 people show up weekly maybe?) but there are a lot more hams registered in the area that don't attend.  Apparently some shenanigans from back in the day that I'm not privy to apparently.

From what I gather, to officially have a skywarn program, you need to have ARES nets.  In order to have ARES nets, you need participants and net controllers.  With limited people in the club, it makes it a challenge..  So we have to start somewhere.  Huh
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12832




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 06:44:05 AM »

Just broadcasting, "It is gonna rain ... "

Simple weather reports may not be something you want to do regularly on the repeater. Severe weather reports for the repeater coverage area however can be of general interest to mobile users who may not have other access to NWS reports for the area they are traveling in.

I think SkyWarn is a bit different. In my understanding, the primary purpose of SkyWarn is for hams to report their local weather observations back to the NWS who compiles the information and releases it via their broadcasts. The amateur organization is coordinated by someone in each area, usually ARES. Net control stations are required to have training from the NWS and net participants are at least encouraged to take some training as well.
Logged
KI4SDY
Member

Posts: 1452




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2012, 07:44:15 AM »

If you are thinking about rigging up an automatic rebroadcast, you might want to listen to the NWS system for a week an see how many "tone emergency broadcast" they put out on a regular basis. In Florida, with the frequent thunderstorms we get, the emergency broadcasts are too numerous and ongoing for a ham repeater. They also do "emergency tone tests" on a regular basis. It is so annoying, that most of us keep our emergency weather receivers turned off and just monitor the local weather channel on TV, unless a bad storm is brewing. As usual, the government has taken a good idea and messed it up.  Cry

When a bad storm does come, the local EMS repeater becomes active with hams reporting intense lightning activity, hail and or high winds. The local NWS office has a 2 meter transceiver and monitors the reports and can ask questions.  Smiley   

« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 07:50:40 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12832




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2012, 12:44:57 PM »

My particular SAME receiver doesn't give an audible alert on tests. It does give you a visual warning message if a test was missed. I suppose it all depends on the make/model of receiver you have.

In general though I think you are correct that the codes are not "fine" enough for you to select a small area or only certain types of alerts. I have one in the bed room because I want to be alerted if there is a tornado warning during the night. I hate it when I have to get up because of a flood warning when I'm sitting on high ground  Undecided
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!