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Author Topic: Tuning & Station Identification  (Read 3970 times)
K3SGB
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Posts: 10




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« on: July 17, 2012, 03:32:17 PM »

An interesting question regarding proper station operation came up during this year's Field Day -- it had to do with station identification.

While having many typical rapid fire Field Day exchanges, we always identified our station as required (at a minimum, actually if anything, we probably over-ID'ed as often happens).  Then in the midst of all this, a transceiver's tune button was pushed without specifically ID'ing for that quick tuning transmission.  When this happened, a new ham in our club complained about it, and this lead to a short discussion.  It was generally agreed that the new ham may have been technically correct as regards the legalities here.  However there was a counter argument in that we had already been ID'ing profusely both before and after this un-ID'ed tuning transmission.  Furthermore, to have keyed up the rig at full power to ID for 3-4 seconds prior to a tuning operation which would take 1/2 second at 1 W (in this case) would have been counterproductive from the standpoint of unnecessary interference.  It's an interesting tradeoff.  Anyone care to comment on this?
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WD0MYM
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 05:24:15 PM »

Part 97:

§ 97.111 Authorized Transmissions

§ 97.119 Station identification
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K8AC
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Posts: 1477




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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 06:34:20 PM »

Common sense should always prevail.  If this minor thing bothered your new ham, suggest that he spend a day monitoring 40M SSB and 75M SSB.  That will probably result in his head exploding.

73, K8AC
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N4CR
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Posts: 1694




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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 07:02:20 PM »

You need to identify at the end of each 10 minute period and you need to not commit interference. If that happened, you're legal.

Theoretically, you could tune up for 9 minutes straight and then identify. And that seems excessive to me. But legal.

I think the ID requirements are from a time well past and probably don't make as much sense in today's environment. In the past, we had a secretive nation often at war and communications was scarce and strategic. These days communications are ubiquitous and common.

What was at one time a special niche that set us apart in the ability to communicate long distances has been replaced with millions of people that have communications capabilities that would amaze operators from decades ago.

I don't hear about official observers hassling people for missing an ID nor do I see FCC actions that address minor ID issues being published. So I suspect the FCC has placed this 'legal' requirement in perspective.

I'd be game for changing the rules to ID at minimum every 30 minutes or at the end of your transmission sequence if it doesn't last 30 minutes.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 07:04:10 PM by N4CR » Logged

73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
WD0MYM
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 07:29:58 PM »

If they were making rapid fire Field Day exchanges, why would you hit the tune button?

Did they change frequency?

§ 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.

It says "must transmit its assigned call sign on its *transmitting channel* at the end of each communication"

I don't take my driving advice from someone doing 75MPH in the 55MPH.  I try to set an example, but am probably the only one out there.

Jon
X-KB0TVL
WD0MYM
73

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N4CR
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Posts: 1694




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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 08:59:36 PM »

It says "must transmit its assigned call sign on its *transmitting channel* at the end of each communication"

That begs the question. Is tuning up a communication?
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
WB6BYU
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Posts: 13479




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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 09:39:35 PM »

If you made a contact on that frequency after tuning (and within 10 minutes), you're
probably OK.

If you plopped down in the middle of the band, hit tune, and went off in search of
a contact on some other frequency, then it certainly is open to question.

I learned to ID when I was finished tuning, though not necessarily at every break
(for example, if I was stopping to change a coil tap on the antenna.)  I consider
it good practice.  I know that there were lots of regulations in those days (such
as logging every unanswered CQ) that are no longer required.  However the
ID rule is still there:  I don't see it as something to make a big deal about, but
rather a teaching / learning opportunity to help newcomers learn proper operating
habits.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13479




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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 09:42:01 PM »

Quote from: N4CR
Quote from: KB0TVL
It says "must transmit its assigned call sign on its *transmitting channel* at the end of each communication"

That begs the question. Is tuning up a communication?


Not if it qualifies as a "signal":

Quote from: Part97

No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals.


(My bold.)
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K3SGB
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 12:43:34 PM »

Common sense should always prevail.  If this minor thing bothered your new ham, suggest that he spend a day monitoring 40M SSB and 75M SSB.  That will probably result in his head exploding.

73, K8AC

This ham is admittedly very legalistic in his outlook, but it's hard to criticize someone who is merely trying to "do things right".
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K3SGB
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 12:50:34 PM »

If you made a contact on that frequency after tuning (and within 10 minutes), you're
probably OK.

If you plopped down in the middle of the band, hit tune, and went off in search of
a contact on some other frequency, then it certainly is open to question.

I learned to ID when I was finished tuning, though not necessarily at every break
(for example, if I was stopping to change a coil tap on the antenna.)  I consider
it good practice.  I know that there were lots of regulations in those days (such
as logging every unanswered CQ) that are no longer required.  However the
ID rule is still there:  I don't see it as something to make a big deal about, but
rather a teaching / learning opportunity to help newcomers learn proper operating
habits.

Since this was Field Day, we had probably ID'ed 5 times in the last 10 minutes prior to the TUNE button being pushed.  Regardless, the young ham had the impression that we needed to ID yet again ~solely~ for the purposes of this hyper-short, yet QSO independent, tuning operation.  This is what lead to the debate.
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K3SGB
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 12:57:55 PM »

If they were making rapid fire Field Day exchanges, why would you hit the tune button?

Did they change frequency?

§ 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.

It says "must transmit its assigned call sign on its *transmitting channel* at the end of each communication"

I don't take my driving advice from someone doing 75MPH in the 55MPH.  I try to set an example, but am probably the only one out there.

Jon
X-KB0TVL
WD0MYM
73



Why did we tune?  Frankly, it was probably just a reflex, merely verifying that everything was optimum.  It was.  Haven't you noticed that many hams tune their rigs somewhat excessively?
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WD0MYM
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 02:03:09 PM »

As easy as it is to hit the tune button, it probably might be overused some. As a general rule for myself only, I would rather play it safe and ID. If I work some DX and sign off then want to hit the tune button 6 or 7 minutes later I would probably ID.

My internal clock doesn't keep track of time very well anyway!

I don't sit around and worry about this stuff. Going back to the new ham you were talking about, he sounds like the kind of ham the hobby needs. He actually read something and didn't just memorize the Q & A for a test. In a sense it doesn't even matter if he was technically correct or not; he spoke up instead of sitting there silent. Some new ham might run across this thread and the best source I still think is the FCC in black and white. Might be a little grey area in there but it's fairly clear.

Jon
X-KB0TVL
WD0MYM
73



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KG4NEL
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Posts: 443




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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 02:23:28 PM »

Wouff Hongs for all, I say...

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K3SGB
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 02:40:55 PM »

As easy as it is to hit the tune button, it probably might be overused some. As a general rule for myself only, I would rather play it safe and ID. If I work some DX and sign off then want to hit the tune button 6 or 7 minutes later I would probably ID.

My internal clock doesn't keep track of time very well anyway!

I don't sit around and worry about this stuff. Going back to the new ham you were talking about, he sounds like the kind of ham the hobby needs. He actually read something and didn't just memorize the Q & A for a test. In a sense it doesn't even matter if he was technically correct or not; he spoke up instead of sitting there silent. Some new ham might run across this thread and the best source I still think is the FCC in black and white. Might be a little grey area in there but it's fairly clear.

Jon
X-KB0TVL
WD0MYM
73


Oh, I agree, he had every right to speak up and it's also good to see active curiosity from a young ham.  However, as regards the FCC regs, they don't seem to be completely clear in this case (IMHO anyway).  Some in this thread have described what they would have done in the situation I outlined, others have said what they feel is prudent to do, but the young ham's original question or comment concerned what he thought was a solid infraction of the FCC requirements.  And since we had ID'ed (actually multiple times) within the last 10 minutes (on the same frequency, BTW), therein lies the gray area.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 02:42:50 PM by K3SGB » Logged
KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 03:00:31 PM »

...  And since we had ID'ed (actually multiple times) within the last 10 minutes (on the same frequency, BTW), therein lies the gray area.

I don't see any "gray area" there, you ID'd within the allocated time frame, presumably some time before ten minutes AFTER the tuning, the plain English of the regulation calls that proper.


73
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