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Author Topic: Rules and Regs; Recent FCC enforcement, query ?  (Read 3796 times)
WD8MNX
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« on: April 29, 2013, 08:08:59 AM »

I have been reading some of the recent FCC enforcement actions that pertain to communications with others on our Amateur frequencies with those that are not licensed.   I fully understand under FCC rules and regulations Part 97.111(a)(1) that point to point (simplex op like on 146.52MHz) communications with an unlicensed individual would be in violation.    Shocked This is very clear.

The QUESTION that I have is when a licensed Amateur communicates with an unlicensed individual over a 2 meter repeater?   A) Is the licensed Amateur that is in communication with the unlicensed individual in violation of Part 97 or B) is the Trustee of the local repeater (by allowing such communications by taking no action) in violation, or C) both are in violation and can be fined or have some FCC action brought upon them?   Roll Eyes

73, --Ron (WD8MNX)
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N2EY
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 08:15:17 AM »

If an unlicensed person comes on the repeater and a licensed ham has a QSO with him/her, the ham is in violation. Using the repeater does NOT give the ham some sort of immunity/

The repeater trustee could be in violation if s/he knows what's going on and does nothing to stop it.

Of course, in a genuine life-or-death emergency, if there is no alternative, anybody can use any radio facilities available to summon help. But that's not the case here.

The bigger question is:

Why do you ask?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WD8MNX
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 09:14:04 AM »

If an unlicensed person comes on the repeater and a licensed ham has a QSO with him/her, the ham is in violation. Using the repeater does NOT give the ham some sort of immunity/

The repeater trustee could be in violation if s/he knows what's going on and does nothing to stop it.

Of course, in a genuine life-or-death emergency, if there is no alternative, anybody can use any radio facilities available to summon help. But that's not the case here.

The bigger question is:

Why do you ask?
73 de Jim, N2EY

Hello James,
I have noticed the latter on the local repeater, on several occasions, (146.64) and there are others that think differently.  (Sometimes in a real heated demeanor).  Others are thinking differently in a sense that the trustee of the repeater is solely responsible and not the licensed Amateur that is having the conversation.  I would suspect that if the FCC did warrent action that BOTH (the licensed Amateur and the repeater trustee) along with the unlicensed operator would be in violation of several Part 97 sections.  Wink

Appreciated your opinion and candor!
--Ron (WD8MNX)  Cool
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 09:41:43 AM by WD8MNX » Logged
N2EY
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 01:11:15 PM »

I have noticed the latter on the local repeater, on several occasions, (146.64) and there are others that think differently.  (Sometimes in a real heated demeanor).  Others are thinking differently in a sense that the trustee of the repeater is solely responsible and not the licensed Amateur that is having the conversation.  I would suspect that if the FCC did warrent action that BOTH (the licensed Amateur and the repeater trustee) along with the unlicensed operator would be in violation of several Part 97 sections.  Wink

It's really quite simple (except in a life-or-death emergency).

If the repeater trustee knows that unlicensed folks are on the air using his/her repeater, it's his/her responsibility to shut it down.

If a ham knows that someone on the air is unlicensed, it's his/her responsibility not to have a QSO.

The fact that a repeater is involved does NOT absolve an operator of responsibility!

---

I am curious as to how the unlicensed person is able to get on the repeater - how does the person identify? Why do licensed hams acknowledge his/her existence?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K1CJS
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 04:16:53 PM »

...I am curious as to how the unlicensed person is able to get on the repeater - how does the person identify? Why do licensed hams acknowledge his/her existence?

That's the question.  If someone comes up on the machine, regs don't necessitate their identifying until the end of their transmission or for ten minutes, whichever comes first.  Usually, a person puts out a call with their callsign, but it isn't required--and sometimes isn't done.

So what is the solution?  Stopping the QSO if no identification is made?  Just not answering anyone calling without a callsign?  Remember, it isn't required to use one at the start of the conversation.  It looks like it's a grey area, and as soon as a licensed operator realizes he is talking to someone who may not be licensed he should stop the QSO.

Opinions?
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 04:40:03 PM »

Don't overlook the Bootlegger who simply comes on the machine using someone else's call. 

It may sound perfectly legit unless you are near the QRZ online database, and even then, sometimes they do their homework rather well. 


73
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K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 08:27:23 AM »

Quote
The QUESTION that I have is when a licensed Amateur communicates with an unlicensed individual over a 2 meter repeater?

Asked and answered very well by N2EY. 

If you KNOW that someone is unlicensed and you talk to them (excluding an emergency) YOU'RE in violation.  If you DON'T know that they are unlicensed (because they're using a bootlegged call) you're NOT in violation.

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N2EY
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 02:42:16 PM »

If someone comes up on the machine, regs don't necessitate their identifying until the end of their transmission or for ten minutes, whichever comes first.  Usually, a person puts out a call with their callsign, but it isn't required--and sometimes isn't done.

So what do they say? "Hello"?

So what is the solution?  Stopping the QSO if no identification is made?

Yes.

 Just not answering anyone calling without a callsign?

Yes.

 Remember, it isn't required to use one at the start of the conversation.

It's standard practice. Just because it's not required doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

For example, suppose the repeater is quiet. The normal way to announce one's desire for a QSO would be:

"N2EY listening" (or similar)

And the response would be:

"N2EY from K1CJS, name here....."

etc.

How does someone initiate a QSO without a callsign?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K8AXW
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 08:45:04 PM »

I no doubt will have to look it up but as I recall....  Roll Eyes..... the regs say you must identify at the beginning and end of a transmission or every 10 minutes of a series of transmissions.

Put another way, it would be illegal to hit a repeater and say something like, "Anyone around?"  (No call)

I realize this is nit picky BS but the law is the law.

OK....here it is:  ยง 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.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 08:51:39 PM by K8AXW » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 09:51:40 AM »

So what do they say? "Hello"?

You know, Jim, sometimes people are just plain thick.

How about during an ongoing round table--someone may just jump in without IDing.  Shouldn't happen, but can.

How about if someone just called out 'listening' and someone else just came back to them without IDing.

Like you say, we should ID, but sometimes it just doesn't happen.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 09:55:46 AM »

I no doubt will have to look it up but as I recall....  Roll Eyes..... the regs say you must identify at the beginning and end of a transmission or every 10 minutes of a series of transmissions....

You just posted it yourself--the regs don't specify at the beginning, they specify at the end or every ten minutes.  As I just said, sometimes a person may not ID with his call if he just jumps into a conversation or if he answers someone else on the frequency, especially if that person is known to someone else that is on the frequency.  We should ID, but the regs don't demand it--and sometimes it simply doesn't happen.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 09:57:58 AM by K1CJS » Logged
KA5IPF
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 01:29:49 PM »

Read the rule. "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"

On a quiet repeater when you key up and state "listening" and unkey, that is a unidentified transmission and must be identified per the rules. Once in QSO identify every 10 minutes. Convention is to join an ongoing QSO put your call in, some do, some don't depends on the group some just start talking, especially if it's a regular group and familiar with each other.

Clif

My 2 cents
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AC2EU
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 02:07:19 PM »

I've been a victim of a "repeater bootlegger" myself.
I was mobile and a guy with a perfectly legit sounding call comes on. As the conversation progressed I sensed that something about his "hamspeak" was "off". I asked a few pointed questions, which he was avoiding. In the mean time another station looked up the call and said he was a bootlegger, at which time  I mentioned that there is such a thing a foxhunting and he could get a serious fine and have his station confiscated. Haven't heard him since.

If someone were to come on with a "hello, my name is Bill" , the red flag goes up immediately and I would ASK for a call sign! What's the problem with doing that?  It seems to me that all the technicality banter is much ado about nothing.
Chronic cases can and should be dealt with, otherwise the FCC may come for the licensed stations involved as well. End of story.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2013, 09:05:51 AM »

You also have to remember that you can find guys on US repeaters who don't know that "W7 slash G3RZP Portable" is a valid legal call covering legal reciprocal operating - and to be told "What the heck type of call is that? you must be illegal!" is more than slightly irritating!

Especially now I've had the basic callsign for 50 years!
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VE5EIS
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2013, 08:38:21 PM »

Don't forget, also, that in many countries (Canada for certain), unlicensed individuals can use amateur radio stations as long as a licensed amateur is in control of the station.  Typically these individuals would identify themselves as using the control operator's callsign as being that of their station.
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