[aprssig] APRS on expedition, but non ham?

Ray McKnight shortsheep at worldnet.att.net
Mon Nov 1 02:42:17 EST 2004

First, I disagree completely.
You have conveniently omitted one critical word found 
in the regs:  IMMEDIATELY.  Yes, please take your own advice 
And go back and carefully read the section on automated control.
We can debate the meaning of that word all day.  That's what the
Regs say, that once you, the control operator are notified, you
Must terminate the operations "immediately".

I'm sure we all can come up with various justifications allowing
Us to cause "immediately" to be whatever we want.  Our equipment
Is located on top a mountain, it's snowing, so let's wait until
The spring thaw.  Or our grandparents are on a cross-country trip,
They have no cell phone, and we can't contact them... 

The fact is, we don't know what the FCC's interpretation of this is.
So far, they've seemed to be fairly lenient.  But I personally wouldn't
Plan to take advantage of it.

Another key issue that's been debated on the SIG many times is
The role of the control operator.  The fact is that the duties of a control
operator historically have never been able to be delegated, EXCEPT to
Another LICENSED HAM with the class of license suitable for the 
Frequency and type of emission being used.  So, in my opinion,
Relying any ANYONE other than a licensed ham to terminate a transitter's
Operation is just asking for trouble.  Regardless of how much you trust
Them, or if they're a relative, whatever.  It's my opinion that once you
Choose to operate under automated control, you must be willing and
*ABLE* to effect control of that equipment within a reasonable time,
YOURSELF.  The FCC isn't going to suspend your grandmother who
Doesn't even have a license!  They'll suspend you.

But what are we even talking about???
All of this ONLY applies within the US.
This thread is supposed to be about a proposed expedition
Is it Norway?  Does anyone even care (that is that there's a few fellows
trekking across a glacier and they have a low-power VHF radio burping data a
few times a day on a Ham freq)?  I don't think there's 1,000
Warm bodies there in SUMMER.  Is digital/APRS, automated control,
Or third party even addressed in the applicable regs for that area?

IMO, if this is a serious "scientific expedition", they should be able 
To get some sponsorship to transmit just about whatever position/wx/
Scientific data they need through Service Argos  5-6 times a day.
It's FAR more reliable than our shaky Amateur constellation.  If they
Wanna do Ham stuff, they should get a Ham license, just like Astronauts do.
And I'm aware Argos isn't free, that's why I suggest a sponsor, because it
Sounds like they want their data to serve as rescue/tracking/health at least
As much as just where are we, gee look on the map, isn't this fun... small
Price to pay.   

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]
On Behalf Of Steve Dimse
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004 22:21
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] APRS on expedition, but non ham?

On 10/31/04 at 8:57 PM Chris Rose <kb8uih at sbcglobal.net> sent:

>If you did this in the United States it would be
>illegal.  An unlicensed operator can't operate amateur
>transmitting equipment.  
>A control operator who has a license must be in a
>position to turn off or alter the operation of an
>amateur station transmitter.  
You ought to read part 97 more carefully. All it says on this matter
automatically controlled stations is if the control op is notified by an FCC
Engineer-In-Charge, the control operator must have a means to cease
There is no requirement as to time frame or method of cesation. 

So, I program a D7 to transmit, give it to someone to carry. They are not
initiating any tranmission, the D7 automatically transmits, and therefore is
completely legal. In the extremely unlikely circumstance the FCC contacts
me, I
call my friend via cell or sat phone and tell them to turn the D7 off,
ceasing transmission. There is nothing in the rules that says an unlicensed
person cannot turn a ham radio off. This completely complies with US

Steve K4HG

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