[aprssig] Pagers as part of the Text Messaging Initiative

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Tue Jan 27 08:19:07 EST 2009

On Jan 27, 2009, at 12:02 AM, Bob Bruninga wrote:
>> I think from all this, the only
>> definition I can come up with for
>> one-way [transmissions] is the
>> common-sense one, specifically
>> "a transmission from one amateur
>> station to one or more amateur
>> stations which receive the transmission
>> and do not transmit a reply". If you
>> feel you have a better one, please
>> feel free to share.
> Well, I  pretty much reject that one.  That casts as illegal almost  
> every commuter net, every HF round table, and most formal nets.

Absolutely not. That is why I included  one or more in my definition.

> Basically, it makes anything other then FULL-DUPLEX simultaneous 2- 
> way transmissions illegal.  Or said another way, when I make a  
> transmission to a group, even if it is just saying "wow, what a  
> great sunny day", I generaly do expect a reply from my fellow net  
> participants.

Exactly, and that is why that is legal. On the other hand, if you get  
on a repeater where on one is talking and say it is a nice day, unless  
you do it to for the purpose of starting a QSO, it is illegal.
>> If I send my position out with MacAPRS,
>> I do not get a reply from other stations.
>> That makes it a one-way transmission.
> I think that statement would appear to show a fundamental lack of  
> understanding of APRS.

No, it would appear to show you have a fundamental lack of  
understanding of APRS. Or more accurately, it shows a difference in  
our definitions of APRS, one we have fought over for a decade. Your  
definition of APRS is a concept that only exists in your mind, the way  
you want people to use the system. My definition of APRS is the way  
people actually use, and want to use, the system.

> It is no more a one-way transmission than my pushing my PTT button  
> in the morning and saying, "Im just entering route 50 in Annapolis  
> headed to work, who gets it next?".

If your application of FCC rules is correct, that means if I transmit  
my position on 144.39 in an area WITHOUT a network, I am in violation  
of the rules. There are many things I find wrong about your  
interpretation, but this is the most glaring.
>> In general, one-way transmission is banned,
> Yes, when "one-way" means as the FCC intended, to prevent the  
> illegal concept of using amateur radio to broadcast music,  
> entertainment, information, or just about anything else with the  
> intent to put a radio station on the air

No Bob, read the definition of broadcasting in Part 97, the activities  
you describe are what the FCC calls broadcasting. Later in the rules  
it says "An amateur station shall not engage in any form of  
broadcasting, nor may an amateur station transmit one-way  
communications except as specifically provided in these rules". There  
can be absolutely NO argument from this passage that broadcasting and  
one-way transmissions are two different things in the view of the FCC!

> without any intent to participate in a net.

The word net never appears in Part 97. The word network appears  
exactly once, in reference to activity allowed on 219-220 MHz. Intent  
to participate in a net is something that has absolutely NO standing  
in the eyes of the FCC.
>> but some specific exceptions are allowed.
>> The one that makes much of APRS possible
>> is  telemetry, defined in the rules as
>> "A one-way transmission of measurements
>> at a distance from the measuring instrument."
> Sure there is some telemetry on APRS, and the format of that  
> telemetry is well defined in the spec.  But that represents probably  
> less than 1% of APRS.

Maybe the point you are missing is that Part 97 is written by lawyers.  
When lawyers include definitions in a document, as the FCC does at the  
beginning of Part 97, they do so with the intent that when the defined  
word appears in the remainder of the document, that definition takes  
priority over any other meaning that can be attached to the word. When  
talking about Part 97, the meaning of "telemetry" has NOTHING to do  
with APRS telemetry. It means what they say it means "A one-way  
transmission of measurements at a distance from the measuring  
instrument.". Weather is certainly a measurement, as is location, as  
is tide gauges, as is yes, even APRS telemetry.

> Unless (as you do below) you want to include WX in that, which I  
> agree in many cases from other than a home station, is telemetry).   
> All the other APRS packets have nothing to do with "telemetry" nor  
> anything do do with "one-way" transmissions of measurements from a  
> remote instrument.

GPS is a measuring instrument. Position reports are therefore  
telemetry. Good thing too, otherwise APRS would have very little  
justification in Part 97!

Steve K4HG

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