[aprssig] Canadian APRS operation with a US license

Randy Love rlove31 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 13:43:01 EST 2009

On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Michael Hordijk <hoffbrinkle at hotmail.com> wrote:
>Are there any special rules for operating in
> Canada?
> What would be required to legally operate in Canada?
> - michael


I'm not sure what or where you found your information regarding US
amateurs operating in Canada, but it is mostly correct.

The US and Canada share a very special reciprocal operating agreement.
The gist of the rules are this: US amateurs operating in Canada are to
identify with their US assigned callsign followed by the appropriate
VE# prefix. On voice, the identification should include the nearest
city. I live in the northern burbs of Detroit, so it is nothing for me
to cross the bridge or take the tunnel to Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
While in Windsor, I would ID as "WF5X stroke VE3 near (in) Windsor".

To satisfy these requirements for APRS operations, I would modify my
status text to be "WF5X/VE3". My position beacon will show my closest
city, so that is satisfied. You may be asking, "Why put that in your
status text?" The answer to that is due to the specifications for
AX.25 packet, which is the data protocol that APRS uses. For AX.25,
callsigns can only contain up to 6 letter/number combinations,
followed by an SSID. Only letters and numbers are valid ( the dash in
callsigns is the only exception, and only to design the beginning of
the SSID ). Fortunately, US and Canadian regulators are lenient enough
to allow ID of an AX.25 transmission by having the callsign/id
information be present either as the FromCall or in the data, or
payload, portion of the packet.

There may be some argument for other methods/modes, but an extreme
requirement to have a separate CW ID is totally unnecessary.


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