[aprssig] Digipeater FCC ID Requirements

AC kf4lvz at yahoo.com
Mon May 19 15:39:31 EDT 2014

On 2014-05-19 11:19, Kenneth Finnegan wrote:
> I've seen this conversation come up countless times while researching
> my thesis, so I thought I would clarify what my understanding is for
> digipeater FCC ID requirements.  Someone please correct me if I'm
> wrong.
> The suggested digi beacon schedule is every ten minutes with the follow paths:
> 1. "WIDE2-2"
> 2. ""
> 3. ""
> 4. "WIDE2-1"
> 5. ""
> 6. ""
> I take it to understand that periods 2,3,5, and 6 are using empty digi
> paths when people say "DIRECT."
> I'm also seeing that some listings leave the 4th slot as an empty path
> or not beaconing at all if I'm interpreting the TNC commands
> correctly.
> The great debate is whether a digi is required to beacon every 10
> minutes at all. I don't see anything wrong with trace-enabled digis
> depending on IDing by appending their callsign to paths. We already
> use the argument that the callsign just needs to be somewhere in the
> packet (and I see many that aren't at all obvious as to what their
> call is), so that argument should hold for callsigns in the consumed
> digi path as well, yes? This would allow low level digis to beacon on
> lower intervals (i.e. 30 minutes with a path of ""). The only
> exception to this would be digis that don't use an FCC callsign but
> use tactical calls, which would still be required to beacon ID every
> ten minutes with their FCC call in their status text.

The specific FCC ID requirement is that the transmitter must emit an
identification of the owner or trustee's callsign once every ten minutes
of operation and once prior to ceasing operation.  The FCC does not
require a specific method of ID.  The callsign does NOT have to be in
the packet of a digipeater to meet the FCC requirement.  A simple Morse
ID circuit could be attached to the transmitter which broadcasts the ID
in Morse to the immediate area around the digipeater without sending an
actual packet.  Sending the callsign inside each packet makes things
much easier to implement but there is no legal requirement to do so.

By way of example some voice repeaters (especially those with remote
receivers that transmit via RF links to a central location) ID on their
transmitters in Morse without ever raising the main repeater.  This
meets the requirement for the FCC without needing to "wake up" the main
repeater in order to identify the RF links.

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