Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W7DXX, Nov 4, 2004.

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  1. W7DXX

    W7DXX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I appreciate this opportunity to address several questions that have been raised on the QRZ.COM forum relative to the operation of my internet controlled remote base station W7DXX and my proposed Iraqi YI9DXX operation.

    Questions that have been raised suggest that:

    1. The operation of the W7DXX remote base is contrary the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. For the answer, see the opinion of William Cross of the FCC at www.lamonica.com/legal.htm

    2. The remote base operation of Keith E. Lamonica, W7DXX, is operated as a business by Lamonica since a membership fee is charged. I saw several comments on QRZ.COM that we have 1500 control operators paying $100.00 each to use the system, for a grand total of $150,000 per year. I can see where this error came from - - several years ago when the W7DXX remote base was a novelty, we actually had 1500 people who had applied for a password. Also, comments made by NN2X on a QRZ.COM mentioned the $100.00 figure. First of all, it would be impossible to accommodate 1500 control operators. That would mean that each operator could have a maximum of 0.016 minutes a day to operate. As far as the $100 per control operator - a donation of $35 is requested to help with station expenses. If one wishes to use the Alpha 87A amplifier, then a total of $75 is requested to help with the power bill. The W7DXX remote base system now has between 30-35 control operators. Donations from this group are about $2,250. Equipment investment is close to $14,500 and yearly internet charges, power bill, and equipment maintenance is about $2,400. Much like your local ham club or repeater association, dues or donations are needed to maintain a “club” station.

    3. The proposed operation of the Iraqi YI9DXX remote base is in violation of FCC rules. First of all, the operation of the YI9DXX remote base is outside the scope of the rules and regulations of the FCC. See www.lamonica.com/YIFCC.htm The YI9DXX call sign was issued to Keith E. Lamonica, W7DXX, by the National Communication and Media Commission. See www.lamonica.com/lic.htm

    4. The YI9DXX Iraq remote base will not count toward DXCC. This is not totally true. The ARRL Rule 9 would preclude DXCC credit if YI9DXX had a U.S. amateur as control operator. However, the control operators of YI9DXX will include Iraqi amateurs living in Iraq and control operators living elsewhere. DXCC credit would be appropriate when an Iraqi amateur is operating the station.

    I hope this answers some of your questions; possibly you have more questions to which I will respond if the questions presented are done so in a professional manner.

    Lastly, why is the YI9DXX remote base station being installed? There are two main reasons. 1) I thought it would be a hoot to give our control operators a taste of what it would be like to be a DX station. Operating YI9DXX will give them that opportunity.
    2) Most Iraqi radio amateurs are off the air now because of the war. Many of them fear the exposure of erecting an antenna. They will be able to log on to the YI9DXX remote base in safety via the internet.

    The YI9DXX remote base is being funded by a half dozen U.S. amateurs. We are investing our money in the project.
  2. WD8OQX

    WD8OQX Ham Member QRZ Page

    At my very first glance, I thought this was echolink but quickly figured out that it wasn't.

    Question: Are there plans for an echolink station of any sort? For us "poor boys" that literally don't have the money but would still like to work something like this?
  3. n0zu

    n0zu Ham Member QRZ Page

    you  mean that I can set up a repeter and charge people to use it.
    so i can pay for. and can make repairs on the system.

    and if I have not had to make any repairs. and after I have had enought money to hav payed for the repeter, just think of the profit that I can make.

    I though that ham radio was a hobby and was not to be for profit or  gain. it seems like some people think that they can charge for the use of it.

    I wish that I could have people give me money so I can pay for my equipment so I could sell it later to make even more out of it.

    I will just stick to ECHO LINK, they do not charge and they are linked to many repeters around the world.
  4. WA5RR

    WA5RR Ham Member QRZ Page

    As soon as I win the lottery and become a millionaire I will set up a FREE remote base.  Until then, all of you dissenters will just have to wait! [​IMG]

    I understand the cost of not only the equipment but the ISP fees.  This is not your regular dial-up or home broadband type of connection. It isn't cheap and if you tried to run a server such as this on a regular connection you'd end up in trouble.

    When Keith first started his remote base I tried it out and thought it was great. When he wanted to charge a nominal fee to help with upkeep I decided that I would just stick with the equipment I already own. If I had no other way to get on the air then I would no doubt jump on the opportunity. I'll bet there will be a few thankful Iraqis.

    My hat off to you, Keith and Stan, for your service.  I'm deploying to Iraq this month and hopefully will get my Iraqi reciprocal call a few weeks after arrival. See you on the air!
  5. W4AMP

    W4AMP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for serving your country.
  6. KG4ZQZ

    KG4ZQZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    1. The operation of the W7DXX remote base is contrary the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.  For the answer, see the opinion of William Cross of the FCC at www.lamonica.com/legal.htm

    - must be legal as i've seen nothing from the FCC regarding W7DXX... i've also had a nice QSO w/a ham from CA while mobile in VA... system appears to work quite well...

    2. The remote base operation of Keith E. Lamonica, W7DXX, is operated as a business by Lamonica since a membership fee is charged.

    - 'nuff said here... i don't approve of mandatory membership fees personally, but do like to contribute to repeaters i use (many do not charge)....

    - i did browse to the W7DXX Internet site... but i saw that $$$ is required for participation and a login (username and password)...

    3. The proposed operation of the Iraqi YI9DXX remote base is in violation of FCC rules. First of all, the operation of the YI9DXX remote base is outside the scope of the rules and regulations of the FCC.

    - 'nuff said...

    4. The YI9DXX Iraq remote base will not count toward DXCC. This is not totally true. The ARRL Rule 9 would preclude DXCC credit if YI9DXX had a U.S. amateur as control operator. However, the control operators of YI9DXX will include Iraqi amateurs living in Iraq and control operators living elsewhere.  DXCC credit would be appropriate when an Iraqi amateur is operating the station.

    - i await ARRL ruling/granting of DXCC awards based on contacts...

    - an interesting use of VOIP... but is it ham radio? i'll leave it up to others to decide...
  7. w5hze

    w5hze Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I were to work YI9DXX using my own HF station, my personal enjoyment would not be lessened regardless of the location of the operator.  I would still have succeeded in making a station-to-station DX contact on HF.

    On the other hand, if I were to work a DX operator who has accessed a local VHF repeater via an Internet link, then while I might enjoy the QSO I certainly wouldn't consider it to be a DX contact!

    It's the nature of the station-to-station contact that is most important when asking "Is this really DX?", or so I believe.  But relative to DXCC, the technique of remotely operating a DX station in this manner raises some interesting questions.  

    For example, could a future DXpedition send only a skeleton crew to set up their station on site, with the majority of the control ops remaining comfortably at home & operating via a satellite VoIP link?  This might make more DXpeditions possible due to decreased costs.  But at the same time, I think it would tend to diminish the DXpedition experience.  Part of the allure of DXing is the mental picture of dedicated hams making the best of things under harsh conditions, just to bring us a "new one."  Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how DXCC comes to terms with this (further down the road).

    I suppose the point that access is treated similarly to a club repeater is valid, if the costs are solely to defray actual expenses.  And I've seen posts on various forums from YI hams who did indeed indicate that they were reluctant to operate their own stations due to the high risk factor.  For them, this operation would surely be a blessing.

    So while the whole concept still feels sorta "weird," I'm beginning to view it in a more positive light.  Yeah, I think it's still ham radio.

    73 . . . Ron WB5HZE
  8. N9OQT

    N9OQT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I appreciate the systems that have been set up by Keith.

    I don't see the harm in connecting to a remote radio in this manner.

    The charges really are no different that club dues, that have been charged by some club stations for years. Things can be expensive, and getting reimbursed for expensenses is acceptable by the FCC, whether it is for a repeater operation, or whether it is a VE getting reimbursed for fuel and copying expenses. I have no doubt that there is NO WAY that Keith could be making a profit off of this enterprise. I have subscribed to his email list for a couple of years, I have never paid dues, or used the equipment, I have just always told him to leave me on the list so that I could keep informed on the situation with the equipment.

    Like a previous poster, I tend to travel the world sporadically with the US military as well, and I always thought that it would be nice to be able to work the world, from less than ideal locations.

    I am SSG Patrick Twigg, and I an currently in Iraq. I think that it could be interesting to have a local remote base here, either using it to communicate to the US, or talking to other amateurs with my radio equipment here.

    I am licensed as YI9OQT.

    SSG Patrick Twigg
  9. W4WB

    W4WB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wyane Mills at the ARRL has been clear on the policy ... if the control operator is physically within the boundaries of the entity containing the station (and the operator has the proper license of course), then it is good for DXCC given the station license is also validated.  Otherwise, it doesn't.

    What is going to drive the DXCC Desk nuts is determining which YI9DXX contacts will count and which will not.

    They do have a mechanism to do so, but it is labor intensive.  I am aware of one example of a fellow on a mini-DXpedition to a SA country that operated from land at times and from a boat offshore at others.  The DXCC Desk entered into the system the times of validity (land operation) and then the computer would make the validity determination for submitted QSLs.  In the case of YI9DXX (or any other remote station) having worldwide control operators as well as in-entity operators, this will cause the DXCC Desk (LOTW and many other award groups also) a monster headache I expect.  It is only fair that those QSO with in-entity control operators count, but at what cost to the DXCC and the other awards groups?  I want to make it clear that this isn't just a YI9DXX issue, but is a much larger issue.  Those of us having a remote station that is only operated with the control operator being within the same entity isn't a problem, just when the control operators may be located outside of the entity.

    Final note ... there are some control means that are not allowed for DXCC credit (see the rules), but over the Internet is okay.

    Barry W4WB
  10. W1YW

    W1YW Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a neat project, assuming it's legal.

    I don't know what all the money fuss is about. Ham clubs charge dues all the time, in part to buy equipment. Dues is money.

    Is the issue profit vs non-profit status?

    Also, before we have had the fairly recent tendency to make these posts dissing and even libelous, ask yourself if this kind of interaction is why you joined ham radio. I can't imagine some of the things that are being said on qrz.com in recent days being part of typical on-the-air conversations.

    Posting deriding copyright images also is very bad news, and may set up our host for copyright issues, in addition to yourself. Give Fred a break. Be a good guest.

    What happened to the camaraderie of hams? This is just venal stuff that I'm seeing....

    Chip N1IR
  11. W1YW

    W1YW Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bless you Pat.

    God speed in executing your mission. Hope you are home soon.

    Chip N1IR
  12. AB0SI

    AB0SI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I admit to remaining confused by this entire discussion. Why would anyone object to the remote link? What possible harm does it do anyone?

    The only possible objection would be that such an operation is agaisnt the rules of the country in which the transmitter is located. There is no evidence that this is the case, so, again, why would anyone object?

    Because there are dues charged? The dues are to defray expenses -- just as with a club station or to pay for a DXpedition or to rent a ham shack in an intersting location for a contest.

    I have no comment on whether contacts with such a station do/should count ofr DXCC or Worked All Remote Bases or other awards.

    Given restrictions that many hams lvie with regarding antennas, the concept and practice of these tpes of operations strikes me as a Good Thing.

    Paul AB0SI
  13. AF5CD

    AF5CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a quick question about reciprocal licenses...
    Last night I heard a marine in Iraq on 20 meters with a YI9 Iraqi issued call sign talking to a station in Santa Maria CA. During the conversation he said that in the states he was a technican no code class but they are letting them operate on HF from IRAQ back to the world.

    Is there a site that shows what frequencies he and other soldiers are allowed to work under the Iraqi callsign?

  14. KC8PVQ

    KC8PVQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have worked several stations from w7dxx at boy scout camp and all have had difficult antenna situations or lack of funding for a station.  The boys got really interested that they could get on the air with minimal investment ( that money needs to go for the car and girls:) .  Thanks for making it possible to have a radio, and a great signal to boot, for those that otherwise would not be radioactive.
             73 Jill  Trustee KC8RUR
  15. W7DME

    W7DME Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all,

    I have a question for Keith, that I think I know the answer too. What country will the transmitter be located in?

    As to the gentleman asking about priveledges, Most countries that issue a reciprical license, don't care what your US Amateur priveledges are. As when a US ham is in Canada, he is under their laws and may transmit below 14.150 Mhz even if his is a General Operater here in the states. That is because the Canadian Government automatically gives US Amateurs the highest Canadiam privedges by virtu of having any class of US license. The only restriction to Keith if his transmitter is in Iraq, is that he obey the rules of Iraq, and even if he did not, the FCC would not have any authority, except to file a complaint with Iraq's licensing authority.

    As to charging a fee for "Membership". That has been going on for years by various groups, and the FCC has said that it is ok to do that, and that for their purposes, that does not constitute being "Paid" for being an Amateur Radio Operator. It is just a none issue except by idiots who are too concerned with their own limited knowledge of the Rules and Regulations. Even if it happened to be against US Rules, if the transmitter is located in Iraq, it would have to be against their rules and the FCC just does not enter into it! Get it now?

    THE FCC HAS NO JOURISDICTION IN IRAQ! So, just get over it, and mind your own operating.

    Trust me on this, If Keith is violating US Communications laws, he will be delt with by our Government. If he violates Iraqi law, they will deal with it or not, as they see fit. As US hams, we are only concerned with policing our own US Ranks, with the possible exception that we file complaints against foreign operator or operations with the licensing authority of that country, and that country takes whatever action it deams necessary (Most times nothing is done and our complaints are just ignored).

    Hope you all get it now.

    Mike - K7OV
  16. W7DME

    W7DME Ham Member QRZ Page

    To Keith, W7DXX,

    Hi Keith,

    I don't believe you remember me as my call sign has Changed since our last association. At that time I Was WB7ETD. Think back to Olympia Washington and Capitol Peak, 146.76 Repeater you were putting up. If you want to email me, my email address is k7ov@comcast.net.


    Mike - K7OV
  17. AB8RU

    AB8RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    VEEEEERY Interesting !
  18. K1WW

    K1WW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does Iraq allow anyone in the world to remotely operate a transmitter located in Baghdad?

    Last week or so, I heard a person in California operating the W7DXX remote located near Boston on 75 meters. He was in the DX window. Many of the DX stations he was working thought he was in California because he failed to properly explain the operation and constantly identified only with his California callsign. When he did mention W7DXX it was in passing. Language differences and marginal signal strengths added to the confusion. How many QSL cards will he get from stations thinking they contacted a station in California? How many will he send back indicating they did? We will never know.

    Good luck with your project.

  19. N9OQT

    N9OQT Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the wording of my license. Now admittedly this was issued a year ago under the Coalition Provisional Authority. The wording may have changed a little after the government transitions, I do not know.

    The way that I interpret that language is that I can only operate on frequencies that I am allowed to operate on in the United States and frequencies that are authorized in the Region 1 bandplan.

    So, even though I am a Extra class operator at home and can operate all through the HF spectrum, sometimes the region 1 bandplan doesn't coincide with the US bandplan.

    For instance on 40 Meters at home, I can use voice above 7.150, in Region 1, I can only use voice between 7.045 and 7.100. So the way that I interpret my license here is that I basically can not use voice on 40 Meters. Unless of course, I use a split frequency with the states. And considering my older Kenwood that I brought with me, that is not an option, I would have to retune every time. No Splits.

    So if you read things the same way that I do, then you could see if they are authorized to be operating that freq in the states, if they are not, then they are not allowed to be using that freq here.

    And if I am reading it wrong, please let me know, I miss 40 meters!

    SSG Patrick Twigg
    N9OQT / YI9OQT
  20. W1YW

    W1YW Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since when has one's callsign indicated location--10 years? 20 years?

    Chip N1IR
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