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.
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?
ELMERING = "NO-LIDS"
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.
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!
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!
73 de SGT Korey Chandler
KA5VCQ/4 #Fort Bragg, NC
Thanks for serving your country.
Originally Posted by [b
ARRL DXCC #25,122, ARRL 50 MHZ VUCC #2090
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...
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
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
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.
Originally Posted by [b
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.
This is a neat project, assuming it's legal.
Originally Posted by [b
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....