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"In accordance with good amateur practice"

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AF7FQ, Apr 8, 2018.

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  1. AF7FQ

    AF7FQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm relatively new to this hobby, having had my licence for just 0ver 4 years. About 2 years ago, my local club did a comm exercise using a cross-banding mobile radio. We selected a clear simplex frequency to use and began out exercise. About an hour or so after we started, some hams in another county, unaware of our local exercise, chose the same frequency to have a QSO. When they heard my crossbander ID my callsign, they started grumbling about me "breaking the law" by using an uncoordinated repeater on a simplex frequency. They threatened that they knew CW and the next time my call went out, they were going to write it down and "turn me in." I've been assured by all of the hams in our club that we weren't breaking any laws and that we were operating in accordance with good amateur practice.

    Fast forward to today. I have the 70cm national calling frequency (446.000) programmed into my scan list and I have NEVER heard a transmission on that frequency. All of a sudden, I hear a weak CW ID break the squelch. I throw my callsign out and a very arrogant ham comes back to me as if he's annoyed with me jumping onto "his" frequency. He informs me that he and a group of hams, ironically from the same county as those who had such a problem with me two years earlier, were working a motorcycle race in the desert with a cross band repeater.

    I'm confused by this now. Using a clear, undesignated simplex frequency to cross band repeat is "against the law," but using the designated national calling frequency for the same purpose is ok? As a new(ish) ham, I have no way of knowing what "in accordance with good amateur practice" even means.
  2. W5WN

    W5WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You didn't break any laws. As long as you avoid interfering with ongoing communications, you're ok. It's always a good idea to have alternate frequencies in mind for such occasions.
    K4AGO likes this.
  3. AF7FQ

    AF7FQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    So is it considered acceptable practice to park an uncoordinated repeater on the national calling frequency for a couple hours?
  4. W5WN

    W5WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sure, just be careful to listen for other communications and share the frequency just as if you were operating simplex.
  5. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If there is no FCC rule against it, it is legal.

    That doesn't make it polite. Also, cross band repeaters are not the same as the repeaters that utilize coordination.
  6. W5WN

    W5WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    He could always use an unused but coordinated repeater frequency. Of course, coordinated repeaters have precedence and operation must yield to the repeater if it starts using the frquency again.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    However, both frequencies must be within the frequency spectrum allowed for repeaters. This per 47 CFR Part 97 Section 97.205(b) which reads as follows:

    (b) A repeater may receive and retransmit only on the 10 m and shorter wavelength frequency bands except the 28.0–29.5 MHz, 50.0–51.0 MHz, 144.0–144.5 MHz, 145.5–146.0 MHz, 222.00–222.15 MHz, 431.0–433.0 Mhz, and 435.0–438.0 Mhz segments.

    If you don't already have a current copy of 47 CFR Part 97 available, you can get the latest version at the following URL:

    Whenever there is any update, change, etc., then this is updated within 1-business day.

    As to using a calling frequency for cross-band operation: Perfectly legal so long as the input and output frequencies are within the spectrum allowed for repeater operation. As to the morality, "it depends"!

    Frankly, 446.000 MHz is virtually never used in well over 99% of this country. I really do not see any harm on using that frequency for a few hours. Now, I would NEVER use 52.525 MHz or 146.520 MHz for such operation because those frequencies are used much more frequently.

    A while back, there was a west coast amateur radio operator who visited, on business, the Dallas / Fort Worth area frequently. He decided to link his California 6-meter repeater to a transmitter in Dallas that had an output frequency of 52.525 MHz. This transmitter caused all sorts of problems with simplex operation on 52.525 MHz. It took several months to finally get this transmitter's frequency moved.

    Glen, K9STH

    W5WN likes this.
  8. W5WN

    W5WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Glen, I didn't know there was any 6 meter FM simplex activity anymore in the DFW area. I never even hear any repeaters. However, that all changes when the band is open.
  9. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    1. You did nothing wrong.
    2. Using a designated simplex frequency for a repeater is not against FCC regulations. The FCC did not designate these as simplex frequencies, they fall within the repeater subband(s). It is not a wise thing to do on a permanent basis, mind you, but it’s not illegal.
    3. You did nothing wrong.
    4. The other amateurs involved... wait, let me back up a second. No disrespect, but we are only hearing your side of the story. There may have been other things going on, there may have been extenuating circumstances, the other amateurs could simply not had their morning coffee or beverage of choice, if any. Or they may have been... less than stellar examples of the Amateur fraternity, and unfortunately, we all know too many people like that.

    So don’t be bullied or pushed around or give in to empty threats. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to avoid inadvertent interference... such as not knowing someone was using a simplex channel for a temporary repeater. IF you make a mistake, and get called on it... IF... apologize, learn from it, and move on. And they should do the same. Sadly, many don’t.

    And most importantly,

    5. Based solely on your side of the story, and pending information from the other side(s), if any, which I doubt we will ever hear... you did nothing wrong.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  10. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    And the moral of the story is:

    Community service radio is a catalyst for righteous indignation.

    Looka me im doing good. You arent. You are obviously a degenerate. Begone from my dogoodin channel or know my wrath.
    WD4IGX likes this.

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