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Official Observers: Something’s Coming

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W0PV, Aug 9, 2017.

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  1. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quoted from the Second Century statement by ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF in the September 2017 QST titled "Official Observers: Something’s Coming",

    "It’s important to bear in mind that the principal end-user of all Official Observer activity is the FCC. The Commission, as our client, alone must determine which violations it chooses to pursue (enforcement policy), and which violations it will deemphasize in favor of accomplishing higher priorities. The OO program strives to harmonize its activities with enforcement policies." Century - September 2017 QST.pdf

    I read this as suggesting ARRL member (only) radio amateur's in the USA, recruited and trained as newly defined OO's, may soon be deployed as service providing surrogates for FCC enforcement.

    What say you about that?

    73 de John - WØPV
  2. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I say that I recently received my very first OO greeting card. It was for a CW chirp. I now proudly display it next to the offending parties which are a KnightKit T-150A transmitter the janky FT-243 crystal I was using.

    So if the OO and the League rat me out to the FCC, then I suppose I will just have to take the medicine that they may choose to give me.

    73 de KE4OH dit dit!
    W7UUU and KM1H like this.
  3. K5RCD

    K5RCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not ME !

  4. N2SUB

    N2SUB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I take it to mean that the FCC doesn't really want to know about someone who accidentally has a dial frequency too close to the edge of a sub-band, or has a chirp on their signal. They want to know about repeat offenders that are actually causing problems for other operators. And, although the OOs are advised not to "split hairs" when sending out cards, some still do it and the FCC is sick of receiving thousands of reports of trivial if not unenforceable matters. In other words, goodbye:
    W9RLG likes this.
  5. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had encounters with the League's OO program both good and bad.

    Back when I was a Novice, I was grateful to receive an OO report for severe CW chirp on an Eico 753 that I had just purchased that weekend at a hamfest.

    But I was displeased to see that a friend of mine on AM was cited in an OO report for unsuppressed carrier. Had I not seen the actual report, I don't think I would have believed it.

    And most recently, a few years ago I got a "Good Operator" report from an ARRL Official Observer, who had apparently encountered me in an AM QSO on 75 meters. Thanks for that.

    I plan to respond to Gallagher's invitation to send suggestions about the OO program to the email address he cites in his Editorial in the September issue of QST.

    My main concern is that there be adequate training and familiarity with the mode and activity of AM on HF, to avoid the chance they might misunderstand something. I also want to encourage some kind of acknowledgment among OOs or the program's administrator that my part of the hobby is to be included as having the same merit as any other aspect they monitor.

    The same September issue has the magazine's first known Product Review of an AM shortwave transmitter. The K7DYY "Super Senior" uses contemporary technology and achieves good performance on HF. Yet, the author has included some wording that puzzled me; in effect, adding cautionary and restrictive advice that seems to assume something will go wrong.

    The point as it relates to the Official Observer program is that the administrators must make sure those who volunteer for this service avoid negative presumptions, unwittingly or not, that could lead to erroneous reports. Like the time my friend was cited for unsuppressed carrier.

    And what if OOs increase the number of reports of misbehavior during contests, among operators they judge to be deliberately and repeatedly interfering with bystanders and/or other participants? Here's hoping that the reports OO's compile are reviewed by a League administrator, before any of them are sent to the FCC for consideration.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  6. NK7Z

    NK7Z Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The OOs don't send reports to the FCC, they are sent to the ARRL, and HQ then sends a subset of reports to the FCC. Thus the FCC is not receiving thousands of reports for "trivial if not unenforceable matters", and hence is not "sick of receiving", them as you stated...

    You should probably fact check things prior to posting them...
  7. NK7Z

    NK7Z Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    They are... OOs do not send reports to the FCC. They send reports to the ARRL OOC.
  8. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    No they don't... Not now anyway...

    But read the statement from ARRL.

    Doesn't it sound as if they are planning to in the future?

    Sounds like ARRL will passing the reports on, and I don't think they do that now
  9. NK7Z

    NK7Z Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No... It does not sound like the OOs will send reports directly to the FCC. As an aside, I am not, nor did I answer the ARRL statement, I answered, and quoted N2SUB's comment.

    On to your point, which is separate from my earlier response, I expect you are referring to the comment:
    "How can OO volunteers better collect, catalog, review, evaluate, and forward reports?"
    It tells you nothing of where the report is forwarded, nor does it imply reports will be forwarded to the FCC by individual OOs. I think you are reading too much into it. I can't imagine the ARRL would not want to vet the OO reports, or at least see them prior to FCC submission. Should the ARRL send reports it has vetted to the FCC, of course it should. The FCC can either act, or ignore, the reports sent to it. That is made clear in the article you refer to.
    KK5JY likes this.
  10. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, it sounds as if the FCC is wanting to become the 'chief' of the 'self-policing' aspect, giving some teeth to that age old ineffective statement.

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