One way communications???

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by K9JMS, Jul 6, 2020.

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  1. K9JMS

    K9JMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    My radio allows me to enter short lengths of copy to be sent as CW. I learned code over 30 years ago just to become a Novice. Never used it after the testing day and can only remember CQ and SOS. I can't seem to find it in the rules if it is OK to send a CW CQ signal that basically says no need to respond, just QSL via .....? I looked into beacons, but I can't find much as far as rules on if you can run a beacon for short periods of time. I am a General now, but still for the most part spend my time on 10 meters.
  2. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might want to go back and read over...
    97.111 Authorized Transmissions
    97.113 Prohibited Transmissions
    97.203 Beacon Station
    Your question is rather well covered in those three sections of the FCC rules and regs.
    K0UO likes this.
  3. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Reading? It's fundamental!
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    WA1GXC and K3XR like this.
  4. K9JMS

    K9JMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, I read them all. Prohibited Transmissions did say no one way communications. Beacon rules are pretty vague. Nothing in there stating the minimum time a beacon can operate.
  5. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    From 97.3 Definitions:

    9) Beacon. An amateur station transmitting communications for the purposes of observation of
    propagation and reception or other related experimental activities. <--- (Emphasis mine.)

    If you are going to use a transmitter to send CQ, that is covered in 97.111:
    (b) In addition to one-way transmissions specifically authorized elsewhere in this part, an amateur
    station may transmit the following types of one-way communications:
    (2) Brief transmissions necessary to establishing two-way communications with other stations;

    Wikipedia also covers amateur radio beacons:

    If you read through all of this, it looks like you can set up a macro in your transceiver (or computer) to send one-way communications to establish two-way communications.

    The intent is to establish two-way communications, even if that two-way exchange is the typical slam-bam 599 TU of a contest.

    I don't think setting up a macro which sends CQ and where to send the QSL qualifies as meeting the definition of a beacon. Is it really "...observation of propagation and reception or other related experimental activities"? No, it is automating a well-established activity not related to propagation.

    I can think of one really good example of a HF beacon and that is W1AW. Their one-way transmissions consist of code practice and propagation reports. All entirely proper. I have never heard PSE QSL NEWINGTON CT.

    I believe it is also permitted to send a CQ and then check the RBN (Reverse Beacon Network) to see how your equipment is performing. I do this all the time when checking a new portable antenna. But I'm not including QSL address info, because the intent is to use my own signal to check propagation, not to get a QSL without a two-way communication.

    If you just learn Morse code, you can get a glove and get in the game like everyone else. Or, if you just want an automated process, use FT8 driven by macros. But even FT8 has a two-way communication buried in there somewhere. ;)

    (Referencing an old joke about a guy shoveling manure because he's looking for a pony... )
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
    K8BZ likes this.
  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Legalities aside, I don't think many hams will QSL if they don't establish a contact. A contact would consist of at least some form of two-way communication. Most would say it's got to include the exchange of call signs.

    I did once receive a QSL request from a short wave listener who had overheard one of my QSOs with another party. But that's the very rare exception.

    I think you'll generally have to establish two-way communication, meaning you'll have to copy the other guy's call sign, in order to get a QSL.
  7. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The W1AW transmissions of code practice and informational bulletins are covered under...
    ยง97.111 Authorized transmissions.

    (5) Transmissions necessary to assisting persons learning, or improving proficiency in, the international Morse code; and
    (6) Transmissions necessary to disseminate information bulletins.

    Best to review the entire section. (97.111) 8, 2018.pdf
  8. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What about that joker on 10 M USB with the endless CQ tape?
  9. K9JMS

    K9JMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven't heard it. What frequency?
  10. KI7SYG

    KI7SYG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've heard him on 28.425. He has a 5 call sign.

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