Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W6EM, Dec 25, 2018.
To slightly paraphrase My Fair Lady: “By George, I think he’s got it!”
Theodore S. Rappaport, N9NB, makes good points in 17-344, WTB 16-239, WT RM-11708.
His main thrust is that the proprietary protocol of Pactor 4, et al, should be published so that content can be effectively monitored by FCC, OOs, and the Ham community, without requiring them to spend big money for gear to decode the data. He also says adoption of the proposal would create devastating interference to existing amateur operations that use bandwidths on the order of 200 to 500 Hz (or less), such as the narrowband communications of CW, RTTY, FT8, PSK31, etc., and while Winlink with Winmoor 1600 was shown to have some valid utility during the (Puerto Rico) emergency, the use of voice was much preferred, and wideband HF data usage was minimal in serving the public good.
He cites operators NS0S and N5TGL (2 of the 22 ARRL deployed operators for the Puerto Rico emergency) reveal problems and grandstanding efforts by ARRL:
(See 14:00 to 16:00 and 1:36:00 to 1:45:00)
Many postings on the Reddit website from on-the-ground amateur operators in Puerto Rico, and those close to the situation, further confirm the fact that ARRL was “looking for headlines” to promote its presence and data ambitions, with a likely eye towards pushing for permanent adoption of the STA that temporarily removed the the 300 baud limit of Part 97.307 and 97.309(a), even though the STA and Pactor 4 were never used.
Do you feel like the ARRL sent people to Puerto Rico more so as a means to promote ham radio than to actually help people?
Yes, very very much so. They stressed everyday how they wanted photos. We had no internet but they wanted us to make sure we got them photos.
Local hams were great. They just wanted to help. They didn't want glory. They wanted Puerto Rico to get better. The helped us find local repeaters that worked. They helped with parts we forgot. I used QRZ to see who was in each town I was in. In Yauco a guy let us borrow is VHF mobile rig. In Culebra someone gave me a barrel connector. When I asked net control if there was a local ham in Culebra they said there was none. I used the militaries internet and found 4 on qrz. Net control didn't even attempt to look. When I say we were alone I mean we were alone. We had no support.
The Winlink folks attempt to allay most concerns EXCEPT what happens to CW, RTTY, FT8, PSK31, etc., when a wideband data operator isn't paying attention (or can't hear) ops on a frequency in use.
https://www.winlink.org/terms_conditions (SEE BELOW)
There is no privacy over amateur radio. Anyone who is properly equipped can read messages handled by Winlink. Each gateway sysop routinely monitors messages passing through their station to ensure acceptable message content. Any message violating local rules is deleted and the sender advised. Gateway sysops are legally responsible for traffic flowing through their stations.
Directly or indirectly enhancing one’s pecuniary interest using amateur radio is universally prohibited. Business traffic is any message, sent or received, that is related to an amateur’s business or an activity involved in making money, attempting to make money, or even to save from spending money for the amateur. Placing orders to trade stocks or receiving investing guidance are clear-cut examples of prohibited message content. Commercial services must always be employed first if business content will be common. Sailmail, Inmarsat, or Iridium are recommended for maritime users, and there are others regionally available. Winlink connections for business content transfer via telnet, satellite services, or high-speed (WiFi) radio LAN are allowed for infrequent use.
All messages must be in plain language and use a publicly published format. Message attachments must be of file types that can be viewed with commonly available software such as .doc, .rtf, .jpg, .bmp, etc. The system will not accept as attachments executable files with extensions such as .exe, .com, .vbs, etc. This reduces the chance of an encrypted message but also is another protection against malware. Administrators may change the acceptable file types as experience dictates.
Obscene content is not allowed by the laws of most countries on amateur radio frequencies, and also not on the Winlink system. It will be deleted when discovered and the sender immediately locked out of the system whether the sender accesses the system via Internet or radio. The receiving gateway sysop usually determines if a message is obscene and usually warns the originator prior to taking any action. Warnings are not required, however.
Callsign (license) Validation
To qualify for a Winlink account users must hold a valid amateur radio service license issued by the licensing authority of their country.
Winlink system use requires secure account login for web and radio users using client programs or terminal or web access. Passwords are secure and not sent over radio links. With this users may protect themselves from gaining unauthorized access to their account. This does not secure messages passed over the radio. It only authenticates that the radio link is established with a verified and licensed station within the Winlink system.
Heck, no. I love the idea of open source, but not everything in the world works that way. AMBE is LICENSED, not open, so in one fell swoop this would make DStar, DMR, Fusion, and others illegal. We don't use open source microprocessors to run our radios or computers, why would/should we require it on the air?
Great in concept, lousy in practice. We would be forbidden from using just about all the currently recognised digital voice modes, HDTV, potentially WiFi, etc. We would be walled off from the rest of the world, and much of the surplus equipment market that we can get this stuff from would be no longer viable.
Why would we want that?
Yet AMBE is used in P-25.
That petition already exists, languishing in the FCC inbox.......sent before this latest blow up. ARRL has more pull at the FCC than individuals and got the 11708, 16-239 ball rolling again, with a push from the emcomm/Winlink crew.
It's all in the BoD minutes, guess they wanted to get it done before the house cleaning.
Where is this technician class stuff coming from? It has been a very long time since getting the General was a big leap. If you can memorize the technician question pool, you can memorize the general one too with hardly any more effort.
You obviously haven't been paying attention. Hobbyist have disclosed to the public in sufficient detail how to decode and encode AMBE (ie: DSD/OP25 circa 2012) It's still patented in some cases, but if you desire to decode anyone using this technology you can. That is all I ask of Pactor4 or any other mode anyone cares to use on the ham bands.
Much the same thing as IMBE used in P25. The APCO folks required the details published from P25's inception, but it was still patented till some years back.
The language he proposed doesn't require it to licensed as open source, just more or less documented publicly. You were reading into it.
You seem to forget how it presently works. We basically have a list of authorized emission designators for data and spread spectrum. And we have to bug the FCC everytime something new comes along that we'd like to use in the ham bands (ref: 2012 DMR/TDMA emission petition)
I am aware of it, it's not commercially viable (legal) to use, so you're not going to see a radio you can buy without the DVSI chip. Companies are not going to publish their intellectual property for hams, that's just not going to happen. So, the effect would be to prohibit much of what is used commercially everyday.
The lack of articles is the proof. Why speculate, and get up the hopes of the boating community, when the adoption of the rules changes is not certain. Since the ARRL is, again, actively pushing the changes, if the boating community would appear to, by promoting the changes, there could definitely be a backlash resulting in many more amateur radio operators filing comments against the proposal(s).
Getting a General Class license would require twice the effort, albeit not all that hard, and, with the instant gratification mindset rampant in this country these days, such would be a "handicap".
I still don't get it. I got my tech when it was 5 WPM and THAT took some effort. I am not a natural CW op at all. Memorizing some stuff vs. memorizing some more stuff seems a trivial difference. The problem with the "boating community" is IMHO exactly opposite of what hams think it is. They are not salivating over taking over the HF bands and cursing the limits of the technician license, more like they are losing interest in HF radio by the second. A typical comment by a racer in a class with SSB required is "why do I need this archaic and useless thing on my boat".