W3BE'S BE Informed!
Home1.0 W3BE Checklists1.1 RF Safety1.2 Antenna Structures1.3 Quiet Zones1.4 60 Meter Privileges1.5 Hams For Hire1.6 Hams At Sea1.7 Chinese Radios1.8.0 Reciprocal Privileges1.8.1 For Canadians1.8.2 Reciprocal I.D.1.8.3 More Reciprocal Q&A1.8.4 Hear Something Say Something1.9 Third Party Communications1.10 Incentive Licensing1.11 GEPs and GAPs1.12 Hamslanguage1.13 Visiting Operators1.14 Terms in Part 971.15 Amateur Station?1.16 Licenses & Call Signs1.17 All About Spectrum1.18 Transmitter Stability1.19 Selling Over Ham Radio1.20 Still an Amateur?1.21 Use My Station?1.22 Digi-Standards1.23 No Secrets1.24 Where's My License?1.25 Spectrum Management1.26 A Little Bit Commercial2.0 Ham Needs To Know2.1 VE System Management2.2 What A VE Does2.3 Remote Testing2.4 Get Your Pools Right2.8 GOTA Experience: License Qualifier?2.9.1 Get Your Ham Call Sign2.12 Former Hams2.13 Stereotype W2.14 VE's Universe2.15 More HF for Techs2.16 Can A VE Accept Pay2.17 VEC Supposed To Do2.18 Significance of license3.0 Smell Test3.1 Maintenance Monitoring3.2 International/domestic3.3 Excuses3.4 Heed The Rules!3.5 Regulatable3.6 No Broadcasting3.7 Station Records4.0 Which Call Sign?4.1 Self-assigned indicator4.2 Station ID4.3 ID Every 10 minutes4.5 Indicator Schedule4.6 Special Event 1 by 14.7 Non-Appended Indicator4.8 Club Station ID5.0 Our TPMSP Class5.1 VPOD5.3 Big Red Switch6.0 Constitution Go-By6.1 What Ia A Radio Club?6.2 School Radio Club6.3 Club Stations Control Op6.4 Radio Club Repeater Station7.0 EmComm7.2 RACES7.3 Commercial Communications7.11 Supposed To Be7.12 Emergency Responders & Part 978.0 Repeaters & Part 978.1 Auxiliary Stations & Part 978.2 Remote Bases & Part 978.3 Frequency Coordination8.4 Automatic Control & Part 978.5 The Internet & Part 9710.2 Deceased's Call Sign10.3 A New Era for Ham Radio10.4 New Era Q/A



Q. Who exactly is the station licensee?

A. The Section 97.103 station licensee is the station manager for an amateur station transmitting on our amateur service frequency bands from a place where our amateur service is regulated by the United States Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). It is the person shown on the ULS as holding the grant for the call sign being transmitted in the Section 97.119 station identification announcements. An amateur station license grant carries no operating privileges. For a catalogue of the station licensee’s duties, read W3BE Checklists for Domestic and Foreign Amateur Service Licensees In Places Where the U.S. FCC Is Our Regulator BE Informed No. 1.0.

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Reducing Regulations and Part 97

Q. I have read where federal agencies are supposed to reduce their regulations by 75% or more. How would that impact Part 97?

A. That is wide open to speculation, but the arithmetic is straightforward. Part 97 now consists of 19,548 words of text. So the goal is something less than a 4,887 word set of rules.

Q. Maybe this is an opportunity to usher in a new era for smart ham radios.

A. Hopefully so. Read A New Era for Amateur Radio BE Informed No. 10.3. It contains a WIP preliminary rough draft of a barebones set of rules that does this. It would cut a lot of traditional regulatory baggage and presumably encourage the practice of good spectrum management and amateur service community self-regulation.

Q. I have read and reread the preliminary rough draft of a barebones set of rules that would reduce the Part 97 rules by 75%. It looks promising, but I have a questions: What is a “smart radio?”

A. It is a future generation of transceivers that would hopefully relieve amateurs from much of the burden of having to possess all of the knowhow - and willingness - to perform properly the duties of operators.

For more Q/A on this topic, read New Era Q/A BE Informed No. 10.4.

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In places where the Federal Communications Commission is our regulator, the rules for our amateur radio and amateur-satellite radio services are codified within the United States Code of Federal Regulations Title 47. They reside primarily in Part 97 with Parts 0, 1, 2, 17, and 214 also containing rules that apply to us. The current edition can be viewed online via the e-CFR. This website contains a series of questions and answers concerning those rules and their applications.   

   Our rules are not catalogues of harsh restrictions. Rather, they are first and foremost permissions resulting from statutes, environmental precautions, international agreements, and countless rule making proceedings.

   Our somewhat awkward amateur services communications protocols stem from 19th century wireline telegrapher practices. They place heavy reliance upon there being a knowledgeable - and highly cooperating – Section 97.105 control operator at every station. Each of these control operators must observe generally accepted good practices such as to make self-enforcement predominantly sufficient. During the 20th century, the rules were adapted as needed to accommodate emerging radio technology. The 21st century promises smarter radio technology that should enable relaxation of that traditional dependence upon cooperative human instincts.

   Our regulator currently expects our United States amateur service community to utilize our allocated spectrum as an alternative to the commercial communications infrastructure impacted by an emergency. The rules still make it possible for amateurs - they are our duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest - to carry out self-training, intercommunications, and technical investigations. Our contemporary amateur service community, however, seems to be more intent on transitioning to a social media where members of the general public intercommunicate by making radio contacts.

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File amateur radio interference complaint with the FCC: CLICK


   The quickest, easiest, and inexpensive way is to memorize the VEs' questions and the VECs' answers in BE Informed No. 2.9.1 W3BE's NOTES - Get Your Call Sign. Take/retake the free on-line practice examinations until you pass consistently. Then visit a VE session for a license examination.  

Read the Rules - Heed the Rules!

  Our ham radio is an internationally recognized hobby. It is comprised of millions of amateur operators worldwide who must know how to cause or allow their amateur stations to transmit properly. We utilize electromagnetic radiation technology that knows no political borders. We are, consequently, subject to wide ranging domestic and international regulation. A working knowledge of the relevant rules is essential to not endangering ourselves, our families, or our neighbors; and to not disrupting other radio communications.

What are the penalties for violating the rules?

   (a) If the FCC finds that you have willfully or repeatedly violated the Communications Act or the FCC Rules, you may have to pay as much as $10,000 for each violation, up to a total of $75,000. (See Section 503(b) of the Communications Act.)

   (b) If the FCC finds that you have violated any section of the Communications Act or the FCC Rules, you may be ordered to stop whatever action caused the violation. (See Section 312(b) of the Communications Act.)

   (c) If a Federal court finds that you have willfully and knowingly violated any FCC Rule, you may be fined up to $500 for each day you committed the violation. (See Section 502 of the Communications Act.)

   (d) If a Federal court finds that you have willfully and knowingly violated any provision of the Communications Act, you may be fined up to $10,000, or you may be imprisoned for one year, or both. (See Section 501 of the Communications Act.)

[48 FR 24890, June 3, 1983, as amended at 57 FR 40343, Sept. 3, 1992]

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   It is is free-to-use. 

   Should you receive a solicitation for this website, it is a scam!

   There is no speculation on whether or not you might get away with something.

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   Thanks to everyone who posed the questions and to those insightful hams who provided answers, advice, views, details, editing, encouragement, and other kinds of support in making this website possible. 

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