BE Informed No.
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For Domestic and Foreign Amateur Service Licensees
In Places Where the U.S. FCC Is Our Regulator
John B. Johnston W3BE
Your Section 97.103 station licensee duties
The Section 97.103 station licensee is the station manager for an amateur station transmitting electromagnetic radio energy on our amateur service frequency
bands from any place where our amateur service is regulated by the United States Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), or from any place in the world where no other country regulates amateur station transmissions. It is
the person whose name and Section 97.23 mailing address is shown on the ULS as holding the Section 97.5(b) station license grant bearing the call sign being transmitted in the Section 97.119 station identification announcements.
There are three types of Section 97.5(b) station license grants: (1) operator/primary station; (2) club; and (3) military recreation. An amateur station license grant carries no operating
Before allowing the
station to transmit, YOU must:
□ Make certain that your station license grant as shown on the ULS has your correct name and Section 97.23 mailing address where you can receive mail delivery by the United States Postal Service. This does not apply to Section 97.5(c) and (d) stations transmitting under Section 97.107 alien reciprocal privileges.
□ Maintain Section 97.5(a) physical control of your station. You do not have to own the station apparatus, but at all times you must supervise access to, and the use
of, your station apparatus.
Provide at least one Section 97.109(a) control point for your station.
your Section 97.103(b) control operator. The FCC will presume that you are your station’s control operator, unless there is documentation to the contrary in
your station records.
Make certain that your station transmits only in compliance with FCC rules. Configure and operate your station depending upon your interests, your resources, your ingenuity and your good judgment.
Your station may transmit concurrently from as many locations - with many emission types - as long as you can still carry
out your Section 97.103 station licensee duties properly. The FCC does not pre-approve systems in our amateur services.
□ Provide the means for your station to transmit its Section 97.115(c) and (d) and Section 97.119 station identification announcements properly. It is authorized to transmit from practically any place where the FCC regulates our amateur service. You do not have to own or lease the property where your station is located. Do not locate your station within one mile of
an FCC monitoring facility.
In ITU Region 2, the FCC regulates our amateur services within the territorial limits of the 50 United States, District of
Columbia, Caribbean Insular areas [Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands (50 islets and cays) and Navassa
Island], and Johnston Island (Islets East, Johnston, North and Sand) and Midway Island (Islets Eastern and Sand) in the Pacific
Insular areas. In ITU Region 3, the FCC regulates within the Pacific Insular territorial limits of American Samoa, Baker
Island, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Island
and Wake Island. Your station may operate in ITU Regions 1, 2 and 3 on or over the high seas in areas where the service
is not regulated by a foreign government or by an agency of the U.S. Government other than the FCC.
□ Notify the FAA and register with the FCC
when your station antenna structure is located near a heliport or public-use airport or exceeds 200 feet above ground level
at its site. Follow the notification and registration procedures specified in Part 17.
describes an imaginary surface above which notification and registration are required. It extends outward and upward
at one of the following slopes: For a heliport, the slope is 25:1 for a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet from the nearest
landing and takeoff area. For a small airport (longest runway length no more than 3,200 feet), the slope is 50 to 1
for a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet from the nearest point on the nearest runway. For a large airport (any runway
length more than 3,200 feet), the slope is 100 to 1 for a horizontal distance of 20,000 feet from the nearest point on the
Know where our quiet zones are located and avoid transmissions being made by your amateur station from within those zones
where the rules indicate they could have a possible impact on the operations of radio astronomy or other facilities that are
highly sensitive to interference.
Provide a Section 97.213 radio or wire line control link from its Section 97.109(a) control point to the remainder of your station while it is being Section 97.109(c) remotely controlled. Incorporate Section 97.213(b) provisions to limit transmissions to three minutes should your control link fail to function properly. Post at your station a ULS reference copy of your station license document and a label with information on how you and your Section 97.103(b) station control operator can be reached.
your station is configured for being Section 97.109(c) remotely controlled, protect its Section 97.213 radio or wire line control link from being misused for making unauthorized transmissions.
□ Make certain that your station’s transmissions are compliant with the Part 97 Subpart D technical standards for authorized frequency bands, frequency sharing, authorized emission types, emissions, RTTY and data emission codes, SS emission types, and transmitter power.
□ Determine the PEP input
to your station antenna for each frequency band where your station will transmit. Where the PEP exceeds that listed in Section 97.13(c)(1), reduce it suitably or perform the Section 1.1307(b) routine RF environmental evaluation. Act to prevent the radiated fields created by your station from exceeding the limits for exposure to humans.
□ Obtain Section 97.11(a) approval from the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft on which you intend to install your station. Make certain
that that your station complies with the Section 97.11(b) interference requirements and the Section 97.11(c) hazard provisions.
your station’s records. Include a ULS reference copy of your station license document, your Section 97.103(b) control operator designation records, your Section 97.13 RF environmental determinations and evaluations, such records as may be required by a FCC representative, instructions from the FCC and other documents relating to your
Make your station and its Section 97.103(c) records available for inspection by a FCC representative.
□ Keep in your vehicle your Minimal Amateur Radio Emergency Go-Kit
and other items you may need, ready to be deployed somewhere on short notice, presumably to be utilized as a part of a disaster
scene emergency intercommunications network as an alternative to the commercial communications infrastructure impacted
by an emergency.
NOTE: Section 97.303(h)(1) says that in the 60 m band, amateur operators shall ensure that their (sic) emissions do not occupy more than 2.8
kHz centered on each center frequency. Section 97.103(a), however, says the station licensee is the person responsible for the proper operation of the station in accordance with the rules. Therein, Section 97.307(a) says:
(a) No amateur
station transmission shall occupy more bandwidth than necessary for the information rate and emission type being transmitted,
in accordance with good amateur practice.
(b) Emissions resulting from modulation must be confined to the band or segment available to
the control operator. Emissions outside the necessary bandwidth must not cause splatter or key-click interference to operations
on adjacent frequencies.
(c) All spurious emissions from a station transmitter must be reduced to the greatest extent practicable. If any spurious
emission, including chassis or power line radiation, causes harmful interference to the reception of another radio station,
the licensee of the interfering amateur station is required to take steps to eliminate the interference, in accordance with
good engineering practice.
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Section 97.105 control operator duties
The Section 97.105 control operator is the on-duty operator of an amateur station transmitting on our Section 97.301 amateur service frequency bands. It is the person designated by the Section 97.103 station licensee to be responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules. It is the person shown
on the ULS as holding a Section 97.5(b)(1) operator/primary station license grant. Although it is issued together with your primary station license grant, it is a unique authorization. Unless there is documentation
proving otherwise, our regulator will assume the Section 97.103 station licensee is also the Section 97.105 control operator.
Our somewhat awkward
amateur services communications protocols stem from 19th century wireline telegrapher practices. They place heavy reliance
upon there being a VE-certified knowledgeable - and highly cooperating – Section 97.105 control operator at every station. Each control operator must observe generally accepted good practices such as to make self-enforcement predominantly
During the 20th century, the rules were adapted as needed to accommodate
emerging radio technology and were translated from legalese into plain language. The 21st century promises smarter radio technology
that should enable relaxation of that traditional dependence upon cooperative human instincts. Until then, your Section 97.105 control operator duties generally consist of applying your VE-certified knowledge of the operational and technical qualifications necessary
to operating an amateur station properly at a place where the FCC regulates our amateur service. Before causing or allowing the station to transmit, make certain that YOU:
□ Are designated by the Section 97.103 station licensee as the Section 97.105 control operator.
□ Ensure the immediate proper
operation of the station, regardless of the type of control: Section 97.109(b) local control, Section 97.109(c) remote control, or Section 97.109(d) automatic control.
□ Are positioned at the station’s
Section 97.109 control point while it is being locally or remotely controlled.
Use your personal operational and technical qualifications for performing properly the duties of the Section 97.105 control operator.
□ Are certain the
station transmits only in accordance with Section 97.101(a) good engineering and good amateur practice.
□ Cooperate in selecting
transmitting channels and in making the most effective use of our amateur service frequencies. Section 97.101(b). Observe our amateur service community’s established band plans.
□ Select for transmission only a Section 97.305 authorized emission type.
Monitor for transmission activity on each channel before causing or allowing the station to transmit thereon.
□ Select the station’s Section 97.301 transmitting channel from those frequency bands authorized to your Section 97.9 class of operator license.
□ Make your channel
and emission selections such that the transmissions do not cause Section 97.101(d) interference to any radio communication or signal.
Observe all Section 97.303 frequency sharing requirements for the band on which the station is transmitting.
□ Make certain the Section 97.119 station identification
announcements are performed properly. At the end of an exchange of Section 97.115(d) international third party communications, make certain the station also transmits in its station identification announcement the call sign of the station with which
a third party message was exchanged.
□ Make certain the station makes no Section 97.113 prohibited transmission.
□ Make certain the station
does not transmit any Section 97.115 message on behalf of a third party to any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has not made arrangements with the United States to allow such third party communications. This prohibition does not apply to a message
for any third party who is eligible to be the control operator of the station nor when transmitting emergency or disaster
whether or not the Section 97.115(b) third party is eligible to participate in stating his or her Section 97.115 third party message. If not ineligible, YOU decide whether or not to allow the third party to participate in stating his or her
Section 97.115(b) third party message. Should YOU decide to allow the third party to participate in stating
his or her Section 97.115 third party message, YOU be present at the station’s Section 97.109 control point and YOU continuously monitor and supervise the third party’s participation.
□ Make certain the station does not intercommunicate with a station in a foreign
country whose government has given Section 97.111(a)(1) notice that it objects to such intercommunications.
□ Make certain the station’s
transmissions to a station in a foreign country are limited to Section 97.117 communications incidental to the purposes of the amateur service and to remarks of a personal character.
□ Stop the station from forwarding any communications that violate the rules
in Part 97, once you become aware of their presence, whenever it is participating in a Section 97.219 message forwarding system.
□ Make certain that you accept
communications from only stations whose identity you have authenticated, whenever the station is the first forwarding station
in a Section 97.219 message forwarding system.
□ Make certain the station
produces only the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications. Section 97.313(a).
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Section 97.107 alien control
operator reciprocal privileges
In places where our amateur service is regulated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the privileges granted to a Section 97.107 alien control operator are codified in Paragraphs (a) and (b). Paragraph (c), however, says: At any time, the FCC may, in its discretion, modify,
suspend or cancel the reciprocal operating authority granted to any person by this section.
The privileges granted to a control operator under this authorization are:
an amateur service license granted by the Government of Canada:
□ The terms of the Convention Between the United States and Canada (TIAS No. 2508) Relating
to the Operation by Citizens of Either Country of Certain Radio Equipment or Stations in the Other Country;
□ The operating terms and conditions of the amateur
service license issued by the Government of Canada; and
□ The applicable rules of Part 97, but not to exceed the Section 97.301(b) control operator privileges of an FCC-granted Amateur Extra Class operator license.
(b) For an amateur service license granted by any country, other than
Canada, with which the United States has a multilateral or bilateral agreement:
□ The terms of the agreement between the alien's government and the United States;
□ The operating terms and conditions of the amateur
service license granted by the alien's government;
The applicable rules of Part 97, but not to exceed the Section 97.301(b) control operator privileges of an FCC-granted Amateur Extra Class operator license.
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Notice to Section 97.107 alien control operators visiting from ITU region 1
Where the terms of the agreement between your
government and the U.S., or the operating terms and conditions of the amateur service license granted by your home government,
do not specifically provide for amateur station transmissions from locations within ITU regions 2 or 3, your authorized frequency
bands are only those authorized by your home government. It would be inappropriate for our FCC or our U.S. amateur service
community organizers to second-guess the reasoning behind your home government’s decision. That is a matter for you
to take up with your home government. If such is inconvenient to you, you should obtain a FCC call sign. By doing so, however,
you will forgo your Section 97.5(c) and (d) and Section 97.107 reciprocal privileges.
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Notice to Section 97.5(c), (d),
and (e) authorized alien station licensees
FCC-licensed hams have passed written examinations prepared and administered by our amateur service community such as to prove that the examinee possesses the operational
and technical qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee in places where the FCC regulates our amateur service. You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the content of these examinations; beginner Element 2; intermediate Element 3; and expert Element 4.
FCC-licensed hams have
signed, among other things, this certification: I certify that I have read and will comply with Section 97.13(c) of the Commission’s Rules regarding radiofrequency radiation safety and the amateur service section of OST/OET Bulletin
Number 65. If your home country does not have a comparable requirement, to be on the safe side your station’s transmitting
PEP to the radiating antenna probably should not exceed the following:
m 500 W
cm 250 W
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May 14, 2017
all prior editions