W3BE'S BE Informed!
1.20 BASICS
 
Home1.0 W3BE Checklists1.1 RF Safety1.2 Antenna Structures1.3 Quiet Zones1.4 60 Meter Privileges1.5 Take A Paying Job?1.6 Hams At Sea1.7 Imported 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 What Is Our Purpose Now?1.18 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 Commercial1.27 What is CW?2.0 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?2.12 Former Hams2.13 The Hunt for 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 License Grant2.19 Enough Operator Classes?3.0 Smell Tests3.1 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 ID4.4 Make the Source Known4.5 Indicator Schedule4.6 Special Event 1 by 14.7 Non-Appended Indicator4.8 Club Station ID5.0 Alternatives To Exams5.3 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 Control, Telecommand & Part 978.3 Frequency Coordination8.4 Automatic Control & Part 978.5 The Internet & Part 978.6 Beacons & Part 978.7 Automatic Control & Part 978.8 Frequency Coordination & Part 9710.0 Comments in RM-1170810.2 Deceased's Call Sign10.3 A New Era for Ham Radio10.4 New Era Q/A10.5 Four Operator Classes10.6 Novice ArtifactQUIZ

BE Informed No. 1.20

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Am I Still

An Amateur?

 John B. Johnston, W3BE

Q. I was in college when I first got my FCC ham license. There was no question then that I was an amateur. As I grew to adulthood, however, I gravitated more toward commerce and morphed into a professional.  Until I retire and return to a clear-cut non-professional status, am I still a bona fide amateur? 

A. Possibly. Our regulators condition our standing as an amateur according to our interest, which - as you typify – can change from time-to-time. Apparently, as long as you (1) keep your license grant current and (2) use our amateur service spectrum exclusively for carrying out self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations, (3) your remaining challenge while exercising the privileges of a licensee grantee is to mentally eradicate all of your interest in radio technique except that which is solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary motivation. 

   Even then, it may be difficult for some to believe that you have no interest in the money, goods, and whatever else you accept in exchange for your services.   

Q. Who determines what it is that one must know to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee?

A. In places where the FCC regulates our amateur service, that is the job of our Section 97.507 VEs. Their Section 97.503 written examinations for a license grant must be such as to prove that the examinee possesses the operational and technical qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee. Internationally, ITU-R M. 1544 recommends certain minimum qualifications for radio amateurs and persons wishing to operate an amateur station.

Q. I’ve got my FCC license. That’s enough for me.

A. Read the fine print of our regulators: International Telecommunication Union, our elected legislators, and our administrative regulator.

Q. What does the ITU have to say about it?

A. That is codified in international Radio Regulation No. 1.56. It defines our amateur service as (a) radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

Q. What do our elected legislators have to say?   

A. That is codified in SEC. 3. [47 USC 153](2) of the Communications Act. It says the term “amateur station” means a radio station operated by a duly authorized person interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. 

Q. What does our administrative regulator have to say about our amateur service? 

A. The FCC defines it twice; first in Section 2.1(c), it defines our amateur service as:

   A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

   In Section 97.3(a)(4), it says the term amateur service means: A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

Q. OK. I get it: duly authorized person; carry out self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations; interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. Having a license does not mean you are an amateur, as in having non-professional abilities. It means you have a license to manage a specific amateur station and a license to cause amateur stations to transmit properly. Neither of which can you charge for your services.

A. Having an FCC license grant means that three Section 97.503 VEs have certified that you passed their written examination such as to prove that you possess the operational and technical qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee at some previous point in time. Beyond that, there is presumptive faith that you have kept current with rule amendments, ever-changing technology, our amateur service community interests, and our VEs’ quad-annual perceptions of the Section 97.503 element standards such as to prove that the examinee possesses the operational and technical qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee.

   Now that our administrative regulator has established that a person holding an FCC license grant can charge for services rendered in accord with a list that took root in Section 97.113(a)(3)(i) and seems to be flourishing, we need to reread what our regulators have enacted for us (above). From this we should find our reassurance in these basics:

   Our amateur service is still supposed to be a radiocommunication service regulated in our United States and territories by our federal government.

   Our amateur service is still supposed to be for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs. Note: In 2012, our regulator reported to Congress that amateur radio (serve as) an alternative to the commercial communications infrastructure impacted by an emergency.

   An amateur is still supposed to be a duly authorized person interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

   A professional who is interested in radio technique with something more than solely a personal aim and/or with a pecuniary interest in radio technique is not an amateur regardless of any license grant held.

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April 25, 2017

Supersedes all prior editions