W3BE'S BE Informed!
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BE Informed No. 4.8

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Club Station ID at My QTH

John B. Johnston W3BE

Q. Section 97.119(a) says: No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station. Yet, while I am net control of our weekly 2-meter club net, I use my home station and ID with the club station call sign. The club president says it is OK. But where is the authorization for me? The ULS only shows the name of the club station license trustee for that call sign.

A. That has to come from the Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license trustee. Get it in writing. File the document(s) with your station records. Then you will have on file the confirmation of your authority should something subsequently go awry.

Q. Please provide us with a Go-By.

A. The following seems to fit your situation. If not, amend it as necessary.


Section 97.103(b) designation as the Section 97.105 control operator

   I hereby request that I (name) _________________________________ be designated as a Section 97.105 control operator of the (club name) ________________________ amateur radio service Section 97.5(b)(2) club station (club station call sign): ___________.

   My mailing address (as shown on the ULS) is: ____________________________


   Expiration date of my Section 97.5(b)(1) operator/primary station license grant: _______________

   My class of operator license is: ____________________________

   My primary station call sign is: ____________________________ 

While serving as the Section 97.105 control operator of (club station call sign) _________:

   (a) The station apparatus will be under the Section 97.5(a) physical control of its Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license trustee with me as his/her on-site representative.

   (b) The Section 97.105 control operator duties will be performed properly by me, as enumerated on the W3BE Checklist for Domestic and Foreign Amateur Service Licensees In Places Where the U.S. FCC Is Our Regulator BE Informed No. 1.1.

   (c) The Section 97.119(a) station identification announcements (club station call sign): ______ will be instigated by me.

   (d) The station will use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications, but not to exceed 50 watts PEP on the 10 m band and all VHF bands; 70 watts on the 12 m band; 125 watts PEP on the 17 m band; 150 watts on the 33 cm band; 225 watts PEP on the 20 m band; 250 watts PEP on the 13 cm and all SHF and EHF bands; 425 watts PEP on the 425 m band; and 500 watts PEP on the 160, 80, 75 or 40 m bands;

   (e) The station will transmit only on frequency bands available to a station having a Section 97.7 control operator who has been granted an operator license of my class.

   (f) Records of (club station call sign): ______ transmissions instigated by me will be maintained by me and be made available upon request of the Section 97.5(b)(2) (club station call sign): ______ club station licensee grant trustee.

   (G) Other conditions: _________________________________________________________________________________


   (f) This Section 97.103(b) designation of Section 97.105 control operator will terminate with the expiration/cancellation/termination of the Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license grant, the Section 97.5(b)(1) operator/primary station license grant of either or both the Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license trustee and the Section 97.105 control operator designee, or upon notification of one party to the other.

Signature: _____________________________________________  date signed:


Approved: _____________________________________________  date signed:

                           Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license trustee


Q. Why is there a restriction on transmitter power?

A. It is there to preclude the necessity for a Section 97.13(c)(1) RF environmental evaluation.

Q. I am an honest person and it is not my intention to break any FCC rule. I try to follow them to the letter. It is just too hard for me to understand the station identification rule the confusing way that it is written. 

A. Apparently you are having difficulty with the wording of Section 97.119(a), which is the basic rule for amateur station over-the-air identification in places where the FCC is the regulator. Read it carefully. It could hardly be simpler:

   §97.119 Station identification.

   (a) Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions. No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station.

   Probably it is the above Go-By that has you confused. It is one generally-accepted practice devised by some ingenious hams as a way to comply with Section 97.119 while engaged in a club net assembly.

W3BE-O-GRAM Alert!

   Every signal transmitted on our amateur service bands should be coming from an easily discernable station. When your station transmits a Section 97.119(a) station identification announcement, you are informing its listeners that its signal is emanating from a FCC-authorized station. The call sign transmitted can lead a listener to the ULS where the name and address of the Section 97.103 station licensee are shown. This practice should promote more responsible usage of a valuable public resource and discourage pirates from encroaching into our radio spectrum. It is a major deterrent to would-be rule violators. It aids self-policing and discourages interference-causing transmissions and annoying mischief-making because it reveals personal identities. 

  Transmitting properly the Section 97.119(a) station identification announcement is especially critical to our uniquely unstructured radio service when it comes to creating and maintaining a culture of observing the FCC rules and using good amateur practices. It should never be compromised. It is basic to our maintaining a high level of rule compliance and promoting proper and efficient use of our allocated spectrum.

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September 6, 2016

Supersedes all prior editions