W3BE'S BE Informed!
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BE Informed No. 6.4

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Radio Club

Repeater Station

John B. Johnston W3BE

Q. When a club's station license trustee becomes a silent key, a new trustee needs to be appointed and the license modified accordingly. Does the repeater have to go off the air until the license grant is modified to show the new trustee?

A. Yes. There should never be a station transmitting on our amateur service frequency bands for which no one is taking responsibility. The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS. No one should reasonably expect a dead person to have under physical control amateur station apparatus, or anything else for that matter. For the repeater to remain on the air compliantly, another station licensee would have to take on the Section 97.103 station licensee responsibilities until such time as the club is granted a modified license showing a new trustee.

Q. Can’t this be done by the club's leadership simply designating someone in writing as the trustee until they get the license modified to show the new trustee?

A. No. But the club could make available physical control of its Section 97.205 repeater station apparatus to another person named in a Section 97.5(b)(1) operator/primary station license grant shown on the ULS. The repeater could then resume transmitting. The call sign transmitted in the Section 97.119 station identification announcements would have to be that assigned to that person’s Section 97.5(b)(1) primary station.

Q. Although I have been involved with operating a repeater for more than 30 years, I never gave a thought to our club station repeater trustee dying. I now understand that for our repeater to be legal should our trustee die, someone's call sign would have to replace the club call sign until the FCC modifies the license to reflect the new trustee?

A. Yes, as long as your someone is willing and able to take on the Section 97.103 station licensee responsibilities. If your Section 97.205 repeater station is one that the hams rely upon regularly such that even its temporary loss would disrupt their activities, you should have a backup plan at the ready in case of a sudden need. Having agreed-upon arrangements in place for continuity during the station licensee transition process is an issue that might be on your Section 97.3(a)(22) frequency coordinator’s checklist.

Q. The elderly trustee of our radio club is having some serious health issues. He is, however, unwilling to give up his trusteeship. The club is concerned that when he becomes a SK, the FCC will cancel the club station license. This is of particular concern because our club's repeater stations operate under our club station license. How can the club prepare for the inevitable transition? 

A. Your club should select a different Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license trustee. The appropriate officer of the club then certifies on the application form for a modified club station license the name of the person who is the new trustee selected by the club. 

Q. Our club station license trustee has moved away. The person we want for our next trustee holds an Amateur Extra Class. He is agreeable to taking on the job, but he is already the license trustee for another club that also has a vanity call sign. Does Section 97.19(a) mean that if we designate him as our club station licensee, we will have to give up our vanity call sign?

A. Yes. He is a person already named in one Section 97.5(b)(2) club station license grant that shows a call sign that was selected by a trustee (him). As such, he is no longer eligible for an additional Section 97.3(a)(11)(ii) vanity call sign. Your club will have to either forgo its vanity call sign for one from the Section 97.3(a)(11)(i) sequential system, or designate as your next club Section 97.5(b)(2) station license trustee another amateur operator who is eligible for your vanity call sign. So, your candidate would have to relinquish his other club station license trusteeship before applying for your club station license.

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April 3, 2017

Supersedes all prior editions