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BE Informed No. 10.3

●▬ ▬     ●●●▬ ▬     ▬●●●    ●

A New Era

For Amateur Radio

John B. Johnston W3BE

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 a set of rules with less than 4,887 words of text.

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

A. Hopefully so. Follows is a preliminary rough draft of a barebones set of rules that does this. It cuts a lot of historic baggage. It encourages the practice of good spectrum management and amateur service community self-regulation.

 For Q/A on this matter, read New Era Q/A Be Informed No. 10.4.

●▬ ▬     ●●●▬ ▬     ▬●●●    ●

Subpart A—General

§97.1   Where the FCC regulates

§97.3   Station manager required.

§97.5   Operator required.

§97.9   Stations aboard ships or aircraft.

§97.11   Station location.

§97.13   Antenna structures.

Subpart B—Station Standards

§97.101   General.

§97.115   Third party messages.

§97.117   International communications.

§97.119   Station identification announcements.

§97.121   Minimizing interference.

Subpart C—Special Operations

§97.201   Automatic control.

§97.203   Beacon.

§97.205   Repeater.

§97.207   Space station.

§97.209   Earth station.

§97.211   Space telecommand station.

§97.213   Remote control.

§97.217   Telemetry.

§97.219   Message forwarding system.

§97.221   Automatically controlled digital station.

Subpart D—Technical Standards

§97.301   Frequency bands.

§97.303   Sharing.

§97.305   Emission types.

§97.307   Emission standards.

§97.309   RTTY and data emission codes.

§97.311   SS emissions.

§97.313   Transmitter power.

Subpart E—Providing Emergency Communications

§97.401   Alaska emergency.

§97.403   Safety of life and protection of property.

§97.405   Station in distress.

§97.407   Radio amateur civil emergency service.

Subpart A—General

§97.1   Where the FCC regulates.

In ITU Region 2, the amateur service is regulated by the FCC 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 amateur service is regulated by the FCC within the Pacific Insular territorial limits of American Samoa (seven islands), Baker Island, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Island (more than 50 islets) and Wake Island (Islets Peale, Wake and Wilkes).

§97.3   Station manager required.

(a) Each station must have a station manager wherever it is transmitting on any amateur service frequency from any place that is:

(1) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and at a place where the FCC regulates;

(2) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and aboard any vessel or craft that is documented or registered in the United States; or

(3) More than 50 km above the Earth's surface aboard any craft that is documented or registered in the United States.

(b) The station apparatus must be under the supervision of the station manager.

(c) The station manager is accountable for the station being in accordance with good engineering practice.

(d) The person must not be the subject of a cease and desist order that relates to the amateur services and which is still in effect, or be the subject of a cease and desist order that relates to the amateur services and which is still in effect.

(d) The station manager must designate the operator only after determining that the person is capable of, and will presumable, perform the operator duties properly.

(e) The station manager is assumed to also be the operator unless there is documentation proving otherwise.

§97.5   Operator required.

(a) The operator must be designated by the station manager.

(b) The operator must be capable of causing or allowing the station to transmit properly.

(c) The operator is accountable for all transmissions from the station being in accordance with these rules and good spectrum management practice.

(d) No person may accept designation as the operator only after determining that all of the responsibilities of the station manager codified herein have been performed properly.

§97.7   Stations aboard ships or aircraft.

(a) The installation of and transmission from a station on a ship or aircraft must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft.

(b) The station must be separate from and independent of all other radio apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft, except a common antenna may be shared with a voluntary ship radio installation. The station's transmissions must not cause interference to any other apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft.

(c) The station must not constitute a hazard to the safety of life or property. For a station aboard an aircraft, the apparatus shall not be operated while the aircraft is operating under Instrument Flight Rules, as defined by the FAA, unless the station has been found to comply with all applicable FAA Rules.

§97.9   Station location.

(a) Before placing a station on land of environmental importance or that is significant in American history, architecture or culture, the station manager may be required to take certain actions prescribed by §§1.1305-1.1319.

(b) A station within 1600 m (1 mile) of an FCC monitoring facility must protect that facility from harmful interference. Failure to do so could result in imposition of operating restrictions upon the station pursuant to §97.121. Geographical coordinates of the facilities that require protection are listed in §0.121(c).

 (c) Before causing or allowing a station to transmit from any place where the operation of the station could cause human exposure to RF electromagnetic field levels in excess of those allowed under §1.1310 of this chapter, certain actions must have taken place. The station manager shall ensure compliance with the FCC's radio frequency exposure requirements in §§ 1.1307(b), 2.1091 and 2.1093, where applicable. In lieu of evaluation with the general population/uncontrolled exposure limits, the station manager may evaluate their operation with respect to members of his or her immediate household using the occupational/controlled exposure limits in § 1.1310, provided appropriate training and information has been supplied to the operator and to members of the station manager’s household. Other nearby persons who are not members of the station manager’s household must be evaluated with respect to the general population/uncontrolled exposure limits.  Appropriate methodologies and guidance for evaluating amateur radio service operation is described in the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) Bulletin 65, Supplement B.

§97.11   Antenna structures.

(a) Owners of certain antenna structures more than 60.96 meters (200 feet) above ground level at the site or located near or at a public use airport must notify the FAA and register with the FCC as required by Part 17.

(b) Except as otherwise provided herein, a station antenna structure may be erected at heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur service communications.

(c) State and local regulation of a station antenna structure must not preclude amateur service communications. Rather, it must reasonably accommodate such communications and must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the state or local authority's legitimate purpose.

Subpart B—Station Standards

§97.101   General.

(a) No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station.

(d) No operator shall willfully or maliciously cause or allow any transmission from the station to interfere with any radio communication or signal.

§97.115   Third party messages.

(a) A station may transmit messages for a third party to:

(1) Any station within the jurisdiction of the United States.

(2) Any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government when transmitting emergency or disaster relief communications and any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has made arrangements with the United States to allow stations to be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties. No station shall transmit messages for a third party to any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has not made such an arrangement. This prohibition does not apply to a message for any third party who is eligible to be the operator.

(d) At the end of an exchange of international third party communications, the station must also transmit in the station identification procedure the call sign of the station with which a third party message was exchanged.

§97.117   International communications.

Transmissions to a different country, where permitted, shall be limited to communications incidental to the purposes of the amateur service and to remarks of a personal character.

§97.119   Station identification announcements.

(a) No station, except a space station or telecommand station, may transmit unidentified communications or signals. The station must announce its 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 identity of the station manager known to those receiving the transmissions.

(b) The call sign transmitted in the station identification announcement must be in accord with Section 2.302 (amateur stations).

(c) The station identification announcement procedure is not required for transmissions directed only to a model craft provided the transmitter power does not exceed 1 W.

§97.121   Minimizing interference.

Such steps as may be necessary to minimize interference to stations operating in other services may be required after investigation directed by the FCC.

Subpart C—Special Operations

§97.201   Automatic control.

(a) A station may be automatically controlled provided full compliance with these rules is achieved without the operator being present at the control point.

§97.203   Beacon.

(a) Before establishing an automatically controlled beacon in the National Radio Quiet Zone or before changing the transmitting frequency, transmitter power, antenna height or directivity, written notification thereof must be presented to the Interference Office, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 2, Green Bank, WV 24944.

(1) The notification must include the geographical coordinates of the antenna, antenna ground elevation above mean sea level, antenna center of radiation above ground level, antenna directivity, proposed frequency, type of emission, and transmitter power.

(2) If an objection to the proposed operation is received by the FCC from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, Pocahontas County, WV, for itself or on behalf of the Naval Research Laboratory at Sugar Grove, Pendleton County, WV, within 20 days from the date of notification, the FCC will consider all aspects of the problem and take whatever action is deemed appropriate.

(f) A beacon must cease transmissions upon notification by a Regional Director that the station is operating improperly or causing undue interference to other operations. The beacon may not resume transmitting without prior approval of the Regional Director.

§97.205   Repeater.

(a) Neither the station manager or the operator of a repeater that retransmits inadvertently violative communications are accountable for the violative communications.

(b) Except for a repeater that only transmit on the 1.2 cm or shorter wavelength bands, before establishing a repeater within 16 km (10 miles) of the Arecibo Observatory or before changing the transmitting frequency, transmitter power, antenna height or directivity of an existing repeater, written notification thereof must be given to the Interference Office, Arecibo Observatory, HC3 Box 53995, Arecibo, Puerto Rico 00612, in writing or electronically, of the technical parameters of the proposal. e-mail to: prcz@naic.edu.

(1) The notification shall state the geographical coordinates of the antenna (NAD-83 datum), antenna height above mean sea level, antenna center of radiation above ground level, antenna directivity and gain, proposed frequency and FCC Rule, type of emission, effective radiated power, and whether the proposed use is itinerant.

(2) If an objection to the proposed operation is received by the FCC from the Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, within 20 days from the date of notification, the FCC will consider all aspects of the problem and take whatever action is deemed appropriate. The station manager will be required to make reasonable efforts in order to resolve or mitigate any potential interference problem with the Arecibo Observatory.

§97.207   Space station.

(b) The space station manager must be capable of effecting a cessation of transmissions by telecommand whenever such cessation is ordered by the FCC.

(c) The following frequency bands and segments are authorized to space stations:

(1) The 17 m, 15 m, 12 m, and 10 m bands, 6 mm, 4 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm bands; and

(2) The 7.0-7.1 MHz, 14.00-14.25 MHz, 144-146 MHz, 435-438 MHz, 2400-2450 MHz, 3.40-3.41 GHz, 5.83-5.85 GHz, 10.45-10.50 GHz, and 24.00-24.05 GHz segments.

(d) A space station may automatically retransmit the radio signals of Earth stations and other space stations.

(e) A space station may transmit one-way communications.

(f) Space telemetry transmissions may consist of specially coded messages intended to facilitate communications or related to the function of the spacecraft.

(g) These written notifications must be presented to the International Bureau, FCC, Washington, DC 20554:

(1) A pre-space notification within 30 days after the date of launch vehicle determination, but no later than 90 days before integration of the space station into the launch vehicle. The notification must be in accordance with the provisions of Articles 9 and 11 of the Radio Regulations and must specify the information required by Appendix 4 and Resolution No. 642 of the Radio Regulations. The notification must also include a description of the design and operational strategies that the space station will use to mitigate orbital debris, including the following information:

(i) A statement that the space station manager has assessed and limited the amount of debris released in a planned manner during normal operations, and has assessed and limited the probability of the space station becoming a source of debris by collisions with small debris or meteoroids that could cause loss of control and prevent post-mission disposal;

(ii) A statement that the space station manager has assessed and limited the probability of accidental explosions during and after completion of mission operations. This statement must include a demonstration that debris generation will not result from the conversion of energy sources on board the spacecraft into energy that fragments the spacecraft. Energy sources include chemical, pressure, and kinetic energy. This demonstration should address whether stored energy will be removed at the spacecraft's end of life, by depleting residual fuel and leaving all fuel line valves open, venting any pressurized system, leaving all batteries in a permanent discharge state, and removing any remaining source of stored energy, or through other equivalent procedures specifically disclosed in the application;

(iii) A statement that the space station manager has assessed and limited the probability of the space station becoming a source of debris by collisions with large debris or other operational space stations. Where a space station will be launched into a low-Earth orbit that is identical, or very similar, to an orbit used by other space stations, the statement must include an analysis of the potential risk of collision and a description of what measures the space station operator plans to take to avoid in-orbit collisions. If the space station manager is relying on coordination with another system, the statement must indicate what steps have been taken to contact, and ascertain the likelihood of successful coordination of physical operations with, the other system. The statement must disclose the accuracy—if any—with which orbital parameters of non-geostationary satellite orbit space stations will be maintained, including apogee, perigee, inclination, and the right ascension of the ascending node(s). In the event that a system is not able to maintain orbital tolerances, i.e., it lacks a propulsion system for orbital maintenance, that fact should be included in the debris mitigation disclosure. Such systems must also indicate the anticipated evolution over time of the orbit of the proposed satellite or satellites. Where a space station requests the assignment of a geostationary-Earth orbit location, it must assess whether there are any known satellites located at, or reasonably expected to be located at, the requested orbital location, or assigned in the vicinity of that location, such that the station keeping volumes of the respective satellites might overlap. If so, the statement must include a statement as to the identities of those parties and the measures that will be taken to prevent collisions;

(iv) A statement detailing the post-mission disposal plans for the space station at end of life, including the quantity of fuel—if any—that will be reserved for post-mission disposal maneuvers. For geostationary-Earth orbit space stations, the statement must disclose the altitude selected for a post-mission disposal orbit and the calculations that are used in deriving the disposal altitude. The statement must also include a casualty risk assessment if planned post-mission disposal involves atmospheric re-entry of the space station. In general, an assessment should include an estimate as to whether portions of the spacecraft will survive re-entry and reach the surface of the Earth, as well as an estimate of the resulting probability of human casualty.

(v) If any material item described in this notification changes before launch, a replacement pre-space notification shall be filed with the International Bureau no later than 90 days before integration of the space station into the launch vehicle.

(2) An in-space station notification is required no later than 7 days following initiation of space station transmissions. This notification must update the information contained in the pre-space notification.

(3) A post-space station notification is required no later than 3 months after termination of the space station transmissions. When termination of transmissions is ordered by the FCC, the notification is required no later than 24 hours after termination of transmissions.

§97.209   Earth station.

(b) The following frequency bands and segments are authorized to Earth stations:

(1) The 17 m, 15 m, 12 m, and 10 m bands, 6 mm, 4 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm bands; and

(2) The 7.0-7.1 MHz, 14.00-14.25 MHz, 144-146 MHz, 435-438 MHz, 1260-1270 MHz and 2400-2450 MHz, 3.40-3.41 GHz, 5.65-5.67 GHz, 10.45-10.50 GHz and 24.00-24.05 GHz segments.

§97.211   Space telecommand station.

(b) A telecommand station may transmit special codes intended to obscure the meaning of telecommand messages to the station in space operation.

(c) The following frequency bands and segments are authorized to telecommand stations:

(1) The 17 m, 15 m, 12 m and 10 m bands, 6 mm, 4 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm bands; and

(2) The 7.0-7.1 MHz, 14.00-14.25 MHz, 144-146 MHz, 435-438 MHz, 1260-1270 MHz and 2400-2450 MHz, 3.40-3.41 GHz, 5.65-5.67 GHz, 10.45-10.50 GHz and 24.00-24.05 GHz segments.

§97.213   Remote control.

A station on or within 50 km of the Earth's surface may be remotely controlled where:

(a) There is a radio or wireline control link between the control point and the station sufficient for the operator to perform his/her duties. A control link using a fiber optic cable or another telecommunication service is considered wireline.

(b) Provisions are incorporated to limit transmission by the station to a period of no more than 3 minutes in the event of malfunction in the control link.

(c) The station is protected against making, willfully or negligently, unauthorized transmissions.

(d) A label bearing the name, address, and telephone number of the station manager and at least one operator is posted in a conspicuous place at the station location.

§97.217   Telemetry.

Telemetry transmitted by a station on or within 50 km of the Earth's surface is not considered to be codes or ciphers intended to obscure the meaning of communications.

§97.219   Message forwarding system.

(b) For stations participating in a message forwarding system, the operator of the station originating a message is primarily accountable for any violation of these rules contained in the message.

(c) Except as noted in (d) of this section, for stations participating in a message forwarding system, the operators of forwarding stations that retransmit inadvertently communications that violate these rules are not accountable for the violative communications. They are, however, responsible for discontinuing such communications once they become aware of their presence.

(d) For stations participating in a message forwarding system, the operator of the first forwarding station must:

(1) Authenticate the identity of the station from which it accepts communications on behalf of the system; or

(2) Accept accountability for any violation of these rules contained in messages it retransmits to the system.

Subpart D—Technical Standards

§97.301   Authorized frequency bands.

The following transmitting frequency bands are available to a station located within 50 km of the Earth's surface, within the specified ITU Region, and outside any area where the amateur service is regulated by any authority other than the FCC.

Wavelength band

ITU region 1

ITU region 2

ITU region 3

MF (300-3000 kHz)

kHz

kHz

kHz

160 m

1810-1850

1800-2000

1800-2000

HF (3-30 MHz)

MHz

MHz

MHz

80 m

3.500-3.600

3.500-3.600

3.500-3.600

75 m

3.600-3.800

3.600-4.000

3.600-3.900

60 m

 

See §97.303(h)

 

40 m

7.000-7.200

7.000-7.300

7.000-7.200

30 m

10.100-10.150

10.100-10.150

10.100-10.150

20 m

14.000-14.350

14.000-14.350

14.000-14.350

17 m

18.068-18.168

18.068-18.168

18.068-18.168

15 m

21.000-21.450

21.000-21.450

21.000-21.450

12 m

24.890-24.990

24.890-24.990

24.890-24.990

10 m

28.000-29.700

28.000-29.700

28.000-29.700

 

VHF (30-300 MHz)

 

 

 

6 m

 

50-54

50-54

2 m

144-146

144-148

144-148

1.25 m

 

219-220

 

Do

 

222-225

 

UHF (300-3000 MHz)

 

 

 

70 cm

430-440

420-450

430-440

33 cm

 

902-928

 

23 cm

1240-1300

1240-1300

1240-1300

13 cm

2300-2310

2300-2310

2300-2310

Do

2390-2450

2390-2450

2390-2450

SHF (3-30 GHz)

GHz

GHz

GHz

9 cm

 

3.3-3.5

3.3-3.5

5 cm

5.650-5.850

5.650-5.925

5.650-5.850

3 cm

10.0-10.5

10.0-10.5

10.0-10.5

1.2 cm

24.00-24.25

24.00-24.25

24.00-24.25

EHF (30-300 GHz)

 

 

 

6 mm

47.0-47.2

47.0-47.2

47.0-47.2

4 mm

76-81

76-81

76-81

2.5 mm

122.25-123.00

122.25-123.00

122.25-123.00

2 mm

134-141

134-141

134-141

1 mm

241-250

241-250

241-250

   

Above 275

Above 275

Above 275

 

§97.303   Frequency sharing requirements.

Each frequency band allocated to the amateur service is designated as either a secondary service or a primary service. A station in a secondary service must not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from, stations in a primary service. Sections 2.104, 2.105, and 2.106 contain the frequency sharing requirements that pertain to the Amateur Radio Services.

(a) 60 m: (1) In the 5330.5-5406.4 kHz band, stations may transmit only on the five center frequencies specified below. Stations transmitting phone, data, and RTTY emissions may utilize the carrier frequency 1.5 kHz below the center frequency as specified in the table below. For CW emissions (emission designator 150HA1A), the carrier frequency is set to the center frequency. The transmitted signal must not occupy more than 2.8 kHz centered on each of these center frequencies.

60 M Band Frequencies (kHz)

Carrier

Center

5330.5

5332.0

5346.5

5348.0

5357.0

5358.5

5371.5

5373.0

5403.5

5405.0

(b) Stations transmitting on the 60 m band must not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from, stations authorized by the United States (NTIA and FCC) and other nations in the fixed service; and other nations in the mobile except aeronautical mobile service.

§97.307   Emission standards.

(a) No transmission shall occupy more bandwidth than necessary for the information rate and emission type being transmitted.

(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 manager of the interfering station is required to take steps to eliminate the interference.

(d) In the 60 m band:

(a) A station may transmit only phone, RTTY, data, and CW emissions using the emission designators and any additional restrictions that are specified in the table below (narrower necessary bandwidth is permitted):

60 M Band Emission Requirements

Emission type

Emission designator

Restricted to:

Phone

2K80J3E

Upper sideband transmissions (USB).

Data

2K80J2D

USB (for example, PACTOR-III).

RTTY

60H0J2B

USB (for example, PSK31).

CW

150HA1A

Morse telegraphy by means of on-off keying.

(b) When transmitting the phone, RTTY, and data emissions, the suppressed carrier frequency may be set as specified in §97.303(h).

(c) The operator of a station transmitting data or RTTY emissions must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid causing harmful interference to United States Government stations.

§97.309   RTTY and data emission codes.

(a) A station may transmit a RTTY or data emission using any digital code for which the Amateur Volunteer Maintenance Monitors have announced publically they can decode such as to verify that the message content is appropriate amateur service communications.

§97.311   SS emission types.

(a) SS emission transmissions by a station are authorized only for communications between points within areas where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC and between an area where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC and a station in another country that permits such communications. SS emission transmissions must not be used for the purpose of obscuring the meaning of any communication.

(b) A station transmitting SS emissions must not cause harmful interference to stations employing other authorized emissions, and must accept all interference caused by stations employing other authorized emissions.

(c) When deemed necessary by a Regional Director to assure compliance with this part, a station manager must:

(1) Cease SS emission transmissions;

(2) Restrict SS emission transmissions to the extent instructed; and

(3) Maintain a record, convertible to the original information (voice, text, image, etc.) of all spread spectrum communications transmitted.

§97.313   Transmitter power standards.

(a) Each station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.

(b) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 1.5 kW PEP.

(c) No station may transmit with a transmitter power output exceeding 200 W PEP on the:

(1) 10.10-10.15 MHz segment; or

(2) 7.050-7.075 MHz segment when the station is within ITU Regions 1 or 3.

 (f) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the UHF 70 cm band from an area specified in paragraph (a) of footnote US270 in §2.106, unless expressly authorized by the FCC after mutual agreement, on a case-by-case basis, between the Regional Director of the applicable field facility and the military area frequency coordinator at the applicable military base. An Earth station or telecommand station, however, may transmit on the 435-438 MHz segment with a maximum of 611 W effective radiated power (1 kW equivalent isotropically radiated power) without the authorization otherwise required. The transmitting antenna elevation angle between the lower half-power (−3 dB relative to the peak or antenna bore sight) point and the horizon must always be greater than 10°.

(g) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the 33 cm band from within 241 km of the boundaries of the White Sands Missile Range. Its boundaries are those portions of Texas and New Mexico bounded on the south by latitude 31°41′ North, on the east by longitude 104°11′ West, on the north by latitude 34°30′ North, and on the west by longitude 107°30′ West.

(h) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the 219-220 MHz segment of the 1.25 m band.

(i) No station may transmit with an effective radiated power (ERP) exceeding 100 W PEP on the 60 m band. For the purpose of computing ERP, the transmitter PEP will be multiplied by the antenna gain relative to a half-wave dipole antenna. A half-wave dipole antenna will be presumed to have a gain of 1 (0 dBd). Station manager using other antennas must maintain in their station records either the antenna manufacturer's data on the antenna gain or calculations of the antenna gain.

(j) No station may transmit with a transmitter output exceeding 10 W PEP when the station is transmitting a SS emission type.

Subpart E—Providing Emergency Communications

§97.401   Alaska emergency.

A station in, or within 92.6 km (50 nautical miles) of, Alaska may transmit emissions J3E and R3E on the channel at 5.1675 MHz (assigned frequency 5.1689 MHz) for emergency communications and for tests and training drills necessary to ensure the establishment, operation, and maintenance of emergency communication systems. The channel must be shared with stations licensed in the Alaska-Private Fixed Service. The transmitter power must not exceed 150 W PEP.

§97.403   Safety of life and protection of property.

No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property.

§97.405   Station in distress.

(a) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station in distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its condition and location, and obtain assistance.

(b) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a) of this section, of any means of radio-communications at its disposal to assist a station in distress.

§97.407   Radio amateur civil emergency service.

(a) No station may transmit in RACES unless it is certified by a civil defense organization as registered with that organization. No person may be the operator of a station transmitting in RACES unless that person is certified by a civil defense organization as enrolled in that organization.

(b) The frequency bands and segments and emissions authorized are available to stations transmitting communications in RACES on a shared basis with the amateur radio services. In the event of an emergency which necessitates invoking the President's War Emergency Powers under the provisions of section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 606, stations participating in RACES may only transmit on the frequency segments authorized pursuant to Part 214.

(c) A station registered with a civil defense organization may only communicate with the following stations upon authorization of the responsible civil defense official for the organization with which the station is registered:

(1) A station registered with the same or another civil defense organization; and

(2) A station in a service regulated by the FCC whenever such communication is authorized by the FCC.

(d) All communications transmitted in RACES must be specifically authorized by the civil defense organization for the area served. Only civil defense communications of the following types may be transmitted:

(1) Messages concerning impending or actual conditions jeopardizing the public safety, or affecting the national defense or security during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies;

(2) Messages directly concerning the immediate safety of life of individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human suffering and need, and the combating of armed attack or sabotage;

(3) Messages directly concerning the accumulation and dissemination of public information or instructions to the civilian population essential to the activities of the civil defense organization or other authorized governmental or relief agencies; and

(4) Communications for RACES training drills and tests necessary to ensure the establishment and maintenance of orderly and efficient operation of the RACES as ordered by the responsible civil defense organization served. Such drills and tests may not exceed a total time of 1 hour per week. With the approval of the chief officer for emergency planning in the applicable State, Commonwealth, District or territory, however, such tests and drills may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours no more than twice in any calendar year.

Appendix - Definitions.

(a) The definitions of terms used herein:

(1) Amateur. A duly authorized person interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

(2) Amateur radio services. The amateur service and the amateur-satellite service.

(3) Amateur service. A radio-communication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs and other operators.

(4) Amateur station. A station consisting of the apparatus necessary for carrying on radio-communications on amateur service spectrum.

(5) Automatic control. Whereby compliance with the FCC Rules is achieved without the operator being at the control point.

(6) Bandwidth. The width of a frequency band outside of which the mean power of the transmitted signal is attenuated at least 26 dB below the mean power of the transmitted signal within the band.

(7) Beacon. An station transmitting communications for the purposes of observation of propagation and reception or other related experimental activities.

(8) Control point. The location at which the operator function is performed.

(9) Earth station. An station located on, or within 50 km of, the Earth's surface intended for communications with space stations or with other Earth stations by means of one or more other objects in space.

(10) FAA. Federal Aviation Administration.

(11) FCC. Federal Communications Commission.

(12) Harmful interference. Interference which endangers the functioning of a radio-navigation service or of other safety services or seriously degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts a radiocommunication service operating in accordance with the Radio Regulations.

(13) International Morse code. A dot-dash code as defined in ITU-T Recommendation F.1 (March, 1998), Division B, I. Morse code.

(14) ITU. International Telecommunication Union.

(15) Line A. Begins at Aberdeen, WA, running by great circle arc to the intersection of 48° N, 120° W, thence along parallel 48° N, to the intersection of 95° W, thence by great circle arc through the southernmost point of Duluth, MN, thence by great circle arc to 45° N, 85° W, thence southward along meridian 85° W, to its intersection with parallel 41° N, thence along parallel 41° N, to its intersection with meridian 82° W, thence by great circle arc through the southernmost point of Bangor, ME, thence by great circle arc through the southernmost point of Searsport, ME, at which point it terminates.

(16) Local control. Whereby the operator directly manipulates the station apparatus to achieve compliance with these rules.

(17) Message forwarding system. A group of stations participating in a voluntary, cooperative, interactive arrangement where communications are sent from the operator of an originating station to one or more destination stations by one or more forwarding stations.

(18) National Radio Quiet Zone. The area in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia Bounded by 39°15′ N on the north, 78°30′ W on the east, 37°30′ N on the south and 80°30′ W on the west.

(19) Operator. The person designated by the station manager to cause of allow the station to transmit.

(20) Radio Regulations. The ITU Radio Regulations.

(21) RACES (radio amateur civil emergency service). A radio service using stations for civil defense communications during periods of local, regional or national civil emergencies.

(22) Remote control. Whereby the operator indirectly manipulates the station apparatus to achieve compliance with these rules.

(23) Repeater. A station that simultaneously retransmits the transmission of another station on a different channel or channels.

(24) Space station. A station transmitting on any amateur service frequency from any place that is more than 50 km above the Earth's surface from aboard any craft that is documented or registered in the United States.

(25) Space telemetry. A one-way transmission from a space station of measurements made from the measuring instruments in a spacecraft, including those relating to the functioning of the spacecraft.

(26) Spurious emission. An emission, or frequencies outside the necessary bandwidth of a transmission, the level of which may be reduced without affecting the information being transmitted.

(27) Spectrum management. Making efficient use of the radio spectrum for social benefit.

(28) Station. One or more transmitters or receivers or a combination of transmitters and receivers, including the accessory equipment, necessary at one location for carrying on amateur radio services communication.

(28) Station manager. The person supervising the station apparatus.

(30) Telecommand station. A station that transmits communications to initiate, modify or terminate functions of a space station.

(31) Telemetry. A one-way transmission of measurements at a distance from the measuring instrument.

(b) The definitions of technical symbols used in herein are:

(1) Hz. Hertz.

(2) m. Meters.

(3) PEP (peak envelope power). The average power supplied to the antenna transmission line by a transmitter during one RF cycle at the crest of the modulation envelope taken under normal operating conditions.

(4) RF. Radio frequency.

(5) W. Watts.

(c) These terms are used in herein to indicate emission types. (Refer to §2.201 of the FCC Rules, Emission, modulation and transmission characteristics, for information on emission type designators.)

(1) CW. International Morse code telegraphy emissions having designators with A, C, H, J or R as the first symbol; 1 as the second symbol; A or B as the third symbol; and emissions J2A and J2B.

(2) Data. Telemetry, telecommand and computer communications emissions having (i) designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol, 1 as the second symbol, and D as the third symbol; (ii) emission J2D; and (iii) emissions A1C, F1C, F2C, J2C, and J3C having an occupied bandwidth of 500 Hz or less when transmitted on amateur service spectrum below 30 MHz.

(3) Image. Facsimile and television emissions having designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol; 1, 2 or 3 as the second symbol; C or F as the third symbol; and emissions having B as the first symbol; 7, 8 or 9 as the second symbol; W as the third symbol.

(4) MCW. Tone-modulated international Morse code telegraphy emissions having designators with A, C, D, F, G, H or R as the first symbol; 2 as the second symbol; A or B as the third symbol.

(5) Phone. Speech and other sound emissions having designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol; 1, 2, 3 or X as the second symbol; E as the third symbol. Also speech emissions having B or F as the first symbol; 7, 8 or 9 as the second symbol; E as the third symbol. MCW for the purpose of performing the station identification procedure, or for providing telegraphy practice interspersed with speech. Incidental tones for the purpose of selective calling or alerting or to control the level of a demodulated signal may also be considered phone.

(6) Pulse. Emissions having designators with K, L, M, P, Q, V or W as the first symbol; 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 or X as the second symbol; A, B, C, D, E, F, N, W or X as the third symbol.

(7) RTTY. Narrow-band direct-printing telegraphy emissions having designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol; 1 as the second symbol; B as the third symbol; and emission J2B. Only a digital code of a type specifically authorized herein may be transmitted.

(8) SS. Spread spectrum emissions using bandwidth-expansion modulation emissions having designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol; X as the second symbol; X as the third symbol.

(9) Test. Emissions containing no information having the designators with N as the third symbol. Test does not include pulse emissions with no information or modulation unless pulse emissions are also authorized in the frequency band.

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February 1, 2017

Supersedes all prior editions