W3BE'S BE Informed!
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. 3.4

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Read The Rules – Heed The Rules

John B. Johnston W3BE

It is central to the very legitimacy of our amateur service that we – including you - know and understand the rules for our amateur station’s operation especially when it is a constituent of one of our ad hoc amateur service communication systems. Our systems are not regulated as such; they are predicated upon – and rely upon - every Section 97.103 station licensee and every Section 97.105 control operator in each system making certain that there is rule compliance. 

   There can be no passing the buck on to our amateur service community organizers and our system designers. They are responsible only to us. We are the persons who passed the examinations proving that we possess the operational and technical qualification required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service licensee. We are the persons who are regulated by the federal government.     

   Section 97.103(a) says: The station licensee is responsible for the proper operation of the station in accordance with the FCC Rules. When the control operator is a different amateur operator than the station licensee, both persons are equally responsible for proper operation of the station. Section 97.105(a), moreover, says: (a) The control operator must ensure the immediate proper operation of the station, regardless of the type of control. There just is no way to deflect the blame for there being a wayward system. 

Q. So, why should we even bother with rules?

A. Here’s the core argument: Our hobby has long enjoyed an enviable reputation of being a legitimate, relatively untroubled, lightly regulated, radio service - wherein we can be counted on to participate in the rulemaking process and to comply with those rules.  That has been one key to obtaining the vast privileges that we enjoy today.

   You may know something of what others are doing that is not in compliance. We are to rely upon our volunteer monitors to better achieve compliance. Give them your full support and appreciation. 

    This next argument is, however, of growing concern: The immense value of the spectrum has caught the full attention of our federal, state, and local governments.

   Our valuable spectrum has also caught the notice of entrepreneurs. Our hobby is facing its greatest challenge since television arrived in the late 1940s. The hams of that very contentious era had to resolve the TVI monster or else. The public feared ham radio was a threat to their newly-found television viewing pleasures. Our families and neighbors even favored TV over ham radio. If so many of those early telecasters had not been hams themselves, we probably wouldn’t be here today.

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July 15, 2012

Supersedes all prior editions