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Old 04-08-2020, 09:14   #31
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Brian,
What part of my post is unclear?
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3200960

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
The ARRL has no authority to say anything. So if you receive a cease and desist letter from the ARRL, return it after using it as toilet paper.
But, since this appears confusing....how about an analogy?


Suppose your state highway patrol decided they needed more personnel in their offices to handle their own paperwork / bureaucracy? And, due to this they found they could no longer fund most of their patrol officers....and went looking for help in patrolling and enforcing traffic laws on the highway? (think FCC instead of highway patrol)

The AAA (American Automobile Association) said they could put together volunteers that will monitor traffic cams, sending emails threatening fines and jail sentences to anyone they see violating traffic laws.....and further they'll have volunteers sitting out along the highways (and driving the highways), with their own radar guns, also sending emails threatening fines and jail sentences to anyone they see violating traffic laws....
(think ARRL instead of AAA)

And, the highway patrol (with the authority of the governor's office, and under legislative statute) has given these volunteers the authority to do all of the above....and, if the volunteer sees the alleged violator committing a second violation, they report this to the highway patrol who assess a fine, etc., and under penalty of law, this alleged violator is sent their traffic ticket / summons.
(FCC establish by US Congress....FCC Commissioners appointed by President and confirmed by US Senate)


What if some of the volunteers are racist, sexist, etc?? Or, maybe they have other prejudices, such as not liking younger drivers, or older drivers? Or, maybe they don't like loud exhausts? Or maybe some are just jerks, and liars? Maybe some falsify their reports? Etc? Etc?


What would think about all of that?




Well, as I thought was made clear above in my posting / in those links there.....this "highway patrol / AAA" analogy is pretty close to what the FCC has done with the ARRL and the Volunteer Monitoring program!




Now, in my personal opinion this is/was a VERY bad idea....and one that voiced my opposition to.....but, it is what we have now...
Truly sad.



I hope this clarifies things?

Fair winds.

John


P.S. As someone who has dealt with the FCC, their monitoring engineers, and their enforcement division, over the years (and my best friends deal with them every week or two), I have respect for the career professionals there, but also shake my head at the ridiculous bureaucracy!
And, from my own observations this whole boondoggle came about because of lazy bureaucrats in the FCC that simply didn't want to bother to do their jobs, but didn't want to quit/retire (didn't want to give up their place at the public trough!)....not because they didn't have the budget, just that they simply think the job of actually monitoring and enforcing is somehow "beneath them"!

Truly sad!
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:54   #32
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

For those who question the effectiveness of HF/SSB and suggest satellite communications, HF/SSB/Pactor 4 is four times faster than current satellite systems.

HF/SSB is part of GMDSS; consumer grade satellite is not.

First person to mention Starlink or Iridium-Next gets keel hauled. Neither of those systems is operational, there is no real date for when they will be, and prices have yet to be set.
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:30   #33
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
For those who question the effectiveness of HF/SSB and suggest satellite communications, HF/SSB/Pactor 4 is four times faster than current satellite systems.
US amateurs in CONUS using PACTOR 4 via Winlink...Not(except FCC declared disasters)... had my hands slapped ( by the control station and Winlink folks) for doing it..

Commercial Sailmail..OK..
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:58   #34
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA3JY View Post
US amateurs in CONUS using PACTOR 4 via Winlink...Not(except FCC declared disasters)... had my hands slapped ( by the control station and Winlink folks) for doing it..

Commercial Sailmail..OK..
Pactor 4 is fine with Winlink when outside US waters to Winlink RMS also outside the US (including territories and remote states, not just CONUS).

Sailmail, Cruiseemail, and Brunei Radio are all okay.

Pactor 3 is also faster than satellite.
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Old 05-08-2020, 13:31   #35
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

I find SSB or HAM nets to be very helpful. Just completed our second season in the Sea of Cortez. The morning Sonrisa and Amigo nets are a wealth of information, especially with all the Covid-19 restrictions AND a great way to make cruising friends and keep in touch. There are also nightly Chubasco updates.

What I do find frustrating with HAM and Winlink.org's data communications, is their interpretation of commercial communications. Although the FCC allows ordering a pizza, the Winlink moderators disallow ANY and ALL communications with a commercial business. Inquiring about slip availability or checking up on a spare-parts order/delivery etc., ARE PROHIBITED. Their reasoning is they don't want to run afoul of the FCC, so they prohibit ALL commercial traffic. Any message referencing $$$, credit-card,... will be blocked and you run the risk of their suspending your Winlink account. This also applies to receiving messages i.e., cc your winlink email .

Regarding the communication with your brother who's an attorney -- I would argue the general communications (e.g., hi, how are you, trip updates,...) are allowed. If you begin discussing legal matters, you will be in violation of Winlink.org's terms and conditions. For that, you'll need Sailmail or move into Satphone, Iridium Go!.

You can often find used ICOM M802's for $1,000; 702's often for less. I saw a SEA radio posted the other day for $250(?) -- perfectly fine radio for SSB/HAM voice and data communications. Pactor modems are harder to find; occasionally these pop-up for between $250-$700. Add in $200+/- for cables. For around $1,000 - $1,500 +/- you could have a perfectly fine SSB/HAM w/Pactor modem setup.

Personally, I find the SSB/HAM radio onboard to be invaluable. I use it daily for participating in the local nets, downloading weather information, email to friends and family. We often find ourselves providing weather updates to other cruisers. I wouldn't leave home with out the radio.

Don (KJ6QWQ)
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Old 05-08-2020, 14:22   #36
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

What model SEA?
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Old 05-08-2020, 14:51   #37
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

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What model SEA?
It was a SEA 235 for $225 , https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...le-237779.html unfortunately, it sold
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Old 05-08-2020, 14:54   #38
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Don,
Two quick things...

1) I'm not a Winlink user, so I'll defer to you (and others) about what Winlink is saying...
But, as for FCC is concerned, I do have personal knowledge of....

In addition to commercial use of the Amateur Radio Service been illegal (always has been), it is also how/why that specific communications is being done via amateur radio versus how/why it is not being done via another communications service?
Meaning, you're on a boat, you have access to the Maritime Mobile Service (which hams do not, nor do any land-lubbers, etc.), and the Maritime Mobile Service (and other radio / communications services) are there for you to use...
So, in addition to the commercial use of ham radio being a no-no, specific commercial use of ham radio by those on boats that have the legal access to another radio service (the Maritime Mobile Service), is a really big no-no!!

Kinda' like speeding 5 - 6 mph over the posted speed limit is a no-no (but, typically ignored by highway patrol)...and speeding 25 to 30mph over the limit is a big no-no, and will get you a big fine and in many jurisdictions will get you hand-cuffed and hauled "downtown"...

I understand Chuck's frustration, and will back him up and plead his case....as, I think in his case there is no reason for the ARRL weasel to get involved....Chuck was using what communications he had available to protect safety-of-live-at-sea (and certainly if he used Pactor-IV, this would/should be waived as well, in the case of accessing storm weather info), and he shouldn't have a problem here..

BUT...

But, to be clear, for those sitting at anchor somewhere that just want to check their email, reserve a marina slip, order a boat part, etc. etc....there are radio communications services available to you to do that (like the Maritime Mobile Service)...


And, as I am a long-time ham and maritime user, I suggest you get used to the cold shoulder from the mainstream ham community, including me...

Use Sailmail, Cruisemail, mailasail, etc....or INMARSAT (or Iridium)....as this is not only the polite, ethical, and legal thing to do...but also just makes your life easier!!!
(fyi, most find Sailmail to be far superior than Winlink....and, I'm not talking about data speeds, but reliability and signal strengths, too...)

Please just don't use ham radio / Winlink for those things....it's not right, not ethical, and not legal...never has been legal, and I doubt it ever will be...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
What I do find frustrating with HAM and Winlink.org's data communications, is their interpretation of commercial communications. Although the FCC allows ordering a pizza, the Winlink moderators disallow ANY and ALL communications with a commercial business. Inquiring about slip availability or checking up on a spare-parts order/delivery etc., ARE PROHIBITED. Their reasoning is they don't want to run afoul of the FCC, so they prohibit ALL commercial traffic. Any message referencing $$$, credit-card,... will be blocked and you run the risk of their suspending your Winlink account. This also applies to receiving messages i.e., cc your winlink email .


You can often find used ICOM M802's for $1,000; 702's often for less. I saw a SEA radio posted the other day for $250(?) -- perfectly fine radio for SSB/HAM voice and data communications. Pactor modems are harder to find; occasionally these pop-up for between $250-$700. Add in $200+/- for cables. For around $1,000 - $1,500 +/- you could have a perfectly fine SSB/HAM w/Pactor modem setup.

Personally, I find the SSB/HAM radio onboard to be invaluable. I use it daily for participating in the local nets, downloading weather information, email to friends and family. We often find ourselves providing weather updates to other cruisers. I wouldn't leave home with out the radio.

Don (KJ6QWQ)
2) As for used marine radios....

Just last week here on Cruiser's Forum someone advertised a M-802 for $700!

And, a couple weeks ago, another M-802 here on Cruiser's Forum went for $1000!

And, last month I saw an older M-710 go for $400 (on ebay, I think...)

As for a SEA for $250....hmm, didn't see that....but, I'd be weary of an older Sea or SGC, as parts are mostly made from un-obtainium....and service is either non-existent or wickedly expensive...


73,

John


P.S. In case it's been a while since you've read them...please have a look at the wide difference in reasons / purposes of these two Services....maybe it will help explain why the FCC (and myself, along with most hams) feel the way we do?



Amateur Radio Service (under US and Int'l Law):

Quote:
97.1 Basis and purpose.-
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.


Maritime Mobile Service (again under US and Int'l Law):

Quote:
The Maritime Mobile Service is an internationally-allocated radio service providing for safety of life and property at sea and on inland waterways. It includes the Maritime Mobile Service, the Maritime Mobile-Satellite Service, the Port Operations Service, the Ship Movement Service, the Maritime Fixed Service, and the Maritime Radiodetermination Service. These services classify the different types of marine radio communications. Together, shipboard and land stations in the marine services are meant to serve the needs of the entire maritime community.
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Old 05-08-2020, 15:36   #39
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

John,
Thanks for the reply -- I do understand the commercial use -- after all, we are privileged to use the amateur bands and need to stay within the acceptable use. Following the FCC's ordering a pizza as acceptable use, I do believe checking on slip availability or the status of parts delivery is within the domain of amateur radio. I also agree that ordering parts or paying for the slip falls outside the acceptable use.

Regarding
Quote:
Amateur Radio Service (under US and Int'l Law):

Quote:
97.1 Basis and purpose.-
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.
How is any weather download acceptable under these conditions. Furthermore, how is the typical chit-chat on HAM bands acceptable? I'm almost starting to believe I can't use the Pactor modem to download weather; though I could talk to "Big Bob" to design an antenna or tune my rig.....

In a similar situation as Chuck, with the Covid-19 problem, many of us in the Sea of Cortez were somewhat stranded without a destination port. Although we could travel towards a destination, any "recreational" sailing was prohibited. The "rules" changed daily. I made the mistake, feeling these are extraordinary circumstances and safety related, to try to find an open port/marina using email on the Winlink.org network. Almost had my account suspended. Didn't matter if this was safety related, etc., --- it was violation of their terms and conditions. A bit harsh, I thought, but not my rules and I'll do my best to stay compliant.

The Winlink.org folks take this very seriously and will err on the side of any/all commercial use. I've taken this to limit ALL our transmissions to only downloading weather information (gribs, fax,....) and emails to friends and family. Since this is our only long-range comms, I can't afford my account being suspended. In the future, I may consider an sat-phone, Iridium Go! or SailMail as a backup. Fortunately, for the most part we are within week +/- of good cell-phone coverage throughout the sea, so usually, ordering a part is not an issue.

Regarding Chuck's issue -- here we don't agree. Accessing a paid service is prohibited - period. Following your argument that the backup via Maritime Mobile Service is allowed, Chuck should have requested voice weather information via the SSB. I do think that AARL folks had no business policing this, though.

Don
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Old 05-08-2020, 16:03   #40
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
I do understand the commercial use -- after all, we are privileged to use the amateur bands and need to stay within the acceptable use. Following the FCC's ordering a pizza as acceptable use, I do believe checking on slip availability or the status of parts delivery is within the domain of amateur radio.
Yep..done it (Slip availability)with out repercussions using Winlink ..
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Old 05-08-2020, 17:05   #41
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

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Yep..done it (Slip availability)with out repercussions using Winlink ..
I agree with you, though not any more -- I got nailed last season for checking slip availability -- per winlink.org's terms and conditions, https://winlink.org/terms_conditions

Quote:
Prohibited Message Content

AS PART OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS YOU AGREE TO REFRAIN FROM CONDUCTING PERSONAL OR COMMERCIAL BUSINESS OF ANY KIND VIA A WINLINK MESSAGE. SUCH CONDUCT IS PROHIBITED AND WILL RESULT IN YOUR ACCESS TO THE WINLINK SYSTEM BEING REVOKED.

Examples of such prohibited message content include, but are not limited to: personal business conduct such as ordering any type of supplies or parts, arranging for slips, dockage and repair services, restaurant reservations, personal medical or business appointments, rental cars, airline tickets, or lodging, conducting commercial business, banking or investment negotiations and transactions, or messages supporting business arrangements of any kind, including receipt of subscribed or regularly sent digital information or automated message feeds including messages from paid weather tracking services, etc.
I get that winlink.org needs to err on the side of caution. It is their network, after all,

Don
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Old 06-08-2020, 00:15   #42
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
It is their network, after all,

Don

That statement is incorrect.



Winlink operations are governed by the rules (Part 97) for Amateur radio operations. They can not add to or subtract from these rules.



The FCC is tasked with making rules to govern communications for the U.S. that are consistent with the Constitution and international treaties. Any actions resulting from these rules are subject to judicial review.



we6p
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Old 06-08-2020, 03:31   #43
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
I agree with you, though not any more -- I got nailed last season for checking slip availability -- per winlink.org's terms and conditions, https://winlink.org/terms_conditions



I get that winlink.org needs to err on the side of caution. It is their network, after all,

Don
When one is out of cell phone and vhf range ..and one is looking for a Ďport in a stormí..Iím going to use what ever means possible...
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Old 07-08-2020, 05:53   #44
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
No, all that says is that amateur radio is for AMATEUR use. You cannot use it for any sort of business transactions, which is what your subscription with Chris is. Every licensed ham should know this already.
Exactly what constitutes commercial use is a subject of ongoing debate. Before there was pactor, and before there were cell phones, the question was usually framed as "can you use a mobile phone patch to order pizza?"

Historically there were a good number of "utility" uses of amateur radio for family communications in remote areas, military families stationed in remote areas, and so on. These have declined and the ARRL leadership is now highly focused on emcomm and contests.

The ongoing attempts to discourage marine communications on amateur HF bands is a deliberate effort to keep the bands open for contesting.

The FCC regulations are clear that you cannot use amateur radio in furtherance of your business. But you can contact Chris Parker and you can order parts for your boat, and otherwise deal with safety and operational matters, as long as you are not doing so for profit. It doesn't matter whether some of the entities on the other end are businesses, at least as far as the FCC and the courts are concerned.

The ARRL interprets things differently, but they don't have enforcement authority.


As for Winlink, well, their volunteers can decide whether to carry your traffic or not.
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:00   #45
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Re: Long Range Cruising-Ham License Renew?

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The ARRL interprets things differently, but they don't have enforcement authority.

As for Winlink, well, their volunteers can decide whether to carry your traffic or not.
It's worth noting that Winlink has their own pressures, including a vocal community of hams that hate them. True hate. I don't think the Winlink organization is dealing with that well but it is their prerogative to establish their own rules that implement their interpretation of FCC and other regulatory mandates.
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