[amsat-bb] Re: OT: Universal Text Messaging and Pagers (WAS Re: Re:dream)

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Wed Jul 8 16:53:00 PDT 2009

> Ben, I agree we need a ruling on this 
> I think part 97 is vauge and vauge for a reason


The FCC is nothing but a bunch of bureaucrats trying to sell off spectrum to the highest bidder!  There are no real engineers left there, and no one there with OUR interest in mind.  It is ABSURD to go running to to the FCC to ask for a ruling!!!

> What we need is to setup a conferance call or 
> something so we can get a well written letter 
> together and get it off to someone who can 
> make a ruleing at the FCC

ABSOLUTELY NOT.  That is lunacy. Instead of laying out such kind of completely open ended paperdrill and wasted effort, spend  our time developing a system using pagers in our network.  Geeze.  We are licensed amateurs, we KNOW the rules, we KNOW what amateur radio can do, and WE KNOW what kind of benefits we can produce.  We ALSO know what is not legal when we hear it.  And using Pagers as part of the amateur radio text messaging system IS NOT ILLEGAL!

> Define a system and descuss the possablities of 
> doing call sign routing, sending the pages up 
> to a satellite ect ect.  But before "we" put a 
> lot of time and effort and money into this 
> I think we need a ruling

NO!!! HARDLY ANY TECHNOLOGY in amateur radio has ever been successfully developed that way.  All that develops is a lot of HOT AIR and useless paper.   Progress has RARELY IF EVER BEEN developed by committee.

Progress in Amateur Radio is made by inspired individuals who see a need, and go off and develop something using their own money, time and effort.  The best way to KILL any good idea is to form a committee that squashes any initiative and progress by overbearing hot air and "geeze wouldnt it be nice if we did this.... where "WE" is some other guy who can actually DO something.

> I know for a fact that our local repeater is 
> cabable of doing 2 tone paging - and was in 
> use back when I was very young and not a ham 
> - the elders of the local club say it was 
> able to send alerts for weather, pages for 
> people to get on the radio, ect. It was all 
> done with tones at the time - "our" pagers 
> are far more advanced and can display the 
> text of whatever

Using PAGING devices to communicate on amateur radio has always been legal.  If you want to make things illegal, then look at the application and how they are used.  If they are used for the benefit of all the intents and benefits of legal amateur communications, then they are legal.  If they are used for paging to violate the intents and meaning of amateur radio, then such an application is illegal.  It is the APPLICATION AND USE that is legal or illegal, it is NOT THE DEVICE!

> No one in the club can tell me why they 
> stopped using pagers -

Probably because some nit-picking obstructionist spent all his time trying to find a way to convince others that it was illegal...  And everyone else gave up in disgust.

> But at around the same time they stopped paging,
> kantronics also stopped modify pagers for 2 
> meters,


> We need to setup something and get as many 
> people as we can write up a well written 
> paper and get a ruling. 


> I think as we see here agurements can be 
> made on both sides. 

Which you can get on any topic on any subjct whenever you have more than one person in a room!

> Which is why we need a ruling.

No, which is exactly why we get a license and read the rules and take good ideas for amateur radio and move out, and do not waste time laying paper at the feet of a bunch of bureaucrats who could care less.  The motivation of most bureaucrats is simply how is the best way to get this paper off my desk, and the answer is to simply say NO rather than say YES, which could only expand to other issues...

> When rules are written this vague, some one 
> needs to decide and stand by the decision

HUh?  They make it vague so that we can move forward without being nit-picked by aremchair hams turning over rocks trying to find ways to kill progress by playing bureaucrat.


>------Original Message------
>Subject: Re: OT: Universal Text Messaging and Pagers 
> We'll agree to disagree regarding your take 
> of the rules as almost everyone else did 
> on APRSSIG. ;)
>> There is no reason to nit pick rules.  When 
>> one is broadcasting (one >> way) to the general 
>> public or using amateur radio inappropriately, I
>> think everyone can tell when something is 
>> blatanly illegal.  I just don't see the FCC 
>> cares one nit about some of these debates when 
>> any one can see that hams are taking initiative 
>> to better their use of the radio art.
> Considering that they've recently ruled on 
> whether contesters should give blanket 
> "5-by-9" signals, I'd think they'd be glad 
> to rule on something interesting and relevant.

THEY WILL RULE ON ANYTHING!  And that is the LAST thing we want or need.  There is just no reason to be running to bureaucrats with stupid questions, or you get stupid answers!

>>> You just have to ignore the curmudgeons who 
>>> have nothing better to do than nit-pick 
>>> ways to prevent other hams from developing
>>> useful applications of technology.  A pager 
>>> is simply the text-to-user device integrated 
>>> into the normal local 2-way amateur radio 
>>> communications system.

>> The issue is that, according to Part 97, 
>> it can't be used beyond QSTs, telemetry, 
>> or "necessary" emergency communications.

WHAT IS THE "IT" here?  The "IT" is "ONE WAY BROADCASTS". and that has nothing to do with the hardware.  STOP READING "IT" AS PAGERS.  They are separate entities.

ONE WAY BROADCASTS beyond the scope of amateur radio are clearly illegal. 

Making the stretch to declare all pagers to be ONE WAY BROADCASTS is just as silly (in an amateur radio communications network) as declaring that ALL TRANSMITTERS are illegal because they are also ONE WAY!!!

>>> Could I get away with setting up such a 
>>> system? Likely. Do I foot to stand
>>> on when my local OO comes knocking? 
>>> Not so much.
>> Some OO's are part of the problem, 
>> not the solution...
> Then the solution has presented itself. 
> Get a ruling from the FCC regarding the 
> use of transmissions to receive-only 
> devices such as pagers. 

Oh, this is absurd.  EVERY receiver is a receive-only device!!! and every TRANSMITTER is a transmit only device.  It is NOT THE DEVICE that determines legality, it is the APPLICATION.

> Then we can finally put this issue to rest 
> and if anyone comes knocking regarding the 
> legality of these transmissions, we can have
> something concrete to cite.

Yes, and what you will site is some bureaucratic off the wall decision made in the vacuum of engineering that exists at the FCC made in the best interest of the FCC which is to decalare most anything brought before it as illegal simply to clear their desk of these stupid "requests for opinions".

> Again, I'd love to set up something like this, 
> but I'd be hard pressed to spend a chunk of 
> money on a system that could be taken down if
> someone files a complaint to the FCC.

Pagers are being sold for scrap metal.  If someone cannot afford maybe $10 for a crystal to put in a practically free pager to get it on the air, then amateur radio is probably not a good hobby for him.

> Let's take any further discussion about this offline.


Again, nothing technical in amateur radio gets done by nit-picking rules, and forming committees, and running off to the FCC, it is individuals that see an opportunity and have the ability to move out and accomplish it.

THe worst part of amateur radio is all the nit-pickers and ankle biters that hold back progress. Sometimes they win and the guy in the lead just gives up.  SOmetimes these guys with an idea get far enough ahead of the nit-pickers and ankle biters, that the great silent majority of amateurs begin to think outside of their boxes and start to slowly get on board.  

Of course the nit-pickers and ankle biters will always be there to the end, but hopefully they are in the minority and the majority will continue to move forward.


More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list