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Cross Band Repeat - Legal Issues

  • 23 Nov 2014 6:51 PM
    Message # 3156772
    The cross-band repeater that we used for the Death Valley SAR operation allowed net control to communicate with the operators who would otherwise be out of range (at least until it stopped working). On the way home, I started thinking about the FCC regs on identification with regard to cross band repeaters. Here is some additonal information: 1. We were simplex (VHF) to simplex (UHF) 2. Net control was on UHF, everyone else was on VHF 3. We used a Yaesu FT-8800, which has cross-band repeat capability, but does not have station ID capability in voice mode. Here is an article I found on QSL.NET which discusses the legal issues with the ID requirements during simplex cross-band operations. This articles seems to indicate that we were in violation of FCC regulations for station identification. Additional information: 4. John E. set up and maintained the station (does that make him the control operator?) 5. Merecedes P., John E., and Chris D. were in net operations using the UHF side of the cross-band repeater (does that make one of them the control operator?) 6. CTCSS encode and decode was used on the UHF link. What do you think? Were we in violation of FCC regs??
    Last modified: 23 Nov 2014 6:52 PM | Russ Chung
  • 24 Nov 2014 1:01 PM
    Reply # 3157317 on 3156772
    Jim Biram (Administrator)


    I think you are referring to this article Link to CrossBand Article  in which the use of crossband repeater is used.  Another discussion is here Tips on Cross-band repeater.  It is correct that most people do not use crossband repeater correctly and there is a lot of debate on the subject all over the internet.  My take on it is that you should not use a crossband repeater where you have a radio that cannot directly receive the signal from the original sender with an HT.  The repeater that John built did have a remote control feature that would allow him to turn it off, however for this op, it was not functioning correctly and we did encounter some other issues late in the day.  And I do not recall hearing any self identification over the air.  My opinion is that we should develop a true portable repeater for ops in the future that can self identify, and can be remotely controlled, however the cost of those devices is significant, and should be an investment that we all contribute to.

  • 24 Nov 2014 5:08 PM
    Reply # 3157467 on 3156772

    I agree that we should have a true 2-meter repeater - however, Jim is correct - that can be expensive - too expensive for me, anyway.

    As to Russ's concerns about the legality of our cross-band operation, I can find nothing in Part 97 that would indicate we were illegal in any way. If anyone has information to the contrary, please let me know what section we were violating.

    As to the control operator issue, the person transmitting is the control operator of both the local and remote station. Part 97.109(c) allows a remote station (our repeater) to be controlled by a remote operator. And our operators ID'd at the end of each transmission. (Part 97.119(a)

    In the article mentioned, I could find no reference to Part 97, which contains the actual rules we follow.

  • 07 Feb 2016 1:13 PM
    Reply # 3805568 on 3156772

    OK, I now have a cross-band repeater that will ID in morse code on both sides (VHF and UHF) every 10 minutes. In addition, I can remotely control it (turn it on and off, change channels, change frequencies, change tones, etc.)

    The only issue I have with it is that it IDs every 10 minutes, regardless of whether someone is talking or not. So if net control asks for a repeat, it's probably because the repeater took you out.

    Otherwise, it works great!

  • 08 Feb 2016 7:16 AM
    Reply # 3806780 on 3156772
    Jim Biram (Administrator)

    That's good news John!  I know that Yaesu was offering some really great deals on their Fusion repeaters up to year end, but we missed that window.  But I look forward to see your setup.

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