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[aprssig] N1547C tracker

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Thu Oct 20 18:57:29 UTC 2005

On Oct 20, 2005, at 2:37 PM, AE5PL Lists wrote:

> I agree BUT having a tracker turned on and off by a non-licensed  
> person takes that tracker out of the realm of "automatic control"  
> as it is the non-licensed person who is controlling whether that  
> tracker transmits or not.  True, once turned on the tracker can be  
> considered under automatic control and therefore placing trackers  
> in vehicles where a ham is not present is legal IF the other  
> requirement in 97.109(d) can be met _and_ if unlicensed person(s)  
> do not control whether the tracker is turned on or not.  But when a  
> person specifically turns on a tracker, then they become the  
> control operator.

I disagree completely. The FCC definition

(6) Automatic control. The use of devices and procedures for
control of a station when it is transmitting so that
compliance with the FCC Rules is achieved without the
control operator being present at a control point.

makes it clear that automatic control hinges with the decision to  
transmit, not the decision to apply power to the transmit-decision- 
making CPU. Granted, if flipping the switch resulted in immediate and  
continuous transmission, then the power-flipper is the control  
operator. However, you know trackers do not work that way. The  
decision when to key the transmitter is made by the CPU, based on  
rules programmed by both the producer of the device and by the owner  
that entered the parameters to the tracker.

Furthermore, "procedures" in the above section is not defined to  
exclude hams other than the control operator, non-amateur humans,  
moneys, or well trained gerbils. In the case of a tracker, 99.999% of  
the time you are depending on a CPU to make the decision to transmit  
correctly, but having a non-amateur backup is certainly not excluded  
from the rules.

Steve K4HG

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