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[aprssig] Another Bootlegger?

K7FTP k7ftp at k7ftp.net
Tue Jan 6 22:33:53 UTC 2009


There has been a ton of discussion on this, and all sorts of suggestions ranging from attempts to block it in the network to directly confronting the driver or interfering with his gear.    

First - has anyone laid eyes on the vehicle?  Do we know what trucking COMPANY it is?  

Second - it seems that there are more than one ETI unit?  If so, has anyone laid eyes on the second (third, etc.)?

It sounds great to go straight to the FCC, and if that is the goal then visual confirmation (if possible, photos along with a photo of a GPS showing that you are right next to their position and an APRS log showing their position report) would go a long way to getting them to work on it.  

However, is going straight to the FCC the best way to handle this?  Tattling to the teacher can sometimes be effective, but sometimes it backfires.  I had the chance to talk with Riley Hollingsworth a few years back, and he felt that hams could solve a lot of issues themselves without involving the FCC.  Sometimes, we also need to take a step back and take another look at the situation - is it really worth the hassle? 

Granted this appears that it might be a commercial endeavor trying to use amateur frequencies.  That IS a violation.  But consider this....  

What about talking to the COMPANY after we have confirmation of what is going on?  Not confronting the driver, but a verified communication with the company?  They do bear significant financial risk if the FCC does take action.  

I'd be willing to bet that the honchos at the company don't even know what's up.  I wouldn't put it past some honcho to tell their IT folks "Find us a cheap way to track our vehicles".  Someone doing a search on vehicle tracking would surely have found APRS information.  They would realize that they could buy a radio, GPS, and TNC (or something like a TinyTrack, etc.) and do it for free after the cost of the initial equipment.  It would be very easy to ignore the fact that an FCC Amateur Radio Operators License is required.    

Free is a very good price, and would impress their superiors.  So they go and do it, get praises from their superiors (or at least don't get chastised over the price), and no one really knows what's up except for the guy that set it up, and he may not really understand (or care).   

Going to the FCC with clear proof will give them what they will need to go on, and they do have vans that can track things down at the local level.  But perhaps contact with an executive at the company - using a simply advisory tone - letting them know that it seems that an employee using company property is engaged in an activity that could expose them to liability - would be more effective and would keep the FCC from hearing yet another complaint from those "hams".  

Just a thought.  


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Andrew Rich 
To: jdv at iglou.com ; TAPR APRS Mailing List 
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 2:27 PM
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Another Bootlegger?


Can you just go and find him
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: John Vause 
  To: TAPR APRS Mailing List 
  Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 1:54 AM
  Subject: Re: [aprssig] Another Bootlegger?


  Ok, here's a suggestion from a "no code tech":
  How about the Igate sysops (in the area where ETI-1 is transmitting RF if nowhere else) put ETI-* in their exclude lists (or suplists) depending on IGATE software/hardware. Block his packets from being
  transmitted to the Internet.
  If the bootlegger's packets don't make it to the APRS IS  then what good is his tracking hardware?
  If this guy IS legal then he'll soon be asking why his tactical call is not making it to the APRS IS.

  Beats some of the other suggestions I've read here including injecting bogus positions into the APRS IS.


  Daron Wilson wrote: 
Whatever happened to the good old days, when you just pinned their coax and
    smoked their finals?

Those folks sold their CB's and got no code tech licenses I think...



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