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Responsibility of Repeater User vs. Repeater Owner


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#1 gutfinski

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 01:30 PM

Originally, when UHF-FM on what we now call GMRS came under Class A Citizens Band, users were licensed to a specific frequency within the 450-470 MHz band. Repeaters were also licensed to a specific frequency pair and at a specific location. Now a GMRS license allows any number of repeaters and radios to an individual licensee and covers everyone in his immediate family. If you have a repeater or repeaters, you can theoretically allow any number of other licensed GMRS users to use it/them. The FCC requires one to get the repeater owner's permission to use his repeater. My understanding is that the user of the repeater must give his own call sign. But that user is actually transmitting on his own radio at possibly only as little as 2 watts on the repeater input frequency (467.---). The repeater picks up that signal and retransmits it at possibly 50 watts on (462,---) from an elevated position. So a listener, including an FCC monitoring station, is actually picking up the repeater output transmission. Now let us assume that the repeater output is somewhat off frequency or giving spurious (illegal) emissions. Who is the FCC going to go after? The walkie-talkie user who has given his call sign or the repeater owner who has not? The repeater owner does not always have an automatic call sign identifer because it is not necessarily required on GMRS. Therefore, the person using the repeater must give his. I think the FCC has been understanding with most GMRS users up to now as long as they are properly licensed. Just wondering if anyone would care to weigh in on this issue.

#2 quarterwave

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 03:30 PM

Same as FB4 in part 90. (Community Repeater) each individual or business had their own license and the owner had one that included the repeater. 

 

If you are going through someone else's repeater, it is your responsibility to operate your equipment according to the rules. If there is a technical problem with the repeater equipment itself it would be determined by the person monitoring it. Once you monitor several different users through the repeater it is fairly easy to discern where the issue is. 

 

It is always the user's responsibility to give call sign. The repeater operator usually doesn't chose to let the repeater ID itself (like with a controller) unless he is the only user. 


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#3 Hans

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 09:01 PM

Now let us assume that the repeater output is somewhat off frequency or giving spurious (illegal) emissions. Who is the FCC going to go after? The walkie-talkie user who has given his call sign or the repeater owner who has not? The repeater owner does not always have an automatic call sign identifer because it is not necessarily required on GMRS. Therefore, the person using the repeater must give his. I think the FCC has been understanding with most GMRS users up to now as long as they are properly licensed. Just wondering if anyone would care to weigh in on this issue.

 

Logically, the FCC would be talking to the repeater owner in the end. The repeater is the transmitter. That hypothetical transmitter is the offending equipment. I would imagine that (if the FCC ever investigated it... lol) they would contact the user through the callsign given on air. The user would then respond that they were on xxx repeater. Then, the FCC would contact the repeater owner.



#4 Elkhunter521

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 05:34 PM

Only question remains. Is the transmitter hypothetical or is the FCC? Hmmmmmmmm, well, somebody took my $70 ddollars for the license Sooooooooo?!?.
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Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#5 Hans

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 03:43 AM

Only question remains. Is the transmitter hypothetical or is the FCC? Hmmmmmmmm, well, somebody took my $70 ddollars for the license Sooooooooo?!?.

 

Well, the a transmitter is more tangible than Negan the FCC... But the latter has Lucille NALs, so there's that. :D


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#6 WRAF213

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 12:51 AM

The repeater MUST identify unless it is only being used by a single licensee: the owner of the repeater and their immediate family. If a repeater is not identifying but carrying traffic from multiple authorized licensees, the repeater owner is at fault. If the GMRS licensees using the repeater did not obtain permission, they are at fault. If the transmissions from the repeater are not compliant, the repeater owner is at fault. If the violations are being committed by the repeater's users (for example, swearing or jamming), the offending users are at fault and the repeater's owner is not. If unauthorized repeater use is occurring and the repeater owner is aware, the repeater owner is obliged to take steps to prevent the unauthorized users from accessing the system.



#7 Hans

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 01:56 AM

The repeater MUST identify unless it is only being used by a single licensee: the owner of the repeater and their immediate family. If a repeater is not identifying but carrying traffic from multiple authorized licensees, the repeater owner is at fault. If the GMRS licensees using the repeater did not obtain permission, they are at fault. If the transmissions from the repeater are not compliant, the repeater owner is at fault. If the violations are being committed by the repeater's users (for example, swearing or jamming), the offending users are at fault and the repeater's owner is not. If unauthorized repeater use is occurring and the repeater owner is aware, the repeater owner is obliged to take steps to prevent the unauthorized users from accessing the system.

 

That is a debated topic. I would genuinely appreciate being enlightened. Do you have some relevant Part 95 sections or statements from the FCC about repeaters identifying?



#8 Hans

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 02:04 AM

This is what I found: (emphasis added)

 

http://www.law.corne...text/47/95.1751

 

 

§ 95.1751 GMRS station identification.

Each GMRS station must be identified by transmission of its FCC-assigned call sign at the end of transmissions and at periodic intervals during transmissions except as provided in paragraph © of this section. A unit number may be included after the call sign in the identification.

( a ) The GMRS station call sign must be transmitted:

( 1 ) Following a single transmission or a series of transmissions; and,

( 2 ) After 15 minutes and at least once every 15 minutes thereafter during a series of transmissions lasting more than 15 minutes.

( 3 )The call sign must be transmitted using voice in the English language or international Morse code telegraphy using an audible tone.

( c ) Any GMRS repeater station is not required to transmit station identification if:

( 1 ) It retransmits only communications from GMRS stations operating under authority of the individual license under which it operates; and,

( 2 ) The GMRS stations whose communications are retransmitted are properly identified in accordance with this section.

 

I think that I get where you are coming from; a user doesn't identify and then the repeater has transmitted without an ID. I think that's a finer point and would like to see how many times the FCC has historically taken a repeater owner to task about it. I think the short solution is that all users must agree to follow FCC regulations. If they don't then they are unauthorized users of the repeater and the owner is a damaged party instead of a violator.


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#9 Jones

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:56 AM

I have always interpreted that as:

 

If you are running a private repeater, and you ID yourself, then your machine does not need an IDer.

 

If you are running an open repeater shared with other users, then your repeater needs to ID itself. Otherwise, your guest users would be required to ID as: "This is WQXE920 utilizing the WQYM541 Repeater".

 

That's my take on this... other opinions and translations may vary.


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#10 berkinet

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 11:28 AM

If you are running a private repeater, and [...] If you are running an open repeater 

While the net effect may be as you state, in fact, I do not believe there is any Part-95 language that differentiates open from closed repeaters., There are just repeaters. Now, the repeater owner is responsible for making sure the repeater operates in compliance with the rules, so... if there is any doubt the users of the repeater will identify themselves as dictated in Part-95 , then, the owner would need to take stems to have the repeater identify itself at appropriate intervals.

 

However, as long as the repeater users identify themselves properly, I do not believe there is any legal requirement for the repeater to identify itself, or for the users to provide identification of, or for, the repeater.


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#11 WRAF213

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 02:00 PM

There are two rules that establish closed and mandatory-private repeaters, respectively:

  • 95.1705(d)(2): "[The repeater owner] may ... limit the use of its GMRS repeater to specific persons"
  • 95.1751(c )(1): "[A repeater that does not self-identify] retransmits only communications from GMRS stations operating under authority of the individual license under which it operates"

95.1705(d)(2) allows repeater owners to require permission for repeater use, and seek enforcement against those who do not obtain permission. 95.1751©(1) creates mandatory private repeater use in that particular hardware arrangement. In the latter case, anyone using the repeater that is not the licensee is automatically in violation of the rules. It also means that if a repeater does not identify itself, users of the repeater cannot transmit the repeater's identification (a repeater is considered a station per Part 95 rules, and all stations, not licensees, must identify themselves; the repeater must produce its own identification). If so, the transmission on the repeater input containing identification for a license that is not the transmitting station's license would be non-compliant.



#12 berkinet

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 02:22 PM

There are two rules that establish closed and mandatory-private repeaters, respectively:

  • 95.1705(d)(2): "[The repeater owner] may ... limit the use of its GMRS repeater to specific persons"
  • 95.1751(c )(1): "[A repeater that does not self-identify] retransmits only communications from GMRS stations operating under authority of the individual license under which it operates"

I think you are reading things into the rules that are neither written nor implied. 95.1705(d)(2) & (3) do not, per-se, establish open and closed​ repeaters. They just say an operator may limit access to a repeater.  Similarly, 95.1751©(1) uses the phrase under authority of.... That is not the same as saying only those that have been specifically allowed.  If my repeater is open to all GMRS users, they transmissions through the repeater still operate under the authority of my license.  As I noted previously, the decision to have a repeater ID or not is really up to the repeater operator since they are the one(s) who will have to answer to the FCC for any violations.

 

As you stated above, That's my take on this... other opinions and translations may vary.   :) 


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#13 quarterwave

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 03:42 PM

The repeater MUST identify unless it is only being used by a single licensee: the owner of the repeater and their immediate family. If a repeater is not identifying but carrying traffic from multiple authorized licensees, the repeater owner is at fault. If the GMRS licensees using the repeater did not obtain permission, they are at fault. If the transmissions from the repeater are not compliant, the repeater owner is at fault. If the violations are being committed by the repeater's users (for example, swearing or jamming), the offending users are at fault and the repeater's owner is not. If unauthorized repeater use is occurring and the repeater owner is aware, the repeater owner is obliged to take steps to prevent the unauthorized users from accessing the system.

 

"If a repeater is not identifying but carrying traffic from multiple authorized licensees, the repeater owner is at fault." 

 

Not true, the users must each individually identify, but the repeater does not need to, or it indicates the traffic is from the owner, and not the authorized licensees. 


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#14 WRAF213

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 02:44 PM

"If a repeater is not identifying but carrying traffic from multiple authorized licensees, the repeater owner is at fault." 

 

Not true, the users must each individually identify, but the repeater does not need to, or it indicates the traffic is from the owner, and not the authorized licensees. 

 

The repeater needs to identify if the callsign of any of the users isn't the same as the repeater owner's (i.e. the user is not operating under the repeater owner's license). It's explicitly stated under 95.1751(c​)(1), and per 95.1705(d)(3) it's the responsibility of the repeater owner to limit use of a non-identifying repeater to only those operating under the repeater owner's callsign.



#15 berkinet

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 04:02 PM

The repeater needs to identify if the callsign of any of the users isn't the same as the repeater owner's (i.e. the user is not operating under the repeater owner's license). It's explicitly stated under...it's the responsibility of the repeater owner to limit use of a non-identifying repeater to only those operating under the repeater owner's callsign..

The actual wording is “...under the authority of...”, not, “...using the call sign of...” If you give people permission either explicitly, or implicitly by allowing them to use your repeater, then they are operating under your authority. In which case, sub-paragraph (2) applies...

(2) The GMRS stations whose communications are retransmitted are properly identified in accordance with this section.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#16 n4gix

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 06:49 PM

What is the point in trying to parse out the meaning. It's a trivial matter to program the repeater to either voice or code ID automatically. Mine does, but with no tone so it won't annoy users who's radios are using tone control.

#17 Hans

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 08:24 PM

What is the point in trying to parse out the meaning. It's a trivial matter to program the repeater to either voice or code ID automatically. Mine does, but with no tone so it won't annoy users who's radios are using tone control.

 

Our repeater doesn't have any way to automatically ID. Some of my friends' repeaters are the same way.


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#18 WRAF213

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:20 AM

The actual wording is “...under the authority of...”, not, “...using the call sign of...” If you give people permission either explicitly, or implicitly by allowing them to use your repeater, then they are operating under your authority. In which case, sub-paragraph (2) applies...

(2) The GMRS stations whose communications are retransmitted are properly identified in accordance with this section.

 

95.1705(c​) lays out the rules for who has authority to operate a licensee's GMRS station. You can't just pick someone else with a license to operate your station (read: your non-identifying repeater) unless cooperative use per 95.1705(f) is implemented; per 95.1705(c​)(1) and (2), the only people with authority to operate their GMRS station are the licensee and their family, and the only exceptions are cooperative use and emergency transmissions. Repeaters operate under the authority of an individual license in 99.9% of cases, and that individual license does not extend to other GMRS licensees that are not otherwise eligible for operating under the repeater owner's license.

 

The purpose of allowing non-identifying repeaters is to allow the licensee and family members of the licensee to communicate through a simple repeater. Portable repeaters may not include a controller, but rather tie two otherwise compliant and capable Part 95 certified GMRS radios together directly by linking audio and control lines together. This reduces the technical complexity of the repeater, but it is now a station incapable of identifying itself. A rule to disallow other licensees from operating on that repeater would satisfy the rules regulating who has authority to operate a licensee's GMRS station: only the licensee and their immediate family. If other GMRS licensees are using that repeater, they would unlawfully be using the repeater owner's station unless there is a cooperative use agreement in place; their individual license does not permit the use of another licensee's station.



#19 Hans

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 03:48 AM

It looks to me like there is a strong case in the wording to the effect that a repeater doesn't have to ID if BOTH of the two conditions apply, (1) all stations using the repeater are under the same individual license (which would be evidenced by all under the same call sign) AND (2) they all ID as required. As much as I wish it didn't appear that way to me, before this thread I thought the opposite, it seems to be that way IMHO. It also seems that if there are any stations operating under any other license on the repeater, i.e. any other call signs, then the repeater must identify. :(

 

I'm seriously considering not listing our repeater when it goes on the air in our new area since it doesn't identify. We might eventually buy an ID-O-Matic IV or something but we like that it is kinda stealthy until we need it. I'll have to check to see if it can be set to stop identifying after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. (Edited: Yep, the ID-O-Matic can be set to do that. I thought it did but couldn't remember at the time.)



#20 mainehazmt

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 04:02 PM

Personally I wouldn’t worry about it. My station doesn’t id. And a famous west coast repeater is still on the air with no action against the owner of the repeater. K6MWT 147.4350 MHz Los Angeles Renegade Repeater.. https://www.broadcas.../feed/14747/web If you’ve never listened to it before. Enjoy an education esp during commute time...
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