[OZAPRS] APRS with Foundation license

Ray Wells vk2tv at exemail.com.au
Tue Oct 5 19:16:47 EST 2010


It's not as complicated as you would have us believe. It's simple, really.

There is nothing to stop the Fxxx licensee generating IP packets.

What there is, however is a prohibition on using "an amateur station 
using automatic mode or computer controlled". VoIP is not computer 
controlled, it is operator controlled, using a computer and, it is not 

The LDC goes on to list modes a Fxxx licensee is permitted use, in 
schedule 3A. Data is not included and, the ACMA considers packet and 
aprs to be data as per their mode description on every packet and aprs 
repeater licence.

I still believe that some higher authority should provide a definitive 
answer, even though I believe the LCD is quite clear.

This has the Hallmark of sponsorship versus advertising as applied to 
community radio stations. The ACMA even went as far as issuing 
guidelines, guidelines they will apply on a case by case basis, leaving 
licensees completely up in the air as to what they can or can't do.

Listen to the WIA broadcast on community radio station TankFM in 
Kempsey, 103.1FM, at 6.20am each Sunday. Also streaming to the Internet 
via a 160kb/s stream available at www.tankfm.org and follow the links.

Ray vk2tv

On 05/10/10 17:02, Cameron McKay wrote:
>  "My opinion"....
> I'd suggest "well almost". Unfortunely, I consider this is complicated 
> by the fact that an F-call is permitted to use VoIP based technologies 
> (i.e. echolink and IRLP) under their licence conditions (now this can 
> not be descirbed by the usual emission characteristics and IS 
> identified by their F-callsigns). Now, if it were only IRLP and they 
> weren't the licence holder of the IRLP repeater - things would be 
> clear, but allowing echolink where the conversation can be initiated 
> without a radio (i.e. computer generated) and yet be received 'off the 
> air' at the other end does, in my opinion, cloud the issue. To the 
> best of my understanding, there is nothing that prevents a foundation 
> licence holder from generating an IP packet, transmitting this via 
> their ISP connection to the APRS server and having it appear on the 
> APRS network (initially the IP network) - the f-call has at this point 
> not created 'any RF on the hams bands' to even 'invoke' their licence 
> conditions. The party 'gating' this to RF is licenced to operate 
> computer connected modes and therefore would not be in breach of their 
> conditions. That said, it is also my understanding the there was 
> something in the 'gating' software that  prevented F-Calls for getting 
> back out into RF land. (thought I saw it in this forum being discussed 
> a couple of months ago). All that said - I tell every F-call I know 
> (teach and assess) that they can't operate 'data modes' and that 
> includes APRS (at least until the issue is categorically resolved).
> As I started by saying - this was once clear and is now somewhat a 
> murky area.
> Regards,
> Cameron (VK2CKP)
> On 5/10/2010 2:41 PM, Paul wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> Just a thought but,
>> Anyone can connect to a public internet aprs site and can use any 
>> name they choose to identify themselves, after all the internet 
>> is public domain and sites such as aprs.fi are available for everyone 
>> in general to use, eg just look at all of the commecial shipping etc 
>> that you can see on there. So no arguments there, but .....
>> When a station uses their own personal VK amateur radio foundation 
>> licence callsign, they ARE advertising themselves as a VK amateur 
>> radio foundation station.
>> The thought here, is this, firstly a non-VK amateur seeing a VK 
>> amateur callsign will naturally assume the ststion is allowed to use 
>> aprs, and this leads to problems with the second point, as 
>> already highlighted by Richard and Ray.
>> If a number of F calls were broadcasting using their ham f call 
>> callsign by whatever method onto a website and their stations were 
>> then being gated back to RF, and if the amateur responsible for an 
>> Igate is also responsible for ensuring that an F call's callsign is 
>> not gated from the internet through to RF (keep in mind how difficult 
>> it would be to try to keep track of all the callsigns that can or can 
>> not use aprs, from every country worldwide not just VK), then 
>> following this train of thought, wouldn't the only option available, 
>> to every Igate operator world wide, be to turn all the 
>> Igates off ,           ........what would we have then?
>> Paul, vk5vhf
>>  ----- Original Message -----
>>     *From:* Steve Sharp <mailto:sharpst at gmail.com>
>>     *To:* Australian APRS Users <mailto:ozaprs at aprs.net.au>
>>     *Sent:* Monday, October 04, 2010 8:55 AM
>>     *Subject:* Re: [OZAPRS] APRS with Foundation license
>>     Seeking opinions on this scenario.
>>     Foundation licence holder installs APRS app on their Iphone -
>>     this will allow them to track, beacon and message into the APRS
>>     network.
>>     Or, they install Xastir or a similar on a PC without any radio
>>     attached.
>>     Would either of these breech the LCD's pertaining to a Foundation
>>     licence?
>>     Steve VK2POO
>>     On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 9:41 AM, Andrew Macmichael
>>     <bajdas at yahoo.com.au <mailto:bajdas at yahoo.com.au>> wrote:
>>         Hi,
>>         I am receiving different opinions to the following question
>>         and I would appreciate your opinion please.
>>         1/ Can Amateur Foundation license holders buy, install and
>>         operate APRS for position reporting ?
>>         2/ What frequencies can we, or cannot use ?
>>         I suspect Foundation licenses can use 2m APRS frequencies,
>>         but we cannot build the equipment. Thus the confusion.
>>         Thanks,
>>         Andrew Macmichael
>>         VK5FMAC
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