Question about submitting an Amateur Radio Complaint with F.C.C.

spdfile1

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So my local ham radio community has a UHF repeater that has become very popular for all the good reasons and is used in a positive fashion. About 8 months to a year ago I started getting a signal from another repeater but it was usually to noisy to make out what was being said. I quickly found out other people were hearing it to and it was coming in almost full scale & full quieting to more hams than just me. Turns out it's a repeater about 70-75 miles to the south of me and supposedly very high up and on the same frequency but using a different PL tone. The problem is not only that when there signal is strong it makes our repeater sound like two people are transmitting at the same time when it's keyed up but there also very vulgar most of the time. Also not using call signs, etc, etc. Now it seems like the F.C.C. complaint form (FCC Complaints) is pretty much geared towards people who are causing malicious interference on repeaters. These guys aren't directly causing interference to our repeater (even though I'm sure it's not coordinated and to powerful and too close to ours) but we can hear them on there's most times well enough to hear the filth. Does anyone think it would be worth my time to complain and send recordings based on the filth and vulgarity or would the F.C.C. only care if they were directly causing interference to us?
 

W9BU

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I would not start with the FCC.

Is your local repeater coordinated with Florida Amateur Spectrum Management Association (formerly known as Florida Repeater Council)? Is the other repeater coordinated? Are both repeaters operating within the bounds of their coordinations (output power, antenna gain, system loss, antenna height, PL tone, etc.)? If the answers to all of these questions are "yes", then I suggest you contact FASMA, explain the interference situation, and ask them for their suggestions as to how to mitigate it.

The FCC's position on amateur radio interference issues is that the repeater that is uncoordinated or not operating within their coordination is responsible for mitigating the interference. That's why you need FASMA involved as they are the coordinator. If you go to the FCC first, they will contact the coordinator to see what's going on. So, you might as well contact the coordinator first.

BTW, FASMA is transitioning to using RF propagation modelling techniques in coordinating repeaters. The old way of coordinating repeaters was based solely on distance without regard to what the RF actually does. FASMA may be able to show you the models for your repeater and the other repeater based on their coordinated parameters. If the models show overlap, then one of you will need to be recoordinated. If the models don't show overlap, then it's possible that one of the repeaters is not operating as coordinated. Again, that's why you need the coordinator involved.
 

MTS2000des

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The problem is not only that when there signal is strong it makes our repeater sound like two people are transmitting at the same time when it's keyed up but there also very vulgar most of the time. Also not using call signs, etc, etc.
Wouldn't happen to be this repeater, would it be?

As far as the issues with part 97 compliance, I would encourage you and anyone to submit a complaint to the FCC if one feels there is merit, and provide substantial documentation such as audio recordings. If it is that repeater, I've heard the lids over their Broadcastify feed and observed myself profanity, no IDs, cat calls, and discussion of things that is way over the line. including one user who discussed having sex with another one's daughter. After two hours, I turned it off and have never listened again. That was last year.
 

spdfile1

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Wouldn't happen to be this repeater, would it be?

As far as the issues with part 97 compliance, I would encourage you and anyone to submit a complaint to the FCC if one feels there is merit, and provide substantial documentation such as audio recordings. If it is that repeater, I've heard the lids over their Broadcastify feed and observed myself profanity, no IDs, cat calls, and discussion of things that is way over the line. including one user who discussed having sex with another one's daughter. After two hours, I turned it off and have never listened again. That was last year.
Yes that’s the one.
 

spdfile1

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I’ll email FASMA and see what they say first. I believe I contacted them about a year ago about a different topic and never heard back. But we’ll try again. Thanks guys.
 

pebblebacon

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You piqued my interest, and I started listening. Pretty lively conversation. A couple of folks interrupted politely, they chatted briefly, all gave their call signs and locations and were very cordial then back to the topics at hand.

This is a lot more fun than the HAMS I hear locally who talk about their radios and their new microphones and the weather.
 

spdfile1

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You piqued my interest, and I started listening. Pretty lively conversation. A couple of folks interrupted politely, they chatted briefly, all gave their call signs and locations and were very cordial then back to the topics at hand.

This is a lot more fun than the HAMS I hear locally who talk about their radios and their new microphones and the weather.
For the record I will say they do have appropriate conversations and do abide by the ham radio code at times. But the times they don't are ridiculous and then there's the fact that they cause indirect interference to our machine 70 miles to the north. I just e-mailed FASMA so we'll see if they get back to me.
 

MTS2000des

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You piqued my interest, and I started listening. Pretty lively conversation. A couple of folks interrupted politely, they chatted briefly, all gave their call signs and locations and were very cordial then back to the topics at hand.

This is a lot more fun than the HAMS I hear locally who talk about their radios and their new microphones and the weather.
Maybe they've cleaned up their act. When this system first went online last year, I monitored it (via Broadcastify as I am well outside it's coverage area) for a couple of days. It sounded like 435 more often than not. The line was drawn when I heard a QSO where one user was stating he was going to visit another one's home and have sex with his daughter while the parent watched. There is nothing lively and appropriate about that. Lots of music rebroadcasting, unidentified transmissions with sound effects, malicious interference when users were trying to talk, not a positive representation of ham radio.

I did hear several exchanges where users never gave call signs at all. Lots of F-bombs, almost to the point of a bad HBO film, and one was engaged in a QSO with the trustee, so it's not like the trustee was unaware of the activity.

Sure, nothing's more useless than another "Hi Hi OM" convo on ham radio, but constant F-bombs, talking about explicit sex acts, and not identifying is just CB radio lid nonsense. While we need more stimulating conversations to get younger people interested, Howard Stern style stuff isn't what the amateur radio service is for. This ain't the way forward to preserve amateur radio spectrum.
For the record I will say they do have appropriate conversations and do abide by the ham radio code at times. But the times they don't are ridiculous and then there's the fact that they cause indirect interference to our machine 70 miles to the north. I just e-mailed FASMA so we'll see if they get back to me.
The FCC has typically ruled that a coordinated system has precedence over an uncoordinated one, when it comes to interference complaints involving repeater stations. I am sure this will be the outcome if the repeater coordinating body gets involved.
 

mikewazowski

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Googling the repeater's callsign will show a result for the trustee's webpage and by the looks of it, he believes in freedom of speech even over the airwaves.
 

spdfile1

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Googling the repeater's callsign will show a result for the trustee's webpage and by the looks of it, he believes in freedom of speech even over the airwaves.
My buddy just sent me a link to the repeater trustee's web page and yup it makes sense now. This fight should be interesting!!!!!
 

wowologist

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Ya, thats not "harmful interference" ( so the &97.205 rules don't apply to your station, their actions and speech are a different animal) and they use a different PL, so THEY have already taken the needed steps. I would suggest upping the PEP (if increasing HAG isn't avail) on your box. Walk softly and carry a big stick, in this case...carry an aluminum baseball bat (bigger stick).

Highly doubtful any enforcement action would be taken, it would be a waste of resources unless that other system impacted the operation of a commercial or PS broadcasting entity. Which is doubtful as yet...the system remains on the air.
 

zapman987

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Kinda surprised this sort of feed is allowed on broadcastify.

Reading the website, seems the owner does advise to ID, but yes does support first amendment rights of speech strongly. So I think hes off the hook for one violation, but still on for the other.
 

wowologist

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Kinda surprised this sort of feed is allowed on broadcastify.

Reading the website, seems the owner does advise to ID, but yes does support first amendment rights of speech strongly. So I think hes off the hook for one violation, but still on for the other.
Well, yes and no. When you get your "ticket" you freely agree to have your rights "curtailed" (you waive) by being of good conduct, morality and abide by the rules. So if these people are "stupid" enough to ID then carry on in such a manner...ya their ticket is in jeopardy...however, if they do not ID or are not licensed they have not waived their rights AND have a case for using the repeater (albeit private property, which would make it the trustees/owners right to cure, not the USofA) as an available soapbox to stand on while they are exercising their rights....big ball o' catch-22 that the FCC does not want to go down.
 

KE0GXN

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So, I have been listening to the feed of this repeater off and on and wow..yes at times the conversations on it can be quite vulgar and crazy, however at other times folks are having normal rule abiding QSOs. Weird to say the least, unlike the LA repeater where a rule abiding QSO never occurs.

Listened to a round table last night, where everyone was cordial to one another, but f-bombs among other vulgarities were dropped with impunity. After reading the trustee's blog, I doubt he cares either way and good luck with the FCC doing anything about. Like others have stated, they have bigger fish fry then this deal.

You could always hope when the new VMs are unleashed they will put a kabash to it it all!! :rolleyes:
 

Chronic

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Well, yes and no. When you get your "ticket" you freely agree to have your rights "curtailed" (you waive) by being of good conduct, morality and abide by the rules. So if these people are "stupid" enough to ID then carry on in such a manner...ya their ticket is in jeopardy...however, if they do not ID or are not licensed they have not waived their rights AND have a case for using the repeater (albeit private property, which would make it the trustees/owners right to cure, not the USofA) as an available soapbox to stand on while they are exercising their rights....big ball o' catch-22 that the FCC does not want to go down.
The FCC lost a case that set precedence back in 1981. i think it still haunts them today . the link says facebook , but it is to the actual PDF of the FCC case . It a interesting read .

 
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