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Contest Remote Station Operation

Remote Station Operation in ARRL Contests

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          On this page, any reference to the U.S. as a location includes both the U.S. and its possessions.


         “Operate” means both transmitting and receiving.


     
         Refer to the ARRL’s “International Operating” page at http://www.arrl.org/international-operating  for the most up-to-date international operating information.

     

     

    What is a Remote Controlled Station?

     

    A Remote Station is a transmitter (usually paired with an onsite receiver) that is located away from the location of the person controlling it. Such stations are typically controlled by an Internet Link or Telephone Line.


    In April 2015 QST - “It Seems To Us” - Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, discussed Remote Station operation in the United States.  To view the editorial, go here

     

     

    Licensing Requirements


    Outside the U.S., as may be authorized by the country of licensure (refer to the regulations for that country), unless you hold a license issued by the country where the remote station is located, you must be physically located in that country while operating the remote station.

     

    For stations in the U.S. being operated under remote control, the control operator must  hold a FCC-issued U.S. license with the appropriate privileges.


    For foreign nationals not  holding a U.S. FCC-issued license, remote control of a U.S. station is not authorized under any treaty or reciprocal authorization, regardless of their location.  [Neither CEPT or IARP authorize remote station operating authority from any participating country (only bilateral or multilateral agreements might do so – be sure to review the regulations for any country of interest)].
     

    For more information about U.S. citizens operating outside the U.S. under CEPT authorization – see www.arrl.org/news/fcc-updates-notice-on-amateur-radio-operation-in-cept-countries

     
     

    ARRL Contest Requirements

    Remote Station control is allowed in all ARRL Contests, if it is allowed at the location (country) of the remote station.
     

    In contests for which DXCC entities are multipliers, your call sign must indicate the DXCC entity in which the remote station is located.

     

    For U.S. licensees operating a remote station outside the U.S.:
     

     -   You must be properly licensed to operate from the location of the remote station. 

     -   You must comply with the regulations at the location (country) of the remote station. 

     -   You must have permission from the station owner to access and operate the equipment.


     

    Frequently Asked Questions


     

    For foreign licensees:

     

    Q - May I operate a U.S. station by remote control under CEPT, IARP, or some other reciprocal authorization?
    A - No.  All such permissions granted by the FCC apply only to local control.  As a Foreign licensee, you must be physically present at the transmitter to operate it.

     

    Q - There is a U.S. licensee on-site to act as the control operator.  May I operate the station by remote control under his or her supervision?
    A - No.  You must be physically present at the transmitter to operate it.



    Q - I hold a U.S. licenseDo I have to be located in the U.S. to operate a U.S. station under remote control?
    A - No.  If you hold a U.S. license you may use remote control to operate a U.S. station from anywhere.  You have to operate within your U.S. license privileges.

     
     
    Q - Do these limits affect my ability to operate a non-U.S. station under remote control?
    A - No.  The regulations that apply are those of your country of license and the country in which the remote station is located.

     

    Q - Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to operate a U.S. station by remote control?
    A - No.  You only have to hold a U.S. FCC-issued license.

     


    For U.S. licensees:

     


    Q - From inside the U.S., can I operate a remote station located outside of the U.S. by remote control?

    A - There is no U.S. rule preventing you from doing so, and there's no ARRL contest rule prohibiting it.  You must comply with the regulations that apply at the location (country) of the remote station, including using a call sign that is authorized for the remote station.

     

    Q - What call sign do I have to use when operating a U.S. station under remote control?
    A - You can use any FCC-issued call sign that you have permission to use.  You must comply with the FCC's identification requirements of §97.119.

     


    Q - Do I have to modify my call sign when operating under remote control?

    A - Except for the requirement in some contests that your call sign must indicate the DXCC entity of the remote station, no special indicators (prefixes or suffixes) are required when operating under remote control.