FCC Releases Warning Notices to Several Radio Amateurs
The FCC Enforcement Bureau has made public several warning notices issued over the past few months to radio amateurs. A couple of the letters from Special Counsel Laura Smith involved alleged infractions on 20 meters. On April 15, the FCC wrote Larry S. King, KI8NGS, of Owosso, Michigan, regarding failure to properly follow station identification rules on March 21. Smith told King that he was monitored by staffers at the FCC High Frequency Direction Finding Center (HFDFC) “operating your Amateur Radio on 14.313 MHz for 20 minutes without identifying in a timely manner.” Smith said the HFDFC used direction-finding equipment to confirm that the transmissions were coming from his location. She said the Center recorded the transmissions.
“This incident constitutes a failure to properly transmit your assigned call sign, in violation of the Comission’s rules,” Smith wrote. “Your operation as described is contrary to the basis and purpose of the Amateur Radio Service, as set out in Section 97.1 and is a violation of Section 97.11(a) of the Commission’s rules.”
On March 31, Smith sent a warning notice to Daniel G.Churovich, N9RSY, of Ripley, Tennessee, alleging that Churovich engaged in an extended communication on 14.313 MHz with a station that may not have been operating in the Amateur Service.
“On Friday, March 28, 2014, you were heard by staff at the Commission's High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) Center communicating repeatedly on 14.313 MHz with an individual who you identify only as ‘cowboy,’” Smith wrote. “This individual failed to provide his call sign during your conversation, a fact that you were aware of as you repeatedly demanded that he provide his name, call sign, and location. Despite being aware of the rule violation on the part of this other individual, you continued communicating with him for an extended period of time.”
Smith told Churovich that the incident constituted “unauthorized transmissions” in violation of Commission rules that permit radio amateur to engage in two-way communications with “other stations in the Amateur Service.”
“There is no evidence that the individual with whom you were communicating with on March 28 was an Amateur Radio operator, as he failed to provide his call sign as required by Commission rules,” Smith pointed out.
Smith also wrote Amateur Radio licensees in Tennessee, Michigan, and Wisconsin on March 31, alleging that they all had failed to comply with formal written requests not to use local repeater systems. Smith advised four licensees that the FCC expected them to “abide by the request of the trustee and/or control operator that you stay off [the repeater] — and any other similar requests to cease operations on any other repeaters by any other repeater licensees, control operators or trustees.”
Smith advised all recipients that any recurrence of the alleged violation after receipt of the warning letter could subject them to “severe penalties, including license revocation, monetary forfeiture (fines), or a modification proceeding to restrict the frequencies upon which you may operate.”
“Fines normally range from $7500 to $10,000,” she concluded.