FCC Is Listening UP
By WBØRUR, on the scene
TEMECULAH, California – The Federal Communications Commission today formalized a program to assist amateur radio operators in achieving better operating practices. The “UP Monitor” program will pair each DX radio operator working “split frequency” with one official representative of the U.S. federal government.
The representative’s duties are to constantly monitor the DX station’s transmit frequency. If an operator – hoping to work the DX – accidentally transmits simplex, the “UP Monitor” will announce “HE’S WORKING SPLIT! HE’S WORKING SPLIT.”
“We closely examined current operating procedures,” says FCC Field Agent John Ranklestein.
Based at the FCC’s California bureau, Ranklestein says, “We have recordings of hams who were rude, crude and downright obnoxious when someone accidentally transmitted simplex. In fact, the list of obscenities would fill a binder the size of most ham’s logbooks.”
Ranklestein adds the FCC opted to provide the service as a means of cleaning up the bands and eliminating crass language and QRM.
For a small fee, U.S. hams may request an “UP Monitor” be assigned when they activate special event 1×1 call signs (and operate split).
A spokesman for the National Radio Retransmission Legion (NRRL) says they support the program, but are concerned about what all the hams now performing this function as volunteers will do with their time.
“Removed from their police duties, we doubt seriously they will make actual QSOs,” says the agency.
Ranklestein says the “UP Monitor” program is open to both CW and SSB DX operations, but is not available to QRP operations, since “no one can actually hear those signals anyway.”
photo credit: Bill Selak via photopin cc