I finally got a reply from the FCC about this subject.
I get the feeling that they don't really care!
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Cross" <BCROSS@fcc.gov>
Cc: "FCCINFO" <FCCINFO@fcc.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 11:10 AM
Subject: Re: What is a "communication"
First observation: the identification requirements for USA amateur radio
stations operating in contests and for stations on DXpeditions in US
territories is in 97.119 as you state: the station must transmit its
assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each
communication. (If the every 10 minutes condition kicks in they got a real
problem-like generator/antenna/op asleep problems!) Considering the goal
of the DXpedition or contest usually is maximum Qs and minimum dupes the
station at the bottom of the heap kind of has a built-in incentive to make
sure everyone listening to the channels knows who it is causing the ruckus.
Second: Part 97 does not define the term "communication" or "message".
Neither does Part 2 of the FCC's Rules, which contains many definitions from
the international Radio Regulations. Looking at the rules, Section 97.3
defines a "message forwarding system" as including communications sent from
the control operator of one station to the control operator of other
station(s), while Section 97.111(a) is authorized two-way "communications"
and the word "messages" appears in the rule in each sub-paragraph. Section
97.111(b) is authorized one-way communications and the word "transmissions"
appears repeatedly. In Section 97.117, International communications, the
words "transmissions" and "messages" appear. Section 97.115 is Third party
communications and the words "messages" and "communications" are both used.
Unless someone wants to pick a fight about how many angels are on the head
of a pin, after the obligatory fight about whether or not they are angels of
course, I'd say as a practical matter the terms are pretty interchangeable.
If this is a real problem about to effect the fabric of the universe, you
might want to take it up with the contest sponsor or whoever is going to
give country credit for the DXpedition. And they can police it. I really
can't see Riley getting into this one.
>>> "Larry N7DF" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 08/19/02 11:19PM >>>
A current topic of discussion among the radio amateurs on the CQ CONTEST
REFLECTOR has to do with the identification requirements for USA amateur
radio stations operating in contests and for stations on DXpeditions in US
territories; as set out in 97.119.
§97.119 Station identification.
(a) Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station,
must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end
of each communication, and at least every ten minutes during a
communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the
transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions.
No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit
as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station.
The question is about a station that makes a series of consecutive contacts
with other stations on the same frequency and mode and only sends his own
call after being asked for it or after several contacts. Each contact
consists of acknowledging the callsign of another station calling him and a
signal report or contest exchange.
Does each individual contact constitute a "communication" or does the series
of contacts constitute a "communication" requiring identification every 10
In other words: Is it required under 97.119 to give your callsign at the end
of each contact with another station?