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Re: [RTTY] Fw: ALE Sounding. What is it and how does it work?

To: "George Henry" <ka3hsw@earthlink.net>, <rtty@contesting.com>,<andrewobrie@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [RTTY] Fw: ALE Sounding. What is it and how does it work?
From: "Joseph Lutz" <kwz99@comcast.net>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 19:32:50 -0000
List-post: <mailto:rtty@contesting.com>
Well, I guess I have to say something re: ALE.  It seems very odd that so 
many do not know or understand what
ALE is and what it is for.  I am also surprised that one of the many Hams 
that are also MARS operators do not
step in and explain what ALE is and what it is for.  I do know that it was 
becoming very prevalent in MARS
when I left it - so perhaps one of the current MARS members can give some 
workable knowledge of ALE.
[Just a thought]
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Henry" <ka3hsw@earthlink.net>
To: <rtty@contesting.com>; <andrewobrie@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 15:52
Subject: [RTTY] Fw: ALE Sounding. What is it and how does it work?

> Have to disagree with you on the soundings, Andy...  re-read Bonnie's 
> explanation of what soundings are and how they work:  her very first point 
> says "... ALE sounding is simply a station ID.  No other text is sent." 
> Later she specifially states "Sounding is not CQ.  If you want to call CQ, 
> use the HFL or QRZ netcall."  If it's not sent to a specific station or 
> with the intent of establishing 2-way communication *at that moment*, it's 
> an illegal one-way transmission.  I believe this also constitutes 
> automatic beaconing, despite what Bonnie claims (her claim that they are 
> not one-way transmissions is absurd), and automatic beacons are prohibited 
> below 10 meters.  Third, Bonnie defines ALE as a message-forwarding 
> system, and automatic control of a digital station is prohibited UNLESS 
> the station is 1) responding to interrogation and 2) transmitting with a 
> bandwidth of less that 500 Hz.  The only thing that soundings actually do 
> is establish a heard list at other ALE stations,
>  unless someone happens to be holding traffic for the sounding station, at 
> which time it will respond with a link request.  However, since the 
> station holding the traffic actually initiates the connection, and not in 
> response to a connect request or interrogation, it's almost certainly 
> illegal automatic control of a digital station.
> To summarize, I believe that automatic ALE soundings are 1) prohibited 
> one-way transmissions; 2) illegal automated beaconing below 10 meters, 
> and; 3) illegal automatic control of a digital station.
> At any rate, the ARRL has forwarded my inquiry to the FCC for a rules 
> interpretation, so we should know for sure soon.
> 73,
> George, KA3HSW
> --------------------------------------
> On Thursday, January 10, 2008 you wrote:
> As you know Jack, the fact that RATTS has been active since 1948 is
> irrelevant, anyone is free to use  the frequency , even a ham setting
> up their new net.  NOT very friendly, but perfectly legal.
> ALE , as in the variety used for "soundings" , is no different than
> other modes.  The sounding is essentially a CQ or QRZ message.  ALE
> software makes better use of the 10-12 second transmission that other
> modes, but it is just another station saying "I'm around, anyone want
> to play".
> Where ALE is someone controversial is the fact that the brief
> "soundings" can appear to be without a "QRL?" check .  This is not
> entirely true since some ALE software has an ability to prevent an ALE
> transmission if another signal is detected.  It is not always done,
> just like many RTTY contesters  or  RTTY  DXpeditions.  This is
> understandably frustrating.  Your offending signal may be a PACTOR
> BBS, if it is active for more than 10-seconds it is unlikely to be an
> ALE sounding.  The frequency does match a known ALE channel though/
> Andy K3UK
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