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Old June 14th 18, 06:40 PM posted to,
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Default [KB6NU] Third party communications - you learn something new every day

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Third party communications - you learn something new every day

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 01:51 PM PDT

On the amateurradio subreddit, someone asked:

Im in the U.S. and am planning on demonstrating HF to a group of kids and
unlicensed adults at a family event this weekend. Id like the kids
especially to be able to get on the air. Ive read through Part 97.115 and
the list of third-party operating agreements on ARRLs website. But maybe
some of you who have experience with GOTA (Field Day Get on the Air) or
JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) can help me.
What does a QSO involving an unlicensed operator sound like? I know I need
to be controlling the radio, but I could use some guidance on how these
QSOs usually go.

The first reply reads:

As far as third-party traffic goes, its my¬* understanding that the scenario
youre describing isnt third-party traffic. You, as the licensee, are simply
acting as a control operator so an unlicensed individual can talk on the
radio, so long as you are physically present and can act to control the
transmitter and provide guidance to the unlicensed individual.

I didnt think that this was quite right. I thought that a third party was
anyone operating the station other than the station licensee or control
operator. As I was getting ready to write this, however, I thought that I
better make sure. Well, good thing that I did because I think the reply is

Part 97.3 (47) defines third party communications as A message from the
control operator (first party) of an amateur station to another amateur
station control operator (second party) on behalf of another person (third

So, I learned a couple of things today:

The correct meaning of third party and third-party communications.
Not to be so quick to show off what I know (or think I know).

The post Third party communications you learn something new every day
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