(T1E07) Station Control Responsibility

T1E07 from the Technician License Course Section 2.2, Controlling Your Station:
When the control operator is not the station licensee, who is responsible for the proper operation of the station?

A. All licensed amateurs who are present at the operation
B. Only the station licensee
C. Only the control operator
D. The control operator and the station licensee are equally responsible

There you are, operating field day with your station, and nature calls. After all, you’re on your eighth cup of java on the overnight shift.

“H-h-h-h-here, J-j-j-j-Joe. Take the mic, I’ll be back in a few minutes,” you utter, rising shakily with pops and creaks for the first time in uncountable hours.

“OK, sure thing. Take your time,” Joe responds, and instantly transmits, “CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day…”

Who is responsible if Joe transmits a violation with your station? What if he is getting a might bit punchy and starts spouting off profanity in his sleep deprived state, or perhaps he is a Technician Class licensee and he is transmitting that CQ call on the General Class sub-band that you were tuned to with your General Class privileges? Who owns this error?

A station must have a control operator any time it is transmitting. This is usually the licensed person manipulating the controls of the radio. In the absence of any station records indicating differently, the FCC assumes the station licensee is the control operator. Your station, your control.

But of course, you may designate another licensed operator as the control operator for your station. When you left your station for the plumbing in our scenario above, you effectively designated Joe the control operator for your station. Who then is responsible for the proper operations of the station?

scouts_control-2

When the control operator is not the station licensee, both the control operator and the station licensee are responsible for proper station operation.

You have a responsibility as the station licensee. You must appoint control operators for your station whom you know to be reliable and responsible, who will operate the station within the FCC Part 97 rules and regulations governing the Amateur Radio Service.

Joe also has a responsibility as the station control operator. Whether or not you indicate it in your station records, Joe is the control operator and he is obligated to follow the Part 97 rules and regulations with or without your oversight as station licensee.

The responsibility is a joint one.

The answer to Technician Class question T1E07, “When the control operator is not the station licensee, who is responsible for the proper operation of the station?” is “D. The control operator and the station licensee are equally responsible.”

Related Questions: T1E01, T1E02, T1E03, T1E04, T1E11, T1E12