Differing Opinions – The Field Day Control Operator (and at Other Times)

It is always something I enjoy, receiving and reading the newspaper “World Radio” publication.

Never fail to find something of interest in it.

One column that has left me puzzled though, is John johnston W3BE’s “Rules & Regs.”

So often the opinions offered in that column are completely at odds with the interpretations of the FCC, ARRL, OOs and about every amateur out there.

The May 2008 issue offers a rash of opinions – mind you “opinions” – on Control Operators, Club Stations, Field Day Stations and the like which are skewed enough, whether exploring special cases or full of logical fallacies based on unstated conditions assumed, as to be impossible to use as a guide.

The motives of creating such confusion or misrepresenting a very narrowly held ultra-restrictive view of FCC rules as broadly accepted FCC practice is most likely an editorial decision we will never really get an insight into.

But the questions covered are serious, deserving accurate interpretation & guidelines.

The ARRL has a great summary FAQ on the Control Operator question:

Who’s in Control of Your Station?

The ARRL expands on a whole group of common FCC questions at:  

Regulatory Frequently Asked Questions

Topics covered include:


  • Amateur Operation in International Waters FAQ
  • Application Filing FAQ
  • ARES® vs RACES FAQ: Two Flavors of Amateur Radio Emergency Operation
  • Bandwidth Proposal
  • Club Station License FAQ
  • Equipment Authorization FAQ, FCC
  • FCC Amateur Communications and Operations FAQ
  • FCC Duplication and Call Sign Research Contractor
  • Local Government Zoning Restriction “How To” Chart
  • Prospective Amateur Radio Operator FAQ
  • Reciprocal Licensing FAQ
  • Repeaters, Auxiliary Stations, and “Remote Base” FAQ
  • Special Event 1 X 1 Call Sign FAQ
  • Vanity Call Sign FAQ, ARRL
  • Vanity Call Sign FAQ, FCC
  • Voice over the Internet Protocol and Amateur Radio FAQ
  • Who’s in Control of Your Station?
  • 60 Meter FAQ
  • So there is no need to worry about what a single individual reinterprets the FCC rules as, when you have access to the actual FCC rules and “plain text” from the ARRL to guide you.


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    2 thoughts on “Differing Opinions – The Field Day Control Operator (and at Other Times)

    1. Bill says:

      I was about to subscribe to World Radio — then I read this article of opinions. I was thinking that if that was the general mindset at World Radio, it really didn’t need my support. It’s nice to hear that I wasn’t alone in my feeling that the article full of “run to Riley” comments wasn’t really in touch with reality.

    2. k9zw says:

      Hi Bill WA7NWP

      Thanks for your comment. You are right that running W3BE’s opinions doesn’t help support the rest of World Radio, but I do look forward to reading most of it. It is a decent value and does have some neat stuff every issue.

      It is concerning that in an area where misguidance could lead to violations that they don’t strive to be more accurate.

      Perhaps constantly doing a fringe take of re-interpreting the FCC rules is soemthing they would be best to drop?



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