Reward for lost Kraken!
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 137 Times in 134 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Hams are generally prohibited from all one-way transmissions, better known as "broadcasts". A broadcast is one-way, a "communication" is two-way. The specific section of the FCC regulations governing this *does* allow limited one-way broadcasts as below (s.4 & 6) but I doubt they would consider one-way delivery of private messages to fall within the legal scope of them:
Part 97.111 :
(b) In addition to one-way transmissions specifically
authorized elsewhere in this Part, an amateur station may
transmit the following types of one-way communications:
(1) Brief transmissions necessary to make adjustments to the
(2) Brief transmissions necessary to establishing two-way
communications with other stations;
(4) Transmissions necessary to providing emergency
(5) Transmissions necessary to assisting persons learning,
or improving proficiency in, the international Morse code;
(6) Transmissions necessary to disseminate information
(7) Transmissions of telemetry.
§97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
(a) No amateur station shall transmit:
(1) Communications specifically prohibited elsewhere in this
(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation,
direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise
provided in these rules;
(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control
operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications
on behalf of an employer. Amateur operators may, however,
notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale
or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station,
provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular
(4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically
provided elsewhere in this Section; communications intended
to facilitate a criminal act; messages in codes or ciphers
intended to obscure the meaning thereof, except as otherwise
provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or
false or deceptive messages, signals or identification;
(5) Communications, on a regular basis, which could
reasonably be furnished alternatively through other radio
(b) An amateur station shall not engage in any form of
broadcasting, nor may an amateur station transmit one-way
communications except as specifically provided in these
rules; nor shall an amateur station engage in any activity
related to program production or news gathering for
broadcasting purposes, except that communications directly
related to the immediate safety of human life or the
protection of property may be provided by amateur stations
to broadcasters for dissemination to the public where no
other means of communication is reasonably available before
or at the time of the event.
I'm sporadically online this week and may be slow to make any replies.
Now, on the perennial "other hand"......If your shipboard party happen to know TWO hams, and those two hams happen to mention things about the shipboard party during the course of their communications...there's nothing wrong with that. So if BT & I were to have a ham chat about our friends en route to wherever, who would have a faster passage if they diverted north, or who should stop over in wherever, etc...Then that would be OK, because it would be a conversation--not a one-way broadcast. It might be a totally bogus conversation actually hiding a one-way broadcast, but it would appear to be legal.
So there are ways and there are ways, and yes, enforcement of many things in this life is erratic. (Ever get a jaywalking ticket? But some people do.) Easier, still, do just get the proper equipment and permits, and use a legally sanctioned means of communications.