Channel Abandonment Procedure


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Whenever an applicant(1) notifies us, or the technical committee takes note on its own motion, that a channel is silent, a clock is started(2).  This clock runs for a minimum of 3 months.  During that period, the applicant and the technical committee keep watch on the channel, AND the technical committee searches e mail correspondence to see if the coordinee has notified us of the outage.  IF such notice has been received, and passes simple reasonableness tests, the clock ceases, and the applicant is notified by email.  The applicant is then free to watch the channel to see if the coordinated system returns near the expected date, and if it does not, then apply to start the clock again.

Absent any information from the coordinee, or, absent a live system belonging to the coordinee operating from the coordinated location, when the clock passes 3 months the qualified applicant then may begin operations on the channel(3). Once the applicant places a system on the channel, a second 3 month clock starts.  IF, during the second three month interval, the coordinee’s system returns to the air, OR, a well reasoned message with sufficient justification is received by the technical committee, the clock halts while the matter is reviewed.  IF the technical committee is satisfied that the coordinee’s system has returned (or will return within a reasonable and clear interval) to the air from its coordinated location, then the applicant is given a reasonable period in which to cease operations on the channel. Up to 3 months will be allowed, a shorter interval is recommended,

At the end of the 3 month on air "trial" period, if uncontested, the applicant’s status moves to the priority position for coordination on the pair.  The original coordinee has an additional 3 months to challenge the new application, but may NOT return to operation without the combined concurrence of the applicant and the technical committee. The technical committee reviews all the available information bearing on the situation and makes a final decision.  If no legitimate challenge is received, at the end of the (third) 3 month clock, the applicant becomes the final coordinee, and the original system is removed from the active records.

In all cases, the application has to pass an initial review by SCRRBA before the “trial” occupancy may occur, and the starting of the trial 3 month clock.  As an example, appropriate means that an application for a ground level coordination to “replace” a wide area high level coordination will generally not be considered acceptable.  As has always been true, each application is considered on a case by case basis.

The channel abandonment process may not be used to “force” an unsuitable co channel coordination.   If the coordinated station is on the air appropriately, a clock start request will be denied.  An application for that pair will be treated as a normal request for co channel operation, and will be subjected to the same stringent review as any other application. 


How to avoid having a clock started against YOUR coordination:

Should you experience extended outages on any of your coordinations within our service area, we recommend that you send us a B R I E F note outlining the simple facts:

"It’s Broken; We can’t get there until Spring. Once we get there it may take a second trip to actually restore operation. We will NOTIFY you when the station returns to the air from its coordinated location, AND if there is any additional delay".

Include enough information so that we can identify the exact station, and location.  A simple call sign is not very meaningful.  A BASIC description means: 

Frequency; PL tone (or emission format); Exact Location; Coordinee. Callsign used by the station

If the message is being sent by someone OTHER than the coordinee, a BRIEF explanation of the relationship is needed. (it is best to CC the coordinee)

We do not want or need to know about outages of less than at least 30 days duration.  We recommend that a coordinee notify us if the station will be off the air or substantially away from its coordinated location for any period generally longer than a month.  

Notices related to 440-450 MHz coordinations are to be E Mailed.  Please include the channel frequency in the subject line. 

Notices regarding other bands are to be emailed to the applicable address on our main page.

We will acknowledge receipt of the message.

If you are operating your coordination using a digital format, it is in your best interests to work out a way to transmit an analog identification regularly.

Until suitable procedures are worked out by the community for the recognition and identification of digital transmissions, it is suggested that the coordinee send an email to SCRRBA once per year identifying and confirming each digital operation.  (someday, we hope to automate this process for everyone)

Please remember that this procedure depends upon written ELECTRONIC messages.  Phone calls and post cards do not work.

  1.  An amateur who has started a clock by following the above procedure will NOT be considered an applicant until an acceptable and appropriate completed application for coordination is received by SCRRBA (see SCRRBA.ORG for required attachments).  If the completed application is received within the initial 3 months, it will be assigned the date of the applicants initial message starting the clock.
  2.  The initial clock does NOT start until proper notice is received by SCRRBA, regardless of how long a system may or may not appear to have been off the air.  A reasonably detailed email message will be sufficient to start the clock, but is NOT sufficient for “applicant” status.  SCRRBA will acknowledge the message within a reasonable time.  Once the acknowledgement is sent by SCRRBA, the clock is referenced to the date the message appeared in our mail server, not the date when we had time to send the acknowledgement.
  3.  If an appropriate completed application is NOT received by the time the second 3 month clock should begin, the applicant may NOT occupy the channel.  No “second clock” trial operation is acceptable until the appropriate complete application is received and acknowledged by SCRRBA.


Additional Notes and Comments (October 2013)

The channel abandonment procedure is pretty much as it always has been, with some material clarifications having been generated at the last general membership meeting.  These clarifications generally bear on the specific steps that are to be taken by an applicant.

Clock timing is clarified.

Steps required of an applicant – and SCRRBA prior to new occupancy.

The definition of an applicant is spelled out.

It makes clear that an acceptable complete application is required before any of the abandonment steps can be ACTED upon.  A one line email 2 months after the channel is occupied does NOT retroactively start any clocks – and doesn’t start any clocks at all in favor of the person who has landed upon the channel – until and unless a complete application package is received and reviewed for at least appropriateness.

Dates of initial notice will be recovered, You are not dependent upon when we get around to it for date reference- and that’s another reason we need this all to be electronic.

As usual, the devil is in the details.  READ the notes section carefully. We tried to avoid writing 500 word paragraphs with 37 parentheses to spell out each detail mid sentence.  It is already too close to bureaucrateze.

READ the last page.  Be aware of what you need to do to protect your coordination.

PLEASE put the channel frequency in the subject of your messages to SCRRBA

This document was approved by the membership October 19, 2013


Last modified: January 26, 2015