For Thanksgiving, I changed the courtesy beep to a turkey noise on my repeater/node. Some other people did it so I thought it was fine. Someone however told me that it did not follow part 97 FCC. Is this true?
I can find no regulations on courtesy tones whatsoever in part 97, nor any prohibition on transmission of animal noises or having fun. Maybe there's a rule that could be construed... Nope. I got nothing.
Imagine you are working at FCC HQ.
The FCC receives 1000s of complaints each day, such as:
- too much profanity on television
- firefighters' repeater is being jammed by some weirdo named Big Jack
- truck stop sells monster CB amps
- talk radio has too many republicans/democrats
- internet should/shouldn't be regulated
- big media company wants to buy all the little media companies
- ham wants morse code to be required again
- smugglers are using GMRS channel Z84 along the border
- brazilians pirates have hacked milcom satellite uplinks
- university jams students' cell phones so they won't ring in class
Only some of these fall within the jurisdiction of the FCC, and their power to do anything about it.
Is "turkey call courtesy beep" going to make the cut on this list?
I don't think so, as it is a trivial matter that harms no one and doesn't indicate a serious violation of the regulations. Even if it were technically a violation of some rule when twisted sufficiently, I doubt it even merits a warning letter.
But don't take my word for it.
You can search past FCC enforcement actions to find out.
I think 97.133(b) speaks to this really. "An amateur station shall not engage in any form of broadcasting, nor may an amateur station transmit one-way communications..."
Broadcasting is loosely defined as something for the benefit or entertainment of the listening audience and not a two way communication.
It is ambiguous to say the least, but I probably wouldn't play the turkey call to be safe. Just my opinion of how I read it.