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I understand that in the United States, amateur operators and even non-licensed persons may participate in domestic (and approved international) communications on bands they wouldn't normally be allowed to transmit on, using the privileges of another licensed ham who serves as control operator.

As a concrete example, I hold an Extra Class license and my 7 year old son has a Technician class license. He wants to help me solder up the new Omnia SDR Proficio HF transceiver kit that should be arriving tomorrow. Once it's assembled, I'd love to let him try it out too — but his privileges don't cover digital work on any of its bands except 10m. I'd like to help him try some bands with better propagation, but am not sure the etiquette for properly identifying between our two call signs.

What would be the proper way for him to identify himself, and me as the control operator, during a digital QSO? To use an extreme example, could he call CQ with his own callsign during a JT65 exchange and mention mine only at the sign-off? In a slightly less constrained mode like RTTY/PSK, is there a standard format of identifying both the privileged licensee/operator, but also any "third party traffic" participant who may or may not have their own callsign?

Further, if he were to make a successful contact, would it be appropriate for him to log these QSOs as his own? I don't mean in a "station log" sense, but rather the contest-oriented sites like ARRL's Logbook of the World or eQSL, where contacts can count towards various awards and such? Since technically I would have been the control operator, would that be considered poor sport for him to count it under his own callsign?

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  • $\begingroup$ In the US, your son as a Technician holder would have the same privileges as a guest who is not licensed at all. The station and the station ID (your call sign as an Extra Class) is the only call sign used in CQ or for signing the message at the end. The fact that your son has a Technician license does not give him any more authority in those band segments or modes that he himself is not authorized under his own license. His log book though can contain anything he wants it to contain since it is not an official record (any more) in the US. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Dec 16 '16 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ [rand out of room above -- continuing] If your son wants to use globally accessible log books or QSL services such as eQSL, he should do so only with QSOs made properly with his license. If your 7 year old has a Technician, I bet he would soon be passing the General class license. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Dec 16 '16 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @K7PEH, would love to accept this as an answer wink wink $\endgroup$ – natevw - AF7TB Dec 19 '16 at 19:55
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This question is correctly marked for "United-States" and I am not familiar with the details of license conditions for that region.

I am going to answer this question for "Ireland", to provide for the larger audience.

What would be the proper way for him to identify himself, and me as the control operator, during a digital QSO?

A supervised operator must identify him-/her-self with the full call sign of the license holder. The practice in Ireland would be to use the post-fix /S or /Supervised.

To use an extreme example, could he call CQ with his own callsign during a JT65 exchange and mention mine only at the sign-off? In a slightly less constrained mode like RTTY/PSK, is there a standard format of identifying both the privileged licensee/operator, but also any "third party traffic" participant who may or may not have their own callsign?

I am going to give you a more extreme example. A person is not licensed on any HAM/Amateur bands, but holds a legal Marine license for a boat. Would this person be able to use his legal Marine call sign for the activity, and only mention the control-operator / amateur license holder at the end of the QSO?

For Ireland this answer is no. No for the example I give here, and no for the example you give in your question. It is very simple, if you are not licensed for the mode/frequency/equipment, then you may operate under the license provisioning of the actual license holder using the license holder call sign.

Further, if he were to make a successful contact, would it be appropriate for him to log these QSOs as his own?

For the region I am answering for, the answer would be: the contacts made "supervised", and therefore using the licensed holder call sign, would have to go into the license-holder station log.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I appreciate the answer since some of the etiquette/contesting parts may be applicable worldwide. I'm sure the Ireland-specific will be useful to others too. $\endgroup$ – natevw - AF7TB Dec 16 '16 at 17:29

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