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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Ham Radio and Freeband

Clark Ackison (AA8SH) on November 5, 2003
View comments about this article!

Freeband operation is seldom discussed in other than the most disparaging manner in the Ham press. Let's have a closer look at this activity and its influence on Ham Radio.

To begin with, the word Freeband seems now to be both a verb and a proper noun. "Freebanding" is the act of operating HF equipment illegally on an 11-meter frequency, usually in SSB, and primarily in or slightly above the Citizen's Band (26.965-27.405 MHz).

"Freeband" also refers to the band itself, just above the CB and below the 10-meter amateur band (28 MHz). It is important to understand that a Freebander is distinguished from an illegal CB'er by the fact he uses a modified general coverage HF transceiver for his illicit operation while the CB'er uses an extended coverage channelized CB. The difference may at first seem trivial, but is actually quite significant to our hobby.

Amateurs not familiar with Freeband, upon monitoring 27.5 to 28 MHz SSB during a band opening will find the average Freeband operator to be certainly less technically apt but perhaps slightly more courteous and inviting than the average 75-meter operator. This too is significant, because Freeband is a major "entry point" to Ham radio today. There may be no exact polling to verify this, but surely any reader is familiar with at least a few individuals who came into the hobby through 11-meters. Suffice to say that once an illegal CB'er progresses in his hobby to the point of operating an HF SSB radio, he is well on his way into the ranks of Ham radio proper.

The Yaesu FT-101, with its "peculiar" (ARRL) 11-meter band position was the first radio to allow the CB'er to operate Freeband, ushering in a new style of 11-meter operation. Unlike CB radios, the 101 and radios like it allowed 11-meter operators to monitor the Ham bands, where the "big boys" played. Subsequently they, as a group, mimicked the operating style they heard on HF, right down to the use of Q-signals and the phonetic alphabet. This Freeband operating style continues today, in an environment where HF transceivers of every class are readily available and easily modifiable for Freeband. In fact, some of these Freebanders use equipment that would be the envy of many HF amateurs.

This is significant to our hobby because Freeband is in practice an illicit sub band that brings forth a new crop of HF operators every eleven years. This situation has existed since the FT-101 became available to them and will persist as long as general coverage transceivers remain inexpensive and available.

It works like this. With every new cycle, some (Worthy?) CB'ers can be counted on to develop an insatiable curiosity about the DX they suddenly, mysteriously, hear on the radio. Think of it as free advertising, courtesy of the ionosphere. As the cycle progresses, they pursue this interest into the Freeband as illicit SSB DXers, working the world as they see fit. However, with the waning of the cycle a few years later, these now-experienced DX Freebanders find their 11-meter DX opportunities fewer and fewer in number. Having monitored the lowbands with their' HF equipment, it is only natural that they move into Ham radio to take advantage of the better band conditions below 11-meters.

Make no mistake, when these operators appear on HF, they bring with them much more practical HF operating experience than does an amateur progressing through the VHF entry point. Other than the jargon they have picked up on this illicit journey, they are, in fact none the worse for the wear. Once acquainted with, and accepted by the Ham ranks, few if any return to the Freeband scene, other than for the occasional listen, having found something better.

And so the Freeband sits largely vacant, until the next cycle lures another batch of migrants up from CB to eventually make their' way into Ham radio in their own good time.

Just as the Internet is luring away amateurs, Freeband has and will continue to cyclically replenish our ranks, at least to some extent. No doubt there are pros and cons to this, but suffice to say it is a reality at present.

As most readers have by now surmised, this is approximately how I progressed into the hobby one cycle ago. Given my past, I may be overestimating the numbers of former freebanders about, but we are many. Actual numbers would be interesting to see.

Best of '73 Cark AA8SH (NC3569)

Member Comments:
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Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WILLY on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"
Clark Ackison (AA8SH) on November 5, 2003

Freeband operation is seldom discussed in other than the most disparaging manner in the Ham press. "

That is because it is a flagrant violation of law, which demonstrates lack of respect.


"
Let's have a closer look at this activity and its influence on Ham Radio. "

You go on to make some interesting points. That you can, in itself, says something about your topic.

Isn't it sad that these law breakers with rotten attitudes can have ANY influence on our wonderful hobby?
Isn't it sad that they can be associated with us at all?

This contributes to why so many hams react in such an alarmed manner when changes are proposed to the level of testing necessary to enter our hobby. The old timers see what is happening, and don't want to see a great thing ruined by an influx of people that demonstrate lack of respect and willingness to follow the rules.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by G3RZP on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is a danger that administrations having problems with free banding might well move to stop amateur radio in their countries. It makes life harder for IARU at places like the ITU, which is why it really needs discouraging. There are also places in Africa at the moment where even posession of a radio transmitter leads to 7.62mm pill being inserted in the owner - at high speed.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by G5FSD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
yes it's sad that some people have no respect for rules, but I would venture a guess that a vast majority of us would break a rule (even a law) when we think it harms no-one and we can get away with it. If you can genuinely say you've NEVER broken ANY speed limit EVER, then you may pass comment. It's no good saying 1 mph above the limit hardly compares to working 27.555, but the principle is the same, the degree is irrelevant.

If no-one else is using 27.41 - 28 MHz, these people don't see that any harm is being done, and they know they can get away with it.

Oh, and I've NEVER operated there, because it doesn't interest me and I wouldn't want to break the rules that I actually DO respect. But other people are willing to, and in the Great Scheme of Things it's not that big a deal. If they're willing to mend their ways and enter the amateur hobby properly, we should encourage them to join us.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N0FPE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In my humble opinion what it really comes down to is that operating on the so called "FREEBAND" is still illegal, period. And of course the band is NOT unused, there are a number of legal users, just because you dont hear them does not mean they are not there.
If a "FreeBander" is willing to violate this law what other rules/laws dealing with radio will they violate? And yes I did start in CB years ago. I realized that there was something more than echo boxes, crappy signals, endless CQ's, ghost talkers, over modulation, ect. and moved on to ham and have never looked back.

IMHO

Dan
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA4KOE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Freebanders are lawbreakers. They are in it for a free ride and should not in any way be admired.

The lunacy continues.
 
what a bunch of hooey  
by WB6LNH on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
big long diatribe for something that is illegal
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by HAMFAN on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I completely aggree with the brief and concise point left by our associate in Great Britain, G5FSD. And I've used the exact same [speeding vehicle] analogy myself. And it is quite correct. Look out for the Hypoctritis Maximus crowd to show up here on this thread in force. 11M freeband....and freebanding on any band for that matter, is the quisentential "victimless crime", violating only a written rule jotted down on some piece of paper tucked away in some government's basement file cabinet. I know hundreds of hams who got their start in radio via CB and/or SSB freebanding. Having fun with radios. ya'll give me a break. Ham radio in the U.S. and many places abroad, today probably owes nearly half its current membership to Burt Reynolds and "Smokey and The Bandit".....this may be amusing....but nontheless true. Reality strikes again. But so what?? We get more hams. Everybody wins so what's your problem?
Anybody....ANY of you...who wants to come around here and cry about freebanding being illegal and "we otta line 'em up and shoot 'em"...how many of you can honestly say that you have NEVER broken ANY radio rule EVER?? and then when you did your brain winked it off as common sense told you that precious little harm was done....a victimless crime indeed.
Now ya'll start lining up and admit to having come to Hamland from CB. There's no shame. Just a simple natural technological progression by interested hobbyists.
Now let's get to the real matter at hand of turning this into a code/nocode fight. I've turned my blender into a rotating fan dipole. 73's KE4ENX
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N8YV on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"It is important to understand that a Freebander is distinguished from an illegal CB'er by the fact he uses a modified general coverage transceiver for his illicit operation while the CB'er uses an extended-coverage channelized CB."

Hmmm....I don't believe it makes any difference at all whether a murderer uses a rifle or a pistol to kill his victims....either way the bullet flies, causing the same result. Technical refinements and the level of sophistication used to perform the act do not alter its illegality.

Personally, I believe this article is either completely tongue-in-cheek, or it is an attempt to gain support from and provide encouragement to, those who practice illegal "freebanding" (no doubt a significant number of readers visiting this site). Either way, it's a load of crap!

By the way, it is important to distinguish between "humorous" crap loads and "serious" crap loads. Serious crap writers expound needlessly upon the finer points of crap, particularly its color and texture. Humorous crap writers often utilize simpler means to convey the important final result---STINK!



 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K0BG on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Some may disagree, but if you get away with an illegal activity for a length of time, you're more apt to try a little harder. Most speeders for example will turn into lane darters and sooner or later they'll come in contact with you with atypical results!

The same can be said for Freebanders. The knucklehead who's been selling those Marathon radios now makes one for 40 meters, with FM capabilities yet. Cut a wire and you're into the "unlicensed" portion of 40 (his words not mine).

Check out the web site www.davemade.com and see what this guy says about Freebanding.

It may be a victimless crime in some folk's eyes, but it is not! Get caught and you'll find out just how much you can be hurt personally.

Alan, KØBG
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KT8K on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I came into ham radio in the late 70's from CB. I never operated as a freebander, though I listened with a short wave receiver and came quite close to doing so. I knew CBers with big beams and amplifiers, and was enthralled with their collections of "QSL cards" from all over the world. In my experience, the really bad manners and operating practices occurred INSIDE the CB bands - the jamming, arguing, trash talking, splattering, "screw you" kind of operations were very rarely heard outside the 40 channels, perhaps because those who wanted to be obnoxious knew they could annoy far more people in the legal CB band (and they were much less likely to be caught by the FCC).

I don't condone illegal operation. Over the years I have worked to convert interested CB/freebanders to ham radio, and bought up a few amplifiers to move them from CB operation back into the ham bands.

The author makes a good point - that CB and freebanding bring in new hams with a cyclicality tied to the solar activity cycle, which means another wave of potential new hams is occurring now. I think we should all do whatever we can to elmer those who are interested, to reach out to the freebanders not just to discourage their illegal operation, but more importantly show them and help them enter a much better (and legal) radio-related hobby - amateur radio.

Keep on elmering! 73 de kt8k - Tim
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K0RGR on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Like a lot of people my age, I got started in ham radio as an SWL, listening to hams on 20 meter AM phone, along with foreign broadcasts. The mass exodus to SSB in the 60's closed off this popular route into the hobby. It's one I'd like to see us restore.

Now, many, if not most,newcomers come via CB.

Since FCC stopped trying to regulate CB decades ago, it makes little sense to hold any hard feelings toward people who started there. It is a lawless wasteland, and those who survive to join ham radio are welcome, so long as they lose their CB jargon in the transition.

Freebanding, however, is an entirely different matter. I suppose it is possible for someone to obtain the equipment and operate without realizing how illegal this is, but I am suspicious of any such claims. I think that most freebanders are people who are drawn to the activity, in part, by the thrill of doing something illegal. Yes, I know many freebanders who went on to become good hams. I also know more than a couple who went on to become extremely bad hams - some who earned a full license, but went back to freebanding because 'ham' was too boring for them!

So, if you're a former freebander, intent on becoming a good ham, I would recommend that you not advertise your past.

By the way, lots of ham gear from the 50's had 11 meters on it. The Swan/Silconix 1011 was also an early darling of the freebanders.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K0RFD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What difference does it make if a bank robber says "please" and "thank you"? He's still robbing a bank.

Freebanding is illegal. And what makes licensed amateurs most irate about it is that WE can get busted, fined, have our equipment confiscated, or at best lose our licenses if *we* do something wrong. Why? Because the government knows who we are. Unlicensed freebanders are much less likely to be caught and prosecuted because *nobody* knows who they are.

Nice troll, by the way.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The author writes:

"Freeband operator to be certainly less technically apt but perhaps slightly more courteous and inviting than the average 75-meter operator".

I see....so even though the operator knowingly and willingly and flagrantly violates the rules, we should consider him/her a good operator? unworthy of criticizum? Ever heard of a polite hold-up man?

I CAN'T BELIEVE A LICENSED HAM WOULD WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

Perhpase those that are familliar with the author's voice should listen to the "freeband" to see if he is operating there.

 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC0ODY on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Question for the knowledgeable folks here-- who exactly is authorized to use the frequencies on what we term the "freeband"? I'm not familiar with this area of the dial, nor am I familiar with the CB freqs. I came into amateur radio via amateur astronomy and shortwave listening, so I don't know anything about the freeband frequencies or who (if anyone) is allowed to operate on them.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K0RFD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
For KC0ODY:

From the FCC's frequency allocations, here are the frequency allocations between CB and 10 meters. I included channel 40 and the Ham allocation for reference:

27.405 CB Class D Channel 40
27.430 Business
27.450 Business
27.470 Business
27.490 Business
27.510 Business
27.530 Business
27.710 Forest Products
27.730 Forest Products
27.750 Forest Products
27.770 Forest Products
27.790 Forest Products
27.900 US Army
28.000 - 29.700 Amateur 10 Meters

Below CB It's:
25.600 - 26.100 Shortwave Broadcast 11 Meters
25.870 - 26.470 Broadcast Pickup (channelized each 20 kHz)
26.480 - 26.950 Government
26.620 Civil Air Patrol
26.950 - 26.960 International Fixed Svc
26.965 CB Class D Channel 01
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KE4MOB on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"Best of '73 Cark AA8SH (NC3569)"

NC3569??? That explains it....
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA3RFE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AA8SH:

You can try to "spin" illegal pirate operation all you want; it doesn't make it any more legal. I don't normally care what happens outside of the ham bands, but when someone who'se a licensed ham attempts to sugar-coat pirate operation in a ham forum, I'll speak out. YOU ARE CONDONING AN ILLEGAL PRACTICE.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The author's e mail address is:

clarkathome@kvinet.com
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I didn't get the impression that Clark was sugar coating or condoning anything, but only stating a few facts and using himself as an example of how a freebander can progress to the highest amateur license.

Is that so hard to stomach? I'd bet it is, because it seems to break several preconceptions.

Posting someone's e-mail address in a malicious manner is not only childish, but perhaps even more illustrative of ham radio's warts than is the OP topic.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KE4ZHN on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Although I freely admit that I began my radio hobby on CB many years ago, I cant sit here and justify operating illegally. A freebander is operating just as illegally as the guy running a kw mobile/base or in some case`s a multi kw mobile/base as is common on the CB band today. When I first got on the air on the original 23 channels, I was scared stiff of the FCC and knew that if I were to break rules and run excessive power, I risked getting caught. I also knew that if I ran amateur gear, or CB rigs with special mods or crystals in them I risked getting nailed. In Chicago at this time, there was an active FCC field office and they would not hesitate to knock on your door if you played the game.

Once the 40 channels came along and the FCC deregulated the band, all hell broke loose and it has become the circus it now is. It is true that alot of good and bad operators came from CB, but you also can say that many good and bad operators never even saw a CB radio let alone talked on one. Radio is radio, be it a CB or SWLing or whatever, its ALL radio and its ALL great fun. There will be those who break rules and make life hell for everyone simply because they feel they can. I could care less if the guy got interested in radio by CB or by 2 cans and a string, if he acts civil on the air and operates in a decent manner.

Its not my place to judge the operator on the other end of the QSO for things he did in the past on CB or even the amateur bands. That is, unless hes a well known jammer who takes delight in making life miserable for others. If hes friendly, courteous, and fun to talk to, and he has a legit callsign, thats all he needs to have. What he may or may not have done 25 yrs. ago on CB makes no difference to me one way or the other.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KU4UV on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
They may be courteous operators, but that still does not change the fact that they are operating illegally. It also doesn't change the fact that a lot of these freebanders venture onto the lower portion of the 10 meter band and create all kinds of interference problems for hams. I came to the ranks of amateur radio through C.B. One of the reasons I wanted to get a ham license in the first place was so that I could get away from a lot of the junk on C.B. and be able to operate in way in which I could legally talk to people all ove rthe world. Let the freebanders do what I did and get a ham license if they want to run power and operate on frequencies instead of channels.

KU4UV
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"Actual numbers would be interesting to see"
But those operators actually posting as such, coupled with vindictive fanatics like W9WHE would likely cause a server crash at eham and flood the internet with flame-mail from all points.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC0ODY on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
K0RFD- thanks for posting that information!

Jackie
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB1JHN on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
you people are all so silly, i think you guys all need a big hug.
**HUGGLES**

There sure are a lot of hypocrites here, reminds me a lot of when i used to goto church, but hey, at least we're not worshipping dead jew's here... or are we?
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W7MD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, those FreeBanders are "in" now. High speed CW ops, homebrewing their own equipment, handling emergency traffic and sterling examples of good citizenship in the honored tradition of FreeBanding.
Give us all a break and keep the BS to yourself.
If you got away with illegal operation, don't boast about it. It is nothing to be proud of.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N4BBQ on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Its illegal period. I wish the FCC and local authorities had enough cash and manpower to confiscate and coordinate this "freeband" equipment right along with every scratch-box amplifier sold at truck stops.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Illegal operations, illegals; doesn’t matter if the illegals call themselves Free Banders.

Use of ham radios modified to use illegally will expose people to an alternative to illegal usage.

Some illegals might migrate to Ham Radio (because they are INTERESTED in HF radio). How horrible! People becoming hams because they are interested in HF radio!

There are some potential butterflies mixed in with the grubs.

73
Bob

PS: here is an even more horrible thought, FRS users becomming interested in radio!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WR8D on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
RE: N8YV you hit the nail on the head. My experiance with them here locally on the 2 meter repeaters is pitiful. They refuse to be elmered. Many of them come into amateur radio with the attitude that "we" meaning the hams dont know as much as they. I've dealed with 5 of these individuals and was able to "save" only one of them. By using the word "save" i mean he's the only one that wants to act like a ham. He's a nice fellow and wants to run a good clean and proper station. These others are lost to the hobby and its sorry to say but most these folks coming in are of the same type. I've posted several times here and got jumped on a few times for my observations of these types. Untill you actually have had to deal with these types most of you fine folks think those of us that have...and are ranting about it...are nuts.

73
John WR8D
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AD6WL on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>>>by KE4MOB on November 5, 2003
"Best of '73 Cark AA8SH (NC3569)"

NC3569??? That explains it....<<<<

It's his NCI number and that explains it.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8CON on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Clark, my Good Buddy, I think you have sturred up a hornets nest, 10-4?

Will talk later tonight, 10-4?

73
KC8CON/AAT3EM

PS: AAT3EM is a Army MARS Callsign for those who don't know.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5HTW on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, so this is what ham radio has come to? The "preschool" of ham radio is an illegal activity? Does that, then, teach us to be honest and respect the rights of others? Or does the school of illegality teach us to carry on those same attitudes of "the hell with the rules" if and when we become hams?

If "Freebanders" are such "good operators," why are they there at all? Why aren't they forgetting about illegal radio and getting ham tickets? Is it because they are too lazy? Or just that they prefer doing things the illegal way?

There are simply no words capable of conveying my disappointment that a ham would take such an approach to destroying the respect and honor that was once ham radio. I'm glad beyond words that this attitude is not really indicative of the majority of hams, but that it is there at all shows the signs of the malignancy that has eroded this once-fine hobby.

What is even worse, is seeing the other postings supporting his view! That means he is not one lone bandit on the hill, but there may be a few more hiding in the bushes.

Maybe it really IS time to turn ham radio over to the illegals, the Freebanders, the CBers, the weak and the lazy, and kiss it goodbye. Those of us who have invested so many years in this hobby, enjoyed the fraternalism it offered long ago, and the pride in skills and 'real operating' are watching with not only disgust but pain, the death of the hobby before our eyes.

Of all the approaches in the recent years that seemed bent upon the destruction of ham radio, this one is the one that will stick in my mind far above the rest, for this one has lowered ham radio to the standards of the Freebanders. It has removed the honor.

Ed
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WB2WIK on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is nutty.

The "Freebanders" are not only flagrantly violating the law, but also bring with them vast experience of doing virtually everything wrong; so, if they eventually become licensed hams, they're so far down the path of wrongdoing it will be difficult for them to stop and reverse the trend.

The "Freebanders" I've met at the local amateur radio Swap Meets (they do attend, in numbers) are about the least technically competent individuals I've ever come across, and it shows quickly in conversation. Most don't understand Ohm's Law, propagation, antenna theory, or basic operating technique -- and, unfortunately, they've been doing it wrong for such a long time, they're uneducable.

I don't think we should be looking to recruit from this pool. I'd rather start out with people who know absolutely nothing about two-way radio and are trainable.

WB2WIK/6
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by NI6G on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
These insolent malefactors almost never evolve beyond their criminal past. For instance, there are a number of these so-called free band types in my area using a repeater illegaly in the commercial 800 MHz band. Where did they get the equipment? One of these free banders stole handhelds from his former employer Nextel and gave them to his associates. Now, while chatting on 146.55 MHz FM simplex or Channel 17 in the CB service, they use the 800 MHz repeater as a "talk back" frequency. These clowns have incurred bad karma, they are going to get busted, what goes around comes around.

Not only are they fond of 800 MHz but they also enjoy playing music on both amateur and CB radio. They also like to use amplifiers to boost their power output beyond the FCC limits on VHF Marine, FRS, and GMRS frequencies.

Again, these criminal mentalities almost never outgrow their proclivities toward antisocial actions. In short, they deserve our complete disdain.

73,

Erik NI6G
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC0ODY on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I would like for the author of the original post to post proof for:

1) His contention that "[...] Freeband is a major 'entry point' to Ham radio today."; and

2) The statement that freebanders are as technically adept as hams in many instances.

Hearsay doesn't count.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N9AVY on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Didn't read many positive comments on the freebanders. Do have to admit I've always thought of them as the lowest form of radio life. No matter how anyone may justify it they're still operating illegally and they know it ! Would be nice if Riley nailed a bunch of these idiots just to make the point that the FCC is not a "toothless old dog".

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K3UD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Actually it was the Swan 1011, (Later Siltronics, but still Swan) that allowed CBers to operate with high power on illegal (there's that word again) frequencies with just a slight modifications to the radio. The ARRL was so concerned about this due to member complaints about the unit being advertised in QST, that they reportedly told Swan that if they continued to market the Swan 1011, QST would not longer carry their ads. The Siltronics slight of hand headed it off. I always wondered why the ARRL did not do the same thing with Yaesu and the contoversy over the 101 at the time.

In terms of pure operating, I concede that there may be some good ops among the freebanders just like there are good pilots flying without licenses and good drivers who drive without them also. The problem is that these activities are ILLEGAL.

Maybe we should have a one time amnesty program for all freebanders whereby they go to the nearest VE examination location, sign an affidavit that they are engaging in freeband activities, and receive a General class license for their trouble.

73
George
K3UD
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K2WH on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I can't beleive that this is even posted on a ham radio website! This is a garbage piece and has
absolutely nothing - NOTHING to do with amateur radio.

Freebanders are law breakers. And as one other poster said, the oldtimers know whats going on and know what
will be happening to the bands once CW and technical exams get whittled down to nothing.

The asshole freebanders and CB'ers will be right in there with everyone.

K2WH
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I had originally decided not to post anything on this thread, because I just knew what it was going to turn into. You know……people screaming about “Illegal Operation”, and others screaming about other people “Condoning Illegal operation”; it would be a messy, no-win topic. I figured that it was best to stay away.

Oh well………..you know what they say about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions!

I can’t help it! After reading all the posts in this thread, and reflecting on so many similar ones I’ve seen in the past, I have to ask a couple of questions:

Are all of you “Legal Zealots” as meticulous in observing the exact “Letter of the Law” when you’re in your car in rush hour traffic? Can you honestly tell us that you have never driven 37 mph in a 35 zone? Can you tell us that you have always come to a “Full and Complete Stop” at every stop sign you have ever encountered? Can you say that you have NEVER failed to “feed” a parking meter?

If you’re thinking to yourself how absurd these trivial examples of “law breaking” are, then explain to me why the rules and regulations of Amateur Radio are the only ones that stir your almost religious fervor! If you’re going to condemn others for breaking an FCC rule, reg, or law, shouldn’t you be standing up for all laws?

Where were you yesterday, when that “a-hole” clipped my front bumper while making an illegal lane change?

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL


 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by NI0C on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The term "freeband" is a misnomer. If one is not licensed to operate on a particular frequency, then that person is trespassing on those who are licensed to be there. This is analagous to people trespassing on land that is owned by others. I'm not aware of any "free" land available, at least in the lower 48 states. There are no "free" bands, either.

Having said all this, I must confess that at the age of about 12, before I got my first ham ticket, a friend and I used Ford Model T spark coils to communicate in code between our houses about a block apart. That operation only lasted a couple of hours before my father caught me. Lord knows how many AM radios we clobbered in the neighborhood. We did learn something about bandwidth that day, and both of us did eventually obtain our ham licenses.

I would guess that most of the so-called "freebanders" are old enough to know better, and are simply taking advantage of the availability of transceivers.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K3UD on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"I would guess that most of the so-called "freebanders" are old enough to know better, and are simply taking advantage of the availability of transceivers."


More likely taking advantage of the lack of enforcement.

Almost everyone over the age of reason violates some law at one time or another even if they do not know they are violating a law. When I was young teenage licensed driver I got so many speeding tickets that there was a problem obtaining insurance for a time.

This was because the speeding laws were being enforced and I was too stupid to realize it. (The lesson will be repeated until learned....)

Do I speed now? Sometimes, and not by much... but as others have said 1, 5, or 10 miles over is the same as 30 or 40 miles over. Of course your fine goes up as you get caught at faster speeds until you finally get a reckless driving charge and lose the license.

Right now there is little or no enforcement going on that might affect a freebander, so these activities fall into a kind of organized civil disobedience activity which, while tolerated much of the public, is very, very annoying to a relatively few people. I, and many others on this thread are of those few.

Yes its illegal, but no one in authority is worrying enough about it to enforce the law. What was it that the governor of South Dakota said before he killed the guy on the motorcycle? Something like if he knew he would be caught and fined everytime he was speeding, he would slow down.

73
George
K3UD
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder how many of these indignant hams have ever driven on an expired drivers license, or god forbid, as a kid, violated the part 15 certification by attaching a 9' wire to their Lloyds walkie talkie.

This thread is hilarious. I'd say the level of hysteria beats even the no-code debate topic.

Some of my favorites:

From the hippie ham camp:"These clowns have incurred bad karma, they are going to get busted, what goes around comes around."(I guess he forgot to add "man".)

From the "they can't possibly know as much as I" camp:"[wanting proof] The statement that freebanders are as technically adept as hams in many instances."

From the "I might have owned a Kraco" camp:"The asshole freebanders and CB'ers will be right in there with everyone"


This is quite entertaining. Carry on. Literally.

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WB8JKR on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Its illegal, period. And if these people
take it upon themselves to do it anyway, they
are illegal POOR operators with no regard for
anyone but themselves. Period.
They don't need explaining, they don't need
compassion, they need a swift kick in the ass.

Mark WB8JKR
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by NI6G on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
From the ignorant pig-f#cker camp:

"I wonder how many of these indignant hams have ever driven on an expired drivers license, or god forbid, as a kid, violated the part 15 certification by attaching a 9' wire to their Lloyds walkie talkie."

PS - I am too young to be a hippie.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9GOC on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
K3UD said:
"Maybe we should have a one time amnesty program for all freebanders whereby they go to the nearest VE examination location, sign an affidavit that they are engaging in freeband activities, and receive a General class license for their trouble. "

Not at our VE session, I hope!!

While forgiveness is laudable, I'm petty enough to want to see some repentance of past sins and a promise to go and sin no more, not just an admission of past infraction.

And I'd also suggest that if these freebander amnesty licenses come to pass, they be granted with some conditions - - such as an 'NC' (or similar) prefix, and an exclusion from the vanity callsign program.

Just one Grumpy Old Coot's opinion,
Frederick/W9GOC
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC5NYK writes:

"Posting someone's e-mail address in a malicious manner is not only childish, but perhaps even more illustrative of ham radio's warts than is the OP topic"

I disagree. If you are going to suggest to a bunch of LICENSED hams that illegal operation by CB operators really isn't all that bad, do so openly. Don't be a "freebander" and hide behind some "handle", "good buddy".


 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC5NYJ also writes:

"I wonder how many of these indignant hams have ever driven on an expired drivers license, or god forbid, as a kid, violated the part 15 certification by attaching a 9' wire to their Lloyds walkie talkie".

My friend, if you can't see the difference between a kid attaching a wire to a 100mw LLoyd's walke-talkie and a "freebander" using 500 watts outside the CB band, then there is little hope for you.

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC0ODY on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"From the "they can't possibly know as much as I" camp:"[wanting proof] The statement that freebanders are as technically adept as hams in many instances."

I never said I know more than anyone else on the subject of freebanders. In fact, had you read what I had posted on this very subject earlier in the thread, you'll know that I don't know much of anything about freebanding. My latter post, about posting some proof for the author's contention, was an attempt to obtain some evidence that things really are the way they are on the freebands, which, I'll admit, I know nothing about. Information-gathering, if you will.

It's nice to know you're so easily amused.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by NI0C on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder if K3UD would be in favor of a "one-time amnesty" program for unlicensed drivers issuing them licenses without passing a test for "their troubles."

 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by NI6G on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Quite frankly, I think that a lot of these freebanders are complete panty-waisters. They act big and bad behind their microphones and keyboards. However, if they were ever in a real face-to-face confrontation, they would pee their pants and run away like a little girl.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W8OB on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You guys ever notice that whenever a subject like this comes up and the law fearing citizens condone the activity that theres alway a handfull of sh-thouse lawyers out there who try to brush a rosy hue to the picture. Comments like " what you never exceeded the speedlimit" Christ give us all a break what the hell does speeding a low level violation have in common with a felony?????????. Its bad enough 2 meters has gone to hell on a greased slide with some of these so called high tech fools coming into the hobby. Man no wonder ham radio is getting so screwed up!
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by OBSERVER11 on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Clark,
Confession may be good for the soul, but if you are looking for absolution, you have come to the WRONG PLACE.

I need to ask why you say “The Yaesu FT-101, with its "peculiar" (ARRL) 11-meter band position was the first radio to allow the CB'er to operate Freeband, ushering in a new style of 11-meter operation”… are you suggesting that the ARRL had anything to do with Yaesu including an 11 meter position on the band switch? You should know this, the FT-101 series were not able to TRANSMIT on 11 meters as they came from Japan, and the service center did go out of its way to restore the inoperablility when these radios came in for service. I know, I was there.

FYI, there were many rig prior to the FT-101 series that offered an "11 meter" position, Hallicrafters, EFJohnson are just two of many that come to mind.

Bootleggers, aka “freebanders” have always and will always be Amateur “wannabees”, this is why they use “hamspeak”.

There is one fact of the matter here, the bottom line is this, “freeband” operation is illegal, person that engage in this operation are outlaws. They deserve zero respect, zero admiration, and should not be encouraged to join the ranks of Amateur Radio.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by LNXAUTHOR on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
- as a new ham granted HF privileges, i am deathly afraid of using any frequency outside of those allocated for my license

- to do so is not only impolite and illegal, but also can have serious consequences

- why would anyone want to use a transceiver on a non-allocated frequency?

- what is the thrill behind such action?

- and to credit law-breakers with some higher purpose?

- i don't understand the article at all...
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KR4XH on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What is this article doing here? Why do you try to turn "right" and "wrong" into a 256 grey scale measure of "not so wrong" or "almost right"?

Borrowing from the K.I.S.S. theorem:

Operate where it it legal to do so: Simple

Operate elsewhere: Stupid

What is so difficult about that?

don
KR4XH
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"If you are going to suggest to a bunch of LICENSED hams that illegal operation by CB operators really isn't all that bad, do so openly. Don't be a "freebander" and hide behind some "handle", "good buddy"

Well, good buddy, I don't recall posting anything in support of freebanders. Perhaps you read that into my questions. By the way, I'm pretty sure my callsign, not a handle, is indicated right there at the top of this post.

Some of you are really funny, and others seem pitifully insane and unable to follow a thread.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K4YZ on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There doesn't need to be ANY discussion.

"Freebanding" is illegal. Yes, I have heard "good ops" while monitoring this segment of the band, but that still doesn't negate the fact that it's against the law.

"Freebanding" is not some sort of "freedom of speech" issue, nor is it the same as the "right to bear arms".

"Freebanders" are thieves...no different than if they wandered up into your yard and took some bit of your property. International laws are set up to try and parcel out the very FINITE resources of the spectrum. Freebanders have made it very difficult if not impossible for LEGITIMATE users of those allocations to use them.

And the blight is spreading..."Freebanders" can be heard all throughout the spectrum, even invading the once "distant" allocations in the VHF range.

No...These are not people who are just "nice guys" looking for a bit of fun. They are thieves and hooligans, and should be given every opportunity to experience the judicial system from the inside out.

Steve Robeson, K4YZ
Winchester, TN

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB0GU on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
A long time ago, I had an article in a CB magazine advocating turning the Freeband into an entry level Ham license and single band of frequencies. This would cure two problems with one stone.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W4UDX on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"Freebanding", as already pointed out, is an illegal activity that is spreading into the CW portion of 10 Meters. All the comments in the world about the courteousy of the operators or comparisons to 75 Meter lids will not make it any more legal not will it encourage them to stop. Enforcement is the only solution to "freebanding" and the obvious problem with 75 Meters.... and the FCC does not have the budget or desire to go that route.
"Ham Radio and Freeband" is like comparing apple to .... dog poop.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AA4PB on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"I had an article in a CB magazine advocating turning the Freeband into an entry level Ham license and single band of frequencies. This would cure two problems with one stone."

Why not just eliminate the licensing requirements for ham radio and make them all "instant" hams?

We could also raise the CB power limit to 5KW and suddenly make a bunch more people legal. In fact, why not eliminate all laws. That would make everything legal and empty out the prisons. Look at the cost savings.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KG5JJ on November 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Freebanding a "victimless crime"? Those international users (government, civil, military) who were displaced from using their legal and righful spectrum by the chaos freebanders perpetrated, during years of peak solar activity, would beg to differ.

I totally agree about the "lack of respect" issue. Those operators don't care about rights of others. All the courtesy of operation with a cherry on top in the world doesn't qualify their illegal behavior.

Yeah, there are bad eggs in every service, ours included. What is disturbing is the "I'm gonna do whatever-the-hell I want to" attitude. Presumably a reflection of eroding social values in general.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)

 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WD4HVA on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The funny thing is that many times you can listen in on the "freebanders" and hear them using CW. It's kind of funny to hear them doing this and then turn around and read a post where the writer claims that mere knowledge of CW is a worthwhile "filter". It wasn't working on 75 meters twenty years ago and it doesn't work now. There are the "CW freebanders" who prove that CW and "good operating habits" don't go
hand in hand. Those who are going to operate poorly or break the rules for the "fun" or "challenge" will do it anyway.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KD7KGX on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Here's the problem I have with the Freeband and 'skip shooting' idiots.

Have you seen the rigs some of these cretins wire together. Sure... they're clever examples of jury-rigging but there's no real engineering going on here. Have any of these knuckleheads who run 25 kilowatts (that's right) mobile to compete in these CB contests ever stopped to think about what all that RF was doing to them and to anyone within the danger zone?

Good radio practices DON'T include cascading amp upon amp, with haphazard cable runs and exposed RF connectors and antennas that are putting out thousands of watts of RF within 6' of the operator.

There's a REASON for the FCC's 5 watt limit on CB, and for requiring licensing of higher-powered operators... hopefully some education will be required before the test can be passed and some idiot won't fry his kids' or his wife's brains... or the people in the next parking spot. I don't believe in giving 1st-time Freebanders the death penalty... but confiscating equipment and a stern talking-to are certainly in order. Repeat offenders should get jail time, because they are harming others (properly-licensed businesses, the CAP, the military, amateurs, etc.) who have this interference in their bands.

I guess my biggest objection is that it really isn't that hard to pass Elements 1A and 3 so that you can LEGALLY operate on HF. Geez, while I was studying to get my license I picked up an HW-9 that could copy all sorts of interesting CW signals on 40m... but I didn't try to call anyone.

Wilful ignorance shouldn't be respected or tolerated.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KF4VGX on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is no such a thing as FREE BAND .There assigned frequencies .
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by VK5CC on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As a wise old ham once said "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".Lets all celebrate the magic of RADIO and the ionosphere. And as another ham once said"There are three great levellers in life"Propagation, girlfriends and freebanders!

Keep dxing and enjoy the Short Waves no matter what band you use!

Best 73 from Chris.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K2FIX on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Driving around NYC with an Icom 706, and scanning around, here's what there is, in the freeband department.

27.500 + - not much unless a band opening. Then the area between 27.475 and 27.600 is very active. Junk freeband sets outnumber the ham sets, based upon the signals. Hugely more active than 10 meters.

There's less activity on the legal CB band than above it or below it. This one confuses me, as freeband makes sense if you are escaping a crowded band, not if no one is there. Tuning into the legal band normally shows Channel 6 alive with kilowatts on AM, and totally unintelligble conversations. I'm amazed at any local groundwave that gives me 60 +/9 with the transmitter in a city 35 miles away. There's the usual trucker chatter on 19, which predated the CB craze and outlasted it. That's it.

Don't think all freeband is the "triple nickel" silliness. The same stupidity you can hear on Channel 6 is in evidence in the NY metro area on FRS channel one. High power, and 5 khz deviation, not the legal low power and 2.5 khz deviation can be heard on FRS 1, with conversations concerning buggered taxi radios and ham rigs.

I don't operate there, not out of moral concerns but because there's no real "communication" there. Lots of people howling into the air, but no actual discussion.


 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W6EZ on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
While it is true that many current hams came into amateur radio from "freeband" it does not change the fact that it is illegal to be a free bander.

Some people who engaged illegal street races with thier hot rods in high school grew up to build and race real race cars in sanctioned racing events, does not excuse the fact that street racing is illegal.

The fact is, everyone changes as they move through life and everyone makes choices as to what they will and will not do. A person who was once a criminal freebander may well become a legal ham one day. This does not change the fact that freebanding is illegal and it does not excuse it.

To try to say a freebander on 27.575 with a modified Yaesu ham rig is somehow less illegal than another operator with a modified corbra crusher 148gtl special on 27.575 doesn't work.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8VWM on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is no such thing as a "Good Freebander."
Similarly, there is no such thing as a good murderer.

In each case freebanders demonstrate that they break the law. In our society we generally consider this as either a right thing, or a wrong thing to do.

So which is it? a Right thing or a Wrong thing to do?

If you answered "wrong" then you are correct.

So are you suggesting by writing this article that there are "good" wrongs?

73

KC8VWM




 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K7LA on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What part of illegal operation do you not understand?
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WA9SVD on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm really confused. Many posts here say "Freebanding is illegal." (Which it is.)
But a few articles earlier (THE REAL THREAT) there's a thread where many contributors are saying illegal or unlicensed operation is OK on 2M or UHF because it "doesn't hurt anyone."

Which is it? it can't be illegal on HF, but tolerable on VHF, can it?
Illegal operation is illegal operation, regardless of band, isn't it?

Where do you draw the line about illegal or unlicensed operation? Is there a cutoff power level? Or a cutoff Frequency?
(Or is it only when it affects your own operation, and everyone else be darned?)

Are we all not supposed to support each other and present a united front for the mutual benefit of ALL Amateur Radio Operators?
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W8EEO on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is an old saw and it seems it will be around for a while. I have no idea what will happen in the future but have lived long enough to realize that things change. This will be the case as ham radio evolves.
Will we lose bands. I don't know.
Will cw be banned. I don't know.
Will ham radio cease to exist. I don't think so.
First of all, I love to work cw and have been active on that mode for 40 plus years as well as a lot of other modes. I love to build, rag chew, work distant stastions, meet new people, build equipment, restore classic gear, and on and on.
I have seen many changes and many of you have as well. for example, I remember when AM was being displaced by SSB I thought it was the end of the world. But, I decided that if I couldn't beat them, and I certainly couldn't, then I would join them.
I worked my old receivers over (avc, stability, bandwidth, etc) built a 2 tube ssb exiter and a modest rf amp and have never looked back. What I am trying to say is this: don't worry so much about the changes you see coming but make the best of them and enjoy. It would be a great loss for me if we would lose the ability to operate cw, but I also am aware of the fact that there are many, many folks who also love cw and we will manage just fine. If you don't happen to enjoy working cw then for goodness sake don't do any more of it than necessary. Thank you for letting me ramble.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
All of this agony, gnashing of teeth, nightmares, terrible visions, pounding on key boards over what non-hams do.

Oh noooooooooooo Mr. Bill. We are certainly doomed if some guy, illegally operating below 28 Mcs, discovers ham radio, and becomes a ham (legal operation).

We’re really sunk if one of ‘em wants to get on HF bad enough to pass the CW test.

We need a committee to develop a pool of questions to catch any of them who might become a ham. Before every testing session, we can use the questions to screen all applicants.

Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the communist party? Have any of your friends ever operated a modified CB or ham radio illegally? Do any of your friends know someone who has operated a CB or ham radio illegally? Do you know of anyone operating a CB radio or ham radio illegally? Have you ever listened to a tape of illegal radio operation? Have you had a dream of illegally operating a radio? Any subversive thoughts concerning a radio, or any electrical appliance? Are the ONLY big knobs you want to play with on women!? When you lust after BIG JUGS, are they in an amplifier!?

Have you ever heard a telephone conversation on a scanner or mobile telephone?

So help you God?

OK. Check this guy for mic breath Sargent Friday.

Cuff 'em Dano. He's heard someone using a "roger beep on a D104". No good can ever come from such a subversive.

Have FUN
Bob
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by G5FSD on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>by K0RFD
27.405 CB Class D Channel 40
27.430 Business
27.450 Business
27.470 Business
27.490 Business
27.510 Business
27.530 Business
27.710 Forest Products
27.730 Forest Products
27.750 Forest Products
27.770 Forest Products
27.790 Forest Products
27.900 US Army


So, 27.54 to 27.7 is clear in the USA then.. a lot of international freebanding takes place in this range with a calling channel at 27.555... and it's all very well saying a channel is *allocated* to business/forestry, but does anyone ACTUALLY try to use it?

Let's face it, the whole area from 26-28 MHz is useless for reliable comms because of an international problem. Even if one country cleans up, the problem isn't going to go away, so, defeatist it may be but there really isn't much that can be done. Banning the international manufacture/sale/ownership of cheap expandable 27/28MHz SSB radios would take decades to arrange and isn't likely to happen. We're stuck with this problem, and all other users avoid this part of the spectrum because it's become worthless.

In a nutshell, the freebanders have won this bit of spectrum for themselves through sheer force of numbers, and it's unenforcable, practically.
Is there really much difference between
a) the ITU deciding that AM or FM CB was too limiting and so allocating an SSB-only CB band around 27.5 due to democratic pressure
b) the masses voting with their mics and simply using a part of the spectrum that they believe is mostly unused anyway
- the final result is very similar, if not the same.

Look what happens in the real world, no-one buys CB licences... CB becomes licence free. People abuse 154 'dot' channels, MURS is created. There is a lot to be said for knowing when sheer force of demand makes it more prudent to just give in and MAKE it legal. You're fighting a losing battle otherwise, and when the numbers of people are sufficiently large it would be undemocratic NOT to let them have their way.

May I repeat though, I do NOT support freebanding, and have never partaken. But all those years of denying SSB HF DXing to people without Morse tests, and 11m freebanding is the INEVITABLE result. It's human nature. Unfortunately, it's often also human nature to deny that it's normal human naure, too :o)

Flame away!
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by FJGH on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So called 'free banders' are the problem for the fcc not hams. What are hams going to do about it, talk them to death on eham like every other subject?

The free banders aren't even very interesting to listen to, but pirate 'commercial' sw broadcasters can be very intertaining.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If they get away with unlawful frequency use today on 11 meters, what prevents them from moving to 20 meters where the propigation is a whole lot better??



 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE:

Simple economics! You won’t see a huge influx of “Freebanders” on 20 meters, because there aren’t any manufacturers producing inexpensive “Export” radios that can be easily modified to get there!

If they want onto 20 or any of the lower bands, they will have to spend serious money, for real Ham equipment. Have you priced a IC-706MKIIG lately?

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE brings up a valid point, but, what if monkeys fly out of my butt? We can "what if" all day long. The fact is, if they were going to do so, the 20m band would ALREADY sound like 27Mhz. Multiband radios are dime a dozen these days, what with hams divesting themselves of 80's vintage gear in favor of the newer stuff. Anybody can go to a hamfest or eBay and pick up a good used 100w ham radio for under $400. Maybe some of you can attest to the problem one way or the other. Was there a major increase in 20m pirate activity after the last cycle? There were plenty of radios around then, too.

I would imagine, though, these U.S. "Freebanders" are smart enough to know that popping into the 20m band on a fixed station would be sure death should they transmit for more than a few turns on a regular basis. Coupled that with the fact they surely know they would be running at great risk should they choose to call CQ, since they'd never know who they were talking to until it's too late. That would relegate them to talking only to a few in their "circle", and again, a "circle" of pirates would be quickly ferreted out and reported.

There is a lot of pirate South American traffic around 20m and 40m already, or at least I assume it's pirate, since I don't hear a lot of IDing going on.

It seems I read somewhere last year the Ranger company was planning either a 20m or 40m monoband mobile rig to complement their popular 10/12m and relatively unpopular 6m radios. I haven't seen it come to fruition. Maybe that's because there is no market for a cheap monoband digital HF rig outside of "Freebanders" and the occasional Amateur.

I also recall seeing something about Magnum International(now, there's a fine radio manufacturer) planning a 40m "base station"(CBer lure) that looked like their cheapo "10m" base station. Actually, that radio is already selling in the Phillipines and Asia, along with an identical 40m version under the "Jopix" brand, which sells on eBay modified for use on the 49m SW band. My point being, there is no lack of cheap radios out there for "Freebanders" to use for encroaching on the Amateur allocations. The fact it's not happening that much yet here in the U.S. tells me it probably won't be a big problem any time soon. When it does, it'll be Foxhunt weekend, EVERY weekend.



 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K3UD on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"I wonder if K3UD would be in favor of a "one-time amnesty" program for unlicensed drivers issuing them licenses without passing a test for "their troubles."

NI0C,

The one time amnesty program was a tongue in cheek comment, kinda like the 'lets give away licenses in Wheaties boxes' comments that get posted on occassion. I am sorry you got the wrong impression. As I said in both of my posts on the subject, freebanding is an illegal activity and I am troubled by it, but more troubled about lack of enforcement by the FCC.

73
George
K3UD
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WB9UDJ on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
And I suppose it is alright for our politicians to steal a little bit from us, the government and anyone else they can.

Kind of like the guy that was trying to marry off his daughter and he told the prospective grooms, "she is just a little bit pregnant"

We have enough bootlegger operators that are operating out of band space alloted to them, so why try to justify bootleggers as good operators.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC5NYJ:

I think you nailed it when you said:

>>>”…..these U.S. "Freebanders" are smart enough to know that popping into the 20m band on a fixed station would be sure death should they transmit for more than a few turns on a regular basis.”<<<

Now, I don’t personally know any Freebanders, but I strongly suspect that this is largely a mobile violation (at least inside the U.S.), for the above stated reason.

Anyone who has dabbled in HF mobile operation knows that there’s a lot more to it than slapping a Mag-mount on the roof, and turning on the power! The antenna logistics alone will probably keep the majority of Freebanders near the 11 meter band, where they can buy “off-the-shelf” solutions.

If Freebanding in the U.S. is, in fact, largely mobile, then I would tend to think that our fears of older used Ham equipment being misused are also exaggerated. Most of the older HF rigs are just too large for mobile applications.

Hopefully, Freebanding will follow the CB’s example: I was very popular for a while, and then the majority got bored with it, and went on to some other craze.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WT0A on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
See www.1stopelectronics.com/eexport-radios.html
 
RE: Hams Allow Freebander Chaos  
by NE1Z on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

The fact that Freebanding exists is the total lack of Enforcement for well over the last 15 years. Not for the equipment sales (pointless) but simply the habitual behavior. It is now a training ground for would-bes or wanna-bes because everyone makes such damn good excuses why the FCC has failed to uphold law & order by running some of these people through the system. Anyone who says they "can't hear" invaders, really needs to get an antenna & a receiver!!!

Think about Riley Hollingsworth saying he can't hear any violations on 10/12M next time you are kissing his toushe' saying what a great job he is doing catching "ditters" on 20M... He is ignoring the problems because he "can't find the hard ones" with no calls. Stop making endless excuses for not getting ANY results from the FCC!

Another BIG joke, like ham radio has become.

NE1Zzzzzz
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC5NYJ writes:

"...what if monkeys fly out of my butt?"

Gee...in reading your rant, I thought that is PRECISELY what was occurring.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So, are you saying you don't agree with my posts?
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W8BBM on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Okay, so just what is the point of this article? What is the author intending to do? Is he suggesting freebanding is good and the natural progression to Ham Radio? Is he suggesting it be made legal? Is he suggesting freebanders make better operators than those who were never freebanders?

This is my short article:
Freebanding is illegal and violators should be punished. It is these "freebanders" who have found their way onto the 10 meter CW portion of the band and clearly are presenting us problems. Now, are these the bad freebanders as opposed to the good freebanders who stay below 28Mhz? No, they are all the same because they are all illegal operators. If they admire ham radio as much as you suggest, they should forget the charade of their freeband ham impersonation and do it the legal way like the rest of us. That means study and pass a test. That's the right way.

W8BBM
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K0RGR on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What we have here is a failure to communicate. The term 'freebander' is not appropriate. They should be called by their older, more correct titles, "pirate" and "bootlegger".

Operating outside your assigned frequencies is only a 'victimless' crime until you unknowingly interfere with critical radio communications elsewhere. The purpose of licenses is to prevent that.

FCC is happy to accept any information you can provide on these miscreants.
 
RE: Hams Allow Freebander Chaos  
by WA9SVD on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
With the VERY limited staff (and budget) that Riley has at his disposal, (as well as a 15 year "do nothing" policy at the FCC) Riley himself admits that the Enforcement Bureau IS "Complaint oriented."
The FCC no longer goes out looking for offenders, but when (legitimate) complaints are filed with at least some proof of violation, his department will consider investigating, and eventually locating and inspecting a suspected unlicensed operator. But on a shoestring budget, only the worst offenders will be visited.
I certainly wish we had the kind of enforcement we had back in the 60's, and the fear everyone had of the FCC. But unfortunately, the times have changed, and in this case for the worse.
The way WE can help is to try to identify and locate illegal oprerators and turn the information over to the FCC. But just complaining that "I heard an illegal operator on the CW portion of 10M" is useless. Unless you can help locate the operator, so that the FCC can monitor and visit that location, it's wasting everyone's time.
Foxhunting can help; perhaps a network (nationwide) of concerned individuals can be established to set up a system to identify and locate offenders.

ANd remember, the FCC has no jurisdiction in regards to foreign operators.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KEV2366 on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you Sir for a fact based, and fair article.

I appreciate your points, and have to agree with most all of them. Sure there will always be bad apples in the Human bunch, (even among the 'I was NEVER a CB'er, and I'm PROUD that I'm better than those who were!!!', licensees) but for the most part I bet you're correct in your assumption that all the amateur bands are, to a fair degree, populated with X-CB'ers who have now found the cream of the crop in Radio operation and have done as the rest of us, studied, learned, and accepted the challenge of becoming responsible to a license with it's the associated rules, regulations, and priveledges.

As you may have perceived, I am an X-CB'er, once caught in the nervous fun at the center of this topic, and now liberated by the very law that once came to visit and confiscate!

Yes I still sometimes drive 69 in a 65 zone, but I'm afraid I am human, and must contend with this form of 'Grey 256' for another few years - which reminds me of something I heard and liked a while back;

"Those upon whom grace has been visited will offer grace to others, those to whom only harshness, criticism and condemnation have been realized shall offer none other."
- L. Henry Scott

- For me this rather sums up the differentiation between the character of many of the posts on this strand, and NO I do NOT still "FREEBAND", but I do understand the point of this post as being;

- While the internet is stealing many individuals who's interest lies in the form of technical communication from ever persuing Amateur Radio, those exposed to Radio (instead of only the internet) via the CB band (and those largely unused frequencies just above and below it) actually offer a large percentage of mostly polite and 'rule-respecting' new Amateur Operators to help 'plug that hole' of the loss of numbers in the Amateur ranks largely caused by the internet and cell phone technologies, and "Freebanders" with Amateur rigs are more likely to cross over than are those with simple modified CB rigs, due to the exposure that listening to the other bands (included within their amateur radios) provides.

Good article, eye-opening and a refreshing contrast to the standard attitude of condemnation to the whole of 'Post-CB/Freeband Operatorship' commonly found being most highly propogated by those older Hams who are still P.O.'d over losing their once 'Hot DX' 11 meter band.

Thank you for bringing these many facts to light while in no way condoning the illegal "Freebanding" activity to which your acticle refers.

Cheers!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by NI0C on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
K3UD: I am sorry I misunderstood your post. Thanks for the clarification.

73 de Chuck NI0C
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WA2JJH on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Illegal and as other hams pointed out there are real freqs for other services. I guess the class D business band is out of business due to freebanding.

What is another trend is that FRS freqs. are floaded with high power UHF CBers.

I did do the 9 foot wire on a 10 transistor lafayette
radio electronics 3 channel H-T when I was 8 years old.

I freaked out. An adult started yelling and cursing at me! He said he knew where I lived. YADA YADA YADA.

I got so paranoid after that! Everytime a walked by a Police officer with his brand new HT-220, I thought that transmission could have come from one of those MOTOROLA SUPER RADIO'S that just had a rubber duck antenna on it.

Funny, the kids these days would not have that reaction. They are more savy than I was back then.
If they did the old 9 foot wire trick, they would curse they guy right back!

Never got into freebanding. However my friend bought the FT-101 when it came out. He just cut the brown wire that shorted the 12by7a driver to the finals.
Back then freebanding was not so rampant. The guy did get his ticket. He got tired of looking over his back. One of his freebanding buddies got a visit from the FCC.
Jungle joe was running 600 watts, and bragging about it on all of the 23 channels! The over driven d-104 made him receivable across 6 or 7 channels.
Back then the NYC FCC field office did actually go after people. Really, they did!

NO MORE.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AM5ATEUR on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like a CBer who brags about operating out of band before he obtained a ham license and continues to operate out of band after he receives his ham license.
Then he tries to convince everyone it's ok to do what he is doing or has done. He's just another CBer with a ham license whose promoting CB radio on Amateur Radio and trying to turn ham radio into CB. Stick your freeband and CB radio promoting where the sun don't
shine.



 
RE: Hams Allow Endless Chaos  
by NE1Z on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
SVD et al,

Again with the defensive excuses, just like I mentioned.

"Complaint oriented" just doesn't cut it. Going out looking for offenders is one thing, but using HFDF to find a CW nimrod when they can't be bothered with daily, habitual offenses by land based US stations is quite another & undefendable.

Worship Riley, make endless excuses, make 100's tapes & spend 1000's of hours detailing known offenders. It is all for nothing. It is so bad now & the ham-worshipper excuse makers so abundant, he can simply draw his $100K+ while convincing everyone he needs more "evidence" & continue to do nothing. He is a lawyer, not a cop. Now the band propagation is declining so the "problem" is already going away (in his mind). What has happened to the tapes & messages from the last 5 years, they all suddenly disappear? He can't seem to hear anything on 10/12 on or off "duty"??? I think this make believe "I can't hear anything" mirage is a cold slap in the face to all of us who have honestly answered the Who/What/Where/When of specific & mostly habitual incidents. Taping is pointless, they do need a $10 CD player & stop with the 1950 technology limit. Phonecalls & voicemail NEVER get responses even when requested.

The "complaint system" has such a built-in latency, it is more a trash can than an active complaint desk, but yell at someone without a call & you are almost sure to get a letter if you sign your call!

Yet they can find a 20M CW "ditter" in just days??? !!!BS !!!

It reflects complacency & lack of duty to remain seated all during the week watching your AOL account for someone selling "assault radios" on ebay.

Until we replace this lawyer with a real cop & an activist, you can make excuses for the deliquency of duty on the part of the FCC to enforce the rules all you want:

ALL discussion of enforcement is totally pointless...

NE1Z/Oo
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by PHINEAS on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I guess I am a sucker for these TROLL threads, but here it goes.

I was a ham way back when I was a kid. I found the support group sh*tty to say the least, and found people to not be very welcome. (Especially to a 12 year old Black Child). For many years I would get into CB. Back then I never gave ham radio a second thought. Later on in the years, I would go to places like HRO in LA, or Gateway Electronics in St.Louis to feed some curiousity about getting back into hamradio. When I would ask questions, all the people hanging around these places did was turn me in the direction of the nearest CB shop. Would not even think of telling me how to get a license.

As time went along, I decided to get back into radio again. I met this fella that had a modified radio, and would show me how I could talk to south america on 5 watts. I got hooked after that. Freeband was on.

That went on for a couple of years till I needed to get my radio worked on. I stopped at a little CB shop at a truck stop in Troy, IL. Talked to These 2 guys Dave and Jerry. We got to talking, and they brought up getting my license. Jerry(Mike) showed me the book, and told me where to look for a testing place. 3 weeks later, I got my tech. I immediately stopped freebanding, sold all of my illegal radios and passed my general a month later. If it were not for fellas like Mike and Dave, I would proably still be freebanding.

Although there are still hams out there that are knuckleheads(Especially in St.Louis), I have found this to be one of the best moves I ever made. Noone out there runs a station any better nor as clean as I do.

As time went along, I have met a lot of ham radio hipacrits(spell check). Almost every used radio I have ever gotten from another ham has been clipped to talk out of band. Some of the most critical CB bashers I know have more illegal radio equipment than any CBer I know would ever have.

75 meters- I was so disappointed with this band, I gave my 75/80 meter hamstick away. I knew some freebanders that have radio habits that would but some of those raving and ranting old farts to shame.

All in all, I think the original poster was not try to take away from the illegality of "freebanding", I just think trying to bring a reality to light. Frankly if someone doesnt like my past they can call the FCC.

Fact is, it takes a special kind of person to try. Its too bad snobs make it hard for some people to try the right way. This is the case with many hobbies. It is very easy to look down on someone that doesnt know any better, or who is not encouraged to do things right. I resent the remarks that all non-ham freebanders are just a bunch of dummies that have no interest in radio. There are some bashers on here that cant hold a lick to the level of my education, or experience with Electrical/Controls Engineering and Programming yet I can from those ranks.

Nowadays, I have encouraged more than a few people who are now licensed hams, and passed the CW test. Some of the people were freebanders. So what. As long as a person operates legally who cares where they come from.

Phineas
-.- ----- -.- -- .-
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W1RFI on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> And I've used the exact same [speeding vehicle]
> analogy myself.

The problem with the analogy is that one rulebreaking is an infraction and the other a federal felony.

I occasionally drive over the speed limit. Does that give me carte blanche to break any law I see fit to break?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W1RFI on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Where were you yesterday, when that “a-hole” clipped
> my front bumper while making an illegal lane
> change?

By the analogy offered about speeding, it is okay if he made an illegal lane change if you have ever exceeded the speed limit. :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5ONV on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Good writing Phineas ! I agree with your thoughts and ideas on the topic !Thanks for being honest. 73 Jim
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N4UM on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What a bunch of crap!!!
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AC6DN on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I too, originally cam from the CB/ Free band. When I did this, I did not see this as illegal. I saw it as a plot of unused land; It did not have a fence; A no trespassing sign; Any obvious owner; Nor, were any more often, “odd signals” (legitimate users), heard than, I hear typically on our HF bands; And none of us operated on a frequency that had “something” on it…

I have been a HAM over ten years. I haven’t operated there, since becoming licensed.
Over ten years ago, was the heyday, of my (free band) experience. The free banders then, were, much more civilized, than many HAM’s are today. They were nothing like the typical CBer, one probably thinks of – no relation; Think HAM.

We did our best to act, better than, any typical HAM.

We operated from around 26.0-27.9, 27.41-28.99, SSB, FM, AM. No one I know, ever operated in the HAM band as a “free bander”. I.e., the operators that are heard on 10M, are typically CB’ers. Again I say, these are not, one in the same!!!

During the last cycle 1989(?), it was much more fun than any HF HAM experience I’ve had yet. I never heard a dx station jammed out, like is too, typical in a 20M pile up. It was vary uncommon to ignore someone who is weak like to typical on 80M. What I was exposed to, i.e. free banders, were far more polite, than what I have seen, yet today, on HF.

So what my point?
I think We HAM should try to operated more like what I saw of the freebanders; I wish: Dx’ers would try to be more HAM like, than CB like; We’d give mobiles and other weak stations more of a brake; I’de like to see us act more like were a team.
I think “we” in this country, tend to make anything, that the status quo (“sheeppole”), are not into, into something illegal…



 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AC6DN on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding the person who posted the frequency allocations, true, but no one is home…

I know of only one user (someone who I personally know), in the 27.4xx area. He’s got frequencies, but has no legitimate business need for the frequencies. I personally think he, as a HAM, Hates free banders; So he got those frequencies, so that he’d get interference, so he could sue freebanders for damages (he clams he has already)…
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W3WW on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'll bet almost every one of you that disagree in disgust with Clark are the operators that have destroyed the 80 Meter SSB segment. Some of you are licensed hams.....and too embarassed to list your call.

Some of the most respected members of our Ham Community are here because of CB (and freeband). They operated legal or perhaps slightly illegal.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K0RFD on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
G5FSD Wrote:
>So, 27.54 to 27.7 is clear in the USA then.. a lot of
>international freebanding takes place in this range
>with a calling channel at 27.555... and it's all very
>well saying a channel is *allocated* to
>business/forestry, but does anyone ACTUALLY try to use
>it?

I don't think I ever said it was "clear".
The fact that a frequency is not licensed by the FCC to a particular group of American users does not mean it is "clear". It may be set aside by the ITU for other uses in in other ITU regions, or by other nations in our same ITU region with whom an American licensee would interfere.

A good portion of the spectrum you mention is set aside for Meteorological Aids/Fixed/Mobile services by other nations here in Region 2. And for Maritime Mobile services in ITU Region 3. But hey, if you're a scofflaw, you don't care WHICH ship is sinking, as long as you want to use a frequency illegally, right?

Kind of pointless to have this discussion. If you are advocating something illegal, you hardly care about what is legal.

I just checked, and as of a few minutes ago, nobody was "trying to use" 14.240. That doesn't mean that it's proper for anybody to use without a license. And that's what we're talking about here.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KG5JJ on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Comments waxing poetic about the courtesy, character, and good-will-toward-men operation by bootleggers brought a thought boiling to the surface; Nice rats are still...well...RATS!

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AB8RU on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Lets face it people Freebanding is a Violation of CFR 47 no ands ifs or buts, Let me put it this way..

Mr. Hollingsworth has spent considerable time and taxpayers money in Enforcing the FCC rules, we pay our taxes just for that reason, I was taking my Extra Class Exam just recently, I don't want to identify details, but someone had a letter from the FCC at the exam, I imagine that person is attempting to pass whatever element(s) to comply.

on the Other hand, the FCC post at ARRL as well their site for violations of the FCC rules. ranging from fines, revoking licenses, etc..

Just recently a ham turned in his license for 2 years for being on the police bands, doesn't that strike you that he got into trouble and now ruined his capability to do some stuff in Amateur Radio? for Example to become a VE you cannot have your license suspended or revoked.

There may be other positions under the same thought, REVOKED or SUSPENDED means you probably just ruined a probablity to say get another FCC license in another service should the FCC decides to take that into consideration let alone demote someones license grade.

Sure you apply and spend your money with all your hearts content, plain and simple, If that frequency was not allocated by the FCC for that service or license I think that person should reread CFR 47 for that particular service.

I also hold a RP in the Commercial Radiotelephone License I held a Third Class License and I am studying for my GROL and literally a organization has very High Standards that Holds a GROL, they look at radio piracy or absuse of service as very very poor standards and they take that into consideration for membership, If that canadate has poor standards that reflects substandards, what would a employer think about hiring such a person who would be a libility risk ? just remember what you say or do is a reflection to everyone and if your standards is below the law or even you think you are above the law, few friends will follow unless they happen to be ( which I know, I'll refrain from saying ) in that same department.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8VWM on November 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

I am perplexed and don't understand why anyone would even consider "freebanding" anyways when it is so much easier to simply get a ham license and have access to many other bands.

There are just so many other bands available, better built equipment, and modes of operation available to those with a ham license.

Why bother to freeband in the first place? Seems like it would be easier to become a ham in the first place.

My 2 cents +tax

Charles - KC8VWM

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KE2IV on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KA4KOE said it best

"Freebanders are lawbreakers. They are in it for a free ride and should not in any way be admired.

The lunacy continues."


YO, BRO!

That's the good ol' cracker way! Go get 'em!!!

Chop the heads off of the b-tards and stick 'em on a pike. Then put the photo on the front of QST and CQ mag!

If that don't learn the friggin' ba-tards then stick a light plug on their tongues and make 'em EAT BPL!!!

-------------------

eHamers:

So much anger about so much nonsense....and they don't understand how irrelevant they are about to become.

How you gonna send CW on a BPL polluted band?

Wake up....nah. That would be too intelligent for the guys still dreaming of glowing tubes and...

73 (fer sure)
KE2IV

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AB5XZ on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've been looking at the www.radiotech.org website, hosted by Pace Communications (among other aliases).
There's a lot of conversation on the bulletin boards about various kinds of activities, most of which are illegal (at least in the US): freebanding, amplified CB operation, CB DXing, modified 60-channel CB transceivers, offers for modification of CB transceivers. Some of the activities seem to be done with a little technical competence, but the folks seem to be moving AWAY from technical competence; perhaps it's because they move in circles that are secretive (never use your real name) and they aren't getting very good advice or information about regulations or technology.

A prime example is the concept of an "export radio", which is advertised, but never with any specifications, and described vaguely as an "amateur" radio. The "export radio" is presumably a radio that is not legal for use anywhere in the USA, but can be "exported". No mention is ever made of this presumption. Is the buyer supposed to lie and say that he's purchasing this radio for export use (outside the USA)? There are also "export amplifiers", which are vaguely described. Does the buyer have to lie about those too?

If these vendors were even slightly ethical, they would say (as Radio Shack clearly does) that an amateur radio license is required for operation of the radios. From what I can see, they leave their ethics at the door when they walk out of church.

Freebanding is illegal in the United States. It is probably illegal in most developed countries. It is (as has been said above in this forum) trespassing on scarce spectrum that is allocated to other legal users. It may be exciting (the adolescent thrill of doing something and not getting caught), but I will tell you that there's a lot more excitement in licensed amateur radio operation.

73Tom
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by SP5QIP on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
A lot of words....
Here are my 5 cents.

I know a lot of Ham operators still freebanding. A lot of amreicans, europeans. They are talking over 2m band (150-180MHz), on 11m, on 45 meters, 86 meters, just under 20m band, and on a lot of frequencies. So, don`t tell me, that all Ham radio operators respect law etc. During contests on HF I can hear american stations running 5-10KW, what about legal limit? They don`t care. They only want to break through pileup. So, don`t tell that only freebanders are breaking the law. A lot of us, Ham radio ops doing the same.
Just ask yourself a question: Am I respecting the law? When was last time I broke the law? 5 minutes ago running 5k? Ask yourself.
Mike
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by SP5QIP on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
<If "Freebanders" are such "good operators," why are
<they there at all? Why aren't they forgetting about
<illegal radio and getting ham tickets? Is it because
<they are too lazy? Or just that they prefer doing
<things the illegal way?

Just consider, that for example in my country ssb cbradio costs about 100$, HF equipment costs over 2000$.
People mid salary is around 300-400 $ a month. So who can buy HF radio? So that`s why they are freebanding. It is a lot of cheaper, and there is a lot of fun also.
Mike
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by G5FSD on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>by K0RFD

>The fact that a frequency is not licensed by the FCC
>to a particular group of American users does not mean
>it is "clear". It may be set aside by the ITU for >other uses in in other ITU regions

If no-one ever hears it in use, it must be clear!
Who would want 27MHz anyway? It's DX half the time, local-only the rest of the time. Useless! Broadcasters don't want it, businesses don't want it, other two-way users don't want it, who on earth WOULD want it when it's so often flooded with freebanders/pirates/scofflaws(etc) from around the world?

By all means track down the much fewer stations pirating other bands, the numbers are so much smaller that it should be possible, but 11m is a lost cause.
Here in Europe there are probably a dozen stations chatting around 6.6 MHz on a little used air band EVERY night, and even these pirates haven't been stopped yet - which should really be a much easier thing to achieve! Obviously the 'powers that be' don't care that much, so long as the pirates don't willfully tread on any toes.

>If you are advocating something illegal, you hardly
>care about what is legal.

I'm NOT, if you read my posts. I'm merely pointing out how nothing much can really be done about it, and so we may as well accept it.. like licence-free CB and MURS.

It's supply and demand. People want to talk on HF without doing morse tests. If they think they can get away with it, they WILL try. It's pointless to believe otherwise. When ham licences are easily available in most countries without morse tests, then we'll see if freebanding has diminished. I'll be surprised if it doesn't cure a lot of it, and then there will still be some (the people who LIKE the illegality of it) but the numbers will be low enough that tracking them down WOULD BE a realistic proposition. We'll see. We'll probably end up with far fewer european freebanders, but still plenty of activity from other parts of the world. When the 'skip' is S9+++ all over 27MHz it means our local freebanders can hide amongst it all. You've got to be fairly close to one, to notice him.

If there isn't a GLOBAL solution, there's NO solution.

73
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA8UWR on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So this guy was on the "Freeband" 10 YEARS AGO!! BIG DEAL!! where is our prioritys!! Does anybody know there is a WAR going on with dying soldiers!! what if we just out and out KILLED HIM!! would this SATISFY everybody!! KA8UWR
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA8UWR on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA8UWR on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So this guy operated in the "Freeband" 10 YEARS AGO!! BIG DEAL!! where is our prioritys!! did anybody notice a WAR going on with dying soldiers!! maybe we should just out and out KILL him!! would that satisfy everybody!! KA8UWR
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by PHINEAS on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I keep hearing these references to export radios, but the funny thing is most freebanders dont use export radios. Export radios are mostly made for AM/Fm and are not usually any good on sideband. I also can remember people people complaining about rodger beeps and echos. Most freebanders I knew used modified amateur radios. Another thing is freebanders I knew were fully aware of what frequency to be on, and not to go on or near 10 meters. I dont really believe freebanders would invade 10 meters at all. The main invaders of 10 meters(Other than Spanish Stations) are mostly truckers that may not even realize they are even on 10 meters. Most radios like Galaxies only have a channel display and a band switch.

Second, most of the truckers that I have seen that have these radios only use them for channel 19 and to drive their amps. There are only a select few that go exploring. This doesnt make them legal, but the stigma about a big wave a truckers talking on 10 meters just isnt true for the most part by percentage. Also consider the sheer number of CBers.

He main problem I have always had with Export radios is it gives too much power to people who dont know what is going on and what they are doing. Does not make it right, but that is why the only way to solve to 10 meter invasion problem is go after the makers of these channelized 10 meter radios.

Phineas
K0KMA
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by OLDFART13 on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Recruiting Freebanders to be hams...? Now I can see why they want to eliminate the CW exam. It is the only thing stopping the freebanders from becoming hams; that and memorizing some answers..
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K4CDK on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Accordiing to the FCC Freebanding is still illegal. What is the difference in a little sin and a big sin they are both sin. So a little freebanding and big freebanding -- what's the difference.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N8IE on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To KA8UWR:
Dude, see a doctor.

To everyone else, bottom line: Illegal is illegal, try using the "everyone else breaks the speed limit" argument in court and you will still be found guilty.

A Ham license is too damn easy to get these days, no excuse for illegal operations.

73
Dan, N8IE
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
FORMAL NOTICE: THIS IS A RANT

How about this……………..We all stop whining about Illegal Operations long enough to ask ourselves; “Why are there so many Illegal Operators out there?”

It’s not a big complicated issue……The answer is really simple!

IT’S BECAUSE NO ONE IS ENFORCING THE EXISTING LAWS! If the U.S. Government doesn’t take their own laws seriously, why should we expect people with criminal tendencies to pay any attention to them?

Law enforcement is one of the essential services we pay taxes for! If that service isn’t being provided, we have the right to demand an explanation!...............And the people who should be hearing from us are our Congressmen and Senators, not the Bureaucratic gnomes at the FCC.

Look at the current position the FCC apparently holds: “Make a Formal Complaint, collect some tapes, locate the violator, and MAYBE we’ll do something.”.....What B.S. !!!!!! That’s a little bit like having the local police tell you that if you manage to catch the burglar, AND get him cuffed, they MIGHT send a car around to pick him up!

The FCC cries that their under-funded:.......More B.S.!!! Every single Federal entity from the D.O.D. on down cries about funding;……….but when they actually get audited, we find their budgets full of “$700 hammers”. If under-funding actually exists, it’s because we have Elected Representatives who will vote yes on an $87,000,000,000 bill to rebuild friggin’ Iraq, but won’t allocate the money for essential services here at home!

Yes……you all have the right to be upset about “Freebanders” and Illegal operation!.........And there is actually something you can do! Call or write your representative, and give him or her a little taste of the venom we see in these forums. Tell them that they should consider actually doing their jobs for a change! (Even if it means missing a golf game, or breaking the date with that cute new intern!)

END OF RANT:

……..ummmm, ….errr …..Sorry about that.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WA2JJH on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I do remember a time when the FCC did enforce.
People that freebanded knew that they could get caught.

Then the FCC slackened up. A freebander pointed out that many free banders have families and are good people and all that. Still it is breaking the law.

True, you could say, well prohibition and segregation was the law at one point. You can come up with many laws that were wrong for the wrong reason.

Segregation and prohibition are such examples.

The difference is that freebanders do have a choice to become legal. Become the ham radio operators that some have eluded to as being better operators.

Prove it! Get your Ham ticket and prove that you are better operators! I am willing to learn. Nobody is perfect.

Another whacky idea would have a GMRS PLUS ticket.
GMRS and perhaps a few hundred KCs in the so called freeband.

Everybody wins. The GVT collects $75. You have a no code, no theory test. However you are now registered with the FCC. Use your superior communication skills on those freqs. You also have GMRS with repeaters to boot!

I do not like my own idea! I am just making a point!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by OLDFART13 on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I say don't worry about the Freeband and let them operate there unbothered just like it is now. This will help keep the no-code cretins there and we won't have to put up with them. Many of them are hams that don't have the discipline, drive or mental capacity to be bothered with learning CW. Most of them are NCI members. Leave them alone or they may come to our neighborhood.
 
RE: Hams Allow Endless Chaos  
by WA9SVD on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
by NE1Z on November 6, 2003
Mail this to a friend!
SVD et al,

Again with the defensive excuses, just like I mentioned.

"Complaint oriented" just doesn't cut it. Going out looking for offenders is one thing, but using HFDF to find a CW nimrod when
they can't be bothered with daily, habitual offenses by land based US stations is quite another & undefendable.

Worship Riley, make endless excuses, make 100's tapes & spend 1000's of hours detailing known offenders. It is all for
nothing. It is so bad now & the ham-worshipper excuse makers so abundant, he can simply draw his $100K+ while convincing
everyone he needs more "evidence" & continue to do nothing. He is a lawyer, not a cop. Now the band propagation is declining
so the "problem" is already going away (in his mind). What has happened to the tapes & messages from the last 5 years, they
all suddenly disappear? He can't seem to hear anything on 10/12 on or off "duty"??? I think this make believe "I can't hear
anything" mirage is a cold slap in the face to all of us who have honestly answered the Who/What/Where/When of specific &
mostly habitual incidents. Taping is pointless, they do need a $10 CD player & stop with the 1950 technology limit. Phonecalls
& voicemail NEVER get responses even when requested.

The "complaint system" has such a built-in latency, it is more a trash can than an active complaint desk, but yell at someone
without a call & you are almost sure to get a letter if you sign your call!

Yet they can find a 20M CW "ditter" in just days??? !!!BS !!!

It reflects complacency & lack of duty to remain seated all during the week watching your AOL account for someone selling
"assault radios" on ebay.

Until we replace this lawyer with a real cop & an activist, you can make excuses for the deliquency of duty on the part of the
FCC to enforce the rules all you want:

ALL discussion of enforcement is totally pointless...

NE1Z/Oo
================================================
It was not my intention to make "excuses" for the lack of FCC enforcement. Nor do I worship (or condemn) Mr. Hollingsworth. I was simply pointing out the difficult job his limited staff faces. Riley didn't close down the monitoring stations; that occurred before he was appointed to The Enforcement Bureau. Prior to that, the FCC did nothing (or almost nothing) in the area of enforcement for almost 15 years.
I don't like the lack of enforcement any more than anyone else. I wish the FCC had 100 Riley's with the equipment and budget to really make a dent in the illegal operations out there. BUT, I'd rather have one Riley than none at all.
No offense, but with the resources available to the Enforcement Bureau and Mr. Hollingsworth, how might YOU do a better job at enforcement? Any realistic suggestions?
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9GOC on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KB9YZL said:
“Why are there so many Illegal Operators out there?”
It’s not a big complicated issue……The answer is really simple! IT’S BECAUSE NO ONE IS ENFORCING THE EXISTING LAWS! "

Nope.

In a civilized society, the laws are there to guide the civilized. "Enforcement" by others is not a requirement - - compliance is the responsibility of the citizen.

Licensed hams - - the band limits associated with your license class are known to you, and operating where you are authorized is YOUR obligation, not the enforcement burden of Riley or the Official Observers or anyone else.

Motorists - - the speed limits and other rules of the road are also known to you, and it is not a contest between you and the enforcement bureaucracy to make sure you comply. It is an issue for you and your personal integrity. You were granted the license on test of your skills and your agreement to obey the ordinances.

The civilized abide by the laws, whether there is a policeman watching or not, even at times when it is personally inconvenient to do so.

So, to KB9YZL's question - - the answer is:
"Because some people are not willing to assume their personal responsibility to conform their individual actions to society's expectations."

There will be malefactors for some time to come; they seem to have missed that lecture on personal responsibility in Ethics class. Lets not encourage them in their antisocial activities.

Frederick/W9GOC
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Frederick;

On a philosophical level, I agree with everything you say.

Unfortunately, my idealism has been rather badly eroded by the passing years. It pains me to say that I have accepted the fact that there is a significant portion of humanity that simply laughs at the higher ideals, and then proceeds with their particular scam or vice.

A world where everyone obeys the rules because “It’s The Right Thing To Do” is a pleasant daydream, but sadly, the “Real World” keeps cramming itself down our throats. Recent history has shown us how evil and misguided people (and I use the term loosely) can be when they feel they have justification. I guess those of us in Amateur Radio should be happy that our problems are as trivial as “Freebander Problems”

I’m afraid that “Enforcement” is going to be a necessary evil for a long time to come.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8VUC on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow....
one of the longest "discussions" I have ever read on this site. Just thought I'd make it even longer.

Let's see what we've gotten out of this so far.

-Freebanding is illegal.......

Huh.... that's about the only solid fact I can find. Let's see what else is in here.

-The is a possibility that some, not even all, but some freebanders eventually get a license, observe good operating procedures, and become decent hams.

-There are many old coots who are completely unwilling to accept this.

As previously stated, WOW.....

Guess these are the same people that would be angry that I came to be a Ham from CB (always legally), that I think that CW is overrated, and that I approve of Digital transmitions. Also that I enjoy SWL to the freebanders, that I think that some of them must have considerable technical know-how (a lot of them do homebrew their equipment), and that I would openly and willing try to help any one of them into our hobby.

There, that oughta get a lot of the old timers pi$$ed at me.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W8LGZ on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hmmm, this entire thread sounds like CB too me. Hams & NON-Hams alike. If ON-AIR practice is anything like this thread, I feel sorry for ALL Hams.

Seems to me that when I got my license back in 1981, all this petty bickering was the exception. Not the RULE. My how times have changed.

In my opinion, and we all know how they are, the FCC screwed Amateur Radio when it started the "no-code tech" license. I don`t remember hearing all this garbage till "no-code" caught on.

Say/Think what you will, CW kept the riff-raff out!

73, Jim W8LGZ
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8VWM on November 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

>>>I guess those of us in Amateur Radio should be happy that our problems are as trivial as “Freebander Problems” >>>

Good point,

I can't speak for everyone but I don't feel that there is any sudden surge of problems with freebanding that is adversely affecting Amateur Radio frequencies.

Most of the associated freebanding problems in this discussion thread are more prominent in this forum than they actually are on the air.

"Freebanding" in terms of it's overall scope has existed in radio since radio it was first created. If it hasn't been "eliminated" by now, what could be possibly done to change that fact now?

Currently, the US population is exactly 292,534,351 people.

The FCC enforcement staff consist of a small number of people relative to this population.

Priorities are then defined according to the severity of the problems.

Some areas of possible enforcement activities:

"Out of Band" CB operators.
"Out of Band" Amateur Operators.
Unauthorized use of commercial radio frequencies.
Pirate Radio Stations
Micro-Broadcasters (AM/FM stations)
TV and Radio station compliance activities.
Part 15 regulatory compliance enforcement with manufacturers of home electronic equipment.
Cellular phone "jammers" and other Telco carrier enforcement activities.
"Do-not call" list enforcement activities.

etc. etc. The point is, where does "freebanding" fit in the piece of the proverbial pie of things?

73

Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K5TED on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
hmmmm... Well now there then....

Perhaps some of you are aware of the impending legislature for legalization and amnesty for illegal immigrants to this country. Now, there's a good analogy. If the federal government sees fit to grant amnesty and legal status to "Freelanders", then why not "Freebanders"?








<ducking>
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by DIABLO666 on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The true irony of all these responses is that most of them probably operated on the so called "Freeband" I personally know over 50 extra class operators that got there feet wet DXing in the freeband. If I know this many "LEGAL" operators that operated there how many more of you are out there??? Do we have a new acronym for these operators?? Can you say "Closet Freebanders". I said it once and I'll say it again it is no wonder that our hobby is in such a poor pitiful mess. Get over yourselves and enjoy your hobby while you still can. Quit your cryin and start minding your own business. PEACE
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Seen in a previous post:

>>>>”….If the federal government sees fit to grant amnesty and legal status to "Freelanders", then why not "Freebanders"? “<<<<<

I’m not sure how I how I feel about either proposition,…….but it was really a very nicely turned phrase! Good writing!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL


 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N6TGK on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Let's not forget that some of these "Freebanders" are already licensed amateurs. Why they become amateurs who have lots of spectrum available to them and then resort to using a rather small segment of spectrum not meant for them is beyond me. I guess there are a couple of reasons: 1) No-code tech that can't or won't pass the cw test. 2) A licensed amateur, regardless of class, that has friends who are CBers.

I'm can't blame them to some degree. I've tuned across the spectrum between 27.405 and 28.000 (if you hear people there it's a good indicator that 10 is open) and listened to the conversations taking place there. Most of them are clean QSOs. No echo boxes, foul language or other sorts of things that you'd hear on the "normal" 40 channels.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WR8D on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
RE KC8VWM...Only thing i see is the lower part of 10 meters. You can hear the cbers running am in the cw window. If the fcc wanted to do something about this they'd bust all these places importing and selling those radios that are used. At the barber shop the other day i picked up a magazine and it was full of radios that said they were 10 meter ham rigs. Only weird thing was they all had what they call roger beep talk back and echo crap built in. They come into the country or are made right here under the false impression of being ham rigs. They are marketed toward the cber.. truckers use them. Most even put out 100 watts. I've seen these in the coal trucks at the coal mine where i work. These companies advertise all over the place with no fear at all. Ramco is one i know of and copper electronics is another one running a very successful business with these illegal rigs and catering to the freebander. They all pay taxes and are found right here under our noses. It really makes one wonder!

73
John WR8D
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KD7EFQ on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This article, along with BPL, Code/NoCode and the associated trolls on here makes a very valid point for a members only site with a moderator who isn't asleep at the wheel, being a better quality site. I refrain from posting because of the freebander/CB'er mentality the posts on here always degenerate into. Actually I've heard better manners on CH 19, than what these topics reveal. I'd rather donate money to a site that
a moderator keeps things from going in the toilet and BANS people who get out of line. This site proves that many ham's are as bad if not worse than CB'ers when put in front of a Keyboard. I'm outta here.:-(
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by 14IR107 on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
DX is

73 de 14IR107.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W4LGH on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
WOW...Lets see...from what I have read, Freebanders are outlaws, they are too stupid to pass the Amateur exams and should be banished from the face of the earth? And Hams wonder whats happening to their hobby and worried that it is dying. These "FREEBANDERS" operate illegally and should NEVER be allowed to study, learn operations, rules and regulation and enter the wonderful world of Ham radio? Hmmmmm...maybe thats where all these operators are coming from on 75meters? Maybe all these HAMS who modify their radios to transmit out of bands come from??

I think its way past time for ALL HAMS to get off this "HOLY'er than tho" attitude and WELCOME anyone who wishes to enter our hobby legally with open arms! Than and only then will our hobby start to grow again.
One would think that anyone who has a love for radios to welcome then into the real world of radio and give them all the help they need to do so. When I started out 37yrs ago, thats the way it was. I even knew hams who donated equip. to thoses who could not afford to buy them. I took a 10 year leave from radio because of my personal life, and wow, it certainly isn't the Hobby I left. I grew up respecting the knowledge that HAMs had, and now I know EXTRAS that have no more idea how radio works than the man in the moon. I also know Techs who have vast knowledge of radio operations, but can not get past the code. GO FIGURE!!

Time to stop and smell some roses guys.
73 de W4LGH - ALAN
w4lgh@arrl.net
www.w4lgh.com
QRT
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by URBANGORILLA on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am writing this to let you all know that the author is right on target with much of what he credits freebanders with. I can’t testify about his cycle theory regarding freebanders becoming hams during the ebb of each solar cycle. It is a theory that has some merit, but I don’t know if that theory can be substantiated.

I got started with CB during the height of the CB craze of the seventies that was launched by “Smokey And The Bandit”. It didn’t take me long to begin soaking up knowledge of radio, and electronics in general. Getting into CB sparked an interest, or should I say an addiction in me that would just never quit. Before long, I started to tinker with my 23-channel AM rig. It wasn’t long before I had access to what was then known as channel 22A, later to become channel 24 upon the expansion to 40 channels. Several crystals and a little more tinkering got me the rest of the “A” channels and all freqs up to 27.755. Needless to say, I soon discovered how to align it for maximum power. I was truly on the road. In 1978 after being introduced to SSB by a friend, I bought one of the new 40-channel SSB rigs and began tinkering with that. I soon discovered how to go up, up and away from all the noise down on the regular 40 to do some serious radio operating with others who were also serious about radio. My SSB rig covered 2 MHz from 26-28 MHz.

Yes, I did everything I wasn’t supposed to do as a Cber. I went out of band and used more power than I should have. I ran 100 watts only when working DX. The linear wasn’t even in line when doing local work. I’d just put it in line and used it for DX when I couldn’t make the contact barefoot. I remember the consequences. If I was caught, it meant a $10,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. I was also told by my peers that if I kept my nose clean, the FCC probably wouldn’t want to be bothered with small potatoes like me. The rumor was that due to the uncontrollable amount of 11-meter band users, the FCC was only busting those who ran power in excess of a kilowatt, with overmodulated audio and creating interference with the airport or the hospital, and so on. I was serious about radio. I didn’t do any of this for the thrill of doing something illegal. I didn’t do it to thumb my nose up at the FCC either. When I wasn’t on the radio making contacts, I had my radios on the bench tinkering. As an 11-meter radio operator, Cber, freebander or whatever you wish to call it, I knew far more about radio, antennas, propagation and electronics than many of the hams did then and do today. I made it my business to learn because I wanted to learn, plus, I didn’t want any one else working on my radios but me.

I’ve been wanting to obtain a ham license since I started tinkering with my CBs. Despite my self-acquired knowledge of electronics and everything radio-related, I didn’t think I’d be able to pass an amateur radio exam, leave alone the Morse Code. So, I just kept doing what I was doing. I have always been a good and courteous operator, whether on the regular CB channels or “upstairs”. I was never one to use vile language, bully anyone else by keying down on anyone, I never played music, I never fancied myself as “king of the hill”, and always had a clean signal and never overmodulated. It was the serious radio operators who went out of band to get away from the jungle on the regular CB channels. Some, like me modified their own equipment. Others who weren’t savvy with electronics paid good money to get their radios modded. Such was life on the freeband during Cycle 21. There were far less operators on the freeband during Cycle 21 than during Cycle 22. Needless to say, the “upper freqs” were more congested during Cycle 22. With the advent of the export rigs, Cycle 23 saw much vulgarity and jungle-like activity on the freeband. The freeband is not the same as it was 20+ years ago.

Many hams perceive freebanders as being strictly mobile. I have to admit that I did most of my freebanding at the base, not mobile. I think most others did also.

I obtained my No-code Technician license in 1991. I have to admit that I did some freebanding since then, and even during Cycle 23, but very infrequently. The ham license served somewhat as a deterrent to this activity for 2 reasons. First, I felt that having a ham license greatly increased my chances of getting caught, and second, I didn’t want to chance losing my license. When the code requirements were lowered to 5WPM, I finally upgraded to General. Upon upgrading, I ceased all 11-meter activity. I felt that there was no longer any need for it, and with a General license, there was absolutely too much to lose by doing something stupid. I don’t even operate on the legal 40 channels anymore.

Looking back on what I did, I have mixed feelings. I know that I was violating the law. I didn’t feel that I was hurting anybody. It did serve as my training ground for ham radio. If I had it all to do all over again, I would have pursued a Novice license as soon as I knew about the love I had for radio, and then practiced my code skills and upgraded. As great as working the freeband was, I’m sure doing it all legally and becoming a ham much earlier, would have brought me much more enjoyment and satisfaction than going the illegal route. I was meant to be a ham. Instead I was doing many of the things hams do illegally without the license.

Because most of my ham brethren are unforgiving, I don’t wish to divulge my callsign. But, I still feel that it was necessary to tell my story so that you all get to see what things look like from the other side of the fence. Those who never freebanded just don’t know. Freebanding has degenerated over the past 2 solar cycles, but during Cycle 21, most were like me, not the vulgar barbarians many experience today when they try to chase poachers off the lower end of 10-meters. My generation of freebanders never encroached over the line into 10-meters.

By the way, I’m sure there are multitudes just like me in the ham community. Most of those who came to ham radio from CB have freebanded. Those of you who deny this are liars.

I’ll catch a lot of you on HF, whether on SSB, CW or PSK31. I’ve already worked a lot of you who have posted to this thread. If you knew who I was, you wouldn’t be able to believe that I was once a freebander.

Now, pardon me while I slip into my asbestos suit and await the flames. 73.
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by OBSERVER11 on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
that smell that just passed thru here was not ROSES!

It had a distictive smell of TROLL - city monkey troll.
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Nice prose.

All CBers who become hams aren’t horrible hams.

Hummmmm. Come to think of it, I can’t remember anyone posting that they used to be in CB, are now a ham, and want approval of getting into ham radio from CB.

From my perspective, what non-hams do on non-ham bands is a non-issue.

Besides, the REAL threat to ham radio is well known; it is all of those people who modify scanners (un-blocked) so they can listen to the "forbidden" frequencies.

73
Bob
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Nice prose.

All CBers who become hams aren’t horrible hams.

Hummmmm. Come to think of it, I can’t remember anyone posting that they used to be in CB, are now a ham, and want approval of getting into ham radio from CB.

From my perspective, what non-hams do on non-ham bands is a non-issue.

Besides, the REAL threat to ham radio is well known; it is all of those people who modify scanners (un-blocked) so they can listen to the "forbidden" frequencies.

73
Bob
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by OLDFART13 on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Look at the source. He is a freebander and a No Code International member. Give that license away to any illegal operator but god forbid they should have to apply themselves and learn the code. Freebanders and other illegals stand in the welfare line for an NCI license, drivers license, and welfare money.
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by KB9YZL on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
OLDFART13;

Is there any chance at all that we will ever read a relevant, constructive post from you?

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by URBANGORILLA on November 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Either OLDFART13 didn't read my entire post or didn't read it thoroughly enough. Nowhere in my post did I indicate that I was a member of NCI. I did indicate that I'm a General. I started as a no-code Technician, but so did a lot of hams. I also said that I've worked many who posted to this thread and that I would work them again on HF on SSB, CW and PSK31. I guess he is just obsessed with the code issue and has the compulsion to turn any thread into the good old code argument.

I didn't post my long rant to argue with anybody. I posted to tell my story and to educate many who have no idea who freebanders are and/or were. 73. Asbestos suit still on.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K4PIT on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I thought pirates wore black hats with skull and crossbones, carried swords and always had an eye patch?

What does unlicensed, illegal transmissions outside the amateur bands have to do with Ham RADIO?
.

>>>From my perspective, what non-hams do on non-ham bands is a non-issue.>>>


Does anyone really PAY eHam.com for this junk???

This is NOT HAM RADIO.

BTW, the speeding theory is ridiculous. I suppose molesting a child (a crime) is comparable to breaking the speed limit (also a crime). This would be funny if it were MEANT to be a joke. As it is, its just kind of sad.
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by KC8VWM on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, I have a question. I understand you are a ham now and your callsign is irrelevant at this point, but I was wondering if you knew what ham radio was at the time you were freebanding, and could you give us your impressions of hams at that time?

Secondly, what was the reason you chose to keep freebanding as opposed to just getting a ticket?

Was there a barrier of some kind? ie. cost of ham equipment etc. Can you elaborate without being too specific as to expose yourself?

Just wondering because there may be other freebanders that may be in a similar situtation. There must be something we can do to change things to get people away from freebanding?

73

Charles - KC8VWM




 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8VWM on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

>>>>You can hear the cbers running am in the cw window. If the fcc wanted to do something about this they'd bust all these places importing and selling those radios that are used. At the barber shop the other day i picked up a magazine and it was full of radios that said they were 10 meter ham rigs. >>>>

John,

I agree they should stop the "trafficking" at the source of the problem. I heard rumors about "Coppers Electronics" getting busted lately.

I am surprised for example that e-bay is selling them as "ham" radios. I dont think they are type accepted and even if they were, I would want to combine a ham radio with a CB radio anyways. That's like buying a race car and combining it with an econo-box car engine.

If there is anything good to say at least about these "truck stop ham" radios, is in the fact that these are not true "ham" radios. Otherwise they would be heard on everything from 160 - 6 meters.

I don't understand why the FCC hasn't at least started a low cost "poster" campaingn at truck stops with a photo of a microphome with a cross through it or something like that, warning individuals of illegal radio operation, high fines associated with operation on Amateur radio frequencies.

The poster should have a tagline on the bottom like,

"This message was sponsored by Amateur Radio Operators of America, over 600,000 stations now monitoring"

Well, whadda ya think?
The microphone is back to you.

73

Charles- KC8VWM



 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W7JK on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Freeband is a nice name for an illegal activity. I belive that the F.C.C. needs to make it more attractive to be legal through effective enforcement.

73,

Jack, W7JK
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA8UWR on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
the freeband IS NOT a HAM Band!!! so who cares WHAT goes on there!! when they come to 20 meters,which hasn't happened since day one,then I'll get excited
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9YZL on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Charles;

You raised a question that cuts right to the heart of the matter, when you asked:

>>>>”……. what was the reason you chose to keep freebanding as opposed to just getting a ticket?”<<<<

Personally, I’m beginning to wonder if these people get some kind of “thrill” out of doing something illegal. You know…….sort of saying to the world; “Hey! Look at me! I’m WAY outside the curve, and ooohh soooo bad!” The fact that we keep calling them “Pirates” and “Criminals” might actually be adding to the appeal from their point of view!………..And in an “Enforcement Free” world, they are, of course, free to pursue their thrills without any real fear of consequences.

I also really liked your suggestion for a “Truck Stop Poster Campaign”. It would be incredibly cost effective, because every trucker who actually read the poster would talk about it on the air to a dozen others.

On a side note, the number of truckers operating illegally has always puzzled me. Compared to getting your CDL, and all the special use certs needed today, passing a No Code Tech test is NOTHING! Why would anyone continue to mess around in a nasty environment like 11 meters, when they could jump to the VHF world of clear signals, great range, and reasonable cost?

(I know there are some posters on these forums who drive truck for a living: What are your thoughts on this?)

Thanks Charles

73

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC6VKF on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My FT-101E has a 10A band and a 10C band. The 10A is 11 meters. On occasion I have spoken to CBs on 27.185 to get local road conditions.
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by OLDFART13 on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>>by URBANGORILLA on November 8, 2003
Either OLDFART13 didn't read my entire post or didn't read it thoroughly enough. Nowhere in my post did I indicate that I was a member of NCI. I did indicate that I'm a General. I started as a no-code Technician, but so did a lot of hams. I also said that I've worked many who posted to this thread and that I would work them again on HF on SSB, CW and PSK31.<<<<

Sorry Gorilla, my post was directed toward the original author who is an NCI member. I was only pointing out how many freebanders are no-code techs who don’t want to be bothered with the little bit of work required to get a general license. They know that what they are doing is illegal but they don’t care and they will continue to operate illegally until the N0-CODE HF license is given to them.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Now there is something you don't see every day, a ham using an FT 101 series radio mobile.

Bob
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Now there is something you don't see every day, a ham using an FT 101 series radio mobile.

Bob
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K3VW on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The so called "Free band", is named by the illegal CBer's who use it. These are government, forestry, CAP, and MARS frequecies that can not be used by the above agencies because of the "illegal" use by CBer's. Most of them claim to be better than CBer's but just like Clark Atkinson, who evidently was one at one time, and might still talk there,they don't even know the correct explaination of SWR!! Just add a few feet of coax or take some away to change your SWR!! The FCC WILL get rid of the illegal CBers, it may take a while, but they will leave the so called FREEBAND!!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by AB5XZ on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Just a thought:

If someone is freebanding, or illegally operating in the CB bands (e.g., with an amplifier), and gets an FCC sanction, that will be grounds for denial of an application for an FCC license of any kind (amateur, GROL, whatever). The FCC considers it a character flaw.

There's an example under way right now with a GMRS license application.

73Tom
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WA4MJF on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
A few observations:

Lawbreakers are law breakers, no matter
how smart, polite, etc they are.

The frequencies are allocated to other services
and some of those that some one said were "clear
in the USA" are NTIA freqs.

Riley enforces the amateur radio violations,
these would not be on his "plate" any how.
He has enuff to do to keep hams straight.

The EICs, of which there aren't many any more,
would deall with these "folks".

NTIA, if it finds a civilian using their
frequencies, calls the FBI, but they don't
have a lotta time to mess with it either,
unless it is interfereing with important
traffic.

Export radios are simply radios that cover
all frequencies. For instance, when the five
60 meter freqs became avialable, I needed
a radio that met the specs and decided on
SGC. Their import radios only worked on
the ole ham bands, so I ordered an
export radio direct from the factory
in 7 land and
it works on 60 meters and Army MARS freqs
FB.

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Now there is something you don’t see every day, a ham running an FT101 series rig mobile.

What this thread really needs now is comments from non-hams about why they aren’t hams. Or, comments from hams about why non-hams aren’t hams.

That will surely help ham radio become better.

73
bob
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WA2JJH on November 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
An FT101 Mobile is rather odd these days. I think the
FT-100D is a better choice(HIHI)

Hmmmm, as to why some do not go for a ham ticket.
Some,are not joiners of anything. They may like the easy rider outlaw image? Who knows!
Yes, the code keeps some away too. Please be advised I am not a fan of N.C.I. They have a right to thier viewpoint of course.

If the FCC does away with CW, I accept that as the law. I may not like it. However, if thats the way it goes down, thats the way it will be.

For those that say I am an ""OLD FART""....I send CW
at 535 nanometers! Thats Green laser light. It is fun but very eccentric. Simple VDC modulation destroys the YAG pump. 50 milliwatts has about 15 miles line of sight. IT doubles as a hand held light show.

Also 99.5% of the world does not know CW.
I guess everything is relative. 5WPM. I have a low life physics professor that does not consider me a real engineer, just because I am not into all the math.

OK ,somebody said they should put on an asbestos suit
if they make a post like this. Aspestos will kill me quicker than any flame thowing!

73and laughs MIKE
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by URBANGORILLA on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
\\\Ok, I have a question. I understand you are a ham now and your callsign is irrelevant at this point, but I was wondering if you knew what ham radio was at the time you were freebanding, and could you give us your impressions of hams at that time?

Secondly, what was the reason you chose to keep freebanding as opposed to just getting a ticket?

Was there a barrier of some kind? ie. cost of ham equipment etc. Can you elaborate without being too specific as to expose yourself?

Just wondering because there may be other freebanders that may be in a similar situtation. There must be something we can do to change things to get people away from freebanding?

73

Charles - KC8VWM///

Yes, I knew what ham radio was even before I became a CBer. I didn't know any hams and I hadn't heard any hams at the time. All I knew was that ham radio was orderly, sane and organized, and that it was legal. The freeband was was orderly, sane and organized, but wasn't legal. CB's regular channels was legal but wasn't orderly, sane and organized. I really only got this information about how ham radio was by hearing about it second hand from fellow CBers. Maybe they were hams or knew hams. I don't know.

My ambition was to get a ham license of at least General, so I could modify my CB for 10-meters and use it along with my 100 watt linear amplifier legally. I didn't think I'd be able to pass the written exam despite having a good knowledge of electronics, radio theory, propagation and antennas. I also knew I'd have to pass a 13 WPM code test. I didn't think I'd be able to pass that either. Having done all that later on, I now know that my fears back then were unfounded and foolish.

As for the cost of equipment, I could have started out with no further investment than the equipment I already had; a 40 channel SSB CB radio and a 100 watt linear amplifier. The amp was a tube job, and I had to load and tune it manually, as I did the antenna for wherever I was operating over my 2 MHz domain. Using this existing equipment, I just would have been restricted to 10-meters. But, even that would have been better than the freeband. I often thought about how nice it would be to operate legally with a callsign and not have to worry about a knock on the door.

There are 2 types of freebanders. There are those like I was, who are serious about radio and really want a ham license but feel that getting it is beyond their abilities. There are also the hard-core lawless types, who get their kicks by disrupting, creating chaos, want nothing to do with order and rules, are comfortable doing what they are doing and want no part of legitimate ham radio. They will be freebanders for life, or until they grow tired of radio, or until they get caught.

I believe that many Technicians don't upgrade because they also feel that learning code is beyond their abilities. Most likely, their fears are unfounded and foolish also. The lesson that I learned is not to sell yourself short by believing that something you want is beyond your abilities to obtain it. If you want something, go after it with all you've got. Give it your best shot. If you wait many years and finally wind up doing it, you will feel like an idiot for not doing it years ago.

As for changing things to get people away from freebanding, all I can say is that as hams, we should keep an eye and an ear out for any CBers we know that may be ham material and may show some potential. Probe them. Ask them some questions. Elmer the good ones and leave the bad ones alone. We can do the same thing with CBers that come to this site posting things and asking questions. We can also do the same thing at hamfests, where CBers and freebanders are attending right in our midst. They can get started in ham radio using their export radios on 10-meters. They just need to get rid of their echo microphones and their roger beeps. In the case of a 2950, just shut the roger beep off. CBers and freebanders also need to break their old CB habits and not carry any of that excess baggage into the ham hobby. The lingo is hard, because some of it is also used on ham radio, yet some of it is not. Elmering is very important. I can't stress this enough. We expect CBers to automatically stop being CBers and become instant hams without any help or guidance. Elmer them. Elmer them. Elmer them.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5ONV on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh,Oh KC6VKF,you better watch out ! Someone on here might call the FCC on you for talking on your radio on 27.185.Be careful !
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5ONV on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh,Oh KC6VKF ! You're a bad boy !You better watch out,someone on here might call the FCC on you because you used your FT-101E on 11 meters,27.185 .
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The definition of a bad operator is one that violates the rules. If they knowingly, deliberately and repeatedly operate out of band, then they are, by definition, a bad operator.

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The definition of a bad operator is one that violates the rules. If they knowingly, deliberately and repeatedly operate out of band, then they are, by definition, a bad operator.

 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5ONV on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh,Oh KC6VKF.You better watch out or someone might call the FCC on you for using your FT-101E on 11 meters.Bad boy,bad bad boy !
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5ONV on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W8JI on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What a stupid idiotic article, painting illegal operation as a stepping stone to amateur radio!!!

I'd be ashamed to be a Ham, if it were true that illegal morons who use other people's frequencies are the core of our new membership.

I'd MUCH rather have dozens of channel six operators as our source than idiots who go outside the band, and think they have a right to do it. Freebanders seem to have a God-trip that they are better than other CB'ers, when the worse possible violtaion of any rule is to operate outside a band!!!!

It's shameful, and this is exactly what is at the root of the no-code movement. I'd venture to say most of the NCI members are illegals or former illegals, who want to change amateur radio to fit their own twisted sense of how it should be.

 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KD5KFL on November 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Reality Check:

You need to get a license to operate on the amateur bands. Take a test, et cetera.

You need to get a license to operate a vehicle on public streets. Take a test, et cetera.

It certainly appears that many New Mexico drivers are freebanders. Does anyone think that's OK?

Do these freebanders have children? Is there a nickels worth of difference between the message you send your kids when you:

"Freeband" in front of them,

Do drugs in front of them,

Drive unlicensed, and your kids know it?

The law. It's not for everybody.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB3JZD on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think they were comparing the infractions ( freebanding + speeding ) as much with each other as they were the same principal applies such as doing something you know you can get away with. A speeder won't speed if he sees a cop sitting along the road watching but will if the coast looks clear. Same principal brings about the two separate infractions.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8OVO on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
has anyone ever heard any of these people use these freq, usually its all cell phone and 800mhz for these guys! so let the hams have the 27.405 to 28.000 to talk on as a meeting ground for amateurs and non amateurs to meet. I've listen to that band for 30 years never heard a one of these forest or blah blahs on there! So every other country in the world uses it so why not the usa?? explain that!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8OVO on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
has anyone ever heard any of these people use these freq, usually its all cell phone and 800mhz for these guys! so let the hams have the 27.405 to 28.000 to talk on as a meeting ground for amateurs and non amateurs to meet. I've listen to that band for 30 years never heard a one of these forest or blah blahs on there! So every other country in the world uses it so why not the usa?? explain that!
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KG4RUL on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The operative word here is "Illegal"!

Take it from there.

Dennis - KG4RUL
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KK0DJ on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I may have read you wrong my friend, but what you're saying is that we should allow "Freebanders" to continue in their illegal activities so that we may increase the ranks of Amateur Radio? If that is correct, then we should also allow children to drive on the open highway before they get their drivers license, folks who want to become dentists work on our teeth before they study and become licensed, or maybe a person to do surgery prior to obtaining the required medical degree and training. I hope I'm reading you wrong. The reason why we have restraints in place in the world is to allow people to obtain the needed training and knowledge before they're allowed to legally accomplish their desired goals. No, let's not look at "Freebanders" the way in which you stated. Let's continue to look at them as law-breakers. The rules are if you break the law, you pay the consequence. You happen to not get caught and not have to pay the consequence. You saw that you could obtain the needed knowledge and training, took that opportunity and became a legal federally licensed amateur radio operator. Prior restraint when you became interested in radio would have been to not use illegal methods to get on the air, and wait until you could do it right.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KC8EMH on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I'm not ashamed to say that I started on CB as a kid, left it for a while, got back into it to find the band filled with noise. I bought an Emperor 5010 and switched to SSB Freeband, and it was a lot better than cb. I learned how a real operator works thru freeband. Once I got my ham ticket, I left Freeband behind (Don't want to be on the ARRL home page) and run strictly legal rigs and freqs (Ham, GMRS, MURS) It was a totally educational experience, a great buffer for between the terrible cb band and the legal ranks of hams. Let's face it, more hams are dying than are joining - we've got to recruit these guys from somewhere - I'd rather talk to someone who's learned from Freeband, than someone who learned from CB. Peace to all, help save ham radio
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WO8USA on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, its illegal, but I remember reading accounts of the "early years" of radio and many of those today would probably be considered the same. Perhaps we should all consider it a mission to seek out those Freebanders as missionaries do, for conversion to the righteous ways of Amateur Radio....just don't let them see 40m on a Friday night.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WHE on November 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Are you now admitting illegal operation?
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KG4RUL on November 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The operative word is still "illegal"!

Dennis - KG4RUL
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB1IUB on November 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've noticed that many individuals
have said 'Illegal is illegal.'
Well, given some of your posts in
the recent past one would assume
that you are not concerned with
illegal operation. Report the
activity to your OO. Tape record
it and send it to the ARRL.
Raise your level of concern regarding
illegal activity.

I was trying to raise the consciousness
of hams in a hope that some progress
would be made.

Improvements would incurr if everyone
has stopped acting like immature brats
that are incapable of making any change
in this world. If 100,000 amateurs
complained about every ruleviolation
instead of a several people complaining
about a select few incidents, we would
have a cleaner band due to the image
that we would command. Right now,
we command an image of pathetic
waste of time to the public.

Bill
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N8CPA on November 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
A few points:

1) There is no "freeband." Those types of operations take place in ranges allocated to other services.

2) The level of courtesy exhibited by the operators does not mitigate the fact that they are operating illegally. They may be courteous among themselves, but they show egregious disrespect for the allocations they use by simply being there.

3) If they take the laws of other service allocations so lightly, they probably won't adhere to Part 97 and uncodified amateur protocols.

4) Part 95 requires certification for transceivers used in the Citizens Band. Modified Amateur radios are not permitted on freqs regulated by Part 95.

5) A polite request: I have noticed a tendency among former illegals to get on local repeaters and simplex to endlessly blather about how they have changed and no longer operate illegally. Such "confessionals"--actually I believe they are boasts--give an overall negative image and false impression of Amateur Radio. If such is in your past, DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR RF SINS ON AMATEUR RADIO!

There are already too many unlicensed folks who think of us as glorified CBers and nerds. We don't need to give the impression that we are also criminal. And, yes, what the unlicensed think of us does matter, when it comes to antenna ordinances and future allocations.
So please confine such testimonies to internet or private venues. Just keep it off the air. Please!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by TECH2003 on November 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When the stupid code is eliminated then we won't have to operate on freeband anymore!!!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N8CPA on November 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Stupidity is in the student, not the subject. Deciding to pursue an activity that was built on code, while complaining about the standards that made it worthwhile sounds pretty stupid to me.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KM5OX on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Clark's well-thought-out article made me kind of curious to go on up there to see what's going on, and to see if it's true that the Freebanders tend to be "slightly more courteous and inviting than the average 75-meter operator". But I can't. You see, after being licensed for 35 years I sold all of my HF gear for one reason; I found too much awful operating including profanity of the most amazing kinds, racial slurs, stupidity and plain rudeness. This was on the ham bands by licensed hams. Maybe I'll pick up a Radio Shack 10m, click the wire and head on up for greener, gentler pastures. Oh, and if you want to flame me my email address is easy to find and to publish.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W5ONV on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KM5OX,
I did that.73,Jim
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KG4RUL on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC6VKF Writes:

My FT-101E has a 10A band and a 10C band. The 10A is 11 meters. On occasion I have spoken to CBs on 27.185 to get local road conditions.

===========

So, do you believe that you commited an illegal act by doing what you did?

Dennis - KG4RUL
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA4PIJ on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AMEN. JUST LISTEN ON 75,80 40 AND LISTEN TO THE LANGAUGE USED WHEN THEY DONT GET THERE WAY. YOU KNOW IF 2 AND 2 EQUAL 5 AND YOU GET A GRADE OF 75 BECAUSED YOU TRIED . WHAT ELSE CAN WE TEACH OR YOUNGSTERS.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KA4PIJ on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AH . WELL BEING THAT ITS ELEGAL . OWELL ITS ONLY ELEGAL IF YOU GET CAUGHT, RIGHT?.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N0KFC on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am in the process of hooking up a sound card interface, so today while I was waiting for the U.P.S. truck to arrive. I was tuning through the 20-meter band listening to the different types of signals. I came across 14.080mhz. There was a really nice strong signal there so I stopped to listen. All of a sudden two voices appeared on the band, I am sure that these two were free-banders, they transmitted right over the qso, never identifying. One of the operators had a new rig and was trying to figure out how to use it. They mentioned power and amplifiers. The other guy told him that they were on the 20-meter band and because of this they should use upper side band. He seemed to know a little bit about the rules, but not much about the allocations. I followed them up to the upper side, they sounded like they were mobile from the background noises. They continued to carry on until someone came on and told them that they were right in the middle of the C.W. band and to get off of the frequency. They then disappeared from the band. Maybe the dealers that sell the radios should start requiring a call sign and then verify the call sign with the shipping address?

Mike
N0KFC
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WB5OAU on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Freebanders=Bootleggers=wannabes who can't bother to work for a privledge.

I've got no use for them
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by TECH2003 on November 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What would be a good radio for the freeband?

Steve
NCI-3069
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W9WZJ on November 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Transmitting on 26.965 to 27.405 mhz with any equipment other than citizen band, use is illegal. Transmitting on 27.406 to 27.999 mhz with out proper liscensing and authority is illegal.
Transmitting out side of the given ham bands is illegal.
Opperating above 1500 watts on ham bands is illegal.
Using an amplifier on citizens band is illegal.

The moral of my story is: I think we forgot the basics.

Yes , some CBers go on to ham. Yes, some hams have radios to free band...NO I don't care, as I am not allowed to transmit there. When they start interfering with my allotted frequencies, I might complain...it is their liscenses anyway.

Things to think about:

Take all the 40 meter transmitters that plague us...re-align them on 27.406 to 27.999...there fore NO one will enjoy the frequencies.
Give the so called "freeband" to no code techs with "eleven-eleven" numbers...no extra will want to be on a no code tech frequency or band.
Actually police the MANUFACTURERS for making so called 10 meter FM rigs for sale at any truck stop in North America.
See a CBer? ask him if he knows what ham radio is...tell him we "dx legally" and can have 1500 watts...the test isn't that hard.
Police truck stops and weigh scales for illegal equipment... I have often wondered why CB was even put on eleven meters as its propagation isnt good for anything over 5 miles mobile to mobile (with out a kilowatt). Half the time the signal ends up on a nother continent.
As for above...actually put CB up at 450-460 mhz where it was intended. Truck to truck would probably actually be farther, and "scratch & QRM" on ten meters would go down to zero.

I cannot wait to see what this stirs up. I had a CB in the 70s, always wanted to be a ham, couldn't hack the code. I was elmered in by a local radio store helper, always wanting to upgrade, but fell in love with dx to Europe on 6, 1000km contacts on two, and 700km contacts on 432. I have no interest in HF at this time and I enjoy the privelidges I have now. I have made many friends and spent many hours learning the ins and outs of VHF/UHF.

Well thanx for reading, 73 all. kb9wzj
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KB9HGI on November 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I went to listen to the freeband and you are right they do use the Q signals. I heard them cq dx cq dx this is blah blah and I'm QRT and standing by. Now tell me how in the world are you QRT and standing by? (ha ha)
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KE4RWS on December 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I realize this is an old thread, but I thought I'd comment on some of what's been said here. One post stated:

"Freebanders are lawbreakers. They are in it for a free ride and should not in any way be admired. The lunacy continues."

The writer above implies freebanders are totally illegal operators. While I believe this is true, it should also be noted that many amateur operators equally break the law when operating within the ham bands. Specifically, every single day & night I hear the worst language and conduct I've ever heard. This is relevant to the statement previously quoted because it too outlines illegal operation within the amateur band. There are illegal operators on both sides of the issue here, and just because you have an amateur radio license and your operating within your allocated band in no way means your operating within legal guidelines. What comes out of your mouth is the deciding factor in what is legal operation and what is illegal operation. I personally hear operators in the HF region breaking laws every single day, so let's call a spade a spade here and not make it appear as if only freebanders are breaking the law.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WA9SVD on December 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
They
continued to carry on until someone came on and told them that they were right in the middle of the C.W. band and to get off
of the frequency.

====================

Mike,
That's not well and not so good. If the person who "informed them" that they were in the CW portion of the band is a U.S. Amateur, that person was just as guilty of violating the rules as the operators he/she wanted to correct!
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KF4ZTO on March 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I'am a ham and I own a CB radio, specicfily a Galaxy DX-949 (yes, this is one of those "export" AM/SSB CB radios). I admit to have modified the radio to operate 26.695 to 27.965 MHz instead of the LEGAL 26.965 to 27.405 MHz CB band. I listen to 26.915 and 27.555 MHz alot. To be honest, listening to anything from music jammers (in LSB) and Italian freebanders calling in USB, it seems more and more like the anarchist's version of ham radio. I think that if the CBer's are using a frequency band (namly 26.1 to 28.0 MHz) that is not used by anyone else, it's not a problem, granted, I know that many hams use 11 meters "on the side", esp. no-code techs (I am a no-code tech). Unless someone is interfering with a amatuer service frequency, don't worry about it.

thanks, Phil Sperry, KF4ZTO
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KF4ZTO on March 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I'am a ham and I own a CB radio, specicfily a Galaxy DX-949 (yes, this is one of those "export" AM/SSB CB radios). I admit to have modified the radio to operate 26.695 to 27.965 MHz instead of the LEGAL 26.965 to 27.405 MHz CB band. I listen to 26.915 and 27.555 MHz alot. To be honest, listening to anything from music jammers (in LSB) and Italian freebanders calling in USB, it seems more and more like the anarchist's version of ham radio. I think that if the CBer's are using a frequency band (namly 26.1 to 28.0 MHz) that is not used by anyone else, it's not a problem, granted, I know that many hams use 11 meters "on the side", esp. no-code techs (I am a no-code tech). Unless someone is interfering with a amatuer service frequency, don't worry about it.

thanks, Phil Sperry, KF4ZTO
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by N3GN on April 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I just read the part about "Freebanding". I played around with CB in the Winter of 1974 just before the 70's boom in CB. Yes every 11 years or so when the solar cycle returns and CB'rs experience skip on 11 meters. Well to say something positive about someone operating illegally on the edge of the Ham Bands is pretty ignorant. I tested in 1980 for my Novice. I knew 20 wpm having been a Coast Guard Radioman. I got my General in 1982 and my extra in 2002. The CW was no problem. I just wanted the extra 25 kcs of CW. Before I got my extra I never operated in the Extra Class portions of the band because I was not licensed to do so. Even though I was just as experienced as any extra class operator in CW. Also I held a Commerical Radio Telegraph license. The term "Freebanding" is just a buzz word to just operating illegally on Ham Radio and should not be encourged. It's like people driving cars without a license. No matter how you write your part an illegal operator is and illegal operator and that is the bottom line. Test and get your ticket 73's
N3GN
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by WHY on June 14, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Question ?
I know nothing about Radio, but from 22 years ago when i purchased 20.00 cb for the car. I made several friends, it was a ball. So i wanted to learn about ham and get into it possiblity. Im at a point in my life i can afford it. but Most of the HAMS SEEM to be snobb's by the postings. The "FOLKS" use to talk to were great fun on the old 23chan. The ham test looks easy i took a online one and it was not bad. So is there many that talk in both the 11 meter and the other bands?
Second question.
For all yall that are hams I assume you ALLWAYS trans with in the LEGAL power limits.
but most of all
IS HAM FUN OR IS THE HAM COMMUNITY STUCK ON ITS SELF, CAN A NEW "FACE" MAKE FRIENDS OR IT IS VERY LEGALISTIC.
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by KIQ9258 on August 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe we should only allow people with the correct genetic makeup to become HAMs. Many hobbys requiring certification are first experienced by a trepid dip of the toe into the activity (prior to certification!). I understand the personality types that make up quite a bit of the experienced population of our hobby, but interest and membership in any activity is never a bad thing. I do not condone flagrant disregard of the law but also realize that some kids ride their kick scooters without helmets (makes all our insurance rates go up!). Perhaps a little tolerance is in order, along with a little mentoring. Take a man's modified CB away and he buys another one, show him your hamshack and he'll thow the CB away himself!
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by K8CNN on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Posted By K8CNN

Hello All

I feel it is long overdue to create a LEAGEL place for the "Not quite CB'er" and "Not quite Ham" to have a place to explore the hobby!

I think it would be a good idea to let the CB'er have the so called
"Free Band" space 27.405 Mhz to 28.000 Mhz. and make it a shared band with the Ham Radio Community.

I look at it this way, Ten's of Thousands of CB'ers are useing this protion of the band now, And as much as we all talk about FCC inforcment, Fines, etc. Its just a fact of life that the C.B. "FreeBanders" are just not going to go away anytime soon! (Right?)

So why not take advantage of an eager to learn, potental pool of future Hams?

The people on the "FreeBand" are more intrested in radio than just the typical C.B.er, "got it at Radio Shack for $30.00 "Good Buddy" operator", You know this true, as most of them have invested at least a couple hundred bucks for an import radio, or ham gear.

So why not make it a LEAGEL C.B. and Ham Radio Band?
Give the C.B.ers a chance to talk to the Ham Radio Community, and start them thinking it might be a good idea to become a Ham, after all, a lot of us Ham's started out as CB'ers (Remember?)

I admit, Once I became a Ham, my intrest in C.B. went away, but I moved onto Repeaters, ham TV, IRLP, Cross Banding Projects, and much more! However what I leared in my C.B. days was a good foundation to the hobby!

Plus I met up with a few Hams that were on C.B. way back in the day,
and I owe the fact that I went on to become a Ham to them.
Thanks, to now silent key "Gary WB8WAF" who took the time to show me about Ham Radio and all it had to offer, Whom I would have never met if not for C.B. Radio.

So I think a mutual meeting place, or "Band" would be a great recruiting tool for the Ham Radio ranks.

Thanks, K8CNN Tom 73
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by K2FOX on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Dude, lighten up!
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by WD4RUG on December 8, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i hope more truckers take over 10 meter and 12, 6 and so own we freebanders love our hobby u snooze u lose free radio is here to stay two can play at this game take care 73s from the big bamm
 
RE: Confessions of an Ex-Freebander now a Ham  
by WD4RUG on December 8, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i hope more truckers take over 10 meter and 12, 6 and so own we freebanders love our hobby u snooze u lose free radio is here to stay two can play at this game take care 73s from the big bamm
 
i hope more truckers take over 10 meters  
by WD4RUG on December 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i am glad the freeband is going on strong .please support it wildboy74@webtv.net
 
RE: i hope more truckers take over 10 meters  
by VE2NSM on December 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well, this thread is old and to be honest I did nod read it entirely.

Now let me say this:
Freeband lives, much more than some ham bands, and this all over the world.
The band is open in some way or another, even when hams says "10 meters's dead", there is alway some kind of activity on the freeband, why?... because WE USE IT!

Ok, I agree, most of the things we hear when the band is open towards U.S.A is truckers on AM who flipped the switch to evade QRM on normal CB 40 channels, they have no idea where they are, and what they are doing, same guys you hear on 10 meters sometimes.

But for the rest of the world, freebanding is VERY well organized, with contests, QSL, official country prefixes, SSTV, CW (yes!) RTTY, even FM repeaters...you name it.

The number of hams working freeband is outstanding too, nobody says, after reading comments from old, close minded hams who claim that amateur radio is dying.
Why is it dying?
Simple... stop complaining, stop whining, use your bands, open your mind, accept that you are getting old and give space to the youth, give advice without saying "in my time blah blah blah..."

Anyways, this is another subject ;-)
Back to freeband.

Like I was saying, I work freeband everyday, like I work 20 or 80 meters, I have no problem about that.
Operators are sometimes inexperienced, they sometime have limited means wich leads to bad NOT linear amplifiers, but they have a spirit that I thing most of the freebander haters hams have lost, and is LOVE FOR RADIO, ANY KIND OF RADIO.

Stop whining, use your bands, get out there, not just for one or two contests a year, use 10 meters, IT IS open, as we speak I'm picking up an SSTV signal on 27700KHz at 595 .... the 10 meters band is quiet as a cemetary... think about it.

Seasons Greetings.
Oliver.
VE2NSM
9CF412
 
Ham Radio and Freeband  
by 119 on February 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
man, ill tell you what, if getting a ham license means id have to be associated with the likes of some of you,id never even consider it. while i am not a ham myself, i know quite a few, and have been associated with it all of my life. some of you people holler "illegal!...illegal!...." when the majority of you break the law every single day of your life,weather it be speeding,spitting on the sidewalk, throwing that gum wrapper on the ground or what have you.the author of the original story hit the nail right on the head if most of you want to admit it or not. thousands and thousands of now licensed ham operators came from CB and freeband. i would hazzard to say that the majority of ham operators today got there start in THOSE TO AREAS, IF YOUD LIKE TO ADMIT IT OR NOT, weather it be a friend,relative or yourselves that had the radio. i dont think theres a large majority of ham operators that just woke up one morning and said "heck, im going to be a ham operator" with no knowlege of radio in general. as the author of the article implied, if it wasnt for "freebanders" alot of you would not have anyone to talk to now as alot of the current operators CAME FROM CB AND FREEBAND>!

I THINK THAT ALOT OF YOU TRY TO MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL. from what i know just on my own experience, the FCC doesnt do a whole lot about freebanders or illegally operated cb radios,ect. maybe they used to back in the day, but that practice ended years ago when the FCC found that,even after they spent thousands of $$$ trying to police the problems, that those whom they did bust for illegal activity got miniscule fines at most, and the operators were and are back on the air, big linears and all, within a couple of days or so..so what did they really accomplish?...NOTHING

i poersonally know of one guy that was the talk of the town and the subject of a lot of debate a few years back. he was a "CBer" and a "freebander" and ran ALOT of power ( 10,000 watts out of a home brew amplifier). the local police raided his place with 7 police cars ( i know because i was involved..). why?....because every single time he keyed the mic, he blanketed the city ( population of about 12,000 people) and blew computer sound cards out, ordered fast food all over town from his home via the drive thru, and even broadcasted across a local AM radio stations broadcast tower. the local police departments supervisor stood in the guys living room and contacted the FCC via telephone, and finally reached a supervisor, who politely told him that the FCC doesnt really enforce problems on the CB radio anymore, and that they would not respond.....what does that tell you?...the only reason the guy gave up so much power is that the local police captain told him that if he did it again, since FCC would not respond to the problem, they would arrest him for disturbing the peace and other charges, but nothing directly related to the equipment itself.


my point to all of this is,even though theres quite a few CB and Freebanders out there that do break the law everytime there even in the same room as a radio, dont be too hard on them with this "illegal" thing, as alot of them may just have been the guy your talking to right now at one time or another.


some of you ned to get a clue and a life and tip that noze down before it rains and you drowned.
 
RE: Ham Radio and Freeband  
by W3BC on March 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Amen Brother!!!

I am working on an article for my website (w3bc.us) about annoying operating practices I have heard lately. Virtually all the candidates can be traced back to Freebander "technique".

These lids should have their mouths duct-taped for one year, while they are only allowed to operate CW if they want to become hams.

The lids who end EVERY transmission with "QSL?" or "Roger?" as a question, especially in nets, make me want to reach through the speaker and throttle their scrawny little necks!

And I'm a pretty sociable, friendly guy! Imagine what it's like for the old timers!

73,
Joe, W3BC
PG-20-2691
NEVER on CB!
 
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