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Author Topic: FT-8900 Front Alignment After MARS Mod Required?  (Read 12305 times)
KD7TWI
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2006, 01:42:44 PM »

Don't feel bad about your post.  I don't believe I have seen a post here Lon did not respond to on eHam.  His response in most cases is not helpful in answering the question, it is usually just a "I know more than you" answer.  I am a lurker here mostly but read as much as possible to learn from the forums and this is what I see. Good luck with the 8900, I am thinking of purchasing one myself. We use one at a hospital I work at and it is dandy cross band 2m/440.

KD7TWI
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KI6DYR
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Posts: 227




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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2006, 04:16:50 PM »

I WILL ACCEPT that my mod'd radio is my responsibility. Now its your turn to explain how that topic was lost and turned into your belief that amateur radio cannot be used for SAR operations.

"The rules don't allow for routine use of Amateur Radio just because your team's capabilities fall short, but that seems to be your objective."

Prove it. SHOW ME the code. http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/news/part97/

SHOW ME where I said that amateur was desired as a replacement. You can't. I said VERY clearly just the opposite, that policy REQUIRES the use of issued radios. In fact, a permanent repeater is being funded and installed for this very reason.

I honestly wonder if some of you have read anything. NOWHERE have I said that modified amateur radio would be used to replace legal commercial radios. I have enough technical competence to now be able to pass extra class and know that just changing from a type accepted to a non-type accepted radio won't make a difference. How insulting to even suggest that. Apparently you don't think new hams possess any skills.

In fact, over the last two weeks and as a result of licensed hams teaching the non-hams about radio one of them attached a wire from her commercial radio to a barb wire fence in order to get her signal out on the public safety network. She was able to arrange for an air evac by helicopter. The team now has 10 licensed hams and more in the region are getting licensed.

I ONLY said that licensed hams would use ham frequencies as a backup. I went as far as describing our licensed, type accepted public safety mobile units and GMRS licensed operators that may communicate directly with someone on GMRS/FRS, as well as formal and absolute policy that REQUIRES that official operations be on the public safety radios. What part of that was unclear to you in your narrow-minded reading? YOU have decided that our intent is to use amatuer as a replacement. SHOW ME where I said that. You can't. Even if we did want to move to amateur as a replacement, show me where a volunteer, non-commercial group cannot legally do so.

SHOW ME. Cite the code.

"Amateur Radio is only legal to use as a last resort, NOT as a routine "backup" for SAR; and only in dire circumstances. "

SHOW ME. Cite the code. You can't.

Some of you need to refresh yourselves on the primary purpose of amateur radio. Part 97.1(a) should cover it. SAR teams are not legally able to use amateur radio as a primary or secondary? NOWHERE in Part 97 does it say anything remotely connected. In fact, go back and read 97.1(a). Then, go tell RACES, ARES, ECS, DCS, OES, SkyWarn, Maritime, Hurricane and all of the other amateur radio based volunteer emergency organizations that you think that they are breaking the law. Volunteer SAR operations that are non-commercial by their very nature are allowable conducted by licensed hams on ham frequenices and is perfectly legal. We won't even discuss RACES frequencies.

Have you ever been lost at 11,000 feet, a sudden rain storm hit the altitude, you are cold, wet, hungry, and the temps drop to near or below freezing? But you wish to wrongly state that no lost hiker is an emergency? In the same breath someone says that amateur radio cannot be used to help locate that lost hiker because you don't think that its a valid emergency? A lost hiker is seldom an emergency? Your kid is lost but since its only been an hour we shouldn't take it seriously? Your argument lacks credibility. Period. Tell that to the family of the 9 year old Boy Scout who's body was just recently found after two years. TWO YEARS and initially it was thought that he was just "sort of lost."

Next, go to Google and type: Search and Rescue Amateur Radio and come back and tell us of the amateur radio based or affiliated SAR teams you located. I'll tell you. 1.4 MILLION page matches. http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-08,GGLD:en&q=search+and+rescue+use+of+amateur+radio We can talk about linked repeaters and APRS and the many other wonderful ways that hams are using the service for SAR.

What do you think SAR teams do? Let me tell you that sadly, much of the time it is body recovery. An entire repeater will go net for SkyWarn when thunderstorms hit, but you don't want hams talking about finding a lost hiker? Assisting with evacs because a raging forest fire is barreling down? Discussing a vehicle over the side with two on board?

I'm sorry, but your arrogance or ignorance of legitimate uses of amateur radio beyond passing traffic and a good ragchew amazes and insults me.
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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2198




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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2006, 06:08:28 PM »

QUOTE:  " My FT-8900 arrived <glee> and after testing it briefly locally I performed the MARS/CAP mod required for our SAR team."  UNQOUTE

    Does that answer your question?

    No one was interested in belittling or insunting you or anyone else; just in pointing out what was not legal use of Amateur Radios that were modified for use outside ther Amateur Radio bands.
    THAT fact is still correct, no matter what rationalization or justification you try to use.

    If your S&R team has inadequate equipment, then THAT is their problem, to be addressed by their sponsoring  governmental organization.  It does NOT give anyone "permission" to use modified Amateur equipment because of a shortage.

    But do as you will.  Obviously, you feel your use supersedes the FCC rules.

BTW, the "MARS/CAP" modification is just that.  I've never seen it described as an "S&R/Public Service" mod.  Maybe that's because that use isn't legal by FCC rules?
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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2198




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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2006, 01:27:08 PM »

Just to clarify:

    TWO issues.  ONE is use of modified Amateur equipment for S&R functions, due to apparent shortage of equipment.  THAT isn't legal justification for using modified Amateur equipment.  It would be the same a sPolice?Fire and other Public Services using modified equipment; the FCC has proven that is unacceptable.

TWO, use of Amateur frequencies.  Many of your examples ARE acceptable  use, but of Amateur (or any) radio equipment, on Amateur frequencies, by porperly licensed individuals who hold Amateur Radio licenses.  

    But nowhere in the FCC rules does it authorize use of modified Amateur equipment for public service operations, on Public Service frequencies.  The true "life and death" scenarios you describe ae not realistic in many ways; they may be "theoretical," but even that is problematic.  To test the "validity' of such theoretical scenarios would require real time operations, and unless those were true life and death cases, not just tests, you would be in violation of FCC rules.  The FCC rules do not allow "testing" for operations that might be perceived life and death situations, only when such situations actually occur.  And those are truly few and far between.


    Again, I ask a simple question:

    If your S&R radios will not provide adequate communications, why do you thing modified Amateur equipment will perform any better?  

    And if you propose use of Amateur Radio on Amateur frequencies, by licensed Amateur Radio Operators, WHY do you have to have a modified radio?  (MOST Amateur H-T's [such as in your case] already HAVE RECEIVE capability that should extend into your S&R allocation; but transmit on those frequencies with modified Amateur equipment really isn't legal in most [almost ALL]  cases.)
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KA7YAZ
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2006, 01:15:23 PM »

My name is Steve and I am a communications attorney. I have had the opportunity to speak directly with DYR by telephone. I had a rather lengthy reply to this posting, but have chosen to start over with shorter comments.

PLEASE DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER.

It is not unlawful to possess a modified radio. It is unlawful to *transmit* without proper authorization except in an emergency involving the protection of life *or property.* Your assertions that amateur radio may only be used in the most extreme of extreme circumstances is absolutely false. *The protection of property...*

It is not unlawful for licensed hams to use ham frequencies to perform *primary* communications involving SAR. As correctly brought to your attention, many volunteer and non-commercial groups do so. American Red Cross, RACES, ARES, etc.

DYR clearly stated that their intent has never been to use amateur equipment to talk on commercial frequencies. Someone really twisted his words when they added to a retort asking why amateur equipment would work better. DYR never stated that at all. You folks added that. Additionally, DYR never stated that they have a shortage of equipment. You folks added that as well. See what happens when you assume? DYR only stated that they have switched to ham radio when other methods have failed. They aren't ordering pizza's. Didn't emergency communications take place during Katrina when many public safety networks failed?

DYR made it very clear that only licensed amateur radio operators utilize the amateur frequencies. In fact he proudly states, and rightfully so, that their group is adding to the ranks of licensed amateurs. You're beating up on a fellow ham that has helped to carry ham radio to others? Why? Because he admitted to a modified radio? I'll get the gas chamber ready. DYR  has clearly stated that he is aware that he is responsible for his equipment. Put the baseball bat down and stop beating on him. You're embarassing yourselves and ham radio.

Lastly, what? His statements regarding scenarios are not theorhetical at all. They are, in fact, real life examples. I guess that if you are in some states you don't have 11,000 foot mountains and hikers that have been lost for several days without food or water.

Having spoken with DYR I know the agency that he volunteers for and they are one of the largest Sheriff's Departments in the country, and, have an extensive, mountaineous, and diverse topography and geography to cover. Glibly telling DYR that his group should buy more equipment is not a practical statement. It is impractical to state that a county government should spend millions erecting many, many repeater sites to extend the range of portable radios in the back country. Given the budgets and the lack of funds it is indeed well within the scope of amateur radio to see licensed operators using their skills for the benefit of mankind. Frankly gentlemen, you appear to have completely missed the point, and, have chosen the wrong topic to beat up on.

The ONLY issue that needed to be addressed was a new ham and his lack of knowledge about type acceptance. That could easily and politely have been addressed.

I do not know DYR personally. But I was quite pleased to talk directly with him. I can assure you that he is extremely frustrated and wonders why he chose to become a ham, given the obvious treatment he has received here. I would tend to agree. Now the question that remains is how many of you have modified radios with no justification at all.
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AD7GH
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2006, 08:50:51 AM »

Steve,

Can I ask you to clarify one point:

"It is not unlawful to possess a modified radio. It is unlawful to *transmit* without proper authorization except in an emergency"

Does this mean that it is unlawful to transmit on any band with an modified radio. That is, it would be unlawful to transmit on ham bands with such a radio. Or, does it mean that it is only unlawful to transmit on non-ham bands with such a radio.

Many thanks for what was a very much needed post.

David.
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KA7YAZ
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2006, 04:54:22 PM »

If I understand your question correctly, it is not legal to transmit on non-amateur frequencies with amateur equipment. I am not aware of any equipment that is type accepted for commercial operation and haven't looked. I suspect that there isn't any. But even non-type accepted equipment might be considered as "diminimus impact," meaning that there is marginal or no impact of its use on commercial frequencies.

Remember that the issue is, in part, not causing interference either directly or indirectly. In reality many store-bought radios (Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom, etc.) meet technical specifications but the manufacturer has not submitted the products to the testing lab, and, paid the hefty fees. But these same radios are usually frequency agile, which would affect the qualifications as well. So...

To stay out of trouble, don't use ham gear on commercial frequencies. And don't pull that tag off of your mattress!
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KA7YAZ
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2006, 05:02:17 PM »

If I understand your question correctly, it is not legal to transmit on non-amateur frequencies with amateur equipment. I am not aware of any equipment that is type accepted for commercial operation and haven't looked. I suspect that there isn't any. But even non-type accepted equipment might be considered as "diminimus impact," meaning that there is marginal or no impact of its use on commercial frequencies.

Remember that the issue is, in part, not causing interference either directly or indirectly. In reality many store-bought radios (Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom, etc.) meet technical specifications but the manufacturer has not submitted the products to the testing lab, and, paid the hefty fees. But these same radios are usually frequency agile, which would affect the qualifications as well. So...

To stay out of trouble, don't use ham gear on commercial frequencies. And don't pull that tag off of your mattress!
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2006, 11:41:46 AM »

Exactly the point.
    It is illegal to use modified Amateur Radio equipment on ANY other frequency, unless it constitutes a situation of IMMINENT peril to property or life.  I do NOT diasgree with that.  But NOT every "S&R" mission constitutes a "life and death" situation, as stipulated by 47CFR97  and the FCC.  According to Part 97,  true emergency means imminent danger of loss of life or property.  Is a lost hiker a true "life and death" situation if found in good condition?  (Obviously, if seriously injured, there would be no debate.)  Or is ANY function of an "S&R" team a true "life or death" situation?  
    For that matter, what abour practice drills?  

    But there's a big difference between a boat in coastal waters that's run out of fuel, and a boat that is also sinking!
    Is the boat without fuel in IMMINENT danger?  Are NO OTHER means of communication available?  (And why not?)

    The FCC rules state that TRUE emergencies that justify "out of band" operation (and thus potential use of modified Amateur gear) are few and far between.
    Again, the original question asked about a modified radio for use in S&R.  But if that person is authorized to carry a radio BY S&R, in their official function, it IS the responsibility of S&R to provide the LEGAL communication equipment deemed necessary for the particular exercise or rescue.  It doesn't give a blanket authorization for anyone or everyone to use modified Amateur equipment to perform that function.  And if standard S&R communication equip[ment doesn't function in their rescue location, WHY would anyone think modified Amateur equipment would function better?

    The secondary question (not even addressed in the original post) is the propriety of using Amateur Radio frequencies for S&R activities.  Certainly there ARE all kinds of activities that fall within Part 97 as legitimate, even commendable, scope of Amateur Radio.  But there was also a common idea that Amateur Radio was OK to be used as a substitute for Public Service radio communications.  I doubt THAT will sit well with the FCC.

    Part 97 doesn't allow Amateur Radio to be used as a SUBSTITUTE for proper Public Service equipment.  Only as an avenue when normal channels of communication have been exhausted or fail to perform.   Otherwise, (Yes, bad scenario) you could justify calling in a traffic collision in the middle of town by saying "my cell phone was dead, there was no other means of communication, so I had to call the Highway Patrol frequency  on my modified Amateur Radio..."  (I doubt the FCC OR the Highway Patrol would accept that rationale.)

    The original post was questioned; then and only THEN, did the person backpedal, stutter and stammer as to what he really meant...  ONLY when questioned.  
    And For what it's worth, his question has already been answered more than once.
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2006, 04:49:50 AM »

 by AD7GH on August 28, 2006   Steve,

Can I ask you to clarify one point:

"It is not unlawful to possess a modified radio. It is unlawful to *transmit* without proper authorization except in an emergency"

Does this mean that it is unlawful to transmit on any band with an modified radio. That is, it would be unlawful to transmit on ham bands with such a radio. Or, does it mean that it is only unlawful to transmit on non-ham bands with such a radio.

Many thanks for what was a very much needed post.

David.

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

David,

    The FCC Rules allow Amateur Radio Operators to use any equipment we wish on the Amateur frequencies, and ONLY those frequencies.  (Amateurs are the ONLY Radio Service in the U.S. allowed such freedom both in frequency selection AND equipment versatility.)  The only limitations are that you operate on the Amateur frequencies allowed for your class of license, observe power limits, and assure the equipment meets the "spectral purity" standards of Part 97.  Modified Amateur Radios may not meet ANY of the even relaxed spectral purity and stability requirements needed for use on Public Service frequencies, even if they come close to those standards when within the Amateur bands. It is NOT illegal to POSESS equipment that can operate on other frequencies, and that includes modified Amateur equipment.  It's just illegal to use modified Amateur equipment outside the Amateur bands.  MARS (and possibly CAP for a few radios that DO meet NTIA standards) are the only exceptions to out of band operations; but those are NOT Amateur Radio services; they have their own rules and regulations not set by the FCC.  And they require seperate licenses or authorization for legal operation.  The fact that they also require a person to hold an Amateur license is to ensure (??) the people participating in MARS or CAP have some technical and operating skills.
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K3CGA
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2006, 07:12:01 AM »

Let's just hope that the original poster doesn't need to use his radio for a justified emergency.
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2006, 03:13:54 PM »

 K3CGA on August 31, 2006        Let's just hope that the original poster doesn't need to use his radio for a justified emergency.    
=======================

    Not quite sure what that really means.  IF he's on a legitimate S&R rescue, and the S&R directors or supervisors think he SHOULD have a radio, it's THEIR  responsibility to provide it, not expect (or accept) that he will use modified Amateur equipment.  
    The FCC rules don't allow for the "emergency" exception in "what if" or unknown situations, only when "life or limb" or property are in IMMINENT danger.  That doens't allow for S&R to use modified equipment during a search, or a training or practice run.  
    Again, if anyone is in a "justified" emergency it is the primary responsibility of the S&R to provide those it deems necessary to carry the proper equipment.  The FCC rules don't consider every S&R exercise to be a "life and death" situation.  Otherwise, Police and Fire Departments would be able to use the same rationalization.  ("We need to send an officer to XXX Main Street.  We have no radio equipment available, so it's OK for him/her to use their modified Amateur radio...") I believe the FCC has even leveled some significant fines to Public Service entities that tried to use that rationale.  
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KA7YAZ
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2006, 03:23:14 PM »

I have advised DYR that he should not respond further, primarily because you in particular refuse to actually read what has been stated and what I made clear. As long as you insist that he wants to use ham gear on commercial frequencies in spite of others in here agreeing that he has not said that, you will stand out amongst the others. You have resorted to being just plain insulting. Best wishes to you sir.
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2006, 06:39:08 PM »

Sir:

Since I'm the one who pointed out the potential illegality of his actions, I must say this:

<< As long as you insist that he wants to use ham gear on commercial frequencies in spite of others in here agreeing that he has not said that,>>

He admitted it in his very first post. Sir, I suggest you go back an read it. Several posts later he denied saying it and trying to justify his continued assertions. We did not put words in his mouth; he put the words on paper all by himself.

<<you will stand out amongst the others. You have resorted to being just plain insulting.>>

No Sir, you are the insulting one, as far as I am concerned. I really don't care whether this ham got his feelings hurt or not. I really don't care if he considers giving up amateur radio. I don't like hams who modify ham gear for admittedly illegal operation, no matter what imaginary rationale they come up with and that's what this guy admitted in his very first post. Amateur radio does NOT need scofflaws or their defenders.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2006, 06:28:38 AM »

Lon:

    I agree completely.  The original post tells all, including reference to previously modified equipment.  Back-peddling or stuttering and saying "what I really meant..." are dodges.

    I truly think the original post reflected the true intent.

    With that, this thread is no longer worth the time of day.  Some people feel they are above the law, and only the FCC can correct that.  As the moderator on another site will allow, some people are "educated donkeys," some are just "male donkeys," and some are just an anatomical part of donkeys everywhere.

   
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