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Author Topic: FT-8900 Front Alignment After MARS Mod Required?  (Read 32737 times)

Posts: 5639

« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2006, 10:49:37 AM »



Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 2

« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2006, 09:36:50 AM »

Thanks for your clarification Steve. I have only your word on your profession and expertise. However, what you state is exactly how I understand the law in both word and intent, notwithstanding the views to the contrary of the self annointed "ham-police" here.

In addition, the desperate responses to your post signal the inevitable graspings of most people who post pseudo-legal and pseudo-intellectual responses to questions posted by new hams. It would appear that they picked on the wrong guy this time. I paraphrase: He Said he was going to transmit on commercial bands, why, just look at his original post!

I have re-read his original post. There is nothing in it to imply (to a resonable man, anyway) that there was any intent to transmit "out-of-band". There is nothing "specious" about his argument or any of his responses.

Jeezus, how about those of you who post smug diatribes against others go out and see if you can find a life. You do a disservice to our hobby.

To quote for those of you who may have forgotten:

My FT-8900 arrived <glee> and after testing it briefly locally I performed the MARS/CAP mod required for our SAR team. Went fine, but I'm clearly blind as a bat these days. At any rate, today I had and opportunity to go mobile. I live in a mountain area and signal strengths vary somewhat. I noted that receive on the 8900 seemed weak using the same mag mount antenna that previoulsy was connected to my VX-7 (also with the MARS/CAP mod.) I don't have anything to compare against and no service monitor to check sensitivity.

Does the 8900 need to be realigned after this mod?" *****End Quote**********


Posts: 2198

« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2006, 03:35:04 PM »

Sir or madam, as the case may be:

    Your post borders on a personal attack.

    Here's the original post on this thread:

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

    Now whatever you (or anyone) may wish, there is no such thing as a "SAR or S&R" mod for Amateur Radios.   Even the original post seems to point out that the intent was to use the radio for "modified" use outside the Amateur bands, after only brief testing on Amateur frequencies. The MARS mod is for just that:  MARS.  That, however you slice the baloney, is NOT an authorization to use modified Amateur equipmment in any other other service.  It's an uathorization for a station to use specific frequencies that are administered by the the Dept. of Defense, not the FCC.  But even THAT requires a specific license or authorization from a branch of the military.

    There is NO way to justify or claim a person in "S&R" is required to have a modified Amateur Radio.  The backpeddling and stammering once questioned only proves  the original intent.

    Your own response was particularly insulting.  It's unfortunate it only attacked responders and served no intelligent purpose.

Posts: 15

« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2006, 08:20:04 PM »


Thanks for the flowers. And I think it's clear that you are male by your name Smiley

You made the obvious observations. DYR did not state certain things that he was later accused of stating, and, that he back peddled. In fact, here is what he said in a second message:

quote -->

I misspoke when I used the word "required." The better word might be "suggested" or "helpful". I honestly did not expect to be placed on a spit and roasted. Our SAR team DOES have two types of radios: VHF and 800 trunked. They are the PRIMARY method of communications and by policy MUST be used. Amateur equipment is not in any way used as the primary communications device.

The radio's of choice by hams are the Yaesu VX-7's and 8800's so that the primary mobile may be placed at a point of advantage and cross-band repeat as necessary by licensed hams on amateur frequencies that would then be relayed verbally by a licensed ham over the appropriate public safety radio(s). Our command vehicles have both Motorola VHF (Fire/SAR/Forestry) and 800mHz mobiles (Sheriff/Fire), as well as commercial Yaesu VX-4200's programmed for FRS/GMRS at 5 watts and .5 watts, of which several operators are licensed. FCC regulations are clear that users of GMRS and FRS may cross-communicate. This radio is also programmed for the ski resorts and may be used as required to communicate during rescues. Every effort to legally and effectively communicate is employed -- interoperability. Only hams communicate on ham frequencies.

<-- end quote

What I took from that alone was a man of integrity that even in his absence is still being vilified for doing what nearly every other ham has done: he modified a radio that the manufacturer made in such a way as to allow the modification, and, the instructions appear on many, many ham related web sites with pictures. What we seem to have here is a hypocricy. DYR's rebuttal made it absolutely clear that they have commercial equipment for the commercial frequencies, and, that only licensed hams utilize ham frequencies.

The question for the two of you is how long you will harp on an initial statement made by a new ham that admitted to what so very, very many of you have done and just never said out loud. Which of you will show some maturity and offer an olive branch to a man that has already told me of his desire to leave amateur radio based on your less than impressive condemnation and scorn that was really uncalled for.

Have you forgotten that each of us serves as an ambassador to others?

Posts: 2198

« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2006, 11:07:46 PM »

The question for the two of you is how long you will harp on an initial statement made by a new ham that admitted to what so very, very many of you have done and just never said out loud.

    Again SIR, I take that as an insult.  SOME of us, whether new operators or old timers have NOT operated illegally or "out of band" , and thus NEVER have to admit to such wrong doing out loud or even in private.
    You have insulted ALL of us by suggesting otherwise.
  We know and understand the Rules and Regulations, and choose to abide by them.  WE feel honor bound to respect the signature we affix to our license that states we will abide by the FCC rules and regulations.  But a man or woman is only as good as their word, and perhaps some people feel their signature isn't a binding legal agreement.  Maybe our licenses should require being notarized, but there would probably be some who wouldn't honor that sort of agreement, either.

    Certainly, with your legal education and expertise, you should be familiar with the concept that "ignorance of the law is no excuse?"  
    But again, the original post referred to use of an Amateur Radio with a required modification for S&R use.  NO ONE is putting words in anyone's mouth; those are the words he used.

    But apparently, those that choose to be scofflaws will find all kinds of rationalizations and resort to attacks on those that point out what is not legal utilization of Amateur Radio equipment.  It's those that flaunt the law that are the ones that truly detract from the good name and good will of Amateur Radio.

Posts: 15

« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2006, 11:40:52 PM »

DYR has also not stated or admitted to operating out of band either. He ONLY asked about tuning after a mod. But you took the bait and proved the point that you are more interested in self-righteous condemnation of others. No amount of reason, use of quotations, highlighting, etc. will get past your self-absorbed, holier than thou attitude. I can think of so many ways that you could have approached DYR and simply said, "Well, you know that it ain't legal to transmit on a modified radio out of band..." Right from the beginning it was beat down time.

This thread has run its course and I respectfully ask the moderators to close it.

Posts: 2198

« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2006, 05:59:47 AM »


    No one was putting words in the gentleman's mouth.  It was merely pointed out that use of modified Amateur equipment was not legal except in extreme emergencies, and that didn't match the use suggested.  

    Again, I will ask the simple question which STILL hasn't been answered:

    If a legitimate S&R person in involved in a rescue mission, and the directors of such a mission feel that person needs or should have communication equipment, why do they not provide it.  And if they have provided that equipment and it proves inadequate, WHY would a reasonable person think there would be the need for a MODIFIED Amateur Radio?  Would a modified Amateur Radio work any better?  If the intent were to use Amateur frequencies "when all else fails," the radio would not have required a mod; and almost ALL H-T's available today have extended RECEIVE capability without a mod.  A mod indicates an intent to USE it, and as the FCC has stated, the situations that truly justify the use of Amateur equipment on non-Amateur frequencies are few and far between.  

    A simple shortage of proper equipment by an S&R team, or any other Public Service entity does not justify or make legal the use of modified Amateur equipment.

    And while the REASON for CERTIFICATION of Public Service radios is (in part) to ensure proper operation in times of emergency and not cause interference to adjacent services or jurisdictions, it IS the letter of the law that it is illegal to use non-certified equipmnet on any frequency not within the Amateur Radio Service.  It's not a matter of "if nobody complains, it's OK;" would THAT defense stand up in a court of law?   I certainly wouldn't want MY legal representative to present such an arguement in front of a judge or jury...

    As to ending this thread:

    SIR< if you will look back, I suggested a similar thought, but you onviously wished to  make comments after that, some that even you should know were derogatory to those that post here, and to most Amateurs in general.

Posts: 227

« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2006, 12:36:28 AM »

Well, don't this beat all. I'll bet you'll now argue with Mobile Radio Technology who have an article in their October publication suggesting that public safety departments purchase amateur radios for use as "interoperability radios" because they are easily modified and meet or exceed specifications.

"Rauter said public safety should consider amateur radio units on the market that offer dual- and multi-band operation — and cost around $300, which would put them in reach of any first responder entity. He also said several FRS radios that can be found at retail outlets offer the same functionality and added that the military is developing an FRS radio that personnel could use for non-mission-critical “chit chat.”

Posts: 446

« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2007, 08:58:34 AM »


I have looked at this post with total bewilderment.
The question was, does the radio neeed realignment after the mod.
The answer, as was given, is, no, unless you somehow "screwed it up".
One must be sure to not touch the insides of the radio without following ESD protection.
One must be careful not to touch any tuned elements.
Now, with that said, the FCC does have a policy in place that says that a radio must be type accepted for commercial use.
I have no issues with that whatsoever.
Amateur radios can not be used outside of the ham bands.
Although the CAP now has the new and improved NTIA rules that no longer allow most ham rigs, MARS has yet to impliment this but this may appear in the future.
In an emergency where life is in danger a damped wave transmitter would be legal but the rules are quite clear.
The mod itself is not illegal, but its use is.
One must affirm a defense, this is not a given.
With that said, be careful, it is you that is on the line, not the "ham police".
You have been warned.

Posts: 8


« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2007, 03:14:28 PM »

I cant believe how this has gone way off topic. Let him use his radio how he wants, and you use yours the way you want. If you cant answer his question, then dont post anything.

Posts: 5

« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2007, 06:26:16 AM »

WOW< I found this topic by doing googling FT8900 MARS mod.
I am a member of MARS and just wanted to get the mod info for my 8900. I think I will just contact Yaesu. They won't yell at me!

Posts: 24

« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2007, 07:46:45 AM »

Modding a radio for SAR usage is not being prepared for a possible emergency - it is simply being prepared to break the law, which is exactly what most hams who mod their radios plan to do.

Oh yes, we love to try to hide behind 97.403 & 97.405 but we consistently refuse to recognize that those rules apply only to stations in the Amateur Radio Service, not to pirate stations operating in other radio services.

Personally I don't care if you want to risk your ham license, that's your busines.  And I especially don't care if your SAR team wants to let you put their radio license at risk.  Those are choices that each ham and each team must make.  But please don't insult everyone's intelligence by pretending that you are modding the ham radio just in case you happen upon a valid immediate emergency at exactly the moment when your legal SAR radio just happens to fail and no one else around has a legal radio and you cannot raise anyone on any ham frequency but golly gee surprise surprise, your modded ham radio saves the day by letting you operate as an unlicensed priate station illegally transmitting on the SAR team frequency.

Before expecting 97.403 to save you, I suggest reading the emergency provisions in Part 2 and Part 90 (which are the rules that do apply once you go out of band).


Posts: 1

« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2008, 02:30:22 PM »

Gadds, Here in the UK the dealers will happily do this mod for £25 and many many rigs kicking about are already modded.

Now having a Transceiver that is capable of Wideband TX and RX doesn't mean that one will use it does it?

I thought this is why Homebrew was fun because its a learning experience. Everyone has heard frequency splatter before yet do we come down on splatterers with a tonne of bricks? no most HAMS try to help them resolve their issues. I myself got accused of being an EX-CBer and was most annoyed as I've never been interested in CB. Yet on a DX the other day I was talking on a net in the USA and got accused of being a Pirate!!! erm yeah go figure. Maybe the guy who originally posted could have been a little more eloquent in what he posted. But enthusiasm gets to us all sometimes. My Callsign in the UK maybe an M3 but it will soon be an 2E and by the end of the year a full licensee, why because I need to build my own kit.

Also another flaw I noticed with the 8900 mine certainly doesn't conform to the UK bandplan, at least two repeaters here throw an error when trying to access them on 70cm's

Posts: 4


« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2008, 10:44:40 AM »

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Seems Steve the attorney knows a lot about Amateur Radio...

It is illegal to use amateur radios on commercial bands. Why is DYR's radio being modified. That is the question.

Commercially type accepted radios like Motorola GM300 etc can used in the amateur band and are about the same in costs for commercial grade radios. You just don't have frequencies showing in the display.

Quite frankly I side with the 'Old Timers'. Steve you may be a communications attorney but I doubt seriously if you know enough about the amateur service to provide a good defense. In simple words, ...ah never mind...Upgrade your license from Novice to something a bit more substantial where you learn more about the amatuer service before you plunge into the arena where you will sound more like a lawyer and nothing like a ham.

Now on the note of life and limb. The FCC is the only authority that can sanction the use of an amateur radio in out of band operations. This has been done in the past. 2004, Hurricane Charlie in Punta Gorda FL. 400 Icom Amateur HT's were ordered from Icom (because they didn't have enough commercial radios) and modified to work on the police frequencies. This was an FCC supported change but once the event was over and regular communications restored that order was terminated.

In DYR's case, yeah go ahead an use your HT on the out of band operations (and I know you stated that the mod is not for that, but what else could it be for.) Doubt seriously if the FCC is going to blow smoke down your throat but do understand, it is not legal under any circumstance unless as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the FCC does a Change Order.

As far as Steve the attorney goes, I eat you guys for lunch. So I do not much care about the rather pleasant conversation you had with DYR, what I will say is shut up and learn more about ham radio and upgrade your license. DUH!

Next thing you know he will be suing me for slander..Go for it. (Doesn't pass the test to pursue.)And to finish this rant, I post the aforementioned as being an opinion.


Posts: 227

« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2008, 11:42:26 AM »


Your reply here is nothing more than a slap across the face of another ham. How in any manner does posting the personal information of another ham add to the content of this thread? It doesn't. It was perhaps one of the rudest things that you can possibly have done. You did it only for the purpose of attempting to minimize and malign.

Are YOU an attorney? No. You're a slacker that runs his fingers across a keyboard and types with impunity. A typical internet putz. You and others would not dare to talk face to face with another as you do here because you know that you'd probably get knocked on your butt. Bottom line: don't do it here either. It is just plain rude. If you have an opinion, fine. But you do not have my permission to be rude towards me or any other person while you express it.

Now that you have been spanked real good, go read Part 97.

§97.403 Safety of life and protection of property.
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

§97.405 Station in distress.
(a) No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station in distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its condition and location, and obtain assistance.

(b) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a), of any means of radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a station in distress.

Nowhere does it say that having a modified radio in advance requires permission. Nowhere does it say that having a modified radio is a violation. No where does it state that a Change Order is required when eminent circumstances exist.

Next, and I'll say this one last time, I do not now nor have I had a desire to transmit out of band. In fact, I disable TX and tone so accidents don't happen. I also have a Bendix-King portable right next to me licensed where it needs to be; I have a Vertex mobile licensed where it needs to be including GMRS. Our primary system is 800mhz trunking and the FT-8900 sure cannot go there so I sure won't be using a 8900 to talk there. However; if a lost hiker huddled under a tree in overnight temperatures of below freezing up here already is calling on FRS for help, you damn well know that common sense says that I am going to answer him.

You eat attorny's for lunch? How and in what way does your post contribute to this thread in a positive way? It doesn't. It is simply an attack on Stephen and DYR. Nothing else.
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