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Author Topic: OT: C.E.R.T. Member and His 208H  (Read 9622 times)
K0ECW
Member

Posts: 24




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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2011, 01:01:28 PM »

It sounds to me like the submitter just wants to listen.

151.2725 is designated as "Air Tactics 21" and is for Air to Air communications. However, 151.2725 is listed as a narrow band FM frequency, so stop trying to get it to receive AM.

http://www.scancal.org/airattack/index.html
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KB8VUL
Member

Posts: 117




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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2011, 08:03:03 PM »



 if the fire department and other agencies involved give you permission to do this, they run the risk of having the FCC cancel their licenses, as well.



minor correction here.  a fire of police department has ZERO authority to grant someone using a NON-type accepted radio on commercial or public safety frequencies.
ham gear is NOT type accepted for use on any frequencies other than ham and MARS.  They can't even be used for CAP (civil air patrol) unless they have specifically been type accepted for this use and I don't know of ANY that are. 
In addition to public safety frequencies, which are regulated by the FCC.  If you were to try transmitting on CAP stuff, then you involve the FAA and they deal with people playing on their frequencies via DHS.  They don't fine you, they ship you to GITMO and forget you're there.

I was involved with CERT... being involved with CERT doesn't make you special in the eyes of the FCC.  And if you start doing ARES style crap and being unprofessional and trying to exceed what little authority you may think you have, the local LEO and fire dept will see you in a bad light as well.

I got out of CERT because the local ARES clowns came in and started pushing ham radio as a form of communications for CERT.  It's not.  CERT communications requirements require using coded messages in instances search and rescue, if you find a body, you don't say I found a body, it's coded.  Ham radio specifically prohibits any communications that mask the try meaning of the message.  In other words, a dead body is just that a dead body.  It's not a code 12 or DOA or anything that isn't the words dead body, period.  CERT works directly with LEO and Fire Departments, they are eligible for federal grants for communications equipment.  Use what you should be using to communicate with the folks you are supporting.  Don't halfazz it and try using ham gear for real public safety communications.  Hams don't support public safety, they pester it, hinder it and irritate it.  They sometimes are granted access to some little room at the EOC building which is the equivilant of a crying room in a church.  CERT goes out and responds to disasters with tools and muscle.  ARES responds on ham abouts with coffee and donuts.  So either carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, or carry the donuts and coffee, it can't be done both ways.
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W3LK
Member

Posts: 5639




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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2011, 06:42:38 PM »



 if the fire department and other agencies involved give you permission to do this, they run the risk of having the FCC cancel their licenses, as well.



minor correction here.  a fire of police department has ZERO authority to grant someone using a NON-type accepted radio on commercial or public safety frequencies.

No one said they did! I know of several instances in years past where departments DID give volunteer firefighters permission to use modified amateur HTs on the fire frequencies. Not having the authority didn't stop them from doing it.


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W3LK
Member

Posts: 5639




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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2011, 06:49:31 PM »


I got out of CERT because the local ARES clowns came in and started pushing ham radio as a form of communications for CERT.  It's not.  CERT communications requirements require using coded messages in instances search and rescue, if you find a body, you don't say I found a body, it's coded.  Ham radio specifically prohibits any communications that mask the try meaning of the message.  In other words, a dead body is just that a dead body.  It's not a code 12 or DOA or anything that isn't the words dead body, period. 

You are very wrong! There is NOTHING in Part 97 that prohibits tactical euphemisms, such as your example. What IS prohibited are ENCRYPTED transmissions. That's an entirely different matter.

Tactical shorthand is used in actual disaster situations all the time and they are perfectly legal.
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K7RBW
Member

Posts: 392




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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2011, 08:57:07 PM »

So how would "tactical shorthand" comply with: 97.113 (a) No amateur station shall transmit: (4) ...messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.

Isn't so-called "tactical shorthand" used specifically to obscure the meaning of the message so that only the sender and receiver understand it?
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K7AAT
Member

Posts: 413




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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2011, 09:29:08 PM »


  No, Robert.  "Obscuring the meaning"  is not the purpose of tactical shorthand.  Tactical codes and shorthand refers to a large body of acronyms, abbreviations, codes and slang used by law enforcement personnel to provide quick concise descriptions of people, places, property and situations, in both spoken and written communication.  The fact is that anyone who wishes to obtain the meanings of these codes usually can,  and many ardent scanner enthusiasts have done so, amongst others.

Ed   K7AAT
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K7RBW
Member

Posts: 392




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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2011, 11:42:17 PM »

I think the fact that someone needs to look up the codes to understand the message only proves that the messages are coded. That the codes are available on line doesn't change the fact that they are codes.

The whole notion of using 10-codes or any other codes, however, seems to be outdated (whether or not it's allowed by the Amateur service regulations) because not every agency uses the same codes.

IS-700 training teaches:

Quote
Tell the participants that the use of plain language in emergency management and incident response:
• Is a matter of safety.
• Facilitates interoperability across agencies/organizations, jurisdictions, and disciplines.
• Ensures that information dissemination is timely, clear, acknowledged, and understood by all intended
recipients.

So the notion of using tactical shorthand to improve and facilitate communications doesn't seem to be universally held.

Either way, it seems to me that 97.113 and good operating practice prohibit you telling someone over a ham radio that you saw a 502 when you passed a drunk driver.
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K7AAT
Member

Posts: 413




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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2011, 07:57:27 AM »


  Robert said,  "  I think the fact that someone needs to look up the codes to understand the message only proves that the messages are coded. That the codes are available on line doesn't change the fact that they are codes.  ".

   Robert,   the use of codes in ham radio is nothing new at all,  and is perfectly legal if those codes are readily available and in the public domain.    Q   codes are one good example.  So is the ARRL   numbering message system for NTS traffic.  You can also see that  RTTY,  PSK31, and all the other digital signals are certainly encrypted from meaning unless decrypted from available sources and software.  This has all been deemed legal by the FCC.    Simple law enforcement codes to abbreviate and describe a situation are no different.

  Ed   K7AAT

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K7RBW
Member

Posts: 392




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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2011, 09:55:44 AM »

I hear what you're saying, and I've used a Q-code in a QSO or two, myself. The line that separates the mechanism of encoding is a bit fuzzy; however, the line that separates the intent of the coding is not (although it might be harder to identify).

WRT RTTY & PSK (and SSB, for that matter), I think it's important to distinguish between modulation ("encoding" the signal onto/into an RF carrier wave) and encoding the message. For example, one simple method of speech scrambling is to invert the sideband. Is that modulation or encryption? Is that permitted in the amateur service or not? The deciding factor comes down to whether or not the intent is to obscure the meaning. If I publish decoders on the Internet and articles in QST because I think this puts 10% more energy into the transmitted RF (or some such), even though no one with a regular radio can understand me, that would be permitted (like hams with AM radios while others were using SSB). If I did this hoping no one could figure out what I was saying, that, clearly, would not.

The intent of RTTY, PSK, Q-codes, NTS message codes, etc. is to communicate with other amateurs. ANY other amateur. The intent of police codes is to communicate with other LEOs or select amateurs; in which case, I have to ask, why is this necessary in the first place and why is it necessary in the Amateur service?

The most recent question asked whether ham radio was appropriate for CERT comms, if that required communicating sensitive information. I would think that it's not. Not that it couldn't be used for other CERT comms, but not sensitive information. This, of course, complicates the CERT volunteer who can only say so much on the radio only to say, "Hold on, I need to phone you with the details." 

As a ham, you're caught between a rock and a hard place: pass sensitive info in the clear and you violate the patient/victim's privacy. "Encode" it somehow to protect privacy by obscuring the message, and you violate 97.113 (probably a less severe offense). If you encode it in a way that doesn't obscure the message, then you haven't really protected it and you're back to violating privacy. Any way you cut it, you, as the radio operator, are screwed (as might also be the patient/victim, if the media is monitoring the traffic).

So, to the CERT volunteer's question, I have to ask, if you have police/LEO traffic to pass, why not use police radios and frequencies, which fit the mission requirements better?
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