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Author Topic: (Article link) FCC states can't use non-certified radios on amateur bands?  (Read 5538 times)
KA4DPO
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Posts: 1320




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« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2018, 11:41:31 AM »

I have a selection of boat anchors that are all capable of transmitting outside of the amateur bands.  I just can't imagine though, why anyone in their right mind would want to.  What would be the purpose of transmitting out of band?  There is no one to talk to so it just seems really stupid to me.

 Anyway, as a conscientious amateur radio operator I never transmit outside of the legal amateur radio frequency allocations.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should, it is not legal and frankly an utterly stupid thing to do.  Even in an emergency you would have better results raising someone on the amateur bands than some unauthorized HF frequency.  The rationale being that, as and amateur radio operator, even in an emergency, if you don't try the ham bands first, then it can still be illegal to transmit outside of your allocation.  This has been proven in federal court more than once.
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W9IQ
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« Reply #61 on: October 11, 2018, 11:45:58 AM »

I have a selection of boat anchors that are all capable of transmitting outside of the amateur bands.  I just can't imagine though, why anyone in their right mind would want to.  What would be the purpose of transmitting out of band?  There is no one to talk to so it just seems really stupid to me.

 Anyway, as a conscientious amateur radio operator I never transmit outside of the legal amateur radio frequency allocations.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should, it is not legal and frankly an utterly stupid thing to do.  Even in an emergency you would have better results raising someone on the amateur bands than some unauthorized HF frequency.  The rationale being that, as and amateur radio operator, even in an emergency, if you don't try the ham bands first, then it can still be illegal to transmit outside of your allocation.  This has been proven in federal court more than once.

While I appreciate your perspective, I am not aware of any case law regarding your last assertion. Can you back this up with citations?

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
KA4DPO
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« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2018, 12:54:34 PM »

I have a selection of boat anchors that are all capable of transmitting outside of the amateur bands.  I just can't imagine though, why anyone in their right mind would want to.  What would be the purpose of transmitting out of band?  There is no one to talk to so it just seems really stupid to me.

 Anyway, as a conscientious amateur radio operator I never transmit outside of the legal amateur radio frequency allocations.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should, it is not legal and frankly an utterly stupid thing to do.  Even in an emergency you would have better results raising someone on the amateur bands than some unauthorized HF frequency.  The rationale being that, as and amateur radio operator, even in an emergency, if you don't try the ham bands first, then it can still be illegal to transmit outside of your allocation.  This has been proven in federal court more than once.

While I appreciate your perspective, I am not aware of any case law regarding your last assertion. Can you back this up with citations?

- Glenn W9IQ

Without doing your homework for you, a couple that come to mind were a ham who was transmitting on US Coast Guard frequencies during the hurricane in Louisiana a few years back.  Another involved a ham in San Diego county who transmitted on the Sheriffs frequency to report a hiking injury, even though he had access to amateur repeaters.  Both cases involved modified amateur radio equipment.  Both cases resulted in legal action, I don't recall the outcome of either case.  There are plenty of other instances of hams doing similar ignorant antics over the years.
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AD8CC
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« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2018, 02:57:14 AM »

I've emailed the ARRL on this, and they have nothing to say, yet.  When they have something they can share, they will post it on their site,  per Asst Sec. Dan Henderson N1ND.

My final take on this advisory is that it is illegal, at least as it pertains to Part 97.  I think amateurs got dragged into this chinese radio mess as an exception, and the FCC doesn't quite know how to handle the exception. 

Nothing in Part 97 requires an Amateur to operate only with certified or type accepted gear on amateur bands, and this advisory does not change the law, it simply misinterprets it in a vague memo.

As an amateur operator, I think it would be prudent and relatively safe, in operating, to simply continue to adhere to Part 97 regarding your transmissions, which means that then you transmit within the ham bands, continue to use whatever gear you wish to use, as hams have done for decades, regardless of whatever else it can or can't do, in a legal manner compliant with those rules. 
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G3RZP
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« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2018, 05:37:54 AM »

Interesting. Back in 1953, there was a major storm surge in the North Sea, which caused a lot of deaths in the Netherlands and quite a few in the UK. The storm surge  came over the sea wall at Trusthorpe on the Lincolnshire coast and flooded the coastal radio station Humber Radio, GKZ, putting it off the air. This left no coastal  radio station between the tip of Kent and just north of Newcastle - a distance of over 300 Miles. There were ships at sea transmitting Mayday calls on 2182kHz with no replies, so a couple of amateurs tweaked their 10 watt 160m AM tx's up to the distress frequency, acknowledged the distress calls and passed the information to the Coastguard and lifeboats.

The authorities accepted that; in fact, official Handbook for Radio Operators says that "The obligation to accept distress and messages is absolute in the case of every station without distinction, and such messages must be accepted with priority over all other messages: they must be answered and the necessary steps must immediately be taken to give effect to them."

The ironic point was that 6 months earlier, the RSGB had suggested to the Licencing Authority the setting up a radio amateur emergency network, and were told that it was 'not necessary because existing systems are adequate'.....

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WXSHAM
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« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2018, 11:57:39 AM »

Another point I think others have made about the concern on the clause that you can't operate radios that are "capable of operating" outside of amateur bands is rather ambiguous.

I believe many commercial amateur radios have just firmware settings (or some very minor components) keeping them from operating outside of bands.  In theory those radios could be tweaked to operate outside of bands as well.  There are many examples of this like the MARS frequencies that amateurs sometimes modify to use.  So are now even commercial radio's covered by this advisory making nearly every ham usage illegal?

If not, if a baofeng/other radio were sold with the firmware defaulted to amateur bands, would that be enough?  Or would it still be considered capable of operating outside of bands since you can use CHIRP to modify? Where do you draw the line on "capable of operating" ?

Amateurs buy and sell kit radios they build that are capable of operating outside bands all of the times, making any of those illegal to use.


I think the fcc should focus on making sure radios capable of operating outside of bands are only marketed to licensed ham operators. For enforcement they can fine sellers if marketed illegally, and use the cash to fund their enforcement further.  I guess they could go as far as they do for some high power amplifiers and require confirming the license of a buyer perhaps? (I think that's required for some amplifiers right?)




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KA4DPO
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« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2018, 12:19:08 PM »

Interesting. Back in 1953, there was a major storm surge in the North Sea, which caused a lot of deaths in the Netherlands and quite a few in the UK. The storm surge  came over the sea wall at Trusthorpe on the Lincolnshire coast and flooded the coastal radio station Humber Radio, GKZ, putting it off the air. This left no coastal  radio station between the tip of Kent and just north of Newcastle - a distance of over 300 Miles. There were ships at sea transmitting Mayday calls on 2182kHz with no replies, so a couple of amateurs tweaked their 10 watt 160m AM tx's up to the distress frequency, acknowledged the distress calls and passed the information to the Coastguard and lifeboats.

The authorities accepted that; in fact, official Handbook for Radio Operators says that "The obligation to accept distress and messages is absolute in the case of every station without distinction, and such messages must be accepted with priority over all other messages: they must be answered and the necessary steps must immediately be taken to give effect to them."

The ironic point was that 6 months earlier, the RSGB had suggested to the Licencing Authority the setting up a radio amateur emergency network, and were told that it was 'not necessary because existing systems are adequate'.....



First of all the dire emergency clause is still in existence, here in the US at least and I suspect in the UK as well.  That is not an excuse to transmit or attempt to communicate with stations outside of legally allocated amateur bands unless it really is a dire emergency.

Now about that RSGB proposal.  That was 1953 and this is now.  There is simply no way to compare things because at that time there was almost no difference between amateur and commercial marine equipment.  That is no longer the case, an integrated HF/satellite shipboard communications system can run close to a hundred thousand dollars on the big ships and even smaller commercial vessels have far better equipment than they had 65 years ago.

Sorry, but that was a really poor example.
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W6EM
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Posts: 1941




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« Reply #67 on: October 13, 2018, 03:19:55 PM »

I have a selection of boat anchors that are all capable of transmitting outside of the amateur bands.  I just can't imagine though, why anyone in their right mind would want to.  What would be the purpose of transmitting out of band?  There is no one to talk to so it just seems really stupid to me.

 Anyway, as a conscientious amateur radio operator I never transmit outside of the legal amateur radio frequency allocations.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should, it is not legal and frankly an utterly stupid thing to do.  Even in an emergency you would have better results raising someone on the amateur bands than some unauthorized HF frequency.  The rationale being that, as and amateur radio operator, even in an emergency, if you don't try the ham bands first, then it can still be illegal to transmit outside of your allocation.  This has been proven in federal court more than once.
I detest trolls, and I suspect, seriously, that is your intent.  But, in the interest of enlightening you, I'll rudely take issue with your claim(s).  I'm not the gentleman that W9IQ and G3RZP both are.

To my knowledge, no one, especially the amateur who communicated with a Coast Guard helo during Hurricane Katrina, if that's who you are referring to, to coordinate rescue operations received anything besides a thank you.  Perhaps he deserved a Presidential citation from George Bush for helping save lives.  I seriously doubt that any repeater was around with any better means to assist the Coast Guard in rescue was available.  No telephone service, either landline or cell was available.

As for your supposed cites, here are two sections of the Code of Federal Regulations, 41CFRPart 97, verbatim, which permit an amateur station to transmit anywhere, to any station in distress, or where life and property are endangered to summon assistance.  Next time you want to cite something, either bring the evidence to back up your claim or remain a listener.  Belittling someone because it happened in the 1950's doesn't mean it won't happen again.  Satellite dishes fly off in high winds.  Towers go down in high winds.  And, generators with auto transfer switches that happen to start when utility power fails to power destroyed infrastructure are worthless.......



§ 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 this section, of any
means of radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a station in distress.

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W6EM
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« Reply #68 on: October 14, 2018, 01:49:43 PM »

"REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT PANEL REVIEWING THE IMPACT OF HURRICANE KATRINA  OPN COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS.     Issued June 12, 2006

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

RECOMMENDATIONS
…..
3.  Pre-Positioning for FCC Regulatory Requirements – An A-Priori Program for Disaster Areas --- The FCC should explore amending its rules to permit automatic grants of certain types of waivers or Special Temporary Authority (STA) in a particular area if the President declares that area to be a “disaster area”…..

b. Wireless

i.    Waiver of amateur radio and license exempt rules permitting transmissions necessary to meet essential communications needs.


The panel was commissioned by the FCC to review what transpired surrounding the response to Hurricane Katrina.  An example of a Coast Guard helo having to drop a note in a bottle to communicate with someone on the ground was but one example of "communications failure."
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N9CM
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« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2018, 05:07:59 PM »

Kinda reminds me of CBers can use amateur radio transceivers on CB band...that was really enforced...LOL
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JAZZMAN
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« Reply #70 on: October 14, 2018, 05:15:39 PM »

yeah what exactly are we scared of enforcement wise.  I apologize the FCC says a lot of things but don't enforce a lot of things.  So what are you all scared about using these non-certified radios on amateur bands?   
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AD8CC
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« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2018, 01:24:56 AM »

yeah what exactly are we scared of enforcement wise.  I apologize the FCC says a lot of things but don't enforce a lot of things.  So what are you all scared about using these non-certified radios on amateur bands?  

I'm not scared of the FCC enforcing these radios in the field, I'm scared of all of their 'little helpers' in the community.

Some Fud: "That's great you got your ticket, Timmy.  I own FT-897, FT-2800, FT-8800, and my IC-706! Durrrrp! So, what accepted name brand kind of appliance rig do you have?"

Timmy: "I saved up all my allowance and got a Baofeng, sir."

Some Fud: "Well get off my repeater and mow a few more lawns, Timmy, your CHEAP CHINESE PIECE OF JUNK IS EEEEEEEEE-LEGAL!!!  If I hear you again I'm reporting you to da FCC!"

Timmy: (Leaves amateur radio and plays Fortnite instead, but later supports a proposal to repurpose the whole amateur spectrum to some wireless internet service)

Some Fud: "Well, back to you Ted..."
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 01:35:27 AM by AD8CC » Logged
W9FIB
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Posts: 2529




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« Reply #72 on: October 15, 2018, 03:30:50 AM »

Well if someone had approached me like that, rudely, when I first got my license, I probably would have given up being a ham too. But knowing what I know now, your threat has as much weight for FCC action as a feather in a hurricane. And as for the rudeness, well I come to expect that from some.

Plus you keep missing the point. (Still suffering reading comprehension problems.) It isn't hams owning them (for the most part) being a problem. It is the uncontrolled sale to people with no license or knowledge of use in the general public. They can't use them in the ham bands nor can the use them in the commercial/government allocations, except for a few public use channels that they probably have no clue on their use.

BTW AD8CC, did you turn in your out of band equipment yet that you say I should do? Not yet? What you waiting for? I'm gonna call the FCC! Yea that will get some action. LOL Stop preachin if you not gonna practice what you preach.
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73, Stan
Wisdom is knowledge you gain after you know it all.
WZ7U
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« Reply #73 on: October 15, 2018, 11:49:47 AM »

You guys are, well, [redacted].  Cheesy
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AD8CC
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« Reply #74 on: October 15, 2018, 04:03:04 PM »

And as for the rudeness, well I come to expect that from some.

Why am I not surprised? Cheesy

Plus you keep missing the point. (Still suffering reading comprehension problems.) It isn't hams owning them (for the most part) being a problem. It is the uncontrolled sale to people with no license or knowledge of use in the general public. They can't use them in the ham bands nor can the use them in the commercial/government allocations, except for a few public use channels that they probably have no clue on their use.

No Stan I think it's you who is mis-comprehending the point here.  I'll use bullet points this time to make it easier.   

*This is not the "should they sell baofengs to the public?" thread.  This discussion is not about how people use these radios outside of amateur radio at all.  Maybe let the thread title clue you in: (reading comprehension.)  This is a ham radio forum, discussing ham radio topics, not 'general public talking on fire frequencies" topics.

*This thread is about the 2 million (or so) of these radios that are already in general circulation, not whether they should sell more of them, not whether they should block them to ham only frequencies, not whether they should require proof of a license, etc.  Still with me?

*These radios (the ones that are here already) work on amateur frequencies, as well as others.  But obviously use by an amateur, on the amateur frequencies, is the only legitimate use for them, (or was.)  They should be grabbed up and creative uses found for them by amateurs.

*Despite whatever banal tropes outlaw CB radio culture may have instilled in your blood before you went all high-class, there really is no such thing as an "illegal radio" in the amateur radio service. There never has been, and never should be.  Our rules dictate our operating modes and practices, not our gear.  I always thought this was pretty essential.

*Any amateur is legally permitted to use these radios on the ham bands under Part 97 rules, just as well as any radio that is capable of transmitting on any known frequency,  or indeed any found object he might wish - if can possibly manipulate so as to emit RF, on these bands.  If you can make an avocado transmit, you may go on the air with it.   That is the entire reason for the existence of the amateur bands, not as a chatroom to talk with your buddies on $2000 toys, about your $2000 toys.  And it doesn't matter if the avocado can transmit on other bands as well.  It only matters if you transmit on those bands with your avocado.  This principle is the core essence of ham radio.  (Ham and avocado?  mmmm.)

*This 'advisory' contradicts Part 97, or claims to supersede it.  Now, suddenly, for the first time in 100+ years of the ARS, we are being told what equipment we may not legally use on our bands, with our tickets, in total violation of the laws that govern us.  This is a huge deal.  Such a thing probably hasn't happened since spark was banned, (and 4 watts of VHF fm phone is not spark, so don't even.)

*ergo: This little cute manipulation of the law intended to get rid of these Chinese radios is actually kicking out the central pillar of the amateur radio service, and is not acceptable.   Supporting it is wrong.

If we aren't the problem, why the need to destroy our century-old tradition that is core to the service?


BTW AD8CC, did you turn in your out of band equipment yet that you say I should do? Not yet? What you waiting for? I'm gonna call the FCC! Yea that will get some action. LOL Stop preachin if you not gonna practice what you preach.

Don't bother, Stan. I voluntarily turned all my naughty toys into the authorities. 

The enforcement team came in their SWAT van, and I surrendered all the crystals out of my junkbox that weren't in the ham bands in their fundamentals.  Can't be trusted with that. 

Also, gave them my magnet wire and toroid cores, lest I wind an insidious inductor and create a terrible-tuned LC circuit that could possibly resonate out of band, variable caps too.   Anything that could be used to make a villainous VFO, had to go, lest I make an  outrageous oscillator that could tune to unspeakable places, banned bands, and forbidden frequencies. They promised not to charge me with possession of this contraband if I let it go without a fuss.

And my evil arduino and si5351 chips, well, they can theoretically oscillate on any frequency, so they had to go to the incinerator, until the makers of the chips can find ones that have all non-ham frequencies blocked out on a molecular chip level.

I told them how easily your Yaesu HT could be modded, and they were very interested... Kiss.
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