Originally Posted by cdesigns
I just bought a Icom IC-R3 from a guy that didn't know much about it and when I got it today I realize is the IC-R3SS model from japan "Unblocked" what problems could I get into owning this receiver? I know cellphones are digital now. I read somewhere that was illegal to sell them also. I'm confuse.
There is no regulation against owning or using such a receiver. The regulations are specific to importing and selling them. A later addition to these regulations does address modifying a receiver to receive these frequencies.
It is illegal to monitor certain types of communications though, so raw frequency coverage is not the only limitation.
Originally Posted by techguru
Do any of you realize all of these cheap SDRs (RTL-SDR) being sold now also do not block the cellular range?
Also, in my browsing I've noticed many high end spectrum analyzers do not block the cellular range either.
Something else to note, pager data is in the clear and does not use a freq in the range that is supposed to be blocked.
RTL SDRs are not "scanning receivers" as defined under Commission rules, but instead are marketed as TV receivers. Hobbyist have "hacked" them (in the form of software) to use them as "scanning receivers". However, I think if anyone pushed the issue the FCC might indeed include these devices as scanners or the use of custom software as "modifying" the original use and intent. Since there are no more analogue cell transmissions I think, just my opinion, that there is no pressure to expand the meaning to include such devices.
TV receivers with manual channel controls have often been able to tune the 800 MHz range used by cell phones, there was never a legal issue with them that I know of. Over the air TV UHF channels 70 to 83 covers 806 to 890 MHz.
Spectrum analyzers are not "scanning receivers", but instead are "test equipment", and are specifically exempted.
The following document gives a good indication of how the FCC thinks about these things and how various regulations are interpreted and applied.