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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2018, 12:49 PM
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has anyone tested the sds100 in rockland county town of ramapo? I am inyerested in distance to nyc particularly nyc phase 2 nyc 800 & uhf 400 trunk.. also would like to know about uhf decode in general. any information will be helpful with my prchase decision. Thank You
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2018, 1:29 PM
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Default Scanner in Car Legal with Ham License?

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Originally Posted by sfb88 View Post
Kind of OT but I am curious. Radio Ditch references hams in his sig. Does having a ham license make having a scanner in your car legal?
That depends on which state or territory you are in at the time. The law on that varies state-to-state.
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Old 06-20-2018, 1:43 PM
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sfb88, to answer your off-topic (but not too far off) question, it really is on a state-by-state basis, with most states having an exclusion to the law for FCC-licensed amateur radio operators and media journalists. I drove with scanners up on my dashboard in a big rig in all 48 states for 17 years and I was only hassled a few times, once in Providence, Rhode Island, and at a weigh-station inspection in Redding, CA. A state trooper in Elizabethtown, KY confiscated my 396XT once and I had to go to court to get it back. Which I did, at a cost and sacrifice to me of about $700 in lost work and motel bills. That trooper left the courtroom with a pretty red face, I will say that. I think my face was a bit red, too.

Yes, most states have amateur radio operators written into the law with consent right along with EMTs, emergency personnel, media journalist and new teams.

EDIT: some states differentiate between installed scanners and portable scanners, too. I am not up on those statistics as I do not drive anymore, but I would like to know from someone here who might know, which states do not recognize licensed amateur radio operators to be excluded from their state scanner laws?
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Last edited by TailGator911; 06-20-2018 at 1:49 PM.. Reason: Add question
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Old 06-20-2018, 1:55 PM
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Thanks to all who responded to my question.
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Old 06-20-2018, 3:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfb88 View Post
Kind of OT but I am curious. Radio Ditch references hams in his sig. Does having a ham license make having a scanner in your car legal?
The answer is actually more simple than everyone is making it. Only 10 states have laws regulating the use of scanners, but yes an FCC Amateur Radio License (Part 97) makes it legal in every state except New York.


Additional information for clarification: In New York, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 397 as interpreted by the courts outlaws a scanner in a vehicle by anyone who is not a sworn peace/police officer. Period. End of story. Not up for debate. The only legal way to monitor law enforcement in a motor vehicle in the State of New York is with an FCC Amateur Radio License on an FCC Part 97 approved amateur radio transceiver equipped with wide band receive, no scanner.
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Last edited by RadioDitch; 06-20-2018 at 3:43 PM..
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Old 06-20-2018, 3:37 PM
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has anyone tested rockland county & nyc
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Old 06-21-2018, 3:23 PM
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Thanks for that, Radio Ditch. Sure narrows it down.

I've been to NY and NYC more times than I can count, always with a scanner in my commercial vehicle. I have a pic of the interior of my Freightliner big rig in my Shack Pics and as you can see, I have a quadband Yaesu VX7R and a Bearcat 396 or 330 scanner both prominently displayed in a dual cupholder mounted on my dash. I was never bothered about them in NY, even had troopers inside my cab checking my fire extinguisher, etc, and they didn't say a word. I think it also depends on the human factor, too. Some cops are to the letter, others not so much. Some know the scanner law, others do not pay attention to it. Had a Jersey trooper wave me to the lot at the scales on I-95 once and he was standing on my driver side running board before I could set my air brakes. He asked me what kind of radios were on my dash and before I could answer he reached out and read my FCC license hanging on a lanyard and grinned and gave me his call sign. His exact words to me were - "I saw them scanners on your dash and I knew you had to be a ham to put 'em there!" He turned off the green light and invited me into the scalehouse for coffee and we talked radio for a half hour.


In all the years I was on the road, this happened to me more than a few times. Our hobby is a universal language in more ways than one.
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Old 06-21-2018, 3:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioDitch View Post
The answer is actually more simple than everyone is making it. Only 10 states have laws regulating the use of scanners, but yes an FCC Amateur Radio License (Part 97) makes it legal in every state except New York.
That's good to know - I am headed to KY, IN, and OH in a few weeks and in a quick search the other day I was seeing mixed info, including one ham claiming he had his scanners and radio confiscated in IN when an officer saw an antenna on their vehicle. I was hoping to monitor the ham 2m and 70cm bands on the trip and take along the 536 hooked up to the GPS to scan the pub safety bands but didn't want to deal with a confiscation or, worse, an arrest...

Excellent review, RadioDitch!
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:16 PM
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Damn some of you live in police states. Can’t even have a scanner in your vehicle?? Glad to live in a state where you can be left alone and not pulled over and arrested simply for having an antenna!
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Old 06-23-2018, 9:25 AM
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Damn some of you live in police states. Can’t even have a scanner in your vehicle?? Glad to live in a state where you can be left alone and not pulled over and arrested simply for having an antenna!
Yeah but the trade off is you live in a state where nobody knows the difference between the accelerator and the brake, and when you do, driving anything over 79mph on a highway is an actual crime.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 06-23-2018, 10:18 AM
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Hoping simply having antennas on the truck doesn't catch too much attention and cause me any issues in IN or OH or KY. I don't see how it could since I'm from and licensed in Arkansas where it is 100% legal. Plus ham licensed. lol
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:14 PM
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This is good to know. I will make sure to put a laminated copy of my wallet sized FCC license in my scanner bag.
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 03msc View Post
Hoping simply having antennas on the truck doesn't catch too much attention and cause me any issues in IN or OH or KY. I don't see how it could since I'm from and licensed in Arkansas where it is 100% legal. Plus ham licensed. lol

Never had an issue in Ohio. I've had scanners in cars since the 70's or so.
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Old 06-24-2018, 3:07 PM
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Personally I've never had an issue anywhere in the world. However, if I get pulled over or approached for any reason I also generally offer up my Amateur Radio License and GROL right away anyway. Most cops actually think it's all really fascinating.

Even with that being the case, it's still important to educate yourself as to the laws in each state, province, and/or nation you visit or travel through. Knowing the law is your best defense against the 1 in 1000 cop who's having a bad day.
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Old 06-24-2018, 3:31 PM
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Yeah, I have my licenses printed out and in the truck already which I can show if needed. Also the wallet sized one in my wallet now that I think about it. Honestly I don't expect any trouble but reading some stories (from a few years ago) did bring it to mind.
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Old 06-24-2018, 9:24 PM
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All of these laws have been around for awhile. It is a good idea to keep a copy of your amateur radio license in your vehicle. I also keep a printed copy of the state laws in my glove box if I am traveling through a state that has a mobile scanner restriction, e.g., Indiana and Kentucky. Ironically, I've only been asked to show my license twice, and both times were by Illinois State Police troopers at roadside safety checks (Illinois doesn't even have a law criminalizing the possession of a mobile scanner by anyone).

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Old 06-26-2018, 3:40 PM
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I can't vouch for the accuracy of this information, but here is a page that describes mobile scanning laws state-by-state.

U.S. Scanner Laws
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Old 06-26-2018, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k5xs View Post
I can't vouch for the accuracy of this information, but here is a page that describes mobile scanning laws state-by-state.

U.S. Scanner Laws
Good resource. I'd seen a similar site somewhere but I don't believe I'd seen that one. It's clear and to the point.
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Old 06-26-2018, 5:33 PM
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A question to the OP; when you go mobile, do you have all sites active in the radio or do you punch in and out as you go along?
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
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A question to the OP; when you go mobile, do you have all sites active in the radio or do you punch in and out as you go along?
Dictated by GPS.
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