Amateur radio and out-of-band transmit in the news

fires999

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Hi Forum,
On a bit of a tangent , but is there a problem in the US with licensed Amateur Radio users transmitting out of band with their radios ?
Coincidentally , on Sunday I was listening to two users on one of the local repeaters 145.750mhz for about 20 mins. As i scanned around , I heard one of the users talking with someone else (he gave his name and town he was in, so I knew it was one of the users previously heard) transmitting with huge power on one of the 446mhz frequencies here in the UK ,similar I believe to your FRS channels.
I think I'm right in saying that our 446mhz band is for type approved radios with integral antenna and very low power - this guy had already stated when on 145mhz that he was using an Icom Amateur radio with 50w plus !
I don't know if the UK has this problem...reminds me of the early 1980's over here with people using ssb instead of the pitiful 40ch FM radios at 4w maximum !!!!!
Just wondered.....
fires999
 

mmckenna

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On a bit of a tangent , but is there a problem in the US with licensed Amateur Radio users transmitting out of band with their radios ?
It's not a wide spread issue, but it is an issue.
You can find many posts on this site of people purchasing ham radios and modifying them for GMRS (similar to your PMR-446, but 50 watts and repeaters). Some buy them and use them for business use. Some other radio services. There's a number of technical issues with doing that, especially when the end users don't understand the requirements. Unfortunately some equate not getting caught with it being legal.

Locally, it's been an issue with our fire frequencies. I've had issues at work with people wanting to put ham radios on my systems.
Some just don't know any better. Some don't care. With the cheap Chinese radios on the market, some people just assume that if it's sold on Amazon, it must be OK.
 

Firekite

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That would be perfectly legal since the hams stay on ham frequencies.
Apparently not. Per Part 2 section 2.405, you pointed out that an amateur may not utilize such station for emergency communication service. We’ll leave aside the clarifying part where it mentions the instrument of authorization, which would bring us back to Part 97 and therefore 97.403 which you’ve said is invalid and a mistake they simply haven’t bothered correct. Local agencies don’t get to overrule the FCC and scrap both Part 2 and Part 97, do they? I guess if they directed a ham to use their own equipment, then that’s fine, but Part 97 isn’t even involved in that case.

Yes, whackers suck. Yes, delusions of grandeur among both whackers and the uniformed people they wish they were is annoying and occasionally problematic. Yes, amateur radio has a lingering problem of CCRs, weekend tinfoil preppers who don’t need no stinking’ badge, and the general public who doesn’t realize that the “walkie talkie” they ordered online is not a toy. And I realize you want to discourage any of that crap, which I fully agree with and support. But this attempt to frame it where the hams who helped out the fire chief are not only negligent criminals but were in fact wrong to do so and even dumber for being willing to talk about it is a stretch. I guess we’ll see if, when, and how the FCC decides to string these criminals up in the public square to show them that 97.403 was an accident.

By the way, also have a much bigger problem with the wanton abuse of FRS and GMRS radios used by commercial interests. Take a listen out here and you’ll hear landscaping crews, retail workers, trade supply warehouses and others on FRS channels using god knows what radio to do so, but I’m guessing some BaoFeng because some of them seem to travel quite a bit for blister pack Midlands with a fixed antenna.
 

AJAT

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“ They also jumped in to help the Peninsula Fire Department troubleshoot their problems when the main firehouse radio failed, along with repeater issues.”

Too bad they did not have a mmckenna in charge of their radio system. If they did they would not have to rely on AMATEUR radio operators to fix their problems. It sounds like they fixed it in an amateur way not a professional way. Maybe the Chief should have reached out to their professional radio operators and maintainers.

There is not enough info in this story to judge anyone’s action.
 

mmckenna

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Apparently not. Per Part 2 section 2.405, you pointed out that an amateur may not utilize such station for emergency communication service. We’ll leave aside the clarifying part where it mentions the instrument of authorization, which would bring us back to Part 97 and therefore 97.403 which you’ve said is invalid and a mistake they simply haven’t bothered correct. Local agencies don’t get to overrule the FCC and scrap both Part 2 and Part 97, do they? I guess if they directed a ham to use their own equipment, then that’s fine, but Part 97 isn’t even involved in that case.
Nope. You are confusing radio services again.

A ham radio operator can absolutely use his/her ham radio to handle emergency radio traffic on amateur radio frequencies. That's one of the 5 "basis and purpose" items listed.
"(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications."​

2.405 says:
"utilize such station for emergency communication service in communicating in a manner other than that specified in the instrument of authorization…"​
2.405 precludes amateurs from this section, as in amateurs are not allowed to use this justification in Part 2:
"The licensee of any station (except amateur..."​
If a public safety agency operates under Part 90. The FCC license covers the agency and whomever the licensee appoints to use their radios. If a ham, or any other average Joe off the street gets handed a department radio and asked to help, they are operating under the Part 90 license. Doesn't matter if they are a ham or not, the ham radio license grants no permissions in Part 90 and it doesn't matter if the person using the radio has one or not. Case in point, one of our sergeants is a ham. When he is using his ham radio as a ham, he's a ham radio operator. When he's at work, he's using our FCC license, as directed, to do his job. None of the other officers are hams. Ham radio has nothing to do with him using the agency issued radio to do his job.

And we've already established that Part 97 rules —ONLY— apply to amateur radio operators working on amateur radio frequencies. When an amateur takes their radio off amateur radio frequencies, they are now bound by the rules for the frequency they are operating under.

By the way, also have a much bigger problem with the wanton abuse of FRS and GMRS radios used by commercial interests. Take a listen out here and you’ll hear landscaping crews, retail workers, trade supply warehouses and others on FRS channels using god knows what radio to do so, but I’m guessing some BaoFeng because some of them seem to travel quite a bit for blister pack Midlands with a fixed antenna.
I hope you are not saying that businesses cannot use FRS and GMRS, because that just isn't true.
If they are using a non type accepted radio, then sure, that's an issue, but it's not just businesses that have that problem.
 

Firekite

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If a ham, or any other average Joe off the street gets handed a department radio and asked to help, they are operating under the Part 90 license.
Of course, and I said as much.

it's not just businesses that have that problem.
No, sadly it’s a much bigger problem. And around here I’m guessing (haven’t cared enough to investigate further) it’s mostly just CCRs. If they’re blister pack Midlands they sure are doing some incredible work with their little antennas and low power.
 

alcahuete

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you’re probably right. Let us know when that happens so those silly whackers who helped out the fire chief get what’s coming to them.
This is what happens when you don't read the entire thread. If you had, you would see where I explained that the hams did absolutely NOTHING wrong in this instance. It is not illegal to modify an amateur radio to be used on other frequencies. The hams, at least according to the article, did not transmit. It is the Fire Chief who would be in violation of FCC regulations, for using non-type accepted equipment in a Part 90 service. So there is nothing to go after the whackers for, and nothing that would be coming to them.

Had you read the entire thread, you would also see that I went so far as to mention that most people in the same situation would do EXACTLY what those hams did. I would do the same.

My comments you are quoting are directed at the silly whackers who believe that 97.403 and 97.405 somehow gives them the authority to transmit on any band they want, DC to Daylight, in an emergency. That simply isn't the case, and like I said, a quick email to the FCC Enforcement Bureau would tell you exactly the same thing I and many others here are saying.

Sending an email to the FCC costs nothing but a few minutes of your time. The problem is that most hams don't bother to send that email, because then they can't perpetuate the .403 and .405 myths.
 

MTS2000des

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7 pages and it comes down to this: excusing whackerism by deliberate misinterpretation of FCC rules won't give one a blanket "get out of jail free" card for being a whacker. Ham radio is NOT an "emergency radio service" and hams are not considered first responders.

If public safety agencies are not using proper public safety resources than this is an agency specific issue. As was mentioned, we've been adding NIFOG channels to radios for two decades and drilling our folks on how to use THEIR part 90 equipment. If the agencies up there are lacking, they need to be making EMAC requests thru their state EMA/EOC for resources and COM-T/COM-Ls not Randy Rescue whackers with bootleg ham toy radios on fire trucks.
 

Firekite

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This is what happens when you don't read the entire thread. If you had, you would see where I explained that the hams did absolutely NOTHING wrong in this instance.
Perhaps you are thinking of the wrong thread, because some declared to the agreement of others that “what they were doing was wrong.”

It is the Fire Chief who would be in violation of FCC regulations, for using non-type accepted equipment in a Part 90 service.
Great, let us know when that fire chief get what’s coming to him from the FCC.


Randy Rescue whackers with bootleg ham toy radios
We don’t have to guess anymore where you stand on this one.
 

paulears

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Are we not getting very tied up here.

there are two separate things going on. We have people who are licenced to be able to do X, and we have business or commercial entities licenced to do Y. lets say a police officer has a car accident, you are a ham, and he’s hurt badly and can’t move. He asks you to call his control room for help. You do it on his radio. You save his life, and everyone pats you on the back. The fact you are a ham is totally irrelevant. Maybe the radio was smashed too? You don’t have a phone, so you think your clever radio in your pocket could with a few button presses call his control? Again you get a pat on the back. Is anyone interested the radio had the wrong certification? Of course not. Can a ham operator use a ships class a vhf to call the coastguard in an emergency. Yes. Can a ham operator call another ship with the ships radio officer present and supervising? Can a ham operator set up his gear on a ship and chat with other hams? With the master’s permission, yes. Can a ham taking a trip in an aircraft use the radio on air band when the pilot becomes ill? Could a ham operator pass his ham radio, programmed to a commercial channel to the person who just dropped and broke his legit radio?

it’s all circumstance dependant. Hams have no special powers, and certification is just how differences are detailed. In some countries it could be market protectionism?

here in the uk, our OFCOM deal with all radio bar aircraft, which come under the CAA and for me to hire aircraft band radios to a parachute school was virtually impossible to do. The system did not cater for radios not owned by participants. Eventually the airfield owner took responsibility everyone was happy. Not ONE question about the radios, it was all about licences.

if a fire fighter bought their own radio for work rather than use official unreliable ones, then no doubt the FCC would not like it if it had the wrong certification, but few firemen I know here would be that enthusiastic. Here, you cannot program the radios, even if you bought one second hand. I guess a dodgy tech working for the police could do it, but would they? An unknown radio suddenly logging on would be a giveaway!
 

KD8DVR

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That simply isn't the case, and like I said, a quick email to the FCC Enforcement Bureau would tell you exactly the same thing I and many others here are saying.

Sending an email to the FCC costs nothing but a few minutes of your time. The problem is that most hams don't bother to send that email, because then they can't perpetuate the .403 and .405 myths.
I cannot find and email to send an inquiry to. At least one would get me a response, other than one from a clerk, without real knowledge.
I really tire of this debate and have long supported the position yourself and many others support. I suppose, I should get off my lazy butt and actually compose letters and mail them to the parties concerned.
 
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