HAM radio safety topic

KK4JUG

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2014
Messages
2,851
Location
GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
I'd rather see it extracted from the hide of the perp, not from public money, but I think it most cases it has to be ordered by the court and most are reluctant to impose it for just the reasons you cited. Anyhow, I just absorbed the loss and moved on. I didn't even file an insurance claim. Wasn't worth it...
In the long run, that's probably the most prudent thing to do considering the amount of paperwork and the number of hoops you'd have to jump through. The government is good at that sort of thing.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
780
Location
San Diego, CA
At the end of day, like @Firekite and @KK4JUG alluded to...criminals are not scanning the ham bands waiting for OM Joe to say he is heading out of town...but if there is one thing I have learned about society in my many years of experience is...whatever floats your boat folks. Avoid getting your ham ticket and or having a QSO discussing anything about yourself if it makes you feel safe.

The rest of us have and will continue to manage just fine.
And the average person has no idea what a ham radio call sign is, so having a call sign license plate isn't an invitation to break into your vehicle. I was in a Walmart and wearing my call sign hat. I had a guy ask me what it meant, thinking it had something to do with the Navy (it does...) He had no idea it was a call sign.
 

kb4mdz

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Cary, NC
In 30+ years in law enforcement, I don't recall a ham radio ever being reported stolen, even from a car. Thieves want items they can quickly get rid of on the street. Things like TVs, jewelry, guns, etc. are the targets.

I know someone's gonna come back with "Mine was stolen 2 years ago," and maybe so but with a burglary every 23 seconds in this country and a ham radio stolen every 15 years, well, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.
Had it happen to me about 25 years ago; my Cressida was outside the garage 'cuz my side is full of yard tools, mower, other stuff, but I guess I didn't lock the doors. They got my KDK FM2033, which I grant wasn't hard mounted, just sitting in a hole in the console area under the heater controls, and the trip computer/display module. No other damage.

It was really a bunch of kids going thru the neighborhood, several neighbors were hit. The stupidity and rashness of these kids was that they pulled all the mail out of someone's mailbox at the street, dumped it on the ground and left it. There were a few boxes of brand new checks, they could have had a high time with that for a few days!!

I dutifully reported it to my local PoPo, officer came & took a report. Of course, I had no serial number because used from another ham. Worse thing was, it was recovered from a ditch in just a few days, but PoPo never bothered to check description against theft reports. A year later an aspiring ham bought it at the police abandoned property auction & showed it to his neighbor, who remembered my incident and called me.

Don't even get me started about the time slightly more professional thieves broke into my work truck at my contracted substitute while I was on Xmas vacation. Over $17,000 of damage & equipment gone away; including equipment that belonged to 2 Federal agencies. Same PoPo dept, zero help from them for a nominally Federal crime.

Sorry for the long rant.
 

KE0GXN

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
1,293
Location
Echo Mike Two-Seven
While I understand your frustration. Both of your incidents by your own account had nothing to do with your amateur callsign or the fact that it is a public record...like some allude to.
 
Last edited:

KE0GXN

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
1,293
Location
Echo Mike Two-Seven
I had a guy ask me what it meant, thinking it had something to do with the Navy (it does...) He had no idea it was a call sign.
Maybe one day I may ask for K0SRA....nothing close to being able to claim being a former Chief though. ;) Ironically, Master-at-Arms were trained at our academy at Lackland AFB. I remember seeing quite a few gold chevrons going through. You guys were the only ones that I was aware of at the time that carried 1911s...every other branch carried the Beretta. Got a kick out watching the MAs rack that big .45 and put a round in the chamber prior to entering buildings for searches/clearing. AF to this day carry off safe with a round in the chamber 24/7. Never understood the Navy or Army way for that matter when it came to carrying sidearms.
 

KK4JUG

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2014
Messages
2,851
Location
GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
Maybe one day I may ask for K0SRA....nothing close to being able to claim being a former Chief though. ;) Ironically, Master-at-Arms were trained at our academy at Lackland AFB. I remember seeing quite a few gold chevrons going through. You guys were the only ones that I was aware of at the time that carried 1911s...every other branch carried the Beretta. Got a kick out watching the MAs rack that big .45 and put a round in the chamber prior to entering buildings for searches/clearing. AF to this day carry off safe with a round in the chamber 24/7. Never understood the Navy or Army way for that matter when it came to carrying sidearms.
And, the non sequitur award goes to.............
 

kb4mdz

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Cary, NC
While I understand your frustration. Both of your incidents by your own account had nothing to do with your amateur callsign or the fact that it is a public record...like some allude to.
Well, the first story was in response to a statement that 'never seen a ham radio stolen from a car'; it does happen, but perhaps I should have been clearer that it was largely a crime of opportunity by people who really had no idea of the value of what they got.

The 2nd was going off on a tangent about the lack of support by my local PoPo in solving the crime, even with it involving Federal property. It wasn't just small things; that one, they took a) a 1.5KW Bird dummy load (this ain't something you run with; it's 31 lbs!), b) VHF Maxtrac, c) IFR1200 service monitor, etc etc.

But on the larger question, no, I don't think having ham-call license plates or such is any bigger draw for these knuckleheads than just the fact that they're opportunists.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
780
Location
San Diego, CA
Well, the first story was in response to a statement that 'never seen a ham radio stolen from a car'; it does happen, but perhaps I should have been clearer that it was largely a crime of opportunity by people who really had no idea of the value of what they got.

The 2nd was going off on a tangent about the lack of support by my local PoPo in solving the crime, even with it involving Federal property. It wasn't just small things; that one, they took a) a 1.5KW Bird dummy load (this ain't something you run with; it's 31 lbs!), b) VHF Maxtrac, c) IFR1200 service monitor, etc etc.

But on the larger question, no, I don't think having ham-call license plates or such is any bigger draw for these knuckleheads than just the fact that they're opportunists.
And my rear call sign plate is surrounded by a frame that says "Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator."
 

RF_Exorcist

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Zeta Reticuli
In the US, where I am located, the regulatory body known as the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC for short, has a searchable database for licensees. I don't see it displaying phone numbers for amateurs.
At the outset I'll say that we can all agree to disagree, but my view is that there is no good reason for any person's name or address - and, let's be honest, if you know someone's name you can find out where they reside, and a lot more, even if they have a PO Box on their license - to be available for anyone to look up in a public database in a non-remunerative radio service like the ARS... none whatsoever.

The only thing that anyone should be able to see in the ULS for non-remunerative services is the class and whether or not the license is active.

Those of you who are saying that they've never had problems with people showing up at their house, or otherwise causing problems for them in real life are right in that such behavior is rare.

Unfortunately their are bad actors out there that do bad things, and often the law - both criminal and civil law, to say nothing of Administrative law on the part of the FCC, which has been wholly inept in dealing with problem operators for a long time - can be woefully inefficient in dealing with the sort of people that have gone as far as to terrorize peoples' innocent, elderly parents in senior care facilities and published websites accusing them of serious criminal offenses like murder, child molestation and "terrorism".
 
Last edited:

KK4JUG

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2014
Messages
2,851
Location
GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
At the outset I'll say that we can all agree to disagree, but my view is that there is no good reason for any person's name or address - and, let's be honest, if you know someone's name you can find out where they reside, and a lot more, even if they have a PO Box on their license - to be available for anyone to look up in a public database in a non-remunerative radio service like the ARS... none whatsoever.

The only thing that anyone should be able to see in the ULS for non-remunerative services is the class and whether or not the license is active.

Those of you who are saying that they've never had problems with people showing up at their house, or otherwise causing problems for them in real life are right in that such behavior is rare.

Unfortunately their are bad actors out there that do bad things, and often the law - both criminal and civil law, to say nothing of Administrative law on the part of the FCC, which has been wholly inept in dealing with problem operators for a long time - can be woefully inefficient in dealing with the sort of people that have gone as far as to terrorize peoples' innocent, elderly parents in senior care facilities and published websites accusing them of serious criminal offenses like murder, child molestation and "terrorism".
Your point is well-taken but I'm not going to go into self-imposed prisoner status. I can put bars on my windows, build a concrete wall with broken bottles and razor wire on top and take other extreme measures but my lifestyle precludes that. Stuff happens...everywhere and to everybody, including those without ham licenses. I deal with it.
 

W5lz

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
471
At the outset I'll say that we can all agree to disagree, but my view is that there is no good reason for any person's name or address - and, let's be honest, if you know someone's name you can find out where they reside, and a lot more, even if they have a PO Box on their license - to be available for anyone to look up in a public database in a non-remunerative radio service like the ARS... none whatsoever.

The only thing that anyone should be able to see in the ULS for non-remunerative services is the class and whether or not the license is active.

Those of you who are saying that they've never had problems with people showing up at their house, or otherwise causing problems for them in real life are right in that such behavior is rare.

Unfortunately their are bad actors out there that do bad things, and often the law - both criminal and civil law, to say nothing of Administrative law on the part of the FCC, which has been wholly inept in dealing with problem operators for a long time - can be woefully inefficient in dealing with the sort of people that have gone as far as to terrorize peoples' innocent, elderly parents in senior care facilities and published websites accusing them of serious criminal offenses like murder, child molestation and "terrorism".
I'm afraid that anyone harassing me will be in fore a ride surprise. Please don't tell'em that, the look on their face is worth it.
 

RF_Exorcist

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Zeta Reticuli
Your point is well-taken but I'm not going to go into self-imposed prisoner status. I can put bars on my windows, build a concrete wall with broken bottles and razor wire on top and take other extreme measures but my lifestyle precludes that. Stuff happens...everywhere and to everybody, including those without ham licenses. I deal with it.
Your points are also well-taken.

I wasn't advocating anyone going into "self-imposed prisoner status", but rather allowing individuals to make the choice whether or not to release more information about themselves than their call-sign, which is all Part 97 requires as far as IDing, and not having that decision made for them by the FCC which, circa-2020, has no good reason to publicize personal information about licensees in a non-remunerative, hobby radio service.

W5LZ said:
I'm afraid that anyone harassing me will be in fore a ride surprise. Please don't tell'em that, the look on their face is worth it.
I understand where you're coming from; I say if they're going to engage in activities that have gotten people convicted of felonies, they might as well have to work for the information rather than getting it easily from the FCC.
 

rapidcharger

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
2,352
Location
The land of broken calculators.
At the outset I'll say that we can all agree to disagree, but my view is that there is no good reason for any person's name or address
If you're hearing distant stations it's nice to be able to find out where they are.

I place a lot of value in privacy but I'd rather have the publicly viewable database. The only thing I think should be an option is one's right to be forgotten after their license is expired or canceled. After a certain amount of time those records shouldn't be publicly searchable or viewable.

If you have a determined stalker, you're going to have problems regardless. Run of the mill meth addicts probably aren't sophisticated enough to use the ham bands to case out their next burglary but I wouldn't rule it out either. I think one of the greater risks is providing more public records data that could be used by someone trying to track you down for legal reasons or collections.

Several years ago, a salesman was trying to establish some rapport with me and sent me a note telling me that he thought it was cool that I was a ham operator when I never disclosed what my personal hobbies are. I'm not sure how he did that. I guess he probably googled my name and the town I was living in at the time and one of these third party websites like hamcall probably popped up in the search results.

Even if someone only has your call sign, as I found out recently as a test that I like to do, you can call up a ham radio shop in an effort to social-engineer, give them your call sign and ask if they can pull up your most recent order. You can either then place another order- or not- then ask them to verify what shipping address they have. I'm always doing that to see who will give out the address and who won't and how little I have to provide to convince them that I'm who I say I am.
 

Firekite

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
309
Run of the mill meth addicts probably aren't sophisticated enough to use the ham bands to case out their next burglary but I wouldn't rule it out either.
I would. What makes you think any meth head has any interest in your shack? Niche goods worth nothing to the general public are hard to move. The worst case scenario is that they broke in randomly and saw blindly things and took them only to toss them out later when they realized they were of no value to them. That’s all thieves, not just meth heads.

If you’re really the kind of person who worries that thieves are monitoring across the ham bands for anyone who says they are or will be out on vacation or something, a PO Box or UPS Store mailbox seems like it would be an inexpensive price to pay for peace of mind.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
780
Location
San Diego, CA
Paranoia can be taken to extremes. Our local VEC requires those desiring to take a licensing exam obtain their FRN prior to taking the examination. This is so the VEs won't have to handle SSN and removes the possibility of the VEs being accused if someone is a victim of identity theft. The local exam preparation instructors also do the same as we administer the exam at the conclusion of the class. One person desiring to take the class refused to register for an FRN because he didn't want to give his SSN to the government. I don't think he ever considered this was the same government that issued it to him in the first place...
 

rapidcharger

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
2,352
Location
The land of broken calculators.
I would. What makes you think any meth head has any interest in your shack? Niche goods worth nothing to the general public are hard to move. The worst case scenario is that they broke in randomly and saw blindly things and took them only to toss them out later when they realized they were of no value to them. That’s all thieves, not just meth heads.
We talk about stuff on the air besides ham radio gear. Guns for example. But regardless, they steal stuff all the time that has no value. If meth addicts planned that far in advance, they wouldn't be meth addicts now would they? But I would disagree about radios and other shack stuff not having value. They will take it first then find out later what it is or isn't worth.
If you’re really the kind of person who worries that thieves are monitoring across the ham bands for anyone who says they are or will be out on vacation or something, a PO Box or UPS Store mailbox seems like it would be an inexpensive price to pay for peace of mind.
You left out General Delivery.
I didn't just fall off the turnip truck so lets not make this all about me. I was just replying with common sense. I grew up in a city were burglaries and violent crime knew no boundaries and there's nothing new about that. Things inadvertently get advertised on the air, especially when it's easy to find out who you are and when you're not at home. And even if you run out and get a PO box, your old address will still be in the ULS.
 

willjr75

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
24
Who here would want their name and address easily searchable through a database or book from a vehicle plate number that any Joe Schmo can access? Would you want any creeper Joe Schmo to instantly access your daughter’s name and address after seeing her drive by?

I’m guessing probably nobody. Yet there are some here looking for excuses on why it’s okay for ham. It’s not okay. We understand that nothing hardly happens but it’s still not okay.

You have some here talking about what they will have waiting for them if someone comes. Are you serious?

It’s never a good idea to have your personal information easily accessible. Why should it be okay for me to monitor a woman telling her friend that she is all alone at home and instantly know where she lives via a call sign? Tell me that’s a good idea.
 
Last edited:
Top