Some have more rights than others... Why?

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DC

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This is concerning scanner laws in some states, for example; Florida. Why do these laws not apply to "Liscensed Ham Operators"? What makes them any more special then me, that they have the right to transport a scanner in their vehicle where as I can't, Just wondering.
 

W8RMH

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Amateur Radio is the study of radio technology. Most of the radio systems in use today were designed and tested by hams. Mainly hams may be called in to operate radio communications systems when the public safety systems are knocked out by disasters. It is not a right. They are federally licensed.

You can. Just get your license.
 

MTS2000des

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in many areas, radio amateur volunteers support public safety through official agency programs such as RACES and communications auxiliary units, and other local disaster volunteers (ARES, etc). Therefore, it is logical that hams many have scanners, or amateur radio equipment capable of receiving public safety frequencies (most VHF/UHF ham radios made in the 20 years do this), so such laws have exemptions for amateur radio operators.

Many SKYWARN spotters are also licensed amateur radio operators, and use scanners to monitor public safety during storm seasons and relay reports via amateur radio to the National Weather Service when they hear confirmed touchdowns of tornadoes and other storm damage reports.
 

N4DES

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That has nothing to do with it. The reason is that back before trunking and 800 MHz became popular the amateur radio was capable of receiving public safety transmissions of those agencies that were in VHF and UHF. The law was worded to protect those federally licensed and allowed to have "frequency agile" equipment in their motor vehicles that is "capable" of receiving agencies in the frequency ranges that can be monitored by amateur radio equipment.

It also closely follows this 1989 FCC ruling: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/pr91-36.pdf
 

MTS2000des

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That has nothing to do with it. The reason is that back before trunking and 800 MHz became popular the amateur radio was capable of receiving public safety transmissions of those agencies that were in VHF and UHF. The law was worded to protect those federally licensed and allowed to have "frequency agile" equipment in their motor vehicles that is "capable" of receiving agencies in the frequency ranges that can be monitored by amateur radio equipment.

It also closely follows this 1989 FCC ruling: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/pr91-36.pdf
Your link backs up exactly what I said. According the the ARRL/FCC ruling, justification for allowing the amateur radio operators to posses such equipment is that they often work with government agencies, provide emergency communications, NWS storm spotting, etc and have equipment that covers the ranges used by many LE/PS agencies, as is our primary basis/purpose as so stated in FCC rules 97.1 sec 1.

What does 800MHZ trunking have to do with this? the majority of public safety still use VHF/UHF analog FM. Been to NYC lately, or Dallas TX..and thousands of cities, counties and towns in between.
 
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reedeb

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This is concerning scanner laws in some states, for example; Florida. Why do these laws not apply to "Liscensed Ham Operators"? What makes them any more special then me, that they have the right to transport a scanner in their vehicle where as I can't, Just wondering.
It's not a RIGHT, it's a PRIVILAGE.. If you don't like these restrictive laws then do something to try to change them.
 

K9WG

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Indiana enacted that exemption because in the late 1970s there was some problems with hams being cited for having a "police radio" in their cars. There is hardly a 2-meter (or 440) rig these days that do not cover the public safety frequencies.
 

N4DES

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What does 800MHZ trunking have to do with this? the majority of public safety still use VHF/UHF analog FM. Been to NYC lately, or Dallas TX..and thousands of cities, counties and towns in between.
I was making my 800 MHz comment specific to Florida....not the country as a whole.
 

DC

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Thanks guys for the responses. I have been thinking seriously about getting my amature liscense but I have no idea who to contact in my area. Any answers would be helpful.
 
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DaveNF2G

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What does 800MHZ trunking have to do with this? the majority of public safety still use VHF/UHF analog FM. Been to NYC lately, or Dallas TX..and thousands of cities, counties and towns in between.
The relevance of 800 MHz and trunking depends on how the anti-mobile-scanner laws are worded in your state. In New York, for example, literal reading of the law rules out most of 800 MHz because it is not "allocated by the [FCC] for police use."
 

sparks40

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Thanks guys for the responses. I have been thinking seriously about getting my amature liscense but I have no idea who to contact in my area. Any answers would be helpful.


This is a radio club listed in Carrollton. Here is a link for their website. They will be able to help you out with licensing, etc. Might not hurt you to attend a meeting or two and get to know some people also.

wgars
 

N4DES

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Thanks guys for the responses. I have been thinking seriously about getting my amature liscense but I have no idea who to contact in my area. Any answers would be helpful.
Just remember that this FCC Ruling allows for a licensed individual to utilize an "amateur radio" in their vehicle and not a scanner and I'm some states could be worded in such a way (not Florida). Many call it a scanner law, but if you read the last paragraph in the link I provided the equipment requirements are very clear.

13. We hold that state and local laws that preclude the possession in vehicles or elsewhere of amateur radio service transceivers by amateur operators merely on the basis that the transceivers are capable of the reception of public safety, special emergency, or other radio service frequencies, the reception of which is not prohibited by federal law, are inconsistent with the federal objectives of facilitating and promoting the amateur radio service and, more fundamentally, with the federal interest in amateur operators' being able to transmit and receive on authorized amateur service frequencies.
 

pjtnascar

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You kinda missed the point, Methusaleh. Hams have the ability to carry a radio that receives emergency/police freqs in the car because the mobile ham radios often receive those frequencies as well as frequencies allocated to ham radio. Therefore it is not unlawful for a ham to have radio in the car that receives police/emergency frequencies. The law was written to keep hams from getting in trouble for having a radio that receives police bands as an extra. It has nothing to do with any sort of right or special treatment. It's quite easy to obtain a license by preparing for the exam and taking the test.

Just think, if you pass the ham test, you can ride around with a radio with a mic attached!
 

Confuzzled

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Therefore it is not unlawful for a ham to have radio in the car that receives police/emergency frequencies. The law was written to keep hams from getting in trouble for having a radio that receives police bands as an extra.
Again, you have to be very careful how you choose to interpret specific wording. Most of the language exempting Hams from these laws clearly state 'transceiver' or some variation of the word. Scanners are not 'transceivers' no matter how you twist the definition.
 

pjtnascar

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"Again, you have to be very careful how you choose to interpret specific wording. Most of the language exempting Hams from these laws clearly state 'transceiver' or some variation of the word. Scanners are not 'transceivers' no matter how you twist the definition".


Well, that doesn't really matter to me since New Jersey permits the use of mobile scanners provided they are not used in the commission of a crime or to facilitate a crime. Yes, I know the difference between a transceiver and scanner. I figured since I was referring to hams, that it was understood it was a ham radio I was referring to. The original posting was asking why certain people have special rights, as if amateur radio operators were some special, elite group. We're not. We have merely taken the time to pass an exam to get a license which permits certain radio privileges. The point I was making is that having the capabilites to receive emergency frequencies is incidental to ham radios, so the laws permit amateurs to have these. And hams are not "more special." Unless you consider the ability to pass an examination on radio operation and basic theory a special skill.
 
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