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22 hours ago, WRKC935 said:

Naaa, I think we have similar jobs and see similar silliness.

But, I think you were missing my point.  If someone modifies a commercially sold ham radio that is 'type accepted' for ham use under part 97, and you cut the block out of it and transmit on some other service, be it commercial LMR, public safety pool or even GMRS, it's illegal because it's not a type accepted radio for that service.  Service being controlled by another part of the FCC regulations.  We are 95, ham is 97, commercial is 90.x for SMR and 90.y for public safety. 

Anything is pretty much legal on ham (part 97) as long as it's spectrally pure enough and below the maximum power level for the band it's on. 

Of course, GMRS and SMR are not that way, the radios have to be tested and accepted for the specific service they are operated on.  GMRS there is little enforcement and there is a lot of lee-way. Not that the LMR is closely watched either, but there is more enforcement there than GMRS or ham.

 

The key point was “transmit”. You can have a radio programmed for other services which it’s not certified for by the FCC. Just as long as you don’t use the PTT button you should be fine. I believe some countries just having the wrong frequencies programmed in your not licensed to use, just RX only, is a violation of their radio regulations. Some foreign Hams visiting are shocked to discover here in the US it isn’t against the law. I think we’re lucky here, it could be changed by Congress at anytime. 🤔
 

Ham radios are only certified for Part 15. The FCC’s concern is the ability to intercept cell phone transmissions. They also check for transmitter spurious emissions. There are limits the radios can’t exceed. That’s one of the major complaints about the low end CCR, cheap Chinese radios, like the much hyped UV-5R. 
 

The attached file shows a test somebody did on a sample. Also the schematic, source claims it for the above radio but I can’t confirm it, shows just some basic filtering on both the RX and TX paths. Both files are what I have in my technical library folder for this radio. I haven’t taken the time to see if there is anything more recent available.

UV-5R VHF Harmonics Test.pdf SCHEMATIC Baofeng UV-5R.pdf

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OK, so part 15 and not 97..... I am good with that.

To the statement about radio programming, I know at least one local city that has a law on the books that no one can have a radio programmed for their system.  It doesn't limit ownership, just the programming in the radio. 

And I doubt they are the only place that's got that sort of law. 

And yes, I know the funky bowel (Baofeng) radios are crap and have crap signal.  They 'work' in some applications.   I do know that taking one 200 feet in the air even in a rural area, 30 miles from the nearest large city makes the receiver in them go bonkers.  But, when your receiver will listen from DC to daylight, that's sort of what you should expect. 

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8 hours ago, WRKC935 said:

To the statement about radio programming, I know at least one local city that has a law on the books that no one can have a radio programmed for their system.  It doesn't limit ownership, just the programming in the radio. 

And I doubt they are the only place that's got that sort of law. 

 

I wonder if that law has been challenged in court? As I mentioned before you can program a radio for frequencies you're not authorized so long as you don't transmit on them.

Back when over the air pay TV was the "thing" a lot of people built decoders to interface to their TV's in my area. I had one, built on a solder less breadboard. One of the services simply transmitted their signal on a microwave band and used a down converter connected to the TV, no scrambling or encryption. People were building simple two transistor converters in coffee cans or put up a simple BBQ grill type antenna on the roof with the simple down converter on the back. Radio Shack was selling the strip-line transistors. You could get the PCB layout and circuit off the fairly new Internet at the time.

The company had teams driving around looking for those antennas and taking people to court.  I don't believe they were very successful claiming theft of service since they did nothing to protect the signal from interception and use. I think the major legal option was if it's transmitted over the air there is NO expectation of privacy. The two companies using different methods soon went out of business. It was way to easy to get the programming for free.

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Here’s the FCC page that discusses “intercepting and divulging” communications.   https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/interception-and-divulgence-radio-communications

It’s interesting how it’s written.  It appears that the FCC has a very narrow range of options available to them.  For instance, listening to cellular conversations isn’t prohibited, but the law prohibits the FCC from authorizing equipment that provides the ability. 

My search also found that some places do attempt to limit ownership of police scanners.  In some cases they prohibit using scanners in the commission of a crime. In other cases they simply prohibit civilian possession.  I suspect a good lawyer could defeat those simple possession  laws, but of course that costs money. 

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13 hours ago, WRKC935 said:

OK, so part 15 and not 97..... I am good with that.

To the statement about radio programming, I know at least one local city that has a law on the books that no one can have a radio programmed for their system.  It doesn't limit ownership, just the programming in the radio. 

And I doubt they are the only place that's got that sort of law. 

Would that city be located in Virginia? That state has some of the most restrictive monitoring laws I've ever seen.

Warren, WRPC505 / WQ1C

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3 hours ago, Sshannon said:

My search also found that some places do attempt to limit ownership of police scanners.  In some cases they prohibit using scanners in the commission of a crime. In other cases they simply prohibit civilian possession.

When I was stopped by LE not too long ago "for the trailer ball obstructing the license plate," both officers separately asked if the radios in my truck were police scanners (icom 2730 and anytone at779uv).

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I believe Maryland has a law against using a police scanner in a motor vehicle. The law is on the books to protect motorists from pirate tow truck drivers and companies responding to assistance calls by the police. The motorist also has to affirm to the police officer they accept the uninvited tow operator over the police contracted service,

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25 minutes ago, wayoverthere said:

When I was stopped by LE not too long ago "for the trailer ball obstructing the license plate," both officers separately asked if the radios in my truck were police scanners (icom 2730 and anytone at779uv).

Best advise I've heard is ensure the radio(s) are turned OFF when you're stopped. Some Hams have had their legitimate radios confiscated by stupid LEO's that don't know the law, particularly about exemptions for Ham radio license holders. If they can hear public safety traffic audio they could convince a judge they had "reasonable suspicion" a crime was afoot etc.

Other than providing the required documents specified by the state's MVD you don't have to answer any of the LEO's questions. They are not trained communication professionals. While they still may take the radio(s) at least in court you can make the claim they had no expertise to make any determination as to the nature of the "device" they saw. Might even have recourse to recover damages.

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On 6/11/2022 at 2:23 PM, WRQC290 said:

@Lscott , I'm an internet certified armchair lawyer specializing in Bird Law, so I can say with authority that intentionally interfering with public safety communications has zero to do with spectrum allocations and everything to do with creating an imminent threat to the public at large. IMHO such a case wouldn't get dismissed and the argument could be made that local criminal court is the only appropriate venue in this instance. The only question this raises in my mind, is can the fcc go after a person for improperly using radio equipment in violation of the terms of their license, while at the same time locals prosecute the separate crime of interfering with public safety without creating a double jeopardy situation? If not, despite the federal supremacy clause - the stricter penalty for the criminal act, state law would reign supreme and negate FCC's jurisdiction anyway, no? 

Alaska Statute:

AS 11.46.475. Criminal Mischief in the First Degree.

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in the first degree if, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe the person has such a right,

(1) the person intentionally damages an oil or gas pipeline or supporting facility;

(2) with intent to cause a substantial interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or by an organization that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property, the person damages or tampers with property of that utility or organization and causes substantial interruption or impairment of service to the public;

(3) with intent to damage property of another by the use of widely dangerous means, the person damages property of another in an amount exceeding $100,000 by the use of widely dangerous means.

(b) Criminal mischief in the first degree is a class A felony.

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12 minutes ago, Lscott said:

Best advise I've heard is ensure the radio(s) are turned OFF when you're stopped. Some Hams have had their legitimate radios confiscated by stupid LEO's that don't know the law, particularly about exemptions for Ham radio license holders. If they can hear public safety traffic audio they could convince a judge they had "reasonable suspicion" a crime was afoot etc.

Other than providing the required documents specified by the state's MVD you don't have to answer any of the LEO's questions. They are not trained communication professionals.

They both dropped it after I told them "no, that one is ham radio, and this one is gmrs". That scanners don't generally have microphones would sort of support the 'lack of expertise' kind of thinking.

that I don't have any public safety stuff in the scan list of either one probably isn't a bad thing either.

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1 hour ago, WRFP399 said:

Alaska Statute:

AS 11.46.475. Criminal Mischief in the First Degree.

(a) A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in the first degree if, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe the person has such a right,

(1) the person intentionally damages an oil or gas pipeline or supporting facility;

(2) with intent to cause a substantial interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or by an organization that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property, the person damages or tampers with property of that utility or organization and causes substantial interruption or impairment of service to the public;

(3) with intent to damage property of another by the use of widely dangerous means, the person damages property of another in an amount exceeding $100,000 by the use of widely dangerous means.

(b) Criminal mischief in the first degree is a class A felony.

That I can believe could be a charge. It's not an area FCC had jurisdiction over, since their area is spectrum management and licensing.

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7 hours ago, WRQC290 said:

No, no, no. You just have to flash your hambadge then they'll know you outrank them and must stand down.

hambadge.png

Na dude...those badges are only for the direction finding task force agents of the ARRL.

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9 hours ago, WRQC290 said:

No, no, no. You just have to flash your hambadge then they'll know you outrank them and must stand down.

hambadge.png

Just wear your CERT, RACES and ARES hats. If that doesn't work tell the LEO you won't be making that annual donation to the policeman's association, yeah the one that calls you up several times a year on the phone.

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On 6/13/2022 at 11:40 PM, WRKC935 said:

I know the funky bowel (Baofeng) radios are crap and have crap signal.  They 'work' in some applications.   I do know that taking one 200 feet in the air even in a rural area, 30 miles from the nearest large city makes the receiver in them go bonkers.

Can you please expand on this statement?  I have several, and have used them at altitudes from 30 - 3000 feet (mostly listening for satellites), and have never experienced anything I would remotely classify as "going bonkers".  Are you saying they can receive more signals at altitude?  And if so, why wouldn't that be expected?

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12 hours ago, Blaise said:

Can you please expand on this statement?  I have several, and have used them at altitudes from 30 - 3000 feet (mostly listening for satellites), and have never experienced anything I would remotely classify as "going bonkers".  Are you saying they can receive more signals at altitude?  And if so, why wouldn't that be expected?

They would start hearing frequencies other than the one it was tuned to.  Would get intermod, hear paging transmitters (High power but not overly close) And at times loose the ability to hear a transmitter on the tuned frequency.  We figured this was due to the first RF stage being swamped with RF due to a total lack of filtering.  Now scanners will do the very same thing, at least the inexpensive ones because they are designed to hear everything everywhere. 

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@WRKC935 These radios are, AFAIK, all direct conversion receivers. So, there should be no first stage like a classical dual conversion superheterodyne. When the external signals exceed the "bandwidth" it has to reduce gain to fit everything within the bandwidth, otherwise you'll hear a cacophony of intermod mess.

A tracking filter that would allow for such DC to daylight listening capabilities would be far more expensive that can be fitted on a $9.95 Baofeng (overpriced to cost x5 times that sadly)...  The HF ICOM radios that have these type of sweet tracking filters cost like $3500-$13000... so... there is that.

You can help these CCRs with a preselector, or a cavity, it will be good enough, but portability and some sensitivity will be lost... so... that is one tradeoff.

G.

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