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Another new guy, with more questions...?

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by HELLCAT77, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. KJ6DXW

    KJ6DXW Ham Member QRZ Page


    I really hope I'm not talking out of line here since I'm one of the newest guys on this forum, but I am now a member of this community and feel compelled to chime in.

    Being a former firefighter myself, I have used many "amateur" radios in the past that had been modified to operate up into the VHF business band. This is a very common practice, especially amongst volunteer firefighters who cannot afford a new business band radio, but can afford a second hand ham radio. Remember that most volunteers have to foot their own bill.

    I'm not making any assumptions here, but it is possible that KC0REY is jumping down someone's throat for no reason. Perhaps, instead of "KJ4QXZ is the kind of ham nobody needs", we might try "Welcome. We're glad to have you among our ranks". Or perhaps "Well, we've all done things wrong in the past at some point or another, we're glad you've invested your time into becoming a ham and are doing it legally now".

    Besides, this thread was started by Hellcat77 and has nothing to do with someone else's past operating practices.
  2. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    DXW,the law trumps cannot afford. Maybe it would be cheaper to get a second legal radio than pay $11K per day.
  3. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use of non type-accepted radios on business band is 100% ILLEGAL. The FCC will do more than JUMP DOWN YOUR THROAT if you get caught.

    Illegal is illegal. NO excuses
  4. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, you just placed yourself squarely in the middle of the same camp as the other scofflaw.

    See, it isn't what you used it for, or the fact that you volunteered for something that you could not afford. Lots of police department and fire departments have been using amateur radio illegally.

    The issue was that you were willing to violate the law, to suit your needs. The attitude that this was not only OK, it is something to be proud of, as you so righteously are because others are doing it.

    I have never used amateur radio illegally. Most of us have never used AR illegally. The fact that more and more of you public service types are coming here and admitting to using Amateur Radio illegally is appalling.

    The new influx of police and firefighters into our ranks is nothing more then an attempt to take over our spectrum.

    Search for the term Whacker. That is you and QXZ. As far as I am concerned you are not welcome.

    You are right, I crapped right in the middle of Hellcat77's thread. I shouldn't have done that, but then we had a 6 day old ham explaining to him that it was OK to use AR Illegally.
    Just like you did, a ham of 1 month.

    Yup, some of you new guys don't belong.

    Lastly, I am opinionated, I speak my mind and I don't pull punches. I am not PC and I try to be as honest as I can be. I am not afraid to be brutally honest. I'll tell you to your face, or here. It doesn't matter to me.
    Many hams will agree with me but will choose to be more diplomatic, or will say nothing at all.

    Am I anti-new ham? NO. I am a VE. I try to Elmer where ever possible. I am a new ham myself. I just don't like you scofflaws and what you represent.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2009
  5. KJ6CLX

    KJ6CLX Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want a radio that you can "Grow into" get the Yaesu FT-857, its a HF/2/70cm radio that you can use fully once you upgrade to general. The price tag is quite high (at least for me) but its a good radio.

    Or get a 2 meter / 440 mobile rig these will get at least 35w out and are great little rigs. I would definitely get a dual band radio this will give you much flexibility while still a technician.

    The third option is to get a hand held radio, Icom has a 2 meter mono band radio for about $100 but again I would suggest a dual band radio such as the Yaesu FT-60R.

    Also invest in a SWR meter, since you will quickly get fed up with the 1/4 wave antenna and want to build a better one.

    Look around see what radios are in your price range and don't be afraid to get used gear, old dosnt mean bad nor does new always mean good.
  6. KJ6DXW

    KJ6DXW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, help me to understand.

    It is illegal to operate a radio on amateur bands without an amateur license, right? No brainer here. Obvious answer.

    What about a radio that was originally intended for amateur radio, that has been modified to operate into other bands that you ARE licensed to use. Is that illegal? What I'm saying is that if a fire department has been licensed for a particular frequency, who would care what radio you use to operate on that frequency? Why would it be any different than a ham building his own radio to operate on a frequency he's licensed for? I knew of many firefighters who bought ham radios which could easily be modified to operate up into the "legal" bands, installed them in their personal vehicles, which they used to respond to incidents.

    Since this forum is here specifically to educate (Elmer) the new guys, instead of bashing us, how about trying to help us? Maybe I'm out of line, but again, I think you (KC0REY) are rushing to judgment before knowing all the facts. KJ4QXZ never said or implied that he operated on amateur bands illegally, nor did I. In fact, he specifically said he's never used it as an amateur radio. Same applies to me.

    (NOTE to moderators: Perhaps this thread could be split off to another discussion, since we've really drifted from the original post. I think from an educational standpoint, it's still worth discussing.)
  7. WS2L

    WS2L Guest

    The main reason is because it is not "Type Accepted" by the FCC. A Ham transceiver is type accepted to operate within the ham radio band it was intended to be used on. Once you make the out of band modification the radio is no longer Type Accepted and such is an illegal radio.
  8. KC4UMO

    KC4UMO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Only and if ONLY, the other frequency is an Amateur frequency. No air, fire, rescue, police. Why?????? Because the FCC says what type of radio can be used in a type of service.
    About any radio can be used in the Amateur service. As long as it meets spectral purity.
    This means if a cb will work then fine. Real hams built there own rigs which are not type accepted. But they meet the qualification. And since ham radios are not type accepted by the FCC, they are not and can not be allowed to use in emergency or any other service.

    The FCC cares, hams care, I care and you should care. You do not want some guy using a non certified radio that is tearing up the spectrum so bad that another person on a different frequency could not hear the dispatcher when they gave the address to a person with a heart attack. And yes, that happens. I have seen it with my own equipment for working in the business band field.

    Yes KC0REY is a little rough on his points, he has been a ham for what 5, 6 years? but he tells the truth. He just puts it bluntly. The ZED gets a thread like this once or twice a month. Folks get tired of explaining. I have seen so many folks ask question and ignor the answers.

    Do a search on this forum. It has been talked about as much as some other things I will not mention.
    The FCC is our law which we must follow. You can go to the FCC website and read them there for yourself. You can also see cases were folks have been caught and fined.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  9. K0CMH

    K0CMH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some more information may help this discussion (or cat fight as it seems to be). Please don't flame this over minute details. It is a little oversimplified, but would be much longer if perfect.

    As you will see here, lack of technical knowledge can lead to persons modifying Ham equipment to work on other frequencies. So it might be a little off-target to immediately criticize someone who has never had that knowledge before and who was informed of such use by others without the knowledge.

    Amateur radio is about the only place where the FCC does not strictly enforce very specific requirements for equipment.

    Why would the FCC have strict requirements for equipment? The frequencies are very crowded, particularly the public service and business parts of the radio spectrum ("bands").

    To prevent problems, such as people splattering on others' communications, etc., the FCC has "channelized" many of these bands. To keep the equipment exactly within these channels, the radios must be designed and made to transmit only within the assigned channles, and not outside a channel, or over someone else on another channel. Thus, the radios must be "type accepted", i.e., reviewed and approved by the FCC to assure they stay within the channels.

    There is a second reason for "type accepted", that comes next.

    Hams have always been allowed to experiment. That is part of why some of the spectrum was given to them -- to provide space for experimentation and new technologies, etc. Hams have to pass a test that indicates they have enought technical knowledge to operate their equipment so that it stays within the Ham frequencies, comply with the regulations about ham equipment, and not interfer with other parts of the spectrum. Therefore, the FCC does not require the equipment to be approved by them. They expect the Ham community to be "self policing", i.e., Hams have enough technical knowledge to operate their equipment so that it does not interfeer with others, and if there are problems, other Hams will address the issue, even if it means reporting the person to the FCC.

    This is the second reason for "type accepted". The vast, vast majority of police officers, fire fighters, business users, etc., have no idea about the electronics of the radio. If their equipment could be easily adjusted, there could be chaos on those frequencies. There would be inadvertent and willful operation outside of the limits. The frequencies would be useless. So the FCC requires the radio equipment to be made to certain standards and not easily adjustable, unlike our Ham equipment.

    The manufacturers do not submit a Ham HT or mobile 2 meter or 70 cm radio to the FCC for review and approval. It is to expensive. Therefore, if it is modified to transmit on public service or business bands (or almost any other bands) it is illegal (has not been reviewed/approved as meeting the requirements for that band).

    Please don't get this confused with listening. The FCC has no requirements for radios that only listen -- well almost. All receivers (any frequency) must meet requirements to not cause signals of a certain very low power to leak out of the radio. [many radios generate a very weak radio signal as part of the reception process. The FCC requires these this to be limited to almost no leakage outside the radio.]

    The FCC has a long list of fines and market removal of equipment that does not meet the standards, or that has not been submitted for type acceptance but does operate on public service/business bands.

    OK, so now we understand this "type accepted" thing.
  10. HELLCAT77

    HELLCAT77 QRZ Member

    So far I'm thinking that the FT-7900 fits well in my budget as my first rig. What is the big difference between it and that 8800R besides that it's $100 more? Can I use the repeaters with that 7900? Also any ideas on a good dual band mobile, and base antenna? How what size and model power supply should I be looking at? Thanks again for all the great info! I plan on being a straight shooting ham, which in line with how I try to keep the rest of my life.


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