Legal: is it okay for hams to use modified professional gear?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by BH4FHO, Jan 12, 2021.

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  1. BH4FHO

    BH4FHO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been fixing up some used Kenwood TK-8100-1 PMRs, saved from the landfill by some employees of the railway company that used to use those in their locomotives. There is actually nothing in the hardware preventing those TK-8100-1 from operating in ham bands, so the extent of the "ham mod" is simply wiping the radio memory and programming in frequencies in ham bands against a warning in the software.

    Is it legal as a ham to use such equipment, after appropriate hardware modifications that made it transmit and receive in ham bands are made? Should this be a yes, it means that we hams can be where those used gear can end up with instead of landfills, which is a huge plus for the environment.
  2. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    There are no laws or FCC rules prohibiting this in the USA as pertaining to the amateur radio service. In fact, after WWII; a surplus of military radio equipment was made available to the general public and radio amateurs took advantage of this by acquiring and operating said equipment.
  3. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lucky you, in the States!!! In Anatel-land, them public (un)servants want to homologate and monitor everything RF, especially when and if modified by us

    As if they were able to measure or understand anything, them b%$^^%ds
    KA4DPO likes this.
  4. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    PS... everything*
    *but China-Crap (goes w/o saying)
    K0UO likes this.
  5. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    No idea about China, but in Australia you can do what you propose. Ni hao and welcome to qrz.
    KA4DPO and PU2OZT like this.
  6. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As W2AI posted, there's nothing to preclude hams in the USA from using modified commercial equipment, or building their own from scratch.

    But you are in China where regulations may be different.

    So you should find out exactly what the rules are in your country.
  7. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you in China? I don't think anyone on here is familiar with Chinese laws. In the USA this would not only be legal, but very common.
    K3XR likes this.
  8. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It might be so that Anatel has taken a closer look into the real qualifications of radio amateurs and have found them lacking.

    Otherwise, the very reasons for the amateur radio exams are that amateurs are expected to be competent enough to build and modify radio equipment for use on the amateur bands, from which the current exemption from compulsory type acceptance testing in the EU is derived.

    Any radio transmitter that conforms to the minimum technical requirements of the ITU Radio Regulations and stays within the band edges of the amateur bands is legally accepted for use in most countries.

    But the amateur building, modifying and using the transmitter is expected to be able to verify that the requirements are fulfilled.

    Should amateur radio be introduced today, there are no chances that we would be allowed to use anything else than low-power, factory-made and type-accepted equipment.

    PU2OZT, WA1GXC and PY2RAF like this.
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here in the U.S., the entire FM movement that started in the late 1960s owes it's beginning to a large amount of surplus commercial mobile radio equipment. My father had a 10 meter FM rig from a modified Link radio in his 1948 Ford. My first FM radio was a GE Progress Line that lacked a squelch. I also had some Motorola UHF gear, including a U44BBT crystalled up on our local repeater.

    In the 1950s and 60s, military surplus dominated things. I had a BC-348 receiver, and another Collins Navy receiver. One of my first transmitters was a miniaturized radio that was intended to be used by pilots who landed behind enemy lines.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  10. VK6ZGO

    VK6ZGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unless your licencing authority has a specific reason for not allowing this, you are probably OK to do so, but perhaps you should also check that the railway company aren't going to make a fuss that the radios should have been trashed.
    In the old days, probably they wouldn't have, but there are a lot of silly ideas in management, these days.

    If your income is limited, like mine, anything that makes Amateur Radio more affordable sounds very attractive, but it would be best to check before committing a lot of time & money, which could go towards saving for some of the very capable Amateur gear both made in your country, & imported, which is on the market.

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