VHF Radiophone (business band circa 1994)

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB7QPS, Mar 13, 2018.

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  1. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was much younger, circa 1994, I used my Icom radio to scan the business band part of VHF, around 147 to 158 mHz. I discovered a couple of frequencies where folks apparently had a radiophone (not sure the exact term for it) and a person would talk to someone...it was half-duplex, so I could only hear one side of the conversation. Never found the frequency where the other half would take place on.

    Anyways, I remember a couple of times it appeared that therapists were holding therapy sessions over the radio. The conversations were sort of interesting, but I remember a lot of me felt that it was inappropriate to listen in.

    Wondering if anyone else heard radiophone traffic around this time frame?

    Clearly, once cell phones became widespread the conversations disappeared from VHF.
  2. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was in the 152 range (152.03, 06, 09 etc) Radio Common Carrier. I use to have one in my car in the pre-Amateur radio daze (late 80's). Some "radios" you could dial yourself but mine was a conventional radio and you had to ask the operator to dial a number for you. Pretty funny now looking back on it. Would go by the operators office on occasion and bring donuts. They usually wanted an adult beverage but I had to decline on that request! :)

    Ah the memories...

  3. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Possibly 3rd harmonics of the old cordless phone band, 43-50 mHz?
  4. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, I would say it was inappropriate to listen to them, although not illegal.

    Disclosing the contents of what you heard to any other person would be illegal.
  5. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, the signals were real strong, and my family lived in 20 acres that would be far too far away from neighbors to listen in on cordless phones.
  6. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really wonder if both parties knew they were talking on a radio? I can't imagine that both parties would have been happy about that...

    I'm pretty sure that disclosing information heard on a scanner isn't illegal though.
  7. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    It probably is if there was the expectation of privacy from one or both parties. Proving that could be problematic.
  8. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Irrelevant to the points you have brought up.

    Here is a summary from the FCC:

    Federal and state laws make intercepting and divulging radio communications illegal and punishable by severe criminal penalties, with certain exceptions.[emphasis added]

    What kinds of interception and divulgence of radio transmissions are legal?
    The FCC and the Communications Act do not forbid certain types of interception and disclosure of radio communications, including:

    • Mere interception of radio communications, such as overhearing your neighbor’s conversation over a cordless telephone, or listening to emergency service reports on a radio scanner (although intercepting and/or recording telephone-related radio communications may be a violation of other federal or state laws).
    • Divulgence of certain radio communications that were transmitted for use by the public (such as over-the-air radio and television broadcasts).
    • Divulgence of broadcasts related to ships, aircraft, vehicles or persons in distress.
    • Divulgence of transmissions by amateur radio or citizen band radio operators.
    What kinds of interception and divulgence are prohibited?
    The Communications Act prohibits a person from using an intercepted radio communication for his or her own benefit. Examples of this include:

    • A taxicab company intercepting radio communications between dispatchers and drivers of a rival company to gain competitive advantages.
    • Unauthorized interception of signals from pay television services, such as cable or satellite.
    • A person selling or publishing a recording or contents of someone else’s wireless phone conversation.
    What about equipment used to intercept radio communications?
    The Communications Act prohibits the FCC from authorizing radio scanning equipment that:
    • Can receive transmissions in the frequencies allocated to domestic cellular services.
    • Can readily be altered by the user to intercept cellular communications.
    • May be modified to convert digital transmissions to analog voice audio.
    It is illegal to manufacture, import, sell or lease such unauthorized equipment in the United States.


    You can dive a little deeper in 18 USC 2511


    My understanding from my first Novice classes in the 70's was that it is legal to listen to any radio transmissions, but not legal to divulge commercial or private communications to others. This was under the 1934 Communications Act, which has been amended several times since. I don't this principle has been altered.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not at all. There was mobile (radio) telephone service available at least since the 50s. If you could afford it. ;)
    N7ZAL likes this.
  10. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    I remember in New Orleans listening to the Marine Operator (162mhz) and a guy was arguing with his wife accusing her of sleeping around. Some guy on another boat was chiming in saying he was at the guy's house and his wife looks good naked. It went downhill from there.
    K4PIH likes this.

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