Do I need to get a Licence to operate my ham radio?

Discussion in 'Communication & Navigation' started by Joel Kasper, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. jonheld

    jonheld

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    Taking the technician test is no big deal. If you feel like "sticking it to the man" and operating without a licence, well, OK. We're all adults and no one can force you to do the right thing.
    On the other hand, there are things to be learned by studying and passing the test. In this current age of idiocy, knowledge is more important than ever. You should never pass up an opportunity to learn.
     
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  2. CV Kurt

    CV Kurt

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    Being stuck is not an emergency IMO. If they use a ham radio to seek help and you offer to relay the call to emergency services (e.g., 911), and they say "no", it's likely not an emergency. The regs actually define emergency traffic as being essential and necessary communications for the immediate safety of human life or the immediate protection of property.

    That said, I do try to be helpful on trail to those needing assistance (especially in true emergencies)... but that help might not be in the form requested. I might decide it better to have the professionals deal with the incident, especially in face of unlawful behaviors.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  3. Gun Runner 5

    Gun Runner 5 KI4CMQ SILVER Star

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    I actually enjoyed studying for the technician exam. At my age it's nice to know I still have enough brain cells to accomplish a task.
     
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  4. surfpig

    surfpig The Anti-Tech

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    ^THIS^

    And learning more about some of the electronics has been useful in other areas as well.
     
  5. surfpig

    surfpig The Anti-Tech

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    This is just... stupid.
     
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  6. SCCThree

    SCCThree

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    Its funny, I passed my no-code tech exams back in the mid 90s. Back then the FCC was so backed up it took those bastards over 8 months to get my license to me. The frustration with that long ass wait caused me to pretty much loose interest it. I was so into it before getting my license I even donated a massive 12v power supply to my local ham club which they used to power their repeater on top of a hospital! Also right around that time the internet thing started to take off so I put my focus into that instead.

    I still keep renewing my license even though I never use my HT. Hell, I don't even know where that thing is anymore. I always wanted to join in on the storm chasing but the problem with that is north Texas hail will seriously damage a vehicle and I like mine to be hail free if I can help it. If you see a vehicle with a SkyWarn sticker on it, good chance it resembles a golf ball.

    Personally I prefer the CB where I can get away with saying anything I want. Half of the things that come out of my mouth are not suitable for amateur radio frequencies. I find that half the fun of owning a radio is arguing with complete strangers and knowing they have to listen to everything you say until you unkey the mic. :flipoff2:

    Much respect to the LICENSED ham operators out there though! :beer:
     
  7. cody c

    cody c

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    I have had a HAM in my truck for a few years, I honestly haven't used it but have kept it on to monitor the local groups channel and, I've just kept it in case of emergency use for winter wheeling areas where I don't get cell service, and have always meant to getting around to taking the course. I have a Nightwatch LTD 29 which almost never gets used as well.

    After reading this thread I found myself more motivated to do the exam, sent out a couple emails to the local radio club, hopefully I can find time when they have their next course.
     
  8. John McVicker

    John McVicker SILVER Star

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    Good job Cody. You're going about it the responsible way.
     
  9. cody c

    cody c

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    Thanks!
     
  10. DirtNap

    DirtNap

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    deleted - upon a second reading, it was not nearly as funny as I thought it was when I wrote it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  11. superduty

    superduty

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    Will the guy discussed in the original post ever get caught fined? I would predict NO. If you behave on ham nothing will ever happen to you.

    Is it still illegal? yes

    Should ham users get licensed? yes, because it is the law and following the law is the right thing to do.

    Do most people break laws on occasion? yes, stuff like speeding or looking at cell phone while driving.
     
  12. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    I've had my license over 10 years now, and for most of that time I've known a "prominent individual" who refuses to get his license but loves to talk on the radio. It's almost become a vanity point of pride for this particular person. I don't get it, and don't really appreciate it, but it's his business. I agree that getting caught is unlikely, but so what. You should still do the right thing. Not having a call sign does pretty much preclude you from accessing any repeater, and particularly the wide area repeater systems like Sinbad or Carla that are so useful when out and about.

    I felt I learned a ton about radio studying for and taking the General exam. The tech exam is basically about the rules, the general exam is about radios and antennas. Definitely recommended reading even if you don't upgrade your license.
     
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  13. Gun Runner 5

    Gun Runner 5 KI4CMQ SILVER Star

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    A number of post on this thread confirms two basic themes:
    1) If it's convenient and requires no effort, I'll follow the rules.
    2) if it's not convenient or requires even a small amount of effort, I'll ignore the rules.
    I guess it says a lot about today's society.
     
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  14. pigmony

    pigmony

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    In my area, the local amateur radio club is big on radio direction finding and radio fox hunts. We do these things because they are useful skills for locating an operator in a remote location in an emergency, determining causes of unwanted interference, or locating unlicensed or unlawful operators. An antenna with some directionality and a radio with an S-meter are all that's required, but the folks who are really into it use specialized directional antennas and purpose built meters. It's not hard to find unlawful operators and report them.
     
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  15. SCCThree

    SCCThree

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    I have been on a couple of those hunts. Its fun stuff for sure especially when the fox breaks the rules and goes off road. :)
     
  16. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    The answer is yes to must have a license to use the radio on a regular basis. You are allowed to use it if there is an emergency.

    I deleted the personal attack posts. Those will not be tolerated
     
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  17. Gun Runner 5

    Gun Runner 5 KI4CMQ SILVER Star

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    The 'MUD equivalent to being sent to the woodshed. ..... Cool
     
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  18. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    In addition a person without a ham license can use a ham radio as long as there is a licensed ham in attendance and that ham is licensed for the bands/frequencies being used.
     
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  19. g-man

    g-man SILVER Star

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    I'm studying for tech license. Some of the sections are easy and I am familiar with some aspects of circuitry. Some not so easy. Like taking a calculator to help with logrithyms and understand dB=10Log(P1/P0) where p0 is the reference power and p1 is the new power. How did your 8 year old get that?

    Here's my analogy. Studying for this test is like making a driver study to be a mechanic. Why do I need to know how to rebuild a motor, carb, rewire circuitry ..etc to drive a car?

    I saw a lot of "yes men" in my fire dept career. They nod there heads yes to anything anyone of authority puts to them. I'm seeing a lot of
    "yes men" here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating to break rules or "sticking it to the man". I just think maybe someone should be and advocate for change.

    If I'm not a home ham operator will I fit in their idea of a ham operator? And by "their" I mean the local Ham clubs. I'm just wanting it for communication on the trail. How about a simplified course and test and category for a casual mobile user?

    Why do the volunteer ham groups have authority to test? Why not FCC paid professionals? How much control and influence do the local ham radio groups have? Why do I feel like this whole thing is unnessesarily convoluted?
     
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  20. pigmony

    pigmony

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    You don't need a calculator to take the Tech exam. I'm not sure you're looking at good information.

    Radio operators are responsible for the signals they transmit and the potential interference those signals may cause. You need an understanding of how radios and receivers work to be able to do that. Additionally, Amateur Radio is intended as a field of civilian innovation and experimentation. The rules are set up to allow for innovation and experimentation without causing interference to life safety systems or commercial interests.

    This statement says to me that you are looking at Amateur Radio (ham radio) from only your personal use perspective. You don't appear to have an understanding of the full scope of the hobby. Amateur Radio is not just people sitting in their house trying to talk to someone a long distance away. Amateur Radio is not just home stations, mobile, handheld, and repeaters. These radios can be used to control remote equipment, to send and receive data, they can be integrated with Global Positioning Systems, they can be used as beacons for navigation, they can assist with search and rescue operations, and a myriad of other things. Related technology was the basis for Bluetooth, wireless connectivity, and cellular voice and data networks. The Technician License is a minimum barrier for entry. More advanced licences allow for greater access to bands and greater ability to experiment.

    The Amateur Radio community has historically done a good job of NOT creating oppressive rule sets that hinder innovation. At the same time, the community has been active in shutting down, reporting, and assisting with prosecution of operators who fail to follow rules and cause harmful interference or create dangerous conditions for the public.

    Again, the original purpose of giving civilians access to these bands was to foster innovation and experimentation. The FCC controls which bands are available to Amateurs, has a set of very general rules which spell out what is and is not harmful interference, and enforces rules. Organisations like the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) create band plans and more detailed rule sets that allow many users to use the limit bandwidth available for a multitude of uses without interfering with each other.

    Local groups affiliated with larger organizations like the ARRL are given authority by the FCC mostly because of historical precedence, but also because the FCC doesn't have a budget or staff to do the things the ARRL does. Also, it's just the way it's always been and it has worked well.

    Local groups don't have all that much authority. They might own the local repeaters, and they would have authority over access to repeater networks, but that's about as far as they go.

    I suspect that your feeling that the system is convoluted might be because you haven't looked farther into it than your own, very narrow use case. Amateur Radio has a ton of different uses and users and all of them need to be able to play nicely within our limited bandwidth and without causing interference to commercial, life safety, or government systems. The thing about radio waves is that they can travel great distances. An operator in Montana who's radio is creating harmful interference could pretty easily cause interference all over the Pacific Northwest. Not knowing that your system is causing harmful interference because you "just want it for communication on the trail" isn't a valid excuse.
     
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