Questions tagged [legal]

Questions regarding laws or other legal regulations pertaining directly to amateur radio. Also tag your question with the relevant location. If in doubt, always seek professional legal advice.

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21
votes
7answers
2k views

Encrypted traffic and amateur radio

Am I allowed to send encrypted traffic via any medium or any frequency, or is this completely barred (and thus everything has to be open with no exceptions?)
15
votes
4answers
88k views

Using my Baofeng UV-5R to talk to walkie talkies

I have a few walkie talkies at home and sometimes I connect my UV-5R to them to talk to them and act as another walkie talkie. At one time, I built a little simplex repeater out of it. Should I not be ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there federal laws (US) protecting antenna installation?

Are there any federal laws or FCC guidelines that allow ham radio operators to install antennas? I live in an apartment building in a large city that bans outdoor antennas. I recall reading that the ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What defines music, per amateur radio regulations?

Sometimes when I access IRLP nodes, they have a very short melody telling you that you are connected; or when my local repeater's net begins, it does the famous doorbell 8-note sequence. What is the ...
14
votes
4answers
518 views

Are amateur radio call signs unique among all radio call signs?

Idle curiosity: Are the call signs of amateur radio operators distinct from call signs in all other radio services, such that there can be no ambiguity even if the relevant license and band(s) of ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

How to operate IEEE 802.11 WiFi AP within the amateur radio service?

How can I properly use my ham radio license to operate an IEEE 802.11 WiFi access point within the US amateur radio service, rather than the US "part 15" regulations for unlicensed transmissions?
12
votes
7answers
897 views

Can I transmit anything inside a Faraday cage?

Can I perform any transmission regardless of my license as long as I'm inside an RF sealed enclosure, such that no RF will be detectable from my transmissions off my property? I imagine the answer is ...
12
votes
2answers
552 views

What are the (US) rules about unlicensed low-power transmissions?

It is common wisdom that transmissions of any sort (perhaps unidentified, encrypted, in the FM broadcast band, etc.) are permitted if they are sufficiently low power. Where are the FCC regulations ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do Amateur Radio organizations in the United States oppose the relaxation of encryption prohibitions?

I saw this question stating that it is illegal to encrypt traffic, at least in the US and UK. I also heard that there was recently an attempt to get the FCC to loosen this restriction, but a lot of ...
11
votes
3answers
413 views

Resort FM radio station

I stayed at a resort in the U.S. recently that is located in an unpopulated area with virtually no radio reception. To fill the gap, the resort has its own FM station that can be heard only within ...
11
votes
2answers
588 views

Why is an exemption for music given to NASA broadcasts of manned space flight missions?

FCC 97.113 Prohibited transmissions reads: (e) No station shall retransmit programs or signals emanating from any type of radio station other than an amateur station, except propagation and ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Fastest Speed allowed for CW FM repeater ID in USA

What is the fastest legal WPM I can use for my repeater's Morse code identification? I am in the USA.
10
votes
3answers
367 views

Do I need to actually lock up my station?

Per §97.103, one is responsible for the proper operation of one's station, which of course includes that no unlicensed person uses it to transmit. I have heard suggestions (no link handy, sorry) of ...
10
votes
3answers
420 views

What is the best practice when tuning an antenna on air?

I have a magnetic loop antenna that takes a long time to tune and of course, while tuning it, I need to be transmitting. What is the best procedure for tuning on air? I understand I need to check ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What Part 97 rule allows unattended, automated transmissions, such as APRS weather stations and beacons?

What rule allows Amateur Operators to establish and operate remote, automated stations like APRS weather stations or beacons? Are there different rules specifically for beacons, or do they all fall ...
10
votes
3answers
413 views

Aside from repeaters, what station types allow automated transmissions?

I know repeaters don't have to have a control operator at the radio in order to transmit given certain conditions are met. Are there any restrictions to setting up automated stations which transmit ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Morse code allowed on FM in the USA

Let's say I get my little 2 meter FM handheld out and make a little sine-wave generator with which I pulse a morse code and if I connect it to headphones a speaker, I hear the dits and dahs of a nice ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What should I do if my call is being used by someone else?

I've been contacted by others who want to verify a DX with me, but I was not operating at that time! It appears that someone made several contacts using my callsign for a short window of time one day....
9
votes
1answer
235 views

What is emissions designator “E” when used as a type of modulation?

The FCC's rules regulating amateur radio, in 47 CFR 97.307(f), paragraph 8 defines one emissions standard/limitation as follows: A RTTY or data emission having designators with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it illegal to key up and not identify?

So, I key up on a repeater to see if it works, or to see what cool courtesy tone they are using. I don't do anything else. Is it illegal or bad ham radio etiquette to just key up for a second, key ...
8
votes
3answers
423 views

What is the permissible frequency error for US amateur radio transmissions?

What are my requirements as a licensed Amateur Radio operator in the US to keep to a single frequency? How much drift can I have during transmission and still be within my license? Does it depend on ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it legal to transmit with HackRF one?

Is it legal to transmit using HackRF one (in Germany), the purpose is to do some Lab research and Academic experiments. for example i want to broadcast an FM signal using HackRF one and try to ...
8
votes
1answer
881 views

Do FCC regulations limit digital data rate?

Are there FCC regulations that specifically limit digital data rate on the amateur bands? Are there any recent or proposed changes? If so, what are they specifically?
8
votes
1answer
311 views

Why does the FCC put restrictions on symbol rates?

This answer claims that Mostly, on HF, the FCC has chosen to limit modes of transmission and symbol rates rather than bandwidth Why does the FCC limit symbol rates?
8
votes
2answers
134 views

How do I notify and publish information on experimental modes?

I'm considering tinkering with a new mode. Of course I'll stick to experimental channels and low power for now, but as people notice my transmissions they won't immediately understand what is being ...
8
votes
1answer
193 views

How to clean up profanity on airwaves

We have a repeater here in Southern California (Sylmar K6GE 147.435), and no matter what time of day or night there are a great many operators spewing tremendous profanity, disrespect and meanness ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How to tune an FM transmitter to a specific frequency?

I am planning to organise a simple fox hunt, a family event. This includes building a transmitter. I am currently considering the following schematics: https://maker.pro/education/diy-fm-transmitter ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Could a weather balloon make a good antenna?

I can't afford a massive tower, but I can get a weather balloon. What kind of set up would work best to get the maximum efficiency out of altitude?
8
votes
1answer
626 views

Is a modded Yaesu FT-270r acceptable to use on MURS frequencies?

I am a bit new to the radio scene, so excuse me for any ignorance that may follow. I saw on a website that you could mod the Yaesu FT-270r so that you can increase its transmission range outside of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Using ham radio bands for telemetry

If I built a machine that went far away, say a buoy, would I be allowed to use ham radio frequencies to transmit telemetry data back to its base station, if I used my call sign? This is for personal ...
8
votes
4answers
26k views

FCC tracking of unlicensed FRS/GMRS transmissions

If a transceiver such as the BaoFeng UV-5R is used to transmit over FRS/GMRS frequencies (unlicensed), it is illegal in the United States due to FCC regulations that state that the power must be <0....
8
votes
2answers
137 views

What regulatory issues/differences should I be aware of as a US ham vacationing in Europe (Poland)?

I am a US ham with an Extra Class ticket. If I were to go Poland (or possibly some other part of Europe) on vacation and bring some radios, what legal stuff do I need to know about? I know that my ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Using PMR446 On A Baofeng GT3-MK3 HAM Radio Legal (If on low power)?

I have a Baofeng GT3-MK3, a great little radio. Is it OK to use this on the low output setting for general use without a licence, for things like camping/hiking family use etc, if I used the legal ...
8
votes
1answer
161 views

Identifying regulations for interfering stations

I'm working on tracking down some 2m repeater interference, and I have identified that the offending signal is a spur transmission on a commercial pager service (that lands right on our repeater input ...
8
votes
1answer
108 views

Which international regulation allows reception, archiving or republishing of amateur transmissions?

I remember from my amateur radio course, and old versions of our local national regulation documents, that anyone is allowed to receive amateur radio transmissions. It's been claimed that ...
7
votes
5answers
16k views

On which of these frequencies can I transmit without a license?

I have a Baofeng UV-5RA, and I need to know what frequencies on the "channel mode" (what the lady says when you press the "V/M" button on the radio) don't require a ham license. I am in Philadelphia, ...
7
votes
4answers
177 views

Required SSB sideband and carrier suppression?

Is there a legal (U.S. FCC) or a commonly accepted standard requirement for SSB opposite sideband and and carrier suppression for either manufactured or kit built transmitters? Does the 43+ dB down ...
7
votes
2answers
144 views

Which band will I be authorized the most bandwidth?

Lets say I want to do a bit of experimenting with some high bandwidth uses for transmitting data, high quality voice, etc. Which Amateur band will give me the maximum bandwidth, and what is the ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Is there a practical way for hams to participate in cellular-related technology advances?

My understanding is that there used to be more timely overlap between commercial and amateur radio technology — e.g. helping study ionospheric propagation, relatively early adoption of SSB technology, ...
7
votes
1answer
131 views

Can club stations register callsigns on the D-Star network?

Some of the members at my local radio club are interested in working with D-Star. Since the equipment is very expensive, it was proposed that the club purchase and operate one rig collectively. Is ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

How big can an antenna be before I need planning permission in the UK?

Presumably setting up a 1m high antenna in a back garden isn't going to be an issue, but setting up an 80m high antenna would likely cause complaints! How high an antenna can I legally construct in ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

Does mixed-mode operation qualify as a QSO? [closed]

Working the bands it's quite possible to work in mixed-mode, albeit I doubt whether it is ever done. Call this a thought experiment: Station A operates CW, Station B operates SSB. I find myself ...
6
votes
1answer
124 views

What happens to your callsign if you migrate?

If, as an amateur radio operator, you're licensed in one country with a callsign, let's suppose, the US and you migrate to, say, Germany, will you have to reapply and obtain a new callsign? What if ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Is using /AE compulsory?

I'm taking the exam to upgrade my licence to Extra soon, but I'm concerned the ULS might not update in time for Field Day, when I'm supposed to be supervising (and using my call-sign for) my club's ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I legally use a Baofeng UV-5R radio for communication?

I'm new to radios. Only ever used them for squad communication in airsoft. I have two Baofeng UV-5R handhelds and would like to use them this week to communicate on a family camping trip with no cell ...
6
votes
2answers
626 views

What “test transmissions” are allowed above 51MHz?

The ARRL's band plan chart includes the following text in its legend: Test transmissions are authorized above 51 MHz, except for 219-220 MHz What FCC regulation is this referring to? Aren't all ...
6
votes
2answers
321 views

Weather Imaging with NOAA satellites - legal?

I would like to build an antenna for receiving NOAA weather satellites. They're receivable at around 137.5 Mhz. I'm a total new to amateur radio stuff. I know that it's not legal to communicate as ...
6
votes
2answers
489 views

Can I transmit on 2 frequencies simultaneously?

Lets say I want to call out CQ on 145.340, 145.940, and 146.140 at the same time, am I allowed to call simultaneously on all three then monitor all three for replies?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any downside to getting a vanity callsign?

I just got my HAM license, and I have been thinking about getting a 1×3 vanity that I can remember more easily. This question is partially in reference to this passage on the FCC site: A club ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

What is Part 97 a part of?

The regulations that govern Amateur Radio in the United States are often described as Part 97. What statute are they a part of? Where can I find other parts of the same law?