developing a strong interest in HAM

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developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby brimstone » Thu May 25, 2017 4:25 pm

Hello, for a while now I have been listening to airband traffic. It has stimulated me to do some research on radio waves and how radio works. (unfortunately I didnt do phsyics at school). However can I receive HAM radio on my EZ133XLT. Am I allowed to listen in on HAM frequencies? if possible. I am seriously thinking of taking my interest further. Should I join a radio club ?.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

steve
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby m0lsx » Thu May 25, 2017 5:21 pm

You are legally allowed to listen to the Ham bands yes.
And in fact legally all we can listen to are things like Hams, CB'ers, Broadcast stations, licence free PMR 446 etc. While things like Airband, Marine band, Taxi's etc etc are illegal for the casual listener to tune in to.
How ever never worry, unless you do something totally stupid, no one gets any issues from listening.
Joining a club is a good step, often they will provide free training & the foundation & intermediate exams are well within the bounds of 99.9% of the population with a small amount of study. My 9 year old daughter passed her foundation exam first go & after only a few hours of training.
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby Metradio » Thu May 25, 2017 6:52 pm

Strange as it may seem it is NOT legal to listen to licence free PMR 446 unless you are listening on a pukka PMR446 radio :huh:

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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby m0lsx » Thu May 25, 2017 7:37 pm

Metradio wrote:Strange as it may seem it is NOT legal to listen to licence free PMR 446 unless you are listening on a pukka PMR446 radio :huh:

Mike


Just goes to prove what I posted on the Welcome & introductions thread just a few hours ago.
we all learn by someone asking.
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby G4RMT » Fri May 26, 2017 10:20 pm

The actual guidance on scanner use from OFCOM is quite blunt and straight forward. Copied below.
Guidance on Receive-Only Radio Scanners: Legal position and
common questions on Receive-Only Radio Scanners
Introductio n
This guidance sets out the legal position relating to the reception of radio transmissions by unauthorised persons or groups.
Radio scanners and general reception
A radio scanner is a radio receiver that can automatically tune, or scan, two or more discrete frequencies stopping when it finds a signal on one of them and then continuing scanning when that frequency goes silent. Generally, scanners cover the non-broadcast radio bands between 30 and 951 MHz using FM, although there are models that cover more of the radio spectrum and use other modulation types.
A license is not required to use a radio receiver or scanner as long as it is not capable of transmission. It is not illegal to sell, buy or own a scanner or any other receiver but it should only be used to listen to transmissions meant for general reception.
The services that can be listened to under the definition of general reception are:
1. licensed broadcasting stations;
2. amateur and citizens' band radio transmissions; and
3. weather and navigation transmissions
Radio scanners should not be used to listen to any other radio services, including illegal radio stations (pirates) (by virtue of the fact that they are not licensed radio stations).
Unauthorised reception
There are two criminal offences, under section 48 of the Wireless TelegraphyAct 2006, relating to unauthorised reception.
Offence 1
It is an offence if a person "otherwise than under the authority of a designated person:
. uses wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of any message whether sent by means of wireless telegraphy or not, of which neither the person using the apparatus nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient."
This means that it is illegal to listen to anything other than general reception transmissions unless you are either a licensed user of the frequencies in question or have been specifically authorised to do so by a designated person.
A designated person means:
1. the Secretary of State;
2. the Commissioners of Customs and Excise; or
3. any other person designated for the purpose by regulations made by the Secretary of State.
Offence 2
It is also an offence for someone, otherwise than under the authority of a designated person, to disclose any information as to the contents, sender or addressee of any message referred to in Offence 1. However, this does not apply where the disclosure is in the course of legal proceedings or for the purpose of any report of those proceedings. And, it does not apply where the information would have come to the person’s knowledge without the use of wireless telegraphy apparatus by him or by anyone else.
This means that it is also illegal to tell a third party what has been heard in a transmission a person has listened to illegally.
Other offences
With certain exceptions, it is also an offence under Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 for a person:
" .. intentionally and without lawful authority to intercept, at any place in the United Kingdom, any communication in the course of its transmission by means of:
1. a public postal service;
2. a public telecommunication system."
It is similarly an offence to intercept any communication in the course of its transmission by
means of a private telecommunication system.
These offences mean that it is illegal to listen to telephone calls, including mobile phone networks which are designated as forming part of the public telecommunications system.
Common questions answered
Question:AmIbreakingthelawbyowning ascanner?
Answer: No, but you should not use one to listen to frequencies other than general reception transmissions.
Question:CanIgetalicencetousea scanner?
Answer: No, there is no scanner licence. You do not need one for a scanner.
Question: Could I get authority to listen to emergency service transmissions, for example? I am interested and might be able to help.
Answer: No, authority is reserved for people acting under statutory authority. If you wish to listen in to messages, you should obtain the permission of the person sending them.
Question: Isn't it all right to listen as long as I don't pass on what I hear?
Answer: No, using radio equipment to listen in is an offence, regardless of whether the information is passed on.
Question: Isn't this all a bit heavy?
Answer: No. No-one likes their private or business conversations to be listened to. Parliament has passed these laws to protect the privacy of radio users.


So it's clear that it's broadcast, ham and CB - everything else is not allowed. Can't say it any more bluntly, can they!
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby m0lsx » Sat May 27, 2017 12:06 pm

The problem is Ofcoms advice has not changed for years, certainly not since the advent of licence free PMR 446 & they could define it as CB.
Certainly the fact that 446 is licence free means it is not supposed to be private or restricted. And if it is licence free to use on a transceiver, then it should be licence free to listen too as well.
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby FreqFreak » Sat May 27, 2017 9:11 pm

You are allowed to use a type approved PMR446 or CB, OFCOM is happy with that. You cannot listen with anything else because it's not approved :mrgreeny:
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby Metradio » Sat May 27, 2017 9:46 pm

No, the problem with receiving PMR446 on anything other than a pukka PMR446 radio is there are business users interleaved between the PMR446 channels. OFCOM are trying to prevent any accidental or on purpose reception of the business users...

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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby m0lsx » Sat May 27, 2017 10:21 pm

Metradio wrote:No, the problem with receiving PMR446 on anything other than a pukka PMR446 radio is there are business users interleaved between the PMR446 channels. OFCOM are trying to prevent any accidental or on purpose reception of the business users...

Mike


That makes sense...
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Re: developing a strong interest in HAM

Postby G4RMT » Sun May 28, 2017 10:08 pm

interleaved? Is this why PMR446 is 12.5KHz channels bit offset 6.25KHz? I always assumed that 446.0 to 446.2MHz was ONLY PMR446? Must be chaotic for anyone to try and use a 12.5 channel in between the others?

There's a big difference between being illegal, and being illegality worthy of taking action. It's illegal to use cannabis, but nobody now gets prosecuted unless they are dealing. The notion of a street caution for listening into a restaurant having the same meal sent back three times is kind of laughable? It's also illegal to share your music and copy too many pages from a book.
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