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subzali
02-18-2008, 12:57 PM
So since Technician class gets you priveleges on all amateur bands 50 MHz and higher, does that mean we can call on the aircraft frequencies? It looks like their band lies somewhere in the 115-135 MHz range. I was just thinking in case you're out in the middle of nowhere sometimes the planes flying overhead are closer than the nearest repeater or ground contact. But maybe the aircraft frequencies are above 50 MHz but aren't considered to be amateur bands - or maybe our radios (in stock form) can't drop to 115 MHz? I'm still learning, but don't really know how to fish yet.

Shark Bait
02-18-2008, 01:01 PM
I've been able to listen on my VX-7R, but it does not transmit on those frequencies. :eek:

Uncle Ben
02-18-2008, 01:05 PM
I've been able to listen on my VX-7R, but it does not transmit on those frequencies. :eek:

Search.....VX-7r's are very easy to open freq's as it's just a secret code.

corsair23
02-18-2008, 01:32 PM
The only frequency you'd really need to be able to transmit/receive on is 121.5 - that is the international emergency frequency that pilots, ATC, etc. monitor.

I don't know the rules around transmitting on 121.5 if your not in a plane but in a life and death emergency...

Back when I was flying I use to like to listen to theCentennial (http://www.centennialairport.com/Airportdata/Airfielddiagram.htm) tower frequency (118.9) on my ICOM HT...

DaveInDenver
02-18-2008, 01:34 PM
So since Technician class gets you priveleges on all amateur bands 50 MHz and higher, does that mean we can call on the aircraft frequencies? It looks like their band lies somewhere in the 115-135 MHz range. I was just thinking in case you're out in the middle of nowhere sometimes the planes flying overhead are closer than the nearest repeater or ground contact. But maybe the aircraft frequencies are above 50 MHz but aren't considered to be amateur bands - or maybe our radios (in stock form) can't drop to 115 MHz? I'm still learning, but don't really know how to fish yet.
Just 'cause you're a ham doesn't give you privileges on aircraft automatically. I think you have to actually be a pilot or ground controller.

That said, aircraft is in the VHF band, however they use AM. The VX-7R can do AM or FM on 6m, but only FM in 2m, 220MHz or 440MHz. The FT-7800/88/89 can't transmit AM anywhere. Even the FT-8900R will only do FM on 10m.

All of them (in fact most wide band RX radios) can hear AM, just very limited transmit ability of it. You'd probably have to get an HF rig that could tune the VHF band to even consider it. It might be easier to just carry an aircraft radio for emergencies. Also a fair number of pilots are hams (in fact just about every private pilot I personally know is a ham, that's odd now that I think about it) and probably will have a ham radio anyway.

Bighead
02-18-2008, 01:45 PM
Just 'cause you're a ham doesn't give you privileges on aircraft automatically. I think you have to actually be a pilot or ground controller.

As a former Air Traffic Controller, I can tell you that transmitting on one of the control freqs would be a quick way to have the FAA come down on you like a ton of bricks. If you had to transmit on anything use 121.5 like Corsair said.

DaveInDenver
02-18-2008, 01:52 PM
transmitting on one of the control freqs would be a quick way to have the FAA come down on you like a ton of bricks.
Yeah, seems it would be bad to have both the FCC and the FAA ticked off at you...

Bighead
02-18-2008, 02:05 PM
Yeah, seems it would be bad to have both the FCC and the FAA ticked off at you...

:thumb:

corsair23
02-18-2008, 03:04 PM
Yeah, seems it would be bad to have both the FCC and the FAA ticked off at you...

Yep! But if you're pinned under your rig and tried everything then I'd rather have 'em POd at me than dead :D

Just FYI, from my experience with my ICOM HT with the rubber ducky antenna the "reach" isn't very good. For instance in the "Ranch" I could not typically hear the Centennial tower (<10 miles away) controllers talking, but I could hear the planes in the vicinity talking to the tower. Even when I used it once in an semi-emergency during a flight I could not talk to the tower until I was within ~10 miles of the airport.

DaveInDenver
02-18-2008, 05:17 PM
Yep! But if you're pinned under your rig and tried everything then I'd rather have 'em POd at me than dead :D
What is it they say, it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Just FYI, from my experience with my ICOM HT with the rubber ducky antenna the "reach" isn't very good. For instance in the "Ranch" I could not typically hear the Centennial tower (<10 miles away) controllers talking, but I could hear the planes in the vicinity talking to the tower. Even when I used it once in an semi-emergency during a flight I could not talk to the tower until I was within ~10 miles of the airport.
Keep in mind that aircraft use AM and so if you are TXing and RXing on FM, the range will seem to be very poor in both range and quality. I can hear KAPA Tower 118.9 at my house just barely in the truck. Such is the down side of AM, it attenuates quickly with range.

corsair23
02-18-2008, 05:59 PM
Keep in mind that aircraft use AM and so if you are TXing and RXing on FM, the range will seem to be very poor in both range and quality.

Still learning but I assume the ICOM was/is AM as it is made for aircraft use - thus the reason I could use it as I definitely don't have a HAM license yet :D

It looks like this, only much older:


The newest Icom radio is a full-size hand-held with a host of pilot-friendly functions. Features a large, rubber keypad and easy to read display for one-handed operation in the cockpit. Backlit keypad and display stays on until you turn it off—helpful for night flying. Flip-flop channel recall function stores the last 10 channels used for instant switching.

Other features:
Long life Ni-MH battery
VOR reception with CDI display
DVOR function shows the radial to or from the VOR
Duplex operation (listen on NAV, talk on COM)
200 memory channels
Dedicated 121.5 emergency key
Side tone function lets you hear your own voice as you talk
NOAA weather stations
Water resistant construction
Automatic noise limiter
Low battery alert
Receives and transmits 118.000-136.975 MHz
Receives 108.000-117.975 MHz and 161.650-163.274 MHz
5 watts PEP output
BNC antenna connector
Weighs 15.1 oz
Measures 2”w x 5”h x 1 1/2”d

Includes: belt clip, wall charger(220 Volt), antenna, rechargeable battery pack, headset adapter and carrying case.

.

Groucho
02-19-2008, 09:29 AM
Guys/Gals,

Please keep in mind that the FCC says very specifically where you can and cannot go with your privileges. If you can't get help in an emergency with the HAM equipment using your license privileges, the odds of getting someone on the Air Traffic frequencies is even less likely.

6M is 50-54 MhZ and 2M is 144-148 MhZ.

It is extremely poor form to try to operate on frequencies outside the ones granted to us as HAMs by the FCC, not to mention that doing so is illegal. Safety is the primary concern for this.

Let's perfect using our privileges first.

corsair23
02-22-2008, 06:48 PM
Not to belabor this point, but I knew I had seen a question in the book that addressed the original question (which I assume was asked for "what if" in a life and death situation). As Dave points out though actually being able to transmit may be an issue.

Test question T8B08, covered on pg 4-24

FCC 97.403, 97.405(a),(b)

Bottom line on doing anything like this, assuming it worked, is that you better make sure it is an emergency or be prepared to pay some serious consequences!

Groucho
02-22-2008, 10:19 PM
Yes,
In a genuine emergency, you may use any means at your disposal to call for help on any frequency.

Any unlicensed person may also use ANY radio in a genuine emergency. In the case of our rigs, with 2M radios in them, if your wife is the only one able to make contact with emergency services using that HAM radio while you are pinned under your cruiser, and she doesn't have a license, she may use the radio in those instances.

I am simply reminding everyone that the effort spent setting up your HAM rig to transmit using those frequencies(not to mention voiding the warranty) is not recommended. It has encouraged other licensed HAMs to use their radios illegally, and thustly jeopordizing even further the frequencies and privelages that we earned when we pass the test.

We as HAM radio operators need to remember that it is a privalege to use the frequencies that we are alloted. Every month there are other services(commercial, mostly) who try and justify their need for our frequencies over our needs. If we operate poorly, illegally and not use all of our bands, we will loose them.

I would also recommend to subscribe to QST(become an ARRL member) and just read some of the headlines. We have a fleet of folks fighting in Washington for our right to use our frequencies. QST gives articles about this, tech articles, projects(remember the best part about being a HAM is the tinkering) and other neat stuff. And don't think that it is geared only toward those guys in their basement. VHF and UHF are very popular and a substantial portion of the magazine is devoted to those bands.

Just please, please keep a responsible mindset when looking to get the most out of why you are a/becoming a HAM radio operator. If nothing else, I will thank you for it.

Bruce Miller
02-23-2008, 10:26 AM
The QST magazine that Nathaniel mentioned, has a section every month titled FCC News. Here is one of the citations listed in the December 2007 issue. It is not where you would want your name mentioned. Makes for interesting reading. Here it is:

Guy E. Weitl, WB6HGJ, of San Diego, CA, received notification from the FCC of a complaint alleging “numerous instances of out of band operation on Twenty Meter frequencies 14.003, 14.005, 14.011 and 14.106 MHz, frequencies for which you are not authorized as a General Class licensee. The complaint also alleges that you have been sent several notices about out of band operation. The information contained in the complaint, if true, raises serious questions regarding your qualifications to retain an Amateur license.” Weitl was given 20 days to respond and was directed to “support your response with a signed and dated affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, verifying the truth and accuracy of the information submitted in your response.” He was warned that the FCC will use “all relevant information...including information that you disclose in your reply” to make a decision in his case, and that penalties could include “license revocation, suspension of your operator privileges, or monetary forfeiture (fine). Fines normally range from $7,500 to $10,000.

Bruce and Barbara