Author Topic: License Class for New Hams  (Read 1051 times)

mononradio

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License Class for New Hams
« on: February 26, 2017, 10:26:51 AM »
The White County Amateur Radio Society is offering license classes for new prospective hams, conducted at Monticello, Indiana.
Anyone interested is welcome to hit up the web site for further info.
No cost unless you wish to purchase your own copy of the study guide information.
All age groups welcome.
If you are not located in this area, perhaps we can help find a prospective class through another club.

indyspy

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 05:32:25 PM »
With Indiana's rarely enforced, but on the books scanner law, everyone here should have a License. It's an instant get out of jail free card with regards to the scanner law.
If in doubt, Notch it out!

trainmaster53

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 07:38:34 PM »
How hard is the Test to get it though.

James K9APR

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 02:33:09 PM »
As a VEC, testing is pretty easy to get through on the Technician and General, quite a bit harder when it comes to Extra. There is only 3 license classes now and you no longer need to learn Morse Code for any of them.

mononradio

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License Class for New Hams
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 03:53:17 PM »
35 multiple choice questions for the technician class, which is now the entry-level
this is out of a much larger pool of questions which is revised slightly from time to time
lots of "free" sources for test prep questions on line as well, I might add
There is a small cost for actually taking the exam at most clubs, although some volunteer examiners have been known to raid the coffee fund in extreme cases
All VHF and UHF operating frequencies and modes, plus an ever expanding sub-set of more traditional old-fart things below 30 Mhz

Had forgotten about the Indiana scanner law.
Thought maybe it had been repealed.
If not mistaken, Michigan got rid of theirs, but think Florida may still have one.

mononradio

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Indiana "Police Radio" Law
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 04:29:42 PM »
If this is still up to date, the Indiana law (IS 35-44-3-12) refers to "police radios" and not necessarily scanners.
A "police radio" is one capable of sending or receiving on FCC assigned police emergency frequencies.
The law does not apply to "base stations," used at home, but only to mobile/handheld units in a vehicle or carried by a pedestrian

The law applies to mere possession of such a "radio," as well as the more logical use to transmit illegally on police frequencies, and/or use it to avoid detection or further the commission of a crime

Most recently law enforcement seems to have started to obsess about streaming audio of police communication on various electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets

Indeed, a cellphone or other device can probably be considered a "radio" although the "frequencies" they use are typically not FCC assigned for police emergency channels

If you are listening to cop shops on Pandora streaming from your car radio and get pulled over, are you screwed?

If you are holding a VHF-only receiver in your hand when you are interviewed, such as a 162 mhz. weather-band monitor, are you OK?  You might be, and I have known a couple guys who had time to pop over to the NWS channels when they sensed that they were in the process of getting questioned.  Most "police" stuff in Indiana is now up higher than 700 Mhz, although it will start coming down into the former TV channels as the FCC finishes up "repacking" the commercial television portion of the spectrum.  So can you make the argument that "my radio is not capable of receiving so and so police department in so and so county because they are now at 800 MHz?

Such decisions on what's OK and what's not will have to come down from a higher pay grade than mine.  Don't even know if there has ever been any litigation of this 1990's legislation.

But holding a valid amateur radio license is one sure fire exemption, as are other exemptions, such as being a dealer of radios, using on in the normal course of a lawful business, regularly engaged in newsgathering, etc.

Bob Durnell

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 05:33:05 PM »
Yes, it would be nice to have some clarification of the law.  How many places in Indiana can a standard handheld scanner actually still GET police channels?  Nothing in Allen County....

Caylorman

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 04:12:40 PM »
You can get ISP in most, if not all of the state.  Fort Wayne PD went all encrypted a couple years ago, but I think they are the only PD in the state that has done that.

trainmaster53

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 06:26:59 PM »
I do not get any of Johnson County Fire or Police on my Scanner. They have went Digital. I do pick them up on Radioreference.com.

trafficcritic

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 12:06:33 PM »
I was able to ace the Technician exam after hitting the QRZ.com practice tests pretty hard for about 3 days in a row.  For anyone interested in getting your amateur radio license, I highly recommend QRZ! 

mononradio

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License Class for New Hams
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 03:39:21 PM »
Congrats!

mononradio

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NXDN Scanner
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 03:57:44 PM »
Finally broke down and got a digital scanner, now that the statewide system seems to have settled down somewhat.

Here in this area most everything has now moved off of VHF except the tone-out pager for the fire department / medics / air ambulance.

Call me an old curmudgeon, but I fail to understand why all the hoopla about "digital."

The coverage is less, the audio quality is pretty goosy, and particularly in the amateur circles, the various proprietary modes such as DMR and Nextedge are incompatible with each other.
But, at least they get rid of the nasty squelch tail chop that narrowband analog FM tends to have.  And maybe the 850 channels are less subject to the "dreaded tropospheric skip."

The unit I chose is a whistler TRX-2 (formerly GRE who produced scanners for Radio Shack).  Whistler purchased the intellectual property when GRE went out of business.  Supposedly the Chinese
government "redeveloped" (confiscated?) the GRE factory site, and they could not come up with the funding to build a new plant (evidently it happens in China too!).

The advantage of the somewhat pricey Whister, at least for the present time, over a comparable Bearcat, is that there is a free NXDN firmware update.  This enables decoding of the Kenwood Nextedge NXDN protocol as well as the P25 and most of the Motorola DMR stuff.  If the railroads do go through with plans to deploy their Nextedge network anytime soon, at least I should have something that can receive it.

So far other than the supplied AC wall-wart going kaput right away, the Whistler seems to meet expectations.  It's not too difficult to program with the software supplied, and since it uses the radio reference data base, which makes it easy to keep updated.

Others may know more about this than I, just say "it works" right out of the box, and seems to have the capabilities that will be needed in the forseeable future (including lots of memory).

central1751

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Re: License Class for New Hams
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2017, 10:42:32 AM »
Howard Co just went all digital encrypted and its been nothing but issues after issues.  The local FB page that lists the major calls favorite tag line is #newandimproved.   I got my ham license years ago for the very reason not to be harrased by the local PD when railfanning.  We were also railfanning all night along the NS line thru Logansport/Peru as late teenagers/early 20 yr olds.  I will say that after getting my license, it opened up a whole new hobby for me that I have enjoyed, espically after upgrading to General class(with morse code back then!) and being able to talk to people around the world on the HF bands.   A good 2m Ham radio is a great way to stay in touch with others in a railfan group as well.  No trying to see a phone screen to text in bright sun light or have a phone glued to ones ear to stay in contact.  The fact that one can get most police radio on their cell phones really makes the law outdated and it needs to be removed from the books.  Besides, if a crook is gonna break the law, why would he worry about breaking the law about carrying a police scanner?   73's    Mike   N9XLZ