Securenet on Amateur radio - IT IS LEGAL!! If....

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radiobug
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Securenet on Amateur radio - IT IS LEGAL!! If....

Post by radiobug »

I asked the FCC if you could use digital "encrypted" transmissions on ham radio as long as you ID'd in clear mode, AND, make the key available to anyone who wants it -- thus making the purpose one of digital experimentation rather than one of intending to obscure the message. I suggested a website you could direct people to in clear mode where they could download a key. This was the answer.

------
The question you ask has been asked before. Section 97.113 prohibits amateur
stations from transmitting messages in codes and ciphers intended to obscure
the meaning of the message. If the code or cipher is publically available,
then transmitting messages in the code or cipher would not appear to be for
the intent of obscuring the meaning of the message.

William Cross
FCC
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nmfire10
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Post by nmfire10 »

I think there may be some differences in people's definition of "Publicly Available".
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sglass
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des

Post by sglass »

Yeah

but lets face it


run digital.....and if anyone bitches-tell them you are running a digital mode.
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Post by KitN1MCC »

Well it should be Legal. it is a Common Digital mode. Also Alinco has a Digital radio as well i dont think there is a standard yet plus you are experimenting

i think the motorola ham club has a Digital RPT in Dallas
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Post by N9LLO »

Do not confuse Digital with encryption. There really is no way an individual could make an encryption key generally avaliable to meet the intent of part 97. The digitally encrypted audio sucks anyway. Digital transmissions are quite legal by part 97 though. P25 and such are allowed since no encryption key is needed to decoce the transmission.

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Post by Pj »

In order to comply, you would have to annouce or have the key somewhat posted in an obvious manner. Would this be announced over the repeater every hour? Every ID?

This leads to the next question.... Some repeaters require a PL to access them, but may not annouce what PL is needed.

So looking at both above, how would one go about getting the key in a timely manner? I agree that the encypted transmissions would be ok under amature rules, however I don't think it fits in the spirt of amature radio. Not too many hams on a day to day basis dicuss building encyption boards and cyphiers. Now I am not the world's biggest ham radio operator, but that's where I stand. Would I try it out and use it? Sure, why not. But with encyption on public service spectrum tends to have many ask questions and create an air of suspicion.

My .25 cents!
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Post by n9upc »

OK here is my take on it along with some other hams and non-hams alike. The $25,000.00 is why would you want to run or use Motorola encryption on the ham bands anyway. What purpose would it serve?????

Encryption be it digital or analog/digital hybrid was used so that you may have a secure way of communicating. Also with encryption you get a really reduced range in communication. It is a well know fact that any Motorola encryption, Transcrypt, etc... encryption out there is limited in range. So why limit the range of your communication as well as why use it.

But as for the FCC rules yes that is the loop hole in it and I have argued this point for amny many years myself that DVP, DES, DVI, Speech INversion is all just a different format of communicating. Just like RTTY, Packet, etc.... The part that has always gotten to be sticky is the following: You commonly see encryption run with voice all though some is starting to go with data now, but you already have a format: voice. So why run a dual layered format. But now on the flip side you could say well there is analog voice as well as digital voice and thus is your loophole.
(Please note this is thoughts and ideals expressed to me and are not mine)

I run digital/analog Transcrypt voice/speech inversion, and when you listen to it on another radio it almost sounds like someone talking in USB (Upper Side Band) and you are off freq of them trying to monitor them in LSB (Lower Side Band). It just sounds like they are off freq and mode to a large degree.

I think the only problem is this: If a person was to ID with there Key or code everytime they transmit it would be legal, also if you ID'ed on the repeater with the key you would be ok. But to have some old timers or people who do not have the means or funds to get encryption would raise a fight in regards to it. Also if someone is talking in digital (encrypted) and someone replies back in clear as the radio would decode it and you would not know could also cause some heat or friction in the area where the communications are taking place.

The only pure concrete way of doing this would be to setup a closed repeater and ID what the repeater is for as well as the key so if anyone wants to jump on and play they can.


Sorry if this got to be a rant but it is just my opinion!
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Post by radiobug »

why do it? why not? Just something else motorola-y to play with!
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Post by ExKa|iBuR »

With the PL tone arguement...

Most radios (ham anyway) come with a PL/DPL searcher, meaning, they can automatically scan for the correct PL/DPL. I don't think such a thing exsists for encryption keys (If it did, man..i want one!).

Secondly, I know it's not legal, but REALISTICALLY, if you ran 128 bit encryption, who's going to know? They'd have no way of identifiying you.


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Encryption in Canada For HAM "NO"

Post by Susan157 »

:wink:

On the amatuer bands in Canada it is illegal
to operate with ENCRYPTION.

As far as the comment of "NORTHYORK20"
about who cares about this, that they can not find you.
When you see the next BLUE Industry Canada
vehicle, "LOOK" They can find you very fast.

You may see wall to wall equipment
and just the drivers seat.
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sglass
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hmm

Post by sglass »

big brother is watching

there are lots of things that are illegal in canada that we can do here

I have a couple safes of things you can't have in Canda.

I would not run des/dvp/etc on a repeater unles it were my own. It's simply a matter of courtesy to the trustee. Simplex? Sure-why the heck not?

It kinda bothers me when people try to force non existing laws on ourselves.


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ricciticcitembo
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Re: hmm

Post by ricciticcitembo »

Everything is Illegal in New Jersey too.
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Post by ExKa|iBuR »

I'm aware of IC cars, I've been in one before...

They didn't have the technology to monitor APCO digital until about a year ago, so I highly doubt they can crack encryption.


M
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WE have both seen IC vehicles.

Post by Susan157 »

:wink:
Most of the equipment has been explained to us.

10 receivers go all at the time and record the time
events of the transmitting radios.So they do not
need to read encryption just know that it is there.
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Post by n9upc »

Well asking the question once again: "Why and for what reason would you want to use encryption on the ham bands????"

I DO agree with you 100% that it is legal. Like I stated it is like for data there is packet, PSK, RTTY, etc... so this could be a different mode of voice.

But what would the purpose be??? On simplex and a repeater range will be effected if you use encryption. There are some other forms which sound nothing more then Digital Signal Processed and off freq and they have a little bit of better range.

But once again why use it and for what??? Just for fun???? Just interested to know/understand logic for the need or reason to use it.
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Post by radiobug »

yep. just for fun. Just to play with something else. Just to do things no one else (around here, anyway) is doing. Would be happy to get other local hams interested in moto stuff, maybe if they hear us playing they'll ask!
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Post by wazzzzzzzzup »

wanted to clarify, several people have posted about using pl or dpl with encryption loke DES OR DVP and thier variants......when you are running any of those digital modes, you are not putting out a pl or dpl, it is just CSQ. as for being is secure mode when someone transmits in clear on the same channel, motorola radios that are in CSQ mode will switch to clear, or the analog pl that is in the radio . that is true with motorola radios. hope that clears up some stuff.
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Post by ExKa|iBuR »

Well, what you could do...

Identify "in the clear", and when you identify, give out the key in the clear, then switch to secure.

Can't say it's not publicly available then :D

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no way!

Post by Jim2121 »

My daughter took her tech-no code & that was a test question! And you (if you recall) have to sign your test, & other doc's....
no encryption allowed on amature bandplan!
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Post by k4wtf »

Um Guys... On the PL/DPL scanner thing, it is perfectly possible to have the repeater block the PL/DPL on the output while still requiring it to key the repeater.

Makes it MUCH more difficult to "scan" for the proper code. You have to switch to the input AND be within simplex range of someone keying the repeater.

As for why run DES or DVP? How about "because we can"? Why do people run SSTV, RTTY, HF digital modes or packet?

Some of you have mentioned the range limiting factor of running DES/DVP. That is granted. At the same time, running AM vs SSB is inefficient and requires more power to achieve the same range. Take a listen to 75M and 40M some night though and you'll hear many folks who run AM. Why? Because they want to. They enjoy it.

I don't have any problem announcing which key I'm using in the clear.

OK folks. Today, we're going to run Motorola DES-XL using key "A1 C7 4D 81 D6 F9....."

Someone has made the arguement that not all hams have the money or other resource to buy the equipment required to receive a DES/DVP signal. Well, that's their problem. I don't have the money to set up a huge array for moon bounce SSB experiements but that doesn't mean it should be illegal for someone to try it.

A lot of people don't have the proper equipment to decode APRS packets but, that doesn't make it illegal for me to operate APRS.

So, it boils down to this: if the FCC says I can do it, I can do it. As for why I would want to do it, WHY NOT?

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Cam
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Post by Cam »

One year later...
:lol:
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Re: no way!

Post by ExKa|iBuR »

Jim;

It's totally legal. Do you not read posts before you reply?

As long as you transmit the key in the clear, go nuts.

Just because most hams do not have the ability to decrypt, even WITH the key does not make it illegal.

I wonder what the legaility is of identifying the key, in analog, in the clear on another frequency saying "today on 146.570, we're using Motorola DES-OFB key A1 B2 C3 D4"...

-Mike

Jim2121 wrote:My daughter took her tech-no code & that was a test question! And you (if you recall) have to sign your test, & other doc's....
no encryption allowed on amature bandplan!
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Encryption on amateur frequencies

Post by bradlington »

Hi

I am also doing some experimenting with namely VSB and rolling code. and have had some really wierd comments or none at all.I run most of the repeaters in my club so I do not find much resistance-I have been running 5-tone on my radios for years . Most hams are not with the encryption thing and do not see the challenge.I find it one of the most interesting sides of the experimenting side.

I do see a future on Celp vocoders on our bands and who knows perhaps digtal/analog capible repeaters as in commercial.

Agree with the public key and we should be way up front with encryption and not far behind as is the case we find ourselves.

Brad
Bradley ZS5WT now ZS5BG

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CTCSS/DCS != encryption,

Post by Wowbagger »

Several posts have said (in effect) "What about PL? Isn't that encryption?"

No.

PL (CTCSS) and DPL (DCS) are NOT encryption - they are access control. If you are transmitting and using CTCSS to control the repeater, I can still monitor your conversation (unless I am a clueless FRSer who doesn't understand what the "monitor" button does).

However, I would raise the question of "What is the point of encryption if you must make the key available?"

As I see it, the only reasons to transmit a nominally encrypted signal with a publicly available key would be:
1) Because the low-level protocol requires it. However, I know that APCO-25 does not require any encryption, and I would think that Securenet DVP would allow a non-encrypted (vocoding alone is NOT encryption) mode. (I've looked a bit at Securenet but I've not implemented it, so I won't commit to anything.)
2) To authenticate the sender - in theory, if you used an asymmetric cypher like RSA, you could publish the public key, but not the private key, and thus "prove" that this message was sent by N0YKG since it can only be decoded with N0YKG's public key. However, the cost of asymmetric cyphers is HUGE compared to symmetric cyphers of similar strength - I cannot see putting that kind of CPU horsepower into an amatuer mobile just to authenticate a user.

So, help me understand the use-case for this - why would you WANT to do this? If it is "just because", then I would submit that there are better things to play with, such as using speex instead of AMBE/IMBE.
This is my opinion, not Aeroflex's.

I WILL NOT give you proprietary information. I make too much money to jeopardize my job.

I AM NOT the Service department: You want official info, manuals, service info, parts, calibration, etc., contact Aeroflex directly, please.
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Post by phrawg »

WAKE UP PEOPLE AND THINK. DIGITAL IS not encription. Digital is digital is digital. PERIOD. If you know the algorithim that creates the bits of data then you can recover the analog
that the digital represents. NOTICE ! I did not say KEY. I said algorithim.
Listen up now.... so far we have ENCRYPTED NOTHING. We have only
changed analog voice to digital format with an open algorithim and back again. NOTHING ILLEGAL HERE.

Now.... If I apply another process to the data stream being transmitted
which re-arranges the data bits so that the algorithim cannot re-assemble them, ... are you ready ? .... NOW it is encrypted. Just digitizing
a signal is not encrypting.

Think about it. That cd you listen to is a digital data stream being converted to analog audio by a standard algorithim. It is NOT
ENCRYPTED.

Sorry to sound like a PO'd super rant but after reading many of the posts in this thread I just don't think people are getting it ! Please study up
on whats really happening. Just because you have no cd player and cant get the sound off of that cd in your hand , does not mean the cd has
encryption. It is just digital storage. Get a cd player (just like putting your radio in "un-encrypted digital mode" and viola you have music.

I hope maybe this will help some folks to comprehend the real picture here. Phrawg[/b]
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Post by jnglmassiv »

Put it this way....

What's the difference between IDing in clear analog:
"W9xxx..going to be switching to VSELP for a few..join in if you can!"

and

"W9xxx..going to be using DES Securenet key xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx..join in if you can!"

In terms of equipment availability, I'll bet waaaay more people on this board could join in if it was Securenet than if it was an outdated Astro mode. And either way, specialized equipment is going to be needed.
Last edited by jnglmassiv on Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by k4wtf »

jnglmassiv wrote:Put it this way....

What's the difference between IDing in clear analog:
"W9xxx..going to be switching to VSELP for a few..join in if you can!"

and

"W9xxx..going to be using DES Securenet key xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx..join in if you can!"
Nothing. Both are going to be illegal for me. ;) I'd have to say "K4WTF is going to be using DES Securenet key xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx..join in if you can!"

I might even throw in: "I have /\/\otorola securenet capable radios that I'll gladly sell to anyone who doesn't have DES securenet capability at this time..." ;)


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Post by ExKa|iBuR »

Of course, there IS the flipside here, although I'm not recommending it...

If you used DES-OFB, nobody would be able to tell who you are anyway, so it's not like the Spectrum Police could come knocking on your door...

-Mike
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Post by boomboy64 »

Mike, they don't need to know who you are... They just have to find the transmitter (think IC radio cars???). Fox hunting is a tedious process, but fun...
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Post by SlimBob »

On the other hand, if one does use a PKI system, it would be possible to restrict non-hams from the repeater/etc. The downside to this is that you'd still have to personally collect public keys -- much as the PGP folks still do (keyring signing and all).
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my .02

Post by batdude »

you guys are reading more into this than is required.

i don't give a damn what the yo-yo of the month at the FCC says.


running ENCRYPTED VOICE (insert your choice of algorithm) on the ham bands is not in the spirit of amateur radio. The rules say "codes and ciphers".... to me, that means ENCRYPTION. (period)

however,

for those of us who have amateur repeaters in service, the "option" of running secure is certainly a tempting one. Especially when trying to track down an illicit transmitter. Furthermore, it's rather gratifying to place an amateur repeater in service for the masses. For most of us, the monetary investment alone is considerable - and we just couldn't afford to "buy" a commercial channel these days to place a strictly-private secure business repeater in service.

simplex? IMHO - who cares! have a ball....many a moto/(god help them) MA/COM freaks at dayton run secure simplex in the ham band.

i will say tho...that running IMBE secure is 5000% better than any analog variant. Zippo degredation of the quality of the voice - no range issues... and it just sounds like IMBE data to someone on a scanner.... no more "white noise"... so unless mr. geeko scanner nut (the guy at dayton with 8 camera's and 10 scanners on his belt is my mental image here - you have ALL seen him) has some kind of BC IMBE scanner, no one is the wiser....of course, he scratches his head for hours wonder why his BC is displaying "P25 blink ENC blink P25 blink ENC...."


so, when I id.... it's


"BBBBBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPP"

even on the BC250d or 785/796

doug
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Post by scoggin »

I can give you a real-world reason why encryption is useful in amateur radio.

I am a member of an ARES group which supports a medical system in time of emergency. We are wrestling with the problem right now of how to transmit patient information from a disaster scene to the hospital. The new HIPAA act places all sorts of information protection requirements on the health care industry. If we were able to utilize standard encryption algorithms on the message traffic, the problem would be solved.

There are similar situations throughout the emergency management community today, where information may not be classified in the Federal sense, but it is still sensitive. EMAs frequently ask if we can handle secure traffic.

My 0.02.

john
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oNE sTEP FURTHER

Post by Big Towers »

How about Trunking, digital or not. Thinking about a UHF system!
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Post by nc5p »

I see nothing wrong with P25 or Provoice use in the amateur band, so long as it isn't encrypted. If you encrypt, even if you publish the key there is a strong reason to believe you are attempting to hide the content of your transmissions. I could see this if you are developing and testing encryption algorithims for educational purposes. Experimentation is a basic foundation of the amateur service. That would be justification on its own merit. But to simply use a commercially available one, there is little justification except to obscure the content. If you get some Astro radios and run P25 99% of the hams won't have a clue what you are doing anyway.

Doug
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Encryption in emergency situations.

Post by JustinMoon205 »

Utilizing encryption during an emergency situation is a good example of when we might need to use an encryption protocol on an amateur band. Passing emergency traffic to emergency management and other public officials during an emergency might be better passed in this manner, in order to minimize the public hearing the information and reacting in a manner that is not conducive to the operation at-large.

However, two things should be noted here. #1, HIPAA regulations do not apply during a state of federally declared emergency situation. And #2, the FCC rules authorize an amateur radio operator to use any frequency, any mode, and any means of communication available to them during an emergency situation where life or property are at risk.

Good thread tho. I have definately enjoyed reading this one!

-JM
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Post by MTS2000des »

Encryption has no place in the amateur radio service. Bottom line. As far as during an emergency, this has been discussed before, if someone's life or safety is truly at risk, the last thing on one's mind will be "is this transmission secure?"...seems like you would WANT anyone and everyone to hear it-

ergo,

if not, than maybe it doesn't belong on ham radio to begin with.

as far as HIPAA, etc is concerned, well, that is when OFFICAL stations (as mandated by government agencies through RACES) will and should use other mediums when duly authorized. Again, if all the chips are down, getting the message out IN THE CLEAR is what the rules for the amateur service state. during a bona fide comm failure, you will be glad to get anything to work. keep in mind encryption just adds a whole load of crap to deal with (key management, compaitibility between radios, etc). one of the things the amateur service provides is flexible, agile communications and communicators to get it through when your fancy P25 trunking systems bite the dust.

wanna play cop or I-spy, go be the real thing, get certfified, whatever..., and do it when and where you are supposed to. ham radio is not the time or the place for it.

(and to clarify, I am not talking about P25 without encryption or any clear mode digital voice, I am speaking of enctrypting a signal through any mode as to obscure the meaning, even if one uses codes and ciphers, as stipulated in part 97)
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Post by sglass »

off topic

but what's up with using the club call for your username?


do your messages represent the views of the club?
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Post by MTS2000des »

scoggin wrote:I can give you a real-world reason why encryption is useful in amateur radio.

I am a member of an ARES group which supports a medical system in time of emergency. We are wrestling with the problem right now of how to transmit patient information from a disaster scene to the hospital. The new HIPAA act places all sorts of information protection requirements on the health care industry. If we were able to utilize standard encryption algorithms on the message traffic, the problem would be solved.

There are similar situations throughout the emergency management community today, where information may not be classified in the Federal sense, but it is still sensitive. EMAs frequently ask if we can handle secure traffic.

My 0.02.

john
W3JKS/AAT3BF/AAM3O/AAA3DE/AAA9AC
Well John,

Not to stray too far, but this is one of the reasons why FEMA has been promoting the RACES system versus the ARRL's ARES. Bottom line: RACES is administered by and for the government agency which it serves, and thus, additional resources and training are made available to it's members to handle security sensitive information. RACES stations are authorized to operate during communications emergencies when activated by their gov't agency.

The ARES system is part of a private org (the ARRL) and doesn't mix well in the area of security sensitive situations, the ARRL doesn't like to deal with this, but it is reality. ARES has limited capability, because it is not under direct control of a government. RACES is a Federal program, provided to assist local and state government with managing radio amateur volunteer resources.

How does this address the need for secure communications? Well, RACES officers, being that they operate under the authority of the government they serve, have access to more resources (county/state radio systems, etc) and may benefit from certifications from the state or county in which they serve. The fact is that governments call on those who are certified to serve them, and not an outside party, and are trained by them, not an outside party.

In coming years, you will see governments scrutinizing volunteers more, doing intensive background checks, requiring certfiications and training at more official levels...and quite frankly, they should. an EOC/EMA or any incident scene is no place for someone who is not trained or cerfified to be there. RACES is one way to do this for amatuer radio operators, but it is clear that ham radio will not be the preferred method of passing secure or sensitive traffic. It is not the place for it.

Welcome to life in the new era post 9/11.

My thoughts.
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MTS2000des
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Post by MTS2000des »

sglass wrote:off topic

but what's up with using the club call for your username?


do your messages represent the views of the club?
well seth, yes! I am on the board of directors, and we have a total of seven members. we exist because we do things different around here, we train, certify with those we wish to serve....so yes, they do represent the views of the club. i know you are not in the atl area, but if by chance you are, look us up on 145.49 PL 67.0 or 444.5 PL 110.9....we have on air discussions and training similar to this regularly. pm me for details if you wish...
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sglass
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Post by sglass »

so I thought about this last night


our goals as hams is to provide communications when needed.

by no means are we intended to provide secure communications

anyone one ever done a public service thingy and had a cop you were paired with refer to you as his radio?

that's our goal
to provide communications

if it needs to be secure-that's fine
the agency providing it may have the equipment


or maybe the particular races/ares organization has a couple racks of astro saber3's and are authorized on several commercial freqs



on another note-why couldn't such a group apply for a commercial license for public safety freq with digital encryption?


I still think the use of it would eb fine, if the intention was not to code or cypher a transmission-but more to experiment


heck-anyone near em want to play with des or uhf or vhf tonight? I'm game

the thing is, we (the motorola geeks) are not like most hams. MOst peopel won't spend 600 bucks on a portable to have imbe

I did, becuase I wanted it-heck most of my sabers are secure-with modules and keys loaded. But who would I talk to? myself?
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Cam
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Post by Cam »

sglass wrote:so I thought about this last night


our goals as hams is to provide communications when needed.

by no means are we intended to provide secure communications

anyone one ever done a public service thingy and had a cop you were paired with refer to you as his radio?

that's our goal
to provide communications

if it needs to be secure-that's fine
the agency providing it may have the equipment


or maybe the particular races/ares organization has a couple racks of astro saber3's and are authorized on several commercial freqs



on another note-why couldn't such a group apply for a commercial license for public safety freq with digital encryption?


I still think the use of it would eb fine, if the intention was not to code or cypher a transmission-but more to experiment


heck-anyone near em want to play with des or uhf or vhf tonight? I'm game

the thing is, we (the motorola geeks) are not like most hams. MOst peopel won't spend 600 bucks on a portable to have imbe

I did, becuase I wanted it-heck most of my sabers are secure-with modules and keys loaded. But who would I talk to? myself?
Good point and then you can think about way you would never need the HAMs. I see the Public Service moving a way from using Hams in the years to come. About the only really use would be for HF, long distance communications and even that seem less likely. As many of you know, in most case it works much better to have the person who needs to communicate, do the talking. Just think about it, what would work better; having a Ham try and follow someone around or just give that person a radio? It's a no brainer.
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sglass
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Post by sglass »

thing is

playign radio weasel could distract him from his primary duties

this is where the radio geek comes into play
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nitornemo
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Post by nitornemo »

sglass wrote:
........heck most of my sabers are secure-with modules and keys loaded. But who would I talk to? myself?
What do you mean most?
You buy IN-secure sabers.....rookie :wink:

My 52 cents on this GREAT Thread....

1) IT IS NOT ILLEGAL...untill you get caught
2) Play with it all you want on the commerical/MURS/GMRS
(GirlyManRadioService)/FRS(?). But keep it off the HamGeek repeaters.
3) If you do get caught anywhere on someone's freq/repeater with out
auth. your in for some thumb screws. In todays world with homeland
security act in place and everybody reporting everything to the
KGB...errr FBI and local LEA someone will check into it.(has happened
to me, thanks to a peice of tin and an ID(as well as working for a shop
part time it never went beyond "Son...just what are you doing"
4) Hmmmm...there was more I was going to post but I just lost synap
control.


BTW...anyone have a license for a "Secure" repeater? (other than a Public Safety one)
Image For That Chewy-Gooey Tasting Radio system!
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Cam
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Post by Cam »

nitornemo wrote:
sglass wrote:
........heck most of my sabers are secure-with modules and keys loaded. But who would I talk to? myself?
What do you mean most?

2) Play with it all you want on the commerical/MURS/GMRS
(GirlyManRadioService)/FRS(?).
It's a no-no on GMRS, not sure on MURS. Your fine on commerical.







BTW...anyone have a license for a "Secure" repeater? (other than a Public Safety one)
You don't need one.
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nc5p
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Post by nc5p »

Amateurs MUST be prepared to perform more services than just talk on radios. The ARRL stated that fact several years ago in QST. An excellent example are the tornado spotters. There are also many search and rescue members who are hams. The ham members have excellent communicaitons resources with which to work with, enhancing their value to the public safety agencies.

It is my personal opinion that is also the problem with MARS. We can talk on the radio and send messages but nothing else. There is, however, a group of MARS members who go to crash sites out in Nevada. They do perform additional services of securing the site and reporting back before the officials arrive on scene.

Amateurs need to acquire additional skills such as mountain climbing, scuba diving, horsemanship, flying, medical, etc. in order to develop a true usefulness to our "customers". The flying skill was mentioned because I am thinking of the highly successful Civil Air Patrol organization. There are many hams who are members of CAP. CAP is so valuable to the government that they bought them a whole bunch of Quantar repeaters and P-25 radios worth millions of dollars.

One area of local service I can think of is patrolling the Bosque (woods along the river). They had a need for that last summer when the closed the area due to fires being set. A lot of law enforcement overtime was spent along with national guard to perform a function that could have been augmented with amateur radio operator volunteers. If the hams had mountain bikes and horses at their disposal, that would have been a big asset to the community. Hams should never become "hired guns" but we can observe and report to the real cops when we see something that isn't right. I would also like to see MARS involved in this as we have the ability to communicate directly with the National Guard on military frequencies.

Doug
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nmfire10
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Post by nmfire10 »

And what do you think the criminal is going to do when he sees you unarmed trotting along calling him in to the police?
"I'll eat you like a plate of bacon and eggs in the morning. "
- Some loser on rr.com

eBay at it's finest:
Me: "What exactly is a 900Mhz UHF CB?"
Them: "A very nice CB at 900Mhz speed!"

:-?
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nc5p
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Post by nc5p »

And what do you think the criminal is going to do when he sees you unarmed trotting along calling him in to the police?
He might catch you if you're trotting but not if you're gallupping!
These are kids playing with matches, not Al Queda terrorists. I'm not afraid of them. What do you think neighborhood watch programs are? We would NOT be there to confront anyone, just observe. Besides, I believe they did use volunteers during the closures, just not ham operators. They were probably carrying their handy dandy do it all cell phones. I envision hams riding mountain bikes and horses with instant contact to the command post. Rangers summoned if anybody is seen in there.

Doug
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MTS2000des
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Post by MTS2000des »

nc5p wrote:Amateurs MUST be prepared to perform more services than just talk on radios. The ARRL stated that fact several years ago in QST. An excellent example are the tornado spotters. There are also many search and rescue members who are hams. The ham members have excellent communicaitons resources with which to work with, enhancing their value to the public safety agencies.

It is my personal opinion that is also the problem with MARS. We can talk on the radio and send messages but nothing else. There is, however, a group of MARS members who go to crash sites out in Nevada. They do perform additional services of securing the site and reporting back before the officials arrive on scene.

Amateurs need to acquire additional skills such as mountain climbing, scuba diving, horsemanship, flying, medical, etc. in order to develop a true usefulness to our "customers". The flying skill was mentioned because I am thinking of the highly successful Civil Air Patrol organization. There are many hams who are members of CAP. CAP is so valuable to the government that they bought them a whole bunch of Quantar repeaters and P-25 radios worth millions of dollars.

One area of local service I can think of is patrolling the Bosque (woods along the river). They had a need for that last summer when the closed the area due to fires being set. A lot of law enforcement overtime was spent along with national guard to perform a function that could have been augmented with amateur radio operator volunteers. If the hams had mountain bikes and horses at their disposal, that would have been a big asset to the community. Hams should never become "hired guns" but we can observe and report to the real cops when we see something that isn't right. I would also like to see MARS involved in this as we have the ability to communicate directly with the National Guard on military frequencies.

Doug
That is true, but many amateurs are not serious about volunteering to do the work nedded to become certified in anything else but talking on a radio, hence, why amateurs aren't utilized more as a volunteer resource except when "all else fails" and then, only for non-critical areas.

So long as the ARRL insists on being in control of amateur volunteer resources, you can rest assured it won't change. Government agencies aren't going to allow outsiders to "run things" and deal with people who aren't trained and certified by the folks who do their training. They would soon do without than to allow untrained civilians to have any responsibility or authority during any incident.

It is a task to get 20 people to come out and volunteer for a simple walk-a-thon...then you get those who whine and complain about standing around in the sun (yet these same folks will be up before the crack of dawn to go to that hamfest or swap meet, and walk 20 miles in dirt). Many people shy away from volunteering because they lack the proper training (CPR, First Aid, AED, etc) to be effective. Any club or organization that is serious about community service should start offering recognized courses (not their own) to it's members. But again, many aren't serious about actually doing the work.

Like the "play cops" that like to tote their "police" radios, have their "lights" and other gear on their "bustomobile" but won't bother to go get certified and join a reserve program. You see, that takes work, dedication, and commitment...and most folks just are not that serious...so they just "play"....
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Post by nmfire10 »

nc5p wrote: I envision hams riding mountain bikes and horses with instant contact to the command post. Rangers summoned if anybody is seen in there.
And I envision you getting shot for some reason.
"I'll eat you like a plate of bacon and eggs in the morning. "
- Some loser on rr.com

eBay at it's finest:
Me: "What exactly is a 900Mhz UHF CB?"
Them: "A very nice CB at 900Mhz speed!"

:-?
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nc5p
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Post by nc5p »

And I envision you getting shot for some reason
I now see the wisdom in Mayor Chavez banning "COPS" from filming in Albuquerque. The whole country thinks this city is more dangerous than Bagdad.
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