Legality of P25 on Ham Bands

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Legality of P25 on Ham Bands

Post by KD8CPP » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:28 pm

I know this has been brought up a million times, but I was wondering if anyone had an actual reference from the FCC or other credible source that P25 without encryption is legal. A friend of mine and I got into a debate over it being legal or not, and he says even though there are repeaters out there, the FCC will eventually shut them down. He thinks p25 scrambles your voice, and since you can't tune into it on a analog reciever, it is illegal. I told him to get a clue about packet and Dstar, but he says that packet is just data, and Dstar is ment for Ham, so it is legal.

I just want to prove him wrong.

Thanks :baby:
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Post by tvsjr » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:57 pm

Fucking hammies.

I can't count the number of times I've been at a hamfest to hear "OMGWTFBBQ!!!1oneonetilde!!! You can't do that!!! It's ENCRYPTED!!!"

47 CFR 97.305 states what general emission types are allowed in which bands. You're concerned with the ones that say phone (you can't play P25 in a RTTY/image/data-only subband as the allowable digital codes are specifically enumerated and P25 isn't included).

47 CFR 97.3c5 defines phone emissions as:

Code: Select all

(5) Phone. Speech and other sound
emissions having designators with A,
C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol;
1, 2 or 3 as the second symbol; E as
the third symbol. Also speech emissions
having B as the first symbol; 7, 8
or 9 as the second symbol; E as the
third symbol. MCW for the purpose of
performing the station identification
procedure, or for providing telegraphy
practice interspersed with speech. Incidental
tones for the purpose of selective
calling or alerting or to control
the level of a demodulated signal may
also be considered phone.
I always see P25 licensed as F1E or F2E, which would fit in just fine with the above paragraph. The "incidental tones" would seem to allow MDC/MODAT/GEStar/etc. on analogue transmissions.

Now, based on this using the ASTRO IVD might possibly be an issue, because the transmission would be F1D during that period. However, DSTAR is also F1D... so, if they can do it, most likely you can too.

In short, tell him to eat a bag of dicks. I can't decode PSK31 - I don't have the hardware constructed to do so. He can't listen to P25 for similar reasons. Both can be rectified by buying the appropriate hardware. If he's too cheap... too bad.

In the grand scheme of things, the amateur bands exist for the purposes of experimentation. If you're not being a douchebag, burning up half a meg of bandwidth, running encrypted, etc... I highly doubt anyone's going to give a damn. Except some hammy with no life.

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Post by exkalibur » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:17 am

Rayjk110 wrote:For the past year or so, my "primary mode" on ham has been IMBE.
You forgot the mention of AES :)
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Post by K8TEK » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:24 am

CW is a digital mode, so what is the difference?
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Re: Legality of P25 on Ham Bands

Post by motorola_otaku » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:42 am

KD8CPP wrote:and Dstar is ment for Ham, so it is legal.
There. You just answered your own question.

Most of the flak P25 gets stems from the fact that it was originally intended for the public safety sector. In that same vein, that's why you don't see super-widespread use of commercial gear by end-users, or why you see Extra-class ops insisting that a Comet GP-whatever is superior to a Decibel DB-whatever for use as a repeater antenna, and so on. They can't or won't think outside of their little pre-ordained hammy boxes.
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Post by KC9UZB » Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:57 am

So far we've had no flak from operating P25 on our hammy band (in the UK)... I can only assume its because there's no-one listening...?

We have "our" frequency round here where we always chat on analogue, and I have no problems saying "just switch to P25/digital, mate" and letting anyone who's listening know what we're doing :D Never had an adverse comment.......Then again most of the hammies round here wouldn't know what P25 was if it leapt up and bit them in the ass. They barely understand how to run repeaters, nevermind anything else. [Except G4HFG, eh james? :p ]

I guess if we were on one of the well used "simplex" channels we have round here someone would take notice, but we pick a freq a little bit out of the way that most people wouldn't bother scanning or listening to. It's a double edged sword because I want more folks to take up P25, but it's also nice to know 99.9% of the people listening don't know WTF it is.

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Post by K2JLX » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:46 am

Its funny, I have had more problems running post MDC ID and misinformed hammies telling me you cant run "data"or "encryption" in the voice/phone area. IMBE doesn't seem to raise any eye brows on the hammy frequencies around me.. maybe thats because i'm not running mixed mode and cant hear the whining.

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He's a very knowledgeable person... when it comes to Slot machines ;D
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Post by motorola_otaku » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:19 pm

K2JLX wrote:Its funny, I have had more problems running post MDC ID and misinformed hammies telling me you cant run "data"or "encryption" in the voice/phone area.
[rant]

Unless you own the repeater or the owner is "friendly", why run ANI at all? You know it's just going to piss people off. I pay out the hamcrap-using sheep just as much as the next Moto-tard, but I also believe in leaving well enough alone.

[/rant]
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Post by KC9UZB » Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:12 am

*cough*

I run MDC just to piss the hammies off... I think it sounds sexay.
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Post by K2JLX » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:16 am

Me too, partly... but the major plus for me is I can see if one of my buddies is on frequency without having to have the radio volume up high, I can have my music in the car going and not miss a beat, hah!

As for running IMBE, there is a certain amount of pleasure in being on an analogue repeater with a buddy and saying lets switch over to Astro green secure, leaving the non-cluebees listening thinking ZOMGWTFBBQ!!1!

:baby:
Homophobe....... I'd hit it like a fucking screen door in a Goddamn tornado. When you get all old and sickly my round arsed friend, you will learn to take advantage of situations as they arise or do without. Does that make me a fag? Dunno.....don't care........but it means I am not going to do without....... -- FatherJack - 3/29/2012

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Post by Credicon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:14 am

K2JLX wrote:Me too, partly... but the major plus for me is I can see if one of my buddies is on frequency without having to have the radio volume up high, I can have my music in the car going and not miss a beat, hah!
Thats what I love about SoftIDs with the astros, I can have the volume down low, or be scanning a bunch of channels and don't have to listen for a callsign as long as I know the SoftID

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Post by KE7JFF » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:37 am

I seem to remember something about the ARRL on some subcommittee of APCO for the P25 standard....

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Post by exkalibur » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:56 pm

I've used MODAT on my work frequency before. Works real good to wake the other guy up at 3am :D
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Post by escomm » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:26 pm

Rayjk110 wrote:Shewwt.....

MDC1200 with max bit sync packets on pre


:baby:
you have officially achieved "fanboi that loves to see himself post" status

that's about 8 steps below AOL status fyi
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Post by n3jfw » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:28 pm

escomm wrote:
Rayjk110 wrote:Shewwt.....

MDC1200 with max bit sync packets on pre


:baby:
you have officially achieved "fanboi that loves to see himself post" status

that's about 8 steps below AOL status fyi
boi huh

you and mikey man......wtf
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(4:29:48 PM): so he's gay huh
(nameless ham) 4:30 pm
(4:30:02 PM): haha no, but he is a music major
N3JFW 4:30 pm
(4:30:15 PM): so he's still in the closet

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Post by mr.syntrx » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:37 pm

For what it's worth, ACMA (our FCC's) view is that it's not illegal by the letter of the law, but it's against the spirit of amateur radio because you can't get the specs for P25 without paying $$$$. (Well a government employee can get them for free, but everyone else has to pay.)

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Post by exkalibur » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:18 pm

mr.syntrx wrote:but it's against the spirit of amateur radio
My friend, the spirit of amateur radio was lost many years before P25 was even a tickle in someone's... well you get the picture.
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Post by escomm » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:33 am

n3jfw wrote:boi huh

you and mikey man......wtf
fanboi

reading is hard
I'd hit it so hard you'd have to be to King of England to pull me out

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Post by zlassiter » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:33 pm

exkalibur wrote:My friend, the spirit of amateur radio was lost many years before P25 was even a tickle in someone's...
That would of been the day the ARRL was founded

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Post by n3jfw » Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:53 pm

escomm wrote:
n3jfw wrote:boi huh

you and mikey man......wtf
fanboi

reading is hard
yes, it is
N3JFW 4:29 pm
(4:29:48 PM): so he's gay huh
(nameless ham) 4:30 pm
(4:30:02 PM): haha no, but he is a music major
N3JFW 4:30 pm
(4:30:15 PM): so he's still in the closet

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Post by WA4MJF » Sat Oct 13, 2007 3:27 pm

I could see where there would be confusion about encrpytion
if use use the words Green and Secure. The Green comes from
the light on secure equipment that indicates you are
encrypted, as opposed to Red light which means non-secure.

While P-25 is perfectly legal in the US on ham frequencies,
it probably is best not to indicate that you're going Green
or Secure, as most radios ops would take those terms to mean
encrypted, as that is the common meaning of those tersm in
communications speak. While you probably aren't, sometimes the
perception is what causes grief. I think if the FCC were
to be monitoring, it might make them want to inspect your
station to see what is going on.

73 de Ronnie :ham:

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Post by n3jfw » Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:57 pm

booo
N3JFW 4:29 pm
(4:29:48 PM): so he's gay huh
(nameless ham) 4:30 pm
(4:30:02 PM): haha no, but he is a music major
N3JFW 4:30 pm
(4:30:15 PM): so he's still in the closet

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Post by exkalibur » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:34 pm

Then again, if you are running encryption, nobody will know who you are anyway, so who gives a crap?
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Post by WA4MJF » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:09 am

Don't misunderestimate the ability of the FCC
engineers to track a signal to its source, many have
and been surprised. The encryption of the signal
won't keep folks from finding you, it only keeps them
from understanding you.

73 de Ronnie :ham:

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Post by exkalibur » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:42 am

True enough. That said, I really doubt the FCC is going to give a hoot about someone running encryption, providing they aren't causing a disturbance or being an idiot about it. If you're using an obscure simplex frequency and not bothering anybody, what reason would they have to DF you in the first place?
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Post by jdh » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:42 am

exkalibur wrote:Then again, if you are running encryption, nobody will know who you are anyway, so who gives a crap?
Do a web search for transmitter fingerprinting.

Yes "they" can find the transmitter making the illegal transmissions if "they" really want to.
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Post by KE7JFF » Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:03 pm

I would think if you were running a P25 ham repeater with encryption...then they would take notice.

But simplex time to time? Probably not.

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Post by KD8CPP » Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:18 pm

WA4MJF wrote:Don't misunderestimate the ability of the FCC
engineers to track a signal to its source, many have
and been surprised. The encryption of the signal
won't keep folks from finding you, it only keeps them
from understanding you.

73 de Ronnie :ham:
Oh yeah, we had a guy interferring with our fire repeater, and when we had him in a 20 mile radius, he was in the next county over, the fcc came in and nabbed him.

They will find you.
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Post by grinthock » Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:54 pm

I've had this argument more times than I can count here in Toronto.

I just tell them to go away and stop interfearing with my conversation -- which is infact illegal. They have made their point, now move on, if it bothers you -- file a complaint with Industry Canada. When the 1 inspector for all of Ontario is finished with the idiots interfering with Commercial stuff, radio stations and taking vacation, perhaps he might give a sh1t.
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