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(Wired)   Cypherpunks are accessing Bitcoin via ham radio, mainly because their coconut transmitters from Gilligan.com are on backorder   (wired.com) divider line
    More: Silly, Internet, Mesh networking, Internet access, Wireless mesh network, Brian Goss, blockchain software company, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, radio device  
•       •       •

725 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Jun 2019 at 9:03 AM (39 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



34 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2019-06-27 08:44:34 AM  
Ham radio is not as good as bacon radio.
 
2019-06-27 08:58:33 AM  
so, you're saying my life savings are safe?

*phew*
 
2019-06-27 09:18:40 AM  
If they actually used ham radio (which I'm skeptical of because TFA is very weak on actual details), it was illegal for three different reasons.

1.  It's illegal to send encrypted information over ham radio, with very limited exception allowed for controlling ham radio satellites.  Bitcoin transactions are by their very nature encrypted.

2.  It's illegal to use ham radio for any economic reasons.

3.  It's illegal to use ham radio for things that could be reasonably accomplished using other services.


§97.113   Prohibited transmissions.

(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

(1) Communications specifically prohibited elsewhere in this part;


(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise provided in these rules;

(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:

(i) A station licensee or station control operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

(ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.

(iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.

(iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.

(4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere in this section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act; messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification.

(5) Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be furnished alternatively through other radio services.
 
2019-06-27 10:16:16 AM  
Ditty, while all of those are definate part 97 violations, I sadly don't beleive that the FCC will do much about it. Seeing as we live in a time where rules don't apply to big people and little people breaking the little laws don't matter unless you're not white.

And add in the ineptitude of the current FCC, we're lucky local repeaters aren't completely overran except for the vigilence of local operators.
 
2019-06-27 10:21:55 AM  

logieal: Ditty, while all of those are definate part 97 violations, I sadly don't beleive that the FCC will do much about it. Seeing as we live in a time where rules don't apply to big people and little people breaking the little laws don't matter unless you're not white.

And add in the ineptitude of the current FCC, we're lucky local repeaters aren't completely overran except for the vigilence of local operators.


^ This right here.  Those silly laws are for little people now.  Anyone with money can ignore them and hire lawyers to address the consequences.
 
2019-06-27 10:27:20 AM  
Nobody with that last name near the stated location on the ARRL/FCC license user database.
 
2019-06-27 10:42:30 AM  

evilskinnybroad: Nobody with that last name near the stated location on the ARRL/FCC license user database.

"This is why you hire someone to install DirectTV," says Elaine Ou, a blockchain engineer who set up a receiver, with no small effort, at her Bay Area home.
...
Recalling the difficulty the Soviets had jamming American radio transmissions, she and her colleague Nick Szabo, a well-known digital currency researcher, devised a plan to bypass the Great Firewall by sending bitcoin transactions via ham radio.
...
But in March, Ou was able to test out the concept, sending a Lightning payment over the airwaves to an engineer in Toronto.


There is an Elaine Ou who is a General class amateur radio operator who lives in San Gabriel, CA.  San Gabriel, however, is Hell and gone from the Bay Area.  Of course, she could have moved and not updated her FCC records yet.

I won't link to the QRZ page, but you should be able to find her.
 
2019-06-27 10:54:23 AM  

logieal: Ditty, while all of those are definate part 97 violations, I sadly don't beleive that the FCC will do much about it. Seeing as we live in a time where rules don't apply to big people and little people breaking the little laws don't matter unless you're not white.

And add in the ineptitude of the current FCC, we're lucky local repeaters aren't completely overran except for the vigilence of local operators.


The FCC isn't very interested in ham radio because we are supposed to be largely "self policing", and for the most part, we are.   If this was something that was more than a one-off thing, and it was brought to the attention of the FCC, I'm pretty sure they'd do something about it.  Maybe not as quickly as we might like, but eventually.  They do enforce the rules against the most egregious violators, after all.

https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-b​u​siness/alleged-interference-nets-ham-r​adio-operator-18000-proposed-forfeitur​e

BTW, ham radio operator?  I keep the unofficial Fark.com ham radio operator list.
 
2019-06-27 10:57:34 AM  
Is a Mac even a good transmitter?  People were shelling out over 1000 bucks for my father in laws transmitters we inherited, an old Kenwood and a Jupiter that was at least 7 years old when I sold it.  Can a regular home computer do the job just as well?

I got a B license back a long time ago, but remember next to nothing about it.
 
2019-06-27 11:01:27 AM  

vesalius: Is a Mac even a good transmitter?  People were shelling out over 1000 bucks for my father in laws transmitters we inherited, an old Kenwood and a Jupiter that was at least 7 years old when I sold it.  Can a regular home computer do the job just as well?

I got a B license back a long time ago, but remember next to nothing about it.


You connect the sound card in the computer to the radio with special cables (I built mine, but you can buy them), and you use software that translates digital information into sound for transmission over the radio.
 
2019-06-27 11:04:39 AM  

dittybopper: evilskinnybroad: Nobody with that last name near the stated location on the ARRL/FCC license user database.

"This is why you hire someone to install DirectTV," says Elaine Ou, a blockchain engineer who set up a receiver, with no small effort, at her Bay Area home.
...
Recalling the difficulty the Soviets had jamming American radio transmissions, she and her colleague Nick Szabo, a well-known digital currency researcher, devised a plan to bypass the Great Firewall by sending bitcoin transactions via ham radio.
...
But in March, Ou was able to test out the concept, sending a Lightning payment over the airwaves to an engineer in Toronto.

There is an Elaine Ou who is a General class amateur radio operator who lives in San Gabriel, CA.  San Gabriel, however, is Hell and gone from the Bay Area.  Of course, she could have moved and not updated her FCC records yet.

I won't link to the QRZ page, but you should be able to find her.


Other than this particular citation (China/Canada), none of the rest sounds like amateur radio frequencies were necessary.  The guy in Kingman was receiving transmissions from leased "space" on a commercial satellite and his re-broadcasting sounded like it could be WiFi in unlicensed spectrum/rules.
 
2019-06-27 11:10:23 AM  

SansNeural: Other than this particular citation (China/Canada), none of the rest sounds like amateur radio frequencies were necessary.  The guy in Kingman was receiving transmissions from leased "space" on a commercial satellite and his re-broadcasting sounded like it could be WiFi in unlicensed spectrum/rules.


Yeah, that's why I was rather skeptical, because it is light on details.  Doesn't describe a mode or modulation or band.

But it is possible to send a digital file over the air on the HF bands, I've done it myself a number of times, and Ms. Ou is a licensed amateur radio operator.   They don't mention the name of the engineer in Toronto, but from a technical standpoint he doesn't have to be licensed, though that would then violate the Part 97 prohibition on one-way transmissions.
 
2019-06-27 11:27:36 AM  
Also, one of the problems with sending Bitcoin to China using ham radio to get past the Great Firewall is that amateur radio is very rare in the PRC.

According to this website:
http://www.n0hr.com/ham_radio_populat​i​on.htm

there are just 800 amateur radio operators licensed in China, out of a population of 1.4 billion people.  The US, by comparison, has over 758,000 licensed ham operators. There is a discrepancy between the two regarding US numbers, so the China number might be a bit low, but I'd be surprised if it's over 1,000.   I've been a ham for a long time, and worked a number of Japan stations, but can't remember ever working one from China.

The licensing is strict there, also, and its easier to get an "operators license" in order to use a club station than it is to get a (separate) license for a home station.   Plus, the equipment tends to be more expensive comparatively, and China never really had a significant number of amateur radio operators.

So transmitting Bitcoin via ham radio in order to bypass the "Great Firewall" is a pipe dream at best.
 
2019-06-27 11:30:32 AM  

dittybopper: I've been a ham for a long time, and worked a number of Japan stations, but can't remember ever working one from China.


I did get excited once, copying a BY7 callsign, but it turns out it was a 6Y7 (Jamaica) station who was sending his callsign poorly.
 
2019-06-27 12:24:40 PM  

dittybopper: SansNeural: Other than this particular citation (China/Canada), none of the rest sounds like amateur radio frequencies were necessary.  The guy in Kingman was receiving transmissions from leased "space" on a commercial satellite and his re-broadcasting sounded like it could be WiFi in unlicensed spectrum/rules.

Yeah, that's why I was rather skeptical, because it is light on details.  Doesn't describe a mode or modulation or band.

But it is possible to send a digital file over the air on the HF bands, I've done it myself a number of times, and Ms. Ou is a licensed amateur radio operator.   They don't mention the name of the engineer in Toronto, but from a technical standpoint he doesn't have to be licensed, though that would then violate the Part 97 prohibition on one-way transmissions.


It just occurred to me that what the Kingman guy is doing sounds just like "Outernet" (now changed to Othernet for trademark reasons).  Sending and receiving cached blocks of "Web" data via satellite using Software Defined Radios and rebroadcasting the data via WiFi hotspots.

Othernet interested me partly because it has some aspects of the amateur radio spirit, but has a sort of subversive aspect that is not legally compatible.  But mostly it caught my eye for its use of SDR.
 
2019-06-27 12:43:24 PM  

dittybopper: logieal: Ditty, while all of those are definate part 97 violations, I sadly don't beleive that the FCC will do much about it. Seeing as we live in a time where rules don't apply to big people and little people breaking the little laws don't matter unless you're not white.

And add in the ineptitude of the current FCC, we're lucky local repeaters aren't completely overran except for the vigilence of local operators.

The FCC isn't very interested in ham radio because we are supposed to be largely "self policing", and for the most part, we are.   If this was something that was more than a one-off thing, and it was brought to the attention of the FCC, I'm pretty sure they'd do something about it.  Maybe not as quickly as we might like, but eventually.  They do enforce the rules against the most egregious violators, after all.

https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-bu​siness/alleged-interference-nets-ham-r​adio-operator-18000-proposed-forfeitur​e

BTW, ham radio operator?  I keep the unofficial Fark.com ham radio operator list.


True. Self-policing is a luxury that many don't have. I'm torn on my view of this. On the one hand, they are violating the rules. On the other, they're most likely not causing unwanted interference with other people, so they are less likely to draw the ire of other operators.

I see it kinda like people building mesh neworks or whatever. The connections between the points are digital and most likely encrypted, so they're technically in violation, but it's how the technology works and I don't see a way to do that and be completely compliant and do actual internet with security.

Yes, I'm an op, but new and really haven't been on the air. EIP.
 
2019-06-27 12:54:21 PM  

logieal: Yes, I'm an op, but new and really haven't been on the air. EIP.


After decades of intending to get a license, SW listening and playing in unlicensed stuff and WiFi point-to-point links (that *might* have technically violated unlicensed rules for ERP), I finally got my ticket a couple of years ago... and have done very little actual talking with it.

Other than hitting a couple of local repeaters, the most interesting to other hams I've done with my license is a micro-power repeater using an Arduino and two ridiculously tiny transceiver modules from China.  I'll eventually release all the docs for that effort as open-source.
 
2019-06-27 01:22:47 PM  

SansNeural: dittybopper: SansNeural: Other than this particular citation (China/Canada), none of the rest sounds like amateur radio frequencies were necessary.  The guy in Kingman was receiving transmissions from leased "space" on a commercial satellite and his re-broadcasting sounded like it could be WiFi in unlicensed spectrum/rules.

Yeah, that's why I was rather skeptical, because it is light on details.  Doesn't describe a mode or modulation or band.

But it is possible to send a digital file over the air on the HF bands, I've done it myself a number of times, and Ms. Ou is a licensed amateur radio operator.   They don't mention the name of the engineer in Toronto, but from a technical standpoint he doesn't have to be licensed, though that would then violate the Part 97 prohibition on one-way transmissions.

It just occurred to me that what the Kingman guy is doing sounds just like "Outernet" (now changed to Othernet for trademark reasons).  Sending and receiving cached blocks of "Web" data via satellite using Software Defined Radios and rebroadcasting the data via WiFi hotspots.

Othernet interested me partly because it has some aspects of the amateur radio spirit, but has a sort of subversive aspect that is not legally compatible.  But mostly it caught my eye for its use of SDR.


Damn. I didn't even think of them using some sort of SDR. You're right and that's most likely exactly what he's doing. (He's the one with no name in ARRL database)

CSB: Several years ago, I used a USB dongle and some parts from the geek store to turn my phone into a SDR ADS-B receiver for avgeeks. Finally upgraded to Raspberry Pi-based Stratux receiver last year that also picks up weather.
 
2019-06-27 02:05:55 PM  

evilskinnybroad: CSB: Several years ago, I used a USB dongle and some parts from the geek store to turn my phone into a SDR ADS-B receiver for avgeeks. Finally upgraded to Raspberry Pi-based Stratux receiver last year that also picks up weather.


Sweet!  I made a colinear antenna that I mounted directly to a FlightAware branded dongle with integrated 1090 MHz filter and preamp.  Stuck that in my attic and ran a long USB extender cable down to the closet in my "study" where I tested it with dump1090 on a headless netbook.  I'm on the north edge of Stillwater OK and picked up aircraft from Salina KS down to the Texas border.  Unfortunately that setup isn't stable enough to stay up by itself... either too hot in the attic or too long a run on the USB.  Maybe both... it locks up every few hours.
Here's a thing I got:  An MMDVM "hotspot".  Unfortunately I don't have a DMR transceiver to test it with :|
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-06-27 02:06:39 PM  

logieal: Yes, I'm an op, but new and really haven't been on the air. EIP.


Favorited as a ham.  You now show up in a nice green color to me, like all the other hams.
 
2019-06-27 02:13:37 PM  
I really have too many projects and spend too much time on Fark!

This Motorola branded FRS/GMRS radio uses the same, highly-integrated transceiver IC as in the tiny transceiver modules I mentioned upthread.  All tuning and functions controlled by microcontroller via serial port.  Plan for this one is to switch it to control by an Arduino "pro-mini" with a 4" touchscreen.  Bad news is I scraped a tiny, surface mount capacitor off the board when peeling off the can that covered the IC.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-06-27 02:24:50 PM  

SansNeural: Bad news is I scraped a tiny, surface mount capacitor off the board when peeling off the can that covered the IC.


The widespread use of those is why I don't do more surgery on radios.
 
2019-06-27 03:13:09 PM  

logieal: True. Self-policing is a luxury that many don't have. I'm torn on my view of this. On the one hand, they are violating the rules. On the other, they're most likely not causing unwanted interference with other people, so they are less likely to draw the ire of other operators.


In fact, most operators who come across their signal wouldn't know the difference between, say, some sort of digital data that's not a text file (like maybe a jpg or gif or some other format) but isn't encrypted, and a file that is.  Often, that kind of stuff isn't displayed in the software, and if you don't catch all the packets, there's no way to really know.   Not without going the extra mile, and who's going to bother?

So it's not like they are likely to get reported.  It's not like they're jamming up a repeater or 75 meters with obscenities or something.  Especially if it was a singular test that's not repeated.

I mean, if I scan around and I hear random code groups in the ham bands, I'm going to know something is up*.  I sit there an copy every dit out of habit, and probably report it.  But if I hear digital files being transferred?  I'll just keep spinnin' and grinnin'.


*I used to do that for a living.
 
2019-06-27 03:54:03 PM  

SansNeural: evilskinnybroad: CSB: Several years ago, I used a USB dongle and some parts from the geek store to turn my phone into a SDR ADS-B receiver for avgeeks. Finally upgraded to Raspberry Pi-based Stratux receiver last year that also picks up weather.

Sweet!  I made a colinear antenna that I mounted directly to a FlightAware branded dongle with integrated 1090 MHz filter and preamp.  Stuck that in my attic and ran a long USB extender cable down to the closet in my "study" where I tested it with dump1090 on a headless netbook.  I'm on the north edge of Stillwater OK and picked up aircraft from Salina KS down to the Texas border.  Unfortunately that setup isn't stable enough to stay up by itself... either too hot in the attic or too long a run on the USB.  Maybe both... it locks up every few hours.
Here's a thing I got:  An MMDVM "hotspot".  Unfortunately I don't have a DMR transceiver to test it with :|[Fark user image image 850x789]


Outstanding! I drooled at the idea of a collinear antenna (nooelec dongle) but the phone always ran super duper hot. Still have the same problem with the 1090/978 MHz SDRs in the Stratux unit, even with heat sinks and a fan built into the case. Flying without air conditioning in South Florida does that.
 
2019-06-27 06:14:33 PM  

evilskinnybroad: SansNeural: evilskinnybroad: CSB: Several years ago, I used a USB dongle and some parts from the geek store to turn my phone into a SDR ADS-B receiver for avgeeks. Finally upgraded to Raspberry Pi-based Stratux receiver last year that also picks up weather.

Sweet!  I made a colinear antenna that I mounted directly to a FlightAware branded dongle with integrated 1090 MHz filter and preamp.  Stuck that in my attic and ran a long USB extender cable down to the closet in my "study" where I tested it with dump1090 on a headless netbook.  I'm on the north edge of Stillwater OK and picked up aircraft from Salina KS down to the Texas border.  Unfortunately that setup isn't stable enough to stay up by itself... either too hot in the attic or too long a run on the USB.  Maybe both... it locks up every few hours.
Here's a thing I got:  An MMDVM "hotspot".  Unfortunately I don't have a DMR transceiver to test it with :|[Fark user image image 850x789]

Outstanding! I drooled at the idea of a collinear antenna (nooelec dongle) but the phone always ran super duper hot. Still have the same problem with the 1090/978 MHz SDRs in the Stratux unit, even with heat sinks and a fan built into the case. Flying without air conditioning in South Florida does that.


Here's the colinear that's up in the attic now.  First I made one out of coax, but I wasn't sure the velocity factor for the particular brand coax I had.  So later I made and tested with one using copper tubing and velocity factor of 1.0.  No discernible difference in number of aircraft copied.  Both antennas I made and tested were too floppy or weak to hold their own weight, so I stuffed them inside PVC tubing.  That probably screws the carefully designed-to velocity factor right there.

Anyway, picture of final antenna, unsheathed:

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-06-27 06:34:34 PM  

SansNeural: logieal: Yes, I'm an op, but new and really haven't been on the air. EIP.

After decades of intending to get a license, SW listening and playing in unlicensed stuff and WiFi point-to-point links (that *might* have technically violated unlicensed rules for ERP), I finally got my ticket a couple of years ago... and have done very little actual talking with it.

Other than hitting a couple of local repeaters, the most interesting to other hams I've done with my license is a micro-power repeater using an Arduino and two ridiculously tiny transceiver modules from China.  I'll eventually release all the docs for that effort as open-source.


Yeah, I've got so little time to devote to new hobbies. I want to get into SDR stuff, but just haven't had time.
 
2019-06-27 06:38:03 PM  

dittybopper: logieal: Yes, I'm an op, but new and really haven't been on the air. EIP.

Favorited as a ham.  You now show up in a nice green color to me, like all the other hams.


Awesome. I've had you favorited in a pretty blue for the smart ones for quite some time.
 
2019-06-27 07:23:28 PM  

SansNeural: evilskinnybroad: SansNeural: evilskinnybroad: CSB: Several years ago, I used a USB dongle and some parts from the geek store to turn my phone into a SDR ADS-B receiver for avgeeks. Finally upgraded to Raspberry Pi-based Stratux receiver last year that also picks up weather.

Sweet!  I made a colinear antenna that I mounted directly to a FlightAware branded dongle with integrated 1090 MHz filter and preamp.  Stuck that in my attic and ran a long USB extender cable down to the closet in my "study" where I tested it with dump1090 on a headless netbook.  I'm on the north edge of Stillwater OK and picked up aircraft from Salina KS down to the Texas border.  Unfortunately that setup isn't stable enough to stay up by itself... either too hot in the attic or too long a run on the USB.  Maybe both... it locks up every few hours.
Here's a thing I got:  An MMDVM "hotspot".  Unfortunately I don't have a DMR transceiver to test it with :|[Fark user image image 850x789]

Outstanding! I drooled at the idea of a collinear antenna (nooelec dongle) but the phone always ran super duper hot. Still have the same problem with the 1090/978 MHz SDRs in the Stratux unit, even with heat sinks and a fan built into the case. Flying without air conditioning in South Florida does that.

Here's the colinear that's up in the attic now.  First I made one out of coax, but I wasn't sure the velocity factor for the particular brand coax I had.  So later I made and tested with one using copper tubing and velocity factor of 1.0.  No discernible difference in number of aircraft copied.  Both antennas I made and tested were too floppy or weak to hold their own weight, so I stuffed them inside PVC tubing.  That probably screws the carefully designed-to velocity factor right there.

Anyway, picture of final antenna, unsheathed:

[Fark user image image 850x478]


Fascinating. I wonder how well a 978 MHz UAT collinear antenna that I could stick in a flight bag would work. Reception of 1090 from other aircraft isn't the problem--in the plane, I want the FIS-B wx information coming from ground stations when I'm over the Everglades at 3000' and the transmitter being in Ft Lauderdale is the issue.
 
2019-06-27 07:37:33 PM  

evilskinnybroad: I wonder how well a 978 MHz UAT collinear antenna that I could stick in a flight bag would work. Reception of 1090 from other aircraft isn't the problem--in the plane, I want the FIS-B wx information coming from ground stations when I'm over the Everglades at 3000' and the transmitter being in Ft Lauderdale is the issue.


Maybe a foldable antenna?  I got a nice Rhode and Schwarz signal at a govt surplus auction that only goes up to 1000 MHz, so I didn't bother using it to test my ADS-B antennas.  But 978 MHz?  Heck yeah!
 
2019-06-27 07:38:03 PM  
* signal generator
 
2019-06-27 07:38:12 PM  

Albert911emt: Ham radio is not as good as bacon radio.


Canadian bacon radio is neither ham nor bacon.
 
2019-06-28 02:33:49 AM  

dittybopper: If they actually used ham radio (which I'm skeptical of because TFA is very weak on actual details), it was illegal for three different reasons.

1.  It's illegal to send encrypted information over ham radio, with very limited exception allowed for controlling ham radio satellites.  Bitcoin transactions are by their very nature encrypted.

2.  It's illegal to use ham radio for any economic reasons.

3.  It's illegal to use ham radio for things that could be reasonably accomplished using other services.


§97.113   Prohibited transmissions.

(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

(1) Communications specifically prohibited elsewhere in this part;

(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise provided in these rules;

(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:

(i) A station licensee or station control operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

(ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.

(iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.

(iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.

(4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere in this section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act; messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification.

(5) Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be furnished alternatively through other radio services.


Huh? So it's illegal to use at all? Plenty of reasonable alternatives. Why talk on HAM, you've got email, VOIP, cell, Chaturbate, etc.
 
2019-06-28 02:39:51 AM  

SansNeural: evilskinnybroad: CSB: Several years ago, I used a USB dongle and some parts from the geek store to turn my phone into a SDR ADS-B receiver for avgeeks. Finally upgraded to Raspberry Pi-based Stratux receiver last year that also picks up weather.

Sweet!  I made a colinear antenna that I mounted directly to a FlightAware branded dongle with integrated 1090 MHz filter and preamp.  Stuck that in my attic and ran a long USB extender cable down to the closet in my "study" where I tested it with dump1090 on a headless netbook.  I'm on the north edge of Stillwater OK and picked up aircraft from Salina KS down to the Texas border.  Unfortunately that setup isn't stable enough to stay up by itself... either too hot in the attic or too long a run on the USB.  Maybe both... it locks up every few hours.
Here's a thing I got:  An MMDVM "hotspot".  Unfortunately I don't have a DMR transceiver to test it with :|[Fark user image image 850x789]


Powered USB over just the dummy extension. We astrophoto nerds run into data issues once USB2.0 hits 20 feet. 3.0 forget it, 12 max without powered cables. Though 3.0 for HAM seems like overkill, but I know nothing about it. My only interest is having an info source after the M-Class flare wipes out Netflix and Twitter.
 
2019-06-28 08:52:21 AM  

White_Scarf_Syndrome: Huh? So it's illegal to use at all? Plenty of reasonable alternatives. Why talk on HAM, you've got email, VOIP, cell, Chaturbate, etc.


No, it's not illegal to use at all.   You just can't:

1.  Encrypt.
2.  Use it for profit (ie., make money from it)
3.  Use it for comms that could be better used.


BTW, you can do e-mail over ham radio (using the WINLINK system, and that's even to and from non-hams), and you can do VOIP over ham radio using ECHOLINK.

The whole point of the rules, though, is to keep outside services from taking advantage of the spectrum, and taking it over.   The rules are there to preserve the spectrum for ham radio operators to use so that they have it available if needed for a nationwide or regional emergency (like hurricanes), and to advance the communications art.

That last might seem silly to you, but if you look at the bleeding edge of ham radio at any given time in the past, take what's being done and make it smaller, faster, and most importantly more user friendly, and that's what non-hams end up commonly using 10 or 20 years later.   Things like handheld cell phones have their roots in the use of repeaters with autopatch, accessed by handheld radios, back in the 1970's.   Texting over wireless?  Packet Radio in the early 1980's.   Integrated location and mapping in your communication device?  APRS in the 1980's (even before GPS was available, earliest versions used things like LORAN).   I could go on and on.

In fact, a significant percentage of the engineers and software developers who work on things like smart phones and other communications technology are hams, far higher than the percentage of "normal" people.  So there is a large amount of cross-pollination going on, more than you might think.

As for why I personally don't use a cell phone?

Magic.

Ham radio is, in many ways, magic.   Not literally, of course.   When you get down to brass tacks, it's actually just pure physics, which is another reason why I like it.

But the concept of being able to talk to someone hundreds, or even several thousand, miles away without any intervening infrastructure is, to me, a kind of magical concept.

When you pick up your cell phone and call Aunt Betty on the other side of the country, you're simply not aware of the literally *BILLIONS* of dollars of installed communications infrastructure that you're using.   Your signal goes to a local cell tower, which is connected by fiber optic cable or copper wire to a local switch, which is connected to a fiber optic "backbone" to a router, and your signal goes through myriad such to get to its destination switch and to the tower closest to Aunt Betty (well, the one with the best signal, which may not technically be the closest physically), and to her phone.

When I use my radios to talk to someone on the other side of the country, I'm not using an such infrastructure.   I'm bouncing my signal off of the ionosphere, and it would likely be a two or three "hop" signal path.   I can, and often do, throw an antenna up into a tree in a park somewhere and run the radio off a battery.   So I'm not even using the local electrical infrastructure (I have plans on getting a solar panel to recharge my deep cycle battery).

When I sit at my desk, and I manage to hear the faint Morse peeping of a station like VP6EU on PItcairn Island coming through the static from roughly 6,000 miles away from me, and I call, they hear me, and we make contact with nothing between us but the ionosphere, well, that's friggin' *MAGIC*.

I understand the physics behind behind it, but the day that kind of thing stops raising the hair on my arms is the day I'm hanging up my straight key and giving up.
 
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