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Thread: What Defines a HAM Radio

  1. #1

    Default What Defines a HAM Radio

    I'm curious what determines if a portable radio is considered a HAM radio and what's considered a business radio. For example, I would like to purchase portable radios for my company. I would like to register the frequencies in use with the FCC and program my radios. The radios must be programmed with a cable and software and will not be programmable via a built in keypad.

    I was looking at the Retevis RT81 (no keypad). The Retevis website doesn't have it listed under the amateur section but in Amazon, a user commented that it was a HAM radio and could only be used by people who had a HAM license.

    So my question is what makes a portable radio require a HAM license? Is it the capabilities of the radio or is it just how the manufacturer describes/registers it? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chorophobe View Post
    what makes a portable radio require a HAM license?
    It's the frequencies the operator transmits on...

  3. #3

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    The Retevis RT81 covers a range from 400 to 470 MHz. The range from 420 to 450 MHz is a Amateur Radio band, however it is shared for business use.

    For information on portable radios for business use you might want to go to this FCC page on Industrial/Business Licensing. You will need to coordinate your business requirements with the FCC. It's much more than just buying radios.
    Martin, K7MEM
    http://www.k7mem.com
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

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    It only transmits in the FCC defined ham bands. If it has other xmit capability then it is just illegal ... nothing else.
    -Jeff NE1U

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    K7KBN's Avatar
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    An amateur radio is one that operates within the specifications of Part 97 of Part 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (or 47 CFR Part 97 for short). They require operators to be licensed in accordance with the same Regulation. They can be purchased commercially or home made, but the operator is responsible for the quality of the transmitted signal.

    And it's just a ham radio; it's not a HAM radio. "Ham" is not an acronym.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5B4AJB View Post
    It's the frequencies the operator transmits on...
    Thank you for the answer. So as long as I register the frequencies for my business with the FCC, it doesn't matter what portable radio they use so long as the frequency, power, and location are within my license.

    And the people who say the radio is for use by people with a ham license probably mean that the radio cannot be used to transmit on unlicensed frequencies unless used by a ham operator within the appropriate band.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by k7mem View Post
    The Retevis RT81 covers a range from 400 to 470 MHz. The range from 420 to 450 MHz is a Amateur Radio band, however it is shared for business use.

    For information on portable radios for business use you might want to go to this FCC page on Industrial/Business Licensing. You will need to coordinate your business requirements with the FCC. It's much more than just buying radios.
    So basically we can use the Retevis RT81 so long as we coordinate with the FCC. I think the person on Amazon meant we can't just buy a radio and use it without licensing unless we had a ham license. It just came across as him saying they were ONLY for licensed hams, no exceptions.

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