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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
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Meneou, Cyprus


    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

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Ash Fork, Arizona


    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
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2016


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

  5. #5
    K7KBN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bremerton WA USA


    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.
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

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