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KA5PIU
03-26-2011, 11:56 AM
Hello.

How about a place for all of the radio mods?
A classic example is the VX-3R.
This thing has 3 levels of mods.
The first being the MARS/CAP mod, remove the jumper and reset or firmware settings.
The second level is primarily firmware and is the "Freeband" mod.
The third level "Owned", where the firmware now has a bit-bang interface and can transmit pretty much everywhere it can hear, and this comes in 2 flavors, the first being no physical mods, it is all done in firmware, and hardware hacker.

But, be this as it may, there is a lot of information out there.
If you have never programmed an older Motorola radio with a RIB, and understand how easy it is to "brick" a radio, do not do level 3, you will be sorry!
Everything must be just so, as once the transfer begins the radio no longer has valid code, it must compile from the new code or it is invalid.
One of the reasons that a RIB has a battery backup, and an AC adaptor, and the bench supply, and the laptop power,,,,,,,,,.:-D
http://www.batlabs.com/2wayrib.html
And, to answer the question, the VX-3R will do from 56 to 556MHz transmit with no gaps but the ones where the tuned circuits fall out, adjustable in softpots.

KJ6BSO
03-26-2011, 01:05 PM
I can modify my little VX-2 either with the programming software or by soldering a couple of jumpers in the battery compartment. And, lest I forget:

http://i815.photobucket.com/albums/zz79/gyrogeerloose/pickle-stains.jpg

W3WN
03-26-2011, 04:12 PM
Why would we wish to condone "freeband" or other illegal operation?

KA5PIU
03-26-2011, 05:02 PM
Why would we wish to condone "freeband" or other illegal operation?

Hello.

If operated under part 15 it is not illegal.
If operated under part 97 it is not illegal.
If operated under NTIA redbook it is not illegal.
True, this is not a type accepted use, but operation can be done legally as this is no longer a commercial manufacture unit but a home built under the rules.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_47_CFR_Part_15
And, the primary reason? it can be done. ;)
The FCC could care less what I do with radio, I bother no one.
For the most part, if you detect my transmissions I have done something wrong!
If I am transmitting it is rare.
In fact, I was in Dallas just a few hours ago and was informed that several repeaters were "closed".
I was at the FEMA center and did the usual test transmissions, gave up on ham radio and went to federal frequencies.
Now, this morning, the day after the last Friday of the month, the ham clubs are trying to save face.
So, this morning I decided to revisit the idea of a dual use radio, Amateur and Federal.
Note that I have lots of federal radios that can do Amateur Radio, just another option.

W3MPS
03-28-2011, 04:17 PM
Bravo Sierra

N8YX
03-29-2011, 05:04 AM
This is why we can't have nice things.

N9FE
03-29-2011, 06:57 AM
Why would we wish to condone "freeband" or other illegal operation? And why not BUY A REAL radio. Take your handheld RECIEVER and throw it in the trash.

PA5COR
03-29-2011, 07:11 AM
Radio "mods" or butch it up's can be found anywhere on the net, mostly opening up radio's...

I personally only touch the innards for cleaning up, or if i found a good mod, or thought myself one out, improve the radio, mostly because the design can be improved for personal taste or newer electronic parts improve the behaviour of said radio, but then you need the allignment tools and knowledge too if you do that, and sadly i saw too much botched up radio's pass my repair station to know most "mods" are a certain way to degrade your radio, or make it on it's way to the repair shop.

On my FT 847 i put in a new referrence Xtal, an Xtal oven ( new Xtal needs to be suited for 40.8 degrees C ) and a re allignment to get back to specs.
Schottky diodes replaced the band switch el cheapo diodes lowering the noise.
Te audio chain had too much low roll off, so i redone that section.
FM modulation too much low roll off, reworked that.
The 2 fans for cooling were changed from full blast or 1/2 speed ( Send/recieve) to a temperature controled state with my own schematic thought out.
Put in the Collins 2.5 KHz filters.

These changes are partly on their way to the new spare backup FT 847.
The mobile FT 100 just had the extra AM Xfilter added, and the problems with grounding and fans done.

The Heathkit SB-1000 new tune 3-500ZG, complete overhaul, new C's new relais tx/rx and soft start installed.

Those were the only "mods" i did, no tx/rx expansion or other useless stuff.

KA5PIU
03-29-2011, 08:43 AM
Hello.

Here in the US we have part 15, a section of the rules that allows very low power operation across a very broad part of the spectrum.
And, real radio? this is for short range license free communications as well as a bit higher powered but still short range radio.
The VX-3R is the most popular hacker radio by far, the firmware has been reworked to allow frequency hopping as well as several other functions not legit on an Amateur Radio.
But, people are doing unusual mods, and in the interest of experimenting I like to see what is happening.

N8YX
03-29-2011, 11:49 AM
The -3R exceeds Part 15 levels even on its lowest-power setting and it is definitely not certificated for use in other services which require such gear.

How much does a bubble-pack pair of FRS/GMRS radios cost? MURS rigs? Besides Class D CB, those are the only "license-free" allocations available and the -3R isn't type-accepted for use on them. Put your modded Yaesu on any other frequency - at milliwatt power or not - and you're technically in violation of certain sections of 47 CFR.

Do it on a public safety/service frequency and bad things can happen (should happen) to the violator.

KA5PIU
03-29-2011, 06:01 PM
Hello.

Incorrect, part 15 has several sections and parts that allow even homebuilt.
And, as far as power levels go, they are adjustable.
In fact, that is the point, just about everything in the VX-3R is adjustable without ever opening the case.

N8YX
03-30-2011, 06:45 AM
Hello.

Incorrect, part 15 has several sections and parts that allow even homebuilt.
And, as far as power levels go, they are adjustable.
In fact, that is the point, just about everything in the VX-3R is adjustable without ever opening the case.
Here's just one section which invalidates the above:


15.203 - antenna requirement

An intentional radiator shall be designed to ensure that no antenna other than that furnished by the responsible party shall be used with the device. The use of a permanently attached antenna or of an antenna that uses a unique coupling to the intentional radiator shall be considered sufficient to comply with the provisions of this section. Since the 3R's antenna (or the variants used with just about any other amateur HT, for that matter) are in fact removable and use a standardized connector arrangement, the radios cannot be legally used as a Part 15 device.

But it's your license - feel free to play. The Island just won't encourage others to do so by virtue of hosting gray-area modification details.

X-Rated
03-30-2011, 07:08 AM
Here's just one section which invalidates the above:

Since the 3R's antenna (or the variants used with just about any other amateur HT, for that matter) are in fact removable and use a standardized connector arrangement, the radios cannot be legally used as a Part 15 device.

But it's your license - feel free to play. The Island just won't encourage others to do so by virtue of hosting gray-area modification details.

Very interesting rule. So by coupling, maybe they mean some kind of transformer coupling to the internal antenna. far out.

KA5PIU
03-30-2011, 08:09 AM
Hello.

"Home-Built Transmitters that are Not for Sale
Hobbyists, inventors and other parties that design and build Part 15 transmitters with
no intention of ever marketing them may construct and operate up to five such
transmitters for their own personal use without having to obtain FCC equipment
authorization. If possible, these transmitters should be tested for compliance with the
Commission's rules. If such testing is not practicable, their designers and builders are
required to employ good engineering practices in order to ensure compliance with the
Part 15 standards.Section 15.23 ".
Already asked the FCC about this, a VX-3R, or any radio that has undergone a substantial modification of the circuits can be assumed to be homebuilt in nature.
Remember that most of this is done in the spirit of experimentation, see how far we can go with these things.
At no time is there any commercial application.
And, from a legal standpoint there are no 50 watt GMRS radios produced at this time, no manufacturer has a part 95 UHF radio, they are all part 90.
Think the FCC is going to have issue with that?
However, be that as it may, there are VX-3R radios out there with unreal frequency range.

KC2UGV
03-30-2011, 12:32 PM
Here's just one section which invalidates the above:

Since the 3R's antenna (or the variants used with just about any other amateur HT, for that matter) are in fact removable and use a standardized connector arrangement, the radios cannot be legally used as a Part 15 device.

But it's your license - feel free to play. The Island just won't encourage others to do so by virtue of hosting gray-area modification details.

In light of that excerpt, I wonder how Wifi manufacturer's get away with it, when they use common antenna connectors?

N8YX
03-30-2011, 01:36 PM
In light of that excerpt, I wonder how Wifi manufacturer's get away with it, when they use common antenna connectors?
Good question. I strongly suspect the reason is that no one has yet taken a Linksys AP and used it to interfere with a police or fire department's communications systems...which is something that has been done by more than a few off-kilter individuals with modded ham gear.

KC2UGV
03-30-2011, 01:44 PM
Good question. I strongly suspect the reason is that no one has yet taken a Linksys AP and used it to interfere with a police or fire department's communications systems...which is something that has been done by more than a few off-kilter individuals with modded ham gear.

Aha! Just found it!

Wifi Part 15 connectors themselves are covered under Part 15, since they do not allow ample power to violate Part 15, without catastrophic failure :)

W3WN
03-30-2011, 02:36 PM
Hello.

If operated under part 15 it is not illegal.
If operated under part 97 it is not illegal.
If operated under NTIA redbook it is not illegal.
True, this is not a type accepted use, but operation can be done legally as this is no longer a commercial manufacture unit but a home built under the rules.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_47_CFR_Part_15
And, the primary reason? it can be done. ;)
The FCC could care less what I do with radio, I bother no one.
For the most part, if you detect my transmissions I have done something wrong!
If I am transmitting it is rare.
In fact, I was in Dallas just a few hours ago and was informed that several repeaters were "closed".
I was at the FEMA center and did the usual test transmissions, gave up on ham radio and went to federal frequencies.
Now, this morning, the day after the last Friday of the month, the ham clubs are trying to save face.
So, this morning I decided to revisit the idea of a dual use radio, Amateur and Federal.
Note that I have lots of federal radios that can do Amateur Radio, just another option.
If you modify a Part 15 radio, it may be illegal.
If you modify a Part 97 radio for use in another service, it may be illegal.
If you modify a radio for "freeband" use, it IS illegal.

And by "illegal" in this context, I mean transmitting beyond the scope of your license(s) as relevant. Receiving is not the issue, transmitting is.

Whether you are detected or not, or bothering someone else or not, is irrelevant. It's comparable to being caught speeding down a highway at 3 AM when there are no other cars on the road... you may not be bothering anyone else, but you're still breaking the law.

Now if you want to take a radio that has been "type accepted" (yes, I know the term is obsolete, you know what I mean) for another service and add a 2 meter repeater to it, you probably aren't illegally modifying the rig... but I'd check the rules as they have changed in recent years.

Closed repeaters is a different kettle of fish, or if you prefer, flavor of tacos.

W3WN
03-30-2011, 02:41 PM
Radio "mods" or butch it up's can be found anywhere on the net, mostly opening up radio's... < snip >
That may be, but why condone it?

I have no problem with legitimate mods and updates for use within the Amateur Service on Amateur (Service) radios. I do have a problem with mods to use Amateur (Service) rigs where they are not intended, especially for "freeband" operation, and/or for situations where someone is trying to buy a cheap rig.

The modifications that ku goniff is talking about fall into the later category. IMHO, they fall outside of the realm of the purpose of this site. And since they can be found elsewhere, why do we need them here?

W3WN
03-30-2011, 02:44 PM
Hello.

"Home-Built Transmitters that are Not for Sale
Hobbyists, inventors and other parties that design and build Part 15 transmitters with
no intention of ever marketing them may construct and operate up to five such
transmitters for their own personal use without having to obtain FCC equipment
authorization. If possible, these transmitters should be tested for compliance with the
Commission's rules. If such testing is not practicable, their designers and builders are
required to employ good engineering practices in order to ensure compliance with the
Part 15 standards.Section 15.23 ". < snip >The purpose of that rule, when you translate from bureaucratese and governmentease into English, is to indicate that hams and hobbyists are allowed to build and modify their own equipment.

But it is a narrow purpose... it is not intended to be used to modify commercially built radios from one communications service to another.

Goodbye.

kb2vxa
03-30-2011, 03:28 PM
Why do you argue with one having an "I'm right and everybody else is wrong" attitude and has an answer for EVERYTHING? Let me clue you in, no matter how hard or long you butt your head on a stone it won't be the stone that cracks.

W3WN
03-30-2011, 07:08 PM
Why do you argue with one having an "I'm right and everybody else is wrong" attitude and has an answer for EVERYTHING? Let me clue you in, no matter how hard or long you butt your head on a stone it won't be the stone that cracks.Who's arguing? I'm giving him getting-hit-on-the-head lessons. Arguments are down the hall, Mr. Barnard, Room 12.

KJ6BSO
03-30-2011, 07:47 PM
Arguments are down the hall, Mr. Barnard, Room 12.

Stupid git...

KJ6BSO
03-30-2011, 08:08 PM
Hello.

"Home-Built Transmitters that are Not for Sale
Hobbyists, inventors and other parties that design and build Part 15 transmitters with
no intention of ever marketing them may construct and operate up to five such
transmitters for their own personal use without having to obtain FCC equipment
authorization. If possible, these transmitters should be tested for compliance with the
Commission's rules. If such testing is not practicable, their designers and builders are
required to employ good engineering practices in order to ensure compliance with the
Part 15 standards.Section 15.23 ".
Already asked the FCC about this, a VX-3R, or any radio that has undergone a substantial modification of the circuits can be assumed to be homebuilt in nature.
Remember that most of this is done in the spirit of experimentation, see how far we can go with these things.
At no time is there any commercial application.
And, from a legal standpoint there are no 50 watt GMRS radios produced at this time, no manufacturer has a part 95 UHF radio, they are all part 90.
Think the FCC is going to have issue with that?
However, be that as it may, there are VX-3R radios out there with unreal frequency range.

One thing you need to check on, Hajji Rudi, is the allowed maximum amount of radiated power. It varies from band to band and in all cases is significantly less than a VX-3's minimum output.

KA5PIU
03-30-2011, 09:36 PM
One thing you need to check on, Hajji Rudi, is the allowed maximum amount of radiated power. It varies from band to band and in all cases is significantly less than a VX-3's minimum output.

Hello.

Again, the VX-3R can be configured for 10 milliwatts output maximum, it is just a softpot setting.
At 100 milliwatts it is good across a lot of part 15.
But what is more important it the theory behind it, how does one take a radio and do all of this?
And, from a somewhat legal standpoint, a ham could in theory take a WiFi device and increase power, as this is in the 2.4 GHz ham band, save for the fact that WiFi is encrypted.
But, 1 watt WiFi cards are now legal, and about the maximum I would want at this frequency.
A 1 watt WiFi card can do about a mile if mounted on a 35 foot elevation connected to another 1 watt unit in the clear.
In a congested area you will never see that range as there will be other access points on the same frequency.
To get a WiFi device on your tower simply put the thing in a small lunchbox type of cooler and connect power and ethernet down.
One has to be VERY careful about what they do with a radio, what frequencies they operate on.
I see nothing wrong with having a radio that can do DC to daylight, I have a service monitor that can do what the VX-3R can do and more, it is what you do with it.
I think of a radio as a device that is less dangerous than an automobile, yet just about everyone is allowed to operate an automobile.
Take the same level of care one operates an automobile, in operating a radio and things will be just fine.

KC2UGV
03-31-2011, 07:39 AM
Hello.

Again, the VX-3R can be configured for 10 milliwatts output maximum, it is just a softpot setting.
At 100 milliwatts it is good across a lot of part 15.
But what is more important it the theory behind it, how does one take a radio and do all of this?
And, from a somewhat legal standpoint, a ham could in theory take a WiFi device and increase power, as this is in the 2.4 GHz ham band, save for the fact that WiFi is encrypted.
But, 1 watt WiFi cards are now legal, and about the maximum I would want at this frequency.
A 1 watt WiFi card can do about a mile if mounted on a 35 foot elevation connected to another 1 watt unit in the clear.
In a congested area you will never see that range as there will be other access points on the same frequency.
To get a WiFi device on your tower simply put the thing in a small lunchbox type of cooler and connect power and ethernet down.
One has to be VERY careful about what they do with a radio, what frequencies they operate on.
I see nothing wrong with having a radio that can do DC to daylight, I have a service monitor that can do what the VX-3R can do and more, it is what you do with it.
I think of a radio as a device that is less dangerous than an automobile, yet just about everyone is allowed to operate an automobile.
Take the same level of care one operates an automobile, in operating a radio and things will be just fine.

It doesn't matter what the output power is. What matters if the field strength readings at 3 meters: 2 uV/m^2, if I recall correctly for the FM Broadcast band. Other bands have less or more (HF bands tend to be higher). And, 15 mW out of a moderately passable antenna violates that. You need to put a dummy load on the antenna, and you might pass.

X-Rated
03-31-2011, 10:23 AM
It doesn't matter what the output power is. What matters if the field strength readings at 3 meters: 2 uV/m^2, if I recall correctly for the FM Broadcast band. Other bands have less or more (HF bands tend to be higher). And, 15 mW out of a moderately passable antenna violates that. You need to put a dummy load on the antenna, and you might pass.

FCC (http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=aa9bb1b45da2513ff3fc7bb99c38e463&rgn=div8&view=text&node=47:1.0.1.1.14.3.242.25&idno=47) says 250 uV/M at 3 meters.

KA5PIU
03-31-2011, 10:50 AM
Hello.

2 microvolt at 3 meters works out to be around 170 milliwatts for a small wire antenna of the type sold in consumer kits.
http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/hk/
And, part 15 allows up to 1 watt in large portions of the spectrum for communications.
In the ISM portions 30 watts may be permitted, license free.
And as far as legality goes, I have asked the FCC OST about this, the type of operation I do is 100% legal.
It is legal to test and experiment if to only purpose is facilitate normal communications.
Non type accepted equipment is permitted for this purpose.
Don't think so? show me the FCC tag on a service monitor. ;)
It is very much like the FCC rules on non type accepted 10 meter amplifiers, a ham can construct or convert 3 a year.
I may possess 5 non type accepted transmitters at any one time.
Around here the police have all moved up the 800MHz pro-voice/P-25.
Fire services are back on VHF high analog, and to be quite blunt, without the cops, everything is easier to do.
We got hold of 1200, that is correct, one thousand two hundred, astro sabre talkies and about 500 convertacoms on the 136 to 162 MHz split.
I have one of each split of astro sabre made just as a matter of course.
All do analog and type 1 P-25, so it is not a lack of FCC type accepted equipment that is the issue.
It is one of being able to do this.
Remember, when someone hotrods a car, usually the first thing they do is add headers and drop the catalytic converter, in violation of federal law.
Next they change the intake and remove the emission controls, another violation.
They modify the brakes and suspension, another federal violation.
The list of violations goes on, EPA, FMVSS, etc.
When you assemble a car from parts it is the date of assembly .
Did people stop building street rods?

KA5PIU
04-03-2011, 02:23 PM
Hello.

Explained to the FCC about the part 95 issue and GMRS, there are NO current 50 watt part 95 radios.
I have it in writing that I may use an FCC approved radio that meets the technical requirements.
When asked about what service, I was told to "Meet the technical requirements".
"
[Code of Federal Regulations] [Title 47, Volume 5, Parts 80 to End] [Revised as of October 1, 2000] From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 47CFR95.129] [Page 522] TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION COMMISSION (CONTINUED) PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES--Table of Contents Subpart A--General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) Sec. 95.129 Station equipment. Every station in a GMRS system must use transmitters the FCC has certificated for use in the GMRS. Write to any FCC Field Office to find out if a particular transmitter has been certificated for the GMRS. All station equipment in a GMRS system must comply with the technical rules in part 95. [63 FR 68975, Dec. 14, 1998] [[Page 523]]"
When asked about the VX-3R, I was told "The technician is responsible as par part 90"
So, where do I come up with this with CB and GMRS and MURS and Marine, etc?
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/EMS/pdf/NIFOG.pdf
I was finally told to "Use my best judgement"
And, no, operating in a non-interference basis is not like speeding anf getting away with it.
The FCC part 15 rules state that a part 15 device can not interfere and must accept interference, very clear.
The FCC and NTIA has also made it clear that I may "Build and modify any equipment needed for testing provided it follows good technical practice".
The FCC has since further stated that I may now use "Whatever equipment needed" to do the task at hand.
I have been using military radios that are not type accepted and was told to "Continue as planned".
However as you can clearly see, it is the US government that is saying to do this.
The concern is over that small number of people who do cause all kinds of trouble.

WTKX
04-03-2011, 03:43 PM
Rudy insists on the right to be a weak mud duck, wherever he roams in the RF spectrum.

KA5PIU
04-03-2011, 05:00 PM
Hello.

Actually I am anything but a mud duck.
I run the minimum power needed, sometimes less than 100 milliwatts.
I make an effort to do a clean RF signal, frequently on AM I will limit myself to 90% modulation, both from a clarity standpoint as well as spectral conservation.
I use telephone type drop in modules with audio filtering or perhaps carbon elements in this effort.
I keep transmissions short and to the point, hello, the point, good bye.

KJ6BSO
04-03-2011, 08:17 PM
Not me. I'm QRO at 2KW and 110% modulation all the way. Eff 'em, I sayI want that rare DX and if I have to bust up a net to get it, well that's their problem.