Thursday, May 19, 2011


… The FCC upheld a $4,000 fine levied on a Philadelphia ham for "freebanding." According to RadioWorld, Jose Torres, N3TX, had been cited in 2008 for allegedly operating illegally on 26.71 MHz. Torres had appealed the initial Notice of Apparent Liability for $4,000, claiming he wasn't home at the time of the alleged transmissions and that he couldn't afford to pay the fine. The Commission was not persuaded by Torres's arguments and affirmed the initial fine.

… Hams in Indiana are exempted from the new statewide ban on talking and texting while driving. The Lafayette Journal and Courier reports that the new law bans the use of any telecommunications device to type, transmit or read text messages or e-mails while operating a motor vehicle. However, it says that amateur radio equipment operated by licensed hams, as well as radio gear in large commercial vehicles, are specifically exempted.

 … Also in Indiana, police in Muncie discovered a new twist in the old problem of crooks trying to evade capture by listening to police radio transmissions. The Muncie Star-Press reports that the accused getaway driver in a botched robbery was listening to them on his smart phone, using a downloadable scanner "app." The suspect was charged with felony robbery and unlawful use of a police radio. Smart phone. Dumb robber. (Indiana law prohibits possession of a "police radio" by the general public, with exemptions for hams, journalists and several other categories.)