For a complete review of all the rules Click Here


These are the major ones:

Prohibited Transmissions Section 97.113

Transmissions for hire or gain- We are not allowed to accept compensation for our communications. We cannot use our radios for any commercial business. If two hams work for the same company they are not allowed to use the radio in the course of their work.

No one-way communications- This is called "broadcasting". We must be talking to someone specific. (there are very few exceptions)

No Music on the air- We are not allowed to retransmit anything that did not originate on the ham bands. Taking a radio broadcast and retransmitting it on ham bands is not acceptable

No Encryption or codes- One cannot use codes that are "intended to obscure the meaning" of the transmission. One can say "10-4" (though not proper) because everyone knows the meaning of that code. One cannot say however.. "Hey Bill, meet me at area 4 with that thing we spoke about earlier". This is using a code that obscures the meaning of the transmission because not everyone listening knows what "area 4" is. Encryption is allowed if the cipher is published publicly. I.E. The WEP key of your 2.4 ghz wireless router is your callsign.

Offensive Language- No "Obscene or indecent words" are allowed.

Identification (97.119)

A ham station must Identify its callsign at the end of the transmission and at no more than 10 minute intervals during the transmission. This means that legally one can pick up the radio and just start talking without Identifying. As long as he identifies every 10 minutes and at the end, it is technically legal (but not proper).

Emergency Communications

Despite what anyone may tell you the FCC makes it abundantly clear is sections 97.403 and 97.405 that anyone can use any frequency to obtain assistance in a life/property threatening situation when all other means are exhausted. This means if you are in BFE and the only repeater you can hit is a police band repeater and all other means are exhausted, it is perfectly legal to use it.


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