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Author Topic: Legal Issues  (Read 7176 times)

Offline The Insomniac

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Legal Issues
« on: October 10, 2013, 0328 UTC »
To anyone who currently broadcasts, how do you avoid the FCC/authorities? Have you ever had any trouble? Eventually I would like to get into broadcasting and I was wondering what y'all have to deal with.

cmradio

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 0927 UTC »
Wait for a government shut down and have a free for all ;D

Basically it works down to "How much money you got?", as a remote controlled TX (what many european's use) is the best way to not get caught, just loose the odd TX, to running mobile with a van (though a big antenna is a cop magnet... trust me :o ) to the cheapest, run at home and risk getting tracked within hours.

Then there's the luck factor... some of these guys have gold horseshoes up their arse and run for a long time and others are targeted by other, more vengeful spirits in the pirate world and ratted out quickly.

Peace!

Offline Echo_One

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 1422 UTC »
Wait for a government shut down and have a free for all ;D

I like that.

Basically it works down to "How much money you got?", as a remote controlled TX (what many european's use) is the best way to not get caught

Then there's the luck factor... some of these guys have gold horseshoes up their arse and run for a long time and others are targeted by other, more vengeful spirits in the pirate world and ratted out quickly.


You could also record your shows and have them broadcast in a completely different legal jurisdiction - It is what *I* do
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Offline ff

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 2234 UTC »
Many of the Euros use homebuilt "hedgerow howlers" like the Commando, Lulu, Corsair, Dutch Quad, et al.  These are set up in an out of the way place with a battery and antenna, and a pre-recorded show on an MP3 player is started.  The ops consider the setup expendable, and leave it running. They will keep an eye on the location from afar and if they deem it safe, will retrieve the setup afterwards, to use again the next time.

There IS another way - provided that you don't have a psychological need to always be playing for the crowd.  Be frequency agile.  The way I do it is to have a whole collection of homebrewed 1 watt exciters that I use to drive a linear amp.  I swap out band specific dipoles and band specific low pass filters as needed.  I'm on often, but I only show up on 43 meters once or twice a year and rarely operate on that band from home.  It isn't as expensive as it may sound, because most of what I use is homebrew.  Also, I have built my "armada" up over a number of years.  This way of operation will absolutely NOT garner you fistfuls of reception reports, but I find it a lot of fun to bushwhack unsuspecting SWLs here, there and everywhere.  The few surprised and (usually) delighted reporters to my email drop seem to agree.

I guess if you're just starting out, you can carefully operate occasionally, just like the crowd does - being careful not to cause RFI with anybody.  But once you've been at it a while, you should figure out a more secure system that will work for you.  Of course, you could always buy one of those "golden horse shoes" that cmradio was talking about...  ;D
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline redhat

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 1759 UTC »
Years ago there was a book published by "Zeke Teflon"  titled "The complete manual of Pirate radio."  The book essential covers the exploits of Zeke and his buddies from local TV and Radio stations running an AM pirate station in one of the nicer neighborhoods of Salt Lake City, Utah.  The book tell the story, and then goes on to talk about how to get away with it, and other nuance topics like building studios and transmitters.

He recommends either operating mobile (or portable), pick a band of frequencies and operate amongst those, and also if you are somewhat "fixed" in location, have lookouts.  Shortwave pirates are a pretty small target for the FCC, primarily because they don't generate complaints.  The enforcement bureau from what I can sumize, is a complaint driven organization.  They don't have the funds or the manpower to hunt pirates and shady commercial organizations like they once did.

So keep your nose clean (programming anyway), don't sit on the same frequency for weeks at a time, and if at all possible, move around.

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Offline ff

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 1957 UTC »
Great points redhat!  I remember Zeke's book.  I read it as a reprint in one of the "zines" from the 80s - I'm not sure which one.  Amazon still lists it and although new copies are pricey, used are do-able.  http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Manual-Pirate-Radio-Teflon/dp/0961328991/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381606945&sr=1-2&keywords=zeke+teflon

redhat's point about lookouts is a good one, if you are doing local FM.  My buds saved me two different times back 25 years ago when I still did such things.  I wouldn't recommend that mode these days.  Our legal broadcasters are a jealous lot and they tend to be quite proactive about "interlopers".  Shortwave is not "hot property" and if you can keep your signal out of your neighbors' poorly filtered "consumer electronica", you will probably not generate complaints.  redhat said it best... 

Shortwave pirates are a pretty small target for the FCC, primarily because they don't generate complaints.  The enforcement bureau from what I can sumize, is a complaint driven organization.  They don't have the funds or the manpower to hunt pirates and shady commercial organizations like they once did.

So keep your nose clean (programming anyway), don't sit on the same frequency for weeks at a time, and if at all possible, move around.

+-RH
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline moof

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 2033 UTC »
It's a bit dated to say the least.  "Have at least two turntables" "get an Electro-Harmonix preamp for $20 and a ham radio used for $50" and it recommended FM, having a whole studio...
If you google 'download Complete Manual of Pirate Radio' the scribd.com link is safe and has the entire thing.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/151234010/Complete-Manual-of-Pirate-Radio
Fun from a historical point of view.  Innernet makes it so much easier today to get better information.

Oh, and go to the fcc site to look at the latest field citations.  hahahahahaha you can't.  Gubmint is shut down.

Offline RCCI

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 0218 UTC »
Also look at your time frame---many of the taped driven programs from the 1980's were only 30-40 minutes long were played on-air from IS to sign-off----all canned, nothing live, then off like a prom dress. Like a Stuckey's restaurant along a highway, EZ on-EZ off. (OK that's a bit dating myself, but you get the idea) OP's that have marathon broadcasts, 2-3 hours are just itching for "The Knock" especially if operating from their QTH JMHO.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 0231 UTC by RCCI »
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Fansome

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 2215 UTC »
If you have a ham license, do not broadcast from your home. One of the first things they do to track a station down is to look at ham licenses for the suspected area.

Offline John Poet

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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 0244 UTC »
Also look at your time frame---many of the taped driven programs from the 1980's were only 30-40 minutes long were played on-air from IS to sign-off----all canned, nothing live, then off like a prom dress. Like a Stuckey's restaurant along a highway, EZ on-EZ off. (OK that's a bit dating myself, but you get the idea) OP's that have marathon broadcasts, 2-3 hours are just itching for "The Knock" especially if operating from their QTH JMHO.

Quite true.

On the other hand, I did it for seven years, and they never seemed to take any notice until I pissed all over someone's puppet show...   :D

However, they do now seem to be trying to tamp down some of the shortwave activity, abeit very slowly.



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