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Author Topic: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?  (Read 13880 times)

Offline Lex

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 1925 UTC »
Isn't it a rather obvious conflict of interests for an agency to be given the power to interpret the law that pertains to their operations?

The agencies don't interpret the law.  Their legal departments do that based on court decisions.  Generally speaking, with most appeals against citations received from federal agencies, the courts have upheld federal jurisdiction and rejected most attempts by plaintiffs or defendants to argue the feds don't have jurisdiction.  In every case where I was called as a witness for my DOL agency when an employer appealed the citations, the attorneys for both parties routinely stipulated federal jurisdiction as a given without argument.

Unfortunately most attempts to argue against federal jurisdiction are met with disdain by courts and US attorneys, and the news media usually portray such efforts as the mythology of kooks and extremists.  It's not going to get any better as the concept of states' rights - the logical opposite to federal jurisdiction - is usually framed by the media in the context of racism.  To even argue against federal jurisdiction is to risk the implication that the defendant/plaintiff or appellant is a racist.
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Offline Swede P

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 2015 UTC »
It all seems pretty frustrating.

The logical jump from FM microbroadcasting and jurisdiction to racism is quite a feat of mental acrobatics.
I think, however, the charge of "racism" has been so overused and diluted that it will no longer have the same emotive force it once had. It will be interesting to see what the next bugaboo will be once "racism" has cried its last "wolf".

Besides, don't racists (even literal ones) have freedom of speech as well? And even if an appellant is truly a racist, how does that address the question of jurisdiction?

Still, I might be going off on a tangent. I think it is neat to have an insider on the forum. Basically, at least when it comes to broadcasting, the rule is not to mess with the feds.


Offline diymedia

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2011, 0152 UTC »
Yep, the feds effectively settled the commerce clause issue way back in 1934, I write a bit about it here:

http://www.diymedia.net/archive/0210.htm#020610

Until recently (the last decade), the FCC's been very protective of its jurisdiction and position as exclusive regulator of the airwaves. Which is why I find it somewhat amusing that the agency hasn't gone ballistic about state-level anti-pirate laws on the books in FL, NJ and NY.

Then again, the FCC can use all the help it can get regarding pirate enforcement, because the "problem" is way, way larger than the agency can deal with.

Offline Swede P

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2011, 0206 UTC »
Thanks for that link, diymedia.

As for:

Then again, the FCC can use all the help it can get regarding pirate enforcement, because the "problem" is way, way larger than the agency can deal with.

I actually find that to be a bit encouraging.

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2011, 0609 UTC »
Don't think for a minute they won't declare pirates a "matter for National Security" and call in the military to deal with them - they did in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics :o

Peace!

Offline zackers

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2012, 1912 UTC »
Looking over the NOUO's at the FCC site over the last few years, it appears the bulk of them are to pirate operations in the FM band. There are a handful in the 1600-1710 kHz range and only one I saw for a shortwave pirate (July 2011, The Crystal Ship station). I am guessing the FCC is not bothering anyone who doesn't have a complaint filed against them, i.e. they are not actively monitoring any specific frequencies for pirate operations. I would guess that in any area a legally licensed FM broadcaster is likely to hear about a pirate operation fairly quickly, especially if the pirate maintains a schedule and transmits more than a very short period in a day. They are the most likely to file a complaint to the FCC about pirate operations in their areas.

I remember when I was in college my dorm had a "dormitory broadcasting service" on FM which covered maybe a couple blocks and broadcast mainly elevator music. One weekend some of the students hijacked the transmitter and started playing music more to the liking of the dorm residents.
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Offline Tom S

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2012, 2206 UTC »
Coming in very late to the discussion, but I kind of like the tethered weather balloon idea. 

Unfortunately, these days there's a shortage of helium so it can be very expensive any more.  Unless you wanted to try flammable hydrogen, a weather balloon might be more trouble than it's worth.

On the other hand, if you live in a windy location a large kite and a very light transmitter/mp3 player payload might be feasible. 
Happiness is a good antenna system.

Offline Swede P

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2013, 1109 UTC »
Thanks, Tom. I am rather late in my reply.

To be honest, I was not even thinking of a tether; rather, I was prepared to sacrifice the balloon after each broadcast. I can't believe that the idea of a tether did not occur to me. Good thinking.

On the other hand, if helium is truly at a premium these days, I may well be back to square one - tether or not.

Offline Albert H

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2013, 2035 UTC »
Given the way FM in the 88-108 Mhz band propagates, wouldn't it be very easy for the radio authorities to zero in on an FM pirate?

You'd be surprised how difficult it can be!  Over here in Europe, we NEVER broadcast from home - it's easy to put a transmitter, car battery, MP3 player and an aerial up a high tree on a hill and get plenty of coverage with just a few tens of Watts.  Many of the land-based FM pirates over here use UHF, microwave or even wireless ethernet links from studios to transmitters.  The transmitters are usually at the top of a housing "project" - easy access with standard Fire Brigade keys!  Some of the stations in major cities use hundreds or even thousands of Watts.  Many are technically indistinguishable from the "legal" stations.

Be bold!  Don't mess around with two or three Watts.  Get 40 or 80 going, and get some sensible coverage.  Get your modulation quality and deviation right - audio limiting is essential.  Make certain that your transmitter is "clean" - no spurs or harmonics - that precludes the use of ANY of the BA1404, BH1415 or BH1416-based junk.  Don't buy the Chinese crap off Ebay either - they just cause massive interference!  If you interfere with other services, you DESERVE to be caught and heavily prosecuted, so make sure you don't!

Offline ka1iic

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2013, 1739 UTC »
One thing that hasn't been mentioned so far and should be a *priority* part 15 or otherwise is the fact that your signal must be 100% clean of harmonic content otherwise you will have the FAA on your tail and those folks DON'T mess around... and for good cause...  Use great care.  I'm not promoting such operation but folks need to be informed :-)

Just sayin'...

73 Vince
ka1iic

WBCQ is a GOOD idea tho...
73 Vince
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Offline atrainradio

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2013, 0019 UTC »
Well I've been experimenting with FM since last July of 2012. Nothing's occured yet. But then again I put out no more then 4.5 watts. So..... My range is only about 2.5 miles, and I'm in a really rural area. No interfrence on any other station (and that's crucuial if you don't want to have someone complain about interfrence). So yes, if your in a crowded city like, the bronx or san fransisco, then its quite easy because the FCC is ALWAYS patrolling the streets. But in my area (farm land and small to sometimes bigger towns) the FCC isn't concerned becasue they wont excpect a pirate there. They expect them at liberal colleges and inner cities where more of the liberals and minorites are.
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Offline diymedia

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2013, 1702 UTC »
The FCC gets concerned any time there's a complaint. They don't just go after the "liberals and minorities." But if you're running a clean rig and not making waves (there's a variable) you have a very good chance of being unmolested. I ran a pirate station in a Midwestern capital city for 4.5 years and nothing happened except for some curious hams foxhunting me. Many of the local broadcasters knew what was going on and looked the other way.

Offline Swede P

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2013, 1029 UTC »
"WBCQ is a GOOD idea tho..."

Indeed. In the end I resorted to buying time on WBCQ after all. Not the same thrill as getting involved in my own pirate stuff, but if the main idea is just to get your message out, there is a benefit to taking the path of least resistance.

Offline atrainradio

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2013, 0019 UTC »
I know they don't just go after minorities. I didn't mean it like that. They go after pirate they catch wind of.
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Offline William Hassig

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Re: Isn't it rather easy to get caught?
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2013, 0215 UTC »
About the tethered kite or balloon, Don't tether it with a wire or anything conductive if you are anywhere near powerlines. As for balloons you can make hydrogen with water and DC electricity but if you do be very careful. BTW, the same process will make pure oxygen which is also very dangerous.
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