Here’s some things I found spewing forth from the Internet:
When Charles Simonyi was operating amateur radio station NA1SS from the International Space Station (ISS), I was looking around for the right frequencies to use, including doppler shift. I came across a really good web site on contacting the ISS. Check it out if you are interested in the topic.
According to Amateur Radio Newsline, the Indy cops that got in trouble for using ham radio gear for tactical communication were using modified Yaesu FT-2800 2-Meter Transceivers. With these radios opened up, they can operate outside the ham band on adjacent VHF frequencies. According to ARNewsline:
Some conversations were heard in the VHF police bands, at the bottom of the 2-meter band and on frequencies assigned to the MURS radio service.
MURS stands for Mult-Use Radio Service, an unlicensed radio service defined by the FCC. There are 5 MURS channels available: 151.820, 151.880, 151.940, 154.570 and 154.600 MHz. These unlicensed channels would be a convenient location to hang out without the potential of interfering with anything important. However, a modifed amateur radio transceiver is not certified for use per Part 95 of the FCC rules.
I have not found any other information on the VHF police frequencies being used. Some departments maintain their licensing for VHF channels after adopting the newer 800 MHz radios. Modified amateur radio equipment is not certified for use on police channels. It sounds like these police officers were also using the low end of the 2-meter ham band. Even if they are licensed, it would be an inappropriate use of the frequencies. And a dumb one….of course someone is going to hear them and figure out what is going on.
You may have heard about Stephen Colbert from the Colbert Report getting his viewers to vote for his name on the new ISS module. It seems that he got the most votes but NASA declined to name the module after him (like that was going to happen). They came up with the alternative of naming a treadmill after him….all in good fun. The video is available on the Comedy Central web site.
On the K3NG Report, there was a funny post about the demise of phone operation on the ham bands, which is caused by the lack of testing for phone operating skill during the licensing process.
On the KB6BU Ham Radio Blog, there is an interesting post about the HP-35 calculator…a classic electronic product and an elegant design. The IEEE named the HP-35 and Hewlett-Packard Company as the recipient of the Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing award.
73, Bob K0NR