Unlocked TURF file

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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So as a ham operator we are allowed to use any frequency at our disposal in a emergency where life or death may be involved  as per rule  97.401 and 97.403 with that in mind and our radios being locked down via the TURF file how are we to use all frequencies in the radio?  

I know the answer is to prevent bootleggers but the question is still valid. and Since that I own the radio I should have access. 
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Rory - N6OIL

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve W6SDM

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FCC type acceptance means radios can't be manufactured to transmit on unauthorized frequencies for their type.  Now, if you happen to be near a radio that can transmit on a non-ham frequency, you're welcome to operate it to summon help.
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Mike va3mw

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Official Response
Hi Rory

It has been asked before. They will not release a Turf file to do that.

Mike
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Good luck with that, to me it is more of a CYA thing with Flex. It would also cause problems with certification since the radio would easily be able to transmit on 27MHz and could run afoul of the FCC.


Besides, the ham bands are the first place I would look for help in an emergency anyway, provided I can't call 911.
(Edited)
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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While we may be authorized to use what's "at our disposal," this typically means you can pick up a police radio, or jump on a GMRS repeater, or whatever, to send a bona fide emergency message. The inclusion of frequencies not authorized for amateur operators in ham gear is a problem since standards for emission types, stability, power, etc., differ between services. As a public safety radio official, I have always counseled hams NOT to "open up" their rigs because their efforts may actually lead to more interference due to mismatched capabilities, the inability to properly process modulation, and operator training issues. Please -- PLEASE -- do not seek ways to make something work outside its specs and authorization. Your best intentions can lead to serious harm.
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Rory - N6OIL

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True Ria I get that but living in rural area it sure would be nice to have options especially if now my Flex is my primary and only radio.

Steve how does one get away with using our radios on MARS then even if you are MARS licensed, what about type acceptance now? 
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David

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If you are MARS authorized and provide proof Flex will access your radio and open up MARS. Otherwise Flex will not open it to work outside the type accepted and approved. The other radio manufactures will not do a modification like though the individuals do on their with hardware modifications. SDR makes this a in control of the manufacture and no way for the owner. Technically making the hardware mod as an individual is not legal and you are assuming the risk.
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Steve W6SDM

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What he said.  :)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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To operate on MARS frequencies the equipment doesn't need certification. To operate on other radio services like CB (27MHz) or marine or aircraft band it does. The technicality is that any radio commercially sold that can transmit on those frequencies has to be certified for it. Since your flex is an amateur transceiver, it is not. This is how the FCC is able to crack down on "10 meter" radios since they come out of the box or easily modifiable with 11 meters.
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Rory - N6OIL

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So I expect once the the 5Mhz band get ratified we should see it in a new TURF file or a SSDR update?
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David

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That would be correct
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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That is not necessarily correct.  It depends on which region your radio is currently configured to operate under.  TURF files do not actually set actual transmit limits; that is done in firmware.
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David

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Fair enough from a technical point but Flex will updating the firmware etc to bring the radio in line with the current region rules. Is that correct?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Yes, absolutely.  The latest release did just that for Sweden.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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MARS frequencies are under the jurisdiction of the DoD, not the FCC.
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Steve W6SDM

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I live in a rural area too.  If you really need a high level of backup communications, a sat phone would be your best bet.  They're not cheap and neither is the service.
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Rory - N6OIL

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Steve I was thinking the same thing, my work has sat phones on standby at each of our schools sites.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Lately there have been some pretty decent deals for limited calling plans via sat phone. Check out Globalstar and Iridium, you might be pleasantly surprised.
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k3Tim

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A WiFi OEM was fined $200k for "allowing" users to set their WiFi device outside its Type Accepted parameters:

https://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0801/DOC-340564A1.pdf

I wonder how many users actually took advantage of the loophole in the firmware. Maybe 500 users tops, so that's $400 / user.