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Old 01-28-2010, 04:02 AM   #16
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 590

Originally Posted by EMTRailfan View Post
If it is not programmed with RR channels like when you bought it or at least not able to transmit on them if they are in for the purpose of railfanning, it is then not capable. My FD radio is "capable" in your terms if I program it to be.
Originally Posted by TheRoadForeman View Post
I see what you are saying David! I will re-phrase, nobody ( reputable ) will sell you a pre-programmed railroad radio without an FCC license, that is illegal. Was your radio pre-programmed with other than Citizen or Ham frequencies?
I never said it was pre-programmed; I never even said what radio I have. What would lead you to assume that I own a programmable-by-licensed-dealer-only Motorola? There are many more units available on the open market. Since we're apparently also bringing semantics into the conversation, "capable" is defined as "having ability," so a radio which can be programmed to transmit in the railroad band is "capable" regardless of the actual end use. (Example: Just because grossly exceeding the speed limit is both foolish and illegal on most roads in the world doesn't mean that a Bugatti Veyron is no longer capable of exceeding 200+ mph.)

Originally Posted by TheRoadForeman View Post
Here is the next question, why would you want one and risk it? Trust me, to a railroader you will not look "cool" or trusted. Just buy a scanner and be done with it!
My rig is a commercial two-way which I acquired because it had far better reception performance than comparably priced hand-held scanners which were available at the time I made the purchase. It is fully user-programmable and requires the user manually program the RX and TX freqs separately for each channel as a fail-safe against inadvertently making illegal transmissions; I skip the TX step since, as you correctly state, even as a licensed amateur radio operator, I am not licensed to transmit on the railroad band unless doing so during the performance of my professional duties is necessary and authorized by a railroad employee, at which point I would re-program the radio accordingly. Has that functionality been useful in the past? Absolutely. Did I de-program the TX function after my duties were concluded? You bet.

I don't buy gear for its coolness factor; I pay for performance, and there is no valid argument for why, in the pursuit of my hobby, I cannot possess a radio able -- but not programmed -- to transmit in a commercial band. The only thing I care about what railroaders think of me is that I'm not endangering myself, them or whatever else is around. And regardless, during the execution of one's duties on the railroad, will an employee really look so closely at the radio-transmission-receiving device I have to determine whether it's a radio or a scanner, or are they instead going to focus on the safe performance of their job? I would sincerely hope that the latter would be the case.

Originally Posted by TheRoadForeman View Post
P.S. Have you ever smoked weed? Yeah, but... I didn't inhale... Yeah, okay....
That's a personal attack which I take great offense to. You don't know me, you have no basis for making such insinuations, and you certainly shouldn't have to stoop that low to try to make a point.
Dave Honan
Issaquah, WA
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