With the current trend of the authorities to police the operations of Illegal CB operators I thought it might be a good time to remind folks of how things used to be. When I grew up CB was 2 w and AM only and a 1/4 wave GP antenna was as much gain as you were allowed. It was a while ago and we still had black and white TV…but that was only after I was 11. Before that we listened to the radio, or read books or played cards. Nothing else to do except go to bed. It was different then. We had to be careful. We didn’t know we had ‘rights’. We respected authority cos it usually ended up hurting when we bucked it.
Now back to CB…It amazes me to hear stations on air, operating illegally in the freeband and disclosing their equipment, names, emails, and pretty good descriptions of their locations… the whole nine yards, over the air!. In most counties of the world it is not a big deal to operate freeand but in the land of the kangaroos it has become an issue, so if you want to work freeband CB down under; here are a few tips to help keep the RI’s from your door.
Create an identity for the freeband that has nothing to do with you..different name, different location, different antenna, tower and radio. Only use email addresses from google, yahoo or Hotmail which are difficult to trace. Do not disclose your PO box number over the air and probably better to stop collecting QSL cards. You can keep your real identity for the normal 40ch…if you want. Try not to use the same radio on the 40 as you do on the freeband..if you can…Different radio different name… The last thing you want to have is a bunch of those colourful Sugar Delta QSL cards on the wall while you stand there telling some bloke with a permit to search your place that the 40ch super puma is your only CB radio!!! Riiiiight.!!!! You need to be a bit smarter than that. You can’t outsmart these guys..this is their job. They are trained. They live and breathe this shit..they know the score, they have done their homework, they are prepared. they have the gun and you are in their sights.
Don’t let them IN
Have a licence
Don’t say Anything (better to keep your mouth shut and have them think you are stupid than to open it and prove you are!)
Don’t Sign anything. (when you sign the piece of paper they give you when they confiscate the illegal radio it probably says somewhere in it that you are admitting you own it and use it daily!)
DX Group Callsigns (While it is great to be a member of Sugar Delta ,Alpha Tango, Delta Xray, World Radio and the like..having your details published in their members directories is probably not a good thing. Same goes for QRZ11.com If you have to put something in print or online make sure it can’t be used to bring the RI’s to your door.
Cluster.dk (once again stick something up by all means but no sense in publishing any true facts. Stick to your fictitious identity. You could even create a log in identity from NZ !!!! or like me I use 91 div from my Sydney HQ. A smart RI will chat with you on cluster to nail your fat freebander arse.)
Your best defence here is to operate in such a manner that they can’t or at least have a lot of difficulty finding you and if they do find you, proving that the recording of a bloke using a 6 element quad was you on the 3 element yagi at your house. Much easier for them when the recordings match the situation, especially the name!! Call your self whatever you like as long as it is not you! Even if you are truly remote….say you are someone else and somewhere else. The DX station don’t really give a damn. He is rapt with 43 division. He doesn’t give a shit if it is hunter valley or sunshine coast….
The best thing you can have is a Ham licence. Then at least you have a legal excuse for the Icom 7800 in front of you. If you have a Ham licence they have every right to inspect your station but there is a little something in there about it having to be at a convenient time for you. Ask them to come back tomorrow as you are late for work, dinner .a date..whatever. And try to be nice about. Don’t get belligerent like our buddy Rod….You might win round one but you will lose the fight in the end.
I am not sure of the legalities of the CB band in Aus since it was effectively deregulated and made “self policing” You no longer need a licence to operate a CB radio on the legal 40ch. Because of this you may not have a lot of rights at your disposal if they arrive with a search warrant. Luckily they don’t seem to be arriving with warrants..yet…takes time to organize a warrant so they are probably just fronting up and hoping you will let them in. Nice guys like Brian did that and because he had no licence for his ..er.. 10m band radios, the kind gentlemen took it away with them after thanking him kindly for the cup of tea! Don’t let the buggers in the house to start with!! Don’t answer the door…make sure the dog is loose outside. Don’t make it easy for them….
The authorities are able to monitor the freeband and make recordings. These recordings could possibly be used as evidence…more likely as threats to get you to admit you have been operating on the freeband. The best thing any law enforcement agency can get is a confession of guilt and they will go to considerable lengths to trick a confession out you. You have a right to remain silent and you should make full use of it! Anything and everything you say can and will be used against you, either in context or not. Do not sign anything…and I mean anything….anything you sign can be construed as an admission of guilt.
And if you can ..get some legal advice now, so you do know what rights if any you have in the police state called Australia and don’t forget it is your taxes paying for them to visit; so you should have right to know where your taxes are being spent and why.
And don’t forget..it is just a game, a hobby..supposed to be fun ; and there is still plenty of space on the legal 40 for everyone….