Banned wireless usable internationally?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by bcalbass, May 21, 2012.

  1. As I've been pulling some of my old live gear out of storage, I've realized I'm a little behind on the news. I just discovered that my Shure UHF system operates on 700 mhz band and is now illegal to use in the U.S.

    Does anyone know if these 700 mhz units are usable in other countries? Or do many countries have the same frequency restriction?

    I've been unable to turn up much useful info on google other than the U.S. FCC restrictions. I'd rather sell it to someone international that could use it if possible than scrap a perfectly good receiver and transmitters.
  2. You can use it here, in Argentina...
  3. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    I doubt you're gonna get in trouble if you use your small wireless transmitter.

    Doesn't the government have better things to spend your tax dollars on?
  4. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    You could argue that there's a danger of interfering with airplane or emergency vehicle transmissions. If you're thought is "who cares?" there's also a chance of getting unwanted interference of what ever took over those frequencies.

  5. I'm not worried about using it. And even if I did, like kraigo said, I suspect the wireless would be more likely to be the recipient of interference than to interfere with emergency vehicles or take Verizon down.

    I just don't play big live gigs where I need it anymore, so I'm looking into selling it. However, from what I've been reading, it's also technically illegal to sell it to someone in the U.S. Hence, why I'm wondering if other countries can use it.
  6. Hi.

    As kraigo said, it's not as much as the ~2W transmitter interfering with the legal traffic on the band, it's the other way around. >10W "radio stations" is a different matter ;).

    The band traffic varies from country to country, so sure You can sell it to someone who can use it.

    As a sidenote, my Nady VHF operates nicely inside Finnish Coast Guard frequencies, but since the CG traffic is usually more than a kilometer away, I ain't too worried. Not that I trust wireless stuff that much anyway.

    BTW, is the Shure "obsolete wireless exchange program" still up and running?
    IIRC they gave a significant price drop on new gear when the illegal stuff was upgraded.

  7. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    In the US, you primarily will be concerned with whether or not your wireless gets stepped on by cell-based communications. The FCC didn't really take the 700Mg band back for local needs, but rather they primarily auctioned them off to cell communications companies.

    I say screw them. Use them till they crap out. I've been getting them by the boatload from clients buying new ones to comply with the laws. Some of the AT 7000 series systems are just seriously solid performers and I have over 15 of them now, a couple Shures (very tight systems) and even a couple 700Mg Telex USR systems which were sh*t because Telex in the UHF era have been crap.

    Granted in a band situation you are moving from week to week, or night to night so the likelihood of you causing interference is minimal and the chance they could catch you is really minute. Would I sell one? No. Will I use them, oh yeah I will.
  8. Charlie S.

    Charlie S.

    Jul 20, 2008
    Tomball, TX
    Actually, "Keithwah", the "700Mg" (which is really the 700MHz) band is primarily public service, meaning police, fire, and ems, although there are cell frequencies scattered through there.

    I wouldn't use your unit in rehearsals, as the local public services might file a complaint with the FCC, and they WILL investigate interference with those services; although I do know of one instance of a school district putting their buses on the same frequencies as a local fire department and operating there for months, with only a different PL tone.

    Good luck with, whatever you decide.
  9. Thanks for the input. I saw a graphic on Shure's website or somewhere that showed who had bought various portions of the 700 MHz spectrum. It showed that my Shure system conflicts with the public safety and Verizon ranges.

    I doubt the little Shure transmitters will cause any problems either, but like I said, I have no need for wireless anymore. So I was mainly interested in seeing whether other countries have the same restriction if/when I sell it. From the extra digging I've done, restricted MHz ranges are all over the map from country to country (and some European countries require a license).

    I'll probably put it for sale on TB or ebay with a "make sure this is legal to use in your country before you buy" caveat, once I can figure out an economical means of packing and shipping it.
  10. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    There is nobody in my state, where I work/live, that public safety is making use of the 700MHz band. Verizon isn't really using it either. My friends who install and maintain public safety communications in several areas of my state have further confirmed that Verizon and other Cell operators in the 700 & 800 & 900MHz bands are trying to sell their bands back as they are moving everything to a much higher band.

    The question would be, would the FCC ever wind up not having anyone to sell those frequencies to and would performance wireless be cleared for those bands again...hard to say. But regardless, the FCC has not the resources to find anyone. The only time you would be "caught" is if public safety in your area did operate in those bands, and you just happened to be close enough to a passing fire truck and they just happened to recognize their two-way was kicking out the same bass grooves as they heard passing the bar's front door. Keep in mind how far can you go away from your receiver before your signal drops out when you are outside the club or beer tent? 200..250 feet...good day slightly more? So take a hike until your signal drops. How close are the "public safety" venues? You don't need to worry about vehicles, they will be in and back out of range in seconds as they pass by.

    Like I said, I wouldn't sell one, I wouldn't buy one. But I will use them. Will somebody be caught and prosecuted or become a poster child case for it? Sure, however make an unenforceable law and soon enough they stop trying.

    Try downloading a nice $4 scanner app for your smartphone and look for things in that area. You should be doing that anyway if you use wireless. I never use wireless unless in performance as I can't see burning the 9V's or AA's for a rehearsal.
  11. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    They do, but crawling up out butts is high on their list.

    I would recommend NOT using it- unless someone checked the current frequency use list, it risks interfering with emergency use and that has always been illegal. The reason they changed everything is that digital transmission bands are much narrower and that means the FCC will have more bands to sell. More $$$ for the government makes for a more greedy government.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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