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Good morning you lovely people,

In my research preparing to make the move to Lakeside, I am hearing anecdotally that Americans are not allowed the use ham radio gear in Mexico...ever! That seemed a bit unusual.

I am a ham "WB0QOA" and would want to bring a modest desktop radio. If indeed, I am not allowed, I would probably bring it anyway and see if a local Mexican amateur radio operator might want to buy it.

Anybody up to date on this little piece of knowledge??

This is my complete station in the small picture and the larger image in just the transceiver. This is the Kenwood TS-570D. Pretty cute huh!!

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Nice rig.  In 2004 when we came to Ajijic there was an active ham club at LCS.  The leaders passed on & the club dissolved.  At that time the Mexican reciprocal licence was $80.00.   I found this on google

KG4OYX

WARNING!
Since 2014, the Mexican regulator IFT (sometimes called IFETEL) has not issued permits to foreign radio amateurs.  This even applies to USA amateurs, who had been covered by an agreement between the US FCC and the Mexican Communications/Transport Ministry (SCT).  At this point, the only legal way for a foreign ham to operate from Mexican territory would be to operate from a Mexican ham's station, using that ham's call sign. 

All information below, along with the links from this page, explain the process when the regulator was still CoFeTel.  If or when a new process for these permits becomes available, I will update these pages to reflect the new process. 

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20 years ago it was possible for a Resident Permenente to obtain an Amateur Radio license and a XE callsign. At that time SCT was the governing body. Now there’s a new entity since about four years ago (IFT) that regulates amateur radio licensing. They have effectively shut down reciprocal licensing and its impossible for a non Mexican to get an XE license.

 

73s

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Well, in México where things are not well regulated or enforced, all things are possible.  Yes, they currently are not issuing reciprocal licenses to foreigners.  But those who operate under their US license are doing so under the radar.  And so far no repercussions that I have yet to hear of. Even with a giant beam mounted on a tower on the third floor no problem yet.  Do what you feel comfortable doing.  People drive without a driver license here daily.  When you are caught you get fined or you buy them a good lunch. And life goes on.  It ain't all perfect, but welcome to México.

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In 1997 when I first started coming to Mexico for the winter, there was a very active English speaking Ham radio club lakeside. One of the primary motivations to have a hand held ham radio was that Telmex, the local phone company, charged long distance for calls all over Mexico and when phoning the US Canada and some 60 other countries. Heck, It even cost to phone long distance from Ajijic to Jocotepec which is at the West end of Lake Chapala.

Once Telmex began dropping it's long distance charges and one could phone almost anywhere in Mexico, the US and Canada plus maybe fifty other countries for free, most of the members dropped out of the Ham Radio Club and it died.

What I do know is that they were issuing reciprocal licenses. And many of us were legal.

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Many years ago I took the Mexican exam and was issued XE1KG...operated for many years but then it expired and the government stopped regulating it.    I believe there are a lot of people operating under the radar, just need to be discreet about it. 

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I operated here for 12 years as a /XE1. When I first moved to Mexico in 2006, I went over to the SCT radio office in Zapopan. The Chief over there told me to just use my US call sign, portable XE1 ....no paper work, nada. When the sunspots vanished last year, I took my beam and tower down and sold my station equipment. This sunspot Cycle is expected to be weak. We may be entering into a solar quiet period like the Maunder Minimum that lasted five hundred years. No sunspots, no HF DX.

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Hey Paco Loco,

I got this rig about a year ago, coupled it with a Hustler 4 band vertical installed 3 feet from my house w/o radials...just a couple of ground rods.

With only 100 watts from North Carolina my first contact was Eastern Europe...for a few weeks if I could hear them, I could work them!!!!

Now, I can't hear any beacons, any QSOs at all...not nothing. Dead, zip, zero, zilch! I prefer 20 meters so it's the deadest of the dead. So I expect this rig goes on the block so I can buy a Gibson ES-339...rock and roll.

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  • 4 months later...

I am a new ham. Just got my technician license this week. I plan on operating CW, QRP 5 watts from the hills of Ajijic.  When you contact US hams, do any of them refuse to talk to you or threaten to report  you because of the legal situation (regarding ham radio)  here right now?

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Speaking of Ham Radio,  I am looking for some ham or tech types living in Joco and Chapala to host a couple of Sigfox  "Internet of Things" base stations.   The MX Sigfox operator will install and maintain the base station at his expense, but typically he'll pay your internet bill in exchange for hosting.    Here's a photo of what a station looks like.  Nothing like a cell site, just simple antenna and a box.   They are going to put one on my roof in Rancho del Oro, but we need locations in Chapala and Joco to cover the north shore of  lakeside.   The base station plugs into your Internet connection and uses very little bandwidth.  Read more about Sigfox here.   If you have any interest please message me. 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Hello all.  I am actually a new resident in the Patzcuaro, Michoacan area. I came across this thread as I have just begun searching for hf radio enthusiasts in the area. I am very interested in setting up a basic rig at my home. While I have a set-up on my sailboat, I do not have any equipment at the house. I am wondering if any of you have experience with acquiring gear down here in Mexico. I am somewhat hesitant to simply order a radio online from the states, due to concerns of possibly getting lost while going through customs and perhaps a larger concern of the shipping company not being able to find my home - we are definitely off the beaten path. The Amazon Mexico drivers have been able to find us, but they do not seem to have any radios of interest for sale.

Do any of you have experience with being able to source this sort of gear down here? Also, do you know of any radio geeks in my more immediate Patzcuaro/Morelia region? Thanks for any help.

Greg Davids - KI6 EWS

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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone!!!!

I have a ham license from USA and I still hold my Mexican nationality and I'm  planing a trip down south

can I bring my gear? I don't think I'll use it until I get my license

does any body knows how to get a ham license or where to go once in Guadalajara ?

TNX.

 

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  • 4 months later...

Been a Canadian ham for 60 yrs, VA7AA, now permanently living in Mexico ....has there been any movement toward officially re-licensing or approving reciprocal licensing in Mexico?  While there was supposed to be an official process, or there was at one time, that's kinda gone out the window now and there seems to be no process in place. In Canada and the USA reciprocal licensing means just that; a USA ham can cross the Canadian border (when it next opens for discretionary travel) and freely operate without further official approval. The reciprocal licensing agreement, or better the blanket permission to operate in Mexico likely still stands. Have things devolved into a situation similar to Canada and the USA?

The bigger issue for Mexico is, or perhaps was, the use of ham gear by the narco's, although even they have now moved on to more sophisticated modes of secure communications in support of their midnight border-crossing trade.  Cheap $30 Baofeng radios proliferate, and although amateur radio is often mentioned in their marketing, they were never really designed to be just ham rigs.  The ambulance service here has a couple of em. 

Any new info on this or is it just operate and hope things are OK? My new Xeigu G-90 still sits in the box. 

Richard

 

 

  

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12 years ago a government official at the SCT in Guad told me to ".go on the air" and sign my call and /XE1. Lots has changed with the Mexican government and telecom law in the last five years, yet there appears no path for recepricol licensing with the Mexican ICT. I finally gave up on recepricol licensing and operating here in Jalisco. At one point I even joined the The Mexican ARRL (FMRE) and they were no help on recepricol  licensing.

73's

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2 hours ago, Paco Loco said:

12 years ago a government official at the SCT in Guad told me to ".go on the air" and sign my call and /XE1. Lots has changed with the Mexican government and telecom law in the last five years, yet there appears no path for recepricol licensing with the Mexican ICT. I finally gave up on recepricol licensing and operating here in Jalisco. At one point I even joined the The Mexican ARRL (FMRE) and they were no help on recepricol  licensing.

73's

You are then just a pirate radio operator.

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Angus... your logic is that if there is no official route of permissio; then anything and everything is automatically illegal. That may or may not be the case here.  At present in Mexico the authorities seem to have shown complete disinterest in Amateur Radio, to the point where even Mexican citizens have not been able to renew their XE licenses as they expire, so it appears from some posts I have read... this could have changed recently but If so their operation would also be illegal by your reasoning.

Let's face it, Mexico has bigger fish to fry, and you can be sure Amateur Radio is way down their list of regulatory priorities.  In other countries such as  'Ofcom' in the UK or 'Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada'... (that's a mouthful), but much of the day to day operation (exams for example) of the Amateur Service in Canada and the UK have been downloaded on-to the Amateur fraternity itself... and generally this works well.  Getting that to happen here in Mexico is gonna take some time what with their love of the formal bureaucratic process. 

The reciprocal licensing agreement probably still stands, as is the general rules for Amateur Radio operation, but the time consuming and expensive process of foreigner authorization as it once was appears to be at least unofficially gone.

Amateur Radio is probably looked upon at as if we are chicken-banders or the users of FRS portable radios, and I can't see those steely eyed policia municipal guys chasing after hams with bug-catcher mobile whips on their cars.  

Edited by RichardF
typo
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11 minutes ago, RichardF said:

Angus... your logic is that if there is no official route of permissio; then anything and everything is automatically illegal. That may or may not be the case here...

Amateur Radio is probably looked upon at as if we are chicken-banders or the users of FRS portable radios, and I can't see those steely eyed policia municipal guys chasing after guys with bug-catcher mobile whips on their cars.  

No license, no permission, the laws not granting either make you a pirate. Your NOB logic and deductions don't mean spit here.

Broken laws by foreigners, no matter how insignificant you think them, generate extra income for the office that finds it. Can you spell mordida

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I am here in Mexico Angus, residente, and yes, I know all about mordida, we've all had to pay it at one time or another... it makes legal 'problems' real or imagined, more often than not imagined, go away... Mordida is illegal and offering mordida or the 'little bite' for misdeeds is technically illegal in itself.  So what pot calls the kettle... where do we go with this? Yeah, Jail....Angus you might go to jail for not paying the mordida too... this IS Mexico after all. 

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Angus,

FYI, the SCT was the radio  licensing authority back in 2008. In my meeting with the Jeffe at the SCT office in Zapopan, where they have an all band radio monitoring station, I asked him if he had the authority to grant me a Mexican licence and XE1 call sign. He said he had the authority to grant me reciprocal (to the FCC Extra Class license) operating privileges while I was a FM 3 visa holder. I asked him for a letter of authorization to operate, and he said his verbal authorization was sufficient. I wanted him to issue me an XE1 call sign,  thats when he told me to use my FCC call sign portable XE.  A ham from Guad, XE1RM, was with me at the meeting and confirmed that the SCT official had the authority. Over a ten year period, I tried to get the Mexican government to issue me a paper license. No va! I finally took my radio antennas down and sold off my gear. BTW, I have been continually licensed since 1961 and hold the Amateur Extra Class and the commercial First Class license. I have also been licensed to operate and held call signs in Nigeria,Samoa, Tonga and Belize.

73s

 

 

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