I recently purchased a HackRf SDR, which has transmit and recieve capability. I'm debugging a 2.4ghz wireless module, and being able to transmit to it using the hackrf would be very helpful. Since this is in the ISM ("unlicensed?") band, can I transmit legally (with a very low power, a few milliwatts) for testing purposes without an amateur radio license? I'm in Canada, by the way.

  • \$\begingroup\$ there is a Ham radio stack exchange, these people can help you for sure! ham.stackexchange.com \$\endgroup\$
    – Bruce
    Jun 7, 2015 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, thanks, @Bruce. I'll be sure to check that out. \$\endgroup\$
    – 0xDBFB7
    Jun 8, 2015 at 0:56

1 Answer 1


Yes, that is totally legal Worldwide, no license needed. Do you own/use a:

  • WiFi access point
  • WiFi on a phone or laptop
  • Microwave oven
  • Bluetooth on a phone or laptop

These all operate in the 2.4 - 2.5 GHz ISM band which is legal as long as the device transmits less than (I think, correct me if I'm wrong please) 20 dBm = 10 mW

So in your case: no worries, perfectly legal ! Enjoy :-)

  • \$\begingroup\$ The actual power levels vary from country to country (30dBm in the US, 20dBm in EU). Other ISM bands have different regulations per region. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lior Bilia
    Jun 7, 2015 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ And the band's are different sizes. Japan allows 13 channels in the Wifi b/g while US only allows 11. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jun 7, 2015 at 18:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And the rules might only allow for FHSS or DSSS. If you're not using spread spectrum, then it should be low duty-cycle or very low power. Effective Radiated Power is also restricted. (20 dBm = 100 mW, legal in most places, only on a low gain antenna...) \$\endgroup\$
    – tomnexus
    Jun 7, 2015 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ how about other ISM Bands? \$\endgroup\$
    – Denis
    Dec 12, 2016 at 16:19

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