FCC Cracks Down on Uncertified VHF/UHF Gear, With Hams Caught in the Middle

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Oct 24, 2018.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    From CQ Amateur Radio

    FCC Logo 1.jpg

    The FCC says that "(i)f a two-way VHF/UHF radio is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or operated with the United States without an FCC equipment certification." (emphasis added)

    Read more on cqnewsroom.blogspot.com
    N8AQA, K9CTB, KB9WCK and 2 others like this.
  2. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The rule is not new, and you are only caught in the middle if you did not pay attention when you bought your rig. There are "export" models which are not certified with the FCC that are legal in other countries and therefore sold online. There are often copies of the same radio that IS certified. The onus is in the amateur to make sure the radio he/she buys is certified by the FCC:

    NOT Certified: https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-8...&ie=UTF8&qid=1540400419&sr=1-4&keywords=uv-82 $31
    https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-82C-Dual-Band-Transceiver-Earpiece/dp/B00IJIHLNE $55

    If you are operating an HT that does not have an FCC number on the back, the radio is illegal for you to operate in the country. If you tried to save money and bought the $31 dollar model, you wasted your money. The FCC is not putting hams "in the middle", it's the online retailers that sell both, and expect the ham consumer to buy the right model. Since the internet doesn't have an address and the distributors are typically overseas, the online vendors on eBay or Amazon offer them to the world, and leave you to sort it out. Baofeng just sits back and collects the revenue. They haven't broken any laws. Caveat Emptor.

    Typically, everyone wants the FCC to take action and enforce the law. Now they are doing just that, and everyone is upset.
    KX4BW, AC6EG, KQ0EA and 16 others like this.
  3. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    This presents a contradiction in terms. On the one hand, the rules have always allowed amateurs to use whatever would meet basic requirements of Part 97. (And, yes, there are basic requirements as you can't build a transceiver that leaks RF all over the place [harmonics, etc] ). Now, we are interpreting this to mean that ANY radios must be "certified" to even be used by amateurs ON amateur frequencies. The rule for amateurs and civvies alike has always stated that equipment, EXCEPT for amateur transceivers, must be certified for the service in which it is used and according to the applicable CFR Part that applies. So in order for FCC to preclude amateurs from using the equipment they buy, modify, and use ON amateur frequencies, they would need to change Part 97 itself. I still don't think that FCC is going to come snooping and poking at your equipment so long as it is USED only for amateur operations AND as long as you don't draw their attention by violating ----------ummmmm, say---Part 90 while using your Icom on the local/county fire channels. You can still OWN equipment-even if it is not amateur equipment. It is USE that they are looking at!
    KX4BW, JI1EOQ, W0ZZG and 5 others like this.
  4. WA1ZMS

    WA1ZMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    This all comes down to illegal importation and sale of transmitters claiming to be "ham" gear as a way of avoiding the added costs of obtaining an FCC ID number for the transmitter.

    If hams would spend an extra few $ to buy an alternate model, the market place might follow and maybe adapt. Maybe.

    So as a hobby, we likely have aided and abetted the off-shore vendors here. Shame on us. We can do better.
    W7MY, N1SZ, VE7DXW and 1 other person like this.
  5. WA6AM

    WA6AM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, the FCC does not go after the Morons that run 1000's of watts, use the most vile and disgusting language, I really don't think they will be after a guy with a $31.00 Ht. They realize a guy with a cheap HT probably does not have the GREEN for the fine. I would guess the guys that bought 'em will still use 'em.
    KA3FAD, KK4BHS, N8QZH and 18 others like this.
  6. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    psssssst, hey buddy, want to buy an ht??????? its broad banded

    i can see the "vendors" giving up selling drugs, counterfeit sneakers and hand bags, for the high dollar black market radios
    WD4IGX, K5JEP and K9ASE like this.
  7. N5ATM

    N5ATM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just ordered one! So I'm aiding and abetting someone? Cool...

    #sticks tongue out at FCC

    NC7U, WD4IGX, W0ZZG and 2 others like this.
  8. K7CB

    K7CB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    "If you tried to save money and bought the $31 dollar model, you wasted your money."

    I fail to see how they wasted their money since they 1) have a radio that works and 2) likely will never see any repercussions of using an "illegal radio."
    KI7SNW, W3ATT, KG5CJA and 3 others like this.
  9. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nothing like low hanging fruit. :rolleyes:

    (Although the Baofeng UV-5R, sold by Two Way Radios & Amazon.com, may be in the same boat: Tx on 136-174 & 400-400.)

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    W4LLZ and KT4RK like this.
  10. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    If a radio was illegally imported into the United States, you can't use it for anything at all, including "use" on the amateur radio bands.

    This has nothing to do with whether Part 97 operation doesn't require any equipment certification or not.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    VE5RH, VE7DXW and W1YW like this.

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