Baofeng illegal...Can build own radio...???

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KD2QQF, Aug 10, 2019.

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  1. KD2QQF

    KD2QQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not trying to rehash an old debate here. Also not planning on attempting anything based on the results as I plan to continue using my Baofeng. Just a theoretical question.

    I'm sure we can all agree that Ham operators are allowed to build there own equipment. For the sake of this theoretical question, we'll say that Baofengs are illegal for whatever reason.

    If a ham were to build there own radio, what's to say the source of the parts/how much is pre-built? My question is what/to what degree of modification is necessary to make a radio a home-built unit rather than manufactured. From what I understand, any modification technically invalidates the certifications.

    From what I gather, the major issue with the Baofengs is that they can transmit outside the Ham bands(not sure I've seen a 2m/70cm radio that couldn't do so without much programming changes). Would simply modifying the allowed TX frequencies in Chirp be enough or what level of hardware modification. In other words, what/where is the line betweeen "illegal" manufactured radio and homebuilt/legally modified(from ex commercial/ex-military) radios.
    KC8YLT and K4MJA like this.
  2. K8AI

    K8AI Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's kinda irrelevant and moot to ask the question (theoretically or otherwise) since it's not illegal to modify and/or operate commercial/military/type-accepted/commercially-manufactured gear in the part-97 radio service.

    You have a license to modify, tweak, rebuild, rewire, redecorate, rearrange, festoon and/or bedazzle your radio equipment to your heart's content.
    K0UO, VE6KXL and VK4HAT like this.
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Certainly you can build an amateur radio.

    Do you have an illegal, uncertified Baofang? Here is the solution, I have previously posted:

    1. Remove the Baofang marks on the front
    2. Remove the Baofang rear label which shows: Model, Serial Number.
    3. Take your "Golden Screwdriver" which is issued to every amateur with their first license, and wave it once over the radio, thereby "Modifying" it for amateur use.

    There!! You are legal. Done. :) See how easy it is to be an honest and law abiding ham?
    K0UO, KC8YLT, KD2QQF and 1 other person like this.
  4. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "From what I gather, the major issue with the Baofengs is that they can transmit outside the Ham bands".
    That's not the major crime. Its that they are not 'certificated' for those frequencies and therefore violate some import regulations.
    Sure, you can legally build your own that is capable of transmitting on frequencies from daylight to darkness - just don't try to import it.
    W0XXX, VE6KXL, WQ4G and 1 other person like this.
  5. KC3EPA

    KC3EPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC is not going to go after anyone on a Baofeng if they stay within 2m or 70cm band.
    There are HF units like the Alinco and others that can be bought with Mars Cap mod from distributor.
    Not sure about the legality but the unit is FCC certified in its base form.
    The mod usually just unlocks the firmware control of TX blockage and in the case of Alinco will TX from zilch up to 30mhz.
    So it is totally software driven in this case..

    I am sure Baofeng can change their firmware to stay within the bands .
    They will not because I think the units are being used for more non amateur uses as marine radio band and the use by preppers who could care less about FCC rules after a nuclear detonation.

    It is possible that it may be a little more than a firmware change on the Baofeng as it could be the allowable specs for the chipset.In any case they could do it and if you are a great programmer with knowledge you could probably do it.

    Does that make it FCC compliant.
    Probably no and the FCC is not going to consider that modified unit hand built.

    Baofeng will have to line the pockets of the bureaucrats probably at this point even if they came out with a new product with the firmware change needed and included.It is about rules and regulations but also about money.Mainly money.

    If you factor in the current trade condition then you will see this is not going to happen.

    To be honest the major manufacturers can produce a cheaper and reliable counter competitive product against Baofeng.They will not because lobbying and pocket linings give them huge profits.
  6. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is a lot of test data, hundreds of data points, that show that many cheap radios won't meet the spectral purity requirements of Part 97. Those same tests also indicate that nearly all the radios made by reputable manufacturers do meet the requirements of Part 97, which suggests that the tests were conducted properly.

    A skilled amateur could fix the radios so that they meet FCC Part 97 requirements, testing the radios with a power attenuator and a Spectrum Analyzer.
    Part 97 does not require the certification of handheld transmitters.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    KD2QQF and N2EY like this.
  7. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Appeal to Whacko Conspiracy Theory; why not? Sigh.
    AF7JA and K7JEM like this.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    There they're their.... worry not. Just buy one and use it :)

    Bedazzle away!!

    WB5MG, W1TRY, KC8YLT and 4 others like this.
  9. VK4FAST

    VK4FAST Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know another radio that can tx outside of amateur bands. That is: Every old radio with an analogue VFO.
    K3UJ, WA8FOZ, VK4HAT and 1 other person like this.
  10. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where do i get a ham radio bedazzler?
    KD2QQF likes this.

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