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

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

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're missing two critical points in the regulations. Here they are:

    Point #1: Amateurs are allowed to homebrew and modify radios for use on the amateur bands - and ONLY for use on the amateur bands. Such homebrew and modified radios MUST meet certain standards of transmitted signal quality. IOW, being homebrew or modified does NOT give hams a blank check to build or modify radios that transmit low-quality signals.

    Point #2: Manufacturers who SELL NEW radios have to have them pass FCC certification. The radios have to meet certain standards in order to be FCC certified.

    There you go.
    WD8ED likes this.
  2. WA1UIL

    WA1UIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    dead horse.jpg
    WA8FOZ likes this.
  3. WQ4G

    WQ4G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pop Corn is on....
  4. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get the good stuff.

    WQ4G likes this.
  5. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    93.307 covers emission standards
    Certification is required for amplifiers

    There is no certification requirement in Part 97 for transmitters.

    FCC guidance on multi-service transmitters
    Transmitters Prohibited by Rule Transmitters Prohibited by Rule MURS (Part 95J) in combination with and other licensed or licensed-by-rule servies Amateur (Part 97) in combination with Part 80, Part 87, Part 95A (GMRS) or Part 95D (CB) – Exception: Part 87 VHF 118-136.975 MHz band

    The ARRL has been collecting test data that shows that the status quo works pretty good. ARRL members can look at published test results in QST and see which radios are legal to operate, instead of having to make their own measurements. Radios that don't meet FCC spectral requirements are not reviewed.

    It would be interesting to see whether or not FCC certification required by other services results in better or worse transmitters.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    KD2QQF likes this.
  6. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The problem with the Baofeng, and other Chinese handheld units, is that many of the earlier models did not have 47 CFR Part 15 receiver certification and had nothing to do with what transmit frequencies the units had. All commercially manufactured receivers capable of operating between 30.0 MHz and 960.0 MHz MUST have 47 CFR Part 15 certification to be sold in the areas administered by the FCC. Getting the paperwork filed for this certification is the reason that the major amateur radio equipment manufacturers often have, in their initial advertisements for equipment, a statement that the unit is awaiting FCC approval.

    If the unit does not have a receiver capable of receiving above 30.0 MHz, then there is no requirement for 47 CFR Part 15 certification and the unit can be immediately offered for sale. It is the fact that most of the new equipment also includes, at least, the 6-meter band that the certification is required.

    The only transmitting equipment that requires certification are commercially manufactured external transmitting amplifiers capable of operating below 144.0 MHz. All other amateur radio transmitting equipment does NOT have any certification requirements. The truth be known, where amateur radio equipment is concerned, the manufacturer has absolutely no requirement to insure that the transmitter does meet the technical requirements contained in 47 CFR Part 97. It is the responsibility of each individual amateur radio operator to make sure that these requirements are met. Of course, the manufacturer generally makes sure that their equipment does meet the requirements contained in 47 CFR Part 97. However, there is no legal reason for this.

    I have 3 of the various models of Baofeng handheld units and, when checked using a spectrum analyzer, all of them do meet the technical requirements contained in 47 CFR Part 97. One of them just barely meets the requirements and the other 2 are a fair amount better. But, they do meet the requirements and that is all that is required.

    Of course, the number of amateur radio operators who do have access to a spectrum analyzer is pretty small. As such, most operators are relying on the manufacturer to insure that the equipment meets the requirements. On the surface, this is a very reasonable assumption. Unfortunately, if there is a problem it is the individual operator who is responsible and not the manufacturer.

    Glen, K9STH

  7. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A Google search suggests that the cost of FCC certification is more than the cost of a spectrum analyzer someone may purchase as an investment for becoming a manufacturer of amateur radio equipment.
  8. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    First, take the battery pack off your Baofeng. You should see an FCC certification label. If it's a Part 15 certification, that's one thing. If it's like mine, it has a Part 90 certification. So do most of my Chinese handhelds. You can look up Baofeng's certification on the FCC website.

    These "illegal" radios are still for sale on Amazon for $26. Last time I looked, Amazon was a U.S. company, though like many of our titans of industry, they may have reincorporated in the Bahamas or somewhere else that doesn't tax them. The radios being sold are described as operating over the entire VHF and UHF spectrum - clearly what FCC was complaining about.

    Universal Radio no longer carries Baofeng, but their web site mentions that they are Part 90 certificated. Newegg calls them "Professional CB Radios". Google says I can get them at the Walmart a few blocks from me. The Baofengtech website lists many U.S. distributors - nearly all of whom obviously cater to the 'prepper' community rather than amateur radio.

    We can stand at the edge of the sea and command the waves to go back with about as much effect as the "ban" on these Baofengs. From what I've read, tests on the more modern versions of these radios pass the spectral purity requirements.
    K8AI and KD2QQF like this.
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    If the potential manufacturer of amateur radio equipment does not make any equipment capable of operating above 30.0 MHz and is not an external r.f. amplifier, they don't, legally, even require a spectrum analyzer.

    Glen, K9STH
    KD2QQF likes this.
  10. KK6NOH

    KK6NOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    What will likely happen is the company who manufactures these radios (baofeng) will take about 5 seconds to lock out the illegal frequencies. The consumer (ham radio operators) will buy the baofeng and take 5 seconds to unlock the frequencies again, just for the sole purpose of going NEENER to "the man".

    In the end, absolutely nothing will change except 5 year old kids won't be able to jam firefighters anymore.

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