Will repeatedly reprogramming HTs wear them out?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by AC0GT, Apr 27, 2019.

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  1. KX4QP

    KX4QP Ham Member QRZ Page

    For anyone who cares, my BaoFeng BF-F8HP (the 8W 2m/440 model, or whatever its real output) has FCC ID 2AGNDF8HP. This model includes FM broadcast receive and has coverage beyond the edges of the 2m amateur band (presumably for commercial or public service use), as I recall 138 to 170-something MHz (should be able to get NOAA on 162 something MHz). I'm not sure where it stands relative to the 440 amateur band -- just haven't checked, I don't use that band much, though I have a number of repeaters programmed in it. With the stock battery and rubber duck antenna, charger, and earpiece (but no programming cable), it was about $60 earlier this year. Programming cable was another $20 or so, and it works fine with CHIRP. With two extended batteries and a (genuine) Nagoya 771 antenna, I've got just under $150 into it at present.

    Yes, this is more or less the definition of CCR. Which means it fits my budget, and so far, it's covered my needs. Sometime soon, I need to figure out how to get it to scan, program the NOAA weather frequencies and start keeping it at my workbench -- after spending most of an hour in the storm shelter at work a week or so ago, I want something other than a cell phone to confirm the all clear.

    EDIT: the 440 band coverage on this unit is 520 to 700 MHz, which easily covers the frequencies of FRS and GMRS. Legalities, I'm not sure how to check.
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    W7CJD likes this.
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    First of all, I have to correct you!

    I have it under reasonably good authority it was actually a salami sandwich. I understand the reason was they wanted to be able to sell it into the "kosher" markets as well.

    Thank you.
  3. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    2AB7AD2A-A321-40C0-8C69-EAA3B363E0D3.jpeg 404C2AE4-5C8A-4E59-A120-4873841B3C5C.jpeg By removing the battery case, I looked up the FCC ID on the sticker inside on the Wouxon KG-UV3D HT transceiver case.

    I looked up the FCC ID as recommended.

    I looked up FRS, MURS/GMRS at the same FCC website.

    It seems compliance is all there:
    2-Watts output, 20 kHz and 12.5 kHz spacing are easily selectable with software.

    NOAA frequencies are available, and may be easily entered in the software.

    The product description shows it has FM receive.

    I suggest online lookup for brand and model of interest, for example.

    Do this for each brand of interest.
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  4. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC grant only covers Part 90, not Part 95. So, not certified for MURS, FRS or GMRS.
  5. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page


    My general understanding is

    ..the equipment must not have spurious signals and must meet stability requirements for the transmitted signal.

    ..and the operator has the responsibility to comply with FCC Regulations.

    In fact, I can spin the dial on all of my HF transceivers right past approved General Class license to Advanced or Extra, even to 75-meters, for example.

    It is the operator violating the FCC Regulations.

    I read FCC regulations about FRS, GMRS/MURS and I can see how the confusion arises.

    It looks like the operator is required to conform.

    HF 60-meter was made to look like it was up to the operator, then, transceiver mfg's limited transmissions to the FCC regulations, next, updated limiting transmissions to the latest FCC regulations.

    The mfg's did the compliance for the licensed radio amateur.

    The bottom line:

    Read 47 CFR Part 90 for example https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...006ef7cfc13&mc=true&node=sp47.5.90.i&rgn=div6 "General Technical Standards"

    Read 47 CFR Part 95 for example https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/part-95/subpart-B

    Next, will licensed radio amateur class operators have mfg's do every aspect of compliance with FCC regulations removing responsible operating from licensed radio amateurs?

    The bottom line:

    Next, will licensed radio amateur class operators become "appliance operators".

    Does the transceiver qualify and the mfg failed to apply for Part 95?


    Is this the same as failure to license the USB on the programming cable, necessitating purchase of a licensed USB programming cable?
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably NOT legal on any §Part 95 services. If it has a removable antenna, it definitely is NOT legal for FRS.
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page


    The operator needs to be smart enough too do so.
  8. KX4QP

    KX4QP Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not always a matter of how smart the operator is. If you have an IQ of 180, have never been exposed to ham radio, and buy a radio that looks like a kid's toy and is priced similarly, and sold to just anyone on eBay, what reason would you have to believe you needed a license to transmit with it, never mind believe (before studying for the test, at least) that license, once obtained, was not good for the entire operating band of the radio? Education and ignorance are very much not the same as intelligence and stupidity (and the latter two aren't necessarily opposites; I used to work with a man who loudly claimed an IQ of 130, and I have reason to believe it -- yet demonstrated his stupidity with distressing regularity).

    That said, these radios (like my BaoFeng) are obviously designed for multiple user markets -- they make admirable police/fire scanners (presumably with transmit disabled on those bands for civilians), have okay FM broadcast reception, can receive NOAA weather alerts, can even (seemingly) listen in on FRS/GMRS/MURS (even if it's illegal for them to transmit on those channels) -- and of course they're great for simplex between, say, hikers or mountain bikers with a rather good range (compared to the FRS and toy transceivers) and can access repeaters for traditional ham activity. And do it for around $30, if you don't want/need the extra transmit power.

    Yes, it's up to the operator to maintain compliance. But it seems to me it might make sense for the manufacturer or seller to at least label the radio to make it clear that transmitting with it requires some sort of license (whether amateur, public safety, or commercial). There's nothing on the box my BF-F8HP came in that suggests that -- unless you're educated/knowledgeable enough to get that from "VHF/UHF".

    Sure, cars aren't labeled with "you need a license to drive this" -- but we all grew up in a society that makes getting that license a coming of age milestone; even if you, personally, never got one (or needed it, because you had no need to drive due to living in a city with excellent public transit and taxi support), you can't have missed the requirement. Ham radio isn't anything like as directly in the public eye. I spoke to a grocery checker this afternoon (who asked about my BaoFeng, which I had carried inside with me), and the whole idea of a radio you can "call out on" seemed strange to her, never mind that you'd need a license for it, and she gave no indication of knowing what CB was (I told her it was "like CB only better, but you need a license to transmit", and got no recognition of CB -- too young to remember "Convoy" on the radio, I guess).

    Buy a license-free Radio Control transmitter, and there's a brochure in the box encouraging you to join the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) -- even though that's not legally required, either to operate the radio or to fly the model it controls. Why hasn't the ARRL (in a similar position for our hobby as the AMA is for model airplane flying) worked with radio manufacturers to put similar information in the boxes with these radios that any junior high student can afford and easily buy?
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would hope places advertising their radios would be honest about any certifications they hold. I shouldn't have to run to the FCC to verify the status of every model. If radios are not advertised as Part 95 compliant then I will assume they are not.

    Agreed. I'll stick with dealers I believe to be reputable.

    Well, yes and no. There are radios certified for Part 95 or Part 90 but yet still able to be reprogrammed for Part 97 use. In fact doing such seems quite popular among licensed Amateurs looking to save a few bucks. I have no plans to program any radio that would violate this FCC rule of keeping the different services separate.

    In my research I recall that such radios are no longer produced, they would only be available as used. I also recall that these radios still demand high prices because of this certification. So, yes, it would seem that there are no cheap radios that are both Part 95 and Part 90.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Getting back to the original subject "can repeatedly reprogramming HTs wear them out?" I'd have to say "no," unless you do it every five minutes for years.

    I just realized my now 32 year-old FT-736R has been re-programmed (memories) probably 100 times a year for 32 years, so that's probably about 3200 times. No evidence of anything wearing out.

    NVRAM does have a limited number of "write" cycles, usually expressed in GBW or TBW (Gigabyte writes or Terabyte writes) and the numbers are large. "Memory" writes aren't anything like that, they're Kilobyte writes, which are tiny snippets of data. I'd think unless the manufacturers are using pure junk, any HT, mobile rig or "home station" rig could sustain more writes to memory than anyone could possibly do in a lifetime.

    However just as a "fun fact," you can actually wear out an SSD in a few days if you do unbelievably crazy stuff...like my customer in Colorado, Keysight Technologies, who uses our NVRAM modules to acquire data from hundreds of sources at once, at rates of over 6000 MB/second. Doing that 24/7, indeed an SSD can be "depleted" and just plain worn out in days or weeks. But that's a very atypical application, and they expected that to happen.
    KX4QP and AC0GT like this.

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