FCC baofeng radio ban?

View Latest Activity

Home Forums Radio & Communication FCC baofeng radio ban?

Viewing 14 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #117629
      lucky_luke
      Participant

        Hey can someone that is commo savvy give us knuckle draggers an overview of what the FCC is banning exactly? I know it was targeting baofeng radios because amcrest was at one point marketing those radios for something they weren’t supposed to be able to do. But reading any further than that and the information seems to break down. Some people are saying that baofeng and similar radios are going to be outright banned at the end of this month. Others are saying that the marketing is the only thing that has to be changed and that those types of radios are still here to stay. The other prevailing theory I’ve heard is that those types of radios are here to stay but they’re going to have to be “downgraded” to comply with a part 90 certification ( I have no clue what that is.) If anyone is willing or able to shed some light on what exactly is going on and if/how it affects us negatively, I would really appreciate it.

      • #117633
        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
        Moderator

          To my knowledge; subject to revision, they are banning the sale of Baofeng models UV-5R and UV-5R V2+ imported by Amcrest Industries.

          PDF Citation and Order Illegal Marketing of Unauthorized Radio

          They are capable of operations in unauthorized bands.

          Given the affordable nature of these if you think you need them now is the time. Amazon has them as low as $30 for one with a 3800mah battery, $25 for one with standard 1800mah battery.

          As a general rule I do not recommend these radios, but they mostly work and they are almost disposable at these prices.

          Operation of any radio outside of FCC regulations is illegal, nothing new there. Many are and will continue to do so, get caught and pay the price! ;-)

          Of course post event or in a true emergency it doesn’t apply.

        • #117635
          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
          Moderator

            Good overview…

          • #117638
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
            Moderator

              And even more info…(starting at 8:31)

            • #117643
              Joe (G.W.N.S.)
              Moderator

                Oh if you insist on Baofeng UV-5R, I would probably get the Tri-powered ones. They transmit on 1W/4W/8W for more flexibility.

                They can be called tri-power, high power, and long range for search purposes.

              • #117645
                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                Moderator

                  For the more adventurous between now and the end of the month I expect clearance sales by retailers not wanting to get stuck with radios they can’t sell.

                  Also beware of buying from sellers shipping from China since there is the possibility of getting stuck in customs due to their “illegal sales” status after the 30th. Don’t know if that is a real concern, but it is certainly possible.

                  • #117752
                    lucky_luke
                    Participant

                      As always, thanks for the information Joe. You’re a library of knowledge man. Commo isnt something i personally know anything about. But i heard about the ban and wanted to make sure myself and others weren’t really losing out on anything if we didnt scoop a few baofengs up before they arent available anymore. Since you dont recomend those, what type of handheld radios do you recommend for squad comms? Or is that a post thats been covered that i havent seen? Ive read (on here) that some guys are able to use “encryption” on some radios that they use. And i would assume that “secured” comms are something that we should put a high priority on?

                    • #117873
                      SeanT
                      Keymaster

                        Joe’s references are good. As an aside, the guy in those videos makes a very affordable, J-pole antenna out of copper pipe you can make your own for about the same $ but you don’t have the 300.00 tuner to fine tune the resonance….. I have bought a couple from him. One has been in service over at a race track for about 7 years now.

                    • #117762
                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                      Moderator

                        Since you dont recomend those, what type of handheld radios do you recommend for squad comms?

                        I’ll dig up some related older posts when I get a chance.

                        Much will depend on your budget and knowledge.

                        Regarding knowledge, if you aren’t going to dedicate the time and effort to adapt; say surplus Erickson or Motorola handhelds to your use, then your looking at off the shelf.

                        Where you plan on using the radios, what is the mission requirements, etc…are factors to consider.

                        “encryption”

                        True encryption isn’t legal for most citizens to transmit, having the ability to use or equip your communications equipment with encryption isn’t illegal. My point is after a event where you are no longer concerned with the FCC regulations and penalties, having the ability then could be valuable.

                        If you do not have a group to standardize, a large family standard, or the short term ability to get up to speed on communications options.

                        Then having a couple of Baofeng UV-5R tri-powers available wouldn’t be a terrible idea, just not ideal IMHO.

                        This assumes spending up to say $80 (for a pair of them) isn’t too much a burden.

                        If you went that route as a temporary solution I would verify function, program them, and store them in a improvised Faraday cage as a backup and/or a give away/barter item.

                        Quality new handhelds are going to start in the $200 range per radio and the sky is the limit.

                        Surplus project radios have no value with out the knowledge and/or money to bring them up to speed.

                        GRMS and CB radio is the minimum I think all should have due to the vast use in the US and even if you have better you need that ability IMHO.

                        Finally depending on actual use; particularly the so called “boogaloo” type event, too many put far too much emphasis on communications use!

                        In many scenarios there will be many who are killed because they didn’t appreciate the vulnerabilities to themselves such use creates!

                        Against a modern OPFOR; which includes those with experienced HAM’s, will be found and fixed quickly. A modern military can fix you in seconds accurately enough to immediately engage you should they wish.

                        Just some basic thoughts will add a when I get a chance.

                      • #117792
                        hellokitty
                        Participant

                          So is the govt gonna unleash a mandatory buy back program to get UV-5R off the streets? I’ll sell mine back for $75 no problem. ;-)

                          HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                          HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                          FOF X3
                          OPFOR X2
                          CLC X2
                          RIFLEMAN

                          • #117801
                            Anonymous
                            Inactive

                              So is the govt gonna unleash a mandatory buy back program to get UV-5R off the streets? I’ll sell mine back for $75 no problem. ;-)

                              Nobody needs a radio with a high-capacity frequency, we also need to regulate the thingys that stick out from the top, no civilian needs to blast that many microwaves.

                              In my working experience, Baofengs were good enough for working out of a static position, HYT and Hytera were more popular to carry during active operations. I was always told Baofengs had trouble with interference when being used in cities with a lot of steel beams.

                          • #117874
                            SeanT
                            Keymaster

                              FCC calls the reg. “Type Accepted” which means it passes QC for what it is intended to do without causing interference to other radio services. These are lower to low quality parts and there are tons of nerds that have already shown that some samples are creating interference.

                              FCC will leave you alone UNLESS you cause interference to a licenced service and the licensee complains. In those cases, they send the vans and hunt down the interference. They are pretty good at it.

                              Moral: Don’t poach some land mobile or even worse public service frequencies just because the radio will transmit there. you could cause interference that could cost someone a life.

                              If you use them for FRS or GMRS , it is technically a no-go but how you choose to address that issue is up to you.

                            • #117876
                              SeanT
                              Keymaster

                                In my working experience, Baofengs were good enough for working out of a static position, HYT and Hytera were more popular to carry during active operations. I was always told Baofengs had trouble with interference when being used in cities with a lot of steel beams.

                                It wouldn’t have been the radio hardware, it would have been the frequency. UHF better in cities, VHF in the open. quality of receiver is also part of this too for both bands.

                              • #117877
                                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                Moderator

                                  As an aside, the guy in those videos makes a very affordable, J-pole antenna out of copper pipe you can make your own for about the same $ but you don’t have the 300.00 tuner to fine tune the resonance…

                                  SeanT makes an excellent point here, learning to make antennas is worth your time however take advantage of properly tuned equipment now when you can.

                                • #117880
                                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                  Moderator

                                    For the more adventurous between now and the end of the month I expect clearance sales by retailers not wanting to get stuck with radios they can’t sell.

                                    Also beware of buying from sellers shipping from China since there is the possibility of getting stuck in customs due to their “illegal sales” status after the 30th. Don’t know if that is a real concern, but it is certainly possible.

                                    I don’t really need any of these, however I will be monitoring the price fluctuations. If the right deal presents itself I probably will purchase a few.

                                    Why?

                                    …verify function, program them, and store them in a improvised Faraday cage as a backup and/or a give away/barter item.

                                  • #117881
                                    SeanT
                                    Keymaster

                                      Handing what is effectively a disposable pre-programmed radio locked on the channel you want it on to someone helping you do something is very handy.

                                    • #117900
                                      Anonymous
                                      Inactive

                                        In my working experience, Baofengs were good enough for working out of a static position, HYT and Hytera were more popular to carry during active operations. I was always told Baofengs had trouble with interference when being used in cities with a lot of steel beams.

                                        It wouldn’t have been the radio hardware, it would have been the frequency. UHF better in cities, VHF in the open. quality of receiver is also part of this too for both bands.

                                        Oh okay, thanks, I’m not terribly experienced with two-way radios so I never knew that. :good:

                                      • #118445
                                        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                        Moderator

                                          Well I was talking with someone earlier and it made me realize I need to clarify some details.

                                          As a general rule I do not recommend these radios, but they mostly work and they are almost disposable at these prices.

                                          In this forum consider what we discuss?

                                          Disaster aftermath, Black Swan events, and situations where we could participate in some sort of combat.

                                          So are the Baofeng’s up to those enviromnts?

                                          No, not IMHO.

                                          Is there any value to having these radios?

                                          They are an excellent entry level radio for use as a licensed amateur radio operator.

                                          A mobile unit in a vehicle where it’s protected from the elements. Used in good weather outdoors. Extra give away radios for your neighbors in an emergency.

                                          You could modify them to be more weather resistant in a pinch, though simply putting them in a zip lock bag may suffice.

                                          For the money they certainly have uses.

                                          It’s just another context issue, many of the handhelds I used in military could be submerged in water, beat on, and generally abused and be fine. ;-)

                                          I know someone who used a Motorola as club to knock a guy out. Then called for back up and a ambulance with that same radio.

                                          Baofeng? I don’t think so. :wacko:

                                          Now one of the reasons these Baofeng radios are in this situation is the fact that with out any hardware modifications you can program and transmit on any frequency it is physically capable of regardless whether it’s legal or not.

                                          Transmit at 8 watts on a FRS channel that’s limited to .5 watts? No problem.

                                          Live in an area where Emergency Services are still using analog and want to bypass 911? Again, no problem!

                                          Of course doing so without an extreme life and death situation and things are going to be really bad for you.

                                          Now having some of these options post event maybe worth having and unless you are/or have access to a really tech savvy person it isn’t happening.

                                          So these do provide options, but don’t be stupid or they will find you.

                                          Now if they only had a IP68 (Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.) rated radio.

                                          The best they have is only IP54 (Protected from limited dust ingress. Protected from water spray from any direction.) rated.

                                          That’s why I don’t recommend these, hobby use is fine.

                                      Viewing 14 reply threads
                                      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.