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ARRL, FCC Discussing Issue of Uncertified Imported VHF/UHF Transceivers

Oct 4th 2018, 11:17


Joined: Mar 1st 2011, 09:28
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ARRL, FCC Discussing Issue of Uncertified Imported VHF/UHF Transceivers

In my opinion, what this is - is called BACK SLIDING.

The ARRL made a serious mistake when they allowed advertising for these illegal radios. Then when told - these radios are indeed illegal, they tried to justify using them by saying - well as long as no one transmits on other frequencies - it is OK!

NO - it is not OK!

These radios are ILLEGAL - pure and simple. Lets let it drop at that.

Tell everyone - OOP's we made a mistake, you can't use these radios, please stop using them to make "Check In's" on your local UHF / VHF nets and go out and buy yourself a real amateur radio.

How stupid are you people? You have tested these radios for years at The Dayton Hamfest and found 97% of them to be non compliant!
How much more than that do you need?

PLMRS is very specific - you aren't allowed to operate on their frequencies without a license - which you do not have, and without their permission - for which the only agency that can give you permission is THE FCC!

All of these radios are loaded with SPURS that can be heard on the PLMRS frequencies when you are transmitting on YOUR AMATEUR RADIO FREQUENCIES.

What this means is that you are transmitting illegally each and every time you transmit with these radios - regardless of if you are on frequency - on amateur radio or not!

We have dumbed things down to the point of where no one understands the rules anymore and everyone "Cowboy's It" to the point of where we have turned this into The Citizens Band!

We need to re evaluate our priorities here, look at what we have been doing, that has not worked, and learn from our mistakes.
Quit licensing people that has no business on Amateur Radio and start recruiting people that are actually going to do something constructive - beyond just buying a $30 walkie talkie and occasionally participating on a local FM net.

Bloating our numbers artificially is not creating any real hams here.
Just listen to any conversation on any FM repeater in Western PA, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and you will quickly deduce that these people shouldn't even have a license!

Where are the Elmers here?

If you want to do something constructive - The ARRL needs to petition The FCC to make it so that no one can become licensed unless they are first paired with a Certified Elmer. Someone that can teach these new people how to talk, act, and be a HAM!

We need to go back to the old days, where everyone is required to keep a log and are required to operate X amount of hours before they are given a permanent amateur radio license.

Instead of giving them HF frequencies where they can make an even bigger mess, and giving them privileges for which they did nothing to earn - bring back the novice class, the novice frequencies and make these people physically earn a license - like they did in the old days..

At this point - bringing back CW seems to be the most logical way of keeping out those that does not belong in the first place...
Oct 4th 2018, 12:31


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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We have not allowed advertising of these radios. Instead, we published this Technical Correspondence item alerting hams to spectral purity issues we have documented by measuring 919 radios at ham conventions.

NOV 2015 - QST (PG. 74)
ARRL Laboratory Handheld Transceiver Testing
(Technical Correspondence)

Members can use our new digital archive to download the November 2015 QST.

Zak Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

Oct 9th 2018, 12:19


Joined: Mar 1st 2011, 09:28
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Total Posts: 0
Thank You ZAK I remember that article well. Said 97% of all the radios tested were not in compliance. My point is that what people forgets is that it is up to us - as licensed amateurs, to learn all of the rules, not just the couple of rules covered in the license exams. That the Part 97 is like a guidebook - how we should operate.. While the Part 15 is the technical aspects that explains the minimum standards published for all radio services. Had anyone put your article together with what it says in The Part 15 - they would realize that those radios were never in compliance and no model was ever submitted to The FCC to be part type acceptable. Since they are not Part type acceptable for any radio service - they are not part type acceptable for The Amateur Radio Service - since there is no way to block the out of band frequencies. Just like NASCAR that tried to race on a track with imperfections or missing guard rails - by telling the drivers - just don't drive there! There is no way to make those radio perform on just the amateur radio bands - even if you did not intentionally transmit out of band. The spurs are all across the band spectrum. Why is it that you knew this and yet the powers that be at The ARRL did not understand this when they published that they were going to Petition The FCC to not ban those radios for use on the amateur radio frequencies? My opinion is that they A. - don't want to upset those on the fringe of amateur radio, the ones that only spend $20 - $40 to buy a walkie talkie. Or B. - Figured there was no way to enforce the rule, so figured they would just ignore the rule and the problem, and hope that the problem would go away!

Two stories - 1 - I believe it was in Johnstown PA, that someone with a couple of these handhelds interfered with police communications - until he was caught. This caused quite a ruckas until they physically caught him..

2. - The local firemen bought them because the county did not issue them radios for each firefighter. The firefighters thought that since there was a Wide / Narrow selector in the programming, they could just choose which type of emission they wanted and no one would know the difference. Only the narrow the radio used was not the same as the narrow band compliance rule in place. And, the real radios had a digital identifier that showed the 911 center which radio was in transmit. The cheap Beofungs did not have this option. Hence anyone transmitting without authorization was in fact transmitting illegally. The problem then becomes trying to convince someone that they do not have a license to transmit on those frequencies nor is the radio legal for transmitting on those frequencies and that they could get everyone in trouble - just for transmitting with a wide band radio on a narrow band channel. After all - they are firemen not radio technicians. The internet has turned most everyone into automatic experts on most any subject, just because they now have access to the opinions of others, and free access to equipment that was previously only available to licensed LMRS technicians with Radio Telephone licenses.

Today anyone can operate a 50,000 watt transmitter at a commercial radio station - without any knowledge of how it works or even need a Radio Telephone license. Just run it until it breaks or someone complains and then call a freelance engineer to come fix the problem..
Nov 14th 2018, 12:16


Joined: Nov 1st 2014, 14:11
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
The argument is that only type certified equipment should be allowed in the Amateur Radio Service?

A bit of perspective is in order.

It is one thing for a Amateur Radio Operator to run an experimental radio on service known for it's experimentation. But comparing that to people purposely misusing that equipment to interfere with a public service or to use it in a service for which it was never intended is like comparing apples and oranges.

It is nice that the ARRL does these product measurements.
However, most of these radios are QRP, and frankly, specturally much better than what your average ham can put together at home, yet, all I see are criticisms of the ham on a budget.

Remember that it is perfectly for a Ham to put together their own transmitter from a kit or a design they built from scratch.
And it is up to the Individual Operator to ensure their emission stays in band and for their station to meet good operating practices of the time.
Nov 18th 2018, 15:04


Joined: Jun 28th 2018, 07:21
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

As a re-newed Ham operator who lives in Ohio, I find your comments interesting. I have found it hard to find someone who will help me understand what the options are these days : so much has changed since my prior licensing expired. I would greatly welcome finding someone who can hep me become an excellent operators (or at least much better). Other hobbies I've pursued have made the journey easy. This one seems quite hard.

This is one guy's opinion, but if there is a desire to keep this hobby alive in a world where there is so much on the Internet for the technical geeks, Ham radio needs to be a LOT easier to get up to speed. Quite frankly, if I'd not been a Signal Corps officer, I'd be giving up. But radio is something I believe in, so I am slogging it out.

Kind regards,
Nov 16th 2019, 07:03


Joined: Apr 29th 2012, 11:43
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Sorry. I have to disagree with this guy's proposal to make licensing stricter. I agree the code requirement was a good filter to keep the CB types out of our hobby. Not publishing the question pool would help as well. I agree with that old argument, but placing the modern "elmer" into such a position of importance is problematic since, from my experience surfing the HF frequencies, most of the most offensive deviants I've seen there ARE THE ELMERS who were licensed long long ago.

As far as the technical specifications of these radios, I haven't formed an opinion yet. I would tread lightly on this issue though. From what I read, one of the main issues is the ease at which these radios can be modified to operate out of band. I can think of plenty expensive name brand rigs that can be easily modified to operate out of band.

Be careful what you wish for.



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