Say goodbye to cheapo Chinese VHF/UHF handhelds?

#1
Serious stuff here in that because Baofengs can operate on FRS and GMRS frequencies, outside of our region's UHF/VHF amateur bands, the amateur radio exception doesn't apply!

https://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/17392

This would be terrible in that I'm a huge fan of these cheapo radios. My family uses them mostly for in camp and backpacking (my wife and I are both licensed ham radio operators) to keep in contact as we hike with our kids or take side excursions with other trails. It hurts less to kill $60 worth of radio and antenna than $200+, but we will have to see how this all shakes out.

Frankly this wouldn't be a problem if not for the extreme abuse of the GMRS and FRS frequencies with over powered transmissions via these radios by non-licensed individuals. The FCC generally acts like whack-a-mole when it comes to stuff like this.
 

Celt II

Adventurist
#2
I think the Chinese would probably modify them to be FCC compliant if there was something brought forth preventing them from being sold here in America. They have a big market and I don't imagine they would want to loose that. That being said it's good to hear the FCC might be trying to crack down on some of this. I get bleed over all the time on my favorite 2M repeaters from the Mexican truck drivers that have pirated radios in their trucks now that they are allowed to travel into the US smuggling, er uh I mean bringing products across the border.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#3
We use the Baofangs for crew radios when desert racing. If you lose it you're out $30. I will admit that desert racers use the 150-158 range on our radios (I'm not a radio head, not sure of the exact range). One of the radios in my truck (I use two when chasing) is an Icom dedicated two way radio, the other one may or may not allegedly be a slightly modified Kenwood HAM radio.:rolleyes:

I suspect if the Chinese radios are modified to be compliant, it will be as easy to unmodify them as it allegedly is to modify a typical HAM radio to transmit in the 150-158 range.:rolleyes:
 
#4
We use the Baofangs for crew radios when desert racing. If you lose it you're out $30. I will admit that desert racers use the 150-158 range on our radios (I'm not a radio head, not sure of the exact range). One of the radios in my truck (I use two when chasing) is an Icom dedicated two way radio, the other one may or may not allegedly be a slightly modified Kenwood HAM radio.:rolleyes:

I suspect if the Chinese radios are modified to be compliant, it will be as easy to unmodify them as it allegedly is to modify a typical HAM radio to transmit in the 150-158 range.:rolleyes:
It's not intentionally modified if that resistor just "happens" to fall off when you've got the cover off the radio. Total accident.
 

dorton

Adventurist
#7
Or....firmware updates on Software Defined Radios.

The cheap radios have been a blessing and a curse for amateur radio. They’ve gotten a lot of people in that never would have tried the hobby, but I see many more folks deciding they don’t need to get the license now that they’ve got the radio.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#9
^^^^I can remember when a CB radio required a license.

From wikipedia....
Originally, CB (named Citizens Radio by the Federal Communications Commission as of 1972) required a purchased license ($20 in the early 1970s, reduced to $4 on March 1, 1975) and the use of a callsign; however, when the CB craze was at its peak many people ignored this requirement and invented their own nicknames (known as "handles"). Rules on authorized use of CB radio (along with lax enforcement) led to widespread disregard of the regulations (notably in antenna height, distance communications, licensing, call signs and transmitter power).
 
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Mitch

Adventurist
Founding Member
#13
Regarding folks deciding they don't want/need the license...

There needs to be an equivalent to the FAA's "Sportsmans Pilot License" drawn up by the FCC, that is one level below the current "Technician" license. Put the test online directly with the FCC (removing control by Radio Clubs and Organizations), or by direct mail-in.

But organizations like the ARRL are against this, just like they and many hams were against the ITU/FCC dropping the Morse Code requirement. It's my opinion they like these gatekeepers to keep the non-geeks out of their little club.

Just like Morse Code, you shouldn't be required to know Ohm's Law, how to build an antenna, or your own radio from parts in a box in order to talk on ham radio frequencies. You need to know RF Safety and FCC Protocol, and that's pretty much it.

Just my humble opinion.
 

java230

Adventurist
#16
Regarding folks deciding they don't want/need the license...

There needs to be an equivalent to the FAA's "Sportsmans Pilot License" drawn up by the FCC, that is one level below the current "Technician" license. Put the test online directly with the FCC (removing control by Radio Clubs and Organizations), or by direct mail-in.

But organizations like the ARRL are against this, just like they and many hams were against the ITU/FCC dropping the Morse Code requirement. It's my opinion they like these gatekeepers to keep the non-geeks out of their little club.

Just like Morse Code, you shouldn't be required to know Ohm's Law, how to build an antenna, or your own radio from parts in a box in order to talk on ham radio frequencies. You need to know RF Safety and FCC Protocol, and that's pretty much it.

Just my humble opinion.
I am 100% with you. There should be a online FCC done test. Took me years to get my license because of having to find a stupid club doing it.

Know the basics, get to use the basic frequencies and be done.
 

Mitch

Adventurist
Founding Member
#19
Yup, it's time to wrangle the licensing from the ARRL (handles 2/3 of all licensing applications) and the few other outfits that currently have a deathgrip on the process. They live in the stone ages, and refuse to embrace changes to the system because of how much control it lends them over the system.

I sent an email off to the FCC leadership staff today. Who knows if something will come of it, but yes, a new class is needed, and it needs to be 100% online.
 
#20
So which Chinese radio and antenna would you reccommend for a noob (once I get my license of course..)!
Are you looking for a mobile or handheld (HT)?

I'm partial to Yaesu products, but any of the "Big 3" will work just great. (Kenwood, Yaesu, ICOM)

Handheld: FT-60

Mobile: FT-1900

I found my FT-1900 available with an online coupon at Ham Radio Outlet for $135.

For mobile antenna companies I've had success with both Comet and Diamond antennas...any of their 2 meter or dual band antennas would be great for adventure comms. Mounting preference is user specific, but a nice magnetic mounted antenna is a great first time choice, easy to mount and harder to steal if you pull and store each time.

Comet: Comet M-24M

Diamond Antenna: Diamond MR-77S

If you're looking for the inexpensive Chinese units mentioned above, Baoefeng seems to be the radio-du-jour...

Baofeng: Baofeng UV-5R

Lots of choices for all budgets...73's and I am QRT. ;)

Yup, it's time to wrangle the licensing from the ARRL (handles 2/3 of all licensing applications) and the few other outfits that currently have a deathgrip on the process. They live in the stone ages, and refuse to embrace changes to the system because of how much control it lends them over the system.

I sent an email off to the FCC leadership staff today. Who knows if something will come of it, but yes, a new class is needed, and it needs to be 100% online.
Maybe an "E-Tech" class??
 
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