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Budget and Entry Level Transceivers For discussion of budget or entry level radios such as Baofeng, Wouxun, Puxing and other radio communications designated as commercial but not targeted for Amateur or GMRS. Also included are MURS and ISM 900MHz designed radios.

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Old 11-13-2013, 10:56 PM
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Default Illegal transmissions from Baofeng-type radios

Are others noticing illegal radio transmissions on their local police/fire frequencies from these cheap Baofeng radios? I'm in an area where the main county dispatch channels are VHF-Hi and analog, and overheard some moron start keying a radio on the Sheriff dept ch1 freq. After some popping and clicking and blowing into it, he cuts loose with "Breaker Breaker Breaker" as if he's playing on an old CB radio. The dispatcher warned him to clear the air and that he was 'being tracked', and the transmissions stopped. Curious if others are noticing this type of interference, and what , if anything, is being done to combat it. I can see this becoming a big problem.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:38 PM
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Well, all our police/fire/ecnalubma two-way comms here are either FM on 800 or P25, so... no.

The few analogue VHF public services here, I'm told, are these days just one-way (broadcast) simulcasts of the FM 800 MHz or P25 VHF stuff. Apparently they rarely (don't?) actually communicate directly via analogue VHF any more.* What I DO hear, when I'm in the right spot, is sporadic off-frequency bleed-over from various services (despatchers, businesses, HAM repeaters, KIG98, the Coast Guard on 16/22, etc.) taking over MURS and other VHF frequencies on my too-wide PRO-94. 151.820 and 880 on that rig are a mess. I guess my expert sleuthing abilities are leading me to find out why the whole "narrowbanding" thing sucks. Of course, this isn't a problem on either of my UV5Rs (yes, I got another one) since their front-ends can deal with it better.

Anyways, how do you know it's strictly a Baofeng? (Yes, I know I'm being pedantic.) How do you know it's not a Wouxon, Puxing, TYT, a modified Yaelincwoodcom, a defective MURS HT transmitting way off-frequency, etc.?

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* Within Vancouver or Portland. I'm sure the unincorporated towns and communities out in the sticks probably still use it to some extent or other. Doesn't negate what I said in my first paragraph/line, though.

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Old 11-14-2013, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by doublescan View Post
Are others noticing illegal radio transmissions on their local police/fire frequencies from these cheap Baofeng radios? I'm in an area where the main county dispatch channels are VHF-Hi and analog, and overheard some moron start keying a radio on the Sheriff dept ch1 freq. After some popping and clicking and blowing into it, he cuts loose with "Breaker Breaker Breaker" as if he's playing on an old CB radio. The dispatcher warned him to clear the air and that he was 'being tracked', and the transmissions stopped. Curious if others are noticing this type of interference, and what , if anything, is being done to combat it. I can see this becoming a big problem.
What a moron to interfere with police transmissions!

But "you're being tracked" cracked me up.
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Old 11-14-2013, 1:37 AM
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But "you're being tracked" cracked me up.
Well it can be done actually, obviously a little more to it though but if the moron carries on long enough it's possible.

We've had a few cases over here in Victoria, Australia in recent years on a VHF Voting Network used by Victoria Police for rural (country) operations.

The 'outside agency' they mention in the article I link to below is the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which is akin to the US FCC.

Jail for police death threats | The Courier

Here is another bright one from Queensland, Australia:
Man charged over Sunshine Coast police radio channel breach - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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Old 11-14-2013, 5:56 AM
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It has been ocuring LONG before these knock-off's come around

Anyone remember the Icom "Commercial" H16/U16 - with the famous Function 1-5-9-3-5-7

In addition to the MARS/CAP mods from many amateur models.
Sadly in any hobby/profession etc, there are the bad apples

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Originally Posted by doublescan View Post
Are others noticing illegal radio transmissions on their local police/fire frequencies from these cheap Baofeng radios? I'm in an area where the main county dispatch channels are VHF-Hi and analog, and overheard some moron start keying a radio on the Sheriff dept ch1 freq. After some popping and clicking and blowing into it, he cuts loose with "Breaker Breaker Breaker" as if he's playing on an old CB radio. The dispatcher warned him to clear the air and that he was 'being tracked', and the transmissions stopped. Curious if others are noticing this type of interference, and what , if anything, is being done to combat it. I can see this becoming a big problem.
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Old 11-14-2013, 8:06 AM
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I actually recall a modified 2m radio being used by a reckless Amateur radio operator making "piggy squealing" noises over the local Police frequencies back in the 90's... I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it... takes all type eh?

The truly sad thing is all this idiocy could disrupt communications resulting in serious injury/loss of life
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Old 11-14-2013, 8:17 AM
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Default Illegal transmissions from Baofeng-type radios

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Old 11-14-2013, 9:18 AM
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Originally Posted by doublescan View Post
Are others noticing illegal radio transmissions on their local police/fire frequencies from these cheap Baofeng radios? I'm in an area where the main county dispatch channels are VHF-Hi and analog, and overheard some moron start keying a radio on the Sheriff dept ch1 freq. After some popping and clicking and blowing into it, he cuts loose with "Breaker Breaker Breaker" as if he's playing on an old CB radio. The dispatcher warned him to clear the air and that he was 'being tracked', and the transmissions stopped. Curious if others are noticing this type of interference, and what , if anything, is being done to combat it. I can see this becoming a big problem.
..just because "their" marketing a similar quality product for a better price doesn't make them "cheap". I think your just balling because it's the Chinese that are putting the grips to an industry that has had free reign on price gouging for far too long, IMHO. And if you notice - the Kwood and Yesu (names blotched to protect the guilty) companies have been "feeling the pinch" so to say as they both now have "sale priced" units VERY comparable to the Chinese "knock offs" - like a recently advertised Kwood 2m/ expanded 144-174Mhz mobile for $129.00 ....after rebate ofcourse!!! LOL - so now they no longer have a price gouge to sell something at +/- $600.00 which really should have been all along at $129.00. And now that their (the Chinese) realizing a market for not only the 2m/70cm bands but the HF realm also - I think were going to be seeing some very nice products at VERY AFFORDABLE pricing. If I can get an HF rig that performs just as well as a $7,9999.99 for $800.00 which do think I'm going to buy? And you can't really scream that "un a'murican" because as we all know the Japanese have been shilling the HAM / RF market for decades.
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Old 11-14-2013, 9:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublescan View Post
Are others noticing illegal radio transmissions on their local police/fire frequencies from these cheap Baofeng radios? I'm in an area where the main county dispatch channels are VHF-Hi and analog, and overheard some moron start keying a radio on the Sheriff dept ch1 freq. After some popping and clicking and blowing into it, he cuts loose with "Breaker Breaker Breaker" as if he's playing on an old CB radio. The dispatcher warned him to clear the air and that he was 'being tracked', and the transmissions stopped. Curious if others are noticing this type of interference, and what , if anything, is being done to combat it. I can see this becoming a big problem.
Someone STILL has to program the radios. They don't come out of the box on an agency's frequency. We had the potential to have this kind of trouble for decades, since cheap MAXON portables hit the streets around 1985. Before that radios were very expensive and needed to be crystal controlled (read: considerable effort to get on a system). Then we had keypad programmable Yaesu FTC-1123/FTC-1143 and Icom V-16/U-16 commercial radios that were equally as unrestricted. And ham radio mods deserve a brief mention (I am not intending for that statement to spawn a dead-horse discussion about right or wrong of such, it's been debated elsewhere in our forums, just an awareness).

They've all been there for a long time.

If you're seeing interference there, it's not that the potential has not been there all along, it's that someone deliberately has chosen to interfere. Period.

Could the real problem be that thanks to our Chinese friends, price is no longer a barrier?
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Old 11-14-2013, 9:27 AM
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Default Illegal radio use

The club I belonged to was involved in an interference case several years ago by a disgruntled ham. We were able to track him and he was arrested and appeared in court on an interference with law enforcement charge. Unless the offender transmits very short messages, they are not that hard to track by experienced "fox hunters".
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Old 11-14-2013, 9:53 AM
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I put Baofeng-type radio in the title, so that is what I meant, not necessarily that brand. 902 has hit it on the head, the price-barrier to interference has been broken. Now, any half-wit with internet & Amazon.xxx can order up one. I was dispatching back in the 80s,90s and we had sporadic stuff like this happen , but very few times back then, and nothing to compare to the current environment of easy-to-obtain radios. I bought one of the UV3's myself for curiosity, of course I'm not interested in transmitting on the LE channels or amat freqs either-thought it might operate as a cheap scanner. And it does that, although its slow as molasses and not very efficient at it.
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Old 11-15-2013, 9:56 AM
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Anyone who intentionally interferes with public safety frequencies needs to have their head examined. There really is no shortage of morons and imbeciles with nothing better to do than wreak havoc. If it's not jamming transmissions it's using laser lights to blind pilots or using fake police car lights to push other road users out of the way.
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:21 AM
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Anyone who intentionally interferes with public safety frequencies needs to have their head examined. There really is no shortage of morons and imbeciles with nothing better to do than wreak havoc. If it's not jamming transmissions it's using laser lights to blind pilots or using fake police car lights to push other road users out of the way.
Thats horrible to transmit and do any funny business on public safety bans. Thats why you have the HAM bands so you can let out all of your anger over the radio. I think people do it because they think its cute and knowing that they can.

If you dont want to get caught make sure you don't transmit from your home. Always be mobile and at least 10 to 20 miles from your house at all times. Then there is no possible way of triangle-lat your where abouts when they try and sniff out the fox. Always keep the FOX on the hunt.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:02 AM
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Thats why you have the HAM bands so you can let out all of your anger over the radio.
LOLOLOLOL!!!
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If you dont want to get caught make sure you don't transmit from your home. Always be mobile and at least 10 to 20 miles from your house at all times. Then there is no possible way of triangle-lat your where abouts when they try and sniff out the fox. Always keep the FOX on the hunt.
That's not necessarily true. People are predictable and it takes a great deal of energy to go out of one's way to randomize things. Anymore, we are developing relational databases that collect all sorts of effluvia, but then put them together to formulate shell constructs of who someone is and where someone is. It's very possible under these conditions to: 1) target anyone who is a known radio enthusiast, 2) look at forensic data (i.e., past data from cellphone locations, vehicle toll transponders, ALPRS, etc.) to see where you've been, then narrow down the locations of where interference has been identified. Bingo. It's not as hard as one would think.

There are even simpler ways that don't need to go all NSA. You take the logging recorder tape and turn it into a WAV file. Using an editor program, you remove all the radio noises and other people talking. You now have a file that is just your one person talking. Listening to that file is like listening to someone reading random sentences from a book. You listen for prosody. That is, the way someone talks, not the content. How fast they speak, how they pronounce words, regional accents. You might not know who it is right away, but you definitely know who it is NOT. Couple that with spectroscopy and you now have pretty much how someone sounds along with the spectral bands of their voice (within 300 - 3000 Hz). Get enough data and they know who you are by who you are not.

Bottom line is there are a bunch of ways to find someone even if you never hit the street. Privacy is an illusion.

My favorite doesn't even involve external interference. It's a boring night shift with new radios in the cars. All of a sudden, there is country music coming over the dispatch channel. After a minute, the music stops. The dispatcher keys up and says, "(unit number), do you have traffic for dispatch?" Unit hesitates for a few seconds, says, "Um, no dispatch, I have no traffic." LOL. New system had a time-out-timer and embedded unit ID, and after a minute the radio shut down and she was seeing the ID all along. Oops! That playing stuff went away lickety split. So do the "lost" hunting radios after they inadvertently transmit and someone clicks on the "Radio Inhibit" icon. A note with: "We found this broken radio" usually happens within 48 hrs.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pinballwiz86 View Post
What a moron to interfere with police transmissions!

But "you're being tracked" cracked me up.
Actually that`s not all that funny (but i do get a chuckle at it ) as they CAN DF the offending signal to a pretty good degree and actually catch the person. That happened here some years back and they did get the person rather quickly from just a goodly bit of DF`ing, so while that does sound a bit funny, there`s a ring of truth to this too. N9NRA
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:17 AM
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I've noticed in my area a lot of CB-like talk on one of the MURS channels, 151.820mhz where power is supposed to be limited to 2w but these people are using way more. I suspect they are also using these fairly new cheap Chinese radios that transmit out of band, as well as amplifiers. It was a surprise to hear but I guess it is hard to stop with so many of these cheap radios coming from China that have out of band transmit abilities.
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Old 11-15-2013, 1:23 PM
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Radios are like firearms - on their own they can't do any harm, it's the operator that causes the problems.
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Old 11-15-2013, 2:47 PM
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The price point and access to this type of radio has been noticed where I am. I bought a UV5R just to see what $42 got me. It got me a so-so scanner that will work for GMRS too. I still prefer my Motorola.

There is some moron here locally that apparently has one and thinks it is awesome. He has been fumbling around trying to program it for a couple months, doing radio checks on the Sheriff system, Fire repeater, and heck, he even got on the Telephone Company's repeater one day, although I think he thought he was on the Fire repeater from what he was saying.

The worst part is, he is either a vol fireman, aux deputy, or both....or maybe he is just getting away with it because the dispatchers are busy and don't notice and think enough to question it. It almost seems like they know who it is, but he never uses a "unit" number like most guys do. All the SO units have MDC1200 ID...but he doesn't....and they don't notice?

I think it stems from years of it being so controlled, if you had a radio, you pretty much had to have had it programmed by the radio shop, and so you must be legit. Not so much anymore. It's a rural area too, so I guess the are not uptight about it, and he hasn't "interfered" with anyone yet.
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Old 11-15-2013, 5:11 PM
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"Someone still has to program the radios. They don't come out of the box on an agency's frequency."

Sometimes they do. Both my UV5Rs came with a few HAM frequencies and about a dozen or so other seemingly random frequencies I didn't recognise, although they both included 154.680 (a Washington State Patrol frequency used in my area; formerly FM, now P25.) I think they're actually programmed as "test frequencies" at the factory or at Sain Store, and it's just by chance that one of them happens to be a public service frequency in the area the radio ends up in.
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Old 04-16-2014, 7:12 PM
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Default 2 knuckle heads on ham repeater today

Two knuckle heads were on a ham repeater today. It has very large area coverage here is SE Florida as it sits on the county line of Fort Lauderdale and Miami. One guy spoke to me after I asked what their call signs were (they weren't using any) and he said they just got Baofeng Radios on Amazon.com or such and were testing them out wanting to use them for business.

Telling even where one of them was going ... heading for the Miami Airport.

They continued to try and call me again ... talk to each other ... and radio check ... after several transmissions from me telling them this was a ham band, a ham repeater, and operating on the repeater or anywhere in the ham bands requires and FCC license. "Well we'll look into that". **** if I tell you not to drive off a cliff - will you do it anyway just to try it out despite being warned????

They were heard on and off for several hours. Actually that's good ... maybe the repeater control operator heard it by then and got the FCC to listen in.

This is big ugly example of what can happen due to anyone being able to buy these radios. The question is - if someone is smart enough to program in a repeater - aren't they smart enough to know that doing so and transmitting is illegal? Or did they just get off the boat????
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