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Baofeng BF-888s

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Apr 8, 2015
Purchased the Baofeng BF-888S and can't find much information on the frequencies that the radio came programed with, this was purchased through Amazon and I really would like to know if these radios are license free with the programming that came in them and can be used in the U.S.


Dec 19, 2002
Wichita Falls, TX
These radios are not license free.They are not legal to use on the factory default frequencies in the US.
They are not even legal to use on license-by-rule FRS frequencies in the US because they are not FCC Part 95 certified for FRS use.

Depending on who manufactured them and when they were made, some of the BF-888S type radios and clones are FCC Part 90 certified for business radio use or FCC Part 15 certified as a "scanning receiver" for amateur radio use. They are only legal to use in the US if you have a Part 90 business license or amateur radio license and reprogram them to the appropriate frequencies you are authorized to use.

More information about the radio and programming can be found at BF888S GT-1 BF888 BF888S - Miklor

You can program them or read the default frequencies with CHIRP programming software if you have the programming cable. https://chirp.danplanet.com

There are at least four sets of default frequencies, probably depending on the actual manufacturer and when it was made. See https://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,123040.0.html. The frequencies yours came programmed with might be different.
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Dec 10, 2018
North Wales
I also got two BF888S radios and a UV-B6 and with the lead and software programs CHIRP, UV-B5 Radio Program Software and HKT-480 Radio Program Software I have reprogrammed them for amateur band and PMR446 however technically they do not comply with PMR446 as they don't have it written on the radio, although in UK is seems a bit vague as to if the power output complies if it is actual against the law? In most of Europe they do not comply as you can remove the aerial, and the PMR446 frequencies in the US are part of the amateur band.

When I tried to reprogram the BF888S with HKT-480 Radio Program Software on switch on they screamed at me, I then tried CHIRP this stopped them screaming but were in Chinese and VOX was on, so then needed to use keys and knobs on radio to return them to English and turn VOX off. It was not plain sailing.

The UV-B6 was easier to program, you could have in theory done it all in radio, however it would have taken for ever, most of my amateur radios have say something like "FCC ID AKH9TU FT-208R" which I assume means OK to use in USA, however that is not written on the cheap radios.
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