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Old 11-11-2015, 12:00 PM
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Default Article in QST on CCR's and compliance

Not trying to bash Chinese radios, this is finally a FACT BASED article on the poor performance of some popular low cost HTs. Bottom line: as amateurs we are solely responsible for the proper technical parameters of our stations.
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Old 11-12-2015, 9:25 PM
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Something I read today.

News
Use Of Possibly Illegal Ham Radios

Over the past several years several brands of inexpensive Chinese 2 meter/70cm radios have made their way into the US market place. These radios are notorious for bad transmit audio. Recent testing done by the American Radio Relay League ( ARRL) shows that these radios may be illegal as well.

According to an article in the November 2015 edition of QST magazine, “ARRL Laboratory Handheld Transceiver Testing” many of these inexpensive radios are not compliant with FCC Rules and Regulations regarding Spectral Purity and Harmonic Emission.

The ARRL tested 65 Baofeng radios, of these only 25% complied with FCC Rules and Regulations, a whopping 75% were either non-compliant or borderline.

Wouxun did a little better. Of 22 radios tested, 86% complied with FCC rules with 14% non-compliant.

100% of radios tested manufactured by Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom, and Connect Systems were compliant. Evidently no Alinco radios were tested.

I bring this to your attention because radios with Spectral Purity issues can cause interference to those within the Ham Bands, or in close proximity, such as licensed Commercial stations. Radios with Harmonic problems can cause interference to Commercial Radio licensees, TV stations and cell phone.

It is important to remember that YOU, the operator of the radio, are ultimately responsible for the proper operation of your radio, If you receive a Notice of Violation from the FCC, it is you that are responsible for the proper operation of the radio. I would not expect to receive any help from the manufacturer.

Without a Spectrum Analyzer it is impossible to know if your radio is working properly. Personally, I would prefer a radio manufactured by a company with a known good reputation you can trust.

Bottom Line. You get what you pay for.

Read the full QST testing article from the November 2015 edition here (QST article used with ARRL and QST permission, copyright ARRL 2015)

Ed Allen – WA4ISB
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOONBOOTS View Post
Something I read today.

News
Use Of Possibly Illegal Ham Radios

Over the past several years several brands of inexpensive Chinese 2 meter/70cm radios have made their way into the US market place. These radios are notorious for bad transmit audio. Recent testing done by the American Radio Relay League ( ARRL) shows that these radios may be illegal as well.

According to an article in the November 2015 edition of QST magazine, ARRL Laboratory Handheld Transceiver Testing many of these inexpensive radios are not compliant with FCC Rules and Regulations regarding Spectral Purity and Harmonic Emission.

The ARRL tested 65 Baofeng radios, of these only 25% complied with FCC Rules and Regulations, a whopping 75% were either non-compliant or borderline.

Wouxun did a little better. Of 22 radios tested, 86% complied with FCC rules with 14% non-compliant.

100% of radios tested manufactured by Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom, and Connect Systems were compliant. Evidently no Alinco radios were tested.

I bring this to your attention because radios with Spectral Purity issues can cause interference to those within the Ham Bands, or in close proximity, such as licensed Commercial stations. Radios with Harmonic problems can cause interference to Commercial Radio licensees, TV stations and cell phone.

It is important to remember that YOU, the operator of the radio, are ultimately responsible for the proper operation of your radio, If you receive a Notice of Violation from the FCC, it is you that are responsible for the proper operation of the radio. I would not expect to receive any help from the manufacturer.

Without a Spectrum Analyzer it is impossible to know if your radio is working properly. Personally, I would prefer a radio manufactured by a company with a known good reputation you can trust.

Bottom Line. You get what you pay for.

Read the full QST testing article from the November 2015 edition here (QST article used with ARRL and QST permission, copyright ARRL 2015)

Ed Allen WA4ISB
Trustee, NI4CE Repeater System.
Whats funny/annoying about this is the people who think these radios are the best thing since sliced bread will argue and call this fake/manufactured data. I mean, how could a $30 radio have problems?!
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Old 11-13-2015, 3:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K5TLF View Post
Whats funny/annoying about this is the people who think these radios are the best thing since sliced bread will argue and call this fake/manufactured data. I mean, how could a $30 radio have problems?!
The bottom line is service monitors don't lie. I have put a UV-5R and UV-82 on an R8000 and they mimic the same results in the ARRL tests.

For those who say "I don't care what some fancy piece of test equipment states I like the radio", my question is do you value your license as much? Is one willing to accept the liability for the potentially harmful consequences that could arise if one's transmitter were to cause harmful interference to other radio services such as aircraft and public safety?

As hams, we are all held to a higher standard of technical proficiency. We are not just radio consumers, we are supposed to be radio enthusiasts with a greater respect and understanding of the rules as well as display technical fortitude and not just act like a bunch of ignorant appliance operating consumers.
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Old 11-13-2015, 4:07 PM
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The bottom line is service monitors don't lie. I have put a UV-5R and UV-82 on an R8000 and they mimic the same results in the ARRL tests.

For those who say "I don't care what some fancy piece of test equipment states I like the radio", my question is do you value your license as much? Is one willing to accept the liability for the potentially harmful consequences that could arise if one's transmitter were to cause harmful interference to other radio services such as aircraft and public safety?

As hams, we are all held to a higher standard of technical proficiency. We are not just radio consumers, we are supposed to be radio enthusiasts with a greater respect and understanding of the rules as well as display technical fortitude and not just act like a bunch of ignorant appliance operating consumers.
I could not possibly agree more. This is exactly what my thinking was when I first saw this article and independent tests showing the spurious emissions being as bad as they are.

I don't have one of theses radios to play with. A buddy does and I want to put it on my service monitor for the fun of it. But I expect to the same results.

When I started in radio it was Alinco, Yaesu, and iCom for me. Now that I can afford better toys I only run Motorola. But I expect more out of my radios and also need the features that they offer as well as Part 90 compliance. Didn't even pain me to buy an APX... Just made me want more of them!
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Old 11-13-2015, 4:29 PM
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Since the CS release of the MD-380 at $130, our system in S. Florida has been swamped with these radios like cockroaches coming out of the woodwork. Most sound fine, but one had such loud tx audio, the repeater owner told him to talk into the back of the radio. Sounds ok then. Another user while talking on TS2 was causing interference with the guys on TS1. I heard that myself, so it's not hearsay. Now with 2 Tytera dealers having a sub $130 price war, I see more of these junk radios coming to our system. The system owner is upset because the charter members with Motorola, & Hytera radios are complaining. These MD-380's are the Baofeng, & Wouxun of the DMR world. Anyone on a budget considering one of these radios should consider a CS700, 750 or Quantun QP-2100. [All Covalue radios] At least they don't bleed over into the other time slot. GARY N4KVE
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Old 11-23-2015, 8:33 PM
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Interesting article....sure does give reason for someone to pause when considering purchasing/using a non-compliant CCR radio.

Good points on here too, especially in regards to the individual responsibility aspsect of it.
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Old 11-24-2015, 5:02 AM
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Agree with everything said above, but also wonder how many of these radios are sold to folks who *aren't* licensed hams.
Frank
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Old 11-24-2015, 9:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K5TLF View Post
Whats funny/annoying about this is the people who think these radios are the best thing since sliced bread will argue and call this fake/manufactured data. I mean, how could a $30 radio have problems?!
They do... on some of the (disreputable) Facebook groups that allow discussion of illegal operation, they bash all the reports by those who have measured these dirty radios.
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Old 11-27-2015, 9:53 AM
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With so many of these CCRs out there and given the article's test results revealing so many CCRs being in violation of FCC Rule Part 97.307(e)....does anybody know if anyone has been identified by the FCC as a violator of the spurious emission rules and fined or what have you?



Complying with the rules is extremly important to me, but it seems like a crap ton of people own and use these, including many HAMs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:09 AM
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With the shipping, insurance, storage, & mark up to be made by the retail seller, how much can the radio actually cost to make? $3. I'm amazed these even work. If I won one of these, [I would never pay for one], it would be a target for one of my other "toys".
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:52 PM
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The funny thing is that I know of one very experienced and very technically-oriented ham who has tested his Baofeng (I don't know which model) and he says it's fine. Is there a big difference between models or are there quality control problems across a production run?

I bought a Puxing based on glowing recommendations from a few hams on-line and because the Part 90 certification seemed to be legitimate. It was a decent enough radio, but I despised the user interface, so I sold it.
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Old 11-27-2015, 1:04 PM
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As is noted in the QST article, there are variations among the models. I've noticed differences when I ran my own tests (with R&S FSH6). Generally speaking, the newer models are better than the older. So there may be some improvement going on since the testing cited in the article was done. And as also noted in the QST article, the problems do not appear in the 70cm transmitters... only in the 2M tests.
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Old 11-27-2015, 1:22 PM
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My thing is, yeah, the radio may be "disposable" investment wise, but my license is not....

What would be ironic, is buying a $30 dollar radio, only to get violated and end up paying a 10K fine.

I say this, however I doubt the FCC has the manpower/resources to go around finding folks in non-compliance. I am guessing you would have to be a habitual/reported violator before the men in black rappel out of the black helo and bust down your door.

With that said, since I am in limbo/break mode right now waiting on my General book to arrive via USPS, I decided to take good look at FCC Rule Part 97.307 Emissions Standards. Section (c), I found states, "All spurious emissions from a station transmitter must be reduced to the greatest extent practicable."

Being a newbie and not knowing jack yet, can these CCR's somehow be brought into compliance by an owner through repair or adjustments ?
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Old 11-27-2015, 1:42 PM
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Quote:
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Being a newbie and not knowing jack yet, can these CCR's somehow be brought into compliance by an owner through repair or adjustments ?
Maybe. If the origin of the spurs is an over-driven signal, then that should be adjustable. If there is a lack of filtering, allowing "normal" spurs to make it out if the radio, then there is not much you can do.

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Old 11-27-2015, 2:19 PM
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Maybe. If the origin of the spurs is an over-driven signal, then that should be adjustable. If there is a lack of filtering, allowing "normal" spurs to make it out if the radio, then there is not much you can do.

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Old 11-27-2015, 3:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOONBOOTS View Post
Over the past several years several brands of inexpensive Chinese 2 meter/70cm radios have made their way into the US market place. These radios are notorious for bad transmit audio.

100% of radios tested manufactured by Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom, and Connect Systems were compliant.
An interesting stereotype given that CSI radios are made by the same company that makes some of the "inexpensive Chinese" radios.

I notice no Anytone radios were tested (or at least not reported). Is that because they are contrary to the desired result?
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Old 11-27-2015, 3:47 PM
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I think the Anyone brand only has a fraction the Chinese radio market and they simply didn't get considered for testing. I have several Anytone handhelds and end user wise they are much better performers than Baofeng or Wouxun, but I have not checked for transmit harmonics.
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An interesting stereotype given that CSI radios are made by the same company that makes some of the "inexpensive Chinese" radios.

I notice no Anytone radios were tested (or at least not reported). Is that because they are contrary to the desired result?
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Old 11-27-2015, 4:33 PM
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[QUOTE]An interesting stereotype given that CSI radios are made by the same company that makes some of the "inexpensive Chinese" radios.[QUOTE]

CoValue, the company that makes the CS700, CS750, & Quantun QP-2100 has nothing with the plethora of $35 junk radios that so many people are buying. Here's a link to their site.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:04 AM
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Except that they are a Chinese company that makes inexpensive radios. Not $35, but still inexpensive.
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