FCC issues warning about non-compliant (BaoFeng, etc) radios

Posted on by AE0BQ

FCC DA-18-980A1

Simple summary from a simpleton (me), who is also not a lawyer. YMMV and I could be wrong. More words = more confusion.

1. It is illegal to market/distribute/sell radios in the US that tx outside US ham bands, without having the appropriate certification (e.g Part 90, etc).
2. Some Baofeng and derivative/similar radios allow tx outside US ham bands, and this ability can be reconfigured in the field.
3. It is perfectly legal for US Amateur Radio licensees to possess and use such devices, as long as they do NOT tx outside US ham bands.
4. Baofeng and the other OEMs can easily remedy this situation by changing their firmware to disallow configuration.
5. Field modification of hardware to “open up” tx on all freqs is a completely separate issue.

I don’t know or care about commercial, air band, etc, but as for hams, it seems you are free to continue using your BaoFengs…or any device, whether commercially manufactured, hacked, or home brew….as long as you don’t tx outside ham bands, or outside your license class band and mode restrictions.