A lot of Amateur Radio Operators seem to use the Baofeng radios because they are cheap and seem to work, although they maybe diffucult to program. Most people don’t know Baefeng radios are not complaint with FCC Part 97. If you pull off the battery pack and look it states the radio is FCC complaint with Part 93. But do amateur radios have to be Part 97 Complainant?
Apparently the ARRL set up a Spectrum analyzer at Dayton the last few years and offered to test attendee HT’s for spurious emissions. FCC Part §97.307:
(e) The mean power of any spurious emission from a station transmitter or external RF power amplifier transmitting on a frequency between 30-225 MHz must be at least 60 dB below the mean power of the fundamental. For a transmitter having a mean power of 25 W or less, the mean power of any spurious emission supplied to the antenna transmission line must not exceed 25 µW and must be at least 40 dB below the mean power of the fundamental emission, but need not be reduced below the power of 10 µW. A transmitter built before April 15, 1977, or first marketed before January 1, 1978, is exempt from this requirement.
At Dayton this year, only 25% of the Baofengs that were tested, complied with Part 97. 21% of Baofengs were borderline, and 54% of Baofengs were non compliant. 86% of Wauxon’s were compliant and 14% of Wauxon’s were not compliant. Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood, and Connect Systems: 100% were compliant with the Part 97 standards.
The ARRL concluded that many of the radios that did not comply, would cause harmful interference with other radio services.
The article is on page 74 & 75 of the November QST.
From VE6XVK: We saw similar results when we tested a handful of Baofeng radios within our local club. Here’s the thing….when coupled directly to the analyser their spurious emissions were often out of spec, but when indirectly coupled using their factory antenna and a pickup loop on the analyser, all were well within acceptable specs. So it seems that the factory antenna provides for spurious emission attenuation. i.e. don’t operate your Baofeng without the factory antenna.
For the US you are correct. There is no such thing as “Part 97” certified radios. That is what allows us to homebrew our own equipment. As long as we meet and/or exceed the requirement listed, we’re allowed to use the equipment. If were to commercially sell the equipment in the US it would have be certified for Part 15 which is more for consumer electronics.
A radio needs Part 95 acceptance for FRS, GMRS, MURS. No Baofeng has this. I’m aware of only ONE Wouxun model that is approved for Part 95(a) GMRS use. Anytone has two models that are pending GMRS and MURS certification. Currently, legal issues have suspended the previous certification.
For commercial use, radios need Part 90 approval. Most Baofengs HAVE this. Many Wouxun radios have this. A few Puxing radios have this. Most Anytone radios have this. GMRS radios need Part 95A certification. MURS radios require Part 95D certification. FRS radios require Part 95B certification.
For amateur equipment, Part 15 largely applies on VHF and UHF radios. This is primarily for radios with a scanning function, to certify the radios cannot monitor cellular, as well as receiver products interfering and receiving interference from consumer products.
Check on the back of the radio for the “FCC ID” sticker. This FCC ID can be looked up to see what rule parts the radio is certified for. An FCC ID label is required to be placed on the back of the radio.
Part 97 also allows us to use commercial equipment in the amatuer bands but not the other way around because amateur radios for the most part are not certified for part 90. Equipment that’s imported, marketed, or sold must be at least authorized and carry an FCC ID.
To find out if your radio is FCC complainant you can look at https://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid
Here is the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 4W dual-band VHF-UHF Baofeng UV-5R handheld.
Here is the FCC Certificate for the Chinese import 2W dual-band VHF-UHF Baofeng UV-3R handheld.
Note: the FCC approval process only applies to commercially manufactured equipment. Homebrew stuff is exempt.
For UK Users:
Baofeng, Wouxun, TYT, and many other radios are ILLEGAL on PMR446.
For Australian users:
Baofeng, Wouxun, TYT and most if not all Cheap Chinese Radios, are illegal in Australia for ALL PURPOSES! This includes amateur and commercial use. The ACMA will and has confiscated many radios. Unlike many nations, the ACMA is an active enforcement agency.