baofeng 888s

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Re: baofeng 888s

Postby G4RMT » Sun May 21, 2017 1:52 pm

Perhaps we need to explain this concept which we use all the time - legal. In the UK there are some frequency bands where users do not need a licence - termed as licence exempt. No protection whatsoever from kids and idiots - you're on your own, but the radios are cheap and popular. There are very specific conditions to the actual radios. They use common channels, they use low power and the aerials must be intergal/fixed (so no bigger aerials can be attached to increase range)

Then you move into licence territory- and there are a number of licences available - some have constraints - specific locations, or specific frequencies and powers. They can be hired or bought and the restrictions on the radios allow antenna swaps, mag mounts, that kind of thing.

Using radios outside the terms OFCOM publish is illegal. Trouble is, there is virtually no policing of the bands unless interference is reported. In the free allocation, interference is tough. Get it and live with it. If you have paid for a licence then you do get some degree of response from the authorities, but in the middle of a wood, on a weekend, if some idiot decides to have some fun with you - again, tough. Blot out the coastguard, or mess with a train and a van with a roof rack full of aerials arrives and if they find you, then the law falls down on you from a height.

In practice, this means that using a Baofeng 888 on PMR446 goes totally un-noticed. In the licence bands, EU rules mean that radios should meet specific standards. Again, even off they don't, as long as you don't cause grief, nobody is that interested.

Baofengs can be bought on ebay for silly money. Often 10 for a hundred quid. You need to programme them, and that's done with a computer and a cable - which you have to buy. If, as many do - you programme them on the UK hire channels, then I doubt anyone will bother. Of course, without the licence, it's illegal.

Don't forget that if you buy the baofengs or similar - you then get access to proper earpieces, microphones and lots of gadgets that could be handy for what you're doing. The reality is that all you need is a different frequency to the ones supplied by the site - because team 1 go on one channel and team 2 on the other - and of course, you can listen in to them, as they can to you. Your own radios gives you privacy. It isn't really private, as anyone with the right equipment can listen in, but do the other team have the time and resources to do this? Probably not!
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Re: baofeng 888s

Postby m0lsx » Sun May 21, 2017 4:44 pm

G4RMT wrote: Using radios outside the terms OFCOM publish is illegal. Trouble is, there is virtually no policing of the bands unless interference is reported. In the free allocation, interference is tough. Get it and live with it. If you have paid for a licence then you do get some degree of response from the authorities, but in the middle of a wood, on a weekend, if some idiot decides to have some fun with you - again, tough. Blot out the coastguard, or mess with a train and a van with a roof rack full of aerials arrives and if they find you, then the law falls down on you from a height.

In practice, this means that using a Baofeng 888 on PMR446 goes totally un-noticed. In the licence bands, EU rules mean that radios should meet specific standards. Again, even off they don't, as long as you don't cause grief, nobody is that interested.


Two things there worth pointing out Licence free 446 does not mean that legally licensed users are not in that area of spectrum, they are & they will complain if illegal 446 operators give them grief & if that grief regularly occurs from a certain site, regardless of who is doing it to the, & Ofcom will defend the legal, licensed users on 446 every time.
The fines involved in illegal operation are high (up to £2000 per offence) & include the option of imprisonment. And that is PER offence, so every time you key up, you transmit illegally & if Ofcom choose to, they could prosecute for each separate offence, although normally they view each session as a separate offence.
My experience is that PMR light operating generate less hassle & less issues, as a single licence covers multiple radios across the whole of the UK, so knowing who is & is not operating illegal is much harder. On 446, illegal operators normally stand out much more.
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Re: baofeng 888s

Postby Metradio » Sun May 21, 2017 7:06 pm

A lot of prosecutions by OFCOM are not due to their hard work, they are due to the police stumbling upon someone they think is up to no good and find some radio gear, they then sometimes pass the gear onto OFCOM who if they smell blood might investigate..

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Re: baofeng 888s

Postby m0lsx » Sun May 21, 2017 7:12 pm

It is with out doubt true that the easier the prosecution is, the more interested Ofcom are. £'s per statistic are always important on a reducing budget. Which is why operating with care & where Ofcom does not really care, is always the safest method.
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