Baofeng legal use

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Baofeng legal use

Postby jonnyt-radio » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:19 pm

Hi Everyone,

Note: I've posted this on transmission1 as well, so please forgive me if you are a member over there as well.

I was just wondering, why is everyone saying that using a Baofeng UV-5R is illegal on PMR446 or UK Simple bands?

Over the past 2 weeks, I have been doing research into this. I would like to present my findings, and would love to hear if I'm wrong.

Ok, regarding PMR446, there used to be a law (" The Wireless Telegraphy Exemption Regulations 1999") that said that all equipment must be type approved to ETS 300 296, had to have a built in antenna, must *only* work on PMR446 frequencies, be limited to 500mW, must not be connected to the PSTN, and must not be modified. This law was the basis of the old RA document that is still high up in Google and is hosted by OfCom.

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ ... /ra357.htm

However, this law was later repealed in 2003 by "The Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) Regulations 2003".

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003 ... ule/7/made

This new law does not mention type approval anymore. The only requirement for current PMR446 use is that the equipment must be used in accordance with the new OfCom document IR2009.

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binari ... IR2009.pdf

IR2009 states that all equipment must meet the R&TTE directive (like all radio equipment), and that you are limited to 500mW on the pmr446 frequencies. While it does reference ETS 300 296, it does not form part of the "Minimum Requirements". In fact, it also references EN 300 113, which talks about equipment with a removal antenna!

So, how does this relate to the Baofeng? Well, in my opinion, if you make the Baofeng have an ERP of 500mW, then I think it's legal, as all other requirements are met (I believe). You can do this by using an antenna/cable-run configuration that limits your output ERP to 500mW.

What about R&TTE? Well, that's the manufacturer's/importers responsibility. However, the Baofeng is FCC part 90 compliant (with test report available online) and also has a CE mark. So in my opinion, it's no less credable than any other random equipment you buy that has a CE mark.

http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/

(Enter Grante code ZP5 and Product Code BF-5R)

And what about the Baofeng using the stock antenna: probably not legal, as it apparently has 1dBi of gain (according to the FCC submitted test report), which would give you about 768mW ERP. So buy a crapper antenna if you can find one!

All of the above applies to the £75 per 5 year UK Simple licence as well, in my opinion, except you're allowed 5W ERP on that and the interface requirement is IR2044.

Just because it is cheap, doesn't make it illegal, when used properly.

If I am wrong in any way, or you would like to state any contradictory evidence, please do so. I'm simply presenting my findings and understanding of the current UK law.

Thanks
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby thelad » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:36 pm

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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby 2E0UCW » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:15 pm

Why not just contact Ofcom and just ask them?

For the price difference between a Baofeng and standard PMR446 radio, I personally don't think it's worth the time looking so deep into this subject.

Plus you may end up sparking a debate that could go on for days and take up many pages as has happened before.
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby jonnyt-radio » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:22 pm

M6UCW wrote:Why not just contact Ofcom and just ask them?

For the price difference between a Baofeng and standard PMR446 radio, I personally don't think it's worth the time looking so deep into this subject.

Plus you may end up sparking a debate that could go on for days and take up many pages as has happened before.


I have emailed them. I don't expect a reply for a very long time, if at all to be honest.

Regarding the point, having an external antenna on the roof of your car, compared to using the radio inside, makes such a huge difference to the range. An antenna on the roof will have a proper ground plane and will transmit very efficiently. Also, it's nice to have a radio that does the Amateur bands as well as the PMR bands.

And hopefully I do start a debate, isn't that the point of forums? :P

There is a moderate amount of chat on my post at transmission1. Someone who says that they don't want to read the law, is trash talking me :( Someone else is actually have a good conversation :)
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby 2E0UCW » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:07 pm

I saw the post on TM1 earlier and comment as to why don't Baofeng at a 0.5w setting. I think it would be ideal to have a multi-purpose radio covering both PMR446 and amateur radio especially for social use - cycling, jogging, hiking... where carrying a mobile sometimes isn't the best (especially with the price of them).

Plus there are a lot more accessories available for Baofeng on e-Bay than most of the other makes and also at a decent price. I think the Chinese will be concentrating on making a cheaper DMR then D-Star radio but even then, DMR radios only seem to be either VHF or UHF (not both). As the Baofengs lowest setting is 1w, I wonder if there could be a way to get a a low gain antenna that would reduce the transmitted power to 0.5w

In regards to the debate, there have been a few topics covering PMR446 and Baofengs that have kinda run around in circles.
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby jonnyt-radio » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:22 pm

M6UCW wrote:I saw the post on TM1 earlier and comment as to why don't Baofeng at a 0.5w setting. I think it would be ideal to have a multi-purpose radio covering both PMR446 and amateur radio especially for social use - cycling, jogging, hiking... where carrying a mobile sometimes isn't the best (especially with the price of them).

Plus there are a lot more accessories available for Baofeng on e-Bay than most of the other makes and also at a decent price. I think the Chinese will be concentrating on making a cheaper DMR then D-Star radio but even then, DMR radios only seem to be either VHF or UHF (not both). As the Baofengs lowest setting is 1w, I wonder if there could be a way to get a a low gain antenna that would reduce the transmitted power to 0.5w

In regards to the debate, there have been a few topics covering PMR446 and Baofengs that have kinda run around in circles.


Yeah. No-one can really see my point of view though. I'm referring to UK statues and OfCom documents, yet they keep coming back with stuff that has absolutely no references whatsoever.

Let me help you on the gain issue... :)

If you wish to use the Baofeng for Mobile use, then you're in luck. Simply add 20m of RG58 cable between you and your roof mounted antenna, and that should be it :D

If it's for portable use, then you'd just need to look for the crappest rubber duck antenna you can find that fits. Going by the Baofeng's FCC test, their antenna is 1dBi. That would give you 768mW of output. I doubt it's 1dBi tbh, so you're probably already within the limits. However, without testing in a big expensive lab, you have no way to prove this. So you'd need to try and find a <1dBi rubber duck antenna. I've seen those wee "stubby" ones on ebay??? Surely they can't be that good?

Funny, us looking for the worst antenna possible lol
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby 2E0UCW » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:50 am

I did warn you that it turns into a messy debate - many people are against Chinese products - in some way they are correct as not all conform to the regulations and especially safety standards. Mobile battery chargers are a prime example where they have been causing fires and explosions with a few resulting in harm to the user or someone else nearby.

Overall it's up to the manufacturer to perform the required tests, make the results available and provide the necessary certifications and markings - individuals do not have the resources to ensure that manufacturers have complied with the regulations. I personally believe that if there were issues with equipment, than it would be easier for Ofcom to control it from the source rather than target the individuals.

Recently there was a debate about ownership of transceivers without the required licence to transmit. There is no law against owning equipment without a licence. A person can even purchase a car and not have a licence to drive it. This is a failing of our government and related bodies to ensure those that obtain equipment do so with the required licencing.

At the end of it all, for an amateur who is just getting started with a small bank balance, a Baofeng is the perfect first radio to get on the air. A few amateur websites even advertise them when looking at the costs of getting started at foundation level (course cost, exam costs and radio costs). The issue always starts when Baofeng and PMR446 are mentioned.
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby m0lsx » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:27 am

"The Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) Regulations 2003." that you linked to, says that

PART IV
STANDARD
ETS 300 296 published by ETSI in December 1994 and revised and reprinted in March 1997.


And ETS 300 296 specifies...
The type of equipment covered by this ETS is hand portable stations with integral antennas


http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_i_ets/300200_300299/300296/01_60/ets_300296e01p.pdf

Page 9.

It also gives a definition on page 10..
integral antenna: An antenna designed to be connected to the equipment without the use of a 50 ohm
external connector and considered to be part of the equipment. An integral antenna may be fitted internally
or externally to the equipment.



Else where in the document, mentions are made which differentiate between a socket to fit an antenna & an integral antenna. Thus it would clearly seem to say that a integral antenna does not have a socket to fit it with.

Also personal experience suggests that even under 10 meters of RG-58 is not workable on UHF, so attaching a mobile antenna on your vehicle using 20 meters of RG-58 would be unwise.
I found my colinear could not hear things on 443 that my handheld could & I was using just under 10 meters of RG-58.
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby 2E0UCW » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:51 am

EMCC Germany have confirmed that the Baofeng UV-3R and UV-5R are CE approved as per the certificates provided on the Baofeng website - http://www.baofengradio.com/en/about.as ... Enterprise Honor

According to this page, they have FCC and RoHS approval for these models as well.
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Re: Baofeng legal use

Postby jonnyt-radio » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:49 pm

Alan

What you have said only applies to equipment put into service before 1st May 2000. That is clearly stated on that same page in that statue.

As such, your points are moot, ...

As I have stated clearly using evidence from statues and OfCom documentation, there is nothing illegal about using PMR446 on a Baofeng if you limit the ERP to 500mW.
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