On our ham radio club’s mailing list, a new Tech innocently asked what kind of HT he should buy. Since he mentioned that he was going to an upcoming hamfest, he asked about used equipment, and several folks suggested that he look for an ICOM IC-2AT (see right), noting that they were ruggedly built and that many were still in service. They didn’t really not that tuning them involved flipping thumbwheel switches and that to get PL tones you have to purchase a $40 board that you have to mickey-mouse into the radio, but hey, they are built like the proverbial brick outhouse.
Some guys suggested buying one of the new Chinese HTs (see right) now being sold here. They noted that for just a little more than $100, you not only get a dual-band radio, but a boatload of accessories as well.
At this point, Jeff, W8SGZ, our self-proclaimed club curmudgeon wrote:
I’ve been doing a little research.
The US “dealer” is Ed Griffin W4KMA, owner of KMA Antennas in N. Carolina (www.wouxon.us). So at least there is a US presence. The only thing that concerns me is one little specification : spurious emission is listed as <30dB.
Part 97 says ” 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 uW 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 uW.” The question is, is their 30dB enough to get down to 10 uW? With only 5 W to start with, maybe it is.
The particular model in question, KG-UVD1P, is FCC “certificated” (I love that word, it’s so nonsensical) under Part 90, so it should be at least of a certain quality level. And at half the price of anything comparable from the Big 3 (or 4 if you count Alinco), it doesn’t sound bad.
Now, according to my calculations, -30 dB, only gets you down to 5 mW. To get down to 10 uW, spurious emissions would have to be -57 dB. When I replied with that information, Jeff said:
This little radio is causing me a lot more work than I like, but once I get my teeth into an investigation, I can’t seem to let it go.
Although the sales literature (what there is of it) states 30dB for spurious emissions, the User Manual states 60 dB. From what I can make out from the test reports submitted to the FCC, the actual attenuation is in the mid 20s (depending on frequency).
And most bizarre of all is this except from a letter from Wouxon to the FCC:
We would like to have the 136-174 MHz frequency range appear on the face of the FCC Grant of Certification for our Part 90 Certification. This frequency range contains frequencies regarded as usual & customary by the United States Federal Government and its various departments, user organizations and the military.
- The applicant plans to ensure that USA users, other than those specifically identified in this letter, not operate within bands which are not allowed by the Part 90, as controlled by the users’ FCC station license.
- This devise will not be marketed to USA users, other than those identified in the letter, namely the US Government and its various departments & military, for operation in frequency range out of Part 90.
- The applicant acknowledges that it is a violation of FCC rules if the device operates on unauthorized frequencies
Is it just me, or does all this sound like W4KMA is in violation of FCC regulations by selling these to US hams? And are US hams who buy and use them in violation as well?
There has to be a loophole somewhere that I am missing. I mean hams are continually retuning commercial (ie Part 90) equipment to use on amateur frequencies. Why would this be any different? The applicant acknowledges that it is a violation of FCC rules if the device operates on unauthorized frequencies.
So, what do you think? It sounds to me as though the Wouxoun radios don’t meet spec and should not be allowed to be sold in the U.S.