TERMN-8R pulled due to complaints

22 April 2015

Bureaucracy over technical knowledge

Recently the Anytone TERMN-8R radio had its Part 95 approval revoked by the FCC. This can much more easily be explained as pure bureaucracy instead of being revoked for any technical reasons. Then it does not help that the comments floating around on forums and Facebook are full of people ignorant of the law spreading false information based on their opinions and preferences of what it SHOULD mean or say....
I will be combining factual information with some of my personal opinions so please try to keep up (hi hi). Luckily my First Amendment rights allow me to state my opinions freely, even if it is against this idiotic government bureaucracy.

  • Part 97 is the rules that we as hams must abide by, radios do not get "Part 97 certification". If this was the case, then any homebrew device we create would be required to get that "Part 97 certification" by the FCC before we could ever use it. You thought the bureaucracy is bad now, imagine being forced to get that.
  • Commercially sold radios for ham radio use typically only get Part 15 compliance.
  • Almost all of these AnyTone 8R and Baofeng radios are Part 90 commercial/industrial radios, but it just happens that they can be used by us hams on our appropriate frequencies. Again as hams we are limited to the specific frequencies under Part 97.
  • Part of the Part 90 compliance means the radio must be capable of being locked down via software, which all of these 8R radios are capable of.
  • There is a complaint against these new Anytone radios that made its way to the FCC, which was then "evaluated" by some so called "Electrical Engineer", which after reading the claims is a laughable description of his position.

So lets cover a few things here. First, the FCC ID "T4K-QZQX3318" is for these radios under Part 90. Checking the FCC website shows this is still valid.
Second, the FCC ID T4K-8RSERIES was issued by the FCC to cover both GMRS and MURS. The issue is that because the FCC screwed up, now AnyTone is paying the price because they now have to re-apply, costing them more time and money to cut through the levels of red tape, to get 2 separate FCC IDs, one for GMRS, and another for MURS.

The letter by the so called electrical engineer with the FCC, found here: FCC application dismissed. Although here in reality land, you can dismiss the ENTIRE letter and revocation with one simple rule section:
Title 47, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Part 2:
§2.925 Identification of equipment.
(2) Any other statements or labeling requirements imposed by the rules governing the operation of the specific class of equipment, except that such statement(s) of compliance may appear on a separate label at the option of the applicant/grantee.
(3) Equipment subject only to registration will be identified pursuant to part 68 of this chapter.
(b) Any device subject to more than one equipment authorization procedure may be assigned a single FCC Identifier. However, a single FCC Identifier is required to be assigned to any device consisting of two or more sections assembled in a common enclosure, on a common chassis or circuit board, and with common frequency controlling circuits. Devices to which a single FCC Identifier has been assigned shall be identified pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.
(1) Separate FCC Identifiers may be assigned to a device consisting of two or more sections assembled in a common enclosure, but constructed on separate sub-units or circuit boards with independent frequency controlling circuits. The FCC Identifier assigned to any transmitter section shall be preceded by the term TX FCC ID, the FCC Identifier assigned to any receiver section shall be preceded by the term RX FCC ID and the identifier assigned to any remaining section(s) shall be preceded by the term FCC ID.

Very clear that this so called electrical engineer knows nothing of the very FCC regulations for which he is supposed to certifying equipment for compliance.

I will cover it point by point anyways:

1) This device is authorized for the MURS radio service. Section 95.655(d) prohibits this combination. Also refer to KDB Publication 149672 Paragraph (1)(a)(i).
Part 95.655(d) says:
(d) No transmitter will be certificated for use in MURS if it is equipped with a frequency capability not listed in §95.632.
§95.632 MURS transmitter frequencies.
(a) The MURS transmitter channel frequencies are 151.820 MHz, 151.880 MHz, 151.940 MHz, 154.570 MHz, 154.600 MHz.
(b) The authorized bandwidth is 11.25 kHz on frequencies 151.820 MHz, 151.880 MHz and 151.940 MHz. The authorized bandwidth is 20.0 kHz on frequencies 154.570 and 154.600 MHz.

Reality (and a little opinion): This entire section is null and void per the above mention above in Title 47, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, §2.925. Still, the issue with his complaint is that when the radio is set to MURS mode, it fits the law 100%. Any other frequency it uses under VFO mode falls under legal use of Part 90, NOT Part 95. The other issue here is that the FCC approved the radios anyways despite the initial applications and approval information stated very clearly the 2 different frequency bands, one for MURS, the other for GMRS. So why is Anytone being punished for the FCC screw up? One word: Bureaucracy. Electronics engineer my backside.

2) There are seven channels that share the same frequency for GMRS and FRS. The maximum power for FRS is 500 mW. This device is capable of transmitting 5 watts on these channels. This is non-compliant. There is nothing in the application that addresses this issue.
3) FRS channels are limited to a BW of 12.5 kHz. This device can be set by the end user to operate at a BW of 25kHz for FRS channels. The maximum BW permitted for FRS is 12.5 kHz. This is non-compliant.

Reality (and a little opinion):
2 and 3 carry the same answer. Again, in GMRS mode, under GMRS law (95.135), 5W transmit power and 25kHz bandwidth is legally allowed, even on the channels shared with FRS (on the GMRS only channels, up to 50W is allowed). This radio was never marketed, targeted, nor sold as an FRS radio, thus ANY mention of FRS shows that the person testing the radio obviously has no idea what they are doing. In GMRS mode under the letter of the law, these radios are in full compliance. I think he tested in VFO mode only (aka Part 90), showing he doesn't need to be in the position he is in allowing or dismissing certifications. If what he claims carried any merit (which it doesn't), then that means almost every other dedicated GMRS (and dual mode GMRS/FRS) radio certified and sold in the US also needs their certification dismissed as they also transmit at 5W on the channels shared with FRS. This radio was certified for GMRS as so many other models have, even mentioning FRS in any manner shows that the so called electronics engineer doesn't know his ear from a hole in the ground, and does not need to be working for the FCC nor "MET Labs".

4) The User's manual indicates that this device can operate on Part 90 frequencies. This is not shown in either of the Grants. This device does only have enough significant digits in its programming capability (even with the frequency offset function) or display to enter many of the part 90 frequencies. This is non-compliant.
Reality (and a little opinion):
This actually comes in to two parts, neither of which has ANY impact in the Part 95 compliance and certification. First, Part 90 applications and approvals do not require any mention of the ability to use other modes such as amateur radio, GMRS or MURS, EXCEPT in the case of the combo radios for FRS and GMRS, which is not the case here. Just as Part 95 applications do not require any mention of the ability of other modes so long as the dedicated mode itself falls within the limits set by law. VFO/Part 90 mode is in full compliance. GMRS mode is in full compliance. MURS mode is in full compliance. If this was such an issue then there are about a dozen other models out there with multi-mode certification that also needs to be pulled, instead of just targeting this one radio/company.
Second, mentioning the "significant digits" part is complete idiocy, I think he is completely full of doo doo. He obviously did not look close enough to see the smaller number to the right of the frequency that shows the "5", meaning 160.255 with the tiny "5" to the right means 160.2555, that allows for 4 decimal places within full compliance of Part 90. Part 90.203 (j)(3) states: Applications for part 90 certification of transmitters designed to operate on frequencies in the 150.8-162.0125 MHz, 173.2-173.4 MHz, and/or 421-512 MHz bands, received on or after February 14, 1997 must include a certification that the equipment meets a spectrum efficiency standard of one voice channel per 12.5 kHz of channel bandwidth. These radios are in full Part 90 compliance with the option of 12.5 or 25kHz bandwidth. There are mentions of 6.25kHz "or less" bandwidth but those only relate to stations capable of also transmitting data, which these AnyTone units are not. As you can see they tried to associate the Part 95 license "T4K-8RSERIES" with the Part 90, but failed since the Part 90 compliance is under a completely different FCC ID. Due to this ignorance, it completely shatters his "opinion" about the lack of "significant digits" when the Part 90 licensing was never under scrutiny, the Part 95 was. Still, the fact that he mentioned this at all completely destroys his credibility as an "electronics engineer".

5) For many years the FCC guidance documents for TCBs [workshop material, KDB pubs. 447498, 628591; also 95.1(a), 95.179(a) family use] specified that GMRS portable PTT devices ordinarily do not qualify for operating under occupational / controlled SAR limits. Similar considerations apply for MURS operations (FCC-02-139, etc.).
Part 95 Personal Radio Services operations are licensed-by-rule, and are marketed to and for use by the general public, therefore must comply with FCC general-population / uncontrolled SAR limits.

Reality (and a little opinion):
With number 5 he then uses thinly veiled opinions to give supporting reasons behind the dismissal. "GMRS portable PTT devices ordinarily do not qualify for operating under occupational / controlled SAR limits." Ordinarily? Sounds like a quantitative opinion on the law rather than a technical description and factual reason for dismissal. Even at that, many "GMRS portable PTT" devices have an unlock mode (usually via software) that allow them to be used on other frequencies outside of the approved GMRS frequencies, which is why certain Part 95 approved GMRS devices are more popular among hams because they can be unlocked and used in the 70cm band for ham radio. Why is it that they continue to be sold and available, without having their certification pulled? I suspect it is because someone in a bigger radio company with connections inside the government pulled some strings and got the radio pulled using bogus claims. Another example of the free market dying...

There is no law in Part 15, Part 90, Part 95 nor Part 97 that prevents any manufacturer from gaining FCC certification or compliance for devices that have specific modes dedicated to the specific use of said modes, provided they are in full compliance of said mode. These two 8R radios are in full compliance of the 95a and 95j law. MURS mode limits the user to 2W transmit power, and the specific MURS frequencies. Trying to go outside of those frequencies or power modes are not available when set to MURS mode, same goes for GMRS mode. The website, manual and multiple places specifically state that in order for the user to make use of the GMRS functions and frequencies, they must have a legal GMRS license.
All thanks to the person that I think needs to gain a better understanding of the basic device functions instead of spewing quantitative opinions by using functions not related to the certified mode of the device itself: Andrew Leimer, Electronics Engineer.
Electronics engineer my butt, I believe this was a blatant attack on a radio or Anytone company by some other company that hates to lose market share, so they got their little pet to put together some official looking bogus complaints, claiming it is "non-compliant", which he obviously tested it in plain VFO mode (aka for Part 90 use, not Part 95). No wonder this nation is in the trouble it is.
Reading through the entire Part 95 (as well as Part 15, 90, and 97) multiple times over the past 6 months has taught me a very good understanding about the letter of the law. Anytone took the law quite literally, and rightfully so. Their radio in GMRS mode is locked into the limits set forth by 95A, and locked their MURS mode to fully comply with 95J. Pulling the certification of this radio means they had better pull the certification of most other combo GMRS/FRS radios because they also transmit at 5W in FRS channels/frequencies per his #2 and 3, which a simple google search will show dozens of them from various companies. So why was this one radio and company targeted? It is likely some politician connected to one of the bigger radio companies pulled some strings in the FCC, because their precious buddy with the big radio company doesn't want to lose any more market share. I personally suspect Icom but I have zero evidence or proof for such a claim, just a hunch, and stating my opinion as such.

In the end, this only points to a much more dangerous trend, that the overbearing government is exerting more and more control about what we the people can or cannot do, as well as further limits on the free market, by filing bogus claims and opinions over menial issues. There should have been a warning to AnyTone stating that using the same Part 95 approval for multiple modes was not approved, so either MURS or GMRS must be re-applied for to obtain a new Part 95 certified "code". This should have all been resolved months ago when they filed the paperwork back at the end of 2014, instead of the FCC approving the same FCC ID for 2 different modes. Instead they waited a month after the models are released to the public and THEN pulled the certification that they themselves approved. Just a sad situation, and I hope and pray that AnyTone is able to get this resolved quickly and with minimal pain.

Thank you and God Bless!
Mike de K4ISR

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