FCC "Parts"

1 Feb 2015 (with updates in Nov 2015, Jan 2017, May 2017)

NOTE: New items added May 2017 with the recent passing of new FCC rules and code.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation going around about the various "Parts" of the FCC code as it relates to ham radio, FRS, MURS, and so on. With these Baofeng radios (and other Chinese radios) capable of receiving and transmitting on these non-amateur radio frequencies, some seem to think that the license free capability and law of FRS/MURS means their Baofeng radio is legal to use on it. Simple answer is: no it is not legal to use any Baofeng with FRS, MURS or GMRS, nor VHF marine/maritime frequencies. The only exception to this statement is the new BTECH GMRS-v1 which is legal for GMRS only, which requires the user is covered under a GMRS license. Ham radio is user license to build/use devices within the allowed frequency ranges, this license does not grant you extra privileges on other frequencies outside of the ham radio band.

NOTE: All information here is current as of May 2017 within the borders of the USA (except a few restrictions along the US/Canada border).

Table of Contents

Baofengs and Part 95

Part 95 - CB, MURS, FRS, GMRS

First lets cover Part 95. The FCC Part 95 covers the licensed and unlicensed portion of the radios, which includes CB (Citizens Band), FRS (Family Radio Service), MURS (Multi Use Radio Service) and GMRS. I will try to keep these updated as the FCC has made changes in May 2017 (to be enacted in June-August 2017). The key points to Part 95:

  • All radios for use with a Part 95 service, is REQUIRED to have FCC approval of the DEVICE, and the FCC ID sticker on every device.
  • Each Part 95 service has its own restrictions:
    • FRS:
      1. 14 channels in the UHF 462 and 467MHz ranges, the 462 range is also shared with GMRS.
      2. NFM (Narrow modulation FM), max 2.5kHz deviation.
      3. Channels 1-7 and 15-22, 2W max power; channels 8-14, 500 milliwatts (aka 0.5 Watts) maximum transmit power - In mid 2017, there are 8 new FRS channels (15-22), and some power level changes, but the remaining channels 8-14 (now shared with GMRS) are still legally limited to 0.5W for both GMRS and FRS.
      4. Must have permanently attached antennas. Base station models are also required to have a fixed non-removable antenna.
      5. Use of repeaters and telephone interconnect is illegal
    • GMRS:
      1. Requires a license which covers their immediate family members in the same household (spouse, parents, and/or children, but NOT grandparents, cousins, etc), cost is $90 $65 (no test) and good for 5 years. In 2015, The FCC removed the $25 "regulatory fee", so the cost was reduced from $90 to $65.
      2. All channels in the UHF (462/467MHz) range.
      3. Shares channels 1-7 with FRS (and can communicate between them), but includes its own channels 15-22. See changes in the section below relating to the May 2017 changes by the FCC.
      4. GMRS is limited to max 50W output power on channels 15-22, although most have 1-5W since GMRS use on FRS channels 1-7 must not exceed 5W.
      5. Devices are allowed to have removable antennas.
      6. Wide FM, 5kHz deviation.
    • MURS:
      1. 5 channels in the 151 or 154MHz range, just above the 2m ham band. Channels 1-3 use "narrowband" Frequency Modulation (2.5 kHz deviation). Channels 4 and 5 use "wideband" FM (5 kHz deviation).
      2. MURS is limited to max 2W output power.
      3. New repeater use is illegal, however previous business band licensees who have maintained their active license remain grandfathered with their existing operating privileges, it is possible to find repeaters or other operations not authorized by Part 95 taking place. These are not necessarily illegal. If legal, such operations may enjoy primary status on their licensed frequency and as such are legally protected from harmful interference by MURS users (aka illegal for MURS radios to use those business repeaters).
      4. Removable and external antennas allowed, external antennas must not be more than 60ft above the ground or more than 20ft above the highest point of the house/structure it is attached to (whichever is higher).
      5. Since MURS also allows for external antennas and data (in addition to voice), devices consist of wireless base station intercoms, handheld two-way radios, wireless public address units, customer service callboxes, wireless remote switches, and wireless callboxes with or without gate opening ability.
    • CB:
      • I will cover it quickly here: uses the 11m band in 26.965-27.405MHz, has 40 channels, cannot exceed 4W on regular AM, or 12W on SSB (channels 36-40).
      • Use of amps of any kind, and/or imported CBs working outside of normal CB frequencies is illegal.

Part 90 - commercial and emergency personnel

Radios and service under Part 90, I will cover mostly as it relates to radios also in use in ham radio bands, such as these Baofeng radios. This aspect is essentially called the Business Band:

  • There are a lot of frequencies available, so I will just point you to the Wikipedia page.
  • Frequencies in the Business band that can also be used by Baofeng radios under Part 90 are:
    • VHF: grandfathered businesses use currently under the MURS, as well as others in the 151, 154 and 158MHz ranges.
    • UHF: grandfathered GMRS "dot" frequencies, and several more in the similar 467 and 469MHz ranges
  • Use of these frequencies requires the Part 90 FCC issued license (NOT the ham license), AND the radios to have the required Part 90 sticker showing compliance.

Part 80 - VHF maritime band

Then there are some along the coast that claim they have free access to the VHF marine bands, which is covered under Part 80. It comes from being on a boat on the water once or a few times and not seeing any license or requirement to say any call sign so they think it is free to use at anytime, anywhere, which is false. This Part 80 "VHF maritime" system is a combination service, as there is "by rule" aspects, as well as "licensed required" aspects. This still has certain limits like Part 95 above. There are a lot of niches and aspects to Part 80 since it involves a lot of technologies and aspects that involve radio frequencies, but I will cover the baseline as it would relate to VHF FM radios:

  • Except as noted in paragraph 80.13(c), stations using the maritime service must be licensed by the FCC either individually or by fleet. 80.13(a)
  • Ship or fleet licenses cover all those on their boats. 80.13(c)
  • ALL radios for use on the maritime VHF frequencies are required to have Part 80 certification. 80.43 and 80.203
  • VHF hand-held, portable transmitters used while connected to an external power source or a ship antenna must be equipped with an automatic timing device that deactivates the transmitter and reverts the transmitter to the receive mode after an uninterrupted transmission period of five minutes, plus or minus 10 percent. Additionally, such transmitters must have a device that indicates when the automatic timer has deactivated the transmitter. 80.141(d)
  • If a radio is found, the maritime Part 80 license must be available (on the boat or in the land based station) to be inspected by any legal Commission inspectors. 80.401

The key to all the above information is that these Baofeng radios (and others from other manufacturers) may be covered either under Part 90 for business/commercial use with Part 90 FCC ID on the sticker, or without that FCC ID on the sticker it is not approved for Parts 80, 90 nor 95, which means it is ONLY legal for licensed ham radio use (amateur radios only require Part 15 compliance for commercially sold models).
Since these radios do NOT have Part 95 allowance, it is illegal to use the Baofeng (or any other Part 90 or ham based radio) on any Part 95 specific frequency. Everything about FRS rules out those frequencies (antenna, 0.5W power requirement, FCC ID sticker); then GMRS requires Part 95 FCC ID sticker; MURS requires FCC ID sticker and limited to 2W. Then under the Part 80 Maritime limitations, these radios are not approved or Part 80 compliant, so they are illegal to be used in that manner.
So legally that leaves these Baofengs compatible with only the Part 90 business band with business license (and Part 90 FCC ID on the radio itself), and ham radio (which is user license, not device license).

May 2017 update on Part 95

These new rules shall be listed under Part 95, subsection 300, where previously there were no rules listed in the 300s, unless it is a change of an existing rule. Recently the FCC reviewed and revised some of the rules for Part 95 devices. I personally read through all 114 pages of this report and will display those changes below. Still, many people have not read it, or only read the summary that has no details, but they "heard" that now Baofengs are legal for Part 95 (which is still false). I will go over some of the changes here in plain English.

Technical changes

  • Channel numbers - The FCC has added 8 new channels for FRS, and 7 more for GMRS.
  • Frequency tolerance and stability - In the NPRM, the Commission noted that older PRS rules express frequency tolerance and stability limits in terms of percent, but more recent rules, in light of improvements in technology and manufacturing processes that allow much greater accuracy, express the limits in terms of parts per million (ppm). Therefore, the Commission proposed to express all such Part 95 limits in terms of ppm. We adopt this proposal. We are also using the term "frequency accuracy" in the headings for our rules governing either frequency tolerance or frequency stability or both.
  • Quartz crystal frequency requirement removed - We also conclude that our frequency accuracy requirements alone are sufficient to promote stable on-frequency operation, so we remove the current requirement that the transmit frequency of transmitters in the Personal Radio Services, with certain exceptions, be controlled by a quartz crystal.
  • Voice-obscuring features (aka scramblers) - This one goes on at length stating multiple requests from individuals and from major corporate interests such as Cobra (requesting the scramble features to continue to be illegal) and Uniden (in support of the scrambler features, or at minimum allow a transition time). The current code 95.181(e) states "All messages must be in plain language (without codes or hidden meanings). They may be in a foreign language, except for call signs (see 95.119).". Regarding CBs, that is covered under 95.412. Previously these companies used the ambiguity of the Part 95 code to make an allowance for their scrambler features on the radios (mostly FRS/GMRS units). Results from the new rules:
    • "90 days after the effective date of new section 95.381 adopted herein we will no longer allow equipment to be certified under Part 95 of our rules for transmitter types that incorporate voice obscuring features."
    • "two years after the effective date of new sections 95.391(b) and (c) adopted herein no person shall be permitted to manufacture, import, sell or offer for sale any radio equipment that incorporates voice scrambling or other obscuring features where such radio is intended for use in any of the Personal Radio Services, regardless of whether the Commission has previously certified that radio."
    • "Further, we do not at this time prohibit the continued use of existing radios with voice-obscuring features to minimize the burden of this rule on consumers, but we suggest that operators refrain from using such features, and advise them not to rely upon such features for security in communicating private information."

Just some minor changes to old outdated requirements such as requiring the crystal used primarily in CBs, but also a major change regarding (banning) voice-obscuring technologies on all new units.

GMRS rule changes (which also affects FRS in some manner)

  • License term - changed from 5 years to 10 years. "The expiration date of licenses issued before this rule change takes effect will not change. Only licenses granted or renewed on or after the effective date will have ten-year terms."
  • Digital transmissions - Previously only allowed in minimal length of time applications, and by code exception to Garmin in 2004, they now are allowing this in a wider scope.
    • "digital data transmissions in the GMRS: will be limited to location information, requests for location information from other units, and brief text messages to another specific unit; must be initiated by a manual action or command of a user, except that a unit receiving a location request from another unit may automatically respond with its location; must not exceed one second in duration; and must not be sent more frequently than one digital data transmission within any thirty-second period, excluding automatic responses to location requests."
    • "Moreover, GMRS transmitters capable of digital data transmissions: must have integrated (i.e., non-detachable) antennas; and may make digital data transmissions only on the 462 MHz GMRS channels and the new 467 MHz interstitial GMRS channels shared with the FRS. "
    • "In addition to these requirements, we limit the occupied emission bandwidth of digital data transmissions to 12.5 kilohertz on the 462 MHz and 467 MHz interstitial channels, but allow up to 20 kHz on the 462 MHz main GMRS channels to be consistent with other GMRS emissions that may be using those channels."
  • Transmitter power - Unchanged, max power still limited to 50W (for GMRS, and max 0.5W for FRS).
  • Digital voice - Like usual the deranged DMR people chimed in and demanded that the FCC set aside special TDMA-only channels specifically for use under GMRS, using either existing channels "digital only" or "digital primary", or under new dedicated frequencies. Luckily the FCC shut them down and stated "We take no action on these requests at this time because we find the record is insufficient to establish whether and how these changes should be made and their potential impact.". Considering there are no DMR (or any digital voice) units that are Part 95 certified, the majority of users, at least for the first year or two, would be illegally using the service with non-certified radios. The FCC was wise (which is rare) in denying these "Deranged Mobile Radio" users special treatment over everyone else.
  • 95.29(g) removed - pertains to certain GMRS systems authorized before March 18, 1968. These units are no longer exempt, although the chance of one of these units is still in use for GMRS service is likely non-existent.

FRS specific changes

  • "we believe that the best long term solution to this problem is to cease certification of FRS devices that incorporate GMRS capabilities, as well as other services as discussed below." essentially meaning any current or future made unit that incorporate GMRS capabilities will not be certified under FRS and will require the GMRS license.
  • " in order to enable FRS-only devices to continue to have the benefits of the additional range and channels currently provided by existing GMRS/FRS combination devices with two Watt GMRS channels, we will permit FRS-only devices to have the capability to transmit with a maximum ERP of two Watts."
  • Combo units under 2W - "Combination GMRS/FRS radio users that operate with a power level at or below two watts ERP under the revised FRS rules adopted herein, however, will no longer be required to obtain a license"
  • Combo units over 2W - "GMRS/FRS combination radios that are capable of operating on the shared GMRS/FRS frequencies with a higher power than the FRS rules permit, and/or of operating on the 467 MHz GMRS main channels, will be reclassified only as GMRS radios."
  • In order to accommodate these existing lower power combination devices in the FRS, we are increasing the maximum authorized radiated power limit for FRS channels 1-7 from 0.5 Watts to two Watts, and making the GMRS 462MHz main channels available to the FRS for use on a shared basis with GMRS. The new channels will be numbered FRS channels 15 through 22, and the FRS power limit for these channels will be two Watts ERP.
  • In addition, we redesignate FRS channels 8 through 14 (the interstitial channels between the GMRS 467 MHz channels, which formerly were designated exclusively for FRS) to GMRS for use on a shared basis with FRS. They will be available to GMRS operators under the same technical limits that currently apply to FRS.
  • We retain the five Watts ERP limit for GMRS operation on the 462MHz interstitial channels.
  • Consequently, all FRS frequencies will now be shared with GMRS, while the eight GMRS 467 MHz main channels (repeater input channels) will remain exclusively GMRS.
  • beginning 90 days after the effective date of new section 95.561(c) adopted in this Report and Order, grants of equipment authorization under Part 95 will no longer be issued for hand-held portable radio equipment capable of operating in both the FRS and in any other radio services in this chapter (licensed or otherwise), with the exception of Part 15 unlicensed capabilities with an appropriate Part 15 equipment authorization
  • two years after the effective date of new sections 95.587(e) and 95.591 adopted herein, no person shall be permitted to manufacture or import, sell or offer for sale hand-held portable radio equipment capable of operating in both the FRS and in any other licensed or licensed-by-rule radio service (again, a combination of FRS with a Part 15 equipment authorization is permitted).

Reclassification of devices

  • 90 days after the effective date of new section 95.1761(c) adopted herein we will no longer permit any hand-held portable radiotransmitter type under both the GMRS and FRS to receive a grant of equipment certification.
  • Second, two years after the effective date of new sections 95.1791(a) and (b) adopted herein no person shall be permitted to manufacture or import, sell or offer for sale any radio equipment capable of operating under both subpart E (GMRS) and subpart B (FRS).
  • We also reclassify and grandfather the operation of any existing hand-held GMRS/FRS combination radios as set forth above, and remind operators of such existing devices that fit within the reclassified GMRS category that they must obtain a license before operating a GMRS device. By these actions, all radios operating in the 462/467 MHz frequency bands that are shared by FRS and GMRS will be classified as either GMRS or FRS, but not a combination of both and thereby eliminate the current confusion as to which rules apply to any particular radio, and whether an individual license is required or not.

As you can see, they changed some of the channel assignments for FRS, primarily adding 8 new channels based on the existing GMRS 462MHz frequencies, but also removed the FRS only capability for the 467MHz based channels, it is now shared with GMRS (although power level for the new GMRS channels is ambiguous, is it 5W or 0.5W?). This means that GMRS has full access to every single channel/frequency available to FRS, on top of its existing GMRS only channels/frequencies (in the 467MHz section), and FRS no longer has any FRS-only channels. FRS channels 1-7 remain the same (shared like before with GMRS), FRS channels 8-14 are now shared with GMRS (previously were FRS only), plus the new FRS channels 15-22 based on the original GMRS only 462MHz channels. Essentially the only things that remained unchanged was the shared FRS/GMRS channels in 462MHz section and GMRS-only section in 467MHz, which is also used for GMRS repeaters. This should continue to help keep the FRS users from being able to use the GMRS repeaters, potentially widening their interference.

CB radio service

"We are changing the name of the Citizens Band Radio Service to "CB Radio Service" (CBRS). " For those outside of North America, this is NOT to be confused with your locally named "CB" or "Citizen Band" service, one example being in Australia, their CB frequencies fall in the 70cm band (which I will not cover here as this only pertains to the US based FCC rulings and code). As the FCC puts it: "The CBRS is comprised of individual low-power mobile and base stations, operating in the upper high frequency (HF) range (27MHz band)." Of course I believe this may cause some confusion, as CB-ers (or CBrs) are the people using the CB, and CBRS is the FCC code regarding CB usage. I would have used a slightly different wording for it, like CBTS - Citizens Band Transceiver Service.

  • we amend the rules to allow use of cordless microphones with CBRS radios.
  • Accordingly, we amend the rules to provide that the use of Part15-compliant cordless microphones and headsets with CBRS stations is considered to be local control, not remote control, of those stations.
  • Longer Distance/DX communications - Previously it was against FCC rules for a CB station to talk beyond what was deemed "local", set at a limit of 250km/155miles. "Accordingly, we will retain the current power limit and eliminate the restriction on long-range communications. We will not, as suggested by some commenters, increase the power limit, given the increased potential for interference to other services that would result."
  • Of course the DMR jokers had to have their say with the CB service too, demanding a full conversion to narrowband and digitizing of the CB service (using TDMA DMR of course). The FCC flat out denied them any digital usage on the CB service. "Such changes are beyond the scope of this proceeding, and we conclude that the proponents of such changes do not demonstrate sufficient potential for public benefits that would exceed the associated costs to merit further consideration at this time."

They did go over a few other bits relating to other services but since it does not relate to these radios as we use them, I will not cover those extra bits here. Other rules and code is still in place, specifically the requirement for certification of Part 95 devices (and associated FCC ID on the radio). Baofengs are still 100% illegal to use on all Part 95 services 100% of the time, they are legal ONLY for amateur radio usage (exceptions being the Part 90 approved radios, all of which are still illegal for all of these Part 95 services, and the BTECH GMRS-v1, which will likely need some alterations to the channels under the new rules).

BaoFAQ - Baofeng legality FAQ

  • Q: Is it legal to use Baofengs on FRS/GMRS/MURS frequencies?
  • A: No (only exception is BTECH GMRS-v1)

  • Q: Will getting the GMRS license allow me to use the Baofeng on GMRS bands?
  • A: No (only exception is BTECH GMRS-v1).

  • Q: Will the Baofengs receive and transmit on those frequencies?
  • A: Yes, but ability does not mean legal to do so. Your car may be able to do 120mph but it is not legal to do so on most roadways.

  • Q: Will you get caught?
  • A: The more important question is: Do you really want to do it and risk a MINIMUM $20,000 fine?

  • Q: Will getting my ham license allow me to use these radios on FRS/GMRS/MURS/other frequencies?
  • A: NO, those 3-4 letter bands are still covered under Part 95, the ham radio license is Part 97. This means 144-148MHz and 420-450MHz (as available with most Baofeng radios, although a few models can use the 1.25m band (222-225MHz).

  • Q: My local Coast Guard station says I can use this Baofeng on the maritime frequencies, isn't that all the permission I need?
  • A: Coast Guard stations are not FCC approved inspectors (although some have commissioners there on occasion if they're doing wide sweep checks of local stations and boats for their maritime radio licenses) so they are wrong, these radios are not Part 80 approved.

  • Q: Aren't Baofengs illegal for ham radio use?
  • A: No, these Baofeng radios are 100% legal for use in ham radio. Ham radio is covered under Part 97, which means we can us a Yaesu, Baofeng, Wouxun, or any homemade or modified device. Part 97 does not require special equipment certification or approval, except commercially sold models do require FCC Part 15 compliance (note it is "compliance", not "certification", big difference). Part 97 is rules for the person aka the licensee, and it is up to the person to ensure their equipment falls within the specs, and the majority of Baofengs do. There are some fake Baofengs that fail but that is another story for another day.

  • Q: Baofengs can transmit at 1W, so is it legal under MURS?
  • A: No, besides the 2W power limit, the other side of MURS is the required Part 95 FCC ID, and that FCC ID placed on the sticker of the radio, and these Baofeng radios have neither, thus it is illegal.

  • Q: Baofengs can transmit at 4 or 5W, so is it legal under GMRS (with a legal GMRS license)?
  • A: Same answer as above, GMRS also requires the Part 95 FCC ID, and that FCC ID placed on the sticker of the radio, and these Baofeng radios have neither, thus it is illegal to do so.

  • Q: Baofengs can transmit in the frequencies approved for maritime/marine, so they're legal right?
  • A: No, the law requires the radio itself to have Part 80 FCC approval, and these Baofeng radios are not approved. Only exception would be in a life threatening emergency on the water, but if you're 20 miles out and water battering your boat, I wouldn't want a $25 radio being my only lifeline.

  • Q: If there is an emergency, I can use this radio on any frequency right?
  • A: No, anyone who has taken the time to read through the various communications related "Parts" knows that even in an emergency, you are still required to have your ham radio license. This license is what allows you to transmit on any available frequency in case of life threatening emergency when NO other communication methods are available. If you call mayday and your cell phone has a signal, you could get nailed for minimum $10,000 fine and radio confiscated. If you call mayday on ANY frequencies with a ham radio, and DO NOT have a ham radio license, you could get nailed with minimum $20,000 fine and radio confiscated.

  • Q: Can these Baofengs be used for police, fire, EMT, or commercial use (Part 90)?
  • A: "Use" is a general term, I will break it down into receiving and transmitting.
    - Receiving: For most Baofeng models, they can be programmed (using Chirp) to receive these signals, provided the transmit is disabled.
    - Transmitting: For transmitting out (with approval from the local commercial or emergency frequency coordinator), only certain models are legal to do so. The only official Baofeng model I know of is the Baofeng UV-82C. Note the "C", I say that because there are UV-82, UV-5R, and BF-F8 models that are not legal for Part 90 use including the UV-82 (144/440), UV-82X (144/220), and UV-82HP (144/440), so stick with the "82C". From AnytoneTech, another model currently available that is Part 90 legal is the NSTIG-8R. NOTE: there are other models currently available that show a Part 90 FCC ID, but they were fraudulently submitted by ShenZhen Foscam, and not Baofeng corporate. I would avoid these fake models and stick with one of the 2 above mentioned models.

  • Q: Isn't Part 90 certification needed for ham/amateur radios too?
  • A: No, Part 90 is commercial/industrial/emergency service use. Ham/amateur radio falls under Part 97 which essentially says we can use whatever we want, provided it is within approved frequency ranges, bandwidth, and a few other general guidelines. For commercially sold radios (from Yaesu, Baofeng, AnyTone, etc), the only requirement they have is Part 15 FCC "compliance", which basically means it must accept out of band spurious emissions, and must not cause "excessive" out of band spurious emissions. If you look at the label under the battery, you should see the FCC compliance logo (big F, big C, then smaller C inside the bigger one), which means it complies with the FCC Part 15.
So when it really comes down to it, just study a little and go get your ham radio license. Test costs max $15 (some clubs test for free) and is good for 10 years, and can be renewed every 10 years as long as you're alive.

If you have further questions or information, feel free to email me at km4fmk [at] gmail [dot] com.

30 Oct 2015

There seems to be a vehement anti-Baofeng or "anti-Chinese model" movement resurging lately. It typically starts when someone asks "what is so bad about Baofeng?" or "why do so many hate these Chinese radios?" In response, they use opinions, false information and lies to claim that all these Chinese models are illegal. they make claims where they are not just illegal for ham radio but completely illegal to use, buy, own, etc. Yet you ask why they're illegal, they use their complete lack of understanding to show how little they know about the law. They try claiming "it requires Part 97 certification", or "they're out of spec" or "they have illegal spurious emissions". First, there is no "Part 97 certification", Part 97 is code for the licensees and what/how they can use equipment, and how the licensee uses the radios themselves. Second, they refer to websites or blogs where ONE OR TWO radios were out of spec, trying to use invalid reasoning that if one fails, they all fail. So then according to their own logic, that means the testing done at the Dayton Hamfest showing one percent of Yaesus and Icoms that were out of spec means they all are? Some people are just beyond learning or lack the ability to contain any common sense. Legally, you can build or own a transceiver capable of transmitting from 5Hz to 500GHz, but Part 97 is clear, you the person aka licensee are limited to transmitting within specific bands and frequencies. The illegal aspect comes in if you the person/licensee press that transmit button that happens outside the legal frequencies.
Some even claim that "it is unlawful in the United States to be in possession of a radio that is capable of transmitting on frequencies for which the possessor is not licensed or authorized by a licensee". Sounds like a well educated comment right? WRONG. If that was the case then almost every ham radio ever made is illegal. My TS-820S is capable of transmitting in 7.300 to 7.500 MHz, 14.350-14.500 MHz, and so on which are not legal to transmit on, yet it was made the same year I was born, 35-40 years before any of these cheap chinese radios hit the market. It can transmit in the Extra bands yet I only have a General license. So anytime you see someone making some comment about the legality of these radios, look very closely, if at any point they claim they're illegal, they are full of it. It is best to ignore them, block them or avoid them altogether. If you come across an entire group on Facebook making these claims, it is best to leave them altogether it is very likely a group full of trolls.

So now you know the facts, the reality and legality of these radios, at least within the US (although Canada has very similar laws). I advise you read and learn as much as possible about at least Part 97, and if you like this kind of thing, also verse yourself on Part 15, 90, and 95.

Thank you and take care. 73.