Posts Tagged Yaesu

Why FCC tested transceivers should matter to Ham radio operators

I have been engaged in conversation with several other hams in regard to Chinese imported transceivers such as Baofengs and Wouxuns. These radios are very inexpensive (usually less than $50 a piece) and readily available from US suppliers via Amazon and eBay. They frequently do not come with an FCC label on them.

The question is, does it matter?

Some hams are of the belief that FCC certification doesn’t matter because they’re used in Amateur Radio, which operates under Part 97 of the rules and does not require certification.

Other hams are of the belief that the transceiver requires at least Part 15 certification since it will receive outside of the amateur band.

So which is correct? Technically, the latter belief is correct. Part 15 certification is required because the device will receive outside of the amateur band. But more importantly, a large part of the Chinese imports do not even meet the emissions standards of FCC Part 97. We should care about Part 15 certification because FCC testing proves the emission standards of the radio, such as harmonics and splatter, and poor emissions can cause harmful interference in other radio bands.

In the November 2015 issue of QST, the ARRL published results of testing Amateur-owned handheld transceivers at various conventions from 2012-2015. This testing was done on attendees’ used radios which were brought to the conventions. Each transceiver was hooked to a calibrated set of test equipment and was tested for emission standards compliance.

While I can’t provide the actual article due to copyrights, I will sum up the findings here. For all brands listed in the article over the entire test period, I’ve provided the total number of radios and the average percent of compliant radios across all years.

  • Baofeng: 186 tested. 29% compliant.
  • Connect Systems: 13 tested, 100% compliant.
  • Icom: 151 tested, 100% compliant.
  • Kenwood: 129 tested, 99.5% compliant.
  • Motorola: 11 tested, 100% compliant
  • RadioShack: 11 tested, 100% compliant.
  • TYT: 6 tested, 50% compliant.
  • Wouxun: 79 tested, 82.5% compliant.
  • Yaesu: 280 tested, 99.8% compliant.

For greater detail of the radios tested and the emissions findings, including spectral graphs of the emissions of a few tested radios, please see the issue of QST I mentioned above.

Comments are welcome.

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

APRS messaging bug in the Yaesu FT1D

UPDATE 1-19-2017: Another ham reached out to me about this, mentioning that it may be related to having extra spaces at the end of your callsign if it’s less than 6 characters. I loaded my programming in RT System’s FT-1D Programmer and went to Settings > Radio Menu Settings, then clicked the APRS tab. Here I was able to verify that an extra space does exist in the “My Callsign” field. I’ve decided not to test this further, but it should be trivial for someone to verify whether or not removing this extra space fixes this issue.

I have a Yaesu FT1D that supports APRS messaging. I set the callsign in my radio (via SET:12), and I set my APRS callsign as my callsign with SSID -7 via SET:9>23. (See the FT1D manual here or an explanation about APRS SSIDs here.)

I tried sending a message to CQSRVR and ANSRVR to test, but I never got any replies. I have a low-budget digipeater set up in another room using a laptop and another HT, so I checked the screen. The packets were received, gated, and responses were received and transmitted, but my radio never showed anything under messages.

I installed PocketPacket (iOS App Store) and using SSID -5 for it. I sent a message from my radio to my -5 SSID. It showed up on my iPhone. I replied to that message, addressed to SSID-7, it did not show up on my radio.

A bit frustrated, I sent a message to my callsign without SSID. It showed up on my radio. However, when I replied from my radio, the -7 SSID was appended, and so replies to the -7 SSID wouldn’t show up.

By changing my APRS SSID via SET:9>23 to my callsign only without SSID, I was able to get messaging working as expected.

So, in a nutshell:

Issue: APRS messages are not displayed on the radio when an SSID of non-zero is set via SET menu 9>23.

Occurrence: Always

Steps to reproduce: Set an SSID to your callsign via the above-mentioned settings menu. Transmit an APRS message from another device to your callsign-with-SSID. It is not shown on the radio. Transmit an APRS message from another device to your callsign-without-SSID. It is shown on the radio.

Workaround: Set menu 9>23 to your callsign without SSID.

Expected behavior: When the SSID is set via menu 9>23, messages are shown as addressed to your callsign-with-SSID.

I will be emailing Yaesu regarding this issue and hopefully they can fix it in a firmware update.

, , ,

Leave a comment