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I am quite interested in buying the Alinco DJMD5TGP as it seems like a full-featured radio for a low price. And I have already started studying for my Technician license so I can transmit. And then I ran across this article, which seems to state that the radio does not comply with everything it should. Granted, the article is almost two years old, so maybe it's not relevant anymore. Should I be concerned about buying this? Even Alinco's website says in red text that the DJMD5TGP "is not an amateur radio equipment." Would I be alright as long as I stick to the frequencies allowed by a technician license? Anything else I should know about so that I don't unknowingly break the law?

By the way, this question may be a duplicate of Is Baofeng illegal in the U.S? If so, I would appreciate an explanation as to how it will answer my question. I have a lot to learn.

Thank you for your time.

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The article is mistaken about at least one thing. It may be illegal to market that radio in the US (I honestly don't care to read the tea leaves to find out if that's true or not, but it's certainly possible), but that has no bearing at all on whether you can legally operate one in the US as an amateur. Amateur transcievers don't have to be certified in any way, including Part 15 certification. Part 97 is more-or-less unique in that amateurs are allowed to build, buy, or modify anything that will radiate, and it becomes their responsibility to operate the device in a way that is legal. Some hams enjoy operating everything from WWII military radios, to modified AM broadcast transmitters, to Motorola business-band handhelds. If the device can't be operated in a legal way, of course, it's their responsibility not to push that transmit button. But you are allowed to own, and operate, a device that is capable of doing all kinds of bad things — your license is supposed to indicate that you have the sense not to do them.

Part 15 certification can be a barrier to selling a radio in the US, but if there's a problem on that front, and the FCC decides to care about it, they will go after the manufacturers and importers of the noncompliant radios, not amateurs who own them.

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I looked at the data sheet and saw nothing to indicate that that transceiver would be useful on any amateur radio band, with commonly deployed amateur radio repeaters.

The frequencies, modulation (FM, typically), access undertones, and (if digital) encoding all must be compatible.

Amateur radio operators are personally responsible for the correct operation of their equipment. Manufacturers work with the FCC to have equipment pre-checked, or type accepted, by the FCC to assure that the equipment operates correctly and reduce the load on the operator.

There may be a way to operate that transceiver in an manner compatible with amateur radio, but as an operator, the onus would he on you to assure compliant operation.

As a ham, you can operate an electric dryer modulated by a hand mixer, but you are 100% responsible. That is one of the beauties of amateur radio -- the innovation is in your hands, which, to me, justifies the additional responsibility.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you please elaborate on why the Alinco may not be useful on amateur bands? I have seen a video of it being used to contact a repeater but if this radio won't let me access the frequencies allowed by Technician class then I would certainly like to know. $\endgroup$ – The Blender Bender May 6 at 5:55
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    $\begingroup$ I am not claiming that it can not be used. The first paragraph says that I looked at the data sheet for the device and I could not determine that it DID work on Amateur Bands, with appropriate modulation methods and control signals. It may work fine. There is also the second point, that you as the operator are responsible for your signal, including all spurious emissions, harmonics, broadband noise, and images. Alinco is not providing any statement that the equipment complies with AR regulations, so you are taking that on yourself. Your decision, your license, your choice. $\endgroup$ – cmm May 6 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds good, thank you. $\endgroup$ – The Blender Bender May 6 at 21:17

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