You’ll probably recall that last week I mentioned the upcoming import ban on Baofeng UV-5 series handi-talkies. This was because of a 2018 FCC ruling that banned sales of transceivers that can transmit in both the FRS band and in ham bands. That ban goes into effect on September 30th. But you may not have heard about the other transceiver import ban: This one is on Hytera brand encrypted Digital Mobile Radios (DMRs). DMR is an open digital radio standard that combines voice and data together–often with 128-bit or 256-bit encryption features. The reason for the import ban? Some of the Hytera DMR radio models were ruled patent infringing. A few months ago, CQ Amateur Radio magazine reported a summary:
“The U.S. International Trade Commission has banned the import of several DMR radio models manufactured by the Chinese company Hytera. According to Newsline, the ITC ruled that the radios infringe on numerous Motorola patents.
Models include the MD652, MD872, BD302, BD362 and BD502, as well as two repeater models, the RD622 and RD892.
Hytera says it is replacing those models with its new “i-Series” products, which it insists do not infringe on any patents.”
Since Hytera’s new “i-Series” models are more expensive, I recommend stocking up on the now import-banned “pre-i” models, while there are a few still available.
All of the now import-banned models (that lack an “i” tagged on the end of the model numbers) are still available from a variety of Internet vendors and on eBay, but supplies of the “pre-i” models are getting spotty.
I should also mention that slightly-used Hytera encrypted DMRs (both “i” and pre-i”) can sometimes be found on eBay and at hamfests, at bargain prices. Their Bluetooth adapters and other accessories are available via Amazon.com.
It is noteworthy that the Trump Administration’s new electronics tariffs on China will also raise the prices on the replacement models of both the Hytera and the Baofeng transceivers, so there is even more reason to stock up, soon! – JWR