The Other Transceiver Import Ban: Hytera

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




5 Comments

  1. As someone who is self taught generally on the topic of SIGINT (signals intelligence), digital and encrypted traffic does reduce the audience size, but it will not provide enough security to prevent one from being DF’d (directing finding) by sophisticated interceptors with, or without digital capability. Avoid falling into a false sense of security when using DMR radios, or any radio.

    Using the Army’s Vietnam Era radio practices that include for example, directional antennas, even old analogue radio, can be more ‘secure’ than DMR alone, and can defeat even the Army’s doppler radio DF equipment, let alone a guy with basic tools. And DMR is not yet in wide use. Who will you talk to? Using those techniques with DMR will add another layer, yet is still not good enough. Use a poor man’s packet radio via a raspberry, or a re-purposed old and slow laptop, thru a DMR, or analogue radio, with a brevity code, and MTTY, Fldigi, or even CW and now you are talking, literally!

    Linux users can access the variety of digital modes and USB Dongle receivers free, and as a package to avoid the laborious process installing the software by simply downloading Skywave Linux. Old and slow laptops can have a new and useful life using lite forms of Linux, and even Skywave Linux. One has little to loose by booting up that old Window virus infected machine with a Linux operating system, ie. Ubuntu, Mint, or Skywave Linux, so easy to use that even us old guys can hack it.

    Don’t laugh, or even snicker, the capable UV5r in the right hands that can do wonders….. Using cabling and connectors bot for almost free at most thrift stores, can turn the Baofeng, or other hand held into a repeater, or better yet, plugged into a laptop, or similar more portable low power device, such as a raspberry, into a poor man’s and disposable packet radio written in a brevity code with a OTP (one time pad), using a variety of digital modes, and via a directional antenna, can transmit volumes of info in under the 5 second maximum TX time to greatly improve security.

    I am self taught. If I can do this stuff, you can do this stuff. If there is a ‘will’, there is a way. The Internet is awash in valuable resources, but it does require years to acquire, and Own any kind of useful knowledge at this level. Unfortunately, the small clubs of Hams in my area, knew virtually none of this stuff. And still do not. Please expand your horizons.

  2. Re; Rumor, MURS Frequencies re-assignment

    I’ve spent almost an hour searching the net to confirm a rumor heard tonight at dinner that the ITU is reassigning the MURS frequencies. The article that supposedly discussed this was recent and from the ARRL. Did a search on their site with no results remotely suggestive of such change. My source is the most knowledge and high skilled amateur radio man in my area with an impeccable reputation, yet I am unable to confirm, so this information should be considered ‘rumor’ at this time.

    ARRL site:
    http://www.arrl.org/home

  3. Prices of the HYTERA i series will remain the same for the foreseeable future. The (i) represents a firmware change to remove the infringing items which were. Direct mode TDMA, repeater quick enable and VOX.

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