The BaoFeng UV5R and similar are called "CCR's" by hams. Meaning, Cheap
Chinese Radios. They are cheap
because they are mainly software
defined radios, emulating hardware
that does a better job of suppressing interference
, etc. They are not "certified" or "type accepted" by the FCC for any use, so they are illegal for ANY service
in the US, except for ham radio
. Hams are allowed to use anything--but they are also personally responsible for seeing that their equipment
is in compliance with all regulations
, and the CCRs have been found to go well out of compliance after a few short years.
Even when they are new, objective tests show them to be inferior performers.
Hams DO give them credit for providing a cheap entry level radio
, a cheap backup radio, a cheap "at risk" or disposable radio. (Notice that "C" word keeps coming up?) But using them in violation of FCC regulations
, in the US, could result in a fine of $10,000 per radio or per use. The fines are rare but FCC enforcement actions take place every day. On a ship on the high seas...there's about zero risk. In a US port? Not so good, all someone has to do is make a phone
call to start enforcement actions.
If any of the CCR makers ever really polished up their work
and submitted it for legal
approval in the US, they'd probably still make a killing--but their price
would no doubt double.