ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant

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jimh
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ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:58 am

The Federal Communications Commission issued a notice of a Consent Decree regarding an investigation into certain DSC radios manufactured by ICOM for the VHF Marine Band and their compliance with the required provision of ITU-R M.493-13, the international standard for digital selective calling radios. ICOM admits that it manufactured, imported, and sold radios that did not include all specified features, will pay a civil penalty of $20,000, and will implement a compliance plan to prevent future violations.

See: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Release ... -597A1.pdf

The model designator of the radio was IC-M412, and the radio was sold until June 22, 2015. There may be models still in dealer inventory, and, inasmuch as the consent decree is silent on this, I assume they can still be sold.

ICOM contended that the applicable federal regulations were ambiguous, citing Section 80.225(a)(4). See

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/80.225

The ambiguity was apparently over this language:

"...DSC equipment must meet the requirements of the following standards in order to be approved for use: ...ITU-R M.493-13 and, in the case of Class D DSC equipment only, IEC 62238..."

ICOM's interpretation was it could comply with either standard, and they admitted their product did not comply with ITU-R M.493-13. Apparently compliance with both standards is necessary.

ICOM has sent its customers a letter regarding the DSC features. Regarding the omitted DSC features, they noted:

...we have identified the modifications required and confirmed that we have the
capability to update the firmware on the affected radios.

The main updates required are:

--changing the 4 hour NMEA data alert timer to 3 hour 59 minutes.

--adding a DSC elapsed time readout—The display must show a time since the radio received a DSC or a time since the last DSC was sent from this radio. It ranges from approximately 3.5 to 6 minutes.

--adding a DSC resending feature on all ship calls and individual calls—This is so radios can resend DSC alerts automatically at a timed interval.

Icom is preparing to make these firmware updates as soon as possible. However, because we are working with the FCC to get these problems resolved we do not currently have a timeframe when these updates will be released.

jimh
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Re: ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:08 am

The ITU-R M.493-13 standard mentioned above is available as a free download from

https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/re ... !PDF-E.pdf

This version has since been superseded by ITU-R M.493-14, also available from

https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/re ... !PDF-E.pdf

The IEC standard is available on-line, but must be purchased. See

https://webstore.iec.ch/publication/6627

jimh
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Re: ICOM Suspends USA Sales of DSC Radios

Postby jimh » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:18 pm

In what must be related to the consent decree announcement mentioned above, the ICOM website has very recently changed to include a notice that a number of ICOM DSC radios are presently NOT AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN THE USA. The website notes:

"Temporary Export Only. New US versions coming soon."

Cf.:

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/ ... fault.aspx
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/ ... fault.aspx
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/ ... fault.aspx
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/ ... fault.aspx
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/ ... fault.aspx

This notice was first observed about a week ago, around July 6, 2016.

jimh
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Re: ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:47 am

It has been almost a month that a number of ICOM fixed-mount DSC radios have been NOT AVAILABLE for sale in the USA. I am surprised that this withdrawal of the radio from the USA market has not been reported elsewhere and has drawn so little commentary. It is also quite surprising that ICOM would have their products off the market for so long. Apparently the kerfuffle with the FCC about compliance with DSC recommendations is taking more time to resolve than anticipated.

jimh
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Re: ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant

Postby jimh » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:56 am

The ICOM website is still carrying the notice that their fixed-mount DSC radios are not for sale in the USA. This has been the status for over two months. Re-engineering of the radio firmware to be compliant must be taking more time than anticipated.

jimh
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Re: ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant

Postby jimh » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:23 pm

Beginning yesterday (September 27, 2016), ICOM has resumed sale in the USA of most of their DSC fixed-mount radios. Only the VHF transceiver models M200 and M604A remain unavailable in the USA. The HF transceiver model M802 is also not available in the USA at this time.


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