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Old 08-06-2016, 03:58 PM   #1
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Default ICOM DSC Radios Not For Sale in USA

For more than a month now, beginning about July 6, 2016, the ICOM website has carried a notice that most of its fixed-mount digital selective calling (DSC) radios are not for sale in the USA and are for "export only" sale.

This very unusual situation is probably related to a CONSENT DECREE that was published in the Federal Register in late June, 2016, which announced that ICOM would pay a civil penalty of $20,000 because it sold DSC radios that did not comply with the regulations of the FCC.

See

DA-16-597A1.pdf

for a copy of the consent decree.

I presume that ICOM has withdrawn its DSC radios for sale in the USA in order to avoid further civil fines. It has contacted its customers with a letter explaining the missing features and indicated that these omissions would be corrected by a future firmware update, but they did not announce a timeframe.

The affected radios as listed on the ICOM website are

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...s/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...b/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...g/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...6/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...a/default.aspx
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhebert View Post
For more than a month now, beginning about July 6, 2016, the ICOM website has carried a notice that most of its fixed-mount digital selective calling (DSC) radios are not for sale in the USA and are for "export only" sale.

This very unusual situation is probably related to a CONSENT DECREE that was published in the Federal Register in late June, 2016, which announced that ICOM would pay a civil penalty of $20,000 because it sold DSC radios that did not comply with the regulations of the FCC.

See

Attachment 705641

for a copy of the consent decree.

I presume that ICOM has withdrawn its DSC radios for sale in the USA in order to avoid further civil fines. It has contacted its customers with a letter explaining the missing features and indicated that these omissions would be corrected by a future firmware update, but they did not announce a timeframe.

The affected radios as listed on the ICOM website are

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...s/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...b/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...g/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...6/default.aspx

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...a/default.aspx
I just got an M604 a couple of weeks ago, which the website says "new US versions coming soon." The consent decree references the M412 as the model that lacked certain DSC features, however. Not clear if all of the models are affected.

In any case, the missing features are pretty minor if just what is in the consent decree.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:06 PM   #3
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Sales of the M412 are what elicited the $20,000 civil penalty. Not selling the other models is most likely a good strategy to not incur additional civil penalties.

ICOM characterized the missing features in their current models in their letter to customers as follows:

Quote:
...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.
The FCC regulations require that all DSC radios sold conform to the ITU-R M.493-13 standard. You can review the standard yourself by downloading it from

https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r...0-S!!PDF-E.pdf

The FCC determined, as explained in the consent decree, that the ICOM radios did not comply with the regulations, and ICOM admitted that it manufactured, imported, and sold radios that did not include all specified features.
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:00 PM   #4
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What about the people that already bought the older version ICOMs ? I have an ICOM 506 DSC/AIS which was not cheap?
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:16 PM   #5
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Very interesting. Thanks for digging this up. I wonder how they will handle the sw updates considering that the devices are not field updatable, or require a tech with special cables and software to do the update. Not a happy situation for Icom.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:16 PM   #6
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I have a M412- what dos that meat to me? Will it not work properly? Credit/refund?
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:12 PM   #7
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Yes I have one also and my installer could not get it to talk to my new Garmin 94sv. Am I hosed? Do I have to buy a new radio from some one else to have this feature work correctly?? Rag's
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rltrbill View Post
I have a M412- what dos that meat to me? Will it not work properly? Credit/refund?
If I am reading all this correctly, the basic DSC functions work fine including the distress alert and calling and receiving. These are additional features to time and automate some of the DSC functions.

I would guess that Icom will have some program to have owners send units back to them for update or possibly compensate dealers to work on units they did not sell so that you could take your radio to a dealer who has the proper software and cables.

Still a pain for anyone to have to pull the radio for service. Not sure I would do it just to gain those missing features unless there is more to it.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rltrbill View Post
I have a M412- what dos that meat to me? Will it not work properly? Credit/refund?

Same here. Just hope Icom makes it easy on everyone.
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