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Anyone see this yet? RS-918SSB $350


The software is Creative Commons the hardware is not, and never has been. These Chinese are a bunch of pirates that have ripped off Chris’s hardware design and he has not received a penny from them.

The rig is able to put out 10 watts with ease (careful winding of the output transformer is needed to do that), there is no way I would push the output devices much higher than 10 watts if only to remain friendly with any nearby amateurs!! Best rig to use on a cold day, the heat from the regulators definitely keep your hands warm!

Barry GM4TOE


It wouldn’t be worth it. But its morally wrong that is the point…



“And watching…for pigs on the wing”.

I had to check and it’s 40 and 1/2 years old. I remember its release.


The requirements of a Free or open source license typically (depending on the license) require that the software is made available once distribution occurs. There is no requirement that the software be made “free” as in beer; there are many companies that have made a lot of money commercialising aspects of Free and Open Source Software.

Most license conditions trigger on the “distribution” event, implying you can make your own modifications to software for personal use, but the moment you give them to someone else, you have to also provide source code for those modifications (or for the entire derived product, depending on license).

Creative Commons is another form of use of Copyright licensing to allow greater control over distribution rights. It comes in a bunch of forms, including BY (attribution), NC (non-commercial), ND (no derivatives), and SA (share-alike). These can be combined to make a license like CC-BY-NC-SA, which would require any person who made a derivative work to attribute the original source as me, have no commercial gain, and share their derivative work under the same license.

This doesn’t preclude the original copyright owner from reaching a licensing agreement with a distributor to make commercial products under a different license, but the product released to the world under CC and modified by a non-copyright holder would have to stay under those terms if licensed SA.

Actually, there are quite a few prosecutions for people who violate the licenses - they don’t get reported often, and less so now Groklaw is no longer online. In America, the Software Freedom Law Conservancy and EFF have been known to target vendors that don’t meet their obligations under terms of various F/OSS licenses. There have been similar cases in Europe. In almost all instances, the vendor doing the license violation loses or settles pretty damn quickly.

In China, the government is cracking down more and more on shonky operators as they lose manufacturing contracts due to IP protection. As wages grow in China, there needs to be a stronger incentive for producers to use Chinese manufacturers, rather than shipping everything off to Vietnam or Indonesia. The problem there is it is so systemic these actions don’t appear to be having much impact from the outside. There has been some anecdotal success of targeting the OEM that is producing infringing product, rather than the distributors. OEMs that permit IP violations don’t last long once that fact gets out.

What is missed sometimes (not the case in this instance, but worth reiterating) is that if the person is that releasing hardware under something like the Open Hardware License basically means you are allowing someone to rip your design off. You’ve made that choice. If you release software under the GPL, you are basically saying you expect others to take that software and develop it further, even selling it if they so desire. Your protection under the license is they have to give their modifications back too, which allows you to sell it too.

(IANAL, I just work for a company making a lot of money off Open Source software)


I actually have one of these clones, RS-918, and I must say that after some slight modifications it´s a really good QRP rig. However, I had to change the MCU since the original was 168 MHz, 192 kB ram and 512 kB flash. I changed to STM32F429VIT6 which is 180 MHz, 256 kB ram and 2048 kB flash. It sure made all the difference. Also I did a modification of the stock crappy microphone, replaced the element with a real electret and drilled three small holes on the backside to allow better dynamics. The last thing I did, and this is also a problem with mcHF, was to machine a new heatsink which has the benefit of more effective heat dissipation.

I did this since I´m a tinkerer and enjoy experimenting, but one should not simply embark on the route to change MCU without proper tools and knowledge, It´s a 14.2x14.2 mm SMD chip with 100 legs.