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Is the TX4x4 club the last to use Citizens Band?

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
So, not exactly what you are picturing, but there are plenty of HF rigs that can do all of that. I have an Icom 706mkIIG that can transmit UHF, VHF, and HF. It can also transmit and receive AM signals, which is key for communicating with CBs. Now, it is set up from the factory to only be able to transmit on approved Ham frequencies, but with a little research, it can be turned into a true "all in one radio." If one was to do that, the only thing that the radio is lacking is one lower power setting--current low power is 5w IIRC, and I'd like to be able to transmit on 1w.
He's asking for legal options and as a ham it's probably not in our best interest to suggest anyone flout the FCC rules as arbitrary as they may be.
I do wish there was a (legal/reliable/quality) option for one radio to operate on CB/GMRS/HAM frequencies.

I understand the way the law is written prevents this, unless they were considered different “radios” packaged in the same “housing”. Antennas would obviously be different as well, I use FRS/GMRS after doing my research which I have no issue with communicating with others in my party. In my neck of the woods though, you’re more likely to hail a stranger in the event of an emergency on CB, but I didn’t want a 4-5’ antenna on my car. A quick connect would be a simple solution when needed.

I’m picturing a CB, GMRS, and HAM “radio” (all sold individually with different model #’s if legally necessary) packaged inside a single housing with one 12v power supply, a 4 way switch to power up the various “radios”, a single mic/handset like the Midland MXT275, and 3 different antenna connections on the housing. Any reason this wouldn’t be possible/kosher?
Short answer is that there are ways to do what you're after and stay on the good side of the FCC. Commercial manufacturers have in the past and do now sell essentially an open chassis and you put in radios that meet whatever needs you have.

The basic premise Motorola and Kenwood currently use is you have a front panel used to control multiple RF decks. The RF deck is the radio as far as the FCC is concerned.

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Bear in mind that these radios cost several thousand dollars to assemble for one band so the economic justification is going to be tenuous even for ham radio. Having perhaps 3 RF decks and a control face would be tremendously expensive. I think like $5k sort of painful. I just doubt anyone is going to be willing to spend more than $100 for a CB radio or even an FRS or GMRS.
 
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Klierslc

Explorer
Dave,

You have hit the nail on the head right there. There is absolutely no functional difference between putting that radio together and running a modified 706. I just wish the FCC would update their rules so that appropriately licensed hams could transmit on any authorized frequency with any transmitter(at the authorized power level). The type certification is mostly useless in my opinion and it doesn't keep non licensed users from cluttering things up. Law abiding hams bear the brunt of the regulatory burden, when we are the ones who could actually responsibly operate an all in one radio.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
@Klierslc, there is a slight difference. Changing the jumpers on your 706 removes the TX frequency limits it was shipped it with but that doesn't mean ICOM uses the same filters in every market. So you should at least check the alignment and spectral purity after doing that.

Those radio decks are stand alone. They are shipped tested for a range of frequencies and the depot or reseller has the authority and ability to verify they remain in compliance to Part 90. From an RF standpoint they are just like GMRS radios, the users don't have to open the hardware. They do have software to change channel frequencies, though.

I'm with you in theory but I don't think most hams anymore possess the technical understanding or equipment to really tune their own radios, which is what would be necessary. Our ham tickets only give us the effective authority of a GROL within the ham bands, not generally across all radio services.
 

Klierslc

Explorer
Dave,

I have no plans to go fiddling around inside my 706. If I had the capability of an all in one, I'd be tempted to use it, so I ensure that I don't tempt myself too much. I do carry a Boafeng in the truck that has the VHF marine channels programmed in... In addition to keeping myself informed about drawbridge openings and closings, the quickest way to call for emergency help in coastal virginia/NC, might be via hailing a merchant vessel. At this point, the local CB operators are such a band of clowns that I don't even turn on the CB anymore unless I am out with an offroad group..
 
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