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OK, so being technically illegal but not enforced unless one is a d!ckhead, is the "hack" something that must be done by the owner (with technical prowess I'm sure I don't have at this time) or would a shop/technician be able to perform the hack? I would imagine that a business doing such may be also breaking the letter of the law and not perform said modifications.

I guess what I'm asking is if a HAM radio can be the end all for those of who don't want to have 2-3 different radios in their FJ. I do have the GMRS license for our family handhelds and what a great thing it would be to be able to do the CB thing with the off-roaders, talk to the wife and kids on the GMRS band then play with the HAMs, all on the same setup.

Very interesting...:thinkerg:
I'm also very intersted in this possibility. I just got my ticket and just finished installing a Yaesu 7800R in the FJ which is working great. Getting the license is not very difficult. Next radio mod is APRS tracking. It be great to operate the CB and GMRS frequencies with a single radio.

This is a very interesting thread, thanks!

KI4RYZ
 

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Icom, Yaesu, and I think Kenwood make HF/VHF/UHF rigs that can be moded to transmit "out of band" to frequencies occupied by CB, marine, police and GMRS/FRS. However, the rigs have not been "type accepted" by the FCC to transmit w/ purity on those frequencies and therefore the FCC prohibits their use outside the ham bands. The only exception would be emergency communications. That said, there are a lot of ham radios used on the cb, marine, and gmrs/frs frequencies. The key is not to cause interference and keep a low profile. Some hams take the FCC rules very seriously and will turn you in if they find you are transmitting out of band. Other hams are your biggest risk to trouble and if you get caught you will most likely lose your license.

Yes, you can buy a one size fits all radio. However, just like all one size fits all, you sometimes don't get all the features you want. And a hf/vhf/uhf radio is considerably more expensive than a single band radio. A nice 2m radio runs about $150-200. A dual band vhf/uhf is about $300-500 and a hf/vhf/uhf runs about $650-1000.

The problem w/ a mobile radio that does it all (besides price) is the need for antennas for each band segment you want to transmit on. You can tune a 10 meter antenna to work on the cb band and then use a 2m/440 combo antenna for your vhf/uhf work. Thus you will need a minimum 2 antennas on your vehicle (there are exceptions). It gets a bit ridiculous to have your FJ sporting a half dozen different antennas.

I have a multi mode Yaesu FT100 (no longer in production). It can be moded to receive on all frequencies from 1.5MHz to about 990MHz except cell phone frequencies and it can transmit over a bunch of frequencies. I run a 2m/440 antenna on a mag mount I'm not too happy about and I use single band "hamstick" antennas on a bumper hitch for HF work (which isn't working very well at all). I think I will go w/ a diamond motorized mount for the vhf antenna and bandi mount for my hf antennas. I don't work HF very often so I don't usually have an HF antenna mounted. I must put my antenna down to get in the garage thus the need for a motorized mount for my vhf antenna that I use all the time.

I think I will eventually supplement the FT100 w/ a dual band vhf/uhf fm radio that is easier to use on FM while mobiling.

So to make a short story long, yes Virginia, you can buy one radio that works on the frequencies you use most often.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
OK, so being technically illegal but not enforced unless one is a d!ckhead, is the "hack" something that must be done by the owner (with technical prowess I'm sure I don't have at this time) or would a shop/technician be able to perform the hack? I would imagine that a business doing such may be also breaking the letter of the law and not perform said modifications.

I guess what I'm asking is if a HAM radio can be the end all for those of who don't want to have 2-3 different radios in their FJ. I do have the GMRS license for our family handhelds and what a great thing it would be to be able to do the CB thing with the off-roaders, talk to the wife and kids on the GMRS band then play with the HAMs, all on the same setup.

Very interesting...:thinkerg:
Most shops won't do it, but normally it's a solder connection, depends on the radio.

I would look at the Icom IC-706MKIIG or Yaesu FT-857D.

Again I don't advocate it but it could be done (just covering my a$$)
 

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Thanks for the excellent feedback and appropriate concerns/legality. Now, I guess I need to do some additional research on the radios you guys listed/recommended.

I'm glad I this all came up because I was literally sitting at the computer ready to order the Cobra 75 set up (ala BigBill) and decided to check the old FJ forum before doing so. Now I'm on the fence and torn as to the best direction. Why can't it be so simple...
 

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Thanks for the excellent feedback and appropriate concerns/legality. Now, I guess I need to do some additional research on the radios you guys listed/recommended.

I'm glad I this all came up because I was literally sitting at the computer ready to order the Cobra 75 set up (ala BigBill) and decided to check the old FJ forum before doing so. Now I'm on the fence and torn as to the best direction. Why can't it be so simple...
If you use HAM radio on CB (within legal limit) I wont tell....But remember Cobra and HAM HF rig major price difference !!! not to mention that you need to have a license to legally being able to own one.....let us know what you ended up with...
 

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Chewey,

We snobbish hams generally shun the 10-codes. Generally, we use regular talk and slang is frowned upon. For instance, we say, "where are you?" or what is your location?" instead of "what's yur 20, good buddy?" and "roger" instead of "that's a big ol' 10-4" and "what's your name?" instead of "what's the handle there?"

However, we do have our own set of abbreviations that are frequently used on ssb and somewhat less on FM especially when conditions erode. For instance, for signal strength, we use a signal strength and readability code base on readablity of 1 to 5 and signal strength 1 to 9 as in "your signal is 5-9" instead of "your wall to wall tree top tall there, good buddy". On FM, we say, "you are full quieting" meaning your transmission is as nice as your favorite FM radio station without a lot of hiss, "motorboating" or static.

We also have a whole list of sophisticated "Q" codes which somewhat overlap the 10-codes (he said tongue in cheek). I don't use them much and can't tell you what they are. The morse code operators use them a lot as they are trying to reduce the number of dits and dashes required to send a communication.

The weather frequencies you posted are on the 2 meter band that is also shared with the marine band and ham band. The FCC (along w/ other governments) has allocated all the radio frequencies to various uses amid commercial, government, and amatuer use. The 2 meter band includes mobile, fixed satellite, land mobile service, space research, aeronautical, radio astronomy, aero nav, military, fire/police, coast guard, as well as other allocations.

There is a huge problem in that there is only so much bandwidth and everybody wants their share. Hams have lost the battle on some bands/frequencies due to pervasive "commercial interests". The trend has gone from exploiting far reaching frequencies (microwave, gigawave, low wave) to cramming more communications into a smaller bandwidth or overlaping communications on the same bandwidth (like spread spectrum phones).

Inside the 2 meter band allocated just to hams, it is further subdivided into ssb, satellite, fm, repeater, calling frequencies, other duplex, fax, digital, sstv, morse code, and more.
Good to know.....

Chewey48

Realize that 10-codes as much as I love them and use them every day conversation are frowned upon and not used for normal Ham conversations. Granted it depends on the people you talk.

the Q-code is the recognized short code for Ham Radio.

Just for everyones FYI the CB band in the 27mhz area is also known as 11 meters. This is because the wavelength of the frequency is around 11 meters long, the weather bands that are shown are just above the 2 meter band so the wave lengths are shorter the higher you go.
Ya see how good this thread already is.........

My useless info!!!!!! :roller: Sorry........
 

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Here's an interesting article I found from "Popular Wireless Magazine" while researching GMRS Radios.

How do the FRS radios/walkie-talkies compare to CB radios? Which would be better for house-to-house communication, say, 1-2 miles? CB or FRS? Which is better for backup communication while driving on the road (assuming cell phone is dead) CB or FRS?

CB radio is on shortwave frequencies around 26-27 MHz. These radio waves propagate differently. You can find yourself talking to someone in another country on the CB band. The skip, as it is called, can occasionally render CB channels useless for communication beyond five miles or so. (That's one big reason CB went to SSB.) The CB band also became a polluted wasteland of nonsense, silliness, and foul language. It quickly became a hobby band when that was not the original intent. FRS on the other hand will NOT skip. FRS is limited to local communication and it tends to be quite reliable depending on the terrain and surrounding obstructions. UHF radio waves at 462 MHz behave a bit differently. You can now have the same benefit police and business has always had using a UHF radio. The quality of communication is terrific. Your family will enjoy using these devices!

The most important point about UHF radios is that ANTENNA HEIGHT is more important than the output power of the device. So if you can see the house you want to talk to then there is a very good chance FRS radios will work quite nicely in your application. As an example, I can talk to the grounds keeper at the local golf course over two miles away from inside my house. The grounds keeper can see my home from the hill he is on overlooking my town. Using a Family Radio hand held radio I can also speak to someone on the 3800 foot peak some 14 miles away.

If you are talking within a mile or less of another vehicle and all you want to do is talk to that vehicle, FRS is superb. CB will improve distance locally but then you have to cope with skip, AND you must have an outside antenna to get reliable distance. If you want access to emergency services get a cellular phone. Not many people monitor channel 9 any longer and no one listens to any FRS channel for emergency calls. The great thing about FRS is that it is the first really good utility two-way radio for families ever. It beats carrying big CB radio portable radios and it is far more reliable than the older low power CB or 49 MHz walkie talkies. FRS radios are not really toys. The radios are quite good and there are few poorly made FRS radios on the market. The radios are truly superb if you are trying to remain in contact with a person with whom you might become separated.

Edit to add: This may help answer some of the questions regarding CB compared to other radios - Not HAM specific...
 

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I don't do much of anything. I barely even take my radio out out anymore.
That's the problem w/ ham radio. You get the license, you buy the radio, and then you don't have any friends to talk to b/c they aren't interested in ham radio.

I am lucky enough to have about 5 friends who are regularly on the air and we ride to work together, get together to raft up our boats in the summer, and base units give mobiles and boaters up to date doppler radar info when bad weather threatens. It's a lot of fun and adds to the safety of motoring and boating.
 

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If you want to go to the expense of getting an all-mode rig (FT100, IC706, etc) and you aren't licensed, why not just take a week to study and get licensed? It's easier than ever to get your ticket. Since they dropped CW, even general class isn't that hard to get.

I plan on running aprs out to the FJ Summit this summer. It'll be neat to track the trip that way. (APRS uses a gps, a tnc and a radio to send possition reports over the air, where they then get picked up by an Internet gateway and display your location on a map) If there are any echolink nodes in the area, I may even connect to my hometown repeater and ragchew with the gang back home. If not, I'll just get on 40m and give a yell. May even do some DX in the evenings. How is the DX from Colorado? Anyone want to do some SSTV (Slow Scan TV) from the summit? That could be another thing to try out. If we get enough VEC's together, we could even run an exam session. HiHi (HaHa to those non hams out there).

73
Bill
de KB3GUN
 

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If you want to go to the expense of getting an all-mode rig (FT100, IC706, etc) and you aren't licensed, why not just take a week to study and get licensed? It's easier than ever to get your ticket. Since they dropped CW, even general class isn't that hard to get.
I don't think that I implied that I would opperate a HAM radio without a license but just to be clear, I would take the time and expense to become legal. I was refering to the legality of running the HAM on CB freq or FRS/GMRS freqs. I paid more for my GMRS license than it would cost for the HAM license.
 

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Yeah, if I recall...the liscenses aren't that expensive. My pops has the highest you can get (called "extra" I think?)...I do remember him having to take morse code tests though, they graded him on speed and error margin. About a month after he took that test he got offered to go on a submarine for a few months and do nothing but code. Maybe some of you know him....
N4VET is his callsign (down here in FL)...he's been on the waves for years.
 

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Yeah, if I recall...the liscenses aren't that expensive. My pops has the highest you can get (called "extra" I think?)...I do remember him having to take morse code tests though, they graded him on speed and error margin. About a month after he took that test he got offered to go on a submarine for a few months and do nothing but code. Maybe some of you know him....
N4VET is his callsign (down here in FL)...he's been on the waves for years.
The code is pretty much going away, and went away a long time ago
for the Technician license, which is all you need for fairly standard
short-distance communication technology.

The theory is quite easy to master, and the ARRL (ARRLWeb: ARRL Home Page) sells
all sorts of study guides. It's useful stuff, besides--- makes you handy
around the house.

Some people had trouble with the code, which is why it got such a
rep as a barrier to entry. It was mostly bad teaching that was the
problem...you have to learn it like music. If you can learn to 'name
that tune,' you can learn the code. Especially at the five words-per-minute
that used to be the entry-level. From there it was just using it and the
greater speed came naturally. I always enjoyed it, and still enjoy the
simplicity of 'CW' communications over Morse (actually Continental)
code. I'm rarely on the air any more, but when I am, it's usually with
a low-power CW-only Heath HW8 transceiver that I paid 35 bucks for
in a used boating supplies consignment store.

It was only a year or so ago that the USCG shut down the last of its
code communications operations. It's all voice and digital, now.
 

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Discussion Starter #55

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Vehicle configurations... all-in-one radio.... I have been on so many trail runs with C.B.'s that I can easily say that it is a requirement for me on a run...I'm getting my Ham license, and I'll have a second radio added...I don't think I'd want the all-in-one (running CB through the ham radio)... I'm pretty quick with electronic gizmo's, and I think I'd not to want to have to reconfigure the radio to go between CB and 2M...and drive a vehicle at the same time...also being able to have both ready to transmit at any time.... plus if you had issue's with one or the other, you'd have a ready back-up.... just my $.02


Great thread and info!!!
 

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Vehicle configurations... all-in-one radio.... I have been on so many trail runs with C.B.'s that I can easily say that it is a requirement for me on a run...I'm getting my Ham license, and I'll have a second radio added...I don't think I'd want the all-in-one (running CB through the ham radio)... I'm pretty quick with electronic gizmo's, and I think I'd not to want to have to reconfigure the radio to go between CB and 2M...and drive a vehicle at the same time...also being able to have both ready to transmit at any time.... plus if you had issue's with one or the other, you'd have a ready back-up.... just my $.02


Great thread and info!!!
In this case, I'd go for a small cb like the cobra radio in a mic and buy a nice 2m/440 ham radio w/ a cb antenna and a dual band ham antenna. The ham radio would give you receive coverage from about 140MHz to about 900MHz covering everything from publice safety, air, marine, weather, free service, and more. You could also mod your ham radio to transmit out of band on marine and free service frequencies (for use in emergencies only, of course).

With only 2 antennas, your fj won't look like a porcupine (sp?).

Also something to think about, if you go w/ a dual band ham radio, you might want to look at a feature some offer called "crossband repeat" which allows you to use your radio as a repeater. That way you can use your short range uhf handitalkie (HT) to transmit to your truck and it will retransmit your signal on 2 meters throwing a much stronger signal. Likewise, incoming signals on 2m will be retransmitted on 440 to your ht. My friends use this feature a lot in their homes. They carry a small ht with them and rely on their base rig to catch incoming signals from their rooftop antennas and relay the communication to their ht while they are in the garage, yard, wherever. Food for thought.
 

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Also something to think about, if you go w/ a dual band ham radio, you might want to look at a feature some offer called "crossband repeat" which allows you to use your radio as a repeater. That way you can use your short range uhf handitalkie (HT) to transmit to your truck and it will retransmit your signal on 2 meters throwing a much stronger signal. Likewise, incoming signals on 2m will be retransmitted on 440 to your ht. My friends use this feature a lot in their homes. They carry a small ht with them and rely on their base rig to catch incoming signals from their rooftop antennas and relay the communication to their ht while they are in the garage, yard, wherever. Food for thought.[/quote]


Cross-band repeater...thanks..I'll add that item to my feature list when shopping.

Over on TTORA there is a thread on Ham as well, the intro is rather long-winded, but is full of information and some background about amateur radio for those that feel they want to know more:

TTORA Forum - ham radio 101

I'm lucky that my new job for my local municipality includes radio telemetry and repeater maintenance; which includes a local 2M repeater on top of one of our resevoirs... this will be a great challenge and a good steep learning curve (I learn best this way)... anyways, thanks guys for the advice and information!
 

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For the 100th time SCREW cobra they are $hit. Just google connex or galaxy cb. Especially if your offroading with a CB in your rig, the Galaxy's are better made inside and will take alot more banging around.
 
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