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Better than average SSB radio

This has been a myth for decades. The FCC has thrown in the towel over 27mhz because they know it's fighting a losing battle. The ONLY time you MAY hear from the FCC is IF you are interfering and hindering emergency or military communications. Any and all other "neighbor complaints" are handled by local law enforcement as nuisance calls. IF someone were to complain, the sheriff MAY talk to you. Every few years this ghostly FCC fear goes around the CB community. Trust me, you'll never see a black suv, or the infamous "white van" sporting an antenna farm cruising your neighborhood.
Not completely true, recently there have been a few FCC enforcement activities
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Not completely true, recently there have been a few FCC enforcement activities
Curious, what enforcment actions have you seen recently on the CB band?
This is a pet peeve of mine as in the past I have been involved in enforcement actions and severely disappointed by the response of the FCC.
It has been my experience that it is like moving heaven and earth to get them to do anything in both CB and Ham areas.
You don't see enforcement after years of effort unless it is a corporate action with the promise of $$$$$ in fines.

My station was setting off all the alarms at a local car dealership. Well the local police came to investigate this every Sunday morning or when ever I "pumped up" for DX talking. The Fcc considered this hindering emergency service because the police were chasing phantom alarms at the dealership. This was back in the mid 90's. The police knew the reason for the alarms but they still had to investigate the call.
My station was setting off all the alarms at a local car dealership. Well the local police came to investigate this every Sunday morning or when ever I "pumped up" for DX talking. The Fcc considered this hindering emergency service because the police were chasing phantom alarms at the dealership. This was back in the mid 90's. The police knew the reason for the alarms but they still had to investigate the call.
Yeah, 30 years ago. And, as I said, the local will treat it as a nuisance call unless you're interfering with emergency freqs. Mess with fire or Rampart and you'll be screwed.
My station was setting off all the alarms at a local car dealership. Well the local police came to investigate this every Sunday morning or when ever I "pumped up" for DX talking. The Fcc considered this hindering emergency service because the police were chasing phantom alarms at the dealership. This was back in the mid 90's. The police knew the reason for the alarms but they still had to investigate the call.
There was a local CB operator that was causing interference to the Fire Department because he was running a very dirty amp and a splatter tuned radio.
It took years, really years to get action on him to try to stop it.
His name was Ira Jones, you can find his enforcement action file in the FCC database if you search.
( see PDF file below)
He Never allowed the FCC to inspect his station, even with local police, and FCC field agents in his front yard.
The police department admitted to the field agents that they could not force there way into his house without a warrant.
The fire Department replaced there equipment and solved the problem.
The FCC issued a NAL and tried to fine him $7000.

He Never paid it, and continued to talk on the radio.
He passed away a few years ago, still raising hate and discontent up untill his last days and never paid the fine.

If US Marshals and the FCC showed at your house over interference complaints, you are a very rare case indeed.
Usually they get a bunch of complaints, they send a couple field agents out to find the offending station from the local field office.
Once they track you down
they hand you a letter ( usually a notice of unlicensed operation) to inform you of the problem and put you on notice that if you do not correct the issues you could be monetarily liable and have to pay a fine for violating the communications act
and demand inspection of your station.
They will verbally tell you what you are doing wrong and if you don't stop they will Issue you NAL.
Most reasonable people at this point go " oh crap" and stop.
In my lifetime I have seen one enforcement case that involved US Marshals and it happened after years of complaints.
I was involved with that action because I was part of the local CB club.
Before the FCC even issued a NAL it got so far out of hand other things happened.
Sheriffs were called.
People got shot at.
People went to jail for stupid decisions.
He finally went away on federal charges not related to his radio conduct.
It was a mess.

After the FCC almost gave up on CB enforcement and Clinton signed the bill to allow local jurisdiction to pass and enforce on a local level interference problems FCC actions on the CB band almost became non existent.
Now, ham radio sees more FCC activity that CB does because hams record, report, badger and complain so much that they get tired and take action.
And it takes years for them to really do something.

Now that I have posted all of this, yes they do still take enforcement actions, but you have to be a real big ass on the air to get the attention of the enforcement team now, even more so since Ranger and the FCC went to Court and they got slapped real hard by a federal judge.
One internet search for " export radios for sale" will show you how much they care about CB rules.
I don't think you have a whole lot to worry about.
You are to be commended for trying to do it legal, we all have our own personal choices to make.



  • DA-12-1195A1.pdf
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Wait, when did that happen? I've seen the claim from a couple of eBay sellers over the last few years but Uniden is still selling them.

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If you want something that works and is legal, the McKinley should be fine.

If you want a superior legal radio, get a 148GTL made in Taiwan with the 5 pin mic connector on the side.

These older 148's were built with quality components that the newer radios (and newer 148's) don't have. Double conversion chassis, FT2 is hand built using multiple discreet filters - superior performance over a monolithic filter, NPO rated coupling caps in the synthesizer and clarifier circuits for a rock steady frequency - especially mobile, 5 pin regulator vs. cheaper 3 pin regulator - better SSB performance, 2SC1306/2SC1969 driver/final combo that easily does 12watts on SSB and 12watts PEP on AM. Make sure the low pass filter hasn't been mangled in search of a couple more watts. You can find them on Ebay for $100~$150. Probably cheaper locally.

At this age, I would spend ~$25 on a recap kit and if the clarifier has been unlocked, make sure it was done correctly.

Most techs butcher the clarifier circuit in order to get more slide and destroy the linearity. Just unsolder one leg of D52 and the other end of the wire (RX only voltage) that connects to the end connection of the "Voice Lock" and R44. Get a 10K 10 turn precision variable resistor (Bourns) and solder the wire to the wiper, the low side to ground and the high side to a constant 8~9v source. Make sure the voltage change between RX and TX is <.02v so you don't have a "split" between RX and TX. If you can't find a source that stable in the radio, just make one with a 8v LDO TO-220 style voltage regulator mounted to the side chassis of the radio. Don't remove anything else. Put the Voice Lock at 12:00 and zero beat it by adjusting the 10 turn on SSB RX or TX. Do not adjust L22, L23, or L59. This will give you a smooth, linear ~+/-1.5Khz shift.
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Well several months ago I Sold the last of my CB Radios after being on the 11 meter band since 1965. I Sold a total of 159 CB Radios last year & & now just stay on the Amateur Bands or GMRS. I went & purchased a few sections of tower from the wife of a local SK & she gave me (4) radios that looked very rough & (2) of them were Ranger 2950 mobiles. Neither had a microphone but I have (44) D-104 desk microphones & adapters for the microphones so I can test just about any brand of 10/11 meter radio. I cleaned some of the dirt,dust,& spider webs off of & out of them & plugged them into a power supply & a dummy load with a frequency counter & wattmeter. Well they both come on,transmit & receive. One has a dead memory battery & that's all I can find wrong with it. It's even almost dead on frequency. They both swing to about 20 watts PEAK & they only key 1 watt on low power & 4 watts on high so they have not been screwdrivered it appears. Also the Clarifiers have not been tampered with either. The other one is off frequency quiet a bit & the display has issues. At first all looks well but after about 5 minutes the display readout starts fading away. The orange lights are nice & bright but the numbers are almost unreadable unless you look down from the top of the display then because looking straight at it & you will see nothing. I don't know if the display issue is a common issue since I have never had any such issue with the (3 or 4) I have owned over the years? I think I may keep the one that's working & get the memory battery replaced & use it for 10 meters when I'm bored here in the shack. Of course the one with the most issues has the good memory battery but the one I may keep is at least on frequency unlike the other one. Anyone know of the fix for the fading display? Thanks much & God Bless.
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Didn't Cobra stop making the 148,and don't forget about the Galaxy 959 and 979,both FCC type accepted and still being manufactured i believe!!
Here is what I found.
The FCC’s Office of Engineer and Technology (OET) has evaluated the devices listed below and has concluded that these devices are not only amateur transceivers but can easily be altered for use as Citizens Band (CB) transceivers as well. As such, OET has further concluded that these devices cannot legally be imported or marketed within the United States for the reasons discussed below. Further, the FCC General Council has issued a decision in a specific case involving one manufacturer and has concluded that dual use CB and amateur radios of the kind at issue may not be approved under the Commission’s rules and are in violation of several rules including the RF power level limits of 47 CFR 95.639. (letter from Christopher J. Wright, FCC-OGC to John F. Atwood, US Customs Service, dated May 17, 1999).

Transceivers used in the Amateur Radio Service below 30 MHz do not require FCC authorization prior to being imported into or marketed within the United States, but transceivers for other services, including the CB Radio Service (CB), do require Commission approval. The transceivers listed herein and other similar models operate in the amateur "10-meter band" and are often referred to as "10-meter" radios or "export" radios. The amateur 10-meter band uses frequencies that are very close to the channels set aside for use in the CB service. Some of the transceivers that manufacturers call "10-meter" radios either operate on CB frequencies as manufactured and imported or are designed such that internal circuits can readily be activated by a user, a service technician or a dealer to operate on CB frequencies. According to Section 95.603(c) of the Commission’s rules, a CB transmitter is a transmitter that operates or is intended to operate at a station authorized for the CB service. 47C.F.R. § 95.603(c). The Commission’s equipment authorization experts in the FCC Laboratory have determined that the transceivers listed herein and other similar models at issue here are intended for use on the CB frequencies as well as those in the amateur service because they have built-in capability to operate on CB frequencies. This capability can be readily activated by moving or removing a jumper plug, cutting or splicing a wire, plugging in a connector, or other simple means. Thus, all the transceivers listed herein and similar models fall within the definition of a CB transmitter. See 47C.F.R. § 95.603(c). A CB transmitter must be certificated by the FCC prior to marketing or importation. 47 C.F.R. §§ 95.603(c); 2.803.

Moreover, the dual use CB and amateur radios of the kind at issue here may not be certified under the Commission’s rules. Section 95.655(a) states: "….([CB] Transmitters with frequency capability for the Amateur Radio Services … will not be certificated.)" See also Amendment of Part 95, Subpart E, Technical Regulations in the Personal Radio Services Rules, FCC 88-256, 1888 WL 488084 (August 17, 1988). This clarification was added to explicitly foreclose the possibility of certification of dual use CB and amateur radios, see id, and thereby deter use by CB operators of frequencies allocated for amateur radio use.

In addition, the Commission’s equipment authorization experts have determined that these devices violate or appear to violate a number of the rules governing CB devices. For example, they may use emission types not permitted, or emit RF power at a level in excess of the levels permitted in the CB radio service. See 47 C.F.R. § 95.639.

In view of the foregoing, the following "10-meter" transceivers are not acceptable for importation or marketing into/within the United States. Importation and marketing of these units is illegal pursuant to Section 302(b) of the Communications Act and Section 2.803 of the rules. Willful violations of the Rules and the Act may subject the violator to a monetary forfeiture of not more than $11,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation. The Commission continues to review this type of equipment, and additional makes and models may be added to this list in the future.


NOTE FROM QTH.COM: This list was modified to include additional radios. Radios that were added are displayed with a hotlink to the documentation and/or reason for the addition
ANYTONE - model: AT-5555n, AT-6666

ALBRECHT - model: AE-497

COBRA - model: 150 GTL DX, 200 GTL DX

CONNEX - models: 3300, 3300 HP, 3300HP-ZX, 3300 PLUS, CX-3800, 4300 HP, 4300 HP 300, 4400, 4400 HP, 4600 Turbo, 4800 DXL, 4800 HPE, Deer Hunter, General Lee, General Washington

DRAGON - model: SS-497

EAGLE - models: 2000 (same radio as the Saturn), 5000 (same radio as the Saturn Turbo), Tomahawk.

GALAXY - models: 33HML, 44V, 45MP, 48T, 55, 55V, 66V, 73V, 77, 77HML, 88HL, 93T, 95T, 99V, 919, 929, 959, 979, 2517, 2527, 2547, DX94HP, DX95T2, DX98VHP, Melaka, Saturn and Saturn Turbo

GENERAL - General Jackson, Grant, HP 40W, Stonewall Jackson, Lee, Washington, A.P. Hill, Longstreet, Sherman

INTEK - model: Multicom-497

MAGNUM - models: 1012, 257, 257HP, 357, 357DX, 457, Alpha force, Delta Force, Mini, Omega Force,S3, S3RF, S6, S9,

MIRAGE - models: 33HP, 44, 86HP, 88, 88H/L, 99, 2950, 2950EX, 2970, 6600, 9900

NORTH STAR - models: NS-3000 and NS-9000

OPTIMA - models: MK-2

PRESIDENT - models: Grant, J.F.K., Jackson, Lincoln, HR-2510 and HR-2600

PRO STAR - model: 240, 400

RANGER / RCI - models: AR-3300, AR-3500, RCI-2900, RCI-2950, RCI-2950-DX, RCI-2970, RCI-2970-DX, RCI-2970-N2, RCI-2980-WX, RCI-2985-DX, RCI-2990,RCI-2995-DX, RCI-6300, RCI-6300 Turbo, RCI-6300F-25, RCI-6300F-150, RCI-6900, RCI-6900 Turbo, RCI-6900F-25, RCI-6900F-150, RG-99, Voyage VR-9000

STRYKER - model: 440, SR-94HPC, SR-955

SUPERSTAR - model: 121, 122, 36, 3700, 3900, 3900HP, 3900 American Spirit, 3900 HP G, 3900 Gold, 3900GHPA, 3900GHPM, 4800, 4900, Grant

TEK - model: HR-3950

UNIDEN - models: HR-2510 and HR-2600

VIRAGE - model: 3300, 3300 HP, VX-38, VX-39,

For further information concerning the listed transceivers or similar models, contact Ray LaForge or Gary Hendrickson at the FCC Laboratory, 7435 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, MD 21046, (301) 362-3041 or (301) 362-3043 respectively, or E-mail: rlaforge@fcc.gov and ghendric@fcc.gov
No offence Six Shooter, but that list is absolute bullshit.
A little more research will find the truth.
It was written by a FCC field agent that recommended in the E Mail he sent not to try to enforce it.
All of the radios on the banned list are legal to sell and use by a licensed ham
FCC lost this case over export radios in court, and admitted, under oath, that the radios are legal to sell and use on the ham bands.
This is why now you can buy many many export radios online and the FCC can not stop them.
One of the lawyers that represented Ranger in that case is a member of this forum.
The case was dismissed with prejudice and can not be brought again.
There is the court case and related law that can be found online were not only did the FCC lose, they were ordered to pay Rangers legal bills, the United States District Attorney that brought the case was reprimanded by the judge, and ordered to come before the court and explain why he should not be brought up on charges for withholding evidence in the case.
That list has been copy and pasted on the internet for years.
It is total bullshit.

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If you have any doubts, go read this.

Cliff notes regarding the. Now famous list that shows up on the internet that Six Shooter found.

Two of these documents are especially telling. In Defendant's Exhibit I, there is an e-mail from Lawrence Brock (an FCC employee stationed in Dallas, Texas) to another FCC employee dated June 7, 1996. The document says in pertinent part:

As you know, the PUBLIC NOTICE went out on "Export" transceivers on May 13 many thanks to Gary.

I think now is the time to publicize it and issue warning letters to known or suspected violators. Gary has already disseminated copies of the notice at a ham convention. In the future, if we can convince AUSAs that there is no doubt that the importers/marketers knew the "export" transceivers were illegal, they may be willing *672 to take on these cases knowing that they may have to argue this point to a jury.

I've prepared a sample warning letter that we may want to send importers and wholesalers. ...

Before we mail any warnings, I'll provide * * * * * (the AUSA handing the A-1 case and its offshoots) with the proposed list and final draft, and determine if he has any objections or concerns relating to what he's doing. The last paragraph to the sample warning letter was added as a "just-in-case" to avoid any future conflict with anything which may be in the works.

I am also appending a sample CITATION, but I'm not recommending it. I believe the referenced sections in a formal citation indicates that it is being issued because it is required (under our Rules) prior to us issuing any administrative forfeitures, ... which may be argued, implies that they may be ignorant of the violations and should have been informed of the illegalities prior to any criminal charges. I don't believe a citation is required under our Rules for violations relating to activities for which an FCC authorization (including an equipment authorization) is required.

When the warning letters are issued, I hope Gary will be able to address questions concerning the Public Notice (especially as it relates to the Ranger and RCI models).
(Def.'s Ex. I.) This document is susceptible to the interpretation that FCC engineers at the time of the message believed that it was arguable whether regulatory violators who had imported open radios had knowingly violated the law.

Another telling document is Defendant's Exhibit L an e-mail written from FCC employee Gary Hendrickson to Julius Knapp (another FCC employee) and apparently referencing the "Motion to Dismiss" filed by Defendants in this case. The e-mail reads in part as follows:

In your note on the transmittal slip, you made the comment that to your knowledge "none of the major brands can be modified to operate outside amateur bands certainly not with the ease provided on the Ranger units."

Unfortunately, this isn't quite the case. Virtually all models of the major brands of "real" amateur equipment CAN be modified for out-of-band operation. This applies both to MF/HF and to VHF/UHF amateur equipment from Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu, etc. Usually, the mods require opening up the unit and removing a resistor or diode-on some, a switch which is hidden on an obscure P.C. board has to be flipped. The mods may not be quite as easy to accomplish as on the Ranger units, but we're just talking about a matter of difficulty.

The mod information is readily available in the amateur versions of the "radio mod" books. The manufacturers will tell an amateur how to do it if he provides them with a copy of his license. Many of the ham radio store's service departments will do the mods (usually upon showing of a license).

There is an exemption in the Rules which permits the use of non-type accepted equipment in the Amateur Radio Service, and for MARS and CAP use. For some strange reason, this exemption is found within the CB Rules (See 95.655(a)), rather than in Part 2! (If we're going to provide a "loophole" for manufacturers, let's be sure to place it right where they can easily find it!)....
(Def.'s Ex. L.) This document is susceptible to the interpretation that FCC engineers believed at the time of this message that the radios imported by Ranger were not legally distinguishable from modifiable radios, which radios, arguably, were not prohibited by law at the time of the criminal conduct at issue. It would have, thus, provided the Defendant an argument both that the radios imported were not "prohibited by law" and that the regulations in place did not provide adequate notice to importers that the radios were so prohibited.

These materials were not produced to the Defendant by the United States of America prior to March 30, 1998. Presuming receipt of these documents by mail took three days, see Fed. R.Crim. Proc. 45(e), the Defendant *673 received these documents on April 2, 1998. After taking some time to examine these documents, Defendant's attorney signed his Motion for Attorney Fees on June 4, 1998 and filed the same with the Court on June 11, 1998. Defendant's Motion for Attorney Fees requests attorney fees and costs in the amount of $404,737.01.
End Quote
The basic takeaway is that the FCC screwed the pooch on the entire case.

This is fact, not internet bullshit.


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