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Author Topic: Legal radio question  (Read 2195 times)
KI4HNN
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Posts: 63




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« on: January 18, 2012, 07:27:38 AM »

I have been given a Superstar 3900 Turbo ZX that has been modified to transmit on the cb band.  I would like to put the radio back to like it was.  I have tried to find some info on how the conversion was done but I have not been able to.  Also is the radio even legal to use on the amature bands i k ow it is not legal for cb?  Just wondering on this.  I hate to trash it but I would like to stay legal, It may be better just to use a legal radio like the Icom 706 or something similar, but since it was given to me I just wanted to see what my options are as I don,t want to violate the rules.  Any have any info on this radio?  I do know it is on the ban list as far as using on the cb band which i am not interested in.

Thanks,
Joey
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N3OX
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Posts: 8854


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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 07:59:28 AM »

Nothing is illegal for you to USE on the ham bands as long as it doesn't have too much splatter (in band spurious emissions) and it's clean out of band (harmonic suppression, etc)

Now I think there's a good chance that it may be tough to get a "Superstar 3900 Turbo ZX" to put out a particularly clean signal on 10m SSB, but if you are careful with the mic gain, take advice from other hams on how you sound and whether you're splattering,  and don't worry if you can't get the rated power out of it and still have a clean non splattering signal, it will probably be okay.

A good strategy might be to ask very loud hams to check your signal for wide splatter without telling them the name or type of the radio.  Just tell them you want to make sure you've got your audio adjusted for a good clean signal and ask them to check a few kHz up and down for splatter.

If people always give you bad audio reports or tell you you're splattering without you asking, just junk the thing.  If they tell you you have a nice signal, that's 90% of the way to legal operation as long as the rig has adequate harmonic filtering, which it probably (?) does. 

As far as un-doing the "CB mod" don't worry about it.  It's legal to OWN a rig that transmits on CB or other non-ham frequencies as long as you don't transmit on CB or other non-ham frequencies.   

I will be honest with you, there is a very good chance that your Superstar is pretty much useless for ham communications on 10m.  It seems like it's channelized which may make it hard to get on others' frequencies.  If it doesn't have a frequency counter make absolutely sure you are on an allowed SSB frequency before you call CQ Cheesy  If people keep telling you you're off frequency even though they sound on-frequency to you, junk it.

Quote
It may be better just to use a legal radio like the Icom 706 or something similar,

It's better in dozens of ways to use an actual ham radio instead of a "10m" radio that's actually manufactured specifically to be purchased by illegal CB and freeband ops.  That doesn't mean you can't use the latter in some cases if you're careful.  But it is worth recognizing that these CB/Export type rigs have a lot of deficiencies for PROPER ham use even if they're technically legal.  The thing about ham radio is that we have the freedom to use any old thing to transmit on the ham bands, but that comes with a responsibility to ensure that  we have good signals that stay within the ham bands and furthermore don't take up excessive bandwidth within the ham bands.

That responsibility often means it's not worth putting some of these CB/Export rigs on the air, and certainly means it's not worth spending money on them but if it's all you've got and you're careful about making sure it's not annoying others with a bad signal, it's okay.  Again, do NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES say the name of the radio... it will greatly bias the reports Cheesy   If people tell you it sounds bad without knowing what it is, toss it ASAP and find a better rig.
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
WN2C
Member

Posts: 438




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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 08:26:53 AM »

Try this link

http://www.radiomods.co.nz/superstarmods.html

it may help
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ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1738




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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 03:33:19 PM »

Nothing is illegal for you to USE on the ham bands as long as it doesn't have too much splatter (in band spurious emissions) and it's clean out of band (harmonic suppression, etc)

Now I think there's a good chance that it may be tough to get a "Superstar 3900 Turbo ZX" to put out a particularly clean signal on 10m SSB, but if you are careful with the mic gain, take advice from other hams on how you sound and whether you're splattering,  and don't worry if you can't get the rated power out of it and still have a clean non splattering signal, it will probably be okay.

A good strategy might be to ask very loud hams to check your signal for wide splatter without telling them the name or type of the radio.  Just tell them you want to make sure you've got your audio adjusted for a good clean signal and ask them to check a few kHz up and down for splatter.

If people always give you bad audio reports or tell you you're splattering without you asking, just junk the thing.  If they tell you you have a nice signal, that's 90% of the way to legal operation as long as the rig has adequate harmonic filtering, which it probably (?) does. 

As far as un-doing the "CB mod" don't worry about it.  It's legal to OWN a rig that transmits on CB or other non-ham frequencies as long as you don't transmit on CB or other non-ham frequencies.   

I will be honest with you, there is a very good chance that your Superstar is pretty much useless for ham communications on 10m.  It seems like it's channelized which may make it hard to get on others' frequencies.  If it doesn't have a frequency counter make absolutely sure you are on an allowed SSB frequency before you call CQ Cheesy  If people keep telling you you're off frequency even though they sound on-frequency to you, junk it.

Quote
It may be better just to use a legal radio like the Icom 706 or something similar,

It's better in dozens of ways to use an actual ham radio instead of a "10m" radio that's actually manufactured specifically to be purchased by illegal CB and freeband ops.  That doesn't mean you can't use the latter in some cases if you're careful.  But it is worth recognizing that these CB/Export type rigs have a lot of deficiencies for PROPER ham use even if they're technically legal.  The thing about ham radio is that we have the freedom to use any old thing to transmit on the ham bands, but that comes with a responsibility to ensure that  we have good signals that stay within the ham bands and furthermore don't take up excessive bandwidth within the ham bands.

That responsibility often means it's not worth putting some of these CB/Export rigs on the air, and certainly means it's not worth spending money on them but if it's all you've got and you're careful about making sure it's not annoying others with a bad signal, it's okay.  Again, do NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES say the name of the radio... it will greatly bias the reports Cheesy   If people tell you it sounds bad without knowing what it is, toss it ASAP and find a better rig.
     I've heard quite a few Hams using the Uniden HR-2510 on 10 Meters.  It was originally designed for Ham use (it's almost a clone of the "legit" Radio Shack HTX-100), but because of an easy 11 Meter conversion, it wound up on the FCC's no no list.  It was even reviewed by QST in the 1980s!
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2528




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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 05:21:00 PM »

An easy way to set the mic gain is to chat with someone local to you.  As you chat you can turn up the gain to just past the point where your audio sounds good and then back it down to where it is good.

There are beacons on 10 meters.  You can look up what frequency they ate on, and use that as the basis to gauge what frequency you are on.

Have FUN on 10.  When it is open it is one of my favorite bands.

73
Bob
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