9
$\begingroup$

I wonder why special radios for 10 meter band are manufactured? On the one hand - any fully-fledged HF transceiver includes 10 meter band. On the other hand there are no only "15 meter band" or only "80 meter band" radios. What is so special with 10 meters? Why are radios done specifically for this band?

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ I'll just remark that any question of the type "why does commercial device XYZ exist, but not commercial device ABC, though both are technical feasible" is going to be answered with "market forces, dominating technical aspects" – no matter what XYZ and ABC are; every single time! $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ In that aspect, this question is very similar to the question why don't monolithic HF transceiver ICs exist? (which by the way is a nice question that deserves being read) $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 9:53

3 Answers 3

14
$\begingroup$

There are several factors that contribute to this:

CB radio and 10 meters are very close to each other.

CB radios operate in the range of 26.965 to 27.405 MHz; the 10 meter band occupies 28.000 to 29.700 MHz.

If you look at the major manufacturers of 10 meter radios, you won't find the usual suspects for ham radio (Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood), but you will find the usual CB manufacturers (President, Ranger, Galaxy).

Most (perhaps all?) of the 10 meter-only radios that you'll find are based on CB radio designs that are slightly modified by the manufacturer to address the 10 meter amateur band.

There are audiences that only care about 10 meters (at least out of the HF bands).

Many CB radio fans consider a 10 meter radio "a better CB than a CB" because the band is often less congested and the allowed power is higher, resulting in better signal over an increased range.

An entry-level Technician class license only gets voice privileges on one HF band, namely 10 meters.

The 10 meter band is among the easiest for experimentation and homebrew.

Because the frequencies are low (still HF) and antennas can be relatively short (just over 16' for a dipole), 10 meters is a great band for experimenting. It's relatively simple to homebrew simple transmitters and effective antennas.

10 meters is highly impacted by the sunspot cycle. At the peak of the cycle, there are occasions where you can find yourself in a surprise DX call using simple (and sometimes even low power) 10 meter gear.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Looks like I wasn't so wrong, then. :) $\endgroup$
    – David Hoelzer
    Mar 21 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ @tomnexus Good catch! Fixed. $\endgroup$
    – N7QB
    Mar 21 at 17:52
9
$\begingroup$

To use parts of N7QB's answer

CB radio and 10 meters are very close to each other.

CB radios operate in the range of 26.965 to 27.405 MHz; the 10 meter band occupies 28.000 to 29.700 MHz.

Most (perhaps all?) of the 10 meter-only radios that you'll find are based on CB radio designs that are slightly modified by the manufacturer to address the 10 meter amateur band.

With those facts, this is the key: The close frequency range allows CBers to modify these radios to illegally operate at higher powers on the CB band.

In the US, CB is allowed a maximum 4 watts PEP. The 10-meter radios are are advertised as 200-300 watts PEP and use ham's loose equipment certification rules as a loophole. The extra power is not just to merely talk longer distances but often to break over other users.

Other features that make these radios obviously CB radios are echo and effects beeps, and they suspiciously have 40 fixed channels.

A simpler method is to use a single-band 10 M linear amplifier, as it's nearly plug-and-play. FCC blocked this with Part 97.317, prohibiting ham radio amplifiers from having any gain in the CB band (26 MHz-28 MHz) or be easily modified to do so.

My opinion is because they exist due to CB manufacturers and CB users taking advantage of Ham Radio's open rules to do something illegal, I wouldn't touch one. This has already hurt hams: many HF amplifiers are completely blocked from the 10 meter band out of the factory, because it is technically difficult to block just the CB band.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

I don't know of anything specifically authoritative that answers this, but I can make a guess.

For US based amateur radio enthusiasts, the 10 meter band is the only band below 30 Mhz that a technician can operate on voice using SSB. If I were a technician wanting to operate on voice, a radio that supports only 10 meters would be very attractive to me.

I would imagine that this was even more attractive before the CW requirements were removed for higher level classes.

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .