New to this particular site on StackExchange and new to amateur radio period so bear with me:

I'm looking into buying a VHF radio for work related purposes. More specifically the Icom IC-2300H.

I've been wondering if it was possible to program a VHF radio to run on CB radio frequencies?

I've done some searching but didn't find anything on the topic, but I may not be using the correct keywords.

I'm not familiar with the various radio frequencies and types.

I'm not looking to specifically use this radio for the purpose of cb, but just the possibility of.

  • $\begingroup$ Just to give a bit of background, if you're not aware of it... The "commercial" VHF radios usually cover large frequency range (for example 138 MHz to 174 MHz) and have a set of memory locations called "channels" that are "programmed" by the radio dealer to match the specifications in license for the radio system. Usually, the radio manufacturers try to keep the process a bit esoteric, so that you need to take the radio back to the dealer for any re-adjustments, with the idea that the dealer will not program radio to operate on frequencies for which the used doesn't have license. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Sep 17 '16 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ On the user's side, in general, you'll just be able to select channel number, from the dealer-programed list, which you're going to use and that's it. On the other hand, amateur radios come with a bit different user interface. They'll usually have transmission capability locked to amateur bands that they support, but user will be given a frequency display and be able to select any frequency within an amateur band. Usually, the transmission capability on this radios can be unlocked. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Sep 17 '16 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ On some radios, unlocking can be a bit of problem, since, internally, the radio can have hardware optimized for amateur bands, while some other manufacturers might have same line of commercial and amateur radios, where the difference is only in software settings. In any case, due to the user-interface differences, regulatory agencies usually expect that the radios used for commercial purposes have pre-set channels programed by dealer. This makes it a bit hard to actually use an unlocked amateur radio for commercial purposes legally. So make sure to check all details before getting the radio. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Sep 17 '16 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Also in some areas, commercial radios might need to have systems for automatic identification and selcall, such as ZVEI or MDC. Amateur radios usually do not support such systems. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Sep 17 '16 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ @JesseElser Please don't ask additional questions in comments. It's not the place for them and they're unlikely to be seen, either. Your last comment is a fine thing to ask as a stand-alone question (make sure to specify the jurisdiction you're asking about in the tags). $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Sep 18 '16 at 3:51

CB or its close relatives fall into the HF frequency range (covering somewhere around 26 to 28 MHz, depending on country), so anything that accurately calls itself a VHF radio will not transmit (and most likely will not receive) CB.

In general, what you do to answer this kind of question is find the radio's specifications — either on the web site or in the user's manual which will often be available as a PDF — and look for the transmit and receive frequency ranges. You can see that this radio's lowest receive frequency is 136 MHz, somewhat below the low end of the 2-meter amateur band. Therefore it cannot receive or transmit on CB frequencies.

(Another issue is whether it supports the relevant modulation, or mode — which in this case is also a problem, because this radio supports only FM whereas CB is conventionally AM and sometimes SSB.)

You also cannot use this radio “for work related purposes” unless you are intending to receive only and not transmit. This is because it will only transmit on the amateur bands, where any use for which you receive compensation is prohibited. Outside the amateur bands, all other frequencies you might legitimately use in the US (I see your location from your profile) require “certified” (formerly “type accepted”) equipment, which in practice means equipment that transmits on that band or frequency only.

  • $\begingroup$ Well I guess I could have worded it better but what I meant by work related was Canadian trucking routes. VHF seems to be a bit more common in Canada for the purpose of trucking. I'm guessing it's because of the added benefit of range. I was unaware it was prohibited in the U.S. though. $\endgroup$ – Jesse Elser Sep 17 '16 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ Well, VHF isn't a particular radio service so there's not really enough information to say whether the particular use is legal. If you could edit more specific information into your question that would be good. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Sep 17 '16 at 2:48

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