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 Amateur (Ham) Radios Answers

Question: Do I need a license to use a ham radio?

You would need to start by having an Amateur Radio license allowing you to use an amateur radio in the United States. This license involves an FCC fee and you must pass the appropriate test. For information on the FCC license, you would need to contact either the FCC or ARRL (American Radio Relay League).

Once you have your US license, you may also need a Guest License for the country to which you will be traveling. For information on the Guest license, you would need to reference the International Operating page on the ARRL website.

ARRL (American Radio Relay League)
ARRL International Operations

Operating an amateur radio without the proper license can result in heavy fines and/or confiscation of equipment and/or imprisonment. Also, in some countries, the simple possession of a radio that can receive or transmit on controlled frequencies is a crime. You should be certain that your particular radio will be legal in your destination.

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Question: What are the ham frequencies?

Wavelength Frequency (MHz)
10 Meter 28.000 - 29.700
6 Meter 50.000 - 54.000
2 Meter 144.000 - 148.000
70 cm 420.000 - 450.000
33 cm 902.000 - 928.000
23 cm 1240.000 - 1300.000


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Question: What should I do if my radio is tuning outside of the Ham band?

RadioShack radios are designed to operate within the legal limits set by the FCC; operating outside of the licensed band is illegal. If this occurs, the radio should be taken in to your local RadioShack store for repair; they will send it to the nearest Service Center.

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Question: How do I get a schematic and/or pinouts for my radio?

For schematics or pinout information, you would need to reference the Service Manual for the radio. Service manuals can be ordered by contacting either your local RadioShack store or by calling at 800-241-8742.

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Question: What mods (modifications) are possible with RadioShack ham radios?

Answer: There are no modifications that can be made to these radios. All of the functions are programmed into the microprocessors in the products and cannot be changed.

When other radio manufacturers (ICOM, Kenwood, et. al.) design their radios, they often make them "universal," so they can sell them in almost any country (Europe, Japan, etc.). They have to make them "modifiable," because each country has different rules and frequencies. In order for them to sell their radios in a particular country, they cut a jumper or add a resistor to enable the frequencies for that country.

We design all of our products to be used in the USA, not in foreign countries. By doing this, we can make the products perform better and operate the way hams in the USA want them to. For example, the HTX-202 and HTX-212 have the best intermod fighting receivers in the market. ICOM, ALINCO, and Yaesu can't even come close.

There are rumors that pop up from time to time which describe removing parts from the boards to (among other things) expand frequency range. However, if you perform these mods, you will actually just trash your radios! The most notorious mod is the "April Fool's" mod for the HTX-202, which supposedly opened up the receive and transmit frequency range. Far too many customers fell for this mod and as a result, completely ruined their radios. (Some joke!)

The bottom line is, there are no mods for RadioShack radios except those listed in the Owner's Manuals. We intentionally designed them to be unmodifiable, rugged and dependable radios for the USA market.

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Question: How do I use CTCSS Autopatch with my HTX transceiver?

Answer: Some repeaters require that you transmit subaudible tone to key-up the repeater. You can set your transceiver to transmit any of the 38 standard subaudible tones. You can also limit incoming calls by setting your transceiver to open the squelch only when someone transmits a subaudible tone you set.

tc oFF rc oFF

To set a subaudible transmit tone, follow the steps in your user's manual to display tc. Then, rotate TUNE to select the subaudible tone. If you do not want to transmit a subaudible tone, rotate TUNE to select OFF.

To set a subaudible receive tone, follow the steps in your user's manual to display rc. Then, rotate your user's manual to select the subaudible tone. If you do not want to use the receive subaudible tone squelch, but are using transmit subaudible tone to activate a repeater, rotate tune to select OFF. Otherwise, you only hear transmissions that have the correct subaudible tone when you activate tone squelch.

To turn on the subaudible tone feature, press F + T-SQL. When you transmit, the transceiver includes the subaudible tone in the signal. To receive, the incoming signal must have the correct subaudible tone. You can override the default subaudible tones for any memory.

Code Freq.(Hz) Code Freq.(Hz) Code Freq.(Hz)
XZ 67.0 2A 114.8 7Z 186.2
XA 71.9 2B 118.8 7A 192.8
WA 74.4 3Z 123.0 M1 203.5
XB 77.0 3A 127.3 M2 210.7
WB 79.7 3B 131.8 M3 218.1
YZ 82.5 4Z 136.5 M4 225.7
YA 85.4 4A 141.3 M5 233.6
YB 88.5 4B 146.2 M6 241.8
ZZ 91.5 5Z 151.4 M7 250.3
ZA 94.8 5A 156.7    
1Z 100.0 5B 162.2    
1A 103.5 6Z 167.9    
1B 107.2 6A 173.8    
2E 110.9 6B 179.9    

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Question: How do I get information on the requirements for Ham Radio Licenses?

Answer: For the most up-to-date information on Ham Radio Licenses, we recommend that you contact either the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) or the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) National Association for Amateur Radio.

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