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Off Brand 10 Meter SSB/AM Mobile Radios

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by K3KL, Jul 5, 2021.

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  1. K3KL

    K3KL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Has anyone had any luck with the several off brands of 10 Meter mobile radios being offered out there? The type I'm looking at appear to be next generation converted CB radios/ SSB, AM, FM. Any takers?

    Thanks, Kurt
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You didn't specify the model, but they are what you suspect.

    Some work fine if you don't mind a few annoyances, such as not having a continuously variable tuning control; most these rigs I've seen tune in "steps," and while 10 Hz or 100 Hz steps would be good and equivalent to "real ham rigs," they seem to tune in maybe 10 kHz steps and then use a "clarifier" to tune between those. That's annoying and cumbersome, at least for me.

    Another issue is unless the rig has either TX "locked out" between 26 and 28 MHz so it can't transmit there, or has FCC certification for use under Part 95 (in which case it's limited to 12W PEP, some frequency stability guarantees, etc) it can't be lawfully marketed for sale in the U.S.

    The old Radio Shack HTX-100 and HTX-10 and the Uniden equivalents (all made in Japan a long time ago) were perfectly "legal" 10m amateur transceivers that had step tuning but in very small increments so it felt like a VFO, and they ran 25W PEP and were quite good performers. Unfortunately, these haven't been manufactured in many years but there's a lot of them "still out there."
  3. K3KL

    K3KL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks WIK for responding. I don't have a particular brand/model in mind. I was looking for some suggestions from others that may have already pursued this and were able to make a decision.

    I was curious how they (manufacturers) solved or attempted to solve continuous tuning of the band. Thanks for explaining their tuning method of channel steps and use of a clarifier, I wonder if it works on transmit or receive only. Probably varies by Brand.

    Thanks again, hope to hear from a few others out there.

  4. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had one of those for a while --can't recall whether it was a 10 or a 100-- and it worked very well in my car with a Hustler antenna. When the band was open one day, had a nice 3-way with a station in California and another in EU (don't recall where) from the parking lot of my local bagel store.

    Also had a COMTRONIX 10-meter FM rig for while ... great fun with that one working DX through the 10-meter FM repeater in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A used HTX-100 that's still working okay would be a good deal.

    Problem with most of the "new" "10 meter" models I see (pretty much CB rigs that often cover 10/11 or 10/11/12 meters and may or may not be lawfully marketed in the U.S. -- but they're a "truck stops" all over the place (!) -- is they can cost as much as an "all HF band, 100W PEP output power" rig that's far better in most every respect. So, there would be no savings for anyone buying one of those. But "used," yeah, probably savings.

    Perfect example might be this one:

    $425 for a glorified CB rig, AM/SSB only (no CW, no FM, no interface for digital modes, no lots of stuff we're used to). A slightly used FT-450D or FT-857D or similar is about the same size but cover 160-6m or even 160m through 70cm, run 100W PEP, include CW and an internal electronic keyer, adjustable noise reduction systems, a complete digital interface, CAT (computer control), etc. The 450D even has an internal automatic antenna tuner. For about the same price or just a few dollars more.

    As such, I can't imagine why any ham would buy a new "10m" rig. But if you can find a working used one for $100 or something...not a bad deal.
    N6SPP and KA0HCP like this.
  6. K6EEN

    K6EEN Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want sideband, President Lincoln II+, AnyTone AT-6666. For AM/FM only, Stryker SR-94HPC with an optional tone board if you want to work repeaters. Both reasonably priced, far less than your typical multiband YaeComWood. There's the Alinco DR-03T AM/FM only, from a more traditional ham brand, but more expensive than the Stryker for similar capability. HRO and DX Engineering get the Alinco in stock from time to time.

    These aren't really off brands, President has been around since the heyday of CB in the 1970s, though they're a Spanish corporation which typically markets to non-US countries. They have a US distributor/webpage now: Stryker is newer, and often targets the trucker market, but the SR-94HPC is basically a rebranded Anytone Apollo II (Chinese) radio, but with Stryker stickers and faceplate. Anytone is a Chinese brand, but they're OK. Decent for the price.

    Ranger/Galaxy/RCI has also been around forever, they tend to be higher priced due to crazy final output stages, basically a radio and a linear in one box. Probably not what you're after. At those price points, might as well go with a YaeComWood multi-band rig running 100W.

    Walcott Radio is a decent dealer for 10 meter single-band radios and mobile radio parts in general.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
    NY7Z likes this.
  7. K3KL

    K3KL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks 505.
  8. NY7Z

    NY7Z Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    505 and WIK provided good answers. There are glorified CB radios marketed as 10m rigs to skirt the rules on power levels, unlocked RIT/XITs, channels above and below the CB band, and the like. These would be your Galaxies, Connexes, and most of them look like something straight out of the 1970's, because that's pretty much what they are.

    Then you have your "true" 10m mobile radios. Admittedly, the try to straddle the line a little into CB world, but for the most part they are true 10m radios. The defining charateristic, in my mind anyway, for a "true" 10m radio, is a continuous VFO. There are some radios that you can get to any 10m frequency with a combination of channel selection and clarifier twisting, but these are cumbersome to use and being channelized don't have a true continuous VFO. As far as I know, the only two 10m radios on the market right now are the Lincoln II+ and the Anytone AT-6666, as 505 already mentioned.

    I recently bought a Lincoln II+ in anticipation of the improving solar conditions the next few years. I've been using it some already and can attest that it is pretty close to a true 10m radio. It has a continuous VFO operated by pushing a button to select the digit of the frequency on the readout and twisting the channel knob to change the digit up or down. You can select any frequency right down to 100 Hz resolution. Finer adjustments are made via the clarifier, which can be set via a menu setting for RX only or RX and TX. Good enough to get anywhere on the 10m band.

    The Lincoln II+ is a surprisingly good little radio. Decently well made, stable on frequency, puts out about 35W on SSB, and small and light, good for mobile use. The AT-6666 would probably be another good choice. Most of the rest of the "10m radios" on the market are CB radio junk for the most part and will prove to be a disappointment on 10m. The Lincoln II+ can be had for $230-250, a good deal IMO for a capable 10m mobile radio.
  9. N5AF

    N5AF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. K3KL

    K3KL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Z/AF thats the info I was looking for. I have a spare TS-440AT (too large anyway) I could put in the car but I just wanted to fart around with something small in size for 10 meters up and coming openings. I built a mount for the trailer receiver and I'll fly a 98"+/- Stainless whip. Didn't really build anything, it's a 2" tubular pipe 12" long with a hole in it for the antenna mount with a disconnectable braided chassis ground strap.

    Thanks Again Fellas,

    NY7Z and K6EEN like this.

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