Posted by: GW7AAV | December 30, 2010

4 metre Multimode from China

Geoff G6MZX has tipped me off to the rumour floating around that a UK ham radio supplier is in negotiations with a Chinese manufacturer over the supply of a multi-mode 4 metre rig (70MHz). Although I am somewhat sceptical about the chance of the rumour being true, it is just too exciting a prospect for me not to say something. Geoff who had rung the company to try and confirm the rumour tells me that the rig is in the design stage and will only go in to production if the potential sales are enough to make it worth while. As a fan of both SSB and the four metre band I would probably be joining the queue to buy one and with other countries pushing their respected governments for access to the band demand can only increase.

I do hope the rumour is true. There is a massive untapped potential (if similar rigs are produced for the other bands) and the big manufacturers always play it safe. If we look back to what happened to UK motorcycle manufacturers where when the Japanese came along, they innovated and killed the great British industry stone dead, then I can see the potential for Chinese radio manufacturers to do the same to the transceiver market. I hope they do it, if only as a sort of revenge for what happened to BSA, Triumph, Norton and so on.

As my friend Andy MM0FMF points out there are plenty of reasons to be sceptical. Why would the Chinese make a multi-mode and why 4 metres? Most of the radios coming out of that country are FM and double as business radios. They can be programed and locked to single or multiple frequencies and just happen to include the amateur bands in their range. It is not as if there is any competition from the big Japanese manufacturers on 2 metre or 70cms. How long ago did we see a monoband multimode from the likes of Kenwood, Yaesu or Icom? So why not try those bands where the market is bigger (Worldwide) rather than limited to a few countries with 70MHz?

Those who have read this blog know I suspect the Chinese invasion of the amateur band will take us to new places but this is a case where I will just do what I do at the movies; suspend my disbelief and dream that it will all come true.

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Responses

  1. Well if the rumers are true, i will be in the queue buying one right away! 😀

  2. I think it’s very unlikely. I contacted a couple of Chinese manufacturers on alibaba.com and they weren’t even interested in supplying 66-88Mhz FM sets unless for a large order, and I wouldn’t describe tue potential Market for a multimode as “huge.”

    • Like yourself I am sceptical, but having heard about the abilities of the back street Chinese electronics manufacturers to clone popular mobile phones in relatively small numbers I know the technology exists for them to do runs in the thousands rather than the 100s of thousands. In the case of the phones I have seen fakes with better features than the original. Do no under estimate these guys. When an importer sells out of an 4m FM set on the day it goes on sale that tells me there is demand. Almost everyone I speak to on 4m would buy an SSB capable rig if there was one available. So far the price of the Chinese rigs has been almost too cheap not to buy one, hence the popularity of the Wouxuns, worth every penny unlike the overpriced Japanese rigs.

  3. *******STOP PRESS********

    I’ve been talking to a G4 who has close ties to a ‘well known’ Radio shop here in the UK and he told me the rumours are absolutely true!

    Negotiations are taking place as we speak to design and build this transceiver. Who knows where this might lead, this seems to be progressing well so far!

  4. Hi,

    Does your sourse know if they are going to build a 902 Mhz radio for the US market?

    Thanks
    Ted
    kb6uda

    • I would be surprised if they do but I would never say never. The problem with that band is that in a lot of countries it is either UHF television or mobile telephones. The 4M band is also former TV band (VHF)but is also used by private mobile radio users. The tech is not as critical as at the higher frequencies so producing something would be cheaper and easier. Given time I suspect they will be producing something that goes from DC to light, just don’t hole your breath.

  5. I have new info that the chinese transceiver the certain UK ham radio supplier is trying to import is in fact a FM/AM only transceiver for 4m and not SSB…

    if comfirmed it’s really dissapointing because i would love to have SSB in the transceiver too…

    • If that is the case it would be totally pointless. There was almost nobody still on 4m AM even 20 years ago. The only AM frequency anyone used back then was 70.260. The only AM users I know of these days are on 160m and a small group in Scotland who like to wipe out the satellite band by transmiting AM on 2m above 145.800.

      As far as I am aware AM stands for ‘anti-social mode’ these days.

  6. Got more info!!

    Read this: http://www.70mhz.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2440

  7. If the Chinese are already making dual purpose transceivers with the ability to lock frequencies to specific bands. I believe they could produce a multimode multiband radio with selectable/lockable modes too. Therefore making them useful for pmr and amateur applications.

    I also would buy one without hesitation should they decide to make multimode 4/6m radios.

    Pretty please :o)


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