Japanese CB Radio

General restrictions and conditions under regulations:

Qualification and License:
Currently no qualification or license is required as far as you use the radio certified to the authorized Japanese technical standards specified by the government.
Radio Power: 500mW or less.

Frequencies are limited to those fixed 8 channels listed below:

  • MHz/ Ch
  • 26.968/ Ch1
  • 26.976/ Ch2
  • 27.040/ Ch3
  • 27.080/ Ch4
  • 27.088/ Ch5
  • 27.112/ Ch6
  • 27.120/ Ch7
  • 27.144/ Ch8


Must be certified to authorized Japanese technical standards.
Cannot have any connection with external antenna. You can only use originally equipped antenna less than 200CM, most of which are usually rod antenna.
Microphone cord must be also less than 200CM. External MIC can be used, if the rig is originally equipped with external connection.
Other restrictions:
Any alteration is prohibited. You may not try to disassemble in any way or may not even open the lids. The rigs must be so designed not to be easily opened. Screws on the external body are covered with special seals.

Current availability:

Since 1961 hundreds of models have been produced or ceased to be produced by various manufacturers up to now. The producers included SONY, National (=Panasonic), Toshiba, Hitachi, etc. Around March or April in 2005, SONY put a period to producing ICB-87R, which was the last model one can obtain as a brand-new rig. Currently no manufacturer in Japan produces the CB radio certified to the Japanese technical standards as specified by the government. The CB enthusiasts are now using mainly, 1) the rigs that they used to use when they were younger (middle-high or high school student) and kept in the closet, 2) the second-hand rigs that are obtained through web auctions.
Legal rigs should not be mixed with CB radios produced in Japan specially designed for export purpose and intended for use in the U.S. or other countries. Operation of these machines as CB rigs in Japan is clearly against the law.
Original manufacturers do not any more handle maintenance except for the recent models like SONY’s ICB-87R. Some models of old rigs can be overhauled and maintained at a special shop, “HST” in Kyoto.

Current operating situation:

Local QSO

Hundreds of CBers are actively operating CB radio now, who are frequently revivers from the early 1980s during which the CB radio was most popular in the history, especially among teenagers of those days. On Saturdays and Sundays, not a few active stations go for operation to the hillside or other higher places to make a local QSO.


Eastern part of Asia, including Japan, is well known for frequent emergence of Sporadic E Layer (Es) in the ionosphere in summer time. As well as local ground wave QSOs, from June to August, they are enjoying trying to make DX QSOs through Es, which are usually 500Km to 1300Km distance. Actually, during this period, almost every day, numbers of DX QSOs are made and reported in the web. Some stations are successful in 200 to 300 of such DX QSOs in one season. Most active players, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, very often use lunchtime for DX operation every day: some people are QRV, for example, from the roof of the office building and some from the dry riverbed near their offices. Also evening time after five are used by many stations for trying Es Dxing in this season.

Mountain QSO

Beyond-the-horizon or beyond-the-mountain QSOs, which distances are usually 100Km to 350Km or more are very often reported by the CB operators. For example, the 2 Area stations are usually enjoying the beyond-the-mountain QSO from Aichi, Gifu or Mie Prefectures with stations in 3 Area, such as those operating in Rokko Mountain, Hyogo Prefecture. There are 700m- to 1100m- high mountains between the 2 and 3 Areas and ground waves are not normally supposed to reach each other. Recent experimental QRVs by 2 Area CBers are revealing and adding more and more points in the map from which the beyond-the-mountain QSO are possible with Rokko Mountain or other points in 3 Area.

Illegal operations Most of them seem to be truckers, although sometimes “legal” stations are suspected to be using illegal output power. They are usually using export models of CB radios, which are not supposed to be used in Japan. Because they operate by strong output power with poor performance of band width, it is a big problem for ordinary CB stations that they very often get overlaps from close frequencies. In an effort to somehow reduce the QRM, most CBers use Ch8 or Ch3 for Dxing, which frequencies are relatively far from those used in high power export models operated by the illegal.

Other “License-free” radio:

There are two kinds of radio that can be categorized as “license-free”.
1) “Specified Small Output-Power Radio” (referred as “SS” radio):

  • No qualification or license is required.
  • Output power is 10mW or less.
  • Frequencies:
    Simplex 20 channels in 422MHz
    Semi-duplex 27 channels in 421MHz & 440MHz
  • Rigs must be only those certified to the authorized technical standards.
  • No alteration allowed.
  • Most CBers enjoy also operating the SS rig at the same time with CB radio. Many manufacturers are supplying the FM radio, which allows simplex, full-duplex and repeater functions, depending on the model. The radio is more often used for business use, such as for communications within a large factory, shop, parking lot, or at road works, rather than leisure use, such as skiing, hiking, etc., mainly because it may have repeater functions. CBers are using the rig as a QRPP machine by simplex or repeater mode. Because the radio power is only 10mW (or 1mW), ordinary people believe it can be useful only in a small area. In fact, in the city streets with closely spaced buildings or houses, you cannot communicate with a person in a hundred meters range. So naturally, they would never believe that we can communicate in QSO at a distance farther than 320Km, if we are in the range of “direct visibility”. My own record is 272Km by simplex mode (with Merit 5/ Merit 5) and 495Km by using one repeater (with M4/M5). Although I know the power of 10mW is QRO enough in the world of amateur radio QRPP, it should be noted we are just using originally equipped antenna (mostly 1/4 wave or less) and ground wave. Also one should note many of the SS radios have been designed with the same level of care for performance with making amateur radio by such manufacturers as Alinco, ICOM, Kenwood or Standard.

 2) Personal Radio:

  • Frequency: 158 channels in 903 to 904 MHz
  • Mode: Narrow FM
  • MCA (Multi Channel Access) System with ROM (Read only memory)
  • Output power: 5W or less.
  • Usage of external antenna is allowed up to gain of 7.14dBi, but it must be non-directional for horizontal plane. Usually, a vertical 1/2 wave or vertical stacks of 5/8 wave is utilized.
  • No qualification required. License for station is required, but it is just a matter of application.

    In 1982, the government introduced the usage of radio in 903MHz to support better communications mainly aimed for automobile drivers and passengers. They were also used in the business scene, such as in communications between a base station and mobiles, where a private or small sized company managed employees using cars for services, deliveries etc. People were enjoying the radio, of course, as hobby use to make QSOs like CB radio. The usage of the radio got to the peak as the number of stations climbed up to more than 2 million in early 90s, but it sharply declined after people came to generally use cellular phones. I believe another reason for the decline was in the MCA system, which did not allow us to select any channel and did not eventually fit for hobby users who usually wanted to “manipulate” the radio.
    The industry formed an association for the Personal Radio (PRPC) to recommend the usage of legal antenna so that stations would not abuse the use of directional antenna like Yagi, which was illegal. Those antennas recommended by PRPC had an orange color part somewhere on the antenna, to make it distinct from other antennas, including illegal ones. Because the orange color parts very often appeared on the top, the Personal Radio was commonly called as “Orange Top”.
    5W of power, almost without any license, still attracts us, however, no manufacturer is currently supplying the radio. Apart from a lot of second hand rigs, you can frequently find brand new machines in the web auction sometimes from deadly stocked inventories.

How to get your Japanese License

Check out the folks at TIARA  They were awesome for getting ready for my trip to Japan a few years ago and i am talking about a proper japanese call sign for Ham Fair this year which has been delayed to October


Note no 2m action and I need to double check my Japanese scanner book but I recall its all commercial down there

The Alinco 1.2 radio is popular


TIARA sponsors the JR1VI repeater located in Meguro, Tokyo. 434.980in/439.980out (77Hz subaudible tone) and 1272.980in/1292.980out (88.5Hz subaudible tone).


TIARA uses a combination of IRLP, WIRES, and and EchoLink to build a VoIP network in Tokyo. You are welcome to join us on the air via:

JR1NNV EchoIRLP Typically connected to IRLP Reflector 9202 and the 439.98 repeater.
7J1YAA-ND C4FM WIRES-X Linked to the 439.98 repeater in analog mode most weekends and holidays.

US Amateur Exams in Tokyo

The ARRL VEC Tokyo VE Team (which is not directly affiliated with TIARA, but which includes some members) conducts examinations for US amateur radio licenses at least twice a year in the Tokyo area. The next session will be February 1st at the Takinogawa Higashi-Kumin Center. Information and pre-registration are available from ARRL VEC Tokyo. Start studying now! A US amateur license can be your gateway to getting a Japanese reciprocal license while you are here.

You can also check the ARRL US amateur exam registry for Japan to find other sessions.

Tokyo Repeaters

No 2m repeaters here. Also wonder why your Japanese rubber duck has lower SWR below 440 Mhz?


Tokyo Amateur Radio Repeaters


3 repeaters found at or near Tokyo

 = On-Air       = Off-Air       = Testing       = Unknown

Click on the frequency for additional details.
Click on a header to sort.

Frequency Offset Tone In / Out Location Call Use Operational status
439.9800 -5 MHz 77.0 Tokyo, Shinagawa JR1VI OPEN ON-AIR
1291.9200 -20 MHz 88.5 Meguro-Tokyo JR1YPM OPEN ON-AIR
1292.9800 -20 MHz 88.5 Meguro-Tokyo JR1VI OPEN ON-AIR

Vertex VX-1210 Man Pack Radio

I have just purchased a used Yaesu VX-1210 as I prepare for the Redball meet and Dayton Hamvention held in Xenia, OH. The VX-1210 is a military HF manpack transceiver. It covers transmit from 1.6-30 MHz continuous and will receive down to 500 Khz covering the AM band. This radio has the built in antenna tuner. This is a newer radio where the military Sandanistas used the older Yaesu Vertex VX-1200.

This is a milspec radio and it is very solid in its build. It is very minimal with no fancy controls or waterfall displays. Just turn it on, put it on the channel you want and go key up and call in a mission sitrep.

This is wonderful 20 watt manpack radio and draws over 4 amps on transmit.

Oddly the  speaker mic is screwed into place to avoid it coming loose.

The included 6 foot whip antenna allows short range communications of 5-10 miles. Enough to talk to the C&C helicopter or the nearest Signal Hill to call for extraction

The ATU-1210  auto antenna tuner memorizes tune settings for various channels. Just add a longwire and go make contacts.

Bonnie using the Super Antenna MP1R with a ruggedized whip tip called SW1 SuperWhip.
A titanium indestructible flexible whip that you can tie in a knot and it will spring back.
The whip wraps up in a circle small enough to fit in a little go-bag or pocket… quite amazing.

The whip is about 4 feet long and can also be used on other antennas due to its 3/8-24″ thread

The Super Antenna is a great field antenna








Type: Military Radio Equipment
Frequency Range: TX: 3-30 MHz
RX: 0.5-30 MHz
RF Power output: Hi: 20 W, Lo: 5 W (AM: Hi: 5 W, Lo: 2.5 W)
Voltage: 14.4 VDC (Li-Io battery)
Current Drain: RX: 100-500 mA
TX: 3-5 A
Aerial Input: 50 ohms, SO-239
Dimensions (W*H*D): 193*74*274 mm
Weight: 3.2 Kg (with FNB-66 Li-Io pack)
Manufactured: 2002-200x
Other: 500 memories. Scrambler. Alpha tags. Built-in auto-AT

SOTA Ontario Update Report

We have had immense interest in SOTA activations in Southern Ontario demosntrating that hams like fresh air, hiking and ham radio. All in that order.


Thanks to all the activators and chasers


CODE Name Elevation Pts Activation
VE3/SO-004 VE3/SO-004 561 6 1
VE3/SO-005 VE3/SO-005 560 6 2
VE3/SO-025 Ryans Mountain 524 4 2
VE3/SO-031 VE3/SO-031 517 4 1
VE3/SO-033 VE3/SO-033 514 4 1
VE3/SO-040 VE3/SO-040 506 4 1
VE3/SO-056 VE3/SO-056 487 4 1
VE3/SO-062 VE3/SO-062 480 4 1
VE3/SO-099 VE3/SO-099 412 2 1
VE3/SO-101 VE3/SO-101 409 2 2
VE3/SO-105 VE3/SO-105 393 1 1
VE3/SO-109 Dicksons Mountain 376 1 2
VE3/SO-111 VE3/SO-111 369 1 1
VE3/SO-113 VE3/SO-113 357 1 1

SOTA Frequencies in Europe

I am activating 4 summits in a few months on my next SOTA themed European DXpedition trip

Please note that the frequency assignments are different


For example in North America 146.52 is the national calling frequency but in Europe it is not. It is 145.550

I made this error and had to add it into my memory bank after chatting up a local ham on the Bolzano repeater. The Dolomites is a fantastic part of the world for SOTA with real mountains. Ontario has what I would refer to as “Fake” mountains within a 4 hour drive from Toronto


40m 7032 CW SOTA
40m 7090 SSB SOTA
30m 10118 CW SOTA
20m 14064 CW SOTA
20m 14285 SSB SOTA
17m 18088 CW SOTA
17m 18130 SSB SOTA
15m 21062 CW SOTA
15m 21285 SSB SOTA
12m 24906 CW SOTA
12m 24950 SSB SOTA
10m 28062 CW SOTA
10m 28365 SSB SOTA
10m 29200 FM SOTA
2m 145500 FM SOTA

CEPT Permits for Canadian Hams Operating Abroad

CEPT Permits

Temporarily Operating Canadian Amateur Stations in Other Countries

Pending updates, Radio Amateurs of Canada continues, under delegated authority from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada), to issue CEPT and IARP permits to Canadian Amateurs wishing to operate while traveling abroad. Please refer to Section 8 of Radiocommunication Information Circular (RIC-3) for details on which permit, if any, applies or is required.

Section 8 of Radiocommunication Information Circular-RIC-3

For travel to countries other than the USA and its territories and which are not signatories to either the CEPT or IARP recommendations, Canadian Amateurs should contact the administration of the foreign country directly for authorization. Information and application can often be carried out by email or web form.

Temporarily Operating Amateur Stations in Canada

Foreign Amateurs who are licensed by other administrations participating in the CEPT or IARP program must apply for the appropriate permit in accordance with the provisions stipulated by their home administration.

Special Provisions for US and Canada

By treaty between Canada and the US, visiting Amateurs are not required to register or receive a permit before operating their amateur radio stations. Each Amateur station shall indicate at least once during each contact with another station its geographical location as nearly as possible by city and state or city and province. The Amateur station shall be operated in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country in which the station is temporarily located.

Canadian Amateurs operating in the US have the same privileges as they have in Canada, limited by US band edges and mode restrictions in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations(CFR), Title 47, Chapter I (FCC), Part 97, Amateur Radio Service.

US Amateurs operating in Canada must abide by the Radiocommunication Regulations and the Radiocommunication Information Circular 2, Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service (RIC-2 Reclassified as RBR-4). Those who are qualified to send and receive Morse code at a speed of at least 5 w.p.m. may operate in accordance with privileges accorded to holders of the Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic, Morse code and Advanced Qualifications. US Amateurs who are not qualified to send and receive Morse code may operate in accordance with privileges accorded to holders of the Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic Qualification.

CEPT Permit Application

Apply for CEPT Permit at the Radio Amateurs Canada Website

NOTICE: due to recent changes in the CEPT T/R 61-01 agreement in 2016, CEPT Permits may now ONLY be issued to operators with Advanced qualification. Please see this link for further information.

(1) There will no longer be two classes of CEPT permit depending on the holding of a Morse code qualification. Although Morse code is no longer a requirement for the CEPT permit, any such qualifications will still be noted on the permit for use in countries that still require Morse code for access to HF;

(2) After conducting a comparison study of the syllabus for Canadian and CEPT examinations, CEPT has determined that only Canadian Amateurs who hold an Advanced qualification will be eligible for reciprocal operating privileges under CEPT T/R 61-01. Therefore, effective immediately, and as described in RIC-3, CEPT permits will only be issued to Amateurs with an Advanced qualification. Canadian Amateurs who have the requisite qualifications may submit requests for CEPT permits to RAC as described at: /cept-permits/