Can a VHF radio be programmed for both MURS and non-MURS frequencies?
For that matter, can a higher power (>2W) radio be programmed for MURS at the lower 2W requirement? Would a license be required for this type of radio even if only MURS frequencies were used?
What prevents someone from being able to program a higher power VHF for MURS frequencies at >2W (assuming it is a user programmable radio)?
Of the VHF radios out there, the high powered 4-5 watt models are only “dealer programmable”. That means that when you buy the radios, you tell your dealer which channels/privacy codes you want them programmed for. You can’t change this once it is set, you have to send it back to the dealer if you want it changed. All of the 4-5 watt VHF radios that we carry have the ability to lower the transmit power to 2 watts, so they could legally be programmed for MURS (we are frequently asked to do this). There is nothing stopping a dealer from programming these radios for full power on a MURS frequency, but I’m sure most would catch it and refuse.
The radios that tap out at 2 watts are usually “user programmable”, which means the end user can choose his/her frequency from a built-in list of (usually around 25) frequencies. This list usually includes the MURS frequencies. This category includes the Motorola XV2600 and Kenwood TK2200, and is more popular than the dealer programmable radios.