Greetings! I am a recently retired Army civilian with quite a bit of military radio experience. VHF through the C-band. Mostly handheld and mobile. I plan on acquiring a GMRS license and perhaps later an amatuer technician license. Why? Why not? Well, I also have a few friends within 4 miles (rural like) that are interested in non-cellular comms.
With a military radio, let's say an AN/PRC-117G, I could program it anywhere in its frequency range (30 - 2500 MHz), obviously sticking to frequencies allowed to me. I see that in the commercial/amatuer/family radio world, the FCC frowns on that sort of thing. Meaning if I picked up a commercial radio and programmed it to do MURS, FRS, and GMRS; that is a bad thing. I get it. I also get significant rule changes in 2017 and an end to certifying certain combination radios this September.
Since I'm not likely to acquire some used AN/PRC-152A radios, I'm looking at used commercial radios. So far, I'm partial to a few of the Kenwoods that can be acquired for about $130.00. Is this a good way to go? It's my understanding if a radio was once certified for Part 90 and 95, it can still be used for part 95. Correct? Manufacturers that don't put out full specs, such as transmit power, annoy me. Bubble packs and the like.
Am I thinking along the right track?
More about me . . .
In my pre-retirement life as an Army civilian, when not managing computer software and hardware projects, I became sort of a network geek. Before widely available network broadband access, we built a dedicated wide area network, east coast to west, on leased lines. It connected federal, state, and local facilities. I had been asked to take over "communications" as we called them, meaning radios and such. I resisted, but did learn a bit to get interested.
About a decade later, I managed a project where mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) and radio voice communications were a large part. I became quite good with various military radios (SINCGARS, AN/PRC-152, PRC-148, PRC-117G, etc.) and a few commercial radios of military utility (WaveRelay, Trellisware, Motorola). When in the field doing trials, we often scanned amatuer frequencies just for grins. FM radio too. I know how to set up a retrans with two PRC-117G radios. I know waveforms (we called VHF/UHF "VULOS"). I know how to program the things using Army and commercial software.
I'm looking forward to joining as a regular member.