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Most interesting previous radio owner?


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Part of the fun collecting used HT's is trying to figure out who the previous owner/user was of the radio. Most of the time all you get is some frequencies listed, maybe the radio has provisions for a display so that might help. The Kenwoods I collect typically have an entry for 2 lines of 32 character data each that you can only see when reading the radio. Those are normally blank, but a few had something entered.

A TK-3212 I acquired only had 14 frequencies in it along with the display names for each channel, nothing else was found in the code plug when the radio was read. After doing some detective work, a lot of searching through the FCC's database, I found an entry where "NMP" corresponded to the first 3 words in the company name, one letter each. The license it fell under was WPTP616.

https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=2363642

https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/licenseLocSum.jsp?licKey=2363642

The frequencies also seem to match up.

As you can see there is a unit 1 and a unit 2 in the FCC database, and in the code plug you see "U1 OPS", "U12 OPS", "NMP RAD", "NMP ADM" etc. Things looked like they all sort of made sense.

NMP -> 9 Mile Point (Nine Mile Point)

RAD -> Research and Development (For a nuke station you would figure something this would be going on)

ADM -> Administration

T/A A -> Talk Around Channel "A"

The radio I got used off of eBay apparently was previously used at a nuclear power station. I joked with a few fellow radio buddies that I should check it with a Geiger Counter to see if anything happens.

When companies dump used radios I'm surprised they don't get the code plug wiped clean. At lest in the above case it likely would have been advisable. Just enough info was there, some lucky guesses and detective work, and I'm fairly sure about where the radio came from.

 

NMP - WPTP616.jpg

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I was surprised some of them aren't wiped as well. Of mine:

  • The g7 evx539's were the ones that still had previous programming; looked to be a school district's digital system out of SE NY state; the channels included 3 elementary school names, and a couple each including "ms" and "hs" in the names, a couple that sounded like they could access the PA system, which makes me think some level of district admin.
  • The vx4207 and vx924 were ostensibly NOS (and the packaging was consistent with this), so nothing programmed there.
  • The p824 was wiped, everything showing 'unprogrammed'.
  • I forget what was on the g6 evx539...I want to say it had been wiped als.
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16 minutes ago, kb2ztx said:

NMP is on a full TRBO system now. All old gear was sold so not surprised to see that in the wild...

That's what I suspect with a lot of the used HT's you see for sale. Companies upgrading their system, in the case of NMP you pointed out, to a digital system. They dump their old analog radios on the surplus equipment buyers market, who then turnaround and try to flip the radios for a quick buck.

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7 hours ago, WRNA236 said:

I'm surprised Nine Mile Station didn't have a procedure that had to be followed clearing stuff for surplus.  Maybe they were leasing their radios.

I thought of that too. There are plenty of radio shops that do just that. Some run a trunked repeater system as an extra cost option for their fleet radios.
 

The appeal to the user is they don’t have the cost to install one or have to administer the system. With 5 or more repeaters in a trunked system on a tall tower you can handle a lot of users. The radio shop just assigns different customers to different groups.

If I was renting radios I would make sure there was a requirement in the contract the radios must be wiped before being disposed of or rented to another customer.

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Oh, I've got some interesting ones here:

- Arizona DPS TK-390s

- TK-190s found while salvaging a sand mine and given to me

- EFJ 5300ESs from an Army TRS with intact trunking programming (somebody messed up...)

- EFJ 5100ESs also from an Army TRS, acquired third-hand from a guy who bought them as surplus

- UHF HT600 discarded by a contractor

- Low band MT500s from Big Stone NWR in Minnesota (given to me by a friend in Arizona - no clue how they found their way down here...)

 

Plus a variety of other radios retired from EMS, fire, business, and local LE service.

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