wow, this is some great info... let me address a few issues:
I def don’t need the ID feature, i know all the radios have to have the names programmed in, i think its more of a new feature to play with at this point. I already tried it on my Baofeng and its very slow. At the end of the transmission is the only place for it. I just realized its not fast like the data burst. I think it would get old fast.
TK-880 Version 2.0
I'm looking at the PDF again, (link above) and ANI PTT ID is def a normal feature, the "new" feature with a * next to it are:
(straight copy and paste from the brochure PDF)
Caller ID* decodes an incoming PTT ID and uses the
pre-stored ID List with alphanumeric name tags to identify the
caller in the radio’s LCD. This is available for fleet portables
and mobiles as well as base stations.
Caller ID Stack* stores (in volatile memory) the three most
recently received PTT IDs for recall and review, allowing a user
to check for missed voice calls.
Extended ID List Capacity (100*) allows a base station radio
to select up to 100 target fleet radios by nametag to send
FleetSync ® Selective Calls and Status Messages. Fleet radios
can display up to 100 caller names upon decoding PTT ID’s,
(Caller ID enabled), Selective Calls, Status and Text Messages.
Extended Status Message List (50*) provides up to 50
pre-stored sixteen-character alphanumeric messages permitting
a base to send a larger variety of job task messages. Fleet
radios can display and respond accordingly with complimentary
acknowledgements. Also, special reserved Emergency,
Emergency Man-down*, Emergency Mode Off *, Horn Alert
(mobiles)* and Radio Stun/Acknowledge/Resurrect statuses
(1 FleetSync ® “Basic” dispatch features are available using just 80-Series mobile/portable fleet
radios and an 80-Series mobile base/control station. More advanced FleetSync ®
dispatch systems may require the FleetSync ® Enhanced option and FleetSync ® -compatible
peripherals and/or software.)
I agree that the 3.1 is a little over the top, but its the lowest priced one that has the voice recording feature. There is a "radio check" feature that i like where you DTMF a command and it will record what is hears next and repeat it back out. it will also function as a simplex repeater. So i think it gives me a lot of options. At the end of the day, after i put all the time and money into this, what's a few $ more to get a good controller?
in the MEANTIME, i dont "need" that controller as i get used to the GMRS and 25 watts in my area. I think i will end up building that cross over cable. I have a lot of DIY skills, but the one thing i dont have a lot of is time. (family of three young kids, work, etc.)
That Com-Spec ID-8 looks pretty cool. I will double check the rules, I'm not sure if i need to ID if the repeater is only temporary, like for a few hours during a hunting trip, or camping, but if it requires an id, then i might as well build the 3.1 controller, spend the time on the wires, cables, and all that, and do it once.
I do have to get a nice USB to RS-232. I MIGHT have an old WinXP laptop with serial out. I'll have to look for that, see if it still works.
The whole "enable front panel programming via the software" is a crazy "chicken and egg" problem.... i would hope that the firmware defaults to "enabled" and allows the deployment tech to turn it off, and have it default back on when the unit is reset. Otherwise, the barrier to get in is always going to be the stupid programming cable and software.
Now about that link you sent.... the page by "Preston Moore, N5YIZ" Thats exactly what i'm trying to build! I'm going to look around and see what Ideas i can use from that page, and maybe purchase that "double hight" radio holder. It say it has battery backup connectors, maybe I can put that into a large carry box with everything i need. I am going to have to be careful that it can get enough air circulation. I've seen too many portable rigs in an ammo can with no air flow. That's def bad. I also noticed the fan in the back, with the NHRC3.1 i can connect the fan to the "fan controller" and have it kick on after every broadcast for x seconds then shut down.
so at this point, its a multi step project, each step of the way, i learn a bit more and adjust. At this point, my unknowns are:
1. it seems (i'll have to double check the pin outs) that the cross over cable will have to reach inside the radio and connect to points inside, i can't do a RJ45 to RJ45. Hmmm. If i could, then i would sell the Kenwood kct-19 wire harness.
2. can holding down the "D" while power up enable front panel programming? If not, i'll have to open it up and find that 0 ohm and/or enable it in software which will open a new seet of challenges mentioned above.
Thanks for all your advice. If anyone else has anything to add, that would be great.