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Can Vertex EVX-5400 UHF be used for GMRS?


WRTD848
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6 hours ago, KAF6045 said:

It will "work" for some definition of "work"... But if I may quote the grail knight from the Indiana Jones movie "... he chose poorly" 💀

I've bootlegged my Tyt DMR HTs with GMRS frequencies (and MURS/Marine in the case of the VHF/UHF unit] (a few cycles taken for that as 1) decision on bandwidth confused with channel spacing -- they have 20kHz options [Hmm, just checked, and found about half were still at 25kHz]; 2) reserved for emergency usage as I have BTech GMRS-V1, GMRS-V2 HTs, and the aforementioned Midland MXT-115 -- and have a Wouxun (sp?) GMRS HT in shipment (not to mention Midland and Motorola bubble-pack radios that are now classified as GMRS after the 2017 restructuring [Power >2W and/or Repeater channel access; may still be 12.5kHz bandwidth though]. I'd like to bootleg the much more capable Anytone D878UVII DMR unit -- but it only offers 25kHz and 12.5kHz options, and is locked to transmit only on 2m/70cm (even setting the code plug from "amateur" [allows front panel programming of radio] to "professional" [programming only via software] doesn't unlock it -- I've not seen a secret key I'd be willing to trust to get it unlocked. Since most documents show the 25kHz bandwidth is still using a 16kxxx deviation mode, they may still be save at 25kHz.

If you check you'll see just about every radio that says it's "wide-band" really is spec'd for 16K0F3E, not the FCC authorized 20K0F3E for GMRS. The 16K0F3E was the old business wide-band specification. Just about every GMRS repeater on the air is build using old Part 90, business band, equipment with the 16K0 spec.

Many of the currently sold GMRS radios are old repurposed business radio designs, or amateur gear, with tweaked firmware to make them compliant with the FCC rules. The 16K0F3E spec seems to be particularly true of the new Chinese manufactured GMRS specific radios.  One would have a difficult time telling the two apart, 16K0 verses 20K0, on the air. I suspect the FCC could have changed the rules to make 16K0 the "official" FM standard for GMRS and likely nobody would notice.

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Wow - what tangled answers to a simple question.

YES!  You can use the EVX-5400 for GMRS! It's a nice little radio.

The software does not require a wideband entitlement key like Motorola CPS. You just use the Export or "international" version of the Vertex software. If the radio was previously written with the Narrowband only software, you will need to "unlock" the radio with a special Vertex software module called the "Wideband Recovery Tool" version 1.03

If you're trying to recover newer Vertex radios like the EVX series - you're going to need Version 1.03 of the Wideband Recovery Tool.  That isn't easy to find online, and you also pretty much need to invest in the FIF-12 programming box/cable setup from Vertex to make that work with newer radios. The FIF-12 runs about $150 to $200 new.  I could unlock it for you for about $25 if it's a one time service. Any other Vertex or local LMR radio dealer could probably perform the service for you also at a similar price.

There are also 2 different versions of the EVX-5400 radios. Older models had a 8 character display, the newer versions had a 16 character display. The CE-151 export software should be used with the newer (and more common) 16 character displays for Wideband operation.

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3 hours ago, WRTD848 said:

I have a Vertex EVX-5400 UHF radio. Can this be programed for GMRS and what software do I need? Any help would be appreciated.

{Wow... what a tangled chain. I have (somewhere) an old Standard Radio 2m/70cm mobile rig made by Marantz. Standard Radio was acquired by Yaesu and became part of their business line under the Vertex Standard name (if one looks closely at the Vertex Standard logo seen on the Motorola https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjz69SkkZj5AhUFk2oFHXyLDewQFnoECBgQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.motorolasolutions.com%2Fcontent%2Fdam%2Fmsi%2Fdocs%2Fvertex-standard%2Flegacy-products%2Fvx_everge_evx5300_5400_spec_sheet_en.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2bFOFQbkU_JcHMiNdZ_fuC {UGH -- Google bloody tracking junk} and compares it to the Yaesu logo on the VX-8R manual https://www.yaesu.com/downloadFile.cfm?FileID=5500&FileCatID=151&FileName=VX-8R_OM_ENG_EH028M101.pdf&FileContentType=application%2Fpdf one will see it is identical -- and could be interpreted as a stylized Y). Appears they sold the business line to Motorola.}

 

Now, with regards to your question.

While the unit does cover GMRS frequencies and does have analog capability, not just DMR digital, there are a few problems.

  1. GMRS uses a 20kHz bandwidth (though I recall primary channels are spaced 25kHz apart). Old models of this radio supported 25kHz bandwidth.
  2. Footnote states that units sold after January 1 2013 (ten years ago, for all practical counting) only support 12.5kHz bandwidth -- the FCC mandate for Land Mobile/Business systems to convert to "narrow band" operations. 12.5kHz is traditional FRS bandwidth -- audio is at nearly half of GMRS deviation, so will sound weaker (at best) on true GMRS equipment.
  3. The 50W model on UHF has a LOW power of 10W. Original GMRS interstitial channels ("1" to "7" in the new consolidated number scheme) are limited to 5W max. That would leave you with legal access only to the 8 primary channels ("15" to "22", and their repeater pairs). The 25W model has a low power of 5W so just squeaks by for the interstitial "1"-"7". You have NO legal access to "8"-"14" which are limited to 0.5W (and maybe 12.5kHz)

So... If you have the 25W variant, you might squeeze it into service, taking into account the difference between 20kHz and 25kHz deviations... And you'd have a radio whose only advantage over a Midland MXT-115 (5W Low, 15W high -- "1"-"7" fixed low, "15"-"22" and repeater pairs 5 or 15W, no "8"-"14") is that you have available channels to duplicate frequencies with different CTCSS codes (going from one repeater to another on the same channel but with different codes requires navigating the MXT-115 menu system to change CTCSS code).

 

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32 minutes ago, WRTD848 said:

Thank you, sounds like my radio is probably narrow band and will not work well with GMRS.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

It will "work" for some definition of "work"... But if I may quote the grail knight from the Indiana Jones movie "... he chose poorly" 💀

I've bootlegged my Tyt DMR HTs with GMRS frequencies (and MURS/Marine in the case of the VHF/UHF unit] (a few cycles taken for that as 1) decision on bandwidth confused with channel spacing -- they have 20kHz options [Hmm, just checked, and found about half were still at 25kHz]; 2) reserved for emergency usage as I have BTech GMRS-V1, GMRS-V2 HTs, and the aforementioned Midland MXT-115 -- and have a Wouxun (sp?) GMRS HT in shipment (not to mention Midland and Motorola bubble-pack radios that are now classified as GMRS after the 2017 restructuring [Power >2W and/or Repeater channel access; may still be 12.5kHz bandwidth though]. I'd like to bootleg the much more capable Anytone D878UVII DMR unit -- but it only offers 25kHz and 12.5kHz options, and is locked to transmit only on 2m/70cm (even setting the code plug from "amateur" [allows front panel programming of radio] to "professional" [programming only via software] doesn't unlock it -- I've not seen a secret key I'd be willing to trust to get it unlocked. Since most documents show the 25kHz bandwidth is still using a 16kxxx deviation mode, they may still be save at 25kHz.

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