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Multi band mobile radio


WRTZ750

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7 minutes ago, WRTZ750 said:

Question for those with more experience on this.  I'm looking for a radio I can put in a vehicle or switch between vehicles that will tx and rx between 144 MHz on up to the Gmrs frequencies.

Is there such an all in one radio?  

There are lots of GMRS transceivers which can receive on the amateur bands, but not transmit on them. Although people have found ways to “open up” transceivers to do what you’re asking, the rules for GMRS include this little nugget which is pretty specific:

No GMRS transmitter will be certified for use in the GMRS if it is equipped with the capabilities to operate in services that do not require equipment certification, such as the Amateur Radio Service. 

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34 minutes ago, WRTZ750 said:

Question for those with more experience on this.  I'm looking for a radio I can put in a vehicle or switch between vehicles that will tx and rx between 144 MHz on up to the Gmrs frequencies.

Is there such an all in one radio?  

As mentioned the answer is no. However there are various commercial radios that have Part 90 and 95 certifications. Some of those can be programmed to operate out of their official band split down into the Amateur band. There are some models where the software will prevent you from entering out of band frequencies, the one notable manufacture is Motorola, others like Kenwood don't strictly enforce this. With Kenwood entering an out of band frequency will generate a warning message, after which when you click to acknowledge it will accept the entry. For GMRS you're looking at UHF only radios.

I have experience with just the Kenwood HT's, and not with any of their mobile radios, but suspect they can be programmed for out of band operation as well.

Some examples, not a complete list, of the Kenwood HT models where you can program both GMRS and Ham band frequencies, and have Part 95 certification are:

TK-370G

http://rsws.zapto.org/radiosoftware/kenwood/tk-270g-370g.pdf

TK-3170

https://pdfs.kenwoodproducts.com/9/TK-2170&3170Brochure.pdf

TK-3173

http://www.swscomm.com/kenwood/TK-3173.pdf

TK-3140

http://rsws.zapto.org/radiosoftware/kenwood/tk-2140-3140.pdf

TK-3180

https://pdfs.kenwoodproducts.com/10/TK-2180&3180Brochure.pdf

NX-300 and NX-300G

https://www.kenwood.eu/files/file/comms/uk/brochures/nx/NX200G_300G_Brochure_V2.1.pdf

TK-5320

https://comms.kenwood.com/common/pdf/download/TK-5220_5320_Specsheet.pdf

Note:

Some of the above radios also include digital voice modes. However you can ONLY use the FM functions on those radios for GMRS. However you're free to use digital voice modes on the Ham band. Most Ham digital voice operations are on UHF anyway.

Also the UHF radios may cover more that one UHF frequency range. Only the models where the lower "official" limit is 450 MHz will have the Part 95 certification. The 400MHz to 470MHz band split versions will also work, but are NOT Part 95 certified. 

The radio I typically carry around is the TK-3170. The other radios are larger and noticeable heavier. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, WRTZ750 said:

Question for those with more experience on this.  I'm looking for a radio I can put in a vehicle or switch between vehicles that will tx and rx between 144 MHz on up to the Gmrs frequencies.

Is there such an all in one radio?  

One of the favorites here on this Forum that will meet your specifications is the Radioddity DB20-G a/k/a Anytone AT-779UV.

For $99-109 (and recently discounted for Black Friday) it is:

A mini-mobile that can fit in the palm of your hand and there are cup-mount holders for easy moves back and forth to another vehicle

12V Cigarette Lighter plug for easy power

18 Watts UHF and 20 Watts VHF

Out of the box it is a fully certified Part 95E GMRS device that receives and scans on VHF and UHF and transmits on only GMRS channels, with the first 30 channels preprogrammed and then 9 more DIY channels for more repeaters with different Tones.

Using the push buttons (or the included CPS software) you can "open" this unit to transmit on all 500 channels GMRS and/or on Ham 2 meters and 70 cms as well.

Using the push buttons and/or software, you can at anytime restore the original codeplug and "lock" it back down to GMRS for compliance with Part 95E.

 

Anytone AT-779UV.jpg

Channel 8 hand.jpg

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 9.15.54 AM.png

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6 hours ago, gortex2 said:

APX8500

Definitely high end and will cover VHF and UHF,.....I just received 13 of these for work. Christmas came early, along with three APX8000XE handhelds. What did not show up was batteries, single chargers, antennas, belt clips, and the six bank charger for the APX8000XE's as Motorola is making the expensive items first. My employer does not pay on purchase orders until all line items arrive, they may get paid six month's from now at this rate.

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All legality issues aside, since there is no end of debate over FCC rules, some very good multi-band UHF/VHF tranceivers that come from the factory (Yaesu, etc) locked into the ham bands can be modified with a simple MARS/CAP modification that will enable expanded transmitting, including GMRS. Google is your friend here.

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1 hour ago, WRQC527 said:

All legality issues aside, since there is no end of debate over FCC rules, some very good multi-band UHF/VHF tranceivers that come from the factory (Yaesu, etc) locked into the ham bands can be modified with a simple MARS/CAP modification that will enable expanded transmitting, including GMRS. Google is your friend here.

Just a note here. We all know it's done. We try to discourage the above sort of thing to put Ham gear on bands they are not certified to use.

It's not just Ham gear either. The topics pops up frequently about using commercial grade radios, with only Part 90 certification, on Part 95 bands. Technical they aren't legal ether, however the FCC seems to ignore it mostly. Some commercial grade radios have both Part 90 and Part 95 certification, so those are fine.

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4 minutes ago, Lscott said:

Just a note here. We all know it's done. We try to discourage the above sort of thing to put Ham gear on bands they are not certified to use.

"Some" try to discourage...

It's really a radio by radio discussion.

As you know I am a big fan of the Radioddity DB20-G, which comes Part 95e certified.

But with an easy modification, it can transmit on Ham Bands 2 meters and 70 cms, and with another easy modification can be locked back down for GMRS exclusively.

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Just now, MichaelLAX said:

"Some" try to discourage...

It's really a radio by radio discussion.

As you know I am a big fan of the Radioddity DB20-G, which comes Part 95e certified.

But with an easy modification, it can transmit on Ham Bands 2 meters and 70 cms, and with another easy modification can be locked back down for GMRS exclusively.

True. That however leads to a more "complex" discussion over exactly what is and isn't legal. The confusion is the Part 95E certification, but only is valid when the radio is used in the original locked state to operate on the GMRS allowed frequencies. Some seem to feel that just because it has Part 95E certification doing any kind of mod , hardware - software - mode unlocking, to open up the radio doesn't affect it. That's very likely not true, but some want to pretend it is, and encourage others who have little to no idea to go ahead that it's OK.

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15 minutes ago, Lscott said:

...but some want to pretend it is, and encourage others who have little to no idea to go ahead that it's OK.

I have noticed very few on this Forum who suggest modifications who claim that its "ok" - most make a disclosure about Part 95e and then its up to the reader/user to make the decision about continued use on GMRS.

The "debate" has been hit over the head time and time again here.  

I am Pro-Choice!

As has been pointed out by others, especially @OffRoaderX, there cannot be found even one instance on the FCC violations database of a FCC issued violation for using a non-certified radio on GMRS within the frequency and power specifications of Part 95.

The FCC apparently has other fish to fry.

The bigger problem for licensed GMRS users, as has been pointed out on this Forum many times, is not the one of licensed GMRS users of radios modified to work on GMRS, but of FRS users who are lawfully unlicensed and have sanctioned use of 22 of our channels/frequences!

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1 minute ago, MichaelLAX said:

I have noticed very few on this Forum who suggest modifications who claim that its "ok" - most make a disclosure about Part 95e and then its up to the reader/user to make the decision about continued use on GMRS.

The "debate" has been hit over the head time and time again here.  

I am Pro-Choice!

As has been pointed out by others, especially @OffRoaderX, there cannot be found even one instance on the FCC violations database of a FCC issued violation for using a non-certified radio on GMRS within the frequency and power specifications of Part 95.

The FCC apparently has other fish to fry.

The bigger problem for licensed GMRS users, as has been pointed out on this Forum many times, is not the one of licensed GMRS users of radios modified to work on GMRS, but of FRS users who are lawfully unlicensed and have sanctioned use of 22 of our channels/frequences!

You made my point. A few have done exactly that.

Yes I know about @OffRoaderX and his predilection about FCC enforcement log proof. What he doesn't tell people the FCC doesn't necessarily put everything in those logs. They can show up, knock on the door, and "advise" you, unofficially, if you continue there will be official action taken. They are not complete A-Holes and will give people a break, but don't publicize it. That's usually enough. I personally know of people where that happen, and no there was no official record of the visit either.

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17 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

This is the first I have heard that they are even partial A-Holes!

Thank you for giving me that confirmation. ?

Yeah one guy was running a small amplifier on 11M. The FCC showed up and told him if he continued they would take EVERYTHING, and he would get a fat fine too. In his case he was stupid and didn't take their suggestion. Yeah he got what was promised.

Another guy, in my coffee group, had them show up asking exactly what he was transmitting since they couldn't decode the digital info for some reason! After he explained things they were satisfied nothing weird was going on and left. I guess they couldn't identify the digital mode in use until he he told them. It was a published one from what he said so it don't fall under the "secret" code restrictions.

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Definitely high end and will cover VHF and UHF,.....I just received 13 of these for work. Christmas came early, along with three APX8000XE handhelds. What did not show up was batteries, single chargers, antennas, belt clips, and the six bank charger for the APX8000XE's as Motorola is making the expensive items first. My employer does not pay on purchase orders until all line items arrive, they may get paid six month's from now at this rate.
Been eyeballing apx8500's with xtva modules. The the ht can do 25wm kinda nifty.

Other pricey options are as you said the apx8000.

Another option often overlooked is the Kenwood nx series. You can buy entitlements for p25, and dmr. Think they come with analog and mxdn.

Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, kidphc said:

Another option often overlooked is the Kenwood nx series.

That is an option. Although, I must admit, I am very biased again all 5xxx series Kenwood radios. I used to be an engineer within the JVC/Kenwood Group.....and my current employer has NX53xx radios as part of a confined space radio project. I prefer Motorola (or in reality Harris military) radios over Kenwood/EFJohnson/Viking with only a few exceptions for several reasons. 

Kenwood has tried to do too much via software in the 5xxx line of radios, and you must be very careful hardware/software wise, that you get what you want when you buy the radio. Many municipalities for example could not afford P25, but grant money only flows for P25 capable radios. So, Kenwood said they would offer P25 as an add on option at a later date. When that time came, the radios needed to be sent back for an additional hardware module, so they could then be software updated for P25 capability. Kenwood and other parts of the "Group" hired to many Microsoft software engineers that thought you could update everything like a laptop computer, and most lacked any radio, dispatch, telephony, or even amateur radio experience. Majke sure you get what you want on the "NX" path, or you may get burned, more so if you buy hundreds at a time. (Might apply or not, this is a GMRS forum after all, if you only get one or two used units at a huge discounted price). 

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That is an option. Although, I must admit, I am very biased again all 5xxx series Kenwood radios. I used to be an engineer within the JVC/Kenwood Group.....and my current employer has NX53xx radios as part of a confined space radio project. I prefer Motorola (or in reality Harris military) radios over Kenwood/EFJohnson/Viking with only a few exceptions for several reasons. 
Kenwood has tried to do too much via software in the 5xxx line of radios, and you must be very careful hardware/software wise, that you get what you want when you buy the radio. Many municipalities for example could not afford P25, but grant money only flows for P25 capable radios. So, Kenwood said they would offer P25 as an add on option at a later date. When that time came, the radios needed to be sent back for an additional hardware module, so they could then be software updated for P25 capability. Kenwood and other parts of the "Group" hired to many Microsoft software engineers that thought you could update everything like a laptop computer, and most lacked any radio, dispatch, telephony, or even amateur radio experience. Majke sure you get what you want on the "NX" path, or you may get burned, more so if you buy hundreds at a time. (Might apply or not, this is a GMRS forum after all, if you only get one or two used units at a huge discounted price). 
If you can get a dealer to give you ham friendly pricing. The kenwood for mixed amateur/gmrs usage works for a decent price. Then make sure to get what you want. Unfortunately, you aren't going to get ham friendly pricing from motorola. I perfer motorola and so does a good friend, whom sells, programs and modifies commercial gear.

It is definitely a bit outside the gmrs forum aspect.

But anyone like the op looking for a vhf rig capable of gmrs. Me included. Is in a bind. Act crappy ccr radios that can be unlocked, cap mod a ham rig or mod (using nod loosely here) commercial gear. Commercial gear kinda sucks because being able to tone select and fpp. Really is only an option on gear produced in the past 10-15 years.

I was looking at a dual rig xtl5000. Just decided it would be better to wait till an APX 8K series was more affordable. For now cdm1250 and ftm400 will do.

Btw. At home I am running an Anytone 779 which is the same radio( little cheaper) as the Radioddity db20g, upstairs for the wife (gmrs). Unlocked for ham vhf/uhf use in case. In the shack it's a cdm1250 and ft991a.

Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk


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I've also done the commercial looking, and the cost between APX 8500 and a NX-5K dual deck remote head is about 2:1 Moto vs. Kenwood.

@PACNWComms you are probably thinking of the crypto modules which must be sent back for labor + $600 for the board, otherwise, P25 can be added at the programming level for $575 (conv) + $520 (PH1 Trunk) + $400 (Ph2 Trunk), using just the same program that activates D1N.

I will admit, the Kenwood D#N softwares are frustrating at times, but not any more frustrating than Mototrbo 2.0 CPS. 

There are plusses and minuses to both, but I have and use both depending on the situation. I've also started side-eyeing a few other brands that offer multi-band radios, but its harder and harder to look at them since I now have all the M & K legitimate tools/programs already, others are not as easy to track down and obtain. 

The long and the short of an answer to the OP in this thread: for a new or casual GMRS user, there isn't an excellent option that is cost-effective to recommend. If you really deep pockets and didn't care, there are options you could look into. But for most, you are probably best to run either two radios (VHF and UHF) and find a way to make them fit.

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