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#1 berkinet

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 10:40 PM

I am looking for an emcomm handheld with the following attributes:

  • GMRS Repeater capable (I.e. supports rx/tx offset).
  • minimum 30 channels (22 FRS/GMRS + 8 GMRS repeaters).
  • Single line display (I.e. no watch or similar capability).
  • Allows "named" channels (I.e. group-1, group-2, etc.
  • Simple to switch between channels.
  • Only programmable from a computer (e.g., CHIRP) (I.e. not easily programmable from the radio).
  • PL/DPL - but that is pretty much universal anyway.

 

Part 95(a) certification is not required. VHF support is nice, but also not required.

 

Something like the Baofeng UV-5R is close, but without the dual line channel/frequency capability.

 

Any/all ideas appreciated.

 

TIA


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#2 Dahwg

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 11:30 PM

I think that by adding the FRS only channels in your requirements, you are severely limiting your options. Having those channels basically leaves you with a bubble pack radio that is locked down tight, not to mention it ensures you have a permanently attached cheap antenna and forget the ability to program the radio at all.

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#3 berkinet

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 02:27 AM

... Having those [FRS] channels basically leaves you with a bubble pack radio that is locked down tight, not to mention it ensures you have a permanently attached cheap antenna and forget the ability to program the radio at all....

Thanks for the comment, that's why I excluded Part 95(a) certification in my requirements.  FRS support is specifically a requirement for CERT/emcomm applications - this is the type of radio most families/CERT volunteers will have.   The radios I am looking for would be for people in command posts so they could talk to both field volunteers and other command posts - most likely through a repeater.  I would be glad to provide the reasoning for the requirements I posted if anyone is interested.


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#4 Dahwg

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 04:18 AM

I must have misread your original post. One of the problems with skipping the type acceptance and having the FRS -only channels programmed is that those frequencies are the interstitials on the 467 side of things- so, adjacent to repeater input frequencies. I would be less than pleased if you were operating a radio like that and unintentionally jacking with my repeater because you were running 10 times the power allowed on a very narrow adjacent frequency. Food for thought.

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#5 mdomsch

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:39 AM

@berkinet, you're trying to be sure the field volunteers and the command posts can communicate, right?  FRS is limited to 1/2 watt and no repeaters, so that right there limits the effectiveness of the solution to a very short line-of-sight distance.  The bubble pack radios that your volunteers carry become your minimum functional design point, and those will all have 95a (GMRS) and 95b(FRS) type acceptance to have been sold in the US in the first place.

 

Dropping FRS leaves you with repeater-capable GMRS units, of which someone posted a nice PDF in these forums just a few days ago listing all the type-accepted ones based on the FCC database.  Plus if you don't care about GMRS type acceptance (not sure how you can skirt this legally in the US), the Baofeng, Yaesu, and similar HTs which can be programmed (or un-neutered) to use the GMRS frequencies.

 

Curious also what repeaters you're looking into.


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#6 SteveC7010

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:13 PM

The Motorola CP200XLS can be programmed for high (4 watts) or low (1 watt) power on a per channel basis. I'm pretty sure that the 1 watt setting on an FRS channel would cause adjacent channel interference unless you were sitting right next to the repeater antenna. It pretty much meets all of your requirements.

 

While the radio was recently discontinued from production, depot service is available for several more years plus many repair shops can work on them.

 

They're widely available on the used market at very reasonable prices. I manage an inventory of 20 of these radios for our ambulance squad. We're quite pleased with them.


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#7 berkinet

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 02:21 PM

...One of the problems with skipping the type acceptance and having the FRS -only channels programmed is that those frequencies are the interstitials on the 467 side of things- so, adjacent to repeater input frequencies...

@Dahwg, Exactly. That is why I specified non-programmable from the radio itself. The idea is to program each channel for a power level appropriate for the service (GMRS or FRS).

 

...bubble pack radios that your volunteers carry become your minimum functional design point, and those will all have 95a (GMRS) and 95b(FRS) type acceptance to have been sold in the US in the first place.... Plus if you don't care about GMRS type acceptance (not sure how you can skirt this legally in the US),...

 

...Curious also what repeaters you're looking into.

@mdomsch, In our area (San Francisco Bay area)most CERT planning is for only one type of emergency, an earthquake. As such, CERT teams tend to be very localized (1 to 4 blocks). FRS radios work in this scenario, as bourne out by many exercises.  Individual Fire, Rescue and Medical teams are able to effectively remain in contact with a local neighborhood command post. The problem occurs when neighborhoods try to contact each other, for example to offer or ask for spare resources.  As to the legality of non-compliant radios on Part 95(a) frequencies. The radios I am looking for would only be used for monthly exercises and in the event of a real emergency.  So, while there is certainly legal liability, I feel that as long as we comply with all other Part 95(a) requirements, the benefits exceed the risk.

 

And, regarding the repeater. We have a Motorola GR1225 we are in the process of deploying.

 

The Motorola CP200XLS...

@SteveC7010, Great suggestion. I had found the Poxun PX-2R and the TYT-th-2R (which appear to be the same radio). But, the CP200XLS looks like it meets our needs exactly. In particular, because of the requirement for Motorola software, there would pretty much be no user access to the programming.  I think I will pick one up.


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#8 Hans

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 02:35 AM

You might want to also consider the Alinco DJ-500TB (2nd generation). The TB, not T, version is part 90. AFAIK, the radio can remain software locked after programming. It is a dual band radio that seems to fit your requirements.

I use a DJ-500 everyday and it is a pretty awesome handheld, IMHO.

#9 lthorpe

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 08:14 PM

Sounds like you are looking for the Motorola MS350R.

 

#10 kpeck1959

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:56 PM

A newly released hand held radio from BTECH called the, GMRS-V1 is preprogramed with GMRS frequencies plus repeater pairs, is five watts and is around $54.00.  There is at least one good review on You Tube about this radio.  Also the antenna is removable, so you can upgrade it.


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#11 stonecrest

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:59 PM

 
For field use or EMCOMM, I would use this setup with two LEIXEN or the LUITON (same radio) UHF 400-470MHz 25Watt Two Way Radios, TX RX cables would be included with the surecom duplex controller and use a Wishring UHF 380-512MHz 30W DUPLEXER (duplexer needs to be tuned!!!!) The Luiton comes with a programming cable . Leixen I use the Baofeng programming cable. Cheapest I seen the radio go for is around $75. Has cooling fan also. you really need to know what you're doing when programming it on the computer , including designating functions. No worse then Yaesu, lol.


#12 mainehazmt

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 04:58 PM

Can't believe I'm actually saying this but....the radio you seek would violate even the modest interpretation of the present and new rules. Just because there is an earthquake doesn't mean a government entity can endorse this. Stick to frs 2 watt radios in about 90 days. John Q Public should not have access to frequencies they are not. Allowed on. This post seems to bring out a term I've known about along time. WACKERS! Got a vest to go with it? Sorry I know all about bending the rules and helped write the book but......just my opinion as a retired fire chief/ ems/ cert/hazmat/ incident commander/instructor for all of that.....
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