Thread: Radio Question

  1. #1
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    Post Radio Question

    (This is mainly directed towards NMFire, but anyone who knows the answer...please enlighten me)

    I'm looking to buy an Icom IC-V8 portable radio for around $120. I don't intend to use it for interior structural firefighting, but just something to keep in my vehicle so I can keep my regular HT1250LS+ in my turnout gear at all times.

    Now, my question is: The IC-V8 is designed to transmit onto the 140-143mhz band. However, our frequency is 151.430 with a separate PL. Can I reprogram the radio to broadcast onto that frequency, or can I take it to the technicians who do our radios to get it done?

    Any help would be nice.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Don't you have to be a HAM to buy HAM equipment? I thought 140-143 was HAM bands?

    Also, I do believe it is illegal to modify a radio to work outside it's band. Although, nobody ever notices
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    Well, the brochure for the radio says that it can broadcast from 144-148MHz(TX) and 136-174MHz(RX). I guess that means it can only transmit onto 144-148, but can recieve anywhere from 136-174? I'm not a big radio buff. I like my Motorola. When I key it up, it transmits. When I drop it, it does not break (often). When I melt the antenna(don't ask), I can replace it....

    anyone have the answers to my questions?
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    What you want to do is strictly illegal. However if you were inclined to commit such a heinous crime it would be possible to look up other desperate criminals on the web who provide the instructions. Your radio tech would probably not do it (I are one).

    Birken

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    I believe you arent supposed to alter the radio ........as it is illegal but I know a dpeartment around us who used to alter ICOM Ham radios to transmit on VHF Hi band .......I am sure NM will give us the skinny.
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    I found another desperate criminal with a webpage that says to expand the TX/RX MHz range(TX and RX being transmit and recieve, correct?), you can remove a diode and it'll then work on higher bands.

    I guess a number of other desperate criminals perform this same mod to get a cheap firefighting radio.

    But, I'll wait for our resident radio expert's advice!
    Last edited by SpartanGuy; 03-11-2005 at 05:33 PM.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Well, as you have noticed, there are several ways to answer this question. The radio in question is a HAM RADIO. Ham radios are type accepted by the FCC for certain operating parameters. Modifying the radio violates this.

    1. The radio out of the box with no modification will RECEIVE your FD frequency and PL with no problem. Most all new ham radios have expanded receive as a standard feature now.

    2. If you want to transmit on the frequency, you will need to do the diode modification. This will allow you to transmit with the out-of-band frequency and the given PL. Now this is illegal.

    3. If your frequency is now or will soon be NARROW BAND, forget the ham radio. I'm not familiar with that models details but chances are it can not transmit with narrowband 2.5kHz bandwidth. This will not be accesptable on a narrowband radio system. Don't waste your time or money.

    4. If narrow band isn't going to be an issue anytime soon, and you are not going to be using this for ANY kind of fireground or interior operations, it most likely will not cause any harm.

    5. Regardless, it is still illegal and not the right way to handle public safety communications. Due to this, I can only leave it at "it will probably work but I can't recommend you do it".
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Alright, NM, I'll take your advice on breaking the law.

    Now, do you have any idea how to program a Motorola Radius P200 or P10? Do you have any pros/cons for either radio....


    I'm starting to think I should just request another HT-1250LS+ from the department, but I'm trying to be nice:-D
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Smile Question?................

    Will a HT 1000 work for this? there are a lot of those out there, Cheap. (Used, of course)
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    That'd be fine, harve, I'm just trying to keep it relatively cheap. Under $200 cheap. I'm also looking for something easily programmable, preferably by me. The place that handles all of our radios is half an hour away, and I'm frankly too lazy to go out there and drop it off and then go back the next day or so after I've paid them money to do it....


    By the way, check your PM's harve!
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Well, unless you have the software, expensive computer interface cables, and expensive interface box (RIB), you aren't going to be able to program any of these motorola radios on your own. Oh, and you'll nee a computer that is either running pure DOS or a really old windows 95/98 than can be booted into DOS. You can not program the older radios with DOS software on a 2000/XP operating system. It won't work. The HT1250 and other newer radios use windows based software.

    The P200 is a good older model radio that can also double as a blunt force tool or a weapon of self-defense. The P10 is a toy, don't bother. Both of these as well as early model HT1000's are also not going to be narrow band capable. Later model (I think D Revision) HT1000's can do narrow band.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Just spend a little extra money and cop a used IC F11.

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    Default a web site for cheep radios

    Check out:

    http://www.discounttwo-wayradio.com/

    I've never used 'em, but the prices are pretty good, and well within the price of a modified ham rig.

    Now, of course, if you wanted to go and get a license, the 'basic' level is "technician" and its just a test and doesn't require knowledge of morse code.

    You might even like it.

    Jon
    W2MC

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    Default Re: a web site for cheep radios

    Originally posted by jonemac
    Check out:

    http://www.discounttwo-wayradio.com/

    I've never used 'em, but the prices are pretty good, and well within the price of a modified ham rig.]\]
    AHHHH! NO NO NO NO NO NO. They are lying about themselves to begin with. See their logo that says "No Games, No Gimicks"? Their entire website is a gimick. They make it look like they are selling real radio by listing motorola model numbers. What they are really saying is the cheap piece of junk toy radios they sell are "comparable" to those other models. First of all, there is no comparison, other than the cases are both black. They don't even tell you what make/model radio they are selling!!!! Wonder why? They probably know that no one will buy it!

    DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THAT PLACE!
    Last edited by nmfire; 03-15-2005 at 06:02 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Default Re: Re: a web site for cheep radios

    Originally posted by nmfire
    DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THAT PLACE!
    I have purchased from them in the past. Myself and 2 other FFs bought 3 Vertex VX-500's from them a few years ago.........

    1 of them was dropped from the engine while driving down the roadat ~40 MPH....... Never had any problems with the radio.

    The other 2 radios were sent back multiple times for the same problem...... You could receive fine, and you could transmit, but nobody could hear your voice. The techs could never seem to find anything wrong with them. We would get them back and they would work fine for a month or 2, then the same thing would occur. We got very frustrated with them and wanted to take the radios somewhere local to be repaired and we were told by Discount that the warranty that came with our radio was only valid through them. This was because they bought all of these radios on some kind of Closeout/Clearance and the warranty was valid from the time of original purchase (when Discount bought them). They sell the radios whenever they can and would honor the warranty from the time you buy it from them for the length of time, as long as you send it to them to fix it. They would not pick up the tab for us sending them into a local shop......
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    Well, since they don't tell you what make/model portable radio you are buying, now you might get a box of cracker-jacks with an antenna. If what they were selling had a good reputation, they would show the make/model for people see. They are probably selling some junk Ritron/Jobcom or forign labeled crap that I wouldn't give to my little cousin as a toy. Their marketing tactics are clearly made to mislead the customer into thinking they are buying a "real" radio. Even if it turns out they are selling a "good" radio, I wouldn't buy from them because they are obviously sleezy, no-good, scam artists looking to make a buck off the unknowing customer.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Modifying a HAM radio to transmit on other frequencies is not illegal. It only becomes illegal if you use the radio to transmit on frequencies you're not allowed to be on.

    Now, radios are designed to operate within a certain band, so while you may be able to do it, the radio won't operate as efficiently on those "out of band" frequencies. You'll get less ERP (Effective Radiated Power) because the electronics weren't designed to handle it. Also as someone else pointed out, the radio may not meet the narrow band requirements particular to your department's use of the channel.

    "Technically possible" and "designed for the task" aren't the same things. Personally, I would use a radio built for what your intended use is. It isn't illegal to use the radio on those other frequencies if you're permitted to talk on the channel in the first place, provided the radio you use can conform to the requirements of that frequency.

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