1. #1
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    Exclamation Looking for Grants for a Radio Repeater

    The local departmentsin my area have got a Radio to Radio channel to use whil on scene. we are all currently looking into getting a repeated mutual aid frequency so everyone has the same frequency and can talk over greater distances. anyone know where I can get info on what needs to be done and where I can get some grants.

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    kuato- post this in the fire grant forums too. You will find a lot of very helpful people and information there.

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    Before you even bother, have you all come up with a system plan yet? They are going to want detailed equipment breakdowns and a professional system design. If you just tell them you want $10,000 for a repeater, it goes in the circular file.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Talking Show me the money

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    Before you even bother, have you all come up with a system plan yet? They are going to want detailed equipment breakdowns and a professional system design. If you just tell them you want $10,000 for a repeater, it goes in the circular file.
    If you spend $10000 for a repeater you are nuts!!! I have several for sale at that price!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RES81CUE
    If you spend $10000 for a repeater you are nuts!!! I have several for sale at that price!
    Apparently you don't know the cost of a Quantar / Quantro repeater, the low loss feed lines, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    That is my whole point. You need more than a repeater. When you submit the grant, they are going to want to see exactly why you need it, how you are going to impliment its use, what equipment you are going to use, how it going to be installed, how much is costs including the equipment and the labor, and how it will benefit everyone.

    We just put in a new Motorola UHF Quantar at work. Analog conventional and it was $16,000. And that was using the existing site equipment. We just took the old repeater out and put this new one in.

    We put a Kenwodd TKR-850 in for the FD. Does all the same thing except it doesn't have on-board tone remote control and it is only 40 watts max... $2000.

    I know some departments where their repeater is probably two old mobile radios duct taped together in a closet for a total of $10.00.

    It all depends on your needs.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    DOD has lots of surplus radio equipment (military and civilian) available thru FEPP (on loan from the FEDs). You can request/obtain thru your state forester. DOD uses everything you can think of. This includes handheld, vehicle, base repeaters/retrans, dispatch, antenna/masts. Not high probablity of getting new, most often FEPP stuff is a previous generation (they are replacing with new toys). Depends on how picky/poor you are. I've gotten some very good (including new masts). My picky level ends at "is functional" And FEPP is often easier than writing 50 grants/higher probability.

    For an example I just got 154ea very very nice Motorola HT1000s for our county. Nothing wrong with HT1000s to my view.

    VERY difficult to navigate the DRMS system for commo gear as most of the civilian stuff does not have military stock numbers (NSN). So a lot of work to figure out what is listed/available. And as a result little of the commo gear gets reused (so easy to get/little competiton). If you are near one of the 18 DRMS surplus yards, or have a rep that can stop in to shop, it is much easier to make the system work for you in finding commo gear.

    DHS/homeland security grant $ are also a good fit for commo equipment. The peak has passed but you county emergency mgmt (or state) still has some $ flowing in and you may be able to access some.

    Where are you located? And go register and forget the guest thing.
    Last edited by neiowa; 09-22-2006 at 12:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    That is my whole point. You need more than a repeater. When you submit the grant, they are going to want to see exactly why you need it, how you are going to impliment its use, what equipment you are going to use, how it going to be installed, how much is costs including the equipment and the labor, and how it will benefit everyone.
    Also, you can't just put a repeater in place. Frequency cordination, RF studies, and depending on where it's installed, intermod evaluations. Your best bet is to start with an FCC Cordinator for your area. They can get the ball rolling, and help suggest solutions. This isn't something you just want to "put together" and call it "ready".

    I know some departments where their repeater is probably two old mobile radios duct taped together in a closet for a total of $10.00.
    ...and on that note, if you're in public safety, don't even THINK about going that route. If you get two mobile radios together and get a good fire where radio traffic is heavy, expect the radios to be like a toaster oven and turn extra crispy. Alot of the radio units like the GR300 (Essentially 2 mobiles, a power supply, and an interface) are not recommended for public safety, just because of their duty cycle.

    I'm sure a Motorola or Kenwood dealer can find you a suitable used Quantar level repeater somewhere. Yes, you'll pay more for it...BUT... it's a "Public Safety Grade" radio that's made to do the job.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    kuato69 go to your local FCC coordinator. A radio dealer should be able to give you a contact or you may look it up on FCC.gov. They can get all of the particulars on what you need. Get the information together and then find a grant. If there are AFG grants next year be sure to apply then. A big plus on those grants is anything that will support mututal aid.

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    Of course I wasn't actually suggestion one duct tape mobile radios together. That was merely an example of the wide range of "I need a repeater" variations that exist.

    The Kenwood repeater I had installed for the FD has been chugging along without a hiccup for probably 2 or 3 years now and it has 3 departments worth of radio traffic on it. The only perfomance differece between this one and a big expensive quantar that I have noticed thus far is duty cycle. The quantar can do full power 100 watts at 100% duty cycle without a problem. The kenwood is full power 40 watts and you can't hold it dead keyed 100% duty cycle at full power. Nobody around here is that long winded and the time-out timer protects it if something malfunctions.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Hello,

    I built a repeated VHF system for my fire department a couple years back. It works better than county fire dispatch. I would start with contacting APCO. If you are using frequencies out of the public safety pool they will have to coordinate them anyway. On their web site, I think they have a list of their local coordinators. Find the one that is responsible for your area and they will have the software to let you know the height and the power you can go. Remember power is a combination of height, watts and antenna gain minus the losses from cables and filtering. Height is measured as (HAAT) average height above average terrain.

    We got funding through our state forester. We are running a Kenwood TKR -740, TPL 100 watt amp, Duracom 25 amp power supply, since we are on a multi radio tower site and using a separate antenna for receive and transmit we are not running a duplexer, which would be the case when doing both RX and TX with one antenna. We have 20ft of vertical separation between our receive and transmit antennas on the tower. On receive; we are using a fiplex window filter with a multicoupler and pre amp. On the transmitter we are using telewave combiner with 10” cans and dual isolators. I think at the time we got the project done for about $15,000. We can talk out from the site with the portables about 60 miles and we are 125 + miles with the mobiles. The site hears a lot, so the reason for all the filtering.
    Last edited by FFDFFD; 09-25-2006 at 03:25 AM.

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    Thumbs down No one knows it all!!!

    I designed and built a UHF repeater station for my fire department 3 years ago for a little less then $3000. That included Motorola 50 watt Repeater (I do not know what model #) Antannea, duplexer, 150' of coax and frequency coordination. The tower was donated and I think cost around $2500. My point is You can spend as much or as little you need to get the job done.

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    Just out of curiosity why did you use the 740. I also used a 740 to do a county fire replacement but then I did 4 more and found the 750 to be much cheaper, also it has its own final amp so if the afterburner dies the 750 can be used barefoot until a new one is obtained.

    Birken

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    The TKR-750 lists for $1,763 and comes with a 50 watt amp which has a 100% duty cycle at 25 watts. The TKR-740 lists for $3,258 it has a 5 watt amp. Our application has 110 ERP (Effective Radiated Power) most of 3 db gain produced by the antenna gain is lost through the cables and filters. Using either radio, we would need the radio to drive another amp. Both radios will do similar jobs on the transmit. Where the difference in the two radios is on the receive. The TKR-740 has a much more sensitive receiver. It can hear much better that the TKR-750 and the difference would be most noticeable with portables. In addition, we would also be able to run more gain on our pre amp into the TKR-740 because of the filtering in that radio. I think in our application, if we did not use the TKR-740 we couldn’t be 60 miles out from the site talking in on a portable as we can or talking out of some of the metal buildings that we can’t get a signal on our cell phones when we enter.

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    Last I tested our TKR-750 on a service monitor, it was .22uV at 12dB SINAD. That is out performing the spec of .35uV.

    The TKR-7400 is spec'd at .30uV @ 12dB SINAD. How is it actually performing for you?

    I just looked up the the Icomm equivilant (which can also do 50 continuious) and it is is spec'd at .25uV @ 12dB SINAD.


    Without significant donations of equipment and labor, you won't get a repeater on the air for $3000. I wish I still had the estimate spreadsheet from our's. These are some rough numbers.

    $1,400 Kenwood Repeater
    $500 Duplexor and cables
    $1,000 Tone remote and interconnect equipment for dispatch & cross-patch
    $500 Power supply, batteries, rack mounting stuff, wiring
    $1000 Coaxial cable, connectors, parts for a 200ft tower
    $500 Antenna & mouting hardware
    $7,000+ Tower climbers to install the coax and antennas!!!!!!
    $500 Thereabouts for FCC and coordination fees and other misc BS

    So, that is an easy $5000 before your signal ever leaves the radio room. The tower work is a real killer if you need to install new coax and antennas. The only reason we got it done was by some creative sharing of resources that I managed to arrange with another town agency that was doing the same thing. It ended up being win-win for both of us and made the project possible.

    You can easily spend that entire first $5000 just on the repeater itself. It can easily cost more than that for just the repeater. It all depends on what you need it to do and how much you are in love with certain manufacturers. Examples:

    Motorola Quantar: ~$15,000 for analog conventional (nothing fancy)
    Motorola MTR2000: ~$7,000 for analog conventional
    Icom IC-FR3000: ~$1,600 for conventional analog
    Kenwood TKR-750: ~$1,400 for conventional analog

    If you do not need 100 watt continuous duty operatio, then you are gaining NOTHING buy spending $7000 or $15000 on a Motorola log stamped on the front of a box.
    Last edited by nmfire; 09-25-2006 at 09:29 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I do not have a lot of Kenwood experience, but tons of Motorola and ICOM experience.

    I am impressed with the ICOM product. (It has taken many years for me to finally go with that - after being with M for so long)

    I pretty much agree with the concept that you unless you need the high power continuous duty system, you can use the more inexpensive ones with no problem.

    Now, as to duct taping radios together... What can your department afford? If all you can afford is a GR300 style system, then add a fan to the PA, set the TOT, and rock and roll. Areas not to scrimp are the ANTENNA and HARDLINE. Get that DB 224 antenna for $400.00 and not the Hustler antenna for $75.00. 20 years from now, that DB antenna will still be working great, while the hustler has been replaced 8 times. Get a pro to install it. Just simple things like how you weatherproof your connectors make all the difference in the world.

    Use high quality hardline. RG8 from Radio Shack just does not cut it. It will cost more, but it will make such a difference.

    Power vs Tower. The Tower WINS! What that means, is height is very important. 50 watts versus 100 watts will give you some gain, but 100 feet higher elevation will give you much more range, in most cases.

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    Dont forget about what band youre using. Higher the frequency the more expensive the cables and the duplexers! And the original poster stated its just to get out farther, they were using a fireground channel already.

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