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  • #16
    out of band modifications

    Originally posted by Frmboybuck
    The MARS/CAP mod on 99% of radios will yiels 130-174 MHz. No tech is required in most cases. It can be done by the user. Like I said before NO ONE will know what radio you are using unless you tell them.
    The older radios were easy to modify that is why the FCC forced the manufacturers to make out of band modifications difficult. Newer radios are easy to do MARS/CAP mod but going out of HAM bands requires the changing of microscopic diodes

    Kenwood TH79 Dual Bander MARS/CAP Modification
    Before: VHF RX - 118.000-173.995 TX - 144.000-147.995
    UHF RX - 438.000-449.995 TX - 438.000-449.995

    After: VHF RX - 118.000-173.995 TX - 142.000-151.995
    UHF RX - 420.000-449.995 TX - 420.000-449.995

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    • #17
      For a mobile radio in a personal vehicle, I really have no issue with someone using a modified ham radio as long as:
      (a) It isn't purchased by the department
      (b) It isn't a piece of junk that causes problems or interference
      (c) You know what you are doing with the radio since it is easy to go off-frequency
      (d) Being a ham radio operator is a plus

      Yes, it is technically illegal. But so is going 5mph over the speed limit, slow-rolling a stop sign, or not using your turn signal. So is drinking if you are under 21. So is... would you like me to continue? It is one of those things that the FCC does not care about unless you are doing something stupid. I've been using a modified ham radio since the day I got my license. (I have a real radio anyway), but I'm not in fear of any three-letter agency giving a hoot. If you start doing something stupid or abusing it, they will start to care and the last thing you want is the FCC pounding on your door. You will never win.

      Apparatus radios and portable radios should NEVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER be ham radios. Period. End of story. If someone is stupid enough to do that, they deserve everything they get when the FCC gets wind of it. I would turn them in myself if I knew about it! Stupid stupid stupid.
      Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by rfdlou
        The older radios were easy to modify that is why the FCC forced the manufacturers to make out of band modifications difficult. Newer radios are easy to do MARS/CAP mod but going out of HAM bands requires the changing of microscopic diodes

        Kenwood TH79 Dual Bander MARS/CAP Modification
        Before: VHF RX - 118.000-173.995 TX - 144.000-147.995
        UHF RX - 438.000-449.995 TX - 438.000-449.995

        After: VHF RX - 118.000-173.995 TX - 142.000-151.995
        UHF RX - 420.000-449.995 TX - 420.000-449.995

        You dont have to change diodes....just remove them. Use a pair of tweezers and extending the RX/TX is easier to do than the mars/cap mod....then you will have
        67-174.995 and 400-511.995 RX,
        136-174.995 and 400-511.995 TX.

        I wouldnt be afraid of using a VX-150 for ems work but using it on the fireground is just asking for trouble. They are not built to withstand the rigors of fire ground work. Look for the Vertex public saftey radios for that application.

        VX-130, VX-160, VX-180, VX-210A, VX-410, VX-420, VX-510, VX-520UD, VX-530, VX-600, VX-800, VX-820, VX-900, and the VX-920.

        My personal choice is the vx-800. Thats what I carry. The 180 is also a very good fire service radio
        Buck
        Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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        • #19
          Can anyone name a type accepted radio that can be programed by the user? Somthing with easy to get software (free or cheep is good) and doesn't require all sorts of interface boxes (cheep or easy to build is OK)?

          I guess that leaves M out of the question...

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          • #20
            Kenwoods, Icoms, Vertex, usually you can get the programming stuff for those radios fairly easy. Infact i was gonna program a Kenwood and when i bought the cable i was givin the link to get programming software for well lil or nothing. them brands are good brands also

            Comment


            • #21
              You can get programming software and cables for all 3 major brands. Cables usually run form $10 to $30 on ebay and software is usually under $20. For example the vx-180, which is a great fire service radio. You can get a cable shipped to your door for $25 and software, to your door, will cost you $9.95. Kenwood and Icom are very comparable also. You can find good deals on the stuff on ebay as long as you are careful and know what you are doing
              Buck
              Assistant Chief/EMT-B

              Comment


              • #22
                All BK portables (L,E,G and D series) and the Vertex VX-900 (Forest Service version) can be programmed by the user via the front keypad. It will require a small programming/cloning cable to do so.

                I sell and service radios and one of the lines that we rep is Vertex. I do not sell the VX-180 as a "fire service radio". Its a good little radio for the man that wants to purchase his own personal radio at a lower cost but I would be reluctant to sell/use them as fire grounds communications radio. I have had a few departments use them in place of pagers and they are happy with them. However, I do recomend that departments that are looking to do this look more at the VX-400 or VX-800 level radios. Furthermore, I'm not certain that it is the best interest of the departments operation to have members carring a two-way communications device at all times vs. a one-way alerting device.
                Last edited by toddman; 08-27-2006, 10:32 AM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I was thinking of the VX-180 as a personal radio used for the fire service. Not as a deptartment purchased mainstay for communications. My personal pick is the VX-800 for both the personal radio and the dept. radio but they are a little pricey for the individual. The 900 is a nice radio but is a bit bigger than what I want to carry. Furthermore, I would never own or recommend a radio with a full DTMF keypad as one that will be carried on the fire scene. Just too much abuse for that key pad. Just my personal opinion....Your milage may vary
                  Buck
                  Assistant Chief/EMT-B

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Anyone have links to the spot to buy or download the above software?

                    I've been looking around but haven't seen anything. I'm kinda leaning towards Kenwood products. I have a TH-D7 ham portable and love it. I figure the ham and pro radios from the same manufacturer would be similar.

                    I need to have the ability to change the programming myself. I can’t see paying a dealer each time I want to make a change to it.

                    When I look to buy a new radio, I make sure software and cables and any needed interface boxes can be obtained fairly easily.

                    I held off on buying a Minitor 5 because of the software and interface cost ($350). Then I found the software for free and found plans to build the interface for about $30. That changed my mind. When I received my Minitor 5, I found out the dealer royally FUBARed the programming. Lucky for me I could fix it and not have to deal with the shop.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      You can find what you are looking for on ebay. If you are looking for a Kenwood, do a search for "kenwood TK" That will yield you everything you need. Software, radios, programming cables....ETC. We currently use Kenwoods on the dept. Personally I dont care for them at all. Their scan is horrible and the RX is alot weaker than our Vertex radios
                      Buck
                      Assistant Chief/EMT-B

                      Comment

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