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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-21-2012, 4:21 PM
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Default Lots of used commercial radios now available, Examiner.com article

Used radios flood the market, hobbyists scoop them up - Hartford Hobby Radio | Examiner.com
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Old 12-28-2012, 8:59 AM
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Yep - "FCC rule change" is usually good news for us.
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Old 12-29-2012, 8:59 PM
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I would love to hear what radios people are looking to buy and why.

Would be cool to pick up some new gear cheap but I will be avoiding Motorola. What else do you guys see coming onto the market that is much more user friendly? I want something as simple or nearly as simple as what I have now. Just hook it up with a cable that does not cost $250 and program it with a RT Systems type program.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:11 PM
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Kenwood and Icom radios are often great alternatives, programming software is easier to come by, as are the cables. Newer models usually use Windows based applications which don't require antique DOS computers and are also more forgiving of mistakes.

I see tons of great fairly late Kenwood analog radios like TK-2180/3180 portables, showing up in surplus circles. These radios are far to superior to the any ham gear quality and performance wise, and still usable in LMR (as they are fully narrowband capable). Tons of other Icom radios are showing up too.

Many of these are just as good if not better than some Moto gear, and often cheaper on the used market.
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Old 12-30-2012, 8:16 AM
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Default 900 MHz commercial equipment for amateur use

There is a good supply of high quality Kenwood and Motorola 900 MHz used equipment available for amateur use at very reasonable prices. Ditto for repeater hardware. This has led to a big increase in 900 MHz use including wide area coverage linked repeater systems. Reminds me of 2 meters and 440 MHz back in the early days - interesting conversations and fun!

Here are a couple of links with more information:
Welcome to kw902.com!
http://www.ohioaprs.net/ar902/
http://users.innercite.com/kj6ko/page8.html
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Old 12-31-2012, 2:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3td View Post
There is a good supply of high quality Kenwood and Motorola 900 MHz used equipment available for amateur use at very reasonable prices. Ditto for repeater hardware. This has led to a big increase in 900 MHz use including wide area coverage linked repeater systems. Reminds me of 2 meters and 440 MHz back in the early days - interesting conversations and fun!

Here are a couple of links with more information:
Welcome to kw902.com!
http://www.ohioaprs.net/ar902/
http://users.innercite.com/kj6ko/page8.html
Yep..couldn't agree more. There are currently 5 900 MHz repeaters in my area that I can get into. Usage is sparce currently but its picking up slowly. I picked up a Motorola MCS2000 model II 30 watt radio for about $100.00. No radio modificatiuons required, just some software hex editing.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skypilot007 View Post
Yep..couldn't agree more. There are currently 5 900 MHz repeaters in my area that I can get into. Usage is sparce currently but its picking up slowly. I picked up a Motorola MCS2000 model II 30 watt radio for about $100.00. No radio modificatiuons required, just some software hex editing.
I agree, the MCS2000 mobiles are excellent and readily available at reasonable prices. I have one I use as a mobile, and one as a simplex link on 927.500 MHz PL 151.4 (EchoLink node 92752) that is linked to the *927_TECH* EchoLink conference. Also have a Kenwood 981 mobile and 481 portable I picked up for future use and to get familiar with Kenwood programming software, as well as an Alinco DJ-G29 for 222/900 MHz.
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Old 01-01-2013, 9:23 PM
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Thanks for you guy's responses and wisdom on the issue.

Do you foresee with an increase in commercial gear out into the ham community an increase in ease of use?

Quite frankly I really do like Motorola gear, but as I have stated in other threads they are just to much of a pain in the butt to deal with for me. I would love to buy some RT Systems software to program my newest Motorola handheld, install a W & W Manufacturing battery to it and put on a higher gain Comet antenna. Guess I hope that some of this gear can be more mainstream and supported by other companies within the hobby.
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Old 01-01-2013, 9:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 990adv View Post
install a W & W Manufacturing battery to it
There are plenty of posts on various radio forums discussing the junk this company sells. 50% is trash, & the other 50% is garbage. One fellow had his W&W charger burst into flames while charging his W&W battery. Good thing he was home.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:09 PM
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The LDS church is big in my area, they have set up nets using the surplus UHF radios, set up repeaters and they are getting their GMRS licenses. Not really a bad thing if there is a local emergency and they will let non LDS members join their weekly net.

Quite a bit of traffic on them in my area.

Looks like I'm going to have to go to 900 Mhz and HF.

I have bought several Kenwood TK-840's and they have been great. I will admit that I do have some GMRS freqs set up on one, but it's on the radio I use on the UHF. I also have a VHF in my vehicle when it's 20 degrees out or less, I hate to have my good radios in my vehicle when it's that cold, too much moisture. I paid under $50.00 for each, just carefully looking on E BAY, but prices have gone up. I'd stay away from the guys who show a 4 foot pile of them and want $75.00 without a microphone or mounting bracket.
The one's I have got have cleaned up almost as good as new, you just have to look close and communicate with the seller.

So far the cold and moisture has not hurt either, they are built like tanks. It's good to have a friend who programs them also. I've decided to buy any I find in excellent condition that are low priced, sooner or later the good one's will dry up. I need some handhelds now.

John

Last edited by dksac2; 01-02-2013 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 01-02-2013, 6:40 AM
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I also have some 840's I picked up on the cheap from a friend. Great radios. 440-490 coverage, & they don't have to be retuned for 440-450.
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Old 01-02-2013, 9:02 AM
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They offer them in three different freq ranges. The one's you speak of cover the amatuer ham band as well as the entire GMRS band also.

From what I've been told, a lot of GMRS repeaters have been being put in, especially in areas where the VHF / UHF bands are full.

There are 2 GMRS repeaters in my area and with 25 watts in the radio, they work about as good as many of the commercial repeaters and due to the location of the repeaters, they have quite a bit of range.

I think they have been a huge help in the more crowded areas and offer some great gear very reasonable.

John
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:12 AM
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Are the commercial Kenwoods better than the ham versions when it comes to cutting off the static burst at the end of a received transmission? My TM-V71A always gives me a blast of static (even on repeater frequencies using PL tones), and I would love to get my hands on something like the commercial Motorolas I've used in prior jobs which never did that.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:45 AM
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Default reverse burst

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaMike View Post
Are the commercial Kenwoods better than the ham versions when it comes to cutting off the static burst at the end of a received transmission? My TM-V71A always gives me a blast of static (even on repeater frequencies using PL tones), and I would love to get my hands on something like the commercial Motorolas I've used in prior jobs which never did that.
Most quality commercial equipment now has 'reverse burst' capability built into the PL/DPL encoder/transmitter. They all seem to implement it slightly differently due to patents on the technology, etc. Look for Kenwood radios equipped with Quiet Talk (QT). This is all done in the transmitter, so even if your radio is equipped with QT/PL, you will still get the annoying squelch tail if the person you are listening to does not have that feature in their radio.

Things have come a long way in the commercial world since the PL reeds that were used to vibrate at a specific sub-audible frequency and needed the reverse burst to quickly stop the vibration!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksac2 View Post
The LDS church is big in my area, they have set up nets using the surplus UHF radios, set up repeaters and they are getting their GMRS licenses. Not really a bad thing if there is a local emergency and they will let non LDS members join their weekly net.

Quite a bit of traffic on them in my area.

Looks like I'm going to have to go to 900 Mhz and HF.

I have bought several Kenwood TK-840's and they have been great. I will admit that I do have some GMRS freqs set up on one, but it's on the radio I use on the UHF. I also have a VHF in my vehicle when it's 20 degrees out or less, I hate to have my good radios in my vehicle when it's that cold, too much moisture. I paid under $50.00 for each, just carefully looking on E BAY, but prices have gone up. I'd stay away from the guys who show a 4 foot pile of them and want $75.00 without a microphone or mounting bracket.
The one's I have got have cleaned up almost as good as new, you just have to look close and communicate with the seller.

So far the cold and moisture has not hurt either, they are built like tanks. It's good to have a friend who programs them also. I've decided to buy any I find in excellent condition that are low priced, sooner or later the good one's will dry up. I need some handhelds now.

John
The LDS church can't get a GMRS license each family will have to be licensed unless all of them are blood relatives.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:08 PM
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There is a LDS church in a commercial building across the street from where I work. It doesn't look much like a church but it sure does have quite the array of antennae on the property. Numerous HF verticles and what looks like VHF and UHF antannae as well. I'm curious as to what they do with the radio gear?
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Old 01-05-2013, 7:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 990adv View Post
I would love to hear what radios people are looking to buy and why.

Would be cool to pick up some new gear cheap but I will be avoiding Motorola. What else do you guys see coming onto the market that is much more user friendly? I want something as simple or nearly as simple as what I have now. Just hook it up with a cable that does not cost $250 and program it with a RT Systems type program.
Kenwood.

I've got a few Kenwood portables and mobiles for both UHF and VHF and they are an excellent alternative to Motorola. Software is easy to find and usually free(unlike Motorola). They are also very easy to program even if you have to use DOS. A few of mine have DOS-based programmers and I have never had any issues with that.

Another great thing about Kenwood radios is that they'll usually tune into the amateur bands without needing realignment. All of mine have been able to be programmed from the 150mhz range into 2 meters or from the 450mhz range into the 70cm band with no issues.
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Old 01-06-2013, 9:17 AM
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Default Corporate vs. Individual GMRS Licenses...

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The LDS church can't get a GMRS license each family will have to be licensed unless all of them are blood relatives.
That is true...up to a point. A close reading of FCC 95.5 indicates that if a corporate entity held a GMRS license prior to 1987 they can continue to renew it indefinitely. Apparently the eligibility rules changed in 1987 to families and related parties only.
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Old 01-07-2013, 4:56 PM
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Here's a question. Could you take one of these older radios, 80s maybe, and modify them so they transmit on their original 150MHz public safety band, but with the new FCC Narrowband requirements? Thanks for any response.
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Old 01-07-2013, 6:46 PM
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Here's a question. Could you take one of these older radios, 80s maybe, and modify them so they transmit on their original 150MHz public safety band, but with the new FCC Narrowband requirements? Thanks for any response.
No. They'd have to then go through the complete FCC certification process again, by the manufacturer. Hence, why so many WB radios are now available.
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