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Baofeng UV5Ra progaming for EMS

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#1
Hello, I work for American Medical Response in New Haven CT. My company does not provide portable radios that work on the company frequency so myself and a few other employees purchased these radios so that we would be able to have contact with our dispatchers when we are away from the truck. My problem is that I can receive transmissions very clearly in most places however I cant be heard when I try to transmit unless I'm very close to our station. I'm guessing it's because I have something set improperly. Would anyone be able to tell me what settings I should be using? Also the company has switched to the chair car frequency (155.205) for its primary dispatching. I have the CHIRP software and the cable as well.

I should mention that this is my first radio programming attempt so I would appreciate if answers were kept simple. Thanks.

I know these radios are not strictly approved for this use however our company seems to not take our safety as seriously as we do and unfortunately we had to take that into our own hands.
 
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#2
I'm no public safety radio tech, but I did just buy one of these to use as a makeshift scanner with transmit disabled. I do know that the radio has Low and High power transmit options for each channel. I do not know the wattage rating of those options. Try making sure (in CHIRP) that your power level is set to high. If that is the case and you still can't be heard by dispatch, it is probably a case where the radio is not powerful enough. Most EMS portables are paired with repeaters to the higher powered mobile radio in the ambulance.
 

Thunderknight

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#3
I cant be heard when I try to transmit unless I'm very close to our station. I'm guessing it's because I have something set improperly.
Assuming your company's transmitter is at the station, that is entirely possible that portables don't work as well as mobiles. The base station is probably 100 watts, and your portable is 5 watts. Therefore hugely imbalanced power. The system might be designed for only mobile radios (which are usually 35-110 watts). More power (generally) means it goes further.

I know these radios are not strictly approved for this use however our company seems to not take our safety as seriously as we do and unfortunately we had to take that into our own hands.
Which is why you should stop right now. You may be in violation of Federal law.
You have to have permission of the licensee (your company) to program radios that operate under the company's license.
I would suggest that perhaps you open a dialog with management/company that explains you are willing to purchase your own radios but you feel that having them available is a safety issue. That way the company doesn't have to pay for them, and if you have their permission you are covering yourself.
 

teufler

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#4
ok, with Chirp, make sure you have set the correct frequeny, the righ sub tone, tone is fine, tone mode is tone>tone, fm mode will work, give alittle better signal, high power. now if you are using for primarily monitoring, such as med ?, some command, it will work. If you use an external antenna, the radio will "reach out" better. Amazon has several that work with the baofeng antenna connector. This will slow you down from exiting the vehicle but you can receive better and transmit better too. Also tell the company what you are doing, they probably want fuss at all, As far as other settings in chirp, there are none . I recently bought an F8-HP unit, the 8 watt unit, with a big battery. 5 or 8 watts , not alot of difference, but with an external attenna, big diference.
 
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#5
In addition to the correct frequency, correct sub-audible (PL) tone, you need to be using the narrowband setting. Transmitting in wideband mode is illegal on Part 90 licensed systems.
 

jaspence

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#6
UV-5R

While this radio is fine for casual ham use, I would not trust it for anything important. Even a used XTS3000 or HT1250 is a better radio.My XTS reaches the repeater from distances well beyond the average Baofeng. I know I'm talking more money, but I got a good used series one XTS3000 for about $200.
 
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#7
Guitarguy,

Are you programming in the same frequency for transmit and receive? It could be that you're communicating via simplex and not through the repeater (assuming there is one) which might account for your being heard only when close to the station. Typically when working with repeaters, a radio transmits on one frequency and receives on another. If you're unfamiliar with programming, a visit to the people who program your vehicle's radios might be in order. Perhaps they would provide you with input/output frequencies and applicable tones that may be used.

You should exercise caution with what you are trying to do. Making a mistake and transmitting in a public safety band (wrong frequency and without permission) can land you in a lot of trouble and might cost you in terms of serious fines and maybe the loss of your job. - Wouldn't want that to happen.

BHarvey2
 
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