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Business Mobile Radio

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Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
3
Location
St. Pete, FL
#1
Hello everyone,

I know this is my first post and I will probably get yelled at to use the search. I did and found some information and threads but all of them seemed to be on an extreme level compared to what I am looking for or I had more questions but didn't want to hijack any threads.

So, being prior military, we never had to worry about FCC license and whatnot so all this is new to me.

I have a security business in the city and I want to legally be able to operate on a VHF channel for business purposes. The plan is to have one in my building and use it to talk to people with handhelds and in vehicles. I'm preferably looking to get around the 10-30 mile range and understand 30 is stretching in a city unless I have repeaters. Right now I was looking at using an XTL5000 VHF radio and staying within the 150-174MHz band.

The questions I have are:

1) what kind of FCC license do I need. I looked into it and it seemed like I needed an IG - industrial/commercial - conventional? and once I file for that they will issue me a frequency to use? Do I need to hire a frequency coordinator?

2) Since this will not be used for shipboard or aviation, do I need a license to install the radio and use it?

3) If I want to get in a frequency of 117-149MHz, is that a territory I don't even want to venture in?

I realize a different route would be cell phones or PTT but I also want to be able to use it during national disasters when the cell phone towers go out and I'm left with my VHF!

Any other suggestions or alternative routes would be greatly appreciated. I understand some of this may be easily accessible through search, google, and the FCC page, but it was all very confusing for me.

Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
3,237
Location
Texas
#2
1. What are you wanting to use the system for? (Is anything sensitive information?)

2. May be worthwhile to research service based radio systems offering space.

3. Are you planning on running digital or analog? P25 or DMR if digital.

4. Budgeting for new or used equipment? Motorola XTL and XTS radios are no longer sold though still under support. Motorola Apex is the current P25/public safety grade line.

5. Is Motorola the only brand you are willing to purchase? Or would other companies such as Tait and Simoco be options as well (both have full featured P25 and DMR and are well established public safety grade manufacturers overseas). I'd recommend Icom or Kenwood but have no experience with their Public Safety gear.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
3
Location
St. Pete, FL
#3
1. What are you wanting to use the system for? (Is anything sensitive information?)

2. May be worthwhile to research service based radio systems offering space.

3. Are you planning on running digital or analog? P25 or DMR if digital.

4. Budgeting for new or used equipment? Motorola XTL and XTS radios are no longer sold though still under support. Motorola Apex is the current P25/public safety grade line.

5. Is Motorola the only brand you are willing to purchase? Or would other companies such as Tait and Simoco be options as well (both have full featured P25 and DMR and are well established public safety grade manufacturers overseas). I'd recommend Icom or Kenwood but have no experience with their Public Safety gear.
Would this be considered Public Safety space? It's a private security business.

1. It's for my private security business. Just a way for my employees to keep in touch with the main office. I would like the option to go secure if need be.

2.As in someone whole leases me radio equipment? (sorry, new to this)

3. I was thinking digital. Seems like they have more programmable options and is what everyone is moving towards but I would be open to analog if it were a better option.

4/5. Motorola XTL are just what I know best as far as using, setting up and programing. I would be open to other options, just really want something I can program and name preset channels on for my employees to easily be able to understand.

Overall if there is a better option for me to go about something like this, I'm open to suggestions. I really am not to in depth in some of the technical understanding of this field. mostly just how to install, maintain, troubleshoot and operate, so sorry if I'm not understanding everything.
 

sfd119

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
1,635
#4
No, you don't get Public Safety frequency allotments for a private security BUSINESS.

You'll need a business license. Once you file, they'll issue your freq(s) to you. Yes, you need a freq coordinator.

Why do you want a freq of 117-149? There's no real reason to have a channel in that range and it is unlikely you'll get a business frequency in that range.

You can do encryption using P25 or DMR but you'll have to have the proper emissions type.

OP, your best bet is to contact your local radio shop. They'll handle everything for you licensing wise and it's quick and easy.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,208
Location
Point Nemo.
#5
Yeah, I agree, you need to shop around a few local radio shops.

A couple of notes:
Don't walk into this with any preconceived ideas about what frequencies you want to use. In some areas it's very difficult to get VHF frequency pairs. You may have better luck with UHF or 800MHz
Don't decide on a band, frequency, analog/digital, etc. before talking to a few shops.

Running your own radio system isn't a big deal. What is a big deal is getting a repeater on a location appropriate for the coverage you want. Unless you have access to the rooftop of a high building, you'll end up renting tower/building space for this system. That can get expensive.

You might be better off talking to a local radio shop that sell service on an existing system. This will give you the wide area coverage you want while reducing your costs.

If you already own the XTL5000, you might be better off selling it and using the funds from that to offset your initial setup on a leased system.

And you won't get anything in the 117-149MHz area. That's air band, federal and amateur radio spectrum.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
3
Location
St. Pete, FL
#6
Yeah, I agree, you need to shop around a few local radio shops.

A couple of notes:
Don't walk into this with any preconceived ideas about what frequencies you want to use. In some areas it's very difficult to get VHF frequency pairs. You may have better luck with UHF or 800MHz
Don't decide on a band, frequency, analog/digital, etc. before talking to a few shops.

Running your own radio system isn't a big deal. What is a big deal is getting a repeater on a location appropriate for the coverage you want. Unless you have access to the rooftop of a high building, you'll end up renting tower/building space for this system. That can get expensive.

You might be better off talking to a local radio shop that sell service on an existing system. This will give you the wide area coverage you want while reducing your costs.

If you already own the XTL5000, you might be better off selling it and using the funds from that to offset your initial setup on a leased system.

And you won't get anything in the 117-149MHz area. That's air band, federal and amateur radio spectrum.
Thanks!

I'll talk to a local radio shop then if that's all it takes. The part I wasn't so sure on was the licensing to use the frequencies and if I needed it to operate and maintain.

I don't own an XTL it's just what I know, but sounds like there are better cheaper options out there.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Point Nemo.
#7
Thanks!

I'll talk to a local radio shop then if that's all it takes. The part I wasn't so sure on was the licensing to use the frequencies and if I needed it to operate and maintain.
If you purchase radio service from a shop, you won't have to worry about licensing, it's covered by the system operator.
Repeaters can be expensive, for a good one. Maintenance can get expensive, too.

Benefit of getting service from a shop is that they can spread that cost out over a lot of users. You'll get better coverage at a lower price. Some systems are even state or region wide, so that might be a benefit.

Shop around, and ask questions. Don't go in with preconceived ideas about what your radio should be, brand, emission type, frequency, etc. If you walk in the door like that, the sales guys will smell you coming and have a solution that will match your budget exactly and then slightly more. Sounds like all you need is basic service, one channel/talk group, maybe encryption. Be careful about what they try to up-sell you on. There are several brand, digital types, etc. that will do what you want. Don't get hung up on brand names.

Also, ask them about a simple "talk around" channel. They'll often have an option to add this to your radios. That would give you a short range fall back channel that doesn't rely on their repeater network.

I don't own an XTL it's just what I know, but sounds like there are better cheaper options out there.
XTL5000 is a slightly older high end public safety grade radio. They are nice, but even though they are no longer in production (as far as I know), they are still priced really high, even on the used market. For your uses you can get a perfectly suitable radio a lot cheaper. But.... talk to the shop first. They'll probably lease you a radio for a set price per month.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
530
Location
NM
#8
i agree with all the above.

for a security business, leasing time on a wide area system makes more sense then flat out purchasing.

your monthly rental cost will be far less then the cost of purchasing and maintaining a private system, even if you finance the high initial cost.

takes the worry about licensing out as well.

Beyond that, it would be my personal reccomendation to get quotes on
2 repeater system channels and 1 simplex talk channel, possibly even having that simplex be a talkaround/fallback from repeater channel 2.

Primary traffic would be on repeater 1. Dispatch to field units, normal patrol, etc. Digital is more secure then analog, but not to anyone with the right type of scanner. Secure would be an option here.

Secondary traffic would be on the talkaround channel. If you have two or more guards on a single location that need to talk to each other, but still be able to hear dispatch trying to call them.
Also, if you do events like some companies i've worked with, the event is on the channel 2.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,669
#9
I agree with folks that are steering you to using a radio service provider instead of going it on your own. While doing it yourself is possible, it's generally more expensive and much more trouble. Going with a service provider will generally get you much better performance, range, and reliability often at a much lower cost. Just make sure that your contract spells out specifics you need like coverage area (often this will be one area for mobile/base radios and another, smaller area for handheld coverage). That way any coverage issues is for them to work out, not you. You should also verify this range as part of your acceptance process (and include this acceptance in the contract!).

A good service provider will often have multiple repeaters that you can use covering the necessary area. This may be a manual process (if in xxx use channel 1, if in yyy use channel 2), but often it'll be automatic (as in the radio will worry about that instead of your users). They can afford to do this because those sites are shared between several of their users. If you attempted to roll your own, the cost for the equipment, licenses, and sites would be outrageous. If you guess wrong (that site has high RF noise or is in an RF shadow that gives it poor coverage) you may not be able to move due to a long-term site lease. The provider could use that site for other operations, bands, or users that are better suited for the discovered issues while you won't have that option.

I also agree that you should start being open to any band, radio types, modes, or other options. Having opinions on what you need as far as coverage area, security (read encryption), and the like is important but let the providers select what radios, bands, modes, etc. will work best. Since you will be getting several quotes (you will right???), you can then use one company's response to question another's on why company A selected digital 460 MHz while the other selected analog 900 MHz. It may be as simple as that's where their system was built and covers the desired area better (and have them explain why). Remember that your desire isn't to have a VHF-Hi P-25 digital Motorola radio (or whatever), but in reality is to have radio coverage over the specified area so Joe on his mobile radio can talk with Fred on his handheld while Mary back in the office can tell them both about the call on 5th street. What radio, band, or even analog vs. digital really isn't that important, just that your communications are reliable and when necessary secure.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
167
Location
East Texas
#10
Let the professionals help you

Contact the closest two-way radio dealer and let him work for you. That's the reason they have them. There are too many variables to discuss here. Their knowledge and experience can save you a lot of time and trouble, plus it will be done right.

Hello everyone,

I know this is my first post and I will probably get yelled at to use the search. I did and found some information and threads but all of them seemed to be on an extreme level compared to what I am looking for or I had more questions but didn't want to hijack any threads.

So, being prior military, we never had to worry about FCC license and whatnot so all this is new to me.

I have a security business in the city and I want to legally be able to operate on a VHF channel for business purposes. The plan is to have one in my building and use it to talk to people with handhelds and in vehicles. I'm preferably looking to get around the 10-30 mile range and understand 30 is stretching in a city unless I have repeaters. Right now I was looking at using an XTL5000 VHF radio and staying within the 150-174MHz band.

The questions I have are:

1) what kind of FCC license do I need. I looked into it and it seemed like I needed an IG - industrial/commercial - conventional? and once I file for that they will issue me a frequency to use? Do I need to hire a frequency coordinator?

2) Since this will not be used for shipboard or aviation, do I need a license to install the radio and use it?

3) If I want to get in a frequency of 117-149MHz, is that a territory I don't even want to venture in?

I realize a different route would be cell phones or PTT but I also want to be able to use it during national disasters when the cell phone towers go out and I'm left with my VHF!

Any other suggestions or alternative routes would be greatly appreciated. I understand some of this may be easily accessible through search, google, and the FCC page, but it was all very confusing for me.

Thanks in advance!
 
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