Yaesu: Does MARS/CAP mod void warranty?

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TailGator911

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#1
Another discussion in the Uniden forum about gps mods and voided warranties brought a question to mind. I am about to pull the trigger on a Yaesu FT-2DR 2m/440 HT at Gigaparts and will be paying for the MARS/CAP modification that they do. Do they have some sort of agreement or endorsement with Yaesu about this? Would this mod void the manufacturer's warranty? Not sure how that works. I am going to call Gigaparts and ask a stupid question.


JD
kf4anc
 

TailGator911

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#2
Well I answered my own question. Or, rather, Mike @ Gigaparts did. They have an agreement with Yaesu that if the MARS/CAP mod causes a malfunction in the scanner, Gigaparts agrees to pay the repair cost. This mod does not void any warranties from the manufacturer. Mike assured me that none of the Yaesu FT-2DRs have had to be repaired by them as of yet. Good to know.
 

ko6jw_2

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#3
You should also note that GigaParts doesn't require you to show proof that you are authorized to use MARS or CAP frequencies. This is just a way to broadband these radios, of course. A fellow ham who is a CAP member has told me that these mods are useless for CAP use because they are using narrow band and mostly P25.

The radio specs are not guaranteed outside the ham bands. Power output may diminish the farther you get from the intended frequencies. Receive sensitivity may not meet specs either. Not type accepted of course.

By the way, this mod on the FT2 is so simple you could do it yourself in 5 minutes or less. Instructions are online.
 

TailGator911

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#4
Thanks for that, ko6jw_2. I also just called a local dealer who told me the same thing. He said the only benefit to the mod would be to broadband or freeband and that it would be useful in an emergency situation.
 
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#5
He said the only benefit to the mod would be to broadband or freeband and that it would be useful in an emergency situation.
and a liability that exists is one now has a radio capable of transmitting on unauthorized (non amateur) frequencies/systems that, if lost, stolen, misplaced or in the wrong hands, can potentially cause harm to others.

The "emergency" excuse is worn and fails the litmus test in 99 percent of situations where a person rendering aid would use a more appropriate means of contact with emergency services versus jumping on a system without authorization using uncertified equipment.
 
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#6
Does that mean I need to mod my MBITR to only work on the ham bands? Otherwise I don't own a radio, commercial, amateur or military that is not modded for wide band transmit. Some people should probably not venture into that relm while others can handle it.

and a liability that exists is one now has a radio capable of transmitting on unauthorized (non amateur) frequencies/systems that, if lost, stolen, misplaced or in the wrong hands, can potentially cause harm to others.

The "emergency" excuse is worn and fails the litmus test in 99 percent of situations where a person rendering aid would use a more appropriate means of contact with emergency services versus jumping on a system without authorization using uncertified equipment.
 
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#7
I'm curious as to why people want to do the MARS/CAP mod in the first place. MARS is about dead and I think the CAP moved away from that ages ago.
 

ko6jw_2

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#8
An operator that I know had a modified transceiver. He was also a rail enthusiast. One evening he started to call the roll for the local ARES net on a Union Pacific road channel. He didn't have the correct PL set so they probably didn't hear him. Not cool.

There is a widespread belief that anyone can use any frequency in an emergency. As a ham this means that you can use any hame radio frequency in an emergency. Thus, a technician could use 40 meters in an emergency.

Can you pop up on the local fire or sheriff channel? Not a good idea. You might be forgiven in a true emergency, but it is still bad practice. I am an ARES district emergency coordinator and a sworn disaster service volunteer and I wouldn't do it. Not without advance permission from the agency in question. Call another ham and get them to call 911. (OK good luck with that) Aside from the legalities, dropping in on an emergency channel might not be taken seriously and considered a hoax.

By the way, the RR database for my county only lists the output PL's for local agencies. The input PL's, while not secret, are not listed. They're not the same. To use both you would need a radio capable of split PL's (most ham radios are not). Also, non-standard repeater offsets.
 
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#10
Some people should probably not venture into that relm while others can handle it.
So long as one is comfortable with the risks, and if they choose to utilize said gear on a service they aren't authorized, it's on them to be able to articulate their actions were justified based on the totality of the circumstances. And not to the internet forums, but to an ALJ, or local authorities who may come asking.

Do as one may please, while being aware of all the risks and don't expect some blanket answer of "emergency preparedness" to make potential consequences vanish.
 

TailGator911

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#11
I wasn't even thinking about transmitting outside my amateur radio boundaries, more interested in having the extended receive capabilities so I can listen in. Just more options if, indeed, there is an emergency situation.
 
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#12
Years ago you had to do the Mars/Cap mod to allow your ham radio to receive, as well as transmit out of band. But now it seems the newer radios already receive the entire VHF/UHF band, so there’s no need to do the mod. 30+ years of being a ham, & I’ve never had to transmit out of band. Besides, with XTL’s as cheap as they are, I haven’t purchased a ham radio in 15 years.
 

ko6jw_2

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#13
Mod won't expand the FT2DR's receive capabilities. Due to some peculiar Yaesu design quirk it won't receive the 900Mhz ham frequencies. Cell blocked yes, but ham blocked also. They claim it's due to a design issue. Birdies perhaps.
 

TailGator911

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#14
I am not aware of any ham friends who have ever used the 900mhz band. Well I am expecting the FT-2DR on Monday, and I ordered the mod just to extend the scanning capabilities. I like the fact that it's also touch screen, so if anything is cool about it - that's it. It's the closest thing to a do-all amateur radio transceiver that I have seen. Planning an RV trip to Alaska next year, and I plan to have what I need in communications. One stop shop:)
 
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#15
It's still legal to use HF amateur radios to support at least one US Govt organization and I have an NTIA license and do legally use modified amateur radios on Govt freqs to support that group. For VHF and above radios must be FCC part 90 certified and be on an accepted list.

I'm curious as to why people want to do the MARS/CAP mod in the first place. MARS is about dead and I think the CAP moved away from that ages ago.
 
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#16
I wasn't even thinking about transmitting outside my amateur radio boundaries, more interested in having the extended receive capabilities so I can listen in. Just more options if, indeed, there is an emergency situation.


You don’t need the MARS/CAP mod for extended receive


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#17
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Hey TailGate ..... :)
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If you want to Mod a radio - go right ahead and do it. There is no rules against it; possession of a modified radio is not illegal.. and in fact it is part and parcel with a long line of ham radio traditions.
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Everything radio today is synthesize'd- if you want to 'open it up' to other frequencies the processor has to be 'hack'd.' This act of hacking the radio get many quite upset since now it can be operated on non-amateur frequencies. The caveat comes when you operate that radio without permission (ie: a license) on frequencies you aren't authorized. Don't let anyone bully you about the possession of such a 'hacked' radio on non amateur frequencies- or even operating it on an non amateur frequency--- if they do, just say "Paragraph 97.401."
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I personally have legally operated a modified ham radio under 97.401. If the subject interests you, review FCC Part 7, 80, 90, 97....... there is no prohibition against having such radios- there are only restrictions on what you can DO with them.
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Going back to that traditional thingy-- before radios were all locked up, synthesizer wise, -hams were buying/building transmitters that could operate anywhere- Anywhere ! - Nothing, other than the legal issues stopped a ham from 'hacking' his transmitter. It was as simple as putting a frequency-specific FT-243 crystal in the oscillator socket.
My father used to check into his Air Force MARS net on 4593Khz with such a easy-peasy 'mod' from Texas Crystals.
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Also any VFO is capable of out-of-band-operation.....
...... dare I hint at what I've done ? --
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Every ham radio I have own'd has been 'hacked." Some I have done out of pure pugnacity... but never have I had a worry about the warranty, or had a problem afterwards. The manufactures, I am quite convinced, know their radios will be used in other countries besides the US, and not for hobbying. I have used 'hacked' ham radios (my favorite is my old, vintage Icom 720) in other countries outside the US on non ham bands for non ham uses.
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If GigaParts will back the warranty, and you want to open up the transmitter, I say go for it**
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Lauri :)
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** this is me speaking personally- and I know full well espousing such will open a flood gate of criticism, but so be it-- I enjoy fighting windmills... :)
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TailGator911

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#18
Yeah I like my radios to be wide open. Not bullied in the least. I still have my old Icom IC-T21A ht which was one of the best modded radios out there, and I had everything done to it, could scan all the bands before trunking took over. I needed a new one stop shop radio and the FT-2DR is it. I want the radio to be capable of anything in it's repertoire. Just like the SDS100 scanner, a radio that can do it all.

Lauri-Coyote thanks for the tip on that net, I am taking my 746Pro and some portable antennas with me up to Alaska. We are going to stay at the Harris River Rv park on Prince of Wales Island for a few weeks. Curious to see if I can collude with some Russians from there har har. I will be testing for my General here soon and hope to obtain my ticket, anxious to dx into Siberia. That would be cool.
I am jotting down 5167.5 in my logbook. Thanks for that!

Lauri, nice pics on your Shack Photos. I can place your tropical radars! That is the atoll weather station in the Marshall Islands! Cool pics

JD
kf4anc
 

W9BU

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#19
Folks, the thread is about "MARS/CAP" mods to a Yaesu FT-2DR. Alaska, 5 MHz nets, and "11 meters" are off topic for this thread.
 
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#20
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I agree, its so easy to get off subject when it comes to the MARS/CAP modification topic, and I promise I will try to be good from now on.... smiles
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But to me, at least --"MARS/CAP Modifications" is code for hacking a ham radio to other frequencies.
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Curious about the status of MARS , the Air Force program in particular ** I did a hasty Google search and found some interesting things...like this link to a pdf on AF Mars--
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www.af-mars.org/public/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/AF-MARS-2017.pdf
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What became apparent to me quickly on was there aren't that many hams involved in these programs anymore- certainly not enough to support a whole "MARS/CAP Modification industry." I maintain this is just a thinly veiled way of saying 'hacked radios."
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But Hey, I am hardly against that...and if there are one or two legitimate hams that need a modified radio for their MARS program- great. If some taxi company in Chihuahua Mexico wants to put their cross-the-border, swap-meet purchased Kenwood's on 152.xxx Mhz - that's fine too. But lets not kid ourselves with this stuff being only for MARS/CAP.
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That said, I would like to hear from actual MARS members that use VHF modified ham radios in their programs- for I am sure there are some...... there must be some.....
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I did take a listen for some of the DC area VHF repeaters that I remember'd from years ago - Army, Air Force 143, 149 Mhz machines-- have apparently all gone 'dark' now..... ?
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Lauri :)
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**Years ago while visiting my family in Maryland- my father who was then an active AF Mars member, asked me if I would be interested in operating their Armed Forces Day station AIR at Andrews AFB. This was one of those Cross Band exercises many hams have enjoyed over the years- talking to military stations.
The facility to be used was located in a high security area on the base; they needed operators-- however it was unfortunate that most of their local MARS members did not have the clearances for such facilities. But I did.
For several hours I was......... "This is Alpha India Romeo listening 14 dot (XXX) to 5 up...." ----
Using full duplex, ++ Kilowatts from remote sites scatter'd about the northern hemisphere, this was such a treat but few hams will ever know.....sigh :)
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