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mcs2000 II questions

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#1
Going to be getting a few mcs2000's for a towing company I work for.

Is there anything I need to know about when I program them?

When I do program them there will be channels that we do not operate on but listen to, is there a way too set it so they are RX only?

These are the 110w radios all but one truck has a wide open roof, one the roof is aluminum so antenna has to be mounted on the headache rack only about 8 or so inches from light bar should I worry about rf and the lights?

I'm sure I will come up with more. ...
 

lightningx54

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#2
assuming the lightbar is LED and not old school strobes should be no issues with RF...

Going to be getting a few mcs2000's for a towing company I work for.

Is there anything I need to know about when I program them?

When I do program them there will be channels that we do not operate on but listen to, is there a way too set it so they are RX only?

These are the 110w radios all but one truck has a wide open roof, one the roof is aluminum so antenna has to be mounted on the headache rack only about 8 or so inches from light bar should I worry about rf and the lights?

I'm sure I will come up with more. ...
 
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#4
assuming the lightbar is LED and not old school strobes should be no issues with RF...
It depends on the make of the lightbar. Whelen LED products for example are tested for EMI, cheap china bars are not.

Whelen products advise to mount 2 way radio antenna's a minimum of 16" from a light bar.
 

FFPM571

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#7
You better check with Motorola MCS2000 have not been supported by motorola in almost 10 years they might not have the software to even sell to you..
 
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#9
These are the 110w radios all but one truck has a wide open roof, one the roof is aluminum so antenna has to be mounted on the headache rack only about 8 or so inches from light bar should I worry about rf and the lights?
Decent radios if they've been taken care of. A bit long in the tooth, but still lots of them out there.

Even with an aluminum roof, there isn't any reason you can't mount an antenna on there. Lots of fire truck and ambulance bodies have been aluminum for years.

If you are going to transmit with them, it's pretty common practice to turn the high power back a bit. I think we used to run our VHF MCS2000's at 80 watts or so. The different between 100 and 80 watts isn't a big deal and the radio will be happier.
 
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#10
A bit long in the tooth?

We got some cheap radios in the trucks now and the range is horrible but that's what you get with cheap radios. This is a no holes drilled install at least as few as possible so I can't go through the roof.
 
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#11
Conventional channels can be set for receive only, no problems there. You will have to source CPS from elsewhere, Motorola doesn't sell it anymore as others have mentioned. Its pretty easy to find as it's been in the wild for quite a few years.
 
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#12
They were discontinued September 2005 and factory support ended 5 years later, hence the long in the tooth comment.

They're pretty heavy, I wouldn't recommend being no-holes when it comes to mounting the drawer. I'm also firmly against mag-mounts for permanent antenna installations but they're your vehicles. Do they all have headache racks? In my opinion, that would offer a better solution than magnets (inference on my part since you noted how one is aluminum).
 
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#14
We got some cheap radios in the trucks now and the range is horrible but that's what you get with cheap radios. This is a no holes drilled install at least as few as possible so I can't go through the roof.
CHEEP antennas or incorrectly installed antennas.

Antennas NEED groundplane, 18 to 20 inches of metal in all directions from the base of the antenna for VHF.
 

Tech792

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#15
It depends on the make of the lightbar. Whelen LED products for example are tested for EMI, cheap china bars are not.

Whelen products advise to mount 2 way radio antenna's a minimum of 16" from a light bar.
Had plenty of trouble with those cheap "no name" lightbars. Even with 50 watt radios. Stay away from those!
 
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#16
We got some cheap radios in the trucks now and the range is horrible but that's what you get with cheap radios. This is a no holes drilled install at least as few as possible so I can't go through the roof.
The range being "horrible" likely has more to do with the antenna installation than anything else. Stepping up to a 110 watt radio isn't going to improve things much. Throwing power at an issue rarely does. It's all about the antenna. As an amateur radio operator, you probably know that, but I don't think you are realizing just how much difference it makes. Ease of installation is taking priority, and that's your issue.

If you really want some headaches, run a 110 watt radio into an improperly installed and improperly tuned antenna. You'll discover what the real definition of "headache" is.

One of the worst things you can do is spend good money on an expensive radio then do a total compromise antenna installation, like mag mount, or headache rack.
Might as well be trying to use a rubber duckie antenna inside the cab.

There is a real good reason that when you look at a police car, fire truck or ambulance you'll see the antenna permanently mounted in the center of the roof with a drilled permanent mount. It's not because they have fun doing it. It's not because the installer is trying to get rich off of up-selling antenna installations. It's done because it works, it works well, and it lasts longer. Drilling a hole isn't hard. If you are doing this for an employer, or (gulp) a Fire Department, then this should be addressed with whoever decided it needed to be a "no holes" installation. That person apparently has zero understanding of how antennas work.

While we all like to make fun of the "cheap" radios, I'd take a cheap radio with a better antenna installation than an expensive radio with a poor antenna installation any day.

You are crippling your communications by not doing a proper antenna installation.
But, hey, your truck, your radio, your money. I'd at least look at a half wave antenna if you are going to mount off a headache rack. That will at least give you a fighting chance.
 
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#17
Well put it to you this way my 2800m on high power shuts off with my ps in the house, the cheap radios don't phase it so I know they are way off on the out put power. The antennas we have are good larid brand that are tuned to the two channels we transmit on are all 5/8 wave but one 1/2 wave. For the one truck with headache rack in going to try and put a 10x10 plate on it just to help I'm going to try and get an nmo mount done but don't think I will get it kinda picky on holes in a $100,000 truck
 
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#18
OK. $100,000 truck. Sounds like a radio is an important tool for their operation. A not-cheap used MCS-2000. Decent antenna.
So, why would they spend all that money, then -not- let you do a proper antenna install?
That's like spending $100,000 on a truck then putting the cheapest Pep Boy's brand Chinese made tires on it that last 20,000 miles.

I understand the desire to not drill holes in an expensive vehicle. It's a hard thing to do. But, once you do it and realize how well it works and how much better it looks, you'll never go back. Especially when running a higher powered radio, you need a good install or you'll run into issues. Mag mount and 110 watt radios are not the right combination.

What kind of truck are we talking about? Maybe there is another solution that will work. There's a lot of us on here that do this stuff professionally. Who knows, maybe someone has some good ideas.
 
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#19
Getting these radios pretty much as a trial that's the other reason for minimum holes. The truck in question is a 2016 freightliner tow truck. The weird thing about it is the sides of the cab body are steel and the roof is aluminum don't understand that one. I also know in the roof is the best have two or three in both my personal vehicles.
 
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#20
OK, got it.

I'd use a 1/2 wave antenna on the headache rack. The ground of the headache rack won't be ideal for radio, but it'll give you something. If it does work there, mounting it on the cab roof will give better performance. Using a 5/8's on there might be pushing it with the less than ideal ground plane.

I've used 1/2 wave antennas on UTV roll cages, and they work pretty well. There are some instances where you just can't do an install over a perfect ground plane.
I've done installs on headache racks, and they'll work, but I was always disappointed by the performance. I just gave up many years ago doing anything other than center of roof installs. Sometimes you can get too many weird issues when not providing a good groundplane for antennas that require them.

Still, playing around with the install might be needed. Higher gain antennas don't always give you the best performance. Depending on exactly what you are trying to do, a lower gain quarter wave might be a better choice.

If you do drill the hole and it doesn't work out as you'd like, you can always put a NMO base CB Antenna on there and use it for that.
 
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