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Old 07-30-2017, 7:42 AM
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Ms Coyote I understand your side but there are 3 things here.
#1 OSHA will not care if someone gets hurt their guidelines still have to be followed.
#2 It is the responsibility of the local government to provide services.
#3 The radio service has to fit the area it is to work in as you stated a VHF repeater may work or even go with a VHF SIMULCAST system may be the choice that works.
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Old 07-30-2017, 9:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddrousa View Post
Ms Coyote I understand your side but there are 3 things here.
#1 OSHA will not care if someone gets hurt their guidelines still have to be followed.
#2 It is the responsibility of the local government to provide services.
#3 The radio service has to fit the area it is to work in as you stated a VHF repeater may work or even go with a VHF SIMULCAST system may be the choice that works.
The money has to come from taxpayers. The taxpayers don't want to turn loose of it. The local government works with what they have.

Small towns and villages don't work the same as cities.

You're speaking of the way it should be, not the way it is.
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Old 07-30-2017, 6:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
It's not about "using", it's specifically about having frequencies programmed into the radio that are not authorized under the license that covers the radio.
Many of these import radios do have the ability to enable/disable the transmiter via their programming software. Futher, it is possible to have no transmit frequency at all.

So, my radios have several Chicago PD channels (City Wide and local District) programmed to receive, but transmit is not enabled.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2017, 7:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KK4JUG View Post
The money has to come from taxpayers. The taxpayers don't want to turn loose of it. The local government works with what they have.

Small towns and villages don't work the same as cities.

You're speaking of the way it should be, not the way it is.
I understand your point I was only pointing out if it goes to court the Judge and OSHA will not care what the small village thinks.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2017, 7:24 PM
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I understand your point I was only pointing out if it goes to court the Judge and OSHA will not care what the small village thinks.
I understand your point, too. However, that only happens to other people.
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Old 07-30-2017, 7:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddrousa View Post
Ms Coyote I understand your side but there are 3 things here.
#1 OSHA will not care if someone gets hurt their guidelines still have to be followed.
#2 It is the responsibility of the local government to provide services.
#3 The radio service has to fit the area it is to work in as you stated a VHF repeater may work or even go with a VHF SIMULCAST system may be the choice that works.
In my consulting business, I have had the opportunity to inspect many dozens of Public Safety radio systems in rural parts of the country. It is shocking how poorly maintained any are. There is apparently no limit to the budget for IT expenditures in some locales, but when it comes to the RF component, the radios in vehicles, the handhelds, the repeater systems, the majority are being used decades beyond their lifespan. When you are in a town with no tax base, you make do.

In the more populous areas like Florida, having large tax base, conversely, a lot of money has been/is spent on radio system infrastructure, unfortunately a lot of it wasted money because of the lack of standardization in trunked infrastructure for past 20 years. Some cities, counties and the state itself are on easily their third "fork lift upgrade", going from 1985 vintage analog P16 trunking, to proprietary P25 "CAI" trunking, to marginally compliant P25 trunking. And this money spent back and forth between only two vendors, often bidding within slim margins of each other.

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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2017, 8:12 PM
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I'm a big fan of following the rules, but the FCC would likely have to literally stumble over non-compliant radios before anything will be done.

The stunning lack of FCC enforcement in recent years - in amateur and commercial radio - is breathtaking. Here we are, over 4.5 years past the Narrowbanding Mandate, and I think there has been ONE citation for operating non-compliant equipment. The FCC seems to concentrate on Jammers, Pirate FM radio stations, and people not renewing licenses and tower registrations in the broadcast section, and continue to operate... the easy targets, because someone has likely done their footwork for them, and all it takes is a phone call to some radio station that forgot to renew an ask "are you on the air today?" to generate a cite with no fieldwork involved.

Of course, I remember a certain radio (Icom 02AT) and if someone tweaked the lock voltage to enable out of band RX/TX, that would sometimes generate spurs every 20 KHz up and down the band. Something like THAT would get someone's attention.

In the meantime, the lack of enforcement will be the same as if the state highway patrol stopped writing speeding tickets. The majority of the people will adopt a "don't care - it's not enforced anyway" attitude.

Last edited by techman210; 07-30-2017 at 8:17 PM..
  #48 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2017, 8:18 PM
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Been there done that we are using a analog 800 smart net system with series 4 ef johnson 51sl's and 53sl's backed up by 2 kenwood VHF repeaters tk280's and tk790's. We migrated to the 800 so we have both systems working in each fire truck we operate. Our 911 dispatches on both 800 and VHF at the same time. Like I said I help keep up both systems and do all programming and that saves our city money. Our local dealer I worked for on my days off so we get a good deal the city buys the parts I do the programming and installs.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2017, 8:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote-Frostbyte View Post
And so I'll agree; all firemen/women should have THE latest in multi-channel trunk'd 700/800Meg explosion proof radios in a variety of colours to match their turn out gear,-- Heck, for that matter-- the latest and best of everything------- but I have to ask that nagging question:
.
"Who pays for it all?"
.
Its one thing to be a wealthy city with bottomless deep pockets of a complacent tax base --and a government of like mind'd spenders-- it is entirely something else if you aren't such.
.
.
And I think you are on the right track there, CF. It's easy to sit at a keyboard and say "this is what should/must be done", however it's a different thing out in the real world. The sprit of the post was about letting the rural guys know there's a reason for not using the amateur radios in place of commercial gear.
I've got an observatory I cover, and they are always on a shoe string budget. They've got an old 5 watt repeater and a bunch of BaoFengs for their operations. Seems silly when they are spending lots of federal dollars looking for E.T., but that's the way the grant crumbles.

We've all been around and know that in the real world we have to fix things on the fly, and it isn't always perfect, up to code, kosher, whatever you want to call it.

If an agency can only score some clapped out 1980's era radios, that's better than no radios. I'd certainly not want to let someone die or their home burn down over the opinions of a bunch of people on the internet.
Sure beats sounding the bell in the city square, the old air raid siren, or whatever else they use to alert the volunteers, though.
  #50 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2017, 11:15 PM
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A lovely three pages of viewpoints. I have 3 comments based upon what I read:

1. "Outdated systems" The only thing that is probably outdated is the antenna and feedline. Radio vendors sell a whole lot of spanking new systems simply because the feedline is 50 years old, and the antenna is more corroded than a salt-belt vehicle. Hams change their feedlines every 10-15 years. If municipalities did the same, most wouldn't need a new radio system.

2. I notice people keep bringing up the CCR's. Like someone said, it's not even relevant to the conversation. The original post was about modifying ham radios to talk on other freqs. CCR's can already do that without modification.

3. If KK4JUG's feed store volunteer fireman gets on RR wanting to know how to modify their ham radio to talk on the fire freqs, first I'm going to tell them they shouldn't do it. Then I'm going to tell them how to do it. In the same post. I'm not the FCC. Once they know they shouldn't do it, the balls in their court.

Last edited by Golay; 07-30-2017 at 11:37 PM..
  #51 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2017, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golay View Post
If KK4JUG's feed store volunteer fireman gets on RR wanting to know how to modify their ham radio to talk on the fire freqs, first I'm going to tell them they shouldn't do it. Then I'm going to tell them how to do it. In the same post. I'm not the FCC. Once they know they shouldn't do it, the balls in their court.
That's were I respectfully disagree. I have seen far to many amateurs abuse the modification of amateur radios. I hear them often on licensed frequencies outside the amateur bands. I see them on APRS displaying out of band frequency and hear them talking on this frequency. And they are not listed as having a license for these frequencies either. To me if someone wants to alter an amateur radio, there is GOOGLE which will direct them. I will not.

Last edited by W9BU; 07-31-2017 at 8:17 AM.. Reason: fixed quoting
  #52 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2017, 12:31 AM
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I could name a few volunteer fire departments who will be deploying apx 8000s in NM by November, along with locked plugs and new policies/checks to be in place to prevent a basic analog radio being used ever again, if you get the drift.
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Old 07-31-2017, 1:30 AM
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I have to compliment everyone for this informative yet polite discussion of something that I feel could suddenly turn quite passionate...
Personally, I have gain'd new insights.
.
I was particularly taken by the liability issues that using non-certified equipment might pose. And it was to this subject that I asked my visiting friend her opinion (she's the one mentioned in my last post- visiting our cool mountains from her hot sweaty East Coast.)
I really value her thoughts on it, for she is a defense trial attorney; though as she told me before turning in (for I fear I've been burning her out with our four wheelings to remote ghost towns)- that this doesn't fall within her legal practice. But an unofficial opinion was given me non-the-less.
.
In summation, she said: First- bringing a successful suite against an incorporated municipality is not easy. There are barriers such as sovereign immunity, immunity of duly appoint'd officials.. and some others she mentioned that were as meaningful to me as my describing wave guide theory would be to her.
.
Second- what were the damages that occur'd? : In this case, how did that uncertified radio damage someone?.. How can it be proven? Just what are the dollars and cents amounts asked for in a recovery? And probably more salient- how much is this 'injuried party' willing to spend, or the ends they are willing to go to for 'justice?'?
.
She asked rhetorically, who will hear the case? Since it involves radios, is it Federal? Is it criminal?- Local prosecutors maybe be reluctant to bring a case against something this esoteric unless it can be clearly demonstrated- understandably- to a judge/ and or/ jury-- that the radio/operator actually killed somebody, and did it in a wanton, cold blooded and negligent manner--
.
"Otherwise, small rural counties," she said, " just don't have the court budgets for such frivolous law suites."
And finally-- "Is it a civil affair?"
"As a defense attorney I can say its doubtful the plaintiff would prevail" (I love how that sounds- so, so -Finality!)
.
"But if someone wanted to throw a few thousand my way I'd give them their money's worth"... my friend yawn'd as she went off to bed.
.
__________________________________________________ ___
.
Disclaimer!!
That was offer'd as entertainment only- it is not to be constru'd in anyway as any form of legal advice!
.
Phew!
._________________________________________________ _____
.
Tomorrow we plan to visit an even more remote towne site than the one I just described. Its at the end of a 20 mile wash boarded road, in an amphitheatre- a cirque surrounded by mountains in 330 degrees- no electric lines, no phones- no 800Mhz radio, no VHF radios. The dozen or so people up there have a HF sideband radio-- 2Mhz-- that is the only thing that can talk out of that box'd canyon.
.
But that's another story altogether.
.
Then back to NM- and some restaurants I promised would make my friend forsake the Mid Atlantic forever............

.
.........................CF

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 07-31-2017 at 1:45 AM.. Reason: wine
  #54 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2017, 3:41 AM
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Around here there are plenty of "slip & fall" lawyers who would love to get a case like that. They work on a contingency basis, so the injured party pays nothing, unless they win. That being said, Florida state law has a cap on the amount any government entity can be sued. I think it's $200,000. To sue a volunteer firefighter probably wouldn't be much help, as he wouldn't have 2 nickels to rub together. Clean used XTS2500's are less than $300. No display ones are $100. Why use junk?
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Old 07-31-2017, 3:38 PM
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One of the problems I have seen in my limited experience with these small rural situations - and believe me, I hardly know much about them- is that they are multi-dimensional.
.
I will use my friend the Mayor and her towne as an example (I'm going to have too; its the case I know best.)
And I'll stick just to two-way radios,- but Heaven knows, these radios are but a small little scintillation among a constellation of the other attentions demanded of even a towne of 60.
.
Its not just the radio itself- but who buys them?.. in my friend's case- the volunteers do** Who maintains them?- the individual owners. Who oversee's a bunch of volunteers with radios - well? I dont know that but riding herd over a bunch of volunteers is like herding cats. I dare say a good % of those radios sit silent- turned off- awaiting the day they hear the towne siren blow.***
.
I know in this forum radios are Central- its almost heresy to think the world is not interested in everything Radio.... but they are not. Spending $200 dollars for a radio to have it sit - for all practical purposes- useless-- because you are trying to do the Civic Mind'd Thing... ?? Keep its batteries charged- buy new/spare ones? even practice using it ??
.
A little $25 BaoFeng, Wouxun..... makes participation a lot easier-- not that I am saying this is what they use... sitting in their battery chargers, silently squelch'd.....waiting****
.
I can't stress too much that away from urban centre's priorities are different. People fear a cranky bull moose far more than any federal radio regulator.... if they even bother to think about such regulators. What did I just read?--from a Wall Street Journal an article--"You commit 3 felonies everyday"..? So which fear are you worrying about this moment?
.
Personally, I fear the Moose.
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...............................CF
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__________________________________________________ ______________
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**they now have a couple donated, in fair,condition, two channel VHF 'bricks,' plus the ambulance and the "towne administrator"- ( this position rotates; a combination Fire Marshall/Constable/Dog Catcher et al.)-- each have a county 800Mhz. trunk'd radio- one vehicle mount'd, the other handheld........ not that they can talk to anyone in their valley with them. One is for use if and ever the ambulance needs to run 'over the pass'-- and the other if any law enforcement enitity drives in.
.
***the towne has one of those ancient pole mounted siren's... and I mean Ancient!-- this one looks like it was left over from WW II. It is test'd a few times each year- and on special occasions- I got to hear it once on a 4th of July.... it rattled every window in the place....
Except for drills, they have have gone out for only two minor fires I know of- Period. To say that someones outhouse caught fire is probably not an exaggeration. They do go out more frequently to rescue lost/injuried four wheel'rs/ hikers/campers, however.
.
****Radio get used more than I am letting on.... Recall there were days of Party Line telephones and everyone in towne was either on them or listening in?? Think VHF FM.

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 07-31-2017 at 3:44 PM..
  #56 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2017, 3:45 PM
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Well said, CF
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Old 07-31-2017, 4:52 PM
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Play/volunteer at your own risk I guess, but its one thing to risk your own life with non-compliant gear however, if an incident occurs and innocent lives are lost...well, what do you tell those folks families? Not to mention don't you think you owe to your own family to back alive?

Not worth it in my opinion.
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Last edited by KE0GXN; 07-31-2017 at 4:59 PM.. Reason: added content
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Old 07-31-2017, 5:03 PM
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I'm a certified arson investigator but I've never worked a fire/explosion of the type that everyone's concerned about here. I'm playing devil's advocate now. How would one determine that it was the radio and not an errant cigarette, static electricity spark, etc., that ignited the vapors?

The possibility of some type of transient, unnoticed cause would certainly be possible.
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Old 07-31-2017, 5:14 PM
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That is the whole point if anything happens the family members left behind will be left out in the cold. The Insurance Companies today look for any reason to not pay medical or LODD and a non approved radio will let them off the hook even workmans comp will not pay if anything is out of order. That leaves the poor FF that bought the $25 CCR to pay his own medical bills as I see the town of 60 will not pay as the would have no money. My only things in my post in this thread is for the people in charge or buying the CCR to know the risk they put themselves in I am not being a FCC cop. A fire helmet 6 months out of date will null a workmans comp claim or LODD and using a non approved radio is the same part of your personal protective gear.
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Old 07-31-2017, 6:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK4JUG View Post
I'm a certified arson investigator but I've never worked a fire/explosion of the type that everyone's concerned about here. I'm playing devil's advocate now. How would one determine that it was the radio and not an errant cigarette, static electricity spark, etc., that ignited the vapors?

The possibility of some type of transient, unnoticed cause would certainly be possible.
Well, the easy solution is to not use a radio in an environment like that.
If that's not a workable solution, then pony up the bucks to have the right tools for the job.

For a long time the guys on the end of the hose didn't have a radio with them. It's been industry that has dictated that over the years. Who know what they'll be expected to carry with them 10 years from now. Probably a FirstNet tablet streaming live video out to IC.

Remember, radios don't put out fires. They are a handy tool, and in recent years are considered a life safety device, but fires were put out without radios for a long time.

I know our fire department worked around a lot of hazardous chemicals, so IS rated radios were their own internal requirement. All their radios, batteries, etc. were all IS rated. Then again this wasn't a volunteer company, and money was a bit easier to find.

Interesting conversation, though
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