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Budget and Entry Level Transceivers - For discussion of budget or entry level radios such as Baofeng, Wouxun, Puxing and other radio communications designated as commercial but not targeted for Amateur or GMRS. Also included are MURS and ISM 900MHz designed radios.

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Old 05-17-2017, 5:22 PM
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Default UV82L Fire Transceiver

Howdy,

I'm a rural volunteer firefighter, been using an UV82L for a few months with no issues programming to receive traffic from the local fire/sheriff departments. However, I've attempted to program the radio with CHIRP to transmit dispatch via a repeater, and to transmit to local portables/mobiles on my fire department's 2 frequencies.

These are the two channels I would like to transmit on, derived from the RR data base for Kirbyville FD, Jasper County, Texas:

Jasper County ESD #3 (Kirbyville):

Frequency 154.84500
Input 158.91000
Tone 100.0 PL
Type RM
Mode FM

Kirbyville, City of:

Frequency 154.25000
Type BM
Mode FM


I'm probably not putting the right numbers in the right places in CHIRP. I've messed with PL, tone squelch, offset of +4.065 and even creating a whole separate channel for TX only, verified Channel A/B and the PTT button I was pressing was on the right channel.

I have a department issued Mag One BPR40 (not mine, sadly) nearby and have never been able to hear it key up from the UV82L, neither repeater or talk-around. The green light on the Mag One does flash/go out simultaneously as the UV82L keys up though.....

I could really use some help, if someone could just help guide me as to what variables to put in each column in CHIRP, we could get this radio transmitting
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Old 05-18-2017, 1:50 PM
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The 'mode' for public safety in that frequency range should be narrow. Verifying proper operation of radios involves more than just 'programming' the unit. I would suggest you talk to the person responsible for your department's radio licence and equipment. Along with programming the unit, that person (or the service tech) will also verify operation and verify that the unit is on frequency and meeting other specifications' They can also verify the licence allows the 'extra' station.

Although many two way radios today appear to be simple, the display (or programming) is only as good as the calibration -they should still be 'checked'. Doing this 'on the air' could likely result in some violation.

Get written authorization before transmitting.
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Old 05-18-2017, 3:58 PM
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This department is about as in the dark as they come...and poorly funded. We still set off the tone with a tuning fork.... Much of the gear is still from the late 90's early 00's....nothing is uniform, but the members do everything they can with what they got.

I've asked the fire and maintenance chiefs, as we have no radio officer or anyone that knows anything about them beyond where to send the department's off to (out of state).

And obviously no Motorola/Kenwood dealer/ programmer is going to even attempt to program a throw away Chinese handheld. Their response is usually "it's only $3,000 to get a new one!"

It appears 2 out of every 5 portables/mobiles being operated by these firefighters are personally owned or defected ones from old apparatus. But nobody uses baofeng, mostly beaten old motorolas or kenwoods.

If it comes down to it, I'll gladly get a "name brand" and spend hundreds of dollars to get it programmed by the "pros". I just wanted to see if there was a $30 solution first.

From my own research we appear to be provisioned for 50 - 100 units/stations/radios, and are using maybe 40 between mobiles and portables, issued and personally owned. So as far as if we have the room, we should be good.

And I always follow my departments SOP's regarding radio checks, including contacting the EOC via non emergency landline, advising when starting and stopping, etc.

Trust me, I take this serious, not just another wingnut with a radio. I've just exhausted all my resources
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Old 05-18-2017, 4:33 PM
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Exactly, Get written authorization, and have each radio tested by a qualified tech.

Here we, qualified tech, test each radio after programming to be sure they are meeting ALL the license perimeters

.
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Old 05-18-2017, 4:38 PM
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There been a ton of Youtube videos on the UV-82 radio's and they haven't passed tech tests. You be better off getting a Kenwood or Motorola or Icom radio.
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Old 05-18-2017, 6:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker845 View Post
There been a ton of Youtube videos on the UV-82 radio's and they haven't passed tech tests. You be better off getting a Kenwood or Motorola or Icom radio.
Do you have a link to the source you are referring to?

Never seen a UV82L that "haven't passed tech tests."

Will steer others away from it if you could please provide a link to one of them though please.

Thank you very much.
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Old 05-18-2017, 7:13 PM
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Are you willing to risk your life on a cheap radio that does not meet FCC rules. You have a $500 plus dollar cell phone to facebook your friends and a $50 radio to save your life. All these cheap radios are are just that cheap. I have a few I used before DMR was released for scanners but they were for receive and used like a scanner in hobby use only.
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Old 05-18-2017, 7:27 PM
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I bought an "82" when they first came out and have supplemented it with other since. I've never ever had a problem with any of them.

By the same token, in 30+ years of law enforcement, I've carried various models of Motorola. These were not "pool" radios. Radios were individually assigned to officers. I can't count the number of times I've required repairs of one sort or another.

People are saying spend the big bucks and get a Kenwood or Yaesu. For that kind of money, one can get a wheelbarrow load of 82s that, historically, have worked just fine.
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Old 05-18-2017, 7:39 PM
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You all may want to check with the state and feds. There are often grants out there which will get you money to buy radios.
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Old 05-18-2017, 7:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toastycookies View Post
Do you have a link to the source you are referring to?

Never seen a UV82L that "haven't passed tech tests."

Will steer others away from it if you could please provide a link to one of them though please.

Thank you very much.
I am not sure about the youtube videos, but I can tell you from personal experience of testing these units that they produce many "spurs" on transmit. They are VERY dirty radios. The user doesn't have any idea because, hey, it works.
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Old 05-18-2017, 8:16 PM
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At this point, anything is better than nothing.

There's adequate risk with the dept issued BPR40's. Any low laying areas are dead zones for anything LOS we have. Cellphone and portables do not work. Important size up and requests for mutual aid are frequently delayed until apparatus with mobiles arrive. The local PD has to return to their patrol car's mobile to transmit, and often times Deputies are called to check the officer's welfare when the PD officers are out on their portables. It's understood to never to rely on anything small and electronic out here. But having something that works just 25% of the time has to be better than absolutely nothing.

I plan on getting a legitimate mobile set up in my POV, just need to do more research. It's 100% volunteer in this and nearby counties, we receive no compensation or reimbursement regardless of the necessity. I'm just looking at trying to do the best I can with what I have right now, and help other firefighters in the region find an affordable option to the expensive name brands.
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Old 05-18-2017, 8:30 PM
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Originally Posted by W8RMH View Post
You all may want to check with the state and feds. There are often grants out there which will get you money to buy radios.
Resources and people capable of exploiting them are few and far between. I might be able to find a grant writer who we could commission. It's primitive here. We just found our tax ID this spring, which "we never knew we had" for the past 90 years... so maybe more funding will come available. But then again, it's hard to get volunteer firefighters to want to do anything clerical or administrative. Hard enough to get them to show up to put water on the fire. Everyone's too busy nowadays, and the few that try their best to work all the stuff on the backside are exhausted just trying to keep the trucks fuel bills fulfilled.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:59 PM
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Do not use the UV-82(l) on those frequencies. I spent a long time in the fire service and I totally get the struggle when money is tight. But you will have a whole lot less money if the FCC finds that you or your agency has violated their rules. I does happen - a lot.

The UV-82(L) is not FCC Part 90 certified. If you must use the budget line of radios, use the UV-82 (C) which is the commercial version and is FCC Part 90 certified.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddrousa View Post
Are you willing to risk your life on a cheap radio that does not meet FCC rules. You have a $500 plus dollar cell phone to facebook your friends and a $50 radio to save your life. All these cheap radios are are just that cheap. I have a few I used before DMR was released for scanners but they were for receive and used like a scanner in hobby use only.
+1,000 on this. You can find capable name-brand VHF analog LMR radios, quality gear, used on eBay, Amazon, even Craigslist for $100 or thereabouts. Radios new enough to be NFM capable, which is a necessity for your use, and which will work when you need them...which your Chinese radio may or may not.

I completely get the "church-mouse FD" thing. That describes the way my Department was up till about 14 years ago to a T. And while things are better now, we're still not exactly rolling in the dough. But when it comes to radios, remember this: For Fire Service use they are critical life-safety equipment, just the way your turnouts, helmet, and SCBA are. You wouldn't consider using any of that gear if it was compromised; please don't cheap out on the radios. I've played around with a few of these Chinese radios, and have learned enough about them that I would never rely on one for use on a run.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:20 PM
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Go on youtube and look up UV-82 and UV-82L radio's Like .DJ11DLN said, you can go on ebay and get a good radio like Tk-280 for $150 or less and will be better radio then a UV-82L.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:15 AM
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While there may be an inexpensive solution, I would just make sure the radio involved is up to the task. I am not against low cost radios -I actual own a couple of UV5R's. The real problem is weather the units meet the technical specifications. When I checked my radios out, I had the know how (and equipment) to check for spurs, harmonic output and the like. Even type accepted units need to be checked (and possibly adjusted) as broadband tuning leaves a lot to be desired. Duel band units in particular often need tweaking as the third harmonic on one 'band' is 'open' on another (as an example the 3rd of 151.1 is 453.3) so the issue of harmonic suppression may need to be addressed (or at least checked for compliance). Today's radios may appear to be 'plug and play' but a microcontroller does not replace a test bench. Someone is listed as responsible for proper (technical) operation and the fines are no joke.
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Old 05-19-2017, 3:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyShack View Post
While there may be an inexpensive solution, I would just make sure the radio involved is up to the task. I am not against low cost radios -I actual own a couple of UV5R's. The real problem is weather the units meet the technical specifications. When I checked my radios out, I had the know how (and equipment) to check for spurs, harmonic output and the like. Even type accepted units need to be checked (and possibly adjusted) as broadband tuning leaves a lot to be desired. Duel band units in particular often need tweaking as the third harmonic on one 'band' is 'open' on another (as an example the 3rd of 151.1 is 453.3) so the issue of harmonic suppression may need to be addressed (or at least checked for compliance). Today's radios may appear to be 'plug and play' but a microcontroller does not replace a test bench. Someone is listed as responsible for proper (technical) operation and the fines are no joke.
In this instance, the radio also needs to be up to spec for shock resistance, operation in temperature extremes, and (obviously) operation in the presence of a certain amount of moisture. And that's just off top of my head. If it isn't and it fails when you need it the most, the "fine" could indeed be quite costly...how much value do you place on a human life?

No, thanks...I'm not about to make an entry relying on one of these budget-level radios. And IMHO no one else should either...but then what do I know, you can only learn so much in 33 years of eating smoke.
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Old 05-19-2017, 3:31 PM
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In this instance, the radio also needs to be up to spec for shock resistance, operation in temperature extremes, and (obviously) operation in the presence of a certain amount of moisture. And that's just off top of my head. If it isn't and it fails when you need it the most, the "fine" could indeed be quite costly...how much value do you place on a human life?

No, thanks...I'm not about to make an entry relying on one of these budget-level radios. And IMHO no one else should either...but then what do I know, you can only learn so much in 33 years of eating smoke.
Don't fire radios need to be intrinsically safe too? I like my Baofeng, but you wouldn't find me keying it up around a gas leak.
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Old 05-19-2017, 3:34 PM
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