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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2018, 4:59 PM
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Default CERT Radio "Chinese radios"

There is some talk about some Chinese radios being part 90 "certified"
but when I look at the FCC site, all I seem to find for most of them is that they are
certified in part 15.121 ??

I have just joined a local CERT group, ( Community Emergency Response Team )
and have been looking at the communications "problems".
I thought it would be nice to have a "portable" repeater for when we are "deployed"
( Their word, not mine), and as the Fire Dept, that we are attached to has a 420 repeater
but has moved to 800 for most of their traffic, we are able to use the 420, but if there is an
emergency we may not be able to use the 420 repeater.

NOW my question about "CCR's" .
Looking at $$$ more then anything, I would possibly like to "build" a medium power repeater,
( 40 watts?) and was thinking about using a couple of Chinese imports but they MUST
be part 90 legal radios.
I have checked into GMRS, but there is no way to do this legally ( although I may "test"
with a low power ( 7 watts) GMRS repeater I own.
Things that need to be considered $$$$ and legality

Are there any LEGAL part 90 Chinese imports as I have most everything else I would need.
I got really confused when I started looking at the FCC site to see what were actually part 90 certified.

https://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid

should tell you, IF you know what your doing. But I find myself just getting more confused ...

Thanks

Don
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Old 03-11-2018, 6:10 PM
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There is a list of Chinese manufacturers with FCC grantee codes at https://wiki.radioreference.com/inde...l_Transceivers.
That might help you find Part 90 certified ones.

Any repeater built from CCRs probably won't work well. You would probably be better off finding a used real repeater.
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Old 03-11-2018, 6:35 PM
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Stay away from any Chinese imported junk. Regardless if they claim to be part 90 accepted. These are the worst possible radios you could use to build a repeater. Find some good used commercial gear.. building a repeater out of CCR's is like buying 3,000 dollar rims and tires and installing them on a rusted out Honda civic that barely runs and has a fart pipe exhaust.
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Old 03-11-2018, 6:43 PM
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3,000 dollar rims and tires and installing them on a rusted out Honda civic that barely runs and has a fart pipe exhaust.lmao that make's it a hooptie car lol
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Old 03-11-2018, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
There is some talk about some Chinese radios being part 90 "certified"
but when I look at the FCC site, all I seem to find for most of them is that they are
certified in part 15.121 ??
That's just the receivers. Since most of these are sold/marketed as "amateur radios", they don't need any type certification on the transmitters.

Many of them have some simple steps that will easily unlock them and allow transmitting outside the amateur radio band.
Being "easy" doesn't necessarily make it legal.

There seem to be a few that do have part 90 certification, but as stated, those claims are dubious at best.

If you are going to use these radios for CERT, then at least get some decent used equipment. Not only would using non-type certified radios put the fire departments licenses at risk, but it puts others at risk.

You can -easily- do better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
I have just joined a local CERT group, ( Community Emergency Response Team )
and have been looking at the communications "problems".
I thought it would be nice to have a "portable" repeater for when we are "deployed"
( Their word, not mine), and as the Fire Dept, that we are attached to has a 420 repeater
but has moved to 800 for most of their traffic, we are able to use the 420, but if there is an
emergency we may not be able to use the 420 repeater.
A couple things you need to take a look at firstů.

Public safety radio systems are not like amateur radio. You cannot work outside what the license allows just because of an emergency. There are some rules that get in the way. If you really need to do that, you would need to get a Special Temporary Authorization from the FCC, but be ready to be told "no".

Deployable repeaters may be outside what the fire departments license allows. You need to work with whoever holds the license and figure that out before you do anything.
Usually part 90 licenses for repeaters allow a repeater at a fixed (or a few fixed) location. Portable repeaters are a different beast, as those frequencies could easily be in use by another department. If so, they will not take kindly to a portable repeater showing up where it doesn't belong.

Any changes to the FCC license will require involving frequency coordination. The FCC will likely boot any application that isn't signed off by a coordinator.

There are some real limitations on the frequencies used near the bottom end of the UHF band. 420MHz is limited to some specific urban areas.

There are specific UTAC frequency pairs that are designed for what you are wanting to do. Your fire department could easily license one of those for your/their use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
NOW my question about "CCR's" .
Looking at $$$ more then anything, I would possibly like to "build" a medium power repeater,
( 40 watts?) and was thinking about using a couple of Chinese imports but they MUST
be part 90 legal radios.
Just don't. These are not good radios. No ones life should ever depend on one. The type certification issues alone are a good warning.

You can easily do better. Find a couple of use commercial radios if you are going to do this. It'll probably be cheaper, and you'll know that the certifications are real, not made up by a Chinese company that is only interested in selling radios.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
I have checked into GMRS, but there is no way to do this legally ( although I may "test"
with a low power ( 7 watts) GMRS repeater I own.
Things that need to be considered $$$$ and legality[/QUOTE]

GMRS could be done if -every- user was covered by a GMRS license. That's possible, but adding that cost to volunteers doesn't always go over well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
Things that need to be considered $$$$ and legality
Legality first and foremost, then cost. Far too often well meaning people, often amateur radio operators, will put cost first, and either misinterpret or ignore the rules. Dealing with this at work and it never saves money when you have to do things twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
Are there any LEGAL part 90 Chinese imports as I have most everything else I would need.
Probably. Not cheap ones. There are some good radios that come out of China, but you'd really need to be cautious.

Personally I'd say pick up some used Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, Vertex, etc. commercial radios. They are going to be more durable, easier to interface to a controller, and you won't need to deal with the nagging question about if the radio really has Part 90 certs, if it's going to fail when put under stress, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8zgw View Post
I got really confused when I started looking at the FCC site to see what were actually part 90 certified.

https://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid

should tell you, IF you know what your doing. But I find myself just getting more confused ...

Thanks

Don
That's probably a pretty good indication that you're on the wrong track. You shouldn't need to question the legality of a radio, especially one used in disaster recovery.

Gotta step back from the "cheap" approach and look at legality first. Figure out how you are going to license a portable repeater, get it actually licensed, then look at the equipment.
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Old 03-13-2018, 5:51 PM
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Don't waste your time and risk the fines or a wrongful death suit.
......
NONE of the Chinese radios are fit for repeater use.
.........
It takes ALOT more than simply strapping two radios together to make a real repeater....
........
And with the lousy receivers and spur generating transmitters, the Chinese junk will get you nothing but sued.
..........
When lives are literally on the line, the ONLY solution is to buy a REAL repeater.
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