FT-60R and FT-270R narrowband ???

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js_in_ky

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I'm considering purchasing either the FT-60R or FT-270R and I have a question about using them for narrowband reception in the 160 - 161 mhz frequencies. I've been told that either will work with narrowband because they have a setting in the menu to change form wide to narrow (change the deviation from 5 khz to 2.5 khz). I've heard different views on whether this effects both transmit and receive or transmit only. I've seen a post on another forum where someone said they programmed the frequencies into a VX-170 in both narrowband and wideband but from reading the manuals I can't figure out how that would be done. I realize either radio might not be able to receive some frequencies because they don't have 2.5 or 7.5 steps but if I use the narrow settings will it improve reception on narrowband frequencies that can be entered into it? Also if it can be done using the settings on the radio for wide and narrow is that set per frequency stored in the memory or is either on or off for the whole radio?
Thanks,
John
 

N8IAA

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Yes, there is narrowband receive on both radios. The only problem is that those radios don't do the 7.5KHz steps that the railroads will be using inbetween their other channels. Go to the Railroad/Railfan forum here on RR and read all about the changes and when they'll happen.
HTH,
Larry
 

MTS2000des

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AFAIK, the only "ham" radio from one of the "big three" that does both 2.5KHz steps and 7.5KHz steps is the Kenwood TM-271A mobile.

This is what really sucks, all the ham manufacturers knew this was coming, and one of the nice features of ham gear is it is also dual purpose- makes a great conventional scanner. But it will be useless in many places come next year.

Hopefully, manufacturers like Kenwood who use flash memory MAY release an update that adds the capability, assuming the synthesizers can do it. Would be nice if my TM-V71A did 2.5 and 7.5 steps.
 

js_in_ky

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Thanks . I was thinking about buying the Kenwood TH-K20A since some of the dealers I talked to set it said it was "narrowband ready" on the package but then I downloaded the manual for it and it doesn't do 2.5 or 7.5 steps either. Unfortunately from what I can tell the only amateur handheld radio out now that does those steps is the Wauxon KG-UV6D and I've seen mixed reviews on their products. I still wouldn't mind getting a FT-60R or FT-270R for a ham, those of you that have used them can you program the narrowband setting per channel or does the setting change everything in the radio? I called Yaesu to talk to a tech their and they didn't know the answer to that for sure and thought the narrowband applies only to the transmit and didn't do anything to the receive.
John
 

AK9R

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This is what really sucks, all the ham manufacturers knew this was coming...
If they knew, I'm not sure that they cared.

I spoke to a Kenwood representative last year at the Dayton Hamvention and pointed out to him that it would be nice if the Kenwood TH-D72 could be upgraded to support 2.5 or 7.5 kHz tuning steps. At first, he thought the radio could already do it. Then, after he checked his own D72, he response was along the lines of "Hmmm...I guess we'll have to take a look at that."
 

RadioDaze

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If they knew, I'm not sure that they cared.
They really do need to care. If not for current product lines, at least for new releases. Of course, so many rigs are based on previous models' platforms, and it seems we don't really see "All New" VHF/UHF equipment too frequently.

But word-of-mouth means a lot, and if one brand came out with a radio that was the "go-to" standard for hams who need narrow band-ready wide receive, it would capture a lot of market share from the radios that don't do narrow.
 

N8IAA

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Kenwood TM-281A has 2.5KHz steps. Was going to get the K20, but checked it out at a HRO store, and it definitely didn't have the needed steps:( Still undecided about the 281 with the metro conventional public service going to Nexedge and Mototrbo, my scanners do just fine. It's a real shame that the big push by Vertex for digital hams it Mototrbo.
Larry
 

js_in_ky

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Kenwood TM-281A has 2.5KHz steps. Was going to get the K20, but checked it out at a HRO store, and it definitely didn't have the needed steps:( Still undecided about the 281 with the metro conventional public service going to Nexedge and Mototrbo, my scanners do just fine. It's a real shame that the big push by Vertex for digital hams it Mototrbo.
Larry

Aside from the K20 not having the needed steps from what you can tell is it a decent radio to receive the current frequencies (any that don't need 2.5 khz steps to program) now that have just gone over to or are going to narrowband? A salesman at a HRO I called told me it does have the correct IF filter bandwidth but I can't find anything in the manual that says that.
Maybe I need to look at a new scanner and just get a FT-60R or something for 2/440 use but it sure would be nice to be able to have everything in one radio.
John
 

N8IAA

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Aside from the K20 not having the needed steps from what you can tell is it a decent radio to receive the current frequencies (any that don't need 2.5 khz steps to program) now that have just gone over to or are going to narrowband? A salesman at a HRO I called told me it does have the correct IF filter bandwidth but I can't find anything in the manual that says that.
Maybe I need to look at a new scanner and just get a FT-60R or something for 2/440 use but it sure would be nice to be able to have everything in one radio.
John
John, this is just my opinion, the K20 is just another small 2m ht. If you are looking for something to carry around and use, get one of the newer scanners. Is 2/440 accessable with 2.5 watts? If not, an inexpensive dualband mobile might be a better choice. In my immediate area, there is only one repeater that I am full quieting in with a handheld. And it isn't even in my county!
The PSR-310, the 346XT, and when the firmware update comes out, the new 125AT, all will have the 7.5KHz steps.
If you want a 2m ht for railfanning, the FT-270 with the louder audio would be my choice. Just do your homework and get what you want and can afford.
Larry
 

js_in_ky

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Larry, Thanks for the additional info. I was really close to ordering a K20 until I looked into it more and have pretty much come to the same conclusion you just stated, that it's just a small 2m ht and probably doesn't do narrowband receive better than any of the others. Any recommendations on a good scanner to carry with me? I've been using a old Radio Shack Pro-90 and need a replacement for it.
John
 

N8IAA

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A Pro-90, wow. My first trunking scanner back in 1998. Don't know what your scanning interests are, so my suggestion is the RS Pro-106. It will work on all the new railroad frequencies, your state police (conventional digital), and a lot of other stuff. You don't state where in KY you are, so I can't elaborate anymore.
HTH,
Larry
 

js_in_ky

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Larry, That Pro-90 was actually my 4th scanner (3 handhelds and a cheap table top Uniden that was only used in my hangar to monitor ground and tower frequencies), the first was a 10 channel radio shack programmable that I had back in the 80's. I looked at some of those GRE models you posted above. I really haven't had much interest in monitoring anything here except railroads and occasionally local law enforcement but I haven't done that for a while. I need to look up frequencies for this area again (Edmonton, KY) I heard they recently went to a NEXEDGE system for police and fire dispatch. If I get a better scanner I may listen to more on it. The main reason I was looking at a 2m HT over the scanner for railroad use was people said the receivers on them were much more sensitive than a scanner but maybe that's changed with the new scanners. Also I'd like to get active in amateur radio again so getting one radio I could do both with seemed like a good idea but in reality that may not work so well.
John
 

N8IAA

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If you've been looking, there are no scanners yet that do Nexedge. Your city's FD has one frequency on 450MHz that uses Nexedge. The PD has one on 850MHz with the same. You would need a dualband radio with extended receive to hear the VHF/UHF public service frequencies. Luckily, the newer ht's do have PL and DPL for some of the frequencies in your county. Otherwise, 2m for hamming and an inexpensive scanner with PL/DPL for monitoring your county.
Larry
 

js_in_ky

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Larry, Thanks again for the additional info, it's been very helpful. I talked to someone here since I posted this and they said the fire and PD here almost never use those 450mhz, and 850mhz frequencies so I should be able to hear pretty much everything that goes on with the scanner or dual band radio. I've listened to them some on my Pro-90 but not recently. Would you say what I've read is accurate about a single band radio or a good dual band being a better receiver for the railroad stuff in the 160 / 161 mhz range than a scanner would be? Like I said before except for this narrowband issue people say they really like the FT-270R for railroad monitoring and really seem to prefer it over a scanner.
John
 

N8IAA

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Single band will always outperform the dual bander. The 270 has really loud audio and, is built on a commercial frame. If I didn't have a commercial Vertex, I'd pick one up.
Larry
 
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