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GE Mastr II base station info

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firedog359

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Hello everyone.First off,I'm just a Firefighter who loves and collects old radios and consoles.I'm not a Ham or a Tech,so I don't know a whole lot about some of the equipment that I have.I recently aquired a GE Mastr II VHF high band base station in the 30" deskmate cabinet.The comb number shows it to be an intermittent duty,110 watt,2ch TX/RX,channel guard unit with extended local control.The unit came with a series 659 Mastr local controller and a Motorola N1016B paging encoder.I have managed to aquire most of the service manuals for everything but I still have some questions that I hope someone will take the time to answer.First,In the pictures that I have seen online,there is a control shelf with cards or an IDA controller.Mine doesn't have any of this and I'm wondering does the local controller take the place of all that? Also,exactly what does an IDA controller do?Thanks in advance for any and all help with my questions.
 

zz0468

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The relevance of the answers you get here will depend on what you want to do with it. The radio is no longer legal for Part 90 use, so continued use will probably either be export, or amateur radio. Since you're not a ham, any answers you get may be irrelevant.

That said, the IDA shelf was the newer control shelf that interfaced the radio to the outside world - wireline control, time out timer, maintenance functions, etc. It provides the extra circuitry necessary to make a transmitter and receiver actually usable.

I'm not sure what the 659 is/was, so can't answer that part of the question. From what you describe, it sounds like it could essentially be for estended local control, which would be the situation where the radio is located in a closet or something, and the speaker and microphone etc. are located on a nearby desk, as opposed to remote control that would use a phone line.
 

firedog359

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Mastr II

Thanks for the reply.The comb number does show this to be an extended local control radio.The description in the manual says the 659 series Mastr local controller is compact desk top console designed for extended local control of Mastr II base stations.It has a desk mic attached to it and the 4 conductor interface cable for the paging encoder.I know this radio is non-narrowband compliant.That's the reason the rescue squad I bought it from replaced it.I just like to learn as much as I can about the radios that I collect.Also,I am actually working on getting my Ham license.
 

firedog359

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Aug 17, 2011
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Location
Conover,NC
Mastr II

My unit is a 150.8-174 mhz split but from what I have read it could be modified to operate in the 2 meter band.When I get my Ham ticket I may try to convert it over to a repeater and then I may just leave it like it is as a working display piece.If I leave it as is,I will probably install a decent dummy load so that I can power it up to show people that it works.
 

firedog359

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Conover,NC
Another question on this,As I mentioned in my original question,my base station did not come with control cards or an IDA controller.I am guessing the desk top local controller took care of this.Would adding an IDA controller increase the usability of this unit?
 

zz0468

QRT
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Another question on this,As I mentioned in my original question,my base station did not come with control cards or an IDA controller.I am guessing the desk top local controller took care of this.Would adding an IDA controller increase the usability of this unit?
Only marginally, and probably not worth it. As was previously stated, that radio is no longer useful for part 90 operation.

Made into a ham repeater, the stock IDA controller is only marginally useful, most ham repeaters use an external controller. That would get grafted into the radio as necessary.

In either case, it's not really a beginner project. If you become a ham, a possibly better use for it would be as is, using the local control, and using it as a base station to talk into your favorite 2 meter repeater.
 
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