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GP68 on Ebay

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Newbie kind of question here. Basically, I am looking into a portable VHF as a personal portable for fire dept. use. Mostly it would be RX only while I drive to the station or at home monitoring, but occasionally want to be able to TX on the fire frequencies as well as an operating unit. I have looked around at all these options and found the GP68 a nice little 5W VHF, field programmable radio, but coming from good ol' Hong Kong. Should I stay away from these or would this be ok for what I want to use it for. I want to be practical about it, but at the same time I dont' want to be doing anything to get myself into huge trouble.

Thanks for any advice...sorry for the dumb question
 

b7spectra

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Only dumb question is one that is never asked!

If you feel comfortable about the purchase from HK (just check their feedback), and it's at a good price, go ahead with it. Just make sure of the frequency range.
 

PCTEK

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Grey Market

When the GP-68 first came out, I asked our Motorola rep about purchasing one. I was told the GP-68 is not meant for sale in the USA, So you're looking at a grey market radio. The reason Motorola doesnt want it sold in the US is that it's programmable from the keypad, handy for the user, but in the US, the FCC wants programming done by authorized dealers using RSS software. This is because this radio can be programmed to TX on any frequency the radio can access. If memory serves, the GP-68 channel spacing is also different due to it not being designed for use in the US.

Do you have a letter of authorization from your county communications director authorizing you to transmit on the fire department frequencies? Even if you have authorization, the FCC license does not provide authorization for use of your personal radio equipment.

I'd skip the purchase of the GP-68 and purchase a radio meant for the US.
 
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b7spectra

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Here is a little more info for you on the GP-68:

All GP68 models include:

* 1200 mAh High Capacity Battery Pack
* VHF or UHF antenna
* 2 1/2" Belt Clip
* User Manual


Programmable Features:

* Selectable Frequencies (5/10/12, 5/20/25 kHz steps)
* Programmable repeater offset
* Programmable PL/DPL/CSQ
* DTMF Signalling
* PTT-ID and Selective Call ID's
* Factory Reset to default resettings


User Features:

* Front Panel Programmable Features with Keypad Lock
* Memory Scan with Nuisance Channel Delete
* High/ Low Power Control (VHF 5/1W, UHF 4/1W Power Output)
* Access/Deaccess Code, 9 Phone Memories (12 Digits),Redial
* Multi-Functional LCD Display with Backlight (7 Digits Read Out)
* Radio to Radio Cloning
* Dual Model Battery Saver
* Low Battery Indicator
* Receive Signal Strength Indicator (R.S.S.I.)
* Side Monitor Button
* Programmable Time Out Timer
* Adjustable squelch Level


Optional features:

* Selective Call (Individual/Group Call) with DTMF Decode Module
* SmarTrunk II Logic Board
* VHF or UHF Heliflex Antenna

Also, they are US approved radio's.
 

PCTEK

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GP-68 - Not for sale in the US

I don't want to start a war here, but this is currently posted on eham.net:

K6LCS Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2006 08:22 Send this review to a friend
Grey Market Time owned: more than 12 months

Although a good performer, the GP-68 is an export model from Motorola, and never intended to be distributed within the US. Which means you have no valid warranty. Sure, it's a good performer for a single-band HT. But there's good dual-band HTs out there for less than what a new GP-68 will cost.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

The GP-68 is also NOT FCC type accepted for ameteur radio use.
 

ramal121

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I really like my Kenwood TK 2170 radios, have fire and my business programed in them.
And I'm really impressed with the Kenwood TK-7180. If you order it with the Tactical Feature Set, you can field program 'em with the keypad and they are way cheaper than a BK.
 

gewecke

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I don't want to start a war here, but this is currently posted on eham.net:

K6LCS Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2006 08:22 Send this review to a friend
Grey Market Time owned: more than 12 months

Although a good performer, the GP-68 is an export model from Motorola, and never intended to be distributed within the US. Which means you have no valid warranty. Sure, it's a good performer for a single-band HT. But there's good dual-band HTs out there for less than what a new GP-68 will cost.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

The GP-68 is also NOT FCC type accepted for ameteur radio use.
Maybe show us some documentation on this? There's a lot of these used by hams all over the u.s. and if this the case then you might enlighten us! :roll:
N9ZAS
 

n7maq-1

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I don't think they are narrow band capable, all the FCC stuff aside I would not buy one just for that reason.

If your department does not issue you a radio with TX to take home then there is a good chance you don't need it. Cell phones work great to contact dispatch when needed.

Jim
 

b7spectra

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I still like my Saber III and all the programming equipment.

He might want to see about nailing down a JT1000 for field programmable.
 

n7maq-1

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I still like my Saber III and all the programming equipment.

He might want to see about nailing down a JT1000 for field programmable.

Hard to beat the Sabers, Motorola has forgot how to build radios like that any more.

Well the JT1000 would be a good choice for an FPP radio, they will not do all of the splinter channels. They will do narrow band, but not the 2.5KHz steps. We have a customer with a bunch of newer (2003, 2004 Date codes) JT1000's that will not do the 2.5KHz steps.

If you really want a Motorola FPP unit, and you want it to work 100% after Jan-1-20013 then you are going to need an HT1550, XTS2500, or XTS5000.

Of course there are lots of Kenwoods that can be self programmed that are cheaper and will work after 1/1/2013. The TK-2170G is very well priced (if you can get it through your department there are WSCA discounts, it is 29% here in OR), as mentioned above the TK-x180's wit the tactical feature set are very good. Also an older TK-270G would work. BK is another choice, but nothing older than a GPH, due to the splinter channel issue. If you ever are going to work with WDNR then a BK would be a very good choice. I'm sure that icom, or yaesu would make something to fit your needs also.

Jim
 
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GTR8000

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The GP-68 is also NOT FCC type accepted for ameteur radio use.
"Type acceptance" for amateur radio? :roll: I think you had better brush up on your FCC rules. First of all, the term "type accepted" isn't even used anymore. Devices are now said to be certified or declared as conforming to FCC standards. Of course when dealing with amateur radio, that's a moot point since "type acceptance" only applies to devices used in the licensed services.
 

n7maq-1

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"Type acceptance" for amateur radio? :roll: I think you had better brush up on your FCC rules. First of all, the term "type accepted" isn't even used anymore. Devices are now said to be certified or declared as conforming to FCC standards. Of course when dealing with amateur radio, that's a moot point since "type acceptance" only applies to devices used in the licensed services.

This is from the ARRL's web site

"Type Acceptance: Similar to certification, except that it typically applies to radio transmitter equipment that will be used in a licensed radio service. Devices subject to type acceptance include: land mobile transmitters such as cellular transmitters, or police, fire and business transmitters; transmitters used in the maritime and aeronautical safety services; and CB and other transmitters used in the Personal Radio Services. Amateur Radio transmitters do not require type acceptance although external HF power amplifiers and kits do require type acceptance."
 

b7spectra

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Only problem with the whole "type accepted" or "certified" is no one seems to care anymore and it's probably 1 in a million that ever has even an issue with good old Uncle Charlie down at the FCC. They don't have the time or money to track down every single person who is using a radio that someone else doesn't like!

Blah Blah Blah you can't use that radio on this frequency. You use what you can afford. I guess it's time one of the moderators close this down and let the guy go buy what ever radio he wants.
 
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GTR8000

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Blah Blah Blah you can't use that radio on this frequency. You use what you can afford. I guess it's time one of the moderators close this down and let the guy go buy what ever radio he wants.
Yeah, that sounds great, until his ass is on the line in a fire and that irresistible deal he found on eBay turns out to be a POS radio made with spare parts by some 12 year old in China. :mad:

If he was going to use it as a ham radio, or just for casual/hobby listening, then I'd be right there with you in telling him to go for it. That's not the case, though. Trust me, I know firsthand that it won't take him very long to get used to the idea of having his own portable on the fireground, and that "receive only" will go right out the window pretty damn quick. He actually already said he would transmit with it, so there we go. It's also not narrowband compliant, which will make a difference as far as the Rx/Tx quality when his dept switches over.

This radio is not meant for critical public safety application, so please don't give out bad advice when you should know better as a retired medic.
 

n7maq-1

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Yeah, that sounds great, until his ass is on the line in a fire and that irresistible deal he found on eBay turns out to be a POS radio made with spare parts by some 12 year old in China. :mad:

If he was going to use it as a ham radio, or just for casual/hobby listening, then I'd be right there with you in telling him to go for it. That's not the case, though. Trust me, I know firsthand that it won't take him very long to get used to the idea of having his own portable on the fireground, and that "receive only" will go right out the window pretty damn quick. He actually already said he would transmit with it, so there we go. It's also not narrowband compliant, which will make a difference as far as the Rx/Tx quality when his dept switches over.

This radio is not meant for critical public safety application, so please don't give out bad advice when you should know better as a retired medic.
Well said Chauffeur6, and 110% correct!!!
 

DODGEIT

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Well I took the chance and bought one on eBay a while back from HK. The seller had a great rating. The radio works well and it came modded so that it is field programmable.(Motorola made changes in productions of these radios and limited the programming to just something the dealer could do(Not US dealers) Well they require the removal of a resistor to make them field programmable) The only issue I have is the low battery alert constantly beeping when transmitting and the save light flashing on the screen. I consider this a minor problem and I live with it. It looks brand new. However there is those who said they have been built with new and used parts. I don't use it much for ham radio but I do have another reason I use it. As other say there are radios out there that will do the job you need it for that are as good or even better then the GP68.
 

chrismol1

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The GP68 is nice little radio for occasional transmitting & receiving in ham, murs, gmrs but thats about it.
If I were you I'd go for an HT1550 or JT1000, both at around $400-$500
 
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