Hand-Held Radio and Mobile Setup

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adamnfd202

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Hello guys im seeking information and opinions on radios for a small rural Alabama fire department, we currently have Kenwood TK-272G handhelds and Minitor V pagers and are unhappy with both, we are considering reverting back to the Minitor II SV. Does any one have any suggestions on a handheld that:
A: decodes/encodes Motorola Quick Call II
B: is reliable and has good battery life
C: Scan with Priority
D: Possibly is capable of interoperability

we have an analog UHF system with four 100 watt repeaters across in the county, I must say I liked our VHF system a lot better only we had to share it with our police department, now that we are on a county wide system we share the channel with seven other departments, we are the busiest of the county and have our own communications center and do not rely on the county 911 center(thank God, long story short they hire misfits that cant read a map and which ever button they hit on the console is the unit they send no matter if it is way outside of there JD)

Second if I wanted to put a mobile dispatch console in the command truck and control it with a laptop what equipment do I need to connect a mobile radio to the laptop I have Commtek's dispatch software and the Tone encoder)

Thanks for your help; the site is very useful, -Adam
 

Grog

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we currently have Kenwood TK-272G handhelds and Minitor V pagers and are unhappy with both, we are considering reverting back to the Minitor II SV

What issues are you having with the Kenwood?

What issues are you having with the Min V?

I know the minV is nowhere as good as the old Min II are, but that is the problem, unless you have them already it might be difficult getting them now. Are you already using a narrowband dispatch frequency? I ask becasue I am not sure even if the Min II did narrowband modulation.


Does any one have any suggestions on a handheld that:
A: decodes/encodes Motorola Quick Call II
B: is reliable and has good battery life
C: Scan with Priority
D: Possibly is capable of interoperability
A: do you REALLY need encode? It seems like fun, but for many it is just a toy.

B: Have you found the Kenwoods to be unreliable? Good battery life is also subjective, just depends on how a radio is used and charged.

C: I think just about anything will do that

D: I'm not trying to sound mean, but interoperability is the latest overused bussword.

A radio is what it is, if you want a radio that can hold every single local, state & fed interop channel, then just buy a radio with a bunch of channels. Do you need P25 digital for any future upgrades, or to talk with anyone else?


we have an analog UHF system with four 100 watt repeaters across in the county, I must say I liked our VHF system a lot better only we had to share it with our police department
Ok, so you need UHF equipment as a replacement for your current VHF gear.


I'm really curious on what issues you had with the kenwoods, I used the 270 for a couple years in a fire/EMS capisity and have since owned the 270G and that worked fine for me as well. It's not as rugged as some radios, but radios should not be abused for no reason either. It's also a lot better to buy three of something instead of one for the same money, as long as it fits your needs.


In case you did not know, you can expand the 272/372G from 32ch to the 128 the 270/370G has using the programming software.
 

commstar

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:D: I'm not trying to sound mean, but interoperability is the latest overused bussword"
Busswords are kinda like Reese Horses aren't they?
 
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chrismol1

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I'd be glad to buy those Minitor V's from ya!
Send me a PM or I will PM you later!
 

mcema699

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Radio Troubles?

The 272 is VHF, I trust that's a typo or you're using a special setup with crossbanding?

We use Kenwood in our county in almost every department that I am aware of. Yes we use the M pagers.

With the handhelds, we use use NiMH batteries at our agency, however it takes a different charger. At work I use NiCads but we don't use them more than 5-5-85 most days so they last more than 8 hours. You can also get a slide on battery eliminator from several sources (www.kendoo.com) to use when mobile.

Antennas are important. Are you using the stubby or 5-6 inch versions? On your belt, in the car, you will lose a lot of signal either way. I've found a 5/8 wave rubber duck, just got a UHF one, that did improve my signal from a difficult area (www.smileyantenna.com) You could also use 1/4 waves on the cars if you wanted.

As far as the pagers, aren't there mobile adapters still for those that you could hook an external antenna to? Again, on your belt in the car it won't get much.

Vendors listed are only a couple of possible sources. I've used them with success, but do your own research please.
 

RayAir

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Hello guys im seeking information and opinions on radios for a small rural Alabama fire department, we currently have Kenwood TK-272G handhelds and Minitor V pagers and are unhappy with both, we are considering reverting back to the Minitor II SV. Does any one have any suggestions on a handheld that:
A: decodes/encodes Motorola Quick Call II
B: is reliable and has good battery life
C: Scan with Priority
D: Possibly is capable of interoperability

we have an analog UHF system with four 100 watt repeaters across in the county, I must say I liked our VHF system a lot better only we had to share it with our police department, now that we are on a county wide system we share the channel with seven other departments, we are the busiest of the county and have our own communications center and do not rely on the county 911 center(thank God, long story short they hire misfits that cant read a map and which ever button they hit on the console is the unit they send no matter if it is way outside of there JD)

Second if I wanted to put a mobile dispatch console in the command truck and control it with a laptop what equipment do I need to connect a mobile radio to the laptop I have Commtek's dispatch software and the Tone encoder)

Thanks for your help; the site is very useful, -Adam
Rural? Then I suggest VHF- Low Band 33mhz or 46mhz range, 110watt mobiles. Nothing beats the range of low band in rural areas where you don't have to contend with high rise building obstruction. The heck with all of the expensive digital radios and TRS. In a rural environment you don't need it. When I used to be a firefighter we used Motorola radios on 46.42o mhz and on a 6 watt portable you could talk 7-10 miles. And it seemed you could pick up the dispatch base for 30+ miles. We used no repeaters. You MAY need a repeater if you have a large coverage area.
 

rescuecomm

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The Minitor II's are not factory supported anymore and anything you round up used is going to have a lot of hours on it. My squad has been using the VHF Minitor IV and V with no problems, although most of the Minitor III units have long since failed and been replaced. UHF is not going to have the converage of VHF watt per watt so maybe your problem's could be cured with some repeater antenna pattern changes. One of the rural FD's in my county had to put up a repeater inside their call area to be able to tone out all the volunteers. All the county's repeater systems are in a central location that is pretty good most everywhere, but not with 100% WT or pager coverage everywhere. Your old VHF system must have been local in your call area.

Bob
 
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adamnfd202

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our vhf and uhf repeater is on the same tower, we have a total of 4 UHF repeaters across the county and all are no more than 20 miles apart, the VHF is only police and the uhf is fire, i was against the whole UHF swap. I wish we were able to get our own VHF channel
 
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