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Ic-f21 FRS functions

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This is all very new to me, so if I sound like I don't know what I am asking it is most likely that I don't.

I just recently acquired an Icom IC F21 radio It was advertised as functioning on FRS channels the same as my small "walkie talkies" Motorola Talkabouts and Cobra Microtalks. I cannot seem to get it to transmit to these smaller radios.
Do I have a different version of the F21 that does not transmit on FRS?
( My version has the channel selector knob on top 1-16)
Is the wattage of the Icom radio to high to be received by the smaller FRS radios?
Is this radio possibly not programmed?
These might be completely wrong, but from the searching I did before coming here it is the only questions I could come up with.

I purchased this radio because I wanted to be able to interface my pryme throatmike and still transmit on FRS to my wife at the house while out running and hiking.

I would appreciate any help at all, I am completely new to anything other than basic FRS radios and am happy to learn all that I can.
 

methusaleh

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This is all very new to me, so if I sound like I don't know what I am asking it is most likely that I don't.

I just recently acquired an Icom IC F21 radio It was advertised as functioning on FRS channels the same as my small "walkie talkies" Motorola Talkabouts and Cobra Microtalks. I cannot seem to get it to transmit to these smaller radios.
Do I have a different version of the F21 that does not transmit on FRS?
( My version has the channel selector knob on top 1-16)
Perhaps. What is the FCC ID? What does the antenna look like? Thick at the base, then tapering toward the top? That is UHF. Or uniform thickness, about that of a pencil, that is VHF (for those models of radios, at least).

Is the wattage of the Icom radio to high to be received by the smaller FRS radios?
Not sure if you mean theoretically, or legally. Either way, the wattage really can't be "too high" to be heard on a receiver that is on the same frequency. Now, legally too high for unlicensed FRS use, perhaps.

Is this radio possibly not programmed?
Perhaps. What did the seller tell you?
 
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Perhaps. What is the FCC ID? What does the antenna look like? Thick at the base, then tapering toward the top? That is UHF. Or uniform thickness, about that of a pencil, that is VHF (for those models of radios, at least).
It is a narrow antennae of uniform thickness, that is thick at the base to screw into the transceiver.

FCC ID: AFJ IC-F21



Not sure if you mean theoretically, or legally. Either way, the wattage really can't be "too high" to be heard on a receiver that is on the same frequency. Now, legally too high for unlicensed FRS use, perhaps.
I don't know much about FCC licensing which is why I went with FRS, but if I have to acquire a license to use the radio I don't mind.


Perhaps. What did the seller tell you?
It was advertised as pre programmed with FRS frequencies, now it may be that the channels do not match up Icom 1 to 1 on different radios, I have yet to run through every combination to see if any match up.

I appreciate the help.
 

W2NJS

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That Icom radio is a programmable commercial unit that's made in both VHF and UHF versions. Strictly speaking (and not trying to be cop but you should be aware) its use on FRS channels is illegal. Without dealer assistance or proper bench testing equipment it's not possible to tell if it's transmitting where you want it to be, be it legal or not. The tech details of the radio are here:

IC-F11 / F21 Series VHF / UHF transceiver toggle type - Specifications - Icom America
 

mmckenna

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Couple of things here:
F21 is a UHF commercial radio, and in it's stock form, it come unprogrammed from the factory.
F21GM is the same thing that come preprogrammed with GMRS frequencies.

Your radio may not be programmed with the GMRS frequencies.
Your radio may be programmed, but it could have been programmed in a different order from your FRS radios.
CTCSS or DCS codes may be active on your FRS radios. Disable that and give it another try.

The F21GM is a GMRS radio, not an FRS radio. The reason it can work with FRS radios is because 7 of the 14 FRS frequencies are shared with GMRS. Traditionally FRS 1-7, the ones in the 462MHz range, are common between FRS and GMRS, although some FRS/GMRS radios can have things organized differently.

Here is the legality issue:
FRS is technically not "license free", it's actually "License by rule". In other words, if you follow the rules, you are authorized to use the service without needing to obtain a license from the FCC. FCC rules say that FRS radios and FRS/GMRS radios operating under the FRS rules:
Must NOT have a removable antenna
Must NOT emit more than 500mw of power.
Must NOT exceed the 12.5 KHz channels used by FRS.

GMRS rules say:
You can use a removable antenna.
You can use up to 5 watts on the 7 frequencies shared with FRS (called "interstitial" channels)
on the GMRS frequencies (not the ones shared with FRS) you can use up to 50 watts of transmitter output power . You can use 25KHz wide channels on the 8 main GMRS frequencies and the 8 repeater input frequencies.

So, since your F21 has a removable antenna and runs about 4 watts, it is a GMRS radio, not an FRS radio, and therefore requires a GMRS license, EVEN if you are only going to use it on the 7 interstitial channels shared with FRS.

If you don't have a GMRS license, then the rules say it would be illegal for you to transmit with this radio. Are you going to get caught, unlikely.

Your options would be:
Try and figure out how the radio is set up by trial and error. I'd suggest turning the "quite codes", "privacy codes", "sub-channels" or whatever your FRS radios call it, OFF.
Find someone with the software and cable to read the radio and let you know how it's set up.
or:
Get rid of it. Personally I'd get busy with the trial and error part and see what you can figure out.
 

canav844

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It's very likely you're looking at the GMRS repeater pairs first then followed by the GMRS simplex channels, if they programmed it to match up to the F21GM model. There's a chart that I don't have floating around here somewhere or in the manual which you may find online in pdf format. Might be time to bust out the scanner and confirm what matches up to what (all licenses in place)
 

methusaleh

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It is UHF, judging by the FCC ID. Though it may have the wrong antenna.

I could read the radio for you if you mail it to me and pay for return postage. Otherwise a shop is likely to charge you a good chunk of money. And if I were you, I would want to know if I got ripped off as soon as possible. Maybe you should see if you can get a refund...did the seller have a refund policy?

I hate to be so cynical, but it sounds like you wanted a good FRS radio, and you got taken for a ride by a greedy seller.
 

mmckenna

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F21 is UHF. F11 is VHF. Unless he got a funny band split, it should be the right one. Programming is the big question. The F21GM comes from the factory preprogrammed with the 15 simplex GMRS frequencies. (8 primary 7 intrastitials) the 16th position is supposed to scan. F21 comes loaded with a factory default, none of it GMRS.

I've got software and cable for these guys too, I'd be happy to program it also. Unfortunately he's half way between the two of us.
 
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Sorry for the Delay, been very busy with work.

Ok I have success to report, I got the radio functioning on FRS bands.

It turned out that the radio programming was not FRS freq. I borrowed my brother’s OPC 478-UC Icom programming cable, and using a copy of the CS-F11 software I found that the programming of the radio was as follows:

1. 464.500000
2. 464.550000
3. 467.762500
4. 467.812500
5. 467.850000
6. 467.875000
7. 467.900000
8. 467.925000

I then reprogrammed the radio to function on normal FRS channels


And it turned out my brother actually had an old F-21 Icom at his house in a box of old radio parts and pieces, he didn’t know what kind of radio it was. This radio had been living on South Padre Island for some years in the bottom of this box, but when a new battery pack was placed onto it, it functioned. So I reprogrammed it to the Same frequencies and it works as well. So now I have two very rugged FRS radios, all I have to do is next payday apply for my GMRS license and I’ll be a happy camper. I appreciate all the help you’ve given me trying to figure this little dilemma out.
 

gtaman

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Sorry for the Delay, been very busy with work.

Ok I have success to report, I got the radio functioning on FRS bands.

It turned out that the radio programming was not FRS freq. I borrowed my brother’s OPC 478-UC Icom programming cable, and using a copy of the CS-F11 software I found that the programming of the radio was as follows:

1. 464.500000
2. 464.550000
3. 467.762500
4. 467.812500
5. 467.850000
6. 467.875000
7. 467.900000
8. 467.925000

I then reprogrammed the radio to function on normal FRS channels


And it turned out my brother actually had an old F-21 Icom at his house in a box of old radio parts and pieces, he didn’t know what kind of radio it was. This radio had been living on South Padre Island for some years in the bottom of this box, but when a new battery pack was placed onto it, it functioned. So I reprogrammed it to the Same frequencies and it works as well. So now I have two very rugged FRS radios, all I have to do is next payday apply for my GMRS license and I’ll be a happy camper. I appreciate all the help you’ve given me trying to figure this little dilemma out.
Do you happen to remember or know the ctcss and Dcss codes for those frequencies? I know they came preprogrammed with them. I'm wondering because I would like to use my cp200s with those radios at my work. I know the freqs of their icf21s which are the same you said you had. The radios have never been programmed we just use the out of the box pre set frequencies. I just want the pl codes for those freqs.

Thanks Matt
 

gewecke

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Do you happen to remember or know the ctcss and Dcss codes for those frequencies? I know they came preprogrammed with them. I'm wondering because I would like to use my cp200s with those radios at my work. I know the freqs of their icf21s which are the same you said you had. The radios have never been programmed we just use the out of the box pre set frequencies. I just want the pl codes for those freqs.

Thanks Matt
Try 67.0hz. pl for all 8 channels.

73,
n9zas
 

gtaman

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No I don't think those are it. I remover awhile back knowing them but know I forgot them I'll try later this week to figure them out I think the may be 111.8 I know I remover a 1 and in 8 in the code
 

gewecke

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No I don't think those are it. I remover awhile back knowing them but know I forgot them I'll try later this week to figure them out I think the may be 111.8 I know I remover a 1 and in 8 in the code
There isn't a 111.8 pl however these are your possible choices,

114.8, 118.8, 131.8, 159.8, 173.8, 186.2, 189.9, 192.8, 218.1, 241.8,

73,
n9zas
 
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