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    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

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    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

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Need Radio Advise

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GKolo

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I am looking for a used low cost mobile VHF radio with about 6 channels to use for mutual aid response only. I was thinking about a Max Trac because of the price, But i'm not sure on programming or if it can be narrowbanded.
The radio will only get used 4 or 5 times a year so i am trying to keep it as cheap as possible.
If i find one who is a decent shop to have it programmed ?

Thanks
 

mikewazowski

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Maxtracs won't easily do narrowbanding. You'll be into hardware modifications which would offset the cheap cost.

Not knowing what your budget is makes it kind of difficult to make suggestions.

Maybe a CDM1250 or an XPR4350?

The XPR is a relatively recent radio and is still supported.

As for programming, without a location it's hard to make any suggestions.
 

GKolo

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I would like to keep radio and programming under a 100 dollars, I thought about the low cost handheld radios that are out but i need the power of a mobile to hit the repeater in the Mutual Aid counties.
Whatever i get dosent have to be a prom queen just needs to work...lol
I'm in Tennessee.
 

mikewazowski

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Radio and programming under $100 is going to be tough.

That basically rules out taking your radio to any shop as they'll probably charge you for programming which typically runs at an hours labour. Your budget will be blown unless you can convince them to do it for free.

If you can find a willing person locally, your choices will be limited by what they can program.

Even then, finding a narrowband radio under $100 is going to be tough.
 

SteveC0625

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Fully agree with Mike and then some. You're expecting a bargain that does not exist, at least not for current Motorola radios. I usually advise my clients that a used radio will be at least $125 plus whatever is needed to properly install it. Hanger bracket is at least $12. Power cable about the same. Oh, you want ignition sense? $10 or so if you can find the parts cheap. Many good used radios don't come with microphones. Expect to pay $25 or more. Remote mount kits are at least $80.

If you look around, even used WB only radios are selling for $70 or more with no accessories; just the radio. By the time you install it properly and have it programmed, you are well over $125-150. And it's not even a legit radio because it is WB only.

I just bought a good used UHF CDM1250. By the time I finished installing it, I had over $180 into it. I stalked the used market for months looking for a bargain.

We haven't even discussed shipping costs, have we?
 

mikewazowski

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I was thinking a Spectra but even that is pushing it and it won't do narrowband.

I've picked up Astro Spectras for $100 but that didn't include any accessories, any shipping or programming.
 

mmckenna

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Right, Kenwood, Icom, even the Chinese radios might be a more realistic choice at this point.

I've picked up used Motorola CDM-750 VHF radios for $100. They only do 4 channels. Sometimes you can find them for that price with the accessories, but you are still going to need someone to do the programming for you. If you are really lucky, you can find someone to do it for free locally. I've done a few for other amateurs, GMRS, etc for free, or for the cost of shipping it back.

I agree, though, $100 bucks for a radio including the accessories, programming, etc. is a bit low. Step that expectation up to $150 or $200 and you'll have better luck.

Don't rule out the other brands, though. Motorola's are nice radios, but you will pay a premium. There are perfectly suitable radios from the other brands that will do exactly what you need at a lower price. Nothing at all wrong with Kenwood, Icom, etc.

You -DO- need to have a narrow band capable radio, this isn't an option. Since you will be working under your departments license (you have their permission, right?) you need to follow all the rules or you can get your department in trouble. Narrow band is required. Trying to use a wide band only radio on narrow band systems is going to sound pretty bad. You don't want to be know as "the guy with the crappy sounding radio".

There are some narrow band MaxTrac's out there, but they are pretty rare. You won't find them as cheap as the wide band only models. There are better choices anyway.

Check around with local radio shops and see if they can help you out. Sometimes they have old radios pulled out of systems they've upgraded they'll sell for cheap.

Don't forget to figure in the cost of installation supplies. You still need a suitable antenna for it to work, power cabling, etc.
 
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WA0CBW

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As mmckenna stated you will need a license for the frequencies or a letter of authorization from the licensee of the frequencies. It is an FCC violation for anyone (including a radio shop) to program frequencies in a radio for which the user is not licensed or does not have a letter of authorization. This is the first step in finding a reputable dealer. If they don't ask for the license or authorization letter move on to the next one.
BB
 

902

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As for using a Maxtrac, they need a hardware change-out and realignment using test instrumentation. The kits were never widely available or even popular and the manufacturers lobbied the FCC to not allow simply halving transmit deviation and becoming materially compliant.

I've used M1225 mobiles as replacements. They do narrowband, and they're pretty good in my opinion, but you see them going for a premium for them on the auction sites. Be careful of what you buy, and for $100, be ready to start your Easter egg hunt for all the missing this and thats or fixing something that's broken and very possibly not worth fixing.
 
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mformby

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How about the M1225?

They seem to be plentiful on eBay, so there should be other sources also. 20 channels and they are a durable radio. I sold hundreds of them to police/fire/ems, and the 4 channel versions to schools and misc. businesses.

I am looking for a used low cost mobile VHF radio with about 6 channels to use for mutual aid response only. I was thinking about a Max Trac because of the price, But i'm not sure on programming or if it can be narrowbanded.
The radio will only get used 4 or 5 times a year so i am trying to keep it as cheap as possible.
If i find one who is a decent shop to have it programmed ?

Thanks
 

SteveC0625

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They seem to be plentiful on eBay, so there should be other sources also. 20 channels and they are a durable radio. I sold hundreds of them to police/fire/ems, and the 4 channel versions to schools and misc. businesses.
Another good choice, but the OP only wanted to spend around $100. As several of us pointed out, most used radios don't come with things like mounting brackets, power cords, antennas and coax, etc. That generally pushes the cost up to the $150 and higher range.

Two other other points about the M1225: First, it is Type Accepted for Part 95 so the UHF versions tend to very desirable to the GMRS crowd. That pushes the prices up and to a small extent that will also pull up the VHF prices a bit.

Second, because of its very small size, QCII decode, 12.5 Khz NB, 16 pin accessory port, and other features, it is very desirable among the public safety users, both VHF and UHF. Again, that will push the market value up.

I have a M1225 UHF and have had great luck with it. It just came out of my truck, and will be moved over to the fifth wheeler for use as a base unit when we're camping.

Yes, there are a lot of them on Ebay, but the selling prices without installation accessories are already beyond the OP's budget. That has been most of the thrust of this thread.
 

kayfox

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I think the best option would be to buy a refurb or new radio made by one of the major players from a reputable dealer. Yes it costs more than your willing to spend, but its better than being in a situation and not being able to call for help because your Wouxun is deaf or your ebay special radio just crapped out again.


Also:
It is an FCC violation for anyone (including a radio shop) to program frequencies in a radio for which the user is not licensed or does not have a letter of authorization.
Nope. It is an ethical violation, but it is not illegal to program the frequencies into the radio. It is just illegal to transmit. (if you think otherwise provide citation of the relevant CFRs)
 

902

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Actually it IS illegal to program a transmit capability for which one is not expressly licensed for, or covered under some MOU or some other inter-local agreement for (presuming the host agency license covers any added area of operation and added mobile radio count).

Here is the cite:
47 CFR 90.427
(b) Except for frequencies used in accordance with § 90.417, no person shall program into a transmitter frequencies for which the licensee using the transmitter is not authorized.

It is an ethical violation, but it is not illegal to program the frequencies into the radio. It is just illegal to transmit. (if you think otherwise provide citation of the relevant CFRs)
After that, the operator of the unlicensed transmitter may be cited for the violation of not having a license and the individual who programmed the equipment may be cited for the violation of willfully programming a frequency that is not authorized.
 
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kayfox

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Actually it IS illegal to program a transmit capability for which one is not expressly licensed for, or covered under some MOU or some other inter-local agreement for (presuming the host agency license covers any added area of operation and added mobile radio count).

Here is the cite:
47 CFR 90.427
(b) Except for frequencies used in accordance with § 90.417, no person shall program into a transmitter frequencies for which the licensee using the transmitter is not authorized.
Okay, I missed that one. This means that people programming their XTSes for trunked radio systems "just to listen" are probably violating the law.
 

N0BDW

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I wonder how that works with fire/EMS for mutual aid. And even for county licensed frequencies used by local agencies. I'd be willing to bet there is nothing more than a verbal agreement in place, unless the mutual aid plan explicitly covers it.
I've never had a problem getting a shop to program whatever I want, but I also don't ask for stuff I shouldn't have. I've never been asked to produce documentation though, and if I were, that might be tough for a lot of stuff.
 

902

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Okay, I missed that one. This means that people programming their XTSes for trunked radio systems "just to listen" are probably violating the law.
For the most part, yes, unless they can somehow not program the transmitter. I don't think that's possible with an XTS. But I usually don't tell people what they should or shouldn't do (well, okay, sometimes). I just use a scanner these days.
 

WA0CBW

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At our shop we will not NOT program a radio unless we can verify they have a valid FCC license or a current letter of Authorization from the licensee which we verify before programming a radio. A "friendly" letter from the FCC helped us establish that policy.
 

radioman2001

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Maxtrac's and analog Spectra's won't do narrow band legally with any amount of modification. They were never intended for narrow band except the 900 models.The FCC states radio must be type accepted for narrow band so putting in modification kit on either still won't make them legal. CDM's are great radios and relatively cheap nowadays. Also with the right software, which is out here you can make a CDM-750 a 1250 or 1550, and then just add a new head.
 

mikewazowski

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Gentlemen, let's focus on the OP's original question and leave the debate on the legalities of programming a radio for another thread.

Thanks.
 
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