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Need some accessory recommendations for my GE M-PA VHF portable!!!!

spdfile1

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
423
Location
West Palm Beach,FL
So I was gifted by a local ham a tried and true General Electric M-PA System VHF Portable (that was ham flashed). It works well but I'll probably need to replace the battery and definitely will need to replace the "pink" taped up antenna that came with it. I see a couple places online other than eBay for those items but does anyone have a recommendation of a place they've gotten those items from. Those are short term items. Long term items would be a volume knob and a lapel speaker mic. And for those who are wondering why I'm messing with an old radio my answer is simply they don't make things like they use to!!!!!!!
 

merlin

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
475
Location
South East Idaho
Those items are getting very hard to find, and expensive when found.
I need a battery for my M-PA also. The antenna, any of the VHF Ericsson antennae will work.
Sadly, the UDC connector is unique, means speaker-mic and programming cables specifically for the M-PA.
I don't wonder why the investment in the M-PA, they are treasured by many hams and hard to beat.
(Belt clips I have, chrome or black coat, take your pick. Got the UHF backside too.)
I'll take any battery as long as the power switch and speaker pass is good. I can replace cells if need be.
 

spdfile1

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
423
Location
West Palm Beach,FL
Those items are getting very hard to find, and expensive when found.
I need a battery for my M-PA also. The antenna, any of the VHF Ericsson antennae will work.
Sadly, the UDC connector is unique, means speaker-mic and programming cables specifically for the M-PA.
I don't wonder why the investment in the M-PA, they are treasured by many hams and hard to beat.
(Belt clips I have, chrome or black coat, take your pick. Got the UHF backside too.)
I'll take any battery as long as the power switch and speaker pass is good. I can replace cells if need be.
Looks like this newlondontechnology.com might be a place for some accessories like an antenna and I’ve got a place in mind for a battery. Laird Technologies has antennas that appear to work for the M-PA but the connector size is listed in dimensions?!?! My research has lead me to believe the antenna connector for the M-PA line and maybe others is called an “MD” connector. I just can’t wait to get it dialed in and start using it. It’ll have a healthy and active 2nd or 3rd or maybe even 4th life!!!!!!!!
 

nueces162

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
46
Location
Corpus Christi TX
It is an "MD" type antenna connector but there is a test adapter that screws into the connector and converts it to a BNC female connector, New London may have some of them still, don't remember the P/N off hand but they work great. We used to use a place that took our old batteries and re-celled them with higher cap cells, think it was called Battery Tech, no idea if they still exist. As for some of the other accessories, let me know what you are looking for - I am getting ready to clean out 45 years worth of old radios and parts stacked in boxes and cabinets and lots of them are M-PA radios, accessories, and parts. Will see what I have over the next couple days.
 

nueces162

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
46
Location
Corpus Christi TX
If New London does not have them in stock a place called "tac1systems" lists them - their SKU# "RFA-MD-BNC" for 25 bucks, pricey but quite worth it since you can use any BNC antenna or connector on the radio.
 

spdfile1

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
423
Location
West Palm Beach,FL
It is an "MD" type antenna connector but there is a test adapter that screws into the connector and converts it to a BNC female connector, New London may have some of them still, don't remember the P/N off hand but they work great. We used to use a place that took our old batteries and re-celled them with higher cap cells, think it was called Battery Tech, no idea if they still exist. As for some of the other accessories, let me know what you are looking for - I am getting ready to clean out 45 years worth of old radios and parts stacked in boxes and cabinets and lots of them are M-PA radios, accessories, and parts. Will see what I have over the next couple days.
Awesome sir. I’m at work but my next day off I’ll send you a message to see what you have compared to what I’m looking for. I appreciate the offer.
 

merlin

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
475
Location
South East Idaho
If New London does not have them in stock a place called "tac1systems" lists them - their SKU# "RFA-MD-BNC" for 25 bucks, pricey but quite worth it since you can use any BNC antenna or connector on the radio.
The M-PA does not have a BNC antenna connector. there IS a UDC test cable that does have a female BNC connector.
This is what you are looking for: GE / Ericsson MPA Antenna - 6", VHF, 136-144 MHz
This antenna mates to all of the VHF Harris portables I have seen.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,508
Location
Ohio
So I was gifted by a local ham a tried and true General Electric M-PA System VHF Portable (that was ham flashed). It works well but I'll probably need to replace the battery and definitely will need to replace the "pink" taped up antenna that came with it. I see a couple places online other than eBay for those items but does anyone have a recommendation of a place they've gotten those items from. Those are short term items. Long term items would be a volume knob and a lapel speaker mic. And for those who are wondering why I'm messing with an old radio my answer is simply they don't make things like they use to!!!!!!!
Check the FMR Store also. It's basically the Harris refurbished outlet.


Not sure they'll have anything as old as M-PA but it's worth a try. M-PA is an excellent radio, especially if it's a System model; I had one (along with an M-PD) that I used for ham radio, as well as Railroad monitoring. Sold the M-PA several years ago (and got an XTS5000) but I still have the M-PD.
 

ElroyJetson

I AM NOT YOUR TECH SUPPPORT.
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
2,539
Location
DO NOT ASK ME FOR HELP PROGRAMMING YOUR RADIO. NO.
I made my own MD to BNC adapters. It's easy enough. It's been so long I don't remember exactly how I did it but I know that I used regular panel mount Amphenol BNC female jacks and mated them to the radio's own antenna socket. It's easy to figure out when you look at it.

I don't think there was ever a heavier portable radio than an M-PA but they were great radios...until the memory battery dies and you lose the flash.

As I recall, the amateur VHF radio on the ISS was a hamflashed M-PA and a few years ago it died due to that issue. I wonder what they ever did with it?
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,384
Never had a M-PA, but I carried a M-PD for several years. The RX audio was superb, one of the best with good, deep, rich audio. The ramp buttons sucked however, and built like a tank.
 

nueces162

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
46
Location
Corpus Christi TX
I carried an MPD and later an MPA as my duty radio for years - I carried the MPA so long that it looked like it was chrome plated it was so worn , no paint left - it went through hurricanes, traffic accidents, floods, even getting dropped out the window of a patrol unit once at 45 mph - after I found it I had to replace the battery, antenna and channel select knob and it was back on duty the next shift, I don't think you could kill them- the MPD's and early MPA's had the memory battery problem, the later A's did not use a battery to retain memory so they never dropped their flash - I have a couple of old 16 plus MPD's that have been in a cabinet for almost 20 years and their memory batteries are still holding, the rest of them are brain dead though - I remember the ISS one, Ericsson had a news release about it years back advertising how well their radios worked even when they went to space
 

ElroyJetson

I AM NOT YOUR TECH SUPPPORT.
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
2,539
Location
DO NOT ASK ME FOR HELP PROGRAMMING YOUR RADIO. NO.
Yes, I really liked the M-PD audio as well. It had a natural quality to it that was a far cry from the tinny squawking sound many other radios made you suffer. The ramp knobs were not great but they worked.

My local county is still using EDACS. Of course they rebanded long ago. But I THINK that even an old M-PD would still be able to monitor the system. If I was feeling really nostalgic I'd think about buying one and getting it programmed for RX only. (I ditched M-PD programming capacity years ago.)

Speaking of vintage radios, I also really liked the Rangr mobiles with S-8xx series control heads. (Playskool heads) They were bulky heads but they were nice if you had a roomy vehicle to install them in. And the qualty of the radio itself, made by JRC, was faultless.

I know where there's a minty Rangr VRS just sitting on a shelf gathering dust. I know what it is but I think nobody else does. The main radio is an 800 MHz Rangr and the VRS radio is a low power UHF Rangr. If anybody wants it just pay me shipping cost. I can get that unit for free.

Actually it used to be mine. I was never quite able to get it configured to do what I wanted it to. I wanted to use it to scan selected 800 MHz EDACS talkgroups and retransmit them via UHF to my UHF M-PA. Never could make that work quite right.
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,384
Yes, I really liked the M-PD audio as well. It had a natural quality to it that was a far cry from the tinny squawking sound many other radios made you suffer. The ramp knobs were not great but they worked.

My local county is still using EDACS. Of course they rebanded long ago. But I THINK that even an old M-PD would still be able to monitor the system. If I was feeling really nostalgic I'd think about buying one and getting it programmed for RX only. (I ditched M-PD programming capacity years ago.)

Speaking of vintage radios, I also really liked the Rangr mobiles with S-8xx series control heads. (Playskool heads) They were bulky heads but they were nice if you had a roomy vehicle to install them in. And the qualty of the radio itself, made by JRC, was faultless.

I know where there's a minty Rangr VRS just sitting on a shelf gathering dust. I know what it is but I think nobody else does. The main radio is an 800 MHz Rangr and the VRS radio is a low power UHF Rangr. If anybody wants it just pay me shipping cost. I can get that unit for free.

Actually it used to be mine. I was never quite able to get it configured to do what I wanted it to. I wanted to use it to scan selected 800 MHz EDACS talkgroups and retransmit them via UHF to my UHF M-PA. Never could make that work quite right.
Never even had the screen protector removed.
A72426EE-DB25-4A40-ADC9-463829E6C613.jpeg
 

nueces162

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
46
Location
Corpus Christi TX
Elroy, I have almost a twin to yours also gathering dust in a shelf-, its an 800 Rangr EDACS with an S825 head and a factory cable to a Motorola PAC-RT UHF - by the time I got it working right I had traded my truck for a car and did not have room for the thing so it got shelved about 25 years ago
 
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