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One radio for two uses??

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KK4ELO

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Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
359
Location
Smithville, Tennessee
Hello,

First off, let me get this out of the way. For those of you who think im trying to do anything im not supposed to, please leave your posts out. This is purely a question asking is it possible, and legal.

I am a volunteer firefighter, and i already have my own radio. i am in the process of getting my ham license. what im wondering is, would it be possible to have one radio for use on ham AND the fd? say if i bought a commercial grade radio (moto, kenwood, etc.), is it possible to have it programmed to ham and public safety together? if so, would it be legal?

as i said, this is purely thinking. as i would rather only carry one radio with me instead of two.

thank you for any input.

in case it matters, i am referring to the uhf band.
 

trlrdrdave

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
105
Location
decatur, al
Not only is it possible it is the preferred way to do it. "ham" not legal on public safety. commercial is legal on ham! Good luck on your testing!
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
237
Location
Iron Triangle Ohio... otherweise known as Fostoria
I would reccomend checking out the Motrorola Spectra series radios. If your VFD is running on a VHF channel some of the spectras will allow you to transmit on 2 meter ham freq's. You will get more power out of a spectra than most ham rigs. And if you have the RIB, Cables and RSS to program it you are all set. One other nice thing about it is that you can instal a Motorola NMO style antenna on your vehicle rather than having to use a mag mount whip antenna. Good Luck out there.
 

KK4ELO

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
359
Location
Smithville, Tennessee
thanks for the replies guys, i actually have a motorola syntor x9000 in my jeep.but, we have just went a) narrowband, b) require ptt id. both of which i understand my radio will not do. which kinda sucks as i have no way to program it to ham, nor do i have anyone to do it for me. but if i could, would the same antenna work for both bands efficiently? i figured i would have to swap back and forth. i ave a 1/4 wave nmo on my jeep.
 

kayn1n32008

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9780; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.8+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0.0.600 Mobile Safari/534.8+)

You will need a different radio. Most modern Vhf radios are full Vhf split. Most modern Uhf radios will do 403-470, that said, there are wide band antennae that will give an accepable load if your FD is a aways from the ham band. You will have to read up on the feature set on any given radio to see if it will do PTT-Id. Also you will need to find out what kind of PTT-Id your department uses. Vertex, Kenwood, Icom all make really good gear. Motorola also makes great gear but can be a hassel to program, and is also significantly more expensive, especially software.
 

62Truck

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Uranus
Check out the Vertex VX-2200 the vhf version will cover 136-174 and depending on what you guys are using for PTT ID they make a option board that will allow it to do MDC1200 and the Vertex radios its a lot easier getting the programming software legally.
 

W2NJS

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Messages
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Location
Washington DC
The OP said he's looking for a UHF setup, not VHF.

It can be more difficult to find a UHF commercial radio that will go all the way down to 440 mHz. Most of the portables will do that if they're the 403-470 or 438-470 bandsplit. Mobiles are another matter as they often won't do much below 446 -- it just varies and you have to investigate.

If your chief and/or FD system administrator will allow it, there is one particular radio that would be legal for both ham and PS UHF. The radios, made by Wouxoun, are cheap ($125 or so) and looked down on by a lot of people, but they work...AND...they're Part 90 certified by the FCC, so you can use it for hamming (both VHF and UHF) and legally for public service work. These radios have been extensively discussed on this board and can also be found in ads in the ham magazines such as QST.

Just be sure that whatever radio you use on the FD frequencies is known to and approved by your local authorities. To do otherwise is inviting big trouble down the line at some point.
 

stevelton

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
359
With the OP needing PTT-id, the wouxon in out.

I would guess the ID is probably MDC1200. All new Icom LMR radios come with MDC1200 PTT-id as standard. Of all the commercial radio brands out there, I would bet that Icom has the easiest to get a hold of programming software (legally). And I have programmed all the big names, Vertex, Kenwood, Motorola and Icom, and Icom has the easiest and most intuitive software (for me any ways).

All current Icom models in the UHF band are 400-470, or 450-512.
Some model numbers to google are the F6021, F6011, and F6061

Steven
 

jim202

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Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
2,612
Location
New Orleans region
Be somewhat cautious in looking at a used radio for use on the public safety segment of the VHF band. As you said your department went narrow band. This is a mandate from the FCC to have all the VHF and UHF band go to narrow band operation by Jan 01, 2013. The Spectra is not able to be modified for narrow band operation, or type accepted for the same.

As for the radio ID, you should check with the radio shop or the radio system manager for which type of radio ID is being used. Not all radios on the market today will do MDC. Some will do it with an option and others come standard with it.

The Syntor X9000 is a fine radio. Only draw back to it is that you need a slow computer that can run a pure DOS to run the radio software. With the correct software and the expanded EEPROM in the radio, they will do some 200 plus channels. As Motorola first shipped them, they only had 32 channels. I have both low band and a couple on VHF that have the higher number of channels in them.
 

RyanRox099

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
59
Location
Tampa, FL
I have the same setup, I use both HAM and GMRS in one radio. I run the PM-400 UHF. Works great and you can do ham and public safety. It is a Motorola so you can do PIT ID (MDC1200) out of the box. You can find the radio on ebay all day long. You will just have to find a way to program it.

Good Luck!
 

kb2crk

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
134
Location
arnoldsville ga.
The Cm series of motorola radios also do narrow band and are available in the 403 to 470 band split.
I use a ht750 on 440mhz ham also.
 
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