Step Size Question!

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N1SQB

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I have no problem separating scanning equipment from Ham radio equipment. However, most of the Ham gear I see on the market today, has extended receive capabilities well outside the Ham bands (Wideband Receive). Here is a perfect example of what I mean: http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/1007.html
" Enjoy wideband receive from 530 kHz to 1299.995 MHz (less cellular) in AM/FM/WFM modes."
My question is why, if they obviously want you to use their Ham gear to listen to PD/FD/EMS etc., then why don't manufacturers include the proper tuning steps, especially given the fact that narrowbanding is creeping in slowly upon us?Just curious if anyone had any opinions on the subject. This has been on my mind for a while. I have plenty of scanning gear both analog and digital. This is just an observation and a curiosity more than anything.

Manny
 
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zz0468

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If it's just an opinion you want, I have several. I think the issue is that extended receive coverage is added as an afterthought, more than anything else. It's relatively easy to create a decently performing wideband receiver, so they do, because they can.

If the manufacturers really had their wits about them, and really intended these ham rigs to have functional out-of-band receive capability, they would have the proper step size, the proper IF bandwidths, and maybe even some trunking capability.

The fact that they haven't taken these steps tells me that they're not real serious about that additional capability, and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to show up.

It's essentially a poorly thought out marketing ploy to sell more radios, very little more.
 
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fineshot1

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If it's just an opinion you want, I have several. I think the issue is that extended receive coverage is added as an afterthought, more than anything else. It's relatively easy to create a decently performing wideband receiver, so they do, be3cause the can.

If the manufacturers really had their wits about them, and really intended these ham rigs to have functional out-of-band receive capability, they would have the proper step size, the proper IF bandwidths, and maybe even some trunking capability.

The fact that they haven't taken these steps tells me that they're not real serious about that additional capability, and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to show up.

It's essentially a poorly thought out marketing ploy to sell more radios, very little more.
Very well said - thank you.
 

kb2vxa

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Simply put, a ham rig is not a scanner so toss frequency steps out the window. Ham bands are not channelized per se, the exception being the upper portion of 10M and FM frequencies on the higher bands for technical reasons. Narrowbanding is not "creeping upon us" and there are no "proper tuning steps" in Amateur Radio, just a VFO.

"I have no problem separating scanning equipment from Ham radio equipment."
Sorry, but everything you wrote after that says otherwise.
 

N8IAA

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Until the ham bands use 7.5KHz steps, you won't see a ham radio, with the exception of the Kenwood, TM-281, that does. Why do they include 6.25KHz which will eventually be digital anyhow? Don't understand it myself. Oh, if you want the better step sizes, why not try the Alinco DJ-X11, It will give you SSB reception too. As, well as, SDR capabilities. But, then again, you can't have a QSO on it;>)
Larry
 
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N4KVE

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Some companies do, or did. When radios started to RX 800 mhz the step was 10, 12.5, & 25 khz. However Icom had the brains to realize that some people wanted to listen to cell phone calls, & included a 30 khz step. No one else did, so the other radios had to scan at 10 khz steps, which made scanning much slower. And with current radios having the ability to do firmware upgrades, anything is possible. GARY N4KVE
 

MTS2000des

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I've been asking this question for years. On radios that are flash upgradeable firmware (Kenwood TM-V71A for instance), if the synthesizer can handle it, a simple firmware refresh could add the 7.5KHz step. Maybe if enough people ask Kenwood, they'll do it...

But yes, most of the ham radios extended RX will be totally useless for out of band RX come next year, at least on splinter channels. It really suck for all the bootleggers who are using them on part 90, they'll actually have to break down and buy a legit part 90 radio that does splinter channels (surprisingly, not all current part 90 radios support this, despite the FCC requiring it as of 2005)
 

N1SQB

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Simply put, a ham rig is not a scanner so toss frequency steps out the window. Ham bands are not channelized per se, the exception being the upper portion of 10M and FM frequencies on the higher bands for technical reasons. Narrowbanding is not "creeping upon us" and there are no "proper tuning steps" in Amateur Radio, just a VFO.

"I have no problem separating scanning equipment from Ham radio equipment."
Sorry, but everything you wrote after that says otherwise.
First let me address something right from the start Warren: My love for radios began with scanners and will always stay with scanners. Ham radio will ALWAYS take a back seat to my scanning hobbie. So wether you agree or not, I can and DO separate scanning equipment from Ham equipment. I simply put in this forum, a question that has been on my mind for quite some time, and was curious what people's thoughts were on the subject. Period.

Second, I am well aware that a Ham rig is not a scanner. The "narrowbanding creeping up upon us" comment was again, me thinking as a scanning enthusiast who monitors PD/FD/EMS, not a Ham. I am well aware that there are no tunning steps in Amateur Radio and that narrowbanding does not apply to Amateur Radio.

To the rest of you, thanks for your responses and opinions. I realize a Ham radio rig will never be intended or double as a scanner. This really was just a step size question for proper tunning and nothing more. I don't expect scan speeds, digital, trunking or anything like that from these radios.

Thanks!

Manny
 
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N1SQB

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I've been asking this question for years. On radios that are flash upgradeable firmware (Kenwood TM-V71A for instance), if the synthesizer can handle it, a simple firmware refresh could add the 7.5KHz step. Maybe if enough people ask Kenwood, they'll do it...

But yes, most of the ham radios extended RX will be totally useless for out of band RX come next year, at least on splinter channels.
Your comments and response is more in line with what I was thinking on my original post.In my opinion, if they are going to include wideband receive, they will have 2 choices after rebanding is fully implemented. Either include the proper tunning steps where needed, or simply eliminate wideband receive completely! It will be interesting to see which way they will go with this. It won't make a difference to me either way, my scanners are already up and running up to date....LOL...

Manny
 

kb2vxa

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Now don't get your feathers all ruffled Manny, the way you came across you appeared to confuse the way two completely different types of equipment operate.
"I am well aware that there are no tunning steps in Amateur Radio and that narrowbanding does not apply to Amateur Radio."
Well then why the mixed metaphors? Now you have ME confused! Sorry you got all upset but you did lead me off in entirely the wrong direction.
 

N1SQB

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Now don't get your feathers all ruffled Manny, the way you came across you appeared to confuse the way two completely different types of equipment operate.
"I am well aware that there are no tunning steps in Amateur Radio and that narrowbanding does not apply to Amateur Radio."
Well then why the mixed metaphors? Now you have ME confused! Sorry you got all upset but you did lead me off in entirely the wrong direction.
Warren, my feathers are not ruffled, I just ironed them! LOL...I just simply find it funny that a manufacturer would promote "wideband tunning" to obviously make their radios more atractive to people, but stop short of adding features like tunning steps, to actually make the wideband tunning useful, thats all. I figure that now that narrowbanding is around the corner (outside of the Ham bands) I am curious if manufacturers will include them as part of their wideband receive option. Thats all! If they dont, and things stay the same, oh well, no big deal, that's what scanners are for. Again, just a curiosity on my part......Now... back to my ironing!............

73

Manny
 

eorange

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I have wondered about this too. Without turning a ham radio into a scanner...you'd think adding a more flexible step size would take little effort, compared to any other feature a scanner may have. Scanning and hamming is as mixed now as it has ever been; maybe someday the ham manufacturers will take note.
 

902

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...most of the ham radios extended RX will be totally useless for out of band RX come next year, at least on splinter channels. It really suck for all the bootleggers who are using them on part 90, they'll actually have to break down and buy a legit part 90 radio that does splinter channels (surprisingly, not all current part 90 radios support this, despite the FCC requiring it as of 2005)
There was a big discussion about compliance and frequencies on the COML Yahoogroup. It's a hodge-podge because the FCC didn't require the 90.20 frequency table, it only required compliance with bandwidth and frequency stability on the authorized frequency for type acceptance, so radios like GM300 came out with a wide board and a narrow board to be compliant. It was fine with OET and they certified it, but it wasn't very practical for the users. Then, when the Report and Order for the national interoperability channels came out, one SIEC in the midwest identified various devices that were technically wide/narrow compliant, and even did some splinter channels, but couldn't do all of them because the synthesizer could not do the math to create all of the 2.5 kHz channel increments. Some radios couldn't do 154.4525, for example. Choosing to halve 15 kHz was a path of least resistance for the FCC and (my saying this is controversial) didn't really create more channels or fix any of the problems with VHF. They really should've realigned the band, centered on 3-1/8 kHz increments (3.125, 6.25, 12.5, 25 kHz aggregation), like UHF, established standard pairing, and created a subband exclusively for MO3 devices away from everything else. The expense for that would probably have been less than 800 MHz rebanding (and would probably have been completed long ago). Oh well.

I've got an Icom ID-800H in the car for 2 meters and 440, thinking I was going to take to DSTAR (nothing wrong with it, but I just didn't). It does receive various other channels, but it's secondary and really hard for me to program without a laptop. My Pro-2096 is much more versatile for scanning and I have no problem programming it on the fly.
 

N1SQB

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I have wondered about this too. Without turning a ham radio into a scanner...you'd think adding a more flexible step size would take little effort, compared to any other feature a scanner may have. Scanning and hamming is as mixed now as it has ever been; maybe someday the ham manufacturers will take note.
I tend to agree wth you! Nobody is looking to make a scanner out of a Ham rig. However, since most manufacturers do include and advertize "wideband tunning" as a selling tool, it would be nice to have proper tunning steps for those "wideband" capabilities. As I said before, I have my scanners so it doesn't make any difference to me but it would be nice!

Manny
 

eorange

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As a side note...

My VR-500 has a bunch of step sizes, the lower ones being 5.0, 1.0, 0.1, and 0.05 kHz. These really have me spoiled. I wish my R6 had the last three, even though there's no SSB on that radio. You miss it!
 
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