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VHF Radio: 2 Tone Decode and Ham Bands

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oguruma

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I am a volunteer firefighter and also a ham. I am looking to find a radio that can take the place of my Minitor V but also let me talk on VHF ham bands.


Ultimately I need something that can transmit on the entirety of the VHF Ham band, and 45 channels (3 zones and 15 channels should work fine).
I want the ability to monitor 2 channels, simultaneously.

Essentially I want to be able to program a channel to work as a pager for when I am sleeping or at work, but also be able to monitor the local ham repeater. In the event that I am on one of the ham channels, I would still like to receive 2 tone alerts from the department, however. Does anybody know if this is possible?
 

clbsquared

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Its possible. The CM300 will allow you to set two priority channels. With Priority 1 overriding Priority 2. Of course the radio has to be in scan mode for the priority to work. You could set up a zone with a few local channels and make your paging frequency Priority 1 and your local ham repeater Priority 2. When the squelch opens during scanning it will check both priority channels at a pre-selected time interval that you choose. Set the radio to transmit on your ham band whenever you unhook the mic and PTT when it's scanning. I'm sure there are other ways with different radios, but this way works for me on all of my CM300's. And it was simple.
 

cmjonesinc

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If you're wanting to use it for work I'd stick with a part 90 radio with two tone capability and just program in the amateur channels you want. If you're wanting field programming like a conventional amateur radio and still be able to set it up for two tone there are a few options out there but they wont be as cheap. When my county was still vhf I used my old mt2000 with one zone for my fd, one for amateur, and one for my other job. The only issue with a setup like that is having to have the amateur channels preprogrammed with no way to change them in the field. It didn't matter to me very much as I only listen to a couple repeaters and programmed 2 meter simplex as well. Pretty much any of the normal motos, kenwood, vertex, or any of the common emergency service radios will fit the bill. However, just to throw it out there. If you're listening to a amateur frequency and have priority set for your paging channel there's a chance you could miss the beginning of a page and therefore the radio won't alert. I also find the tenth of a second drop in audio from when the radio is checking the priority channel for traffic a bit annoying myself.
 

oguruma

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Dec 3, 2016
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Any of the Vertex radios do this very well. VX160,VX180,VX350,VX450, etc. as a ham and Paramedic I've used them all for both.
Thanks for the input. I like the idea of using Vertex because I have a bunch of Yaesu equipment and some of the stuff is interchangeable (Li-on batteries, chargers, hand-mics).
 

12dbsinad

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I'd look into the Icom F50V pager/portable. Great part 90 radio and awesome paging features with voice storage. It also has the exact same minitor beep alerts, and vibration alert. Will also cover all the VHF ham band. I'd check it out.
 
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I can't recommend replacing a pager with a radio. In some US departments it is actually against state policies to use radios as pagers. However, almost any commercial radio will fit the bill. If honestly look into a radio capable of MPL or PL editing from the face (Motorola CM300 or PM400 for example but not limited to).


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oguruma

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Dec 3, 2016
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I am not mandated to carry a pager at all, as I am a volunteer. Technically, I don't HAVE to respond to calls if I don't want to.

Also, I am looking for portables (handheld, that is) only. I am not looking for a mobile radio....
 
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