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Wondering if this is possible..?

QHaba

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Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
36
Location
Plymouth, MN
#1
so I have been using a Kenwood TK-3200l at my school. I would like an upgrade. I saw this Kenwood TK-840 on eBay, and wondered to myself if it would be possible to add the 3200’s frequency (457.6625)to my new in vehicle Kenwood TK-840? The 840 has a frequency range of 450- something, but it’s more than the 3200. Would this be possible? Sorry if it does not make sense, let me know if I need to rephrase it.
 
Joined
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Messages
10,048
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Point Nemo.
#2
Maybe.
Couple of issues you'd have to consider...
The TK-840 is a mobile radio, and the TK-3200 is a portable.
The FCC license will dictate the maximum transmitter power, and you can't exceed that. While some mobile radios can have their transmitter power turned down, you also need to figure in feed line losses and antenna gain figures to make sure you do not exceed the ERP (effective radiated power) on the license.
The TK-840 comes in different bandsplits. A UHF TK-840 of some random version will not necessarily work on the same UHF frequencies as your TK-3200.
Unless your name is the one on the license, adding new radios can only be authorized by the license holder. No exceptions.
TK-840's are pretty old. Buying a used one can be a real crap shoot. You might get a good one, you might get one that someone has monkeyed with, you might get one that's dead, you might get one that's out of alignment. Unless you have the proper test equipment to make sure the radio is working correctly, you could be violating the terms of the FCC license if you transmit with it. There is no exception on the FCC rules for "I found it real cheap on e-Bay…".

Buying old radios can be a mixed bag. It's fine for messing around on the amateur bands, but putting a radio that old on an LMR system is taking some risks, especially if it's someone else's license.

I'd be really cautious. I'd also get something in writing from the licensee that says it's OK for you to add a specific radio to their system.
 

QHaba

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Messages
36
Location
Plymouth, MN
#3
Okay, thanks. I am a student, and I got on my schools frequency. All of the school board, and the district administration know about it. They are fine with it. I will still listen to you, again thank you!
 
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#4
Okay, thanks. I am a student, and I got on my schools frequency. All of the school board, and the district administration know about it. They are fine with it. I will still listen to you, again thank you!
No problem.

If you don't mind me asking, what grade level are you in? Sounds like you have a lot of interest in 2 way radio. I'd love to help you find your way into the radio industry one way or another. While I'm on the opposite side of the continent, I think you'd do good to find an amateur radio club to connect with. If you don't already have your amateur radio license, I'd encourage you to get one. Probably one of us can assist you in finding a local club.
I started off playing with CB's and Scanners a long time ago. When I got out of high school, I got my amateur radio license. I ended up working in different aspects of the communications industry and that has led to a life long career in telecommunications. I had a lot of people help me out along the way, and I've tried to pass that along to others. Working in this industry can be very rewarding, even if you have other career plans, it can be a great hobby.

Whatever you do, don't give up, keep asking questions, and keep following your interests.
 
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#6
OK, good deal.
You might want to start checking with the high school you plan on attending and see what they've got. Some schools have amateur radio clubs, some have electronics/technology courses, etc. Finding the science teachers and see if they've got any ideas might be a good idea.

While getting a good education is important, filling in your skills is good, too. I use a lot of skills I learned in shop classes as part of my job. Often you'll find technicians that can only think "inside the box" and don't really have the skills to do much other than unpack equipment out of the box and install it per the directions. Skills like being able to use basic hand tools, power tools and basic fabrication skills are -really- important.
Also, since a lot of radio system are digital and many rely on IP networking between systems, having some basic networking skills is becoming more and more important. Data networking skills are absolutely required in the industry now, and the sooner you can learn that stuff, the better.

I'd suggest talking to these guys and see when there next round of courses is:
Maple Grove Radio Club Sponsoring Amateur Radio Technician Class
Getting an amateur radio license will open some doors for you. It gives you access to a lot of frequencies, repeaters, modes, etc. and that can give you a lot of experience. Most of the radio techs I know all have their amateur licenses, and many of them started off there.

But don't ignore things like CB, FRS, GMRS, short wave radio, scanners and the like. All those radio services can be useful and provide a learning experience. If money is tight, getting a used CB radio, a power supply and an antenna can provide an entry into the hobby.

You'll probably find that most radio technicians in the industry have their amateur radio licenses, but also started off with CB's and scanners.

Good luck!
 
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Messages
10,048
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Point Nemo.
#8
Okay, thank you so much!!
Hey, we're all here to help each other out. Most of us were in your place at one time. It's hard getting started, but I think you are on the right track.

If the high school you go to doesn't have a radio club, then maybe that's a sign that you need to start one. Find a teacher that will sponsor you, and you'll probably find a few other students that have interest.
 

K9DAK

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Dec 16, 2010
Messages
402
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Wauconda, IL
#10
I'll second what mmckenna said! I started out scanning in my junior year of high school which got me interested... my school was also just starting a radio station and closed circuit video news broadcasts. I got involved in all of that, and my two colleges I attended also had radio stations... I ended up in broadcast engineering. After college, I did recording engineering for a friend's band, then Front Of House engineering for many years at two churches I attended. All this while working in a career in quality and regulatory affairs at major medical device companies. So, a hobby / avocation for me... but learn, learn, learn at your age and the world will be yours!
 
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