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 Secure radio communications : A primer 

Radio programming options
A) Only has a couple channels, and that's to communicate with family or friends 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
B) A, Plus local stuff in your county 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
C) A and B plus stuff in your surrounding counties 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
D) The kitchen sink ( Federal interop, State Patrol, DNR, CBP, etc) divided into manageable zones. 92%  92%  [ 22 ]
Total votes : 24

 Secure radio communications : A primer 
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Ah, that must be the unit I saw somebody overwhelming Mike Glover with on YouTube.

Mostly I just want comms that send and receive significantly further than FRS. Watts, and easy antennae upgrades. Big battery. Next is ease of programming channels, or hand-keying at least.

I have a mac, too.

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:16 pm
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stevemcgee wrote:
Ah, that must be the unit I saw somebody overwhelming Mike Glover with on YouTube.

Mostly I just want comms that send and receive significantly further than FRS. Watts, and easy antennae upgrades. Big battery. Next is ease of programming channels, or hand-keying at least.

I have a mac, too.


Most programming software, for any radio, is PC based. They do have a couple for Macs but.... you're better off just running it in parallels or whatever the current mac based dual boot solution is.

Get your ham radio license.

Unlicensed, you have MURS, which will get you much farther, but not as far as you'd think.

The VHF XTS5000 support MURS frequencies, and can operate on the 2m amateur band, when/if you decide to get licensed. It has the added benefit of being able to monitor WSP, and federal interop in the event of an emergency.

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:21 pm
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Well I broke down and bought a few XTS5000's... Should be waiting fore when I get back to dry land.


Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:55 pm
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laneends wrote:
Well I broke down and bought a few XTS5000's... Should be waiting fore when I get back to dry land.


VHF?

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:04 pm
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But of course! Model 3's


Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:46 pm
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laneends wrote:
But of course! Model 3's

:thumbsup2: :bow:

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:13 pm
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I'd assume people would be choosing VHF over UHF if they had to pick.

Years ago a co-worker had a tiny Yaesu that got everything. Really sweet. I ended up getting a Prime on FRS plus a couple others (MURS? It was 1998) and put a huge telescoping antennae on it. 15 miles in high sierra over a couple ridges, to the half-watt FRS the others used. That was awesome.

I want to get a license and learn how to use repeaters.

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:52 pm
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I pulled my radio out. It's a motorola JT 1000 - TW is that something you can program?

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:09 pm
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stevemcgee wrote:
I pulled my radio out. It's a motorola JT 1000 - TW is that something you can program?



Good news.

The JT1000 is programmable by hand.

Ancient, 16 channels.. But hand programmable.



Originally, it required a key in order to be hand programmable, but I swear I haven't seen a JT1000 that wasn't hacked to permit it without the key.

If yours can't be programmed by hand, lemme know, and I'll convert it so it does.

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:32 pm
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Finally said screw it, one is on order!


Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:26 pm
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stevemcgee wrote:
I'd assume people would be choosing VHF over UHF if they had to pick.

Years ago a co-worker had a tiny Yaesu that got everything. Really sweet. I ended up getting a Prime on FRS plus a couple others (MURS? It was 1998) and put a huge telescoping antennae on it. 15 miles in high sierra over a couple ridges, to the half-watt FRS the others used. That was awesome.

I want to get a license and learn how to use repeaters.


I've found about half of the repeaters we use are UHF, so I wouldn't want to be without both bands.

And I've noticed when we talk simplex the UHF channels get through thick foliage a little better.

You'll be surprised at the range you get when you or your objective station have good elevation. I'll have to check the map, but I know I've gotten 22 miles with mine on VHF.

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Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:47 pm
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TechnoWeenie wrote:
stevemcgee wrote:
I pulled my radio out. It's a motorola JT 1000 - TW is that something you can program?



Good news.

The JT1000 is programmable by hand.

Ancient, 16 channels.. But hand programmable.



Originally, it required a key in order to be hand programmable, but I swear I haven't seen a JT1000 that wasn't hacked to permit it without the key.

If yours can't be programmed by hand, lemme know, and I'll convert it so it does.


I had a freq card and had keyed in and saved them as channels. Then I gave it to someone who had several of these and he programmed frequencies.
But I set up the step, etc., just by the keyboard. It was 2014 or so and I don't remember how I did it but I'm sure the manual is still in my download folder.

UHF is good - that was all the long distance I got back in the late 90's. But I thought everyone wanted VHF for some reason. Maybe it's because it's far from FRS?

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Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:22 am
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stevemcgee wrote:
TechnoWeenie wrote:
stevemcgee wrote:
I pulled my radio out. It's a motorola JT 1000 - TW is that something you can program?



Good news.

The JT1000 is programmable by hand.

Ancient, 16 channels.. But hand programmable.



Originally, it required a key in order to be hand programmable, but I swear I haven't seen a JT1000 that wasn't hacked to permit it without the key.

If yours can't be programmed by hand, lemme know, and I'll convert it so it does.


I had a freq card and had keyed in and saved them as channels. Then I gave it to someone who had several of these and he programmed frequencies.
But I set up the step, etc., just by the keyboard. It was 2014 or so and I don't remember how I did it but I'm sure the manual is still in my download folder.

UHF is good - that was all the long distance I got back in the late 90's. But I thought everyone wanted VHF for some reason. Maybe it's because it's far from FRS?


Other than FRS being limited in power, and your radio not being type accepted for use on FRS... lol

The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength.

Different wavelengths travel in different ways, and react differently to different conditions.

One band might be great for covering the inside of a building, but be absolutely terrible everywhere else. One band might be great for talking from Tacoma to Phoenix, or Seattle to Tokyo, but not be able to talk from Seattle to Spokane...

Each band has its pluses and minuses.

Generally speaking, the lower the frequency, the longer the wavelength, and the longer it will travel. A 100W paging transmitter @ 929 Mhz might cover a metropolitan area, providing good in-building coverage, but 40 miles away and it's dead in the water. That same 100w on, say, 7 Mhz, can get you across the globe.

As the wavelength increases, so too, does the antenna need to increase in size. The most standard vertical antenna is a 1/4 wave, called that because it's literally 1/4 of the wavelength. A UHF antenna, operating on 440 Mhz (right in the middle of the 70cm ham band) would need a ~6.4" antenna, to be resonant at that frequency. A VHF antenna, operating on 146 Mhz (right in the middle of the 2m ham band) would be around 19.2"... meaning the antenna is about a foot taller. When you start getting into HF, like 7 Mhz, the 40m ham band, you're look at ....??? 1/4 of 40m = 10m = over 33 FEET! There are ways of electrically loading antennas, so its electrical length is 33ft, but the antenna itself might only be 4ft tall. But that small loaded antenna is going to perform very poorly. Resonance isn't a guarantee that your signal is going where you want it.. and that's why there are many antenna designs, to put the signal where you need it to go.


But, again, generally speaking, you will get about twice the distance on VHF than you will on UHF...but won't penetrate structures as well. UHF does better in buildings, and in dense cover/foliage like woods, but doesn't go as far.

The most common ham bands are 70cm (420-450), and 2m (144-148).. and the average output of most mobile radios is about 45W, and portables about 5W. There are bands lower, and higher, than that, but those are the most common.

For comparison, FRS is UHF and on 462/467 Mhz, and WAS limited to 200mw, but now is limited to 500mw to 2w depending on the channel.

MURS is VHF, operating on 151/154 Mhz, and is limited to 2W, but because of that VHF vs UHF range thing, a MURS radio will transmit about twice the distance than an FRS radio will, all things being equal.

There is a portion of the VHF band lower than 2m, called 6m (50-54 Mhz), but you run into a few issues. The first issue is, remember that calculation for a 1/4 wave antenna? What's 6m / 4? It's about 4.5 FEET. Kinda hard to stuff a 4.5 ft antenna onto a portable radio. This means you're using a helical antenna, that's electrically a 4.5 ft antenna, and resonant, but not putting out, or receiving, anywhere near as good as a full physical 1/4 wave antenna. So, any range gain you get by going to a lower band, is immediately lost from having a non-optimal antenna. Making it good for base and mobile use (amazing, actually), but very poor portable use.

This is why VHF is usually the go to band. It gives you the longest range, with the shortest manageable antenna, generally speaking.

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Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:31 am
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Made good use out of our old Christmas tree stand, it's made now to be a target stand, but works for this too:

And here: http://voter.psrg.org/supermon/voter.ph ... V5Ux6GH_94

You can see, in real time, your signal strength in the different repeaters (voted system) of the PSRG network, surrounding Seattle, pretty cool.

The screen shot shows I can get into it with this slim jim, where I couldn't register on it at all with the Nagoya whip.

That Cougar Mtn. one is roughly 30 miles from me, the Lake Forest Park one is 45.

I can talk on this network just fine with this antenna. Fun stuff.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:15 pm
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Huge thanks to TW for coming out and programming my radio and learning me :bow:


Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:22 am
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