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Author Topic: 2 way radios  (Read 4231 times)

Jason Raboin

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2 way radios
« on: May 05, 2017, 08:44:37 am »

Hi,

If you were buying 2 way radios today, what would you get?  I have a quote from Bearcom for Motorola BC130 and Motorola CP200D.  The BC130 are almost half the price.  This is for a sound company for touring, festivals, etc. 
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Jason Raboin
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Tim Hite

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 11:39:42 am »

As long as you're asking, is there a good resource for info on using such radios? It's my impression that these fall outside of the Amateur radio spectrum and don't require a license.

Hi,

If you were buying 2 way radios today, what would you get?  I have a quote from Bearcom for Motorola BC130 and Motorola CP200D.  The BC130 are almost half the price.  This is for a sound company for touring, festivals, etc.
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Ray Aberle

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 12:37:36 pm »

Henry Cohen will chime in on this.

We've got the Motorola CP200s, and they're great. We got them in the UHF band (440-470MHz) and they //do// require a license from the FCC. "Land Mobile," I think the classification was. Any reputable dealer will not program your radios unless you show them your license. [I say that because there are plenty of disreputable dealers who are all "Hey, we'll program these for free!" and they're not worried about the licensing. Why not? Because they're not the ones using them... *you* are the one who will face fines if you're caught using radios in a frequency band that you are not licensed to use.]

Since the licensing process was relatively simple and fairly cheap, I wouldn't recommend skipping that part of the process.

-Ray
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Kelcema Audio
Regional - Serving Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID, BC)

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 12:47:50 pm »

I have some CP200d's on loan for demo right now.  They are capable of either 136-174 Mhz or 403-470 Mhz-both of which include Amatuer bands as well as various services requiring a license. 

So, as always, "it depends" on how they are programmed as to if and what licenses are required.

There is a table you can download here:

https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/policy-and-rules-division/radio-spectrum-allocation/general/table-frequency#block-menu-block-4

The FCC is a good place to start :).
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Steve Swaffer

Tim Hite

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 05:34:15 pm »

. . .

Since the licensing process was relatively simple and fairly cheap, I wouldn't recommend skipping that part of the process.

-Ray

Ray,

Did you go get your license on your own or did you have a vendor do it for you? I just spoke to Bearcom and they wanted to handle it for me said I can't do it on my own. Seems strange.

I already have an FRN, but what class of license do I need to apply for?

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Shawn Keck

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2017, 09:21:42 pm »

CP200's are the SM58's of the radio world...dependable workhorses.

That is what we use after going through several brands.
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Bob Vaughan

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 12:10:12 am »

Ray,

Did you go get your license on your own or did you have a vendor do it for you? I just spoke to Bearcom and they wanted to handle it for me said I can't do it on my own. Seems strange.

I already have an FRN, but what class of license do I need to apply for?

It is possible to do it yourself if you are simply applying for the standard itinerant frequencies, with no repeaters, or fixed stations. It may even be possible to license a portable repeater on those frequencies.

For anything else, you need to work through a frequency coordinator, of which here are several. Some are more expensive than others. I wouldn't go through bearcom.  The forest products frequency coordinator is probably the least expensive.

Once you get a license, you will be inundated with mail from several companies that will happily file routine paperwork for you, for large fees. Glance at them to see if you have forgotten to file something, and then recycle the junk mail. The most important is the buildout notification, which is basically to tell the FCC that you have constructed the system.

There is one service that many people forget about, that does not require a license, which is MURS. 5 channels on VHF, limited to 2w.
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Chris Eddison

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2017, 03:36:23 am »

At the day job (regional airport - radio communications & navigation aids) we have a very large stock of Hytera radios. They're a cheaper brand but have been remarkably good. Our numbers of broken radios coming back to us have nosedived since we got them. There have been a few with a filter capacitor that fails (giving a permanent receive light and they won't TX or RX and a small handful with stripped aerial threads (because who doesn't like fiddling with their radio aerial.....). Compared to the Kenwood and Motorola's we've owned before though they've been very good (apart from the Kenwood TK350 - they were indestructable!).
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2017, 04:39:12 am »

As long as you're asking, is there a good resource for info on using such radios? It's my impression that these fall outside of the Amateur radio spectrum and don't require a license.

Amateur radio is just that.  You can't use amateur frequencies, even with a ham ticket, for commercial use.

The problem with the MURS frequencies is they get fairly crowded and nobody wants to monitor a shared frequency before they transmit, you just can't train users to do it.  Getting a nationwide coordinated channel, even narrow band is probably a tricky venture.

As mentioned Henry is an encyclopedia of RF knowledge and I hope he chimes in as Part 90, the FCC rules that will more than likely govern the operations we are talking about have gotten very complicated.

Ray - What region did you get you frequencies coordinated.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: 2 way radios
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2017, 07:50:38 pm »

FWIW, the quote proposal I received on the CP200s included $500 or so to set up our license.  I have/am considering going to the web for the radios-but then I am looking at $250 or so for software and programming, plus I still have a license fee.

Pros and cons to each method-and individual circumstances affect the value of your time-but those are the costs I have found so far.
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Steve Swaffer
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