CAP Talk

Operations => Tools of the trade => Topic started by: jfkspotting on August 02, 2017, 04:01:33 PM

Title: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: jfkspotting on August 02, 2017, 04:01:33 PM
We are doing a local community event, and I'm considering buying a VHF-radio. Does the radio have to be anything special, or can it be the standard Uniden or Baofeng?


*I will not be using this for anything SAR*
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: N Harmon on August 02, 2017, 04:15:43 PM
FRS would be a lot cheaper. Why do you want VHF?
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: arajca on August 02, 2017, 04:19:18 PM
Are you planning to use CAP frequencies? If yes, it does need to be on the approved list. If no, it needs to be FCC accepted for the frequencies you will be using. If you're using ham radio frequencies, you need a ham radio license. If you're using public safety frequencies, you need authorization from a licensed organization to use those.
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: jfkspotting on August 02, 2017, 04:55:14 PM
FRS would be a lot cheaper. Why do you want VHF?


Would either of those be compatible with the ef johnsons hypothetically? Could I send and receive and communicate with the cap-issued ones?
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: Eclipse on August 02, 2017, 05:15:41 PM
There are probably hundreds of VHF radios capable of operating on CAP frequencies,
assuming you have the technical ability to program a respective radio as such.

Of course there is less of a selection of digital-capable radios, and even less that
can do encryption, and CAP's policy is that they will not load the E-Keys into PORs.

So if the Comm plan is to use digital, or even worse Encryption, FRS will not be of
much use without a relaying station.

However...

In order to use those frequencies for CAP traffic, the devices must be approved as
compliant as per the NTC lists, and that severely limits the devices you may use.

Further, regardless of the radio chosen, the operator must have an ICUT, and many wings
require a station license per radio as well.

Members are not allowed to use HAM frequencies for CAP traffic of any kind (except in the
non-existent apocalypse, which an airshow isn't).

In the case of an airshow, you best, least expensive choice will be off-the-shelf consumer
FRS radios, which in a CAP parlance may only be used for non-Mission trafiic (encampments,
airshows, etc.), however you still have to have an ICUT, and if you buy radios with GMRS,
all parties have to have the $75 GMRS license in order to use those channels.

Many wings are also swimming in unused ISR radios that they will be happy to either lend or
issue to units that will actually use them.  Both ISR and consumer FRS will use standard batteries
and be very lightweight (with headset / earpiece options) so no concerns about charging batteries,
etc.

At the end of this you need to ask the adult staff of this activity what the comm plan for the
day is, not base what you're going to buy or use on a CT thread.

FWIW - Cadets asking "hypothetical" questions about things which would violate CAP regulations and
policies, not to mention FCC and NTIA rules will generally raise both the eyebrows and the hackles
of good adult members when asked.
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: CAP604 on August 02, 2017, 06:41:35 PM
We are doing a local community event, and I'm considering buying a VHF-radio. Does the radio have to be anything special, or can it be the standard Uniden or Baofeng?


*I will not be using this for anything SAR*

Just don't... you have a Unit/Group/Wing Comms Officer for a reason, start there please.
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: waukwiz on August 02, 2017, 11:49:47 PM
We are doing a local community event, and I'm considering buying a VHF-radio. Does the radio have to be anything special, or can it be the standard Uniden or Baofeng?


*I will not be using this for anything SAR*

Just don't... you have a Unit/Group/Wing Comms Officer for a reason, start there please.

+1

This type of thing is best handled up your chain of command. Figure out from them exactly what you need and if you even need it
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: SarDragon on August 03, 2017, 12:27:36 AM
FRS would be a lot cheaper. Why do you want VHF?


Would either of those be compatible with the ef johnsons hypothetically? Could I send and receive and communicate with the cap-issued ones?

FRS and ISR are UHF, so no.

As for the EFJs, most are not field programmable, so you would need permission, as noted above, to use a programmed channel. CAP-owned radios don't usually have extra channels available for what you are looking for.
Title: Re: Would any standard VHF-2-way radio be able to transmit and receive?
Post by: lordmonar on August 03, 2017, 02:26:07 AM
We are doing a local community event, and I'm considering buying a VHF-radio. Does the radio have to be anything special, or can it be the standard Uniden or Baofeng?


*I will not be using this for anything SAR*
You should direct your questions to the Wing Director of Communications (through your squadron and group Comms guys if you have them).

Long answer short......you must have CAP complaint radios to use CAP freqs.  The Director of Comms should be able you to steer you to the correct type of radio for your application.

Good Luck.