Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 26, 2017, 09:02:35 AM
Home Help Login Register
News:

CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Radio Compliance, Radio Gear, Approval
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Radio Compliance, Radio Gear, Approval  (Read 647 times)
Elkland
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: NER-PA-507

« on: April 18, 2017, 12:57:20 PM »

Hello all. Looking into getting a portable for our squadrons use. The Motorola Astro Saber seems to be the best route to go. Once the radio is purchased and programmed to CAP standards, do we have to go to Wing to get it approved for use? Also, the HT1250 and CDM-1250 series are marked as non-compliant. Any idea why they are not compliant? They would be really nice for CAP use.

More questions. I was told we were going to be sent a repeater to cover our area. Just wondering if CAP will choose a spot and say we are putting it here even if it a horrible spot. Or would they ask my squadron, as me being a Ham radio operator and knowing where all the good spots are, and put it where I would suggest. What size tower would they install. 10 foot pole or a 300 foot self supporting.
Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,348

« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 01:08:39 PM »

Hello all. Looking into getting a portable for our squadrons use. The Motorola Astro Saber seems to be the best route to go. Once the radio is purchased and programmed to CAP standards, do we have to go to Wing to get it approved for use?

Assuming it's purchased with corporate funds, it will need to go into ORMS, and if you expect it to get encryption keys, probably
before it can be programmed, as CAP will not provide the keys to PORs.  Whether it needs a "station license" varies by wing.

More questions. I was told we were going to be sent a repeater to cover our area. Just wondering if CAP will choose a spot and say we are putting it here even if it a horrible spot. Or would they ask my squadron, as me being a Ham radio operator and knowing where all the good spots are, and put it where I would suggest. What size tower would they install. 10 foot pole or a 300 foot self supporting.

Repeater placement is a complex and political exercise, and won't likely include input from your squadron unless you happen to be POC for a Sprint tower.
It is most likley being planned for the roof of a large office building or on an EMS or cell tower in your area.

Repeaters are generally managed by the Wing DC staff without input from the local units.

Your Unit or Group's Commo can provide or ascertain this information for you on both subjects.
Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

chuckmilam
Recruit

Posts: 23
Unit: GLR-KY-216

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 01:11:16 PM »

To answer the "why are they not compliant" question, here's a quote from the CAP National Technology Center Equipment Compliance Reports web page (emphasis added by me):

"Please Note: The equipment in these lists have been evaluated by comparing the manufacturer's published specifications with the published requirements of the NTIA in Chapter 5 of the "Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequeny Management" (Redbook)."
Logged
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 9,786
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 01:24:13 PM »

To add on to Eclipse's answer, repeater placement is very carefully researched beforehand. There are height, power, and range considerations.

A site survey must be made, and this is frequently the most expensive part of the installation, other than the actual repeater. The last one CAWG did was in excess of $1500. (This was a major factor nationwide in the narrow band update with respect to the transmitter frequencies. Change the freq - get a site survey.)
Logged
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
Elkland
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: NER-PA-507

« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 02:18:34 PM »

I have 2 possible sites that a repeater could be placed. One site would cover well but a tower will need to be installed. The second site is on top of a 911 tower on the big hill. We had a VHF Ham repeater on it and had good coverage to portables county wide. But with the county's tower, you gotta be cleared in 100 ways and have permission from 20 people to even think of going in. Then if the repeater was to ever malfunction, CAP might as well abandoned it in there. Our VHF ham repeater was on that tower but it had broke few months back and we have no way of accessing it to get it back on the air. Haven't really had good connections with the EMA here.
Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,348

« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 02:26:45 PM »

Both of the above would likely be non-starters.

Also, your preferential coverage area might not fit the wing's plan.
Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Elkland
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: NER-PA-507

« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 02:37:11 PM »

We have 4 repeater surrounding us to the north, east, south, and west. The location on the 911 tower would give us the best coverage to the areas the other 4 repeater's don't cover. I live on a hill and have a hard time hitting any of them so coverage is about none here. Terrain is very hilly here. I feel it would be best at least let Wing have my comments. Hate to have them put a repeater up and find out we can't even use it for anything. We'll just be playing as it goes for now.
Logged
Spaceman3750
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,575

« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 02:58:02 PM »

Your group comm officer would be the place to start.

http://gp6.pawg.cap.gov/group-staff
Logged
"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
CAP604
Recruit

Posts: 7

« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 03:17:31 PM »

Just curious if you have ever read the 100- series of CAP regs or even discussed this with Higher, be it Group or Wing?  The answers to your questions are actually all there, including this one:

6.10.1. Except for tactical repeaters operated to support a particular mission or CAP activity (see paragraph 8.4.), fixed repeaters will not be placed into service, moved, modified (such as changing antenna, height, etc.), or transferred to another wing without prior approval by the National Repeater Coordination Group and subsequent amendment of the TA by CAP-USAF. Wings will submit all requests for new repeaters or changes and modifications to existing fixed repeaters via the on-line Repeater Application and Review System in the Communications section of eServices.

Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 566

« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 05:28:01 PM »


 I was told we were going to be sent a repeater to cover our area. Just wondering if CAP will choose a spot and say we are putting it here even if it a horrible spot. Or would they ask my squadron, as me being a Ham radio operator and knowing where all the good spots are, and put it where I would suggest. What size tower would they install. 10 foot pole or a 300 foot self supporting.

I'll relay what so many others have told me when I start asking questions like this:

"All these type decisions are made above your grade level."  ;)
Logged
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 9,786
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 05:46:38 PM »

Way above.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

Logged
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
Elkland
Newbie

Posts: 4
Unit: NER-PA-507

« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 07:39:37 PM »

Just curious if you have ever read the 100- series of CAP regs or even discussed this with Higher, be it Group or Wing?  The answers to your questions are actually all there, including this one:

6.10.1. Except for tactical repeaters operated to support a particular mission or CAP activity (see paragraph 8.4.), fixed repeaters will not be placed into service, moved, modified (such as changing antenna, height, etc.), or transferred to another wing without prior approval by the National Repeater Coordination Group and subsequent amendment of the TA by CAP-USAF. Wings will submit all requests for new repeaters or changes and modifications to existing fixed repeaters via the on-line Repeater Application and Review System in the Communications section of eServices.

I have read over the 100- series. You would be correct. It would be best for me to contact the group or wing about it. Thanks
Logged
CAP604
Recruit

Posts: 7

« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 03:09:27 PM »

Happy to help, and stick with it... Comms is a very valuable capability for CAP
Logged
radioguy
Recruit

Posts: 20
Unit: MER-NC-019

« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2017, 04:30:08 PM »

Hello all. Looking into getting a portable for our squadrons use.


Before you purchase any radio equipment for squadron use, suggest that you check with your Wing or Group comm folks.  Many Wings have equipment on hand and available for assignment.

Logged
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 9,786
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2017, 07:38:57 PM »

Back to the repeater Q.

The repeaters in use by CAP are heavy duty rack mount units. The unit includes the actual repeater transceiver, the duplexer cans, a substantial surge protector, and in some cases, a UPS. This has a several thousand dollar cost. Then add on the antenna, a TNC, a site survey, and power line installation.

If you want one installed, who is going to pay for it? Start-up costs will run close to $10,000, and then there's the monthly power bill. This is not a trivial request.
Logged
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
Slim
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 546

« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2017, 03:09:50 AM »

Check with wing/group before you do anything.  If you have a need and meet the table of allowance, there should be something available.

Don't waste your (or your squadron's) money on an Astro Saber.  Don't get me wrong, the Saber series radios were awesome, and many are still out there going strong.  The problem with the Astro Saber isn't in finding one, it's getting it programmed.  That's a problem with any Motorola radio, but particularly the Astro Saber because it requires a couple of very expensive cables, a specialized interface box, software, and an old slow computer to program.

For the money, you can find EFJ 5100s on eBay anywhere from $100-300.  Your wing DC should have the hardware (cables and computer) and software to program it for you.

I'm an "Own my own" guy when it comes to comm gear, and I'm a Motorola guy.  A few years ago, I picked up an XTS-3000 and an couple of used/good batteries for less than $300 on eBay.  Software is out there (Google is your friend), and programming cables are available on eBay for between $15-25.  It' P-25 digital and encryption capable (no, I don't have any keys in it), and it works great.  Just a few months ago, I upgraded to an XTS-5000 that is not only digital/encryption capable (still no keys), but is also front panel programmable (though it's much easier with software and a cable).  That was under $500, and came with radio, antenna, brand new battery and shoulder mic, and charger. 

We had some good discussions on this topic in the past, just search "compliant radio" and you should find the threads.
Logged

Slim
Brad
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 767
Unit: MER-SC-020

« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2017, 08:15:34 AM »

As others have said, don't reinvent the wheel. The squadron level should rarely if ever be concerning itself with acquiring communications assets or getting repeaters set up. This is handled at the Wing level at the minimum.

The most the squadron should be concerning itself with in regards to new repeaters is making notes of persistent coverage blind spots and advising the Wing DC where these areas are so that a new repeater application can be considered and submitted by Wing. (I'm still waiting 9 months on for DoD funding for a Region and National-approved site with existing infrastructure, just plug-and-play)

In regards to radios, as mentioned, your Wing DC should hopefully have a supply of portable and mobile radios to equip your squadron as needed. As a matter of note, running a portable in a van with an external roof-mount antenna (assuming this is what you're wanting to do instead of just carrying a portable around in the van assigned to the van; makes no sense otherwise) is not NITA-compliant and therefore not CAP-compliant in terms of the performance and emission characteristics of the radio. You are much better off having the Wing coordinate putting an actual mobile radio in your squadron van, which if it doesn't have one already is quite concerning, personally.

To summarize, again the questions and work involved you're asking about is something beyond the squadron level, and by NO MEANS should you be attempting to undertake this without informing your Wing DC. As a former Wing DC and current Assistant Wing DC, I can state with certainty that the one thing communications requires above anything else is just that: communication. Given the nature of this field of CAP operations, freelancing can lead to trouble both innocent and severe real quick if the proper people are not kept informed.

@Slim: fellow member of the Moto XTS5000 club here myself. Model III FPP with Impres battery and charger for right around $500. Use it for CAP, ham, and fire dept. :D

Edit: I checked the compliance list and clicked the respective "no" entries for both radios mentioned, the HT1250 and CDM1250. The reason they are non-compliant is because they are not narrowband-capable to the standards required by the NTIA (these standards are different than the FCC's.)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 11:51:30 AM by Brad » Logged
Brad Lee
Maj, CAP
Assistant Director of Communications
SCWG
Sandlapper 41
K4RMN
Pages: [1] Print 
CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Radio Compliance, Radio Gear, Approval
 


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP SMF 2.0.13 | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.182 seconds with 20 queries.