CAP Talk

Operations => Tools of the trade => Topic started by: Dad2-4 on November 26, 2015, 11:26:48 PM

Title: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Dad2-4 on November 26, 2015, 11:26:48 PM
For those with experience, please recommend a CAP compliant handheld and the price you paid for it. I'm just starting the search process and don't want to go all the way through the list on CAP's communications site.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on November 27, 2015, 03:59:24 AM
EFJ 5100 series (5113/5113/ES) - Ebay - $200. Keep searching as prices do fluctuate. I've seen them from $150 (radio only, no battery, charger, or antenna) to $1000 (Radio, battery, charger, antenna, speaker mike, etc). Some even have encryption set up. Big advantage - your wing comm staff can program them with the appropriate frequencies. You can buy the cables for ~$45 and may be able to get the software from CAP ($0.00).

MT2000 - $125. 48 channels, no P25, no encryption.

Both can also be used for amateur radio in the 2-meter band.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: kirbahashi on November 27, 2015, 06:10:53 PM
Kenwood TK-2160.  16 channels, no P25, no encryption.  But it is a cheap little dependable radio.  I got mine for $110.  But it came with a case, hand mike, charger, programming software and USB.  It is compatible with the cheap little baofengs (which can't be used for CAP) so you can get ear buds and what not.  The only thing I do not like, is it does not have a screen to show what channel you are on, so you need to keep cribnotes on you.  Not too hard to remember.

Not a bad little unit.  You can find them on ebay from $75-120. 

Motorola has some "cheap" alternatives.  And when I say cheap, it all depends on the unit and its condition.  And programming may be an issue. 
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Holding Pattern on November 27, 2015, 09:34:31 PM
EFJ 5100 series (5113/5113/ES) - Ebay - $200. Keep searching as prices do fluctuate. I've seen them from $150 (radio only, no battery, charger, or antenna) to $1000 (Radio, battery, charger, antenna, speaker mike, etc). Some even have encryption set up. Big advantage - your wing comm staff can program them with the appropriate frequencies. You can buy the cables for ~$45 and may be able to get the software from CAP ($0.00).

MT2000 - $125. 48 channels, no P25, no encryption.

Both can also be used for amateur radio in the 2-meter band.

++ on the EFJ. Make certain you check the model number specs to get all the bells and whistles that you can. Assume the battery is dead or trying hard to be that way, and price in a replacement.

When buying replacement batteries, make absolutely certain your charger will support the battery type. A lithium battery won't agree with a nickel charger and vice versa.
When buying replacement batteries, make absolutely certain your charger will support the battery type. A lithium battery won't agree with a nickel charger and vice versa.
When buying replacement batteries, make absolutely certain your charger will support the battery type. A lithium battery won't agree with a nickel charger and vice versa.

(I tell you three times for a reason! BOOM!)
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Toth on November 28, 2015, 04:08:34 AM
So I'm a bit of a comms noob, if I just want a personal radio that can talk to the walkie-talkie style icoms which one do I need? Encrypted or decrypted? Thanks.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on November 28, 2015, 05:55:20 AM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Toth on November 28, 2015, 06:45:47 AM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.

Thanks, that is helpful to know. If that is the case, are there multiple types of ICOM radios that will work with our frequencies? I am simply looking to purchase an ICOM for myself for use within CAP, on search and rescue, encampment etc. hopefully that is a little more rugged than the CAP standard ICOMs.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: SarDragon on November 28, 2015, 09:15:11 AM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.

Thanks, that is helpful to know. If that is the case, are there multiple types of ICOM radios that will work with our frequencies? I am simply looking to purchase an ICOM for myself for use within CAP, on search and rescue, encampment etc. hopefully that is a little more rugged than the CAP standard ICOMs.

Nope. The ISRs operate on military channels, and there's nothing out there that will operate on those channels that's legal for CAP use.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Stonewall on November 28, 2015, 04:19:54 PM
So I'm digging the EFJ 5100 ES...

(https://static4.vipasuite.com/_resources/dyn/files/69029zc343e1ee/_fn/portable_5100_ES.gif)

What I want is to buy one and have everything already programmed.  Is this even possible?  I need things to work out of the box.

I've bought two radios for CAP in my life, both were Alinco, and I was able to program them manually, by hand, without any cables.  Those two radios lasted me 20 years and were simple (one for hand held ground team work and one for my vehicle).  I'm looking to buy something I can use with minimal maintenance and fanfare.  Set it an forget it, kind of thing.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: THRAWN on November 28, 2015, 04:53:11 PM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.

Thanks, that is helpful to know. If that is the case, are there multiple types of ICOM radios that will work with our frequencies? I am simply looking to purchase an ICOM for myself for use within CAP, on search and rescue, encampment etc. hopefully that is a little more rugged than the CAP standard ICOMs.

ICOM yes....ISR no. Pretty sure the IC V82 is.compliant. Check the list for ICOM sets. I have used a variety of their radios and they are good units.

Nope. The ISRs operate on military channels, and there's nothing out there that will operate on those channels that's legal for CAP use.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: SarDragon on November 28, 2015, 04:57:24 PM
OK, let's define "standard CAP Icom". The only Icom I know about that CAP uses is the ISR.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: THRAWN on November 28, 2015, 05:25:48 PM
OK, let's define "standard CAP Icom". The only Icom I know about that CAP uses is the ISR.

Icom has a number of units listed as compliant and are not ISR. IC F90 and 95.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on November 28, 2015, 05:30:15 PM
So I'm digging the EFJ 5100 ES...

(https://static4.vipasuite.com/_resources/dyn/files/69029zc343e1ee/_fn/portable_5100_ES.gif)

What I want is to buy one and have everything already programmed.  Is this even possible?  I need things to work out of the box.

I've bought two radios for CAP in my life, both were Alinco, and I was able to program them manually, by hand, without any cables.  Those two radios lasted me 20 years and were simple (one for hand held ground team work and one for my vehicle).  I'm looking to buy something I can use with minimal maintenance and fanfare.  Set it an forget it, kind of thing.
You can get them preprogrammed depending on the vendor. You can also contact your wing comm folks and have them program the radio with your wing's standard plan. The last batch of handhelds CAP got were 5100 ES (ver. 6) model 2 units. (The one on the right in the picture). The model 3 units, with full keypad, can be programmed from the keypad, but it's a major hassle (BTDT). I haven't had a problem with any of the EFJ handhelds I've purchased - I have three, one with encryption  >:D.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on November 28, 2015, 05:34:48 PM
OK, let's define "standard CAP Icom". The only Icom I know about that CAP uses is the ISR.
The 'standard' CAP radios are:
ISR - Icom IC-4008M
VHF - EFJ 5100 series handheld, EFJ 5300 series mobile/base
HF - Micom 2B non-ALE, Micom 2E/3F/3T ALE

There are other makes and models of radios that can be used by CAP members and some may have been purchased by units or wings, but they are not 'standard' CAP radios.

All the frequencies CAP uses are military frequencies, controlled by the DoD, authorized by the NTIA. Except for the ISR frequencies, there are a number of options for radios that can legally operate on our frequencies.

The ISR radios are basically FRS radios the operate on military frequencies. Reportedly, Icom took their IC-4008 FRS radio and modified the design to work on the ISR frequencies. You can find IC-4008 FRS radios frequently, but they will not work on ISR frequencies. You'll need the IC-4008M for that.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: SarDragon on November 28, 2015, 05:43:02 PM
OK. I'm on my phone right now, and couldn't get into the list. My concern was the assertion about a "standard" CAP Icom radio.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: THRAWN on November 28, 2015, 05:56:30 PM
OK. I'm on my phone right now, and couldn't get into the list. My concern was the assertion about a "standard" CAP Icom radio.

No "standard"....compliant but not standard. There are a lot of units in wide use. Think that the V82 was one of the most commonly used HTs at one point. BLUF: check the list on the compliance site, check your budget and go from there.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: C/SrA Ravlin on November 29, 2015, 03:11:32 AM
First off, I would not buy a radio. I have had this pounded into my head by my squadron Comms Officer... CAP will supply one for you if you need it. Second If you do continue with buying one no you cannot get it programmed with CAP freqs from the manufacturer because those are U/FOUO (For Official Use Only). You would have to take it to your Wing DC or squadron Comms Officer to have it programmed.  Third The EFJohnson radios can be extremely expensive. As you may have seen on Ebay already they are usually upwards of $250. Brand new they are in the thousands... I would see if your Wing DC knows how to program a Motorola radio and buy one of those that are CAP certified. You can look at the list on the comms website of approved CAP radios. Fourth not all of the EFJ 5100 radios are able to be used for CAP. Some are UHF and others just are not the right model. I have tried to buy one but finding the correct model and a real EFJ (some are knock off radios that pretend to be EFJ...). Again if you continue with buying a radio I would stick with Motorola or something cheaper than a EFJ. Please message me with any questions or how I can help you further.
Sincerely,
Cadet Ravlin
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on November 29, 2015, 03:52:15 AM
First off, I would not buy a radio. I have had this pounded into my head by my squadron Comms Officer... CAP will supply one for you if you need it. Second If you do continue with buying one no you cannot get it programmed with CAP freqs from the manufacturer because those are U/FOUO (For Official Use Only). You would have to take it to your Wing DC or squadron Comms Officer to have it programmed.  Third The EFJohnson radios can be extremely expensive. As you may have seen on Ebay already they are usually upwards of $250. Brand new they are in the thousands... I would see if your Wing DC knows how to program a Motorola radio and buy one of those that are CAP certified. You can look at the list on the comms website of approved CAP radios. Fourth not all of the EFJ 5100 radios are able to be used for CAP. Some are UHF and others just are not the right model. I have tried to buy one but finding the correct model and a real EFJ (some are knock off radios that pretend to be EFJ...). Again if you continue with buying a radio I would stick with Motorola or something cheaper than a EFJ. Please message me with any questions or how I can help you further.
Sincerely,
Cadet Ravlin
Cadet Ravlin,
1. CAP may (not will) supply you with a radio if you need it AND CAP has one available. More often than not, CAP does not have handhelds laying around.
2. Some vendors have been approved to program CAP radios with the CAP frequencies. Buying from these vendors usually means you have to provide proof of membership.
3. All EFJ 5100 series VHF radios can be used for CAP. The easiest way to determine if it will is if the model number starts 511#- 51 is the series, 1 is the band (VHF), and # is the model (1, 2, or 3). Model 1 has 48 channels and no display, model 2 is the CAP standard (display and limited keypad), and model 3 has the full keypad.
4. The Motorola radios that cost less than the EFJ's are either non-P25 capable or have been End-of-Lifed by Motorola, EOL means no only has that radio been discontinued, there is no support for the radios, ie. parts.
5. Motorola are typically the most expensive radios available. The EFJ was selected because it is cheaper (Motorola's equal is the XTS5000 - new $3000, used $800).
6. Any radio capable of doing P25 digital is going to be expensive.
7. If you buy a radio and the wing does not have the programming software and cables, you're on your own to get it programmed. CAP has no obligation to provide radio programming for personal radios, especially if it means buying software and cables. BTW, a legal copy of Motorola's software runs $300 and up. Cables are not included.
8. We generally advise cadets not to buy a radio as they usually loose interest soon and they (or their parents) blame CAP for 'making' them spend money on a gadget they aren't using. Seniors are in a different situation.

As a former wing DC, I do have some knowledge of CAP radio systems.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: ee1993 on November 30, 2015, 03:28:38 PM
"We generally advise cadets not to buy a radio as they usually loose interest soon and they (or their parents) blame CAP for 'making' them spend money on a gadget they aren't using. Seniors are in a different situation."

I agree completely.  I buy EF Johnson radios on EBay and also directly from several sources, clean and check them out thoroughly, and re-sell to verified CAP members with CAP programming if requested.  Not trying to make a profit, just cover my expenses and take the risk out of EBay purchases.   I do sometimes get clunkers that I keep for parts.  Version 6 handhelds are best but cost more that the version 1 radios commonly found on EBay but a good version 1 is still suitable for a member owned radio (no need for encryption). 
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Toth on November 30, 2015, 05:05:52 PM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.

Thanks, that is helpful to know. If that is the case, are there multiple types of ICOM radios that will work with our frequencies? I am simply looking to purchase an ICOM for myself for use within CAP, on search and rescue, encampment etc. hopefully that is a little more rugged than the CAP standard ICOMs.

Nope. The ISRs operate on military channels, and there's nothing out there that will operate on those channels that's legal for CAP use.

Alright, I might be beating a dead horse here, and if I am I apologize, I'm just trying to make sure I get the right information.

So the only way to communicate with other ICOM ISRs is to have an ICOM ISR? Are there any other radios that can talk to the CAP ISRs? If they would need to be programmed with encryption I could make that happen, I just need to know if there are any other radios that can do that.

Thanks for putting up with my stupid questions.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Garibaldi on November 30, 2015, 05:51:05 PM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.

Thanks, that is helpful to know. If that is the case, are there multiple types of ICOM radios that will work with our frequencies? I am simply looking to purchase an ICOM for myself for use within CAP, on search and rescue, encampment etc. hopefully that is a little more rugged than the CAP standard ICOMs.

Nope. The ISRs operate on military channels, and there's nothing out there that will operate on those channels that's legal for CAP use.

Alright, I might be beating a dead horse here, and if I am I apologize, I'm just trying to make sure I get the right information.

So the only way to communicate with other ICOM ISRs is to have an ICOM ISR? Are there any other radios that can talk to the CAP ISRs? If they would need to be programmed with encryption I could make that happen, I just need to know if there are any other radios that can do that.

Thanks for putting up with my stupid questions.

Ummmmm......

ISR frequencies are not encrypted. If you are lucky, you can find a hand-held like Vertec or Yaesu, AND if you can obtain a list of frequencies for ISR, AND the radio doesn't require a lot of fidgy-widginess to allow other frequencies to be used (There is a simple way to re-program the Yaseu FT-50R, which was a 30th birthday present. I can't tell you how, but it was altered to allow other frequencies to be used. Google it.), THEN you can probably use it in place of an ISR. I am NOT condoning this.

But it can be done.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on November 30, 2015, 06:38:49 PM
None of the above. You need one of the Icoms. They operate on military frequencies and from what I've been able to find, no one makes a radio for general use that operates on those frequencies. The ISRs were initially developed as a stop gap measure for the Marines. The military has since replaced them with more rugged, higher capability, multi-band units. The ISRs have been out of production for several years now.

Thanks, that is helpful to know. If that is the case, are there multiple types of ICOM radios that will work with our frequencies? I am simply looking to purchase an ICOM for myself for use within CAP, on search and rescue, encampment etc. hopefully that is a little more rugged than the CAP standard ICOMs.

Nope. The ISRs operate on military channels, and there's nothing out there that will operate on those channels that's legal for CAP use.

Alright, I might be beating a dead horse here, and if I am I apologize, I'm just trying to make sure I get the right information.

So the only way to communicate with other ICOM ISRs is to have an ICOM ISR? Are there any other radios that can talk to the CAP ISRs? If they would need to be programmed with encryption I could make that happen, I just need to know if there are any other radios that can do that.

Thanks for putting up with my stupid questions.

Ummmmm......

ISR frequencies are not encrypted. If you are lucky, you can find a hand-held like Vertec or Yaesu, AND if you can obtain a list of frequencies for ISR, AND the radio doesn't require a lot of fidgy-widginess to allow other frequencies to be used (There is a simple way to re-program the Yaseu FT-50R, which was a 30th birthday present. I can't tell you how, but it was altered to allow other frequencies to be used. Google it.), THEN you can probably use it in place of an ISR. I am NOT condoning this.

But it can be done.
1. ISRs are not encrypted.
2. Modifying a radio violates its FCC type acceptance, which makes operating it illegal.
3. Modifying a radio to operate on military frequencies is also illegal.
4. There are no other radios that can LEGALLY be programmed to operate on ISR frequencies.

I understand wanting a personal radio, but ISRs are very short range. If your unit does not have enough for your activities, your Communications Officer can request them from wing or other units. Many wings have caches of ISRs specifically for this purpose.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: C/SrA Ravlin on December 01, 2015, 12:33:14 AM
Yes Sir. I apologize for my belligerence.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: lordmonar on December 01, 2015, 04:27:17 AM
4. There are no other radios that can LEGALLY be programmed to operate on ISR frequencies.
I don't think that is true.   While most commercial radios do restrict the usable frequencies I'm sure you can buy some that are not blocked.  And there is no law against making and selling said radios.  It is just against the law to operate on said frequencies.

Point in case....you can buy lots of HF radios that work on the CAP freqs right off the shelf....and those freqs are military frequencies. 

Quote
I understand wanting a personal radio, but ISRs are very short range. If your unit does not have enough for your activities, your Communications Officer can request them from wing or other units. Many wings have caches of ISRs specifically for this purpose.
IIRC ICOM does not even make that model of the IRS any more.    The military did not follow up after the inital buy of the ISRs because they are too short ranged.   Too fragile for military use (if CAP guys can break them doing air show work...think of what and infantry man can do to them in A-Stan!).  Plus it was just easier and more flexible to issue MBITER (if more expansive) and use them in the ISR role instead of issuing another radio. 

Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Brad on December 09, 2015, 10:40:20 AM
CAP/NTIA-compliant P25-capable VHF radios: https://comm.capnhq.gov/equipment/digital_summary.cfm

CAP/NTIA-compliant VHF radios (P25 & non-P25-capable): https://comm.capnhq.gov/equipment/vhf_summary.cfm

If it's not on that list...good luck getting it there.

With regards to the ISR radios, as others have said there is only one that is compliant for use, and that is the one CAP uses, period. However since those things are such short-range, going through the hassle of getting your own personal one, getting it programmed, etc. etc., it's simply not worth it in the end. Heck, even myself as a Wing DC I have not even seen ISR programming software nor a source to even obtain it - that I have access to at least.

VHF radios though, again check the list first, then go from there. If you want to get a personal VHF, be aware of what you're getting into in terms of the secondary priority of it against corporate-owned radios, the on-your-own / non-support from National, the OPSEC concerns, especially if it comes with FPP capability, etc. That said, if you are really into communications, I'm not flat out discouraging it. I personally utilize a Motorola XTS5000 with AES-256 for CAP, fire department, and ham use and I love it. Takes a lick and keeps on ticking, PLUS I set up the voice files so it tells me which channel I'm on! (Take that EF Johnson! :P)

Again though, if your Wing is at their TOA limit and mission-capable, but you still want a radio issued just because, odds are you're not going to get it without a justifiable reason. This is why there is the ability to utilize member-owned equipment. Talk to your local hams or Squadron Comm Officer, see what they think. The hams especially, and hopefully your Squadron Comm Officer, have experience using a multitude of radios, and can give you an idea of the pros and cons of each based on the brand.

tldr: EF-Johnson 5100 is a safe bet, not too expensive and guaranteed to be CAP-compliant. Side-note though: encryption is coming "soon", so be sure to look at the actual 5100 or 5100-ES, not the 51SL, the SL cannot do encryption.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Slim on December 10, 2015, 10:28:19 AM
With regards to the ISR radios, as others have said there is only one that is compliant for use, and that is the one CAP uses, period. However since those things are such short-range, going through the hassle of getting your own personal one, getting it programmed, etc. etc., it's simply not worth it in the end. Heck, even myself as a Wing DC I have not even seen ISR programming software nor a source to even obtain it - that I have access to at least.

No such animal exists, in more ways than one.  Icom isn't making that particular model anymore, and there is not, nor ever was a means of programming them outside of the factory.  They were actually procured to fulfill a requirement for the Marine Corps, who promptly found that they were way too fragile for the intended use.  CAP bought thousands-probably tens of thousands-of them, and we're the only ones using them now.  In fact, NTIA/DoD is starting to allot some of the frequencies in that area (380-400 MHz) to multi state digital trunked radio systems.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Holding Pattern on December 16, 2015, 06:53:41 PM
With regards to the ISR radios, as others have said there is only one that is compliant for use, and that is the one CAP uses, period. However since those things are such short-range, going through the hassle of getting your own personal one, getting it programmed, etc. etc., it's simply not worth it in the end. Heck, even myself as a Wing DC I have not even seen ISR programming software nor a source to even obtain it - that I have access to at least.

No such animal exists, in more ways than one.  Icom isn't making that particular model anymore, and there is not, nor ever was a means of programming them outside of the factory.  They were actually procured to fulfill a requirement for the Marine Corps, who promptly found that they were way too fragile for the intended use.  CAP bought thousands-probably tens of thousands-of them, and we're the only ones using them now.  In fact, NTIA/DoD is starting to allot some of the frequencies in that area (380-400 MHz) to multi state digital trunked radio systems.

Query, does this mean there might be crates of these sitting in a depot somewhere waiting for some enterprising person to send them to CAP?
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: lordmonar on December 16, 2015, 07:16:23 PM
No.....it means that boxes and boxes of ICOM "parts" were sold at DRMO to scrap dealers for pennies a pound.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Holding Pattern on December 16, 2015, 07:21:47 PM
No.....it means that boxes and boxes of ICOM "parts" were sold at DRMO to scrap dealers for pennies a pound.

:(
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Slim on December 17, 2015, 10:13:13 AM
No.....it means that boxes and boxes of ICOM "parts" were sold at DRMO to scrap dealers for pennies a pound.

I don't know if they made it that far.  I've seen what cadets do to them at summer encampment, I can only imagine what they'd look like after a week with the Marines in Iraq.

In actuality, they probably had to be destroyed during the demil process; since there's no way to deprogram the frequencies, they probably got smacked with a hammer.  I used to watch the DLA auction site pretty regularly, and never saw any LMRs come up for bids.  I also had an in with the comm manager at one of the guard bases that was in the process of retiring about 100 VHF Astro Sabers and XTS-3000s.  I was working an angle to have wing screen some or all of them once they hit DRMO, but he said it's usually cheaper and easier for them to just destroy and recycle them than sit down and wipe the programming out of them one at a time.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: lordmonar on December 17, 2015, 05:35:21 PM
No.....it means that boxes and boxes of ICOM "parts" were sold at DRMO to scrap dealers for pennies a pound.

I don't know if they made it that far.  I've seen what cadets do to them at summer encampment, I can only imagine what they'd look like after a week with the Marines in Iraq.

In actuality, they probably had to be destroyed during the demil process; since there's no way to deprogram the frequencies, they probably got smacked with a hammer.  I used to watch the DLA auction site pretty regularly, and never saw any LMRs come up for bids.  I also had an in with the comm manager at one of the guard bases that was in the process of retiring about 100 VHF Astro Sabers and XTS-3000s.  I was working an angle to have wing screen some or all of them once they hit DRMO, but he said it's usually cheaper and easier for them to just destroy and recycle them than sit down and wipe the programming out of them one at a time.
That's why I said "parts".
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Theodore on March 31, 2016, 03:31:55 PM
I use the Baofeng UV-82, with a Nagoya 771 antenna. Works great, about $60 on Amazon. Other Baofengs are even cheaper.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: kirbahashi on March 31, 2016, 03:55:54 PM
I use the Baofeng UV-82, with a Nagoya 771 antenna. Works great, about $60 on Amazon. Other Baofengs are even cheaper.

If you are talking for amateur radio, Baofeng's are fine.  If you are talking Civil Air Patrol, the Baofeng's are not authorized.  Unless the UV-82 made the compliant equipment list?  And the last time I checked it hadn't.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Brad on April 03, 2016, 05:52:32 AM
I use the Baofeng UV-82, with a Nagoya 771 antenna. Works great, about $60 on Amazon. Other Baofengs are even cheaper.

If you are talking for amateur radio, Baofeng's are fine.  If you are talking Civil Air Patrol, the Baofeng's are not authorized.  Unless the UV-82 made the compliant equipment list?  And the last time I checked it hadn't.

The UV-82 is not listed one way or the other so it defaults to a no.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: tribalelder on April 08, 2016, 03:13:18 AM
Suggestion- no personal handheld.  That era ended.TODAY.

New Comm reg says all vhf to P-25 unless there's good reason noT to change, and personal radios aren't a reason. Oh, and we won't put encryption key in your PRICEY COMPLIANT radio unless CAP REALLY REALLY needs to do so.  SAVE YOUR MONEY. (Buy ABU's, I guess)

New day dawns for an organization that once built its own bombsights (WW2) and zip tied a home brew copper vhf j-pole antenna to a demolished billboard (Katrina). We are no longer a guerilla organization. 

Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Luis R. Ramos on April 08, 2016, 03:42:45 AM
What do you mean, no "personal handheld?"

I just scanned CAPR 100-1. There is still mention of "member-owned" radios.

Or do you mean when a member transfers from one unit to another, any hand-held issued to that person must be surrendered to the issuing unit? It was my impression that was the norm under the old 100-1...
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: PHall on April 08, 2016, 04:28:31 AM
What do you mean, no "personal handheld?"

I just scanned CAPR 100-1. There is still mention of "member-owned" radios.

Or do you mean when a member transfers from one unit to another, any hand-held issued to that person must be surrendered to the issuing unit? It was my impression that was the norm under the old 100-1...

Well, if your personal handheld is P-25 capable, great, it's still useful. If it isn't, and most aren't, it days are numbered if not over.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Eclipse on April 08, 2016, 04:36:45 AM
There is still mention of "member-owned" radios.

The nomenclature is "privately owned" if you're searching.

Well, if your personal handheld is P-25 capable, great, it's still useful. If it isn't, and most aren't, it days are numbered if not over.

You'd also require specific authorization to use the CAP code plugs.

"I am a GTL (etc.), and my wing does not have enough radios to complete its missions..."
Would be an example of a legit justification.

"I like to listen..." Isn't.

Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: PHall on April 08, 2016, 03:33:05 PM
There is still mention of "member-owned" radios.

The nomenclature is "privately owned" if you're searching.

Well, if your personal handheld is P-25 capable, great, it's still useful. If it isn't, and most aren't, it days are numbered if not over.

You'd also require specific authorization to use the CAP code plugs.

"I am a GTL (etc.), and my wing does not have enough radios to complete its missions..."
Would be an example of a legit justification.

"I like to listen..." Isn't.

According to you, other Wing Communications personnel opinions may differ.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Eclipse on April 08, 2016, 03:36:09 PM
According to you, other Wing Communications personnel opinions may differ.

No doubt, however those opinions will need to be justified to the NHQ/DOK for specific approval.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Luis R. Ramos on April 08, 2016, 10:21:45 PM
I know about the P-25 need.

I was considering purchasing my own CAP-compliant radio. I do not see anything on the new regs that prohibit that purchase. But on reading Tribalelder's message, he seems to state that the new regs prohibit CAP members from owning privately-owned radios!

Am I missing something here? Are these two different issues?
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: SarDragon on April 08, 2016, 10:34:16 PM
I'm a Comm guy, and I've reread the new reg twice now, and I see nothing that precludes member-owned radios. The most important thing I saw in that regard is this:

Quote from: CAPR 100-1
6.1.3. [redacted]  As a result, support for member-owned radios of lesser capability is not a priority of the system engineering.

8.6.3. Compatibility. The CAP VHF-FM system is engineered to use the capabilities of DoD-supplied equipment assigned in accordance with the Table of Allowances. Members owning older equipment of lesser capability shoulder the burden of compatibility. Member-owned radios capable of P-25 operation should be programmed as "Mixed-Mode" receive on both their analog and digital CAP channels, to the maximum extent possible. All CAP radio operators are required to "listen before transmit." Analog-only users should familiarize themselves with the sound of digital modulation in order to facilitate this process.

Several places - Member-owned HF radios should conform, to the extent possible.

Emphasis mine.


Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Luis R. Ramos on April 08, 2016, 10:51:54 PM
Dave, that is precisely the section that made me ask.

If the regs state that, what is Tribaelder referring to?
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: SarDragon on April 09, 2016, 02:21:39 AM
Dave, that is precisely the section that made me ask.

If the regs state that, what is Tribaelder referring to?

NFI!
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Slim on April 09, 2016, 09:31:01 AM
I'm a Comm guy, and I've reread the new reg twice now, and I see nothing that precludes member-owned radios. The most important thing I saw in that regard is this:

Quote from: CAPR 100-1
6.1.3. [redacted]  As a result, support for member-owned radios of lesser capability is not a priority of the system engineering.

8.6.3. Compatibility. The CAP VHF-FM system is engineered to use the capabilities of DoD-supplied equipment assigned in accordance with the Table of Allowances. Members owning older equipment of lesser capability shoulder the burden of compatibility. Member-owned radios capable of P-25 operation should be programmed as "Mixed-Mode" receive on both their analog and digital CAP channels, to the maximum extent possible. All CAP radio operators are required to "listen before transmit." Analog-only users should familiarize themselves with the sound of digital modulation in order to facilitate this process.

Several places - Member-owned HF radios should conform, to the extent possible.

Emphasis mine.

That's my take on it as well.

I see nothing that says older, analog-only equipment won't be authorized for continued use.  It appears that the status quo will remain; if the mission dictates P-25 and/or encryption, and you don't have compatible equipment, then you'll have what you need issued/supplied to you.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: arajca on April 09, 2016, 02:31:11 PM
I'm a Comm guy, and I've reread the new reg twice now, and I see nothing that precludes member-owned radios. The most important thing I saw in that regard is this:

Quote from: CAPR 100-1
6.1.3. [redacted]  As a result, support for member-owned radios of lesser capability is not a priority of the system engineering.

8.6.3. Compatibility. The CAP VHF-FM system is engineered to use the capabilities of DoD-supplied equipment assigned in accordance with the Table of Allowances. Members owning older equipment of lesser capability shoulder the burden of compatibility. Member-owned radios capable of P-25 operation should be programmed as "Mixed-Mode" receive on both their analog and digital CAP channels, to the maximum extent possible. All CAP radio operators are required to "listen before transmit." Analog-only users should familiarize themselves with the sound of digital modulation in order to facilitate this process.

Several places - Member-owned HF radios should conform, to the extent possible.

Emphasis mine.

That's my take on it as well.

I see nothing that says older, analog-only equipment won't be authorized for continued use.  It appears that the status quo will remain; if the mission dictates P-25 and/or encryption, and you don't have compatible equipment, then you'll have what you need issued/supplied to you.
I'll add a caveat - if the equipment is available, it will be issued.

I have seen (and bought) EFJ 51 series handhelds with encryption available on E-Bay. Yes, it is actually installed and can be used when needed. I have two personal EFJ handhelds with it I bought off E-Bay. If I'm in a situation when I need to use encryption, it's just a matter of loading the key(s) and turning it on.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Brad on April 10, 2016, 01:17:01 AM
And this is why I'm glad my radio is P-25 compliant. Moto XTS-5000 woo!
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Slim on April 10, 2016, 08:30:50 AM
And this is why I'm glad my radio is P-25 compliant. Moto XTS-5000 woo!

XTS-3000 FTW!
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: lordmonar on April 10, 2016, 11:40:36 AM
Two Tin Cans and Some String!

Old School Baby!
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: ee1993 on April 17, 2016, 06:26:54 PM
Here is my understanding of CAP encryption.  I am not an expert on this so please offer corrections if you find errors or omissions.  EF Johnson 5100 and 5300 radios were almost all capable of some form of encryption if the option was enabled.  However, only the version 6 ES series and version 4 with updated firmware are capable of the current CAP encryption standard that included over-the-air rekeying.  Loading encryption keys requires an EFJ key-loader.  The key-loader is a special piece of hardware and special cable needed to install keys.  The standard programming hardware (RIB) and software cannot access keys. 
Probably the most critical and difficult aspect of encryption is key management.  If a single radio is lost or stolen, any encryption keys loaded must be considered compromised.   So then all radios using any of those keys must be re-keyed.  Without OTA re-keying, all radios must be called back to be where the key-loader can be connected.   You can see why this could become difficult to manage, particularly if keys were given out to a large number of member owned radios.  I suspect the when we finally do move to encryption of corporate radios only a very few select high level members will have keys installed in their personal radios. 

EF Johnson ships new radios with a “free” default encryption key installed.  This is why many squadron 5100 version 6 handhelds have a secure mode that will communicate with another similar 5100 encrypted.  This is not CAP encryption as the key is essentially public.  Some radio may have had the default key erased.  CAP has still not worked out how keys are generated and managed so encryption is now used only in special circumstances.   One that I know of was a cross agency operation on the southern boarder where the outside agencies installed encryption in out aircraft radios and it was removed when the operation was complete.

P25 conventional digital is not encryption.  Most recent higher end scanner radio can receive P25 digital.   As for personal radios, I recommend getting a compliant radio that will do P25 digital and you will be good for almost any mission for many years to come.  The EF Johnson radio have an advantage in that you wing should be able to program the radio for you to wing standards.  If you are licensed you can then get the cable and program you radio to add amateur frequencies for your personal use.  Also, the 5100 is grandfathered a legal for MURS channels if programmed to analog and 1 W transmit only.
Title: Re: Personal handheld suggestions?
Post by: Brad on April 17, 2016, 11:54:40 PM
And this is why I'm glad my radio is P-25 compliant. Moto XTS-5000 woo!

XTS-3000 FTW!

Had one and sold it for the 5000, wanted the channel announce on the fireground so I don't have to count clicks.