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Author Topic: Commo Gear, Whats HOT ?  (Read 20097 times)
abysmal
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Posts: 519

« on: March 26, 2005, 06:55:24 PM »

Since I have been WAY out of the loop for the last 20 years....

What the hot set up in commo gear these days.

Need to get a good unit for my Bronco, as well as a good hand held.

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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
MIKE
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Unit: LANTAREA

« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2005, 09:36:15 PM »

You'll be spending more than what you would have had to 5 years ago... CAP is getting away from using radios available publicly to HAM operators and moving toward commercial radios which meet the established NTIA standards and cost significantly more money.... The hand held I bought 5 or so years ago for $150 or so is no longer compliant, and it will cost me at least $400 for a compliant replacement.

If you are gonna spend the money make sure your radio meets current and future standards... I held off buying a VX 150 for precisely this reason.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2005, 04:13:02 AM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
Mike Johnston
abysmal
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2005, 09:59:38 PM »

If you are gonna spend the money make sure your radio meets current and future standards... I held off buying a VX 150 for precisely this reason.

So, that said, What is the HOT setup that will meet all current and future requirements.
Even "Way Back When" I never went cheap.
Quality always pays for itself over time.
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
arajca
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2005, 01:21:12 AM »

I currently use an Icon F50 handheld. Good little radio, 128 channels, NTIA compliant, wide AND narrow band programmable per channel.

Cost $350 + programming software and cable.

If you want to get fancy, the EF Johnson P-25 radios national is buying cost around $2000.00. I haven't used one or done much checking on them. I saw the cost - NEXT!


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pixelwonk
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2005, 02:39:07 AM »

Pretty much anything that is both wideband and narrowband compliant will serve you well, as it's most likely commercial gear.  Although some of the brands like Tait, which I've never even heard of before I'm still a bit wary of.  I guess I'm privy to the brands that I've got ham equipment in, like Yaesu and Kenwood.

I bought the Vertex 150 the year it came out and it's still going strong.  Being that the end is drawing near, I'm looking to obtain a new mobile, myself and will probably go with either Vertex or Icom.


WX9AUX/Bluemound 1551
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abysmal
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2005, 02:52:39 AM »

I currently use an Icon F50 handheld. Good little radio, 128 channels, NTIA compliant, wide AND narrow band programmable per channel.

Cost $350 + programming software and cable.

If you want to get fancy, the EF Johnson P-25 radios national is buying cost around $2000.00. I haven't used one or done much checking on them. I saw the cost - NEXT!

For $2,000 this thing had better have high speed burst encryption.
Thats quite a bit of change to spend on a portable.
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
abysmal
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2005, 02:55:44 AM »

If you want to get fancy, the EF Johnson P-25 radios national is buying cost around $2000.00. I haven't used one or done much checking on them. I saw the cost - NEXT!

Is this the unit ?

5100 Series 
The 5100 Series multi-protocol portable radio is a high tiered, high specification computer with a portable radio module. Designed for Public Safety User by Public Safety Users to meet the changing needs of Federal, State and Local Government users, as well as industrial and public service applications. With forward, backward and multiple protocol compatibility, the 5100 portable radio allows communications on Project 25 Trunking and Conventional radio systems, SMARTNET II and SmartZone Trunked radio systems, Multi-Net trunking systems, and conventional analog radio communication systems.

 
 
APCO Project 25 Compatible – Trunked and Conventional
SMARTNET™ and SmartZone®
Multi-Net®
Analog/Digital Radio

The industry’s only interoperable portable combines an RF module with a high-performance computer processor offering the end user a multi-protocol portable. EFJohnson designed this innovative portable by asking radio users what they wanted in performance, usage, and features. The result is strong lightweight magnesium casting with ergonomic polycarbonate housing. Whether you need a radio to perform on a single protocol system or part of many systems with different protocols, the 5100 is your solution. Simple ramp switch selection allows you to change from one system protocol to another. Available in VHF, UHF, and 800 bands, the 5100 serves the federal, state and local government users as well as industrial and public service customers. Finally, the 5100 is sophisticated enough to allow transitioning from analog to digital and vice versa.

Multiple Protocol Compatibility:

– Project 25 CAI (Common Air Interface) allows users the capability of communicating with other Project 25 compatible radio equipment. The 5100 supports Project 25 trunked and conventional communications, as well as Motorola Astro trunking.
– SMARTNET™ II and SmartZone® Trunking Protocols are supported on the Series 5100 portable.
– Multi-Net® Trunked communications is supported on the Series 5100 portable.


Intrinsically safe
Multiple System Select is an advanced feature that allows the user to simply change the protocol of the communications from analog to digital with the pressing of a button. The 5100 also allows up to 500 channel/talkgroups, depending upon memory available and programming configuration.
Encrypted Communications allow Project 25 DES-OFB level secure voice communications.
Backwards Compatibility provides the flexibility to communicate in both narrow and wideband analog channels, in addition narrowband digital.
Forwards Compatibility is provided through the flash upgradable design that will allow new features and applications in the existing radio platform.
Alphanumeric Display provides a large, LCD backlit visual display of the radio’s channel, talkgroup, or other pertinent information.
DTMF Compatibility allows the user to operate remote control devices or access telephone interconnect systems.
Ergonomically-Designed Rotary Knobs allow easy access and to easily distinguish the talkgroup/channel knob from the volume knob.
Keypad provides users with the ability to call individual radios, groups or fleets.
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
abysmal
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Posts: 519

« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2005, 03:01:41 AM »

I bought the Vertex 150 the year it came out and it's still going strong.  Being that the end is drawing near, I'm looking to obtain a new mobile, myself and will probably go with either Vertex or Icom.

WX9AUX/Bluemound 1551

My last unit was an ICOM as well.
But a quick glance at technology shows things have come a LONGS ways since then.
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
abysmal
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Posts: 519

« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2005, 03:08:17 AM »

Pretty much anything that is both wideband and narrowband compliant will serve you well, as it's most likely commercial gear. 

Found this link that helps a bit..
https://ntc.cap.af.mil/comm/equipment/nb_summary.cfm
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
abysmal
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Posts: 519

« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2005, 03:31:37 AM »

If you want to get fancy, the EF Johnson P-25 radios national is buying cost around $2000.00. I haven't used one or done much checking on them. I saw the cost - NEXT!

Hard to find a price for these on the net..
I got these as Contract prices for the State of South Carolina.
http://www.state.sc.us/oir/rates/docs/efjohnson5100.xls

These things are SERIOUSLY Pricey.
how is CAP going to afford fielding these in any usable quantities???

DESCRIPTION:
EFJOHNSON 5100 SERIES PORTABLE
   
P25 DIGITAL AND ANALOG: SMARTZONE AND SMARTNET   
   
EF JOHNSON 5182 PORTABLE, WITH LIMITED KEYPAD, FRONT MOUNT DISPLAY, 3 WATT, 800MHZ,  WHIP ANTENNA, EXTRA HIGH CAPACITY NiMH BATTERY, BLACK HOUSING, MOTOROLA SMARTNET AND SMARTZONE TRUNKING, CONVENTIONAL,  PROJECT 25 DIGITAL COMMON AIR INTERFACE (CAI), 256 TALKGROUPS.   
$2,357.60

EF JOHNSON 5183 PORTABLE, WITH FULL KEYPAD, FRONT MOUNT DISPLAY, 3 WATT, 800MHZ, WHIP ANTENNA, EXTRA HIGH CAPACITY NiMH BATTERY, BLACK HOUSING,    MOTOROLA SMARTNET AND SMARTZONE TRUNKING, CONVENTIONAL,    
PROJECT 25 DIGITAL COMMON AIR INTERFACE (CAI), 256 TALKGROUPS.   
$2,555.20

EF JOHNSON 5182 PORTABLE, WITH LIMITED KEYPAD, FRONT MOUNT DISPLAY, 3 WATT, 800MHZ, WHIP ANTENNA, EXTRA HIGH CAPACITY NiMH BATTERY, BLACK HOUSING, MOTOROLA SMARTNET AND SMARTZONE TRUNKING, CONVENTIONAL, PROJECT 25 DIGITAL COMMON AIR INTERFACE (CAI), 512 TALKGROUPS.   
$2,509.60

EF JOHNSON 5183 PORTABLE, WITH FULL KEYPAD, FRONT MOUNT DISPLAY, 3 WATT, 800MHZ, WHIP ANTENNA, EXTRA HIGH CAPACITY NiMH BATTERY, BLACK HOUSING,    MOTOROLA SMARTNET AND SMARTZONE TRUNKING, CONVENTIONAL,    
PROJECT 25 DIGITAL COMMON AIR INTERFACE (CAI), 512 TALKGROUPS.   
$2,707.20
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
abysmal
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 519

« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2005, 03:51:55 AM »

Still trying to find what these things REALLY go for...

BASE MODEL: (Select one) PRICE
5112 = VHF, 5W, 136–174 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,644
5113 = VHF, 5W, 136–174 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,891
5122† = UHF, 4W, 380–470 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,644
5123† = UHF, 4W, 380–470 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,891
5132 = UHF, 4W, 403–470 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,644
5133 = UHF, 4W, 403–470 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,891
5142 = UHF, 4W, 450–512 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,644
5143 = UHF, 4W, 450–512 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,891
5182 = 800, 3W, 806–870 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,644
5183 = 800, 3W, 806–870 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,891
5116 = Intrinsically-safe, VHF, 5W, 136–174 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,693
5117 = Intrinsically-safe, VHF, 5W, 136–174 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,940
5126† = Intrinsically-safe, UHF, 4W, 380–470 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,693
5127† = Intrinsically-safe, UHF, 4W, 380–470 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,940
5136 = Intrinsically-safe, UHF, 4W, 403–470 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,693
5137 = Intrinsically-safe, UHF, 4W, 403–470 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,940
5146 = Intrinsically-safe, UHF, 4W, 450–512 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,693
5147 = Intrinsically-safe, UHF, 4W, 450–512 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,940
5186 = Intrinsically-safe, 800, 3W, 806–870 MHz, Non-DTMF Keypad $1,693
5187 = Intrinsically-safe, 800, 3W, 806–870 MHz, DTMF Keypad $1,940

And then you still have to buy...
Antena
Battery
Housing
Pay for the P-25 protocol to be installed
  Project 25 Digital CAI (Common Air Interface)
  (Includes #1 Analog FM enabled) $ 412
And buy the Software
SYSTEM OPTIONS: (Select one)
0 = Conventional $ 640
1 = SMARTNET® II Trunking (Includes #0 Conventional enabled) $594
2 = SmartZone® Trunking (Includes #1 SMARTNET II Trunking, #0 Conventional,
and STAR [SmartZone Transfer Area Roaming] enabled) $891
3 = Project 25 Trunking (Includes #2 SmartZone, #1 SMARTNET II,
#0 Conventional, and STAR enabled) $1149


And they want to use this for CAP???????
There must have come up with be one heck of a new budget since I last active!!
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,401

« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2005, 04:13:05 AM »

They really haven't. DoD requires any radios purchased with DoD funds (i.e. the appropriated budget for CAP) to be P25 capable. That capability costs two arms, a leg, and your first born. Hence, you'll porbably see CAP owned radios being P25 and member owned not being P25.

I did ask National (Malcom Kaiser) if CAP had any plans to go use P25 and he told me not for the next ten years - which was as far as they had planned. Some wings might, but given that doing so would instantly remove up to 75% of the radios in a wing, I don't see it happening.
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arajca
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2005, 04:14:41 AM »

BTW, the Icom F50 is water resistant to 1 meter. Which makes it good for outdoors use - particularly in incliment weather.
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MIKE
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2005, 04:21:25 AM »

BTW, the Icom F50 is water resistant to 1 meter. Which makes it good for outdoors use - particularly in incliment weather.

So if I like to operate as a net control station from my bath tub this radio is good for that right?  ;D

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Mike Johnston
abysmal
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2005, 05:50:49 AM »

I did ask National (Malcom Kaiser) if CAP had any plans to go use P25 and he told me not for the next ten years -

So, for all intents and purposes the whole P25 is a NON-Starter in reality then?
nice capability, but if we are not going to implement it on a wide scale basis, whats the point of paying for it?
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
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London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
arajca
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Posts: 4,401

« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2005, 06:09:17 AM »

CAP is paying for it because the AF provides the money for the radios and we have to follow their rules in spending it. Which means CAP buys P25 cabable radios. Members do not have that problem. If a unit wanted to raise funds to purchase radios, they would only need to get NTIA wide and narow band compliant radios, not P25 capable radios.
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Slim
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2005, 07:37:08 AM »

Warning, long techo-filled mumbo jumbo to follow

Chris,

Looking at the options you listed for the EF Johnson gear, a lot of them won't apply to us.  Things like SMARTNet, STAR and SMARTZone trunking are 800MHz trunking protocols.  Since the 800MHz spectrum is pretty well packed as it is, I highly doubt that the AF will get any of it, let alone enough to give to us.  Then, you have to set up the infrastructure to support it.  A nationwide 800MHz trunking system is next to impossible, and the talkgroups (similar to conventional channels) would be in the millions.  Radios with enough space to support it would be impractically expensive.

However, APCO Project 25 does allow for digital encryption on conventional radio systems like we use now.  The federal gov't already uses SECURENET (which is Motorola's trade name for analog encryption) for most agencies like the Coast Guard, DEA, FBI, and USSS (you'll hear them tell another station to "Go Secure,"  and it's just a matter of pressing a button on the radio, all you will hear is blowing wind).  APCO P25 is just the next generation of that, and it's an industry standard, whereas Motorola's ASTRO, SMARTNet and SMARTZone, and GEs EDACS trunking systems are not (can't use a SMARTNet radio on an EDACS system).  With APCO enacting P25, all manufacturers have to offer this system in their equipment for interoperabiliy reasons.  We're also starting to see compatiability between the different trunking systems (Motorola and GE).

Sorry to get so techincal, this is basically a layman's version of it.  The actual documents are dry enough to put a speed freak to sleep.

As far as radios go, there are several out there that meet wide and narrow band requirements, by all the manufacturers like Kenwood, Motorola, Icom, Vertex, Johnson, and GE.  You can find these on ebay usually for a pretty reasonable price.  But we all know that ebay is buyer beware.  Just check the list that the NTC has on their site and find what fits your needs and budget.

Personally, I have a Tait T-2020 mobile, and the only thing I dislike about it is that 25 watts output power is kinda weak (I'm used to a Motorola Spectra with 110 at work).  It's got 100 channels, alphanumeric display, and is type accepted for commercial FCC applications (doubles as my fire dept and work radio).  I got mine through the CAP Supply Depot before they closed, and spent just under $600 (the radio was $500, programming kit was another 70 IIRC).  Personally, I'd like to get something with at least 50 watts output power, but the Tait does ok.

For handhelds, I'm a pure Motorola snob.  I own and use several for work and CAP.  The only ones I have licensed for CAP are a Saber (wideband only) and an MT-2000 (wide and narrow compliant), but neither are P25 complaint.  Of course, member owned equipment doesn't have to be. 

Best handheld on the market right now IMNSHO is the Motorola HT-1000.  This is the new millenium's version of the old HT-220 (think about that one, old-timer).  You can not break an HT-1000 (I saw one work after being burned up in a fire).  16 channels, wide and narrow band compliant.  Only key is to get either the wideband (136-174 MHz) antenna or the one tuned specific to 136-150.

Commo gear is like anything else, find what you can afford, and what works for you.  Hope this helps
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Slim
SarDragon
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2005, 07:42:18 AM »

CAP gets a deal on the EFJs - @ $1400 each. That's for either the mobile or handheld. I have a CAP-owned mobile in my 'Burb, and it's doing great.
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Dave Bowles
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abysmal
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2005, 03:24:00 PM »

CAP gets a deal on the EFJs - @ $1400 each. That's for either the mobile or handheld. I have a CAP-owned mobile in my 'Burb, and it's doing great.

Is that deal available to members or only to corporate?
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2LT Christopher M. Parrett
Deputy Commander of Cadets, Cadet Programs Officer
London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
SWR-AZ-112,  Lake Havasu City, Arizona
abysmal
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 519

« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2005, 03:25:20 PM »

Warning, long techo-filled mumbo jumbo to follow



Best handheld on the market right now IMNSHO is the Motorola HT-1000.  This is the new millenium's version of the old HT-220 (think about that one, old-timer).  You can not break an HT-1000 (I saw one work after being burned up in a fire).  16 channels, wide and narrow band compliant.  Only key is to get either the wideband (136-174 MHz) antenna or the one tuned specific to 136-150.

Commo gear is like anything else, find what you can afford, and what works for you.  Hope this helps

THANKS for the explanation!

Given the current and near future state of affairs with CAP...
What are all the frequency ranges that we "Might" be called upon to use?

The EFJ covers a LOT of territory.
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London Bridge Composite Squadron 501
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Commo Gear, Whats HOT ?
 


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