January 29, 2020, 05:00:51 pm

VHF radio post-programming checklist

Started by xyzzy, May 03, 2019, 01:26:19 pm

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xyzzy

Does anyone have a checklist they use to test a VHF radio after it has been programmed with a CAP code plug? I'm a squadron communications officer and our wing commander has requested testing of radios. Any OPSEC issues can be handled by sending to my CAP email, gashton@vtcap.org.

When testing radios, to what extent do you test interoperability channels shared with other services, such as the marine channels or VCALL10, VTAC11, VTAC12, VTAC13 and VTAC14? I did contact Vermont Emergency Management and they had no problem with us testing the VCALL and VTAC channels as long as we deferred to other users and gave a courtesy call to state police dispatch before testing on VCALL10 (which they monitor).

Another recent thread sent the OP to the communications section from eServices. Be aware the degree of access one has depends on who you are. I don't know the exact mechanism for assigning permissions, but wing communications officers seem to have things that squadron communication officers can't see.

Brad

If you're testing radios at the squadron level, just do a basic function test on the repeater(s) your squadron can reach from where it's at. Also check the buttons to make sure they perform to specification, especially if it is a CAP-owned radio, which has to be programmed with the standard button plan. If you are unaware of it or don't have access to it via eServices, contact your Wing DC.
Brad Lee
Maj, CAP
Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications
Mid-Atlantic Region
K4RMN

xyzzy

@Brad, I devised my own form and did an extensive test on all CAP simplex channels, as well as VCALL10 and VTAC11 through VTAC14. We did find some issues and are arranging for reprogramming. Didn't test repeaters because they are out of range.

SarDragon

You can also use a VX-150 (CAP mod) or one of the Chinese part 90 compliant radios set to the repeater frequencies, and in simplex mode, to check operation. Make sure the CAP radio in in low power mode, though.
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret

CAP9907

Suggest that you just do a functional check with an existing CAP radio and see how it works. I've had no issues with the NHQ code plug. Contact your Wing DC for issues.   YMMV

~9907
20 yrs of service

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SarDragon

September 06, 2019, 08:31:37 am #5 Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 08:35:37 am by SarDragon
That won't help if he can't reach any CAP repeaters. That's why I suggested the Part 90 radios. They are tunable, and work on our frequencies.
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret

xyzzy

The extensive test was done at the request of the wing CC, who was defacto wing DC at the time. I don't have access to a P25 capable part 90 radio. Once the reprogramming is completed a few of us will do a field trip so we will be in range of a repeater, and do the whole suite of testing over again. We could at least program a non-P25 capable part 90 radio to test the analog repeater channels, and operate the part 90 radio into a dummy load. I'd expect enough leakage into and out of the dummy load to allow short-range (intra-building) communication.