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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,835
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« on: October 16, 2007, 11:36:48 PM »

I've got a beef with the NTC.  A big one.

Why aren't they updating the compliant communications equipment report?  Many of the radios on that list aren't even made anymore!  To be compliant for CAP use, radios have to meet the narrow band standards of post 1/2006 AND be approved by the NTC (or have already been in service before then).  Even if the radio meets the standards, if they haven't tested it and put it on the list, you cant use it!  Do you realize, that on the entire list of 138 radios (yes, I counted), only 6 have been tested and only 4 of them are compliant?!  Everything else is marked as N/A or TBD (TBD?  Yeah, like they're going to determine it anytime soon).  And thats only on the VHF list!  It is seriously time to write up a new list so that there are more than 4 technically compliant radios!  I know it may seem like a relatively futile effort with the narrow band changes in the relatively near future, but squadrons are buying radios now, changes pending or not.

I'm sorry if for the rant and if I've made someone mad for any reason I apologize for that too, but seriously, this is just ridiculous.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 11:43:44 PM by ♠SARKID♠ » Logged

           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-002/CC
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floridacyclist
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 926

Tallahassee Composite Squadron
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 02:02:28 AM »

I feel your pain. The ones that are listed as TBD have simply not been tested for compliance using a new procedure that was enforced starting 1/06. It's not a question of whether they meet it or not, the manufacturer simply never tested them in a certain way prescribed by the NTIA and since they are mainly older radios, probably never will.

N/A usually means that the radio is by definition not compliant or lacking in a certain area...ie does not have narrowband or P25 capability.

I've always heard that the Batwing folks were a driving force behind adoption of the new standards, but that could just be my imagination.
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Gene Floyd, Capt CAP
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,835
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 02:37:58 AM »

How do they test the equipment anyways?  They say right on the site that much of the information was gathered from operating manuals and such.  How hard is it to do a google search for the models and get the new info?

BTW, whats batwing?
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-002/CC
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wingnut
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 03:10:58 AM »

Look

The nation Radio Plan is not being enforced, last year in a Major SAR,  aircraft from California,and  New Mexico could not communicate in Arizona  Why, because AZ was not using the same tone frequencies, we talked to Cadets on the simplex who relayed for us on all our sorties. Wrote a letter to National, no reply.
During the  Fosset mission well we had only HIGH BIRD, Nevada would not allow us to use the Repeaters in the area (ALL California WING AIRCRAFT) try having to climb up to 12,00 feet just for your .5 hour check in. Complain you bet anything being done about??? I doubt, that is what makes CAP look bad and make me wonder what is going on. If this happened on Active Duty it would have been on CNN that night but we all keep MUM.  Inspector General ? Now I don't want to make a stink about it but I have invested thousands in CAP for this year and I am about to pull the plug, I see little effective LEADERSHIP, just smoke and mirror and a turnover of Leadership every 6 months. I believe moral is in the tank in some Wings, Comm is one reason why.
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,835
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007, 03:25:59 AM »

1)  I believe that tones are a designation done by wing.  Thats part of wing communication plans.  They use different tones so as not to interfere with eachother. That's common radio practice even outside of CAP.  No foul play there.

2) Do you have any idea as to what would happen if you tried using repeaters from an aircraft?  You could bring up repeaters all across the country.  Line of sight for radio signals is a long long ways even at search altitude.

3) Punctuation and coherent sentences would be a plus next time.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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floridacyclist
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 926

Tallahassee Composite Squadron
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007, 05:09:00 AM »

I think I just lost interest in this conversation.
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Gene Floyd, Capt CAP
Wearer of many hats, master of none (but senior-rated in two)
www.tallahasseecap.org
www.rideforfatherhood.org
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,835
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007, 08:25:40 AM »

I think I just lost interest in this conversation.

Then lets put it back on topic.  What's holding these guys up from putting out a new list?  Why is it so hard?
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-002/CC
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Matt
Seasoned Member

Posts: 469
Unit: NCR-001

North Central Region
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 08:42:03 AM »

Here's the answer to your question about Batwing... http://www.batlabs.com/
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Matthew Kopp, Maj, CAP
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North Central Region
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2007, 01:24:02 PM »

2) Do you have any idea as to what would happen if you tried using repeaters from an aircraft?  You could bring up repeaters all across the country.  Line of sight for radio signals is a long long ways even at search altitude.

Up to the point where you said this you sounded like you had an informed opinion - the above indicates you do not, or at least do not understand how repeaters work.  CAP funds and utilizes airborne repeaters in a lot of states - they were used for a short time during Katrina operations, until the wing who sent it with an aircrew was stood down and took it home with them.

If your Wing does not have at least one ABR, its likely because of a conscious decision by your Wing's DC not to request one - in many cases DC's are not aircrew and do not understand the need and functionality.  While I love our highbird guys, being able to speak direct p2p, without message handling by an airborne MRO, has significant advantages in speed and accuracy.

Right now the entirety of the national comm plan is basically on hold until the issues with the frequencies are worked out - what will or will not be on the approved list will likely change several times by the time things are finalized.

And it shouldn't matter - at this point, no CAP members should be buying their own comm equipment - Wing DC's are literally swimming in equipment, and anyone active enough to own a CAP radio, is active enough to justify getting one issued (or issued to their unit).

Before you go off and start telling me what your wing doesn't have (assuming you're not on freeze or something), check with your DC - you'll likely be surprised.
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KC0IEA
Recruit

Posts: 10

« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 04:11:30 PM »

1)  I believe that tones are a designation done by wing.  Thats part of wing communication plans.  They use different tones so as not to interfere with eachother. That's common radio practice even outside of CAP.  No foul play there.
I would suggest a reading of CAPR 100-1.
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,835
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2007, 05:37:39 PM »

Quote
Up to the point where you said this you sounded like you had an informed opinion - the above indicates you do not, or at least do not understand how repeaters work...
I believe wingnut was referring to ground based repeaters.  Of course you can use an airborne repeater.   They would be set up not to interfere with ground repeaters.  Its likely (I'm not sure BTW, you know more about them than I do) that they are on the air band, not the ground 2 meter band.  If we were talking about ABRs then yes, you would be right, but I believe (and wingnut, correct me if im wrong, I dont want to misinterpret you) that he was talking about using ground bases from the air.

1)  I believe that tones are a designation done by wing.  Thats part of wing communication plans.  They use different tones so as not to interfere with eachother. That's common radio practice even outside of CAP.  No foul play there.
I would suggest a reading of CAPR 100-1.

Thats what the "I believe" was for.  Wasnt sure, put my understanding of the situation up.



Okay, I've been emailing the NTC for the past few days asking about the compliancy list.  Heres a transcript.  (As you'll see, I was looking to buy a Kenwood TK-730)

Me
Quote
Would it be possible for you to check the post 1/06 compliance of the Kenwood TK-730(G)?  I am looking to get this radio, but need to know if I can use it for CAP.

NTC
Quote
Unfortunately, the Kenwood TK-730(G) is NOT post-1/2006 NTIA compliant
because it is no longer in production and the manufacturer is not likely
to re-issue their specifications in accordance with the updated EIA/TIA
measurement standards.  That is why it is marked "N/A" in the "post
1/06" block of the compliance lists.

Me
Quote
Fair enough, but do pray tell, what radios am I allowed to use?  From what I can tell, there are only 4 truly compliant radios on that list.  Do you mean to tell me that I can only use one of those 4 radios?

NTC
Quote
Unfortunately, yes.  The problem is that the NTIA moved to the current
EIA/TIA-603 standard in determining compliance and made them effective
on 1 January 2006.  The vast majority of the communications industry,
however, has failed to adopt the updated standard in providing
specifications for their equipment.  The difficulty is that the new EIA
standard contains one important test that was changed significantly from
the original 1992 standard (adopted in the "A" version in approximately
1998, though the current revision is "C").  Because this revised test
produces significantly lower numbers for this particular test, it would
appear (in my opinion)  that marketing concerns has kept the major Asian
manufacturers from using the new testing standard.  We have asked all of
them to consider providing the updated figures for their current models,
but to date they have refused.

 We agree that this situation is very unsatisfactory for the volunteers
of CAP, but the NTIA requirements are very specific in this regard.

Me
Quote
So its a marketing concern on part of the manufacturers?  Interesting...what is the new test that they don't want to do?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 05:47:02 PM by ♠SARKID♠ » Logged

           Capt. Dan Turkal
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2007, 05:44:37 PM »

Sometimes, the NTC gets on my nerves, but I just step back and tell myself that they are doing what is good for the organization, and communications. It does suck that there are only four compliant radios by the current standards, I will agree. But we have to trust the judgement of the NTC on this matter dude. If these guys didn't know what they were doing, they wouldn't be the NTC. They'd be a bunce of comm gurus like any Wing or Region Comms staff. Time to bite the bullet, and say "OK". ::)
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SDF_Specialist
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,835
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2007, 05:52:33 PM »

Sometimes, the NTC gets on my nerves, but I just step back and tell myself that they are doing what is good for the organization, and communications. It does suck that there are only four compliant radios by the current standards, I will agree. But we have to trust the judgment of the NTC on this matter dude. If these guys didn't know what they were doing, they wouldn't be the NTC. They'd be a bunce of comm gurus like any Wing or Region Comms staff. Time to bite the bullet, and say "OK". ::)

True.  Now that I've heard NTC's side of the story I'm not so mad anymore.  Looks like something thats out of their hands.  They've done what they can to get the new specs, but the manufacturers wont give them.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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IceNine
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,969

« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2007, 10:01:52 PM »

You mentioned above that you would spool up a metric buttload of repeaters if broadcast from the air.  You are partially correct in that if you broadcast on PC (aka the universal repeater channel) Because all CAP Repeaters are to be programed with this frequency pair, and CTCSS.

Now if you are talking about using a specific repeater pair there is an off chance that you MAY spool up 2 repeaters, or more depending on how high you go.  But again this will be more of an exception than a rule.  From search altitude (1000 AGL or so) your likelihood of pulling up more than one repeater is EXTREMELY low as this is factored into the plan and there are plenty of tones that can be used to mitigate that as an issue.  And if you are pulling up multiple repeaters from a low altitude there is most likely an issue with the comm plan for the wing.

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Johnny Yuma
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 610

« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2007, 10:29:19 PM »

1. If what's been said about NVWG not allowing CAWG to use their machines, IMHO both the NVWG/CC and NVWG/DC should be fired along with whoever CAP member was running the mission. Same goes for airborne repeaters, NTC has some on standby or can get them for you if you ask them.

My wing has one and had we been asked for it we'd either gotten it there overnight or put it on a corporate bird and flown it there.

2. If you are a qualified GTL, you need to be asking questions like where your HT and mobile's are at. Every Wing got enough HT's and mobiles per the Table of Allowances to field one HT and mobile per GTL.

If you don't have them, start screaming.
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"And Saint Attila raised the Holy Hand Grenade up on high saying, "Oh Lord, Bless us this Holy Hand Grenade, and with it smash our enemies to tiny bits. And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and stoats, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and lima bean-"
 
" Skip a bit, brother."
 
"And then the Lord spake, saying: "First, shalt thou take out the holy pin. Then shalt thou count to three. No more, no less. "Three" shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. "Four" shalt thou not count, and neither count thou two, execpting that thou then goest on to three. Five is RIGHT OUT. Once the number three, being the third number be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade to-wards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuffit. Amen."

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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,337
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2007, 12:17:26 AM »

We have around thirty repeaters here in CAWG, split into two groups, and it is my experience that accessing more than repeater at a time from an aircraft is pretty unlikely. There are 41 CTCSS tones, so duplication among the closest units are minimized.
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Dave Bowles
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a2capt
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2007, 01:56:23 AM »

I have *never* heard of, or have been told, on a mission, or what not, to not use the repeaters. However, I have been told, I have told, etc, anyone to use simplex when it is proper to use it and stay off the repeater. IE, the ground team is below you, in the same valley, etc. If we are not to use repeaters in the air then praytell, why are they programmed into the radios?

There are an awful lot of scenarios here in the west where that repeater is your only link to the 'base',  ever so convenient that someone saw it fit to put that repeater on top of that huge pile of dirt that is in between your grid search at 2,000 MSL and the IC thats at 200 MSL.  If you had to climb to 8,500, 9,500 each time to do ops checks, you might as well stay there because you'll have about 8 minutes to grid search in the midst of ascent and descent.

Sounds to me like there is some misinformation being used in that logic, because that is exactly what PL tones are for. So that you may light up the right, the intended, repeater only and not all of the rest of them.

OTOH, if you transmit on itinerant/transient, on the open low ended PL tone (trying to not say the exact #), but your BCUT class covered it, and in CAWG most of the repeaters are closed on this anyway, but in flatland wings, that would be a certain way to light up all the repeaters. Of course, they don't have nearly as many on the other side of the Front Range, either. I checked into a net while flying over MO, once. dropped down to less then 2,000 AGL to keep from doing just that.

..and that radio was not one of the 4 on the list, and I'm at odds now at investing more money in batteries for said radio since they are telling me I can't use it when we change over to the 'new' spectrum and since I don't have a HAM ticket, and probably won't have one even though I keep intending on doing just that, the battery is good for about 15 minutes and I could re-cell the thing.. but.. back to the first part, it's not one of the blessed radios anymore and I'm not really into paying $700 for an HT to replace it at the moment. Though that is also a medium term plan, especially if I can get equipment that works as both HAM and CAP. Then there is motivation again, to get that ticket.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 02:03:22 AM by a2capt » Logged
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