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Thread: What to buy?

  1. #1

    Default What to buy?

    Here's my issue. I live where cell service sucks. All I really need to do is talk back to my house from my truck. I bought two Boafeng UV-5R's and they can hit the repeater from about anywhere I go. Most places are only 2 or 3 miles from home so outdoors they can talk home without the repeater. The problem is, inside the stores they don't work, UHF or VHF. I was looking at getting a cross band repeater radio for the vehicle so I could use the UV5R in the store and repeat from the truck to the house where a UV-5R is listening. 2M and 70cm is dead around here. Once a week there is a net but that's all you ever hear. Looking at maybe a SOCOTRAN ST-980PLUS or a TYT TH-9800 Plus. Please advise!

  2. #2
    K7KBN's Avatar
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    Who's going to be listening to (and probably operating) the radio back at home? Whoever it is will have to hold an amateur radio license, just as you will. And if you're thinking of using the radios as part of a business, don't. You'd have to go to business band radios to do that legally.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  3. #3

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    MY first question would be what country is this person from?

    If you read t he rules in the FCC Part 97 - which is the r u l e s in the United States.

    It says -- CROSS BAND RADIOS ARE ILLEGAL.

    Yaesu got in trouble with the 8800 / 8900r - because it did not meet the FCC Specifications.

    The law says - that you must have a control operator at the control point - hence if the radio is in the car / truck, there has to be someone in the car / truck when you operate it.

    The law says it must ID every 15 minutes with your call on both the input and output frequencies - None of those radios will ID on both.

    The law says - that it must have some type of controller to shut it off if it gets stuck or if someone not authorized to use it gets on it and starts causing trouble. You are responsible not the person causing the trouble.

    Ok so you think this is going to act like your own personal repeater? BUT, the control frequency for operating the radio must be on a frequency above 222 mhz - they don't do 222 mhz. So lets say you use a 440 frequency.
    The problem there is that you can't just pick a frequency and use it, because other people with the same idea as you. might be using that frequency for their coordinated repeater, and you just picking a frequency could cause harmful interference to a lawful user of that frequency.

    So you go to the repeater council and plea your case, then you find out it would take a second radio to control the radio you would want to use as a mobile repeater, or if it was stationary, you could use a wireline telephone with a private line with an unpublished telephone number.

    Can you see the hassles you are getting into trying to make a ham radio into a cell phone, which is basically what you are trying to do.

    Again as others said - you can't talk to someone unless they have a license and you can't talk - to yourself, one way broadcasts - which is called broadcasting is prohibited.

    This is the reason why - ALL NEW HAMS SHOULD HAVE AN ELMER before even attempting to operate a ham radio after getting a license!

    Read the Part 97 and the sub part 15. The radios you mentioned, cheap Chinese garbage are not FCC compliant. They transmit out of band, which makes them unlawful for any radio service. Let them in China and on Amazon where they belong.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/part-97

    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...ol5-part97.pdf

    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...ons-operations

    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...ol1-part15.pdf
    Last edited by R2D2; Wed 20th May 2020 at 21:21.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that about cross band radios. I'd be a little more educated if I could go to a meeting but due to the virus, all meetings and testing are canceled.

    I've also looked at GMRS. The problem with that is I don't find any repeaters that would help in my area. I've left the Boafeng scanning all the GMRS/FRS, MURS frequencies and never hear a peep. I even bought that 42" antenna and still never a sound.

    I'm aware that both the wife and I would have to have a license to operate on the ham bands. I may just get a 50 watt GMRS radio and stick it in the truck and just pay off the FCC the "ransom" they require. I call it "ransom" that since there's no test required, just "funds". I understand that the UV-5R would not be legal on GMRS but really that's kind of a "technicality" since it's a 1 or 5 watt radio.

    I'd gladly go test and I think I'd pass but some of the test questions seem irrelevant to the operation of the radio. I don't see why my wife should have to know all that stuff just to reply to "I'm on my way home, what's for dinner?". I'm sure I'll get blasted for saying that though but I am old enough to remember CB's that were 23 channel. We used them and they worked. Then everyone got one and it went to crap. I don't see happening with 2M or 70 CM bands. Cell phones are here to stay. That killed radio.

    One comment I will add is in response to your comment "cheap Chinese garbage are not FCC compliant. They transmit out of band,",,,,,, True, they can if you program them incorrectly and/or enter a illegal frequency then press the PTT button. Cars can go faster than the speed limit too. It's all up to the operator.
    Last edited by tngw1500se; Thu 21st May 2020 at 01:05.

  5. #5

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    I think you would be better served with GMRS radios than ham radios, especially since the license not only covers you, but your immediate family as well. And you could use it for business purposes if needed, which you can't do with amateur radio.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    I'd gladly go test and I think I'd pass but some of the test questions seem irrelevant to the operation of the radio. I don't see why my wife should have to know all that stuff just to reply to "I'm on my way home, what's for dinner?".
    I agree with K6CPO. The two sentences above say, your needs are not in ham radio.

    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    Cell phones are here to stay. That killed radio.
    Yes, ham radio was severely hurt. But ham radio is not down and out yet. You just verified that by saying "cell service sucks". Unless your dialing random phone numbers, cell phones are only for calling someone you know, or a business. Ham radio is for communicating to the world, regardless of who they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    One comment I will add is in response to your comment "cheap Chinese garbage are not FCC compliant. They transmit out of band,",,,,,, True, they can if you program them incorrectly and/or enter a illegal frequency then press the PTT button. Cars can go faster than the speed limit too. It's all up to the operator.
    Transmitting on a illegal frequency is not the issue. You can do that with almost any ham radio. The issue with the radios in question is that, they were imported and sold without FCC compliance for operation of FRS and GMRS frequencies. Which they could have easily obtained. They are quite legal on the ham bands, as long as you are licensed. On the ham bands, FCC compliance is not required or needed.
    Martin, K7MEM
    http://www.k7mem.com
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

  7. #7

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    The only problem with GMRS is the lack of a repeater in my area. The ham repeater covers about anywhere I'd go.

  8. #8

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    No they are not legal for the HAM BANDS - the FCC not only said NO, they also posted a telephone number to report anyone you know that is still using one.

    The problem is compliance. Compliance of the rules.

    If you look at the signal output on a spectrum analyzer you will see that its spurs are just as big as its fundamental frequency. The ARRL was aware of that, they tested them at the Dayton Hamvention for years for free and discovered that 97% of all units tested failed even the most basic tests.

    What the OP posted hit the nail on the head.

    You don't understand WHY? they would make your WIFE learn the rules, as well as you learn the rules so you could operate the equipment. The only thing that differentiates us from the citizens band - now called the CB, is that we have rules, which justifies our existence.

    It is by following those rules that we are allowed to keep our bandwidth. The cell phone companies would love to have our bandwidth. They are vying for our bandwidth even as we speak.

    The reason why we have rules is to maintain order, establish some sort of baseline of what it is that we are and are not allowed to do.. Things such as simple encryption, commercialization of our frequencies - using them for business purposes, not being allowed to play music, prohibited communications - are things that are foreign to anyone that has used the cb radio.,

    GMRS chased the business people away, made them all get a license.

    When I became a licensed ham, I inquired to my contact person at the FCC about getting a GMRS license and their reply was to wait and see, that they did not know how they were going to handle new licenses or if they were going to drop the license requirement all together. As we seen, for some people, selling them a 10 year license was in their benefit, because the people demanded a license now - because of fears of Corona and the desire to have personal communications - wireless, without a cell phone.

    Actually a 50 watt radio requires a station evaluation, most amateur radio 70 cm radios only produces 40 watts to get around these requirements. With the new rules in place, most everyone, even walkie talkie users are required to do a station evaluation.

    As far as the question went about the Beofung and who cares about a 5 watt radio?

    Well the answer is everyone that is a lawful user of radio.

    When the spurious emissions produced by the radio splatters out of the intended band and into another band - for which it is illegal for you to operate on, and the people lawfully using those frequencies hears you, you are not in compliance with the rules and you can be cited by the FCC and by the people you are interfering with.

    The Technical Requirements of part 90 radios is that they are not allowed to transmit out of band and they are not allowed to be user programmable.. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Land Mobile Radio Service etc..
    They also have to be narrow banded emissions - which the Beofung is not.

    When you put into the hands of a moron, a radio that has the ability to transmit out of band - police, fire, ambulance, it is only a matter of time before they get an itchy transmit button trigger finger and they start transmitting on those frequencies, not that it matters, because their harmonics produced by their radio are already there regardless if they program the frequency or not.

    https://www.rsm.govt.nz/about/news-a...lice-channels/

    https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news...calls/1973982/

    https://wjactv.com/news/local/detect...lice-frequency

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...033-story.html

    https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/do-...io-frequencies

    Take your pick, they all have one thing in common, Beofung or Whoshun type radios, $30 sold to anyone..

  9. #9

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
    You don't understand WHY? they would make your WIFE learn the rules, as well as you learn the rules so you could operate the equipment.
    I never said she shouldn't know the "rules". I said that some of the questions are not relevant to the proper operation of the radio. She doesn't need to know what a transistor looks like in a diagram anymore than she needs to know what a piston looks like to drive a car. Nobody does.

    Here's the first few questions that popped up on a practice test:

    Which of the following is a safety hazard of a 12-volt storage battery?

    What health hazard is presented by electrical current flowing through the body?

    In the United States, what is connected to the green wire in a three wire electrical AC plug?

    What is the purpose of a fuse in an electrical circuit?


    Why would anyone have to know the answer to those questions to get a license? There's no reason for it.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    I never said she shouldn't know the "rules".
    I just ignore R2D2. He just seems to read whatever he wants and then writes a long rant, that no one really reads.

    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    I said that some of the questions are not relevant to the proper operation of the radio. She doesn't need to know what a transistor looks like in a diagram anymore than she needs to know what a piston looks like to drive a car. Nobody does.

    Here's the first few questions that popped up on a practice test:

    Which of the following is a safety hazard of a 12-volt storage battery?

    What health hazard is presented by electrical current flowing through the body?

    In the United States, what is connected to the green wire in a three wire electrical AC plug?

    What is the purpose of a fuse in an electrical circuit?


    Why would anyone have to know the answer to those questions to get a license? There's no reason for it.
    Yea, like I said before, you and your wife probably don't want ham radio.

    But there are reasons for those questions. Ham radio is not just about talking to each other on handy talkies. You can do that with a CB radio and no license is required. IMHO, when you take a ham license test, you are not just getting a license. You gain the right to use a radio on specific bands throughout the HF, VHF, and UHF areas. You can then communicate with other ham operators all around the world. You also gain the right to experiment with your equipment. For example, as a licensed ham, you might want to run all your equipment off of a Solar System. For that, you need to know something about storage batteries. The other questions serve similar purposes.
    Martin, K7MEM
    http://www.k7mem.com
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    The only problem with GMRS is the lack of a repeater in my area. The ham repeater covers about anywhere I'd go.

    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    I never said she shouldn't know the "rules". I said that some of the questions are not relevant to the proper operation of the radio. She doesn't need to know what a transistor looks like in a diagram anymore than she needs to know what a piston looks like to drive a car. Nobody does.

    Here's the first few questions that popped up on a practice test:

    Which of the following is a safety hazard of a 12-volt storage battery?

    What health hazard is presented by electrical current flowing through the body?

    In the United States, what is connected to the green wire in a three wire electrical AC plug?

    What is the purpose of a fuse in an electrical circuit?


    Why would anyone have to know the answer to those questions to get a license? There's no reason for it.
    Your answer leads me to believe you really don't know what amateur radio is really all about. It isn't just for communicating, but also experimentation. That's why the electrical questions.

    You're going to have to make a choice. To get most of what you want, you may have to sacrifice something else. If the repeater is of prime importance, then you're both going to have to be licensed, If getting your wife licensed is a problem, then you might have to go with GMRS.

  13. #13

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    Not everyone who drives a car changes the cam and I'll bet that most ham operators never replace a transistor or a green wire or a fuse for that matter. Radios today require a microscope to work on. How many ham operators even own a soldering gun? Nikola Tesla couldn't repair one. The purpose of a radio is communication. These questions are unnecessarily discriminating against persons who lack technical knowledge. Sure there's a few hams that tinker with radios and antennas but I'd say most install a radio, antenna and just use it after that. Hams call it a "hobby". Some people would just use a radio to talk to others on. Knowing what a green wire is doesn't make for a better radio "operator". I can rewire my whole house. My wife can't but she turns on the bathroom fan all by herself. It's amazing.
    Last edited by tngw1500se; Yesterday at 16:35.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tngw1500se View Post
    Not everyone who drives a car changes the cam and I'll bet that most ham operators never replace a transistor or a green wire or a fuse for that matter. Radios today require a microscope to work on. How many ham operators even own a soldering gun? Nikola Tesla couldn't repair one. The purpose of a radio is communication. These questions are unnecessarily discriminating against persons who lack technical knowledge. Sure there's a few hams that tinker with radios and antennas but I'd say most install a radio, antenna and just use it after that. Hams call it a "hobby". Some people would just use a radio to talk to others on. Knowing what a green wire is doesn't make for a better radio "operator". I can rewire my whole house. My wife can't but she turns on the bathroom fan all by herself. It's amazing.
    Maybe so, but there is nothing you can do about it. It's codified in Federal Regulations. It's simple... If you want an amateur radio license, you have to take the test. Period.

    Your reasoning is why there are radio services that don't require examinations (GMRS) or even physical licenses (FRS, MURS or CB.) The latter three are "licensed by rule" meaning that as long as you follow the regulations governing those service, you can use them without a license. The trade off is that there are more restrictions on things like radio types, power limits and channels available.

    You've been offered some choices about what's available to you. You just have to choose which way you're going to go. Further whining about it isn't going to change anything.
    Last edited by K6CPO; Yesterday at 19:48.

  15. #15

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    removed today
    Last edited by tngw1500se; Yesterday at 22:43.

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