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Frequency "Agile" radios

This forum is dedicated to helping people with questions about installing radio equipment in vehicles. This can include antenna installs, electrical wiring questions/problems, and mounting systems. Pictures of installs are welcome.

Note: Discussions regarding lighting, sirens, and other equipment now has its own forum in the 'off-topic' section below.

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giguchan
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Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby giguchan » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:16 pm

Hey all,
I am wondering what kind of Japanese, Chinese radio do most of you use in addition to your Motos. I will be taking some road trips this summer and instead of lugging the CF29 AND programming gear with me I thought that I just might find a Kenny,yaesu, or icom and take it with me. driving down the highway and stopping every 20 or so miles would get tired pretty quick and also eat up a lot of time pulling over to set up the CDM for 20 mi of hamming. I could do some research before I leave and PRE program ahead of time according to my route but that sounds like a lot of work.
If anyone knows of a good reliable Model(yeah I know) radio would you let me know? something that has been tested tried and true- just looking for a basic dual bander channel up- channel down volume on- volume off that's it
Thanks
Radios by Fisher-Price? Never!!!
I use /\/\otorola!!
Cheers
73, de'N2GIG

Jim202
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby Jim202 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:36 am

giguchan wrote:Hey all,
I am wondering what kind of Japanese, Chinese radio do most of you use in addition to your Motos. I will be taking some road trips this summer and instead of lugging the CF29 AND programming gear with me I thought that I just might find a Kenny,yaesu, or icom and take it with me. driving down the highway and stopping every 20 or so miles would get tired pretty quick and also eat up a lot of time pulling over to set up the CDM for 20 mi of hamming. I could do some research before I leave and PRE program ahead of time according to my route but that sounds like a lot of work.
If anyone knows of a good reliable Model(yeah I know) radio would you let me know? something that has been tested tried and true- just looking for a basic dual bander channel up- channel down volume on- volume off that's it
Thanks


Let me ask this very important question. Over what kind of an area are you talking about driving? I drive frequently in the area between southern New Hampshire and all the way down to the New Orleans area. Over the years I have built up my own repeater frequency listing / map and update it each trip I take.

The number of frequencies has almost got out of hand. Use to use a Motorola Spectra radio, but just couldn't make it hold enough channels. So upgraded to an XTL2500 or XTL500 depending on which vehicle is being used. This allowed me to have 50 zones in the radio with up to 15 channels that could be scanned in each zone. I grew out of that and had to create different codeplugs depending on if I went north or south.

So now I have 2 different codeplug files. Load in the one that I need for the south trip or the north trip. As I move or drive along, it is easy to just change the zone to where I am currently. With the XTL radios and the O5 or M5 control head, you get 14 characters per line on the display. The top line is the zone and the lower line is the channel. I use the first 2 characters on the zone line for a number, then a "-" character and 2 letters for the sate, another "-" and the rest of the characters for location. On the channel, I use the last digit of the MHz number, another "-" character and then last 3 digits of the frequency followed by a space and an name for the location. There is no way your going to remember all those channels.

The limited channels in a CDM would cause issues in trying to get many zones and channels if you travel over much of a distance. Like just out on Long Island, NY, there are over 30, 2 meter repeaters that you can get access to. So I split the island into 2 zones of East and west.

Just some ideas for you to think about. I also use the program called "Street Atlas" to create map tags that I put on the map for all the repeater locations. This way I have a living map that I constantly update. I bold and underline the repeater information that is correct and active. That way when I am planning a trip, I can see the repeaters that are active and check my pre programmed codeplug to make sure I have what I need. takes a bunch of time in the beginning, but becomes easier as time goes on as the information is already there.

I print out the map on 11x17 paper to provide the map along my route of travel. Depending on the distance it may be anywhere from 3 or 4 pages to maybe as many at 10 map pages long. Staple them together and just flip over to the next map as I go along the highways. Found that the map scale of 9 provided the best display for readability.

Let us know how you make out.

Jim

Will
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby Will » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:12 pm

For Hammie, I recommend the Kenwood TM V71 from GigaParts.

I also have my Spectras pre programmed for the trip. But I find a lot of the repeater listings to be incorrect.

tvsjr
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby tvsjr » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:29 pm

We all know there's only one true answer. APX7500 VHF/UHF-R1 with FPP. 8)

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giguchan
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby giguchan » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:48 pm

All,
Thanks so much for all of the information. I have to tell you that Jims suggestion was one that I had originally thought about. I am in NY(Long island)and I like to travel up and down the east coast to Boston and then down to Florida and points in between. That's a long way without any radio to yak on. Sirius/XM can only do so much.. and besides I like to experience where I happen to be at the time. I can listen to sat radio anytime- anywhere(almost). I looked up the APX 7500.. it looks like a dandy of a radio. I'm CDM guy- you know the semi modern day Maxtrac... I don't know too much about the APX RADIOS.. but I will tell you that if that VHF/UHF DOES exist I'll have to get me one... getting tired of 2 heads 2 bricks. I'll settle for one head 2 bricks.

Jim,
I have to say that idea of yours makes perfect sense to me. Creating a code plug does take a lot of time in the beginning- but like you said the info is already there so any editing should be minor and wont take any time at all. I'm also going to look in that program as well.
thanks for the replies

n2gig
Radios by Fisher-Price? Never!!!
I use /\/\otorola!!
Cheers
73, de'N2GIG

fineshot1
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby fineshot1 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:57 pm

I used to travel a lot between Central NJ and Ft Lauderdale and always listened a lot to the national calling freqs
such as 146.520 and 223.500 and 52.525 (have a couple of dual band radios) and always got the local repeater
info from the locals and this worked out well.
fineshot1
NJ USA

Jim1348
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Frequency "Agile" Radios

Postby Jim1348 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:53 pm

I live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul MN area. My wife has family in the Waukesha County WI area, thus we have been known to travel between those two areas. While I have since sold them, I had some Yaesu FT-8800 transceivers. I had one in the house and one in each vehicle. Anyway, back when most of the public safety between here and there was analog, conventional, I would essentially program one bank per county. That worked well because the FT-8800 has twenty banks total, ten on each side. I had a mix of amateur radio, police, fire, EMS, etc. programmed in. That worked quite well for me.

Depending on how you want to configure things, you could look into some of the scanners that use GPS to change frequencies as you travel. That, of course, would only get the receive part of it. Obviously, with 2 meters and 440, there are only so many standard pairs possible. Granted, there are non-standard pairs and you have have various PL/DPL/NAC codes. Maybe there are even D STAR, MOTO TRBO and other variants along that route.

You could look around for reviews on this http://www.powerwerx.com/two-way-radios ... obile.html I have never owned one, but it looks like it does have banks. Not everybody likes having their frequencies divided into bankds, but I have found it to be quite handy.

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giguchan
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby giguchan » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:46 pm

Hello all!
Thanks for all of the information. it looks like I have so things to work out and then off I go. The GPS idea.. I had not even thought about!
Radios by Fisher-Price? Never!!!
I use /\/\otorola!!
Cheers
73, de'N2GIG

SlimBob
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby SlimBob » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:54 am

If they'd only make an 800-channel dual-band radio... oh wait, that's the Orion....
An armed society is a *polite* society.

tvsjr
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby tvsjr » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:23 pm

SlimBob wrote:If they'd only make an 800-channel dual-band radio... oh wait, that's the Orion....


Huh? You are aware that late firmware APXs are capable of 3,000 channels, yes?

SlimBob
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby SlimBob » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:52 pm

Yup, it's posted right under Model Specific Information and APX.
An armed society is a *polite* society.

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dvpman
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby dvpman » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:21 pm

tvsjr wrote:
SlimBob wrote:If they'd only make an 800-channel dual-band radio... oh wait, that's the Orion....


Huh? You are aware that late firmware APXs are capable of 3,000 channels, yes?


And yet still only 15 channels in a scan list............

Jim202
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby Jim202 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:38 am

dvpman wrote:
tvsjr wrote:
SlimBob wrote:If they'd only make an 800-channel dual-band radio... oh wait, that's the Orion....


Huh? You are aware that late firmware APXs are capable of 3,000 channels, yes?


And yet still only 15 channels in a scan list............


Yup and they also screwed up the multi PL ability after R15 in the XTL family. Way to go Motorola. How about fixing the multi PL feature so that these multi band radios can be used for what they were intended for. It's nice to have 3000 channels, but with systems today scattered all over the board using different PL tones on the same RF channels, it would be great if that feature worked. But no, you had to mess with it and now when you try to program multi PL into the TX side, it grays out the original tone you hard set into that channel.

These multi band radios are great as long as you don't travel very far, use only the local fixed programming of those channels and don't have to listen to multi band conversations at the same time. A frequency agile radio sounds great, but they have more limitations than solutions. I would hope you think long and hard before planting a pile of money into one of these radios and then find out all the limitations after the fact.

Jim

tvsjr
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby tvsjr » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:49 pm

dvpman wrote:And yet still only 15 channels in a scan list............


Perhaps you should get informed before making snide remarks. The APX is actually capable of 30 conventional members or 50 trunking talkgroups in a scan list.

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nukedude
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby nukedude » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:25 pm

For just ham radio, I use an Icom IC-T7H, Yaesu VX-7R, or VX-2R for fun.

If I know I am going someplace for work, and also want to talk on local repeaters for a ham rag chew session, I carry a Harris Unity XG-100P.

The Unity was a dealer sample that had every option except DES/AES encryption.

SlimBob
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby SlimBob » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:33 am

I was trolling, obviously, and I apologize for that. (Seriously though, a few updates to the main site wouldn't hurt.)

Speaking of radios, so what all radios are FPP capable, relatively easily or out of the box? So far I'm seeing JT1000 (with diode) and late-model APXs. Any others? (From any manufacturer, I just want to know if they exist).
An armed society is a *polite* society.

KG4INW
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby KG4INW » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:09 pm

SlimBob wrote:Speaking of radios, so what all radios are FPP capable, relatively easily or out of the box? So far I'm seeing JT1000 (with diode) and late-model APXs. Any others? (From any manufacturer, I just want to know if they exist).

XTS 5000, XTS 2500, XTS 4000, APX 7500, XPR 6550 (with special firmware and GOB).

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dvpman
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby dvpman » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:59 pm

tvsjr wrote:
dvpman wrote:And yet still only 15 channels in a scan list............


Perhaps you should get informed before making snide remarks. The APX is actually capable of 30 conventional members or 50 trunking talkgroups in a scan list.


Well after reading this I whipped open the laptop and launched the APX CPS and whoa its true, I can get 30 conventional channels in a single scan list. TVSJR thanks for setting me straight on this one. Mother M, congratulations on taking some 20 years to make it past the 15 channel limit, innovation at its finest :)

tvsjr
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby tvsjr » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:17 am

KG4INW wrote:
SlimBob wrote:Speaking of radios, so what all radios are FPP capable, relatively easily or out of the box? So far I'm seeing JT1000 (with diode) and late-model APXs. Any others? (From any manufacturer, I just want to know if they exist).

XTS 5000, XTS 2500, XTS 4000, APX 7500, XPR 6550 (with special firmware and GOB).


APX7000, APX6000, maybe others in the APX series (I haven't played with many "low-tier" APXs). GP88, GP2000.

mike m
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Re: Frequency "Agile" radios

Postby mike m » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:13 pm

GE RANGR LINE WITH 2 X S990 FPP heads and 4 radios,

Ok so it takes 2 heads for all 4 radios but even though it's old school and limited to only 16 scan channels per head it's still a nice setup and everything was freebies so I can't complain.

I takes one FPP S990 head for 6 and 10 meters and the other S990 FPP head for 2 meters and 220 MHz with a hardwired kludged switch to select either 10 or 6 on one S990 and either 220 or 2 meters on the other S990 but since there is no band scan I still need a frequency book or something similar when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

This and some GE Orions for the same 4 bands mentioned above and a dell Venue 8 PC for quick Orion programming made for a pretty cramped space in my 97 4-runner.

With a new starter just put in after 180k miles everything is removed except for the 220 MHz GE Orion otherwise I'd take a picture of everything powered up.

Now that I think of it, with all 8 radios powered on and operating during the Rickreall Oregon hamfest, back in Feb., this may have been what killed the original starter, oh well it was a show and tell mobile setup anyway and not something I use all the time but it sure was pretty with all those control heads turned on before the starter croaked.


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