Question On Commo

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    • #97882
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

        You guys that have radios for team commo, what freq range do you normally run?

        Do you use different freqs for day and night?

        Do you all have a HAM license?

        I am not talking about the bubble pack radios from Walmart.

        FILO
        Signal Out, Can You Identify
        Je ne regrette rien
        In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

      • #97883
        idahocajun
        Participant

          Our Idaho group utilizes the Motorola DTR650. All encrypted for the team. Won’t prevent giving away static when mic is keyed, but no one can listen in on the specific comms. Range is limited to that specific model as well as terrain. Only one guy has Ham license which we all agree is an issue. Plan is for everyone to take the test and be up to speed sooner than later.

        • #97884
          Mike Q
          Participant

            We are using Yaesu FT60r radios.

            Not all of us has a HAM license so we are running on the GMRS or FRS
            Freq’s.

            We all have the same first 40 freq’s programmed in for easy switching. Only the first 10 or so are open to non-HAM operators. The rest are for HAMs only, unless the ball drops and then who cares.

            We don’t have SOP’s currently for day versus night.

          • #97885
            Virgil Kane
            Participant

              Mike, How did you get the FT60 to transmit on those freqs?

            • #97886
              Mike Q
              Participant

                Virgil,
                It’s a mod which I paid $35 dollars for when I bought the radio.

              • #97887
                Mike
                Participant

                  How do those motorolas compare to the uv5r

                • #97888
                  First Sergeant
                  Moderator

                    Thanks.

                    FILO
                    Signal Out, Can You Identify
                    Je ne regrette rien
                    In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                  • #97889
                    idahocajun
                    Participant

                      Way limited in comparison to the UV5r. But don’t need a HAM license to run the DTR’s, plus we can encrypt them. Perfect for short range comms, SUT, CQB stuff. Now when it comes to the longer range stuff we utilize the Horizon Marine radios. Only problem, you need a HAM license to operate on certain settings, thus we haven’t utilized them that much yet. Comms is a big area we’re tying to improve upon, especially considering our fearless leader was a RIO and navigator for years in the Air Force. HAM license is next on my to do list.

                    • #97890
                      tango
                      Participant

                        Our Idaho group utilizes the Motorola DTR650. All encrypted for the team. Won’t prevent giving away static when mic is keyed, but no one can listen in on the specific comms. Range is limited to that specific model as well as terrain. Only one guy has Ham license which we all agree is an issue. Plan is for everyone to take the test and be up to speed sooner than later.

                        @idahocajun
                        Actual encryption or just some form of masking like frequency hopping or proprietary privacy functions?

                        I see the DTR650 is digital comms and 900Hz, both of which make listening in more difficult. These are marketed as business radios, typically used in buildings, hence the high frequency and only 1W power. Definitely a very short range setup. Pretty damn durable though.

                        @firstsergeant Is there a reason you would use different freqs for day/night?

                      • #97891
                        wheelsee
                        Participant

                          Side note – Re: HAM

                          It is NOT required to have a HAM license to own a ham radio. You can still listen to whatever frequencies are available (much like a scanner). The HAM license IS required to transmit (in our current legal system), on HAM frequencies. You need to know how many watts your transmitter is putting out.

                          For those who have not gotten their HAM, I strongly encourage it. The entry level is Technician and is an easy exam for those who excelled in high school science (math, physics). More information here – http://www.arrl.org/getting-licensed

                          For those looking for more information, go here and join. Strictly MHO but ANYONE running radios needs a good resource such as http://www.arrl.org/home

                        • #97892
                          First Sergeant
                          Moderator

                            @firstsergeant Is there a reason you would use different freqs for day/night?

                            Atmospherics plays a huge part in radio transmissions. Sun spots is one of the big ones.

                            Years ago, long before SATCOM became mainstream, due to bird time, I spent a lot of time with HF radios. We always had different freqs for day and night. I’ll just leave it there.

                            FILO
                            Signal Out, Can You Identify
                            Je ne regrette rien
                            In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                          • #97893
                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                            Moderator

                              I spent a lot of time with HF radios. We always had different freqs for day and night. I’ll just leave it there.

                              The specifics are for a different format, but better master HF now, many reasons we could need old school long-range comms.

                              You don’t want to be figuring it out when truly needed.

                            • #97894
                              mark9mmp
                              Participant

                                All my buddies and i have HAM licenses that vary from tech to extra class. We started with UV82 Baofengs which are analog. They worked well but did run into various issues for when we did Search and Rescue. We now have switched to Anytone AT-D868UV Digital radios. They offer many, many extra features, encryption, text, gps, more power and the list goes on. Our freqs vary but obviously stay with the radios set bands. 140-174/400-480 Mhz. Most of the channels are labled so i dont recall exact freqs but some are 450s some are 140s mostly if im not mistaken. We dont change freqs due to day/night, but we do have scheds for changes and SOI cards.

                                "Ah, so you're that dick"

                              • #97895
                                wheelsee
                                Participant

                                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_frequency

                                  I remember as a kid picking up AM radio from NYC on clear summer nights (not often in E TX).

                                • #97896
                                  JohnnyMac
                                  Participant

                                    I’ve been testing the Baofeng GT3-WP. It’s a bit more robust than a UR5.

                                    I hate fiddling with radios, and might just grab some midland cheapo’s for ease of use.

                                  • #97897
                                    First Sergeant
                                    Moderator

                                      I spent a lot of time with HF radios. We always had different freqs for day and night. I’ll just leave it there.

                                      The specifics are for a different format, but better master HF now, many reasons we could need old school long-range comms.

                                      You don’t want to be figuring it out when truly needed.

                                      Roger that.

                                      I was curious about how in depth guys got into trying to trouble shoot stuff.

                                      FILO
                                      Signal Out, Can You Identify
                                      Je ne regrette rien
                                      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                                    • #97898
                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                      Moderator

                                        I was curious about how in depth guys got into trying to trouble shoot stuff.

                                        Most of the people I’ve seen are wrapped up in short range handhelds with little thought of what to do without repeaters. If you don’t own and maintain them don’t expect them to be working after a event.

                                        The other issue I see is people blasting power to transmit a few hundred yards when they should be on low power. That’ll bite them one day if things get interesting.

                                        Can’t overlook the possibility of being outclassed by other people, much less a Government. Then what?

                                        Heck my gear is pretty basic and it wouldn’t take long for me to fix a transmissions location.

                                        Not to mention people want to talk/transmit like a bunch of middle school girls on cellphones.

                                        Obviously a pet peave for me. ;-)

                                      • #97899
                                        Sam Brady
                                        Participant

                                          Anybody have a recommendation for simple, rugged short range comms? Say 1/4-1/2 mile? Hilly terrain?

                                        • #97900
                                          mark9mmp
                                          Participant

                                            I agree Joe. We’ve discussed the lack of repeaters for grid down scenarios. Some of the guys know the long range stuff but thats def a goal for me in 2018. I have a family member in another state id like to hit from here. Also the PSK31 is something to look into if folks want to send messages. It requires going digital but its great to have. About as secure as youre going to get in my opinion. I think for certain situations message vs voice has its advantages, like alot lower power and greater range. I also think learning about antennas is a good skill, which ties into the over powering bit. You need less power if your rig is optimized for what you want to do. I think handhelds are the most common simply due to price and convenience. We’ve been working on taking a basestation rig to a manpack rig with all the goodies. I may make a post about it

                                            "Ah, so you're that dick"

                                          • #97901
                                            tango
                                            Participant

                                              We’ve been working on taking a basestation rig to a manpack rig with all the goodies. I may make a post about it

                                              Please do.

                                            • #97902
                                              mdbjjc
                                              Participant

                                                I know he’s controversial but some of the info is very very good

                                                The Foundation: Squaring Away Communications Basics

                                              • #97903
                                                BrigandActual
                                                Participant

                                                  Ugh, this reminds me about how much I’ve not followed through on the goal of getting my license this year.

                                                  It’s not a handheld, but I’ve been very interested in the Commradio CTX10

                                                • #97904
                                                  Daniel
                                                  Participant

                                                    I’ve been hanging with the local ARES group for the last couple of months and joined them last weekend to help with comms support for a downtown charity run. Urban ops – concrete and asphalt everywhere – all tall buildings in every direction. Run organizers wanted and got an ARES member with handheld radio at the start line, 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile (my post) and finish line. Each spot also had a manned official timer. We had to transmit the ready whistle and start gun and call in when runners reached our location and what the first two numbers were, as well as when the last one had passed. This was repeated all afternoon for six heats.

                                                    We tried simplex first but that was a bust so we used one of the area repeaters. That was better but we each had to find a sweet spot and not stray from it or we lost comms. Still, we’d have been cooked without the tower. Might have been OK by hoisting a J-Pole antenna that’s solved a bunch of problems for me in the past but it really ties you down to a spot while it’s up.

                                                    My location was in the very hot sun, I drank nearly two quarts of water and had to piss like *crazy* for the last hour with nowhere to go and no relief to cover for me.

                                                    As you can see, many points of learning from a simple little fun run with nobody trying to kill anyone or even stay hidden.

                                                  • #97905
                                                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                    Moderator

                                                      As you can see, many points of learning from a simple little fun run…

                                                      Excellent example and demonstrates the need to gain real world experience. This is obviously true with HAM, but even applies equally to CB/FRS/MURS ect…

                                                      You must learn there limitations in your AO’s environment.

                                                      Portable repeaters can be built for emergency deployment and I know of some using drones (usually fixed wing) to orbit an area with a repeater package.

                                                      Imagine the possibilities. ;-)

                                                    • #97906
                                                      Daniel
                                                      Participant

                                                        A drone mounted repeater? That can’t be easy.

                                                      • #97907
                                                        tango
                                                        Participant

                                                          A drone mounted repeater? That can’t be easy.

                                                          Actually…that’s a very interesting idea. :mail:

                                                        • #97908
                                                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                          Moderator

                                                            The one I personally saw was a gas engine fixed wing with a basic auto pilot, more R/C than a true drone. The idea being it would orbit at altitude as a repeater to increase range and overcome terrain issues. This prototype had a 8 hour flight endurance.

                                                            It was a large platform with approximately 6 foot wingspan.

                                                          • #97909
                                                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                            Moderator

                                                              Keeping within the current FAA altitude restriction of 400 feet, this should give about 50 mile range of repeat between handhelds without significant terrain features.

                                                              Post Event these could be extended significantly.

                                                            • #97910
                                                              Daniel
                                                              Participant

                                                                Thanks, Joe. That’s a sweet setup far more capable than I was thinking. I pictured a quad-rotor thing with both drone and repeater drawing power – limited range and endurance measured in tens of minutes.

                                                              • #97911
                                                                Virgil Kane
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Can a COTS drone lift enough weight to hoist an antenna (N9TAX Slim Jim or Fong) and trailing coax for a quick transmission?

                                                                • #97912
                                                                  tango
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Spent some time reading the link(s) by @mdbjjc and found out there are quite a few small businesses on ebay making antennas and such. Couple inexpensive and useful things I found:
                                                                    Remote Antenna Cable $9.99
                                                                    Dual Band J-Pole #1 $25.98
                                                                    Dual Band J-Pole #2 $25.99

                                                                  • #97913
                                                                    Virgil Kane
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      The N9TAX is great on 2m, but not as great on UHF. I like the Ed Fong antenna better and it packs tighter. Ed Fong Portable (ebay)

                                                                    • #97914
                                                                      tango
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Thanks @virgil-kane. Should have known to wait a little bit before ordering. I got the Nelson Antennas one before seeing your response :cry:

                                                                      • #97915
                                                                        Ronald Beal
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Here is a Primer I put together a few years ago… It may be a little bit of overkill but has a lot of relevant info.

                                                                          Vol 1 pdf, (Vol 2 is still a work in progress)
                                                                          http://citizenmilitem.com/?page_id=176

                                                                        • #97916
                                                                          tango
                                                                          Participant

                                                                            Here is a Primer I put together a few years ago… It may be a little bit of overkill but has a lot of relevant info.

                                                                            Vol 1 pdf, (Vol 2 is still a work in progress)
                                                                            http://citizenmilitem.com/?page_id=176

                                                                            Vote #1 to Sticky this.

                                                                          • #97917
                                                                            Virgil Kane
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              @tango, the Nelson antenna is probably the same thing – a portable j-pole.

                                                                              @rbeal, thank you for the info.

                                                                            • #97918
                                                                              mdbjjc
                                                                              Participant
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