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Author Topic: Receive fine, can't key repeater  (Read 4773 times)

Posts: 24

« on: July 25, 2016, 07:42:49 PM »

I am volunteering with an unnamed federal agency.  I have their permission to transmit on a limited basis with the work crew I volunteer with using my personal, analog HT.  We work far afield.  I've been using their radio, the BK xxx for both point-point and repeater communications..  Now, I'm trying to get my HT to RX and TX.  I have their rx and tx frequencies (vhf via Radio Reference and respective repeater tx tones. Receive works just dandy.  Can't TX key any of their several repeaters.  At first I thought it was digital, but I can RX.  Is there possibly a mixed mode going on, that they are transitioning from analog to digital in my region?

Any thoughts?  Not able to get an insider to help.  

Posts: 309

« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 09:19:00 PM »

You have already made too many mistakes on this subject so this tells some of us that you should probably stop now while you are ahead.

The following comments are made assuming that you are using your personal hammy handheld.

Mistake 1:  I won't even bring up the fact that your crappy ham ht isn't legal for transmit outside of the 144-148 MHZ band because you obviously don't care.

Mistake 2: Have you measured your crappy hammy ht to even see if it's transmitting and is it on frequency? and if so if it's putting out any power?

Mistake 3. Do you have your crappy hammy ht set to narrowband?

Do you know what NB even is?

Mistake 4 and probably the biggest. You appear to be relying on Blantons RR database information to be correct and we all know that Blanton knows more about radio than anyone else so RADIO RETARDS database must be correct.

Mistake 5. Did you even attempt to measure the tx frequency of YOUR BK GPH/DPH radio along with trying to find out the proper CTCSS or DCS signaling?

And I'm not referring to the ctcss  tone or docs code that the repeater is transmitting back to users because this is probably a different ctcss/dcs than the repeater receiver requires.

Mistake 6. Did you trying contacting THE NIFC in Boise and ask someone with knowledge for the information that you seek. (waiting for someone to laugh hysterically at your request)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:24:20 PM by WB8VLC » Logged

Posts: 538

« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 10:00:52 PM »


Many ham HTs will generally receive over a wide frequency range. But their transmit frequencies are restricted to the ham bands. Radios that transmit on the commercial frequencies you mentioned require a different FCC approval rating. Even if you were to "open up" your personal HT, it would not be legal for transmitting on the commercial frequencies. The FCC can issue significant fines for that type of operation. There are blanket exceptions to this rule under specific emergency conditions.

The correct way to approach this is to get a commercial HT and add programming for the amateur bands. Ironically, it is legal to re-purpose a commercial HT to transmit on the amateur bands.

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.

Posts: 309

« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 10:41:29 PM »

And another thought,

If your radio is perhaps a Boecrap or a Wouxjunk handheld then the chances that it is transmitting anywhere close to your desired 171.xxxx frequency are nil to nothing.

Your agency most certainly only allows certain models to be used on their frequencies.

If the frequencies that you are trying to program are used by the NIFC, and even if you  fall into the contractor category, there are still only  particular models of transceivers that are authorized and no hammy nor Chicom junk transceivers fall in even the contractor category which is somewhat more lenient.

Posts: 24

« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 06:18:04 PM »

Hello Michael,  Well I'll just take all your "mistake" characterizations as a complement.  As a newbie, I always thought of Ham as a hobby, not a profession.  While I've passed all my exams,  you can be assured I'm well aware of compliance.  That said, I was alarmed at how caustic your replies have been.  No reason not to knock around with hand me downs and chinese gear if it's a way to learn.  I do appreciate your information however, at least that after the "mistake" part.  Gee, maybe I should have put this in the Gomer folder.  Or maybe I should have brought it up in a dark alley in South Boston.

You have either missed or ignored the intent of my work.  First, when we are outback, there may be no other way to contact help other than a satellite transponder.  We could be dozens of miles from help.  Believe me, there are life threatening emergencies outback all the time and I seem to be in the thick of it.   I figured it was worth the time to hobby around and figure out if it might work.  The plan would be to listen.  If there was an urgent life or death emergency, it would be nice to know if my junk  (as you presumptuously call it) would even work.   Just knowing that it won't work isn't as interesting as knowing why it won't work.   The agency has a very robust and well-integrated network.  Last thing I want to do is screw up or interfere with their net.   Having passed my tests, I'm well aware of breaking the rules.   It's just intellectual curiosity that has me pursuing it.

Thank you W9IQ for your more patient reply.  I understand the legalities of it all, especially equipment approvals.  As previously mentioned, it's an experiment to see if it's viable, and if not why not.   I also understand the reticence of anyone wanting to be mentioning anything illegal on a public forum.

Michael, as with newbies, budget is a clear restriction.  Measuring frequency requires equipment I simply cannot afford or have access to.  I honestly can appreciate your condescending, presumptive and derogatory remarks.  It shows character.  You must be a helluva a lot of fun at a party.  If you're ever invited.  

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:25:49 PM by K1WMT » Logged

Posts: 309

« Reply #5 on: Today at 09:04:06 PM »


Too bad if someone can't afford authorized equipment, that's what the NIFC radio pool is for so that unauthorized personal equipment isn't used on DOI frequncies and only authorized equipment is used.

Obviously you only know hammy stuff and nothing about Dept of Interior regulations and the use of unauthorized equipment for transmitting on their frequencies.

There are only certain models of radios authorized by person who fall even under the NIFC CONTRACTOR or volunteer category and equipment that is not in the NIFC registry is not authorized by DOI employees or by contractors or by ANYONE when transmitting on DOI FREQUENCIES.

I suggest that you contact Gary Stewart, who is the COMM DUTY OFFICER for the DOI, NIFC IN BOISE AT  (208) 387-5718 and tell Gary what your plan is.

Don't be surprised if Gary is expecting a call.

Some of us on these eham list also do contract work and/or OEM DESIGN work for the DOI and there are several amateurs who I know that read these eham forums who are also employees for some of these agencies.

Experimenting as you say even if it is transmitting briefly with unauthorized equipment is illegal and this is something that gives hams a bad name.
« Last Edit: Today at 09:17:53 PM by WB8VLC » Logged
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