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Author Topic: Handheld mods..??  (Read 1462 times)
2ST123
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Posts: 56




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« on: March 04, 2007, 05:57:32 AM »

Can all ham radios be modified , or just spacific ones? Can handhelds be modified? Or is it spacific models? I know over the past several years regular citizen band radios are getting where they are NOT modafiable , and i was wondering if that is also true to ham radios? I am really only interested in modifing
for extra ham frequencies ,maby some power mods.

                                 Thanks
                               Roy & Mary
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 06:44:26 AM »

<<  I am really only interested in modifing
for extra ham frequencies ,maby some power mods >>

I get worried when I read postings like yours. It makes me wonder what you are really after.

With the exception of adding 60m to some radios that don't have it or _trying_ to add 12m, 17m and 30m to older tube rigs, there are NO extra ham frequencies you can add to amateur radios. Other than operation on the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) frequencies, which requires a separate license issued by one of the three MARS organizations, there is NO LEGAL USE of frequency-modified amateur radios. Modified amateur radios, either HF or VHF/UHF, are NOT LEGAL to use on ANY other radio service - PERIOD!

You have asked this same question at least three times now and you receive the same answer(s) every time. With all due respect, how long is it going to take for the answer to sink in?

As for power mods, if you go monkeying around trying to increase the power output of modern solid state rigs, you will richly deserve what you will get - a radio that no longer operates within design specs and very probably blown finals!

COncentrate on getting your license and quit trying to learn how to screw up your radios.

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 08:26:40 AM »

No, all amateur radio HTs are capable of all the applicable amateur frequencies.  And they are putting out full power from the get go.  

Roy, please quit with these modifications questions.  Get your license and get a radio and start using it.

I agree, you're doing nothing but getting off on the wrong foot with these types of questions; I too question your real motives here.

Phil
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2ST123
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 04:27:42 AM »

I am sorry if i worried you.. The reason with the questions is i was wondering if you can take a 2M and add 70cm to it or a radio that has 2M/70cm and add 6M.
I know you CAN buy them this way..

Also i was wondering if you could take 5W handheld radio and make it a 7W which a few handhelds are already capable of...

     I don't understand why these questions would offend you.Maby i should be more spacific on my questions. Sence you can buy these radios already set up with all this, how can it be illegal or unethical? I thought Ham radio was about learning. I have no desire to break or even bend the fcc regulations.. That is why i ask ..asking Questions and trying to get help is what i thought these forums is about.. Sence i was in a modification forum and this was a modification question i seen no harm..If you see harm in my type of questions , please let me know and i won't comce back...

                                Roy
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 06:32:28 AM »

2M and add 70cm to it or a radio that has 2M/70cm and add 6M.


OK, the answer is No.  The circuitry is very specific and doesn't lend itself to quickie mods.  Yes some may be tweaked to increase power but then you run the risk of overheating the finals, etc.  These days these radios are very precisely engineering and don't lend themselves to tweaking.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2754




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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2007, 07:28:46 AM »

Actually, I tend to disagree.  As a licensed ham you can build and modify your own equipment, and as long as it operates within specified parameters for spectral purity and such, you're good to go.

You'll certainly have to do some engineering and design work to do what you're asking about.

Have fun.

Pat K7KBN
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2007, 01:35:08 PM »

(1) raising the output on an HT from 5 to 7 watts will normally require replacing the finals and will not give you one single bit of noticable increase in range. It's not worth the effort.

(2) you can't reasonably add 440 to a 2m-only rig. If it could be done, it would cost more than a new rig and you would probably never fit the parts in the old case.

(3) You continually ask these questions and seemingly ignore the answers that are repeatedly given. That's why many get a little suspicious of your motives - you seem to be fishing for someone to tell you what you want to hear.

(4) get your license, get on the air and learn how to use the ham rigs as they are designed before you start trying to monkey with the insides.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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KC0VCU
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2007, 05:51:51 AM »

There are radios that come with partial firmware to support operations beyond what they are marketed for. That partial firmware means that if you modify the radio to make use of that partial firmware, you are very likely going to end up not being able to make the best use of the additional features that you would enable.

As an example some radios do have the capability of transmitting in 6-meters, however the firmware does not include direct support for things like repeater offsets, etc. If you were to modify such a radio to make use of that capability you would very likely spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to get memories all set up for what you have enabled.

The question then becomes is the additional energy and time you expend worth the effort. You could claim that you are learning how to set up such a radio for additional spectrum, etc. Or that you are learning more about the amateur band involved. However you may also run into limitations of the radio itself that you have no control over and that the manufacturer did not advertise, because their own internal testing shows that the radio is not a good match for that use.

A given with doing such a modification is that you will be voiding your warantee. Should you need support for the radio outside of what you are able to provide, you will very likely find that the cost of a radio that included the feature you attempted to add would have cost significantly less than even the repair bill. Additionally if you have modified the radio to operate outside of the manufacturer's published specifications any licensed radio repair shop will either refuse to perform any service on the radio, or at best will return the radio to it's original capabilities. And it will likely cost you the price of the radio in man hours involved.

You have also been advised that increasing the transmit power of the radio, for example from 5 to 7 watts does not give you a noticeable improvement in range or signal quality. Going beyond that, you will find that there are far less expensive solutions to improving signal quality and range from an HT than increasing the transmitter power. J-polls, Yagi's, home-made dipole's even a solid wire cut to the appropriate length and mounted on the correct connector for an HT are all going to give you superior performance to any modification of an HT's transmitter power at the levels you are talking about.

If you elect to ignore the advice above and provided earlier, you will very likely be ignored in response to any questions regarding what you should do when your equipment fails to perform to the expectations you set.  Or more likely fails to perform at all as a result of those changes.

It would not surprise me if you found support elsewhere. You may even find a few people more than happy to walk you through all the steps necessary to turn that $500 HT into a wonderful paperweight. All of course in the name of experimentation and the advancement of your knowledge.

If you really are interested in determining what modifications you can do that may provide the improvements to the capabilities that you seem to be seeking, I'm afraid that most responsible Amateur operators are going to advise you to go through the schematic diagrams for the radio in question and with an understanding of how the various components you are removing, adding, changing, will affect the operation of that radio, put the resulting altered radio through a full test suite to confirm that it is not operating outside of the restrictions that you are authorized to operate in. I do think that you will learn far more along the lines of what you are trying to suggest you are interested in learning than you ever will by doing a couple of quick soldering tricks that someone suggests.

You also are receiving quite a few derisive responses here. The primary reason for that is that all too many hams have seen people who seem to think that a simple component add here, or removal there is going to open up lots of legitimate features that the manufacture of the radio is preventing the purchaser from experiencing.

Unfortunately many of us have seen all too many 'Amateur' radios being used by either legitimate hams, or pretenders to deliberately interfere with other service's use of their licensed spectrum. As noted other radio services restrict the variety of radios that may legitimately be used in that service. Unless the radio is already type accepted for even a service such as FRS or GMRS, using such a radio to transmit in that spectrum _is_ against federal regulations and when discovered _will_ make the operator of that radio liable for rather expensive fines. Many of those fines may also be applied 'per instance' of violation. So a $5000 fine for illegal transmission may quickly become a $15000 or even $50000 fine.

Legitimate Amateurs who want to help other Amateurs and curious prospective Amateurs are not interested in being accused of encouraging such activities. Even besides the prospect of being fined ourselves, we do not think that you should open yourself to that liability.

73,

-Rusty - kc0vcu
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2ST123
Member

Posts: 56




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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2007, 06:42:20 AM »

Thanks alot rusty , that was a big help..I would think they would make some kind of telescopic antenna for handhelds..If they do and that would improve it , i will go for one of them.Me and my wife live in a hilly area in southern indiana.. And i know even cell phone reception is bad in alot of areas.Thanks alot for explaining it so well..


                          Roy
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