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Author Topic: 902 mhz???  (Read 9486 times)
W5CEM
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Posts: 29




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« on: January 01, 2012, 08:01:23 PM »

thinking of getting a 902 rig just to try something new.  What should I expect in the way of daily use?  I read simplex is pretty much useless, so repeater use is necessary. 

Give me the 411 on 902...

tnx/73

cleve/W5CEM
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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 08:50:56 AM »

Right now, from what I can see, unless you have a group of guys that are playing with 902 mhz and have a repeater set up, 902 is next to useless.  It's caught on here in Southeastern Mass., but only because of the area demise of the 440 mhz band--due to the Pave Paws radar on Cape Cod.

Other than that, 902 mhz groups are few and far between, since 902 is fairly new.  Why not try getting a few guys together and start your own group?
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KE6WNH
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 09:22:09 AM »

Don't sweat it, Cleve... 900 nowadays is a lot like 220 was 40 years ago, i.e., you pretty much had to homebrew and mod your way in. Up until now, most hams who wanted to work 900 pretty much had to get ahold of a Micor, a Spectra mobile, a GTX HT, etc., and mod them. Practically the only "out of the box" 900 band ham equipment was an assortment of ATV gear which ran on a handful of frequencies between 912 and 915 mhz. If you were really lucky, you could bribe a ham friend who was going on vacation in Japan to bring you back a Japanese 902-927 mhz "CB", but it wasn't the same.

There has been some controversy, both good and bad, since Alinco rolled out the DJ-G29 HT last spring and it was finally approved for sale late last fall. Some crowed that the sky was falling (it was the same stuff we heard 5 years ago when Element 1 was dropped---"the band will be overwhelmed with jammers"), but some of the guys who were saying that, in fact, turned out to have their remotes on that band. Others, like myself, have always been attracted to the unusual, and have always been in favor of making as much equipment available as possible---and making it easy enough for dummies like me to use.

My friend Ed Lemus, KE6VRK, decided just before Christmas that he didn't want to wait. He went right out and bought a pair of the new Alincos (he's selling me one in installments), and we got them charged up and programmed. We quickly learned that the stories about multipath propagation on 900 are very true indeed. Our transmissions seemed to get out best when one of us was standing before a large brick wall or concrete building, which acted like a directional dish; but large wire fences and metal structures acted like a sponge. Ed had me stay home and monitor while he drove around with the other HT. A couple of times he mentioned that my transmissions came in loud and clear despite not showing up at all on his S-meter... so there was definitely some very unusual propagation going on.

My verdict: if you live in the badlands of the Western desert, stick with 6 meters... but if you live in a city with a lot of tall concrete and brick buildings, 900 is the band for you.

Ed agrees with me that Alinco has fired a shot across the bow, so to speak, and that this HT will probably start an arms race between the manufacturers. Pretty soon we'll start seeing more 900 HTs, then some mobiles, culminating in my dream radio, a 6-band, all-mode beauty with 6m, 2m, 220, 440, 900, and 1.2 ghz, and it will be able to tell me my horoscope.  Grin

73,
Marty
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N0FPE
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 02:48:59 PM »

I use 900mhz all the time. But then there are a bunch of good mtn top repeaters around here. And I have one of my own that is linked to other repeaters on other bands. Ilike the band. and with the intro of the new Alinco 2200/900mhz portable i hope both bands take off!!
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K1CJS
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 03:57:10 PM »

Keep hoping, Marty, but I think it will be a strange day when you see much of anything for 220.  Or a snowy day in July before much comes out for 900 and 1.2 for that matter.  These bands are just not too popular right now, or just not being used by too many hams, and the 220, I understand, is just a North America band.  (Or maybe just a US band, I'm not sure.)

Alinco is doing 220 right now, but they are about the only ones doing it--outside of Chinese stuff that are nothing so much as throw away (if they let go, just toss them and get another)  radios.  A six band VHF/UHF/XHF all mode rig would be nice, but just not practical--money wise--to the big three.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 07:32:55 PM »

Keep hoping, Marty, but I think it will be a strange day when you see much of anything for 220.  Or a snowy day in July before much comes out for 900 and 1.2 for that matter.  These bands are just not too popular right now, or just not being used by too many hams, and the 220, I understand, is just a North America band.  (Or maybe just a US band, I'm not sure.)

Alinco is doing 220 right now, but they are about the only ones doing it--outside of Chinese stuff that are nothing so much as throw away (if they let go, just toss them and get another)  radios.  A six band VHF/UHF/XHF all mode rig would be nice, but just not practical--money wise--to the big three.
   I'm still waiting for the new 160 to 1.2 all mode handhelds!  And waiting...  and waiting...  and...
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KD5KFL
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 09:47:48 AM »

there is a vast tract of real estate in NM and TX where 902 mHz is verboten. I am in the corner of this no-no land. with a 5 call sign, you may want to see if you fall in this tract before you go further with buying gear.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 10:32:23 AM »

there is a vast tract of real estate in NM and TX where 902 mHz is verboten. I am in the corner of this no-no land. with a 5 call sign, you may want to see if you fall in this tract before you go further with buying gear.
  That's interesting!  Why is 902 Mhz a no-no there?
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KD5KFL
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 02:34:55 PM »

White Sands Missile Range uses 902 mhz to control target drones and missiles. you call CQ, target drone hears "turn left"

70 CM band is also restricted. optimum frequency range for ground penetrating RADAR is 409 - 432 mhz. optimum place to test ground penetrating RADAR is the biggest chunk of real estate with one landlord in CONUS - White Sands Missile Range
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K1CJS
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 04:33:25 PM »

Thanks for the clarification, John.  That's what I get for not checking!   Grin

It's also interesting to note about the restriction on 902 AND 440 in New Mexico.  Besides being restricted in the Southern part of New England, the 440 MHZ band is also restricted in Northern California--because of another Pave Paws installation there.

That is one of the reasons that I have to laugh at people who are worried about the 440 band being taken away from amateurs and sold off--we're secondary there to the military, and with their radar and other installations using 440 mhz, I believe that there would be a HUGE fight there for any congresscritter trying to get the 440 mhz band sold off for other purposes.
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W5CEM
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 06:52:33 PM »

thanks KD5KFL, but I am to the east in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.  From what I can determine there are six operating repeaters and another on the way.  A couple of them have great coverage...several are full time linked to 440!  Just thinking if the right Kenwood or Motorola rig comes along, it might be interesting to have the rig here at the shack.  Not so sure mobile would be good, but I wll try anything once.  After all my emphasis is working 6 meters Grin
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ONAIR
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 08:22:17 PM »

White Sands Missile Range uses 902 mhz to control target drones and missiles. you call CQ, target drone hears "turn left"

70 CM band is also restricted. optimum frequency range for ground penetrating RADAR is 409 - 432 mhz. optimum place to test ground penetrating RADAR is the biggest chunk of real estate with one landlord in CONUS - White Sands Missile Range
  Thanks for the info.  For a second I thought it might have to do with Roswell, UFOs, Area 54, and all of that other secret government coverup stuff!  Smiley
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K9MHZ
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 04:49:05 AM »

Just thinking if the right Kenwood or Motorola rig comes along, it might be interesting to have the rig here at the shack.

They have.....the Kenwood TK-981 mobile and the Kenwood TK-481 handheld.  Our group locally includes hams with Motorolas, GEs, and these Kenwood models.  By far, the Kenwoods are the easiest to set up and they require no internal mods to put them into the 902-928 segment.  They're trunking biz band radios, but just some quick programming and presto, instant 33 cm amateur.  They're fantastic radios. Most groups have someone with the Kenwood programming software.... so that's a non-issue and don't let it scare you off.

Check out:  www.kw902.com

The advantage with the Alinco is the normal freq programming on the handheld itself instead of having to flash a database of repeater info from a laptop, and the touch tone pad for repeater control ops.  Still, the quality of the 981 and 481 are far superior to the Alinco....they're made for the biz band/trunking and the abuse that they'd receive in that setting. Watch eBay, and if you get interested, look for version 2 in either radio.  Version 1 is still OK, but the programming software will be DOS based instead of Windows based for the Version 2.

Good luck.

Brad, K9MHZ

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KB1LKR
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 10:23:30 AM »

I'd guess 23cm would be more popular than 33cm for manufacturers, as the market isn't limited to the Americas (Region 2) -- same problem 1.25m has vs. 2m & 70 cm. Perhaps a 2/1.25/70/23 quad band HT, maybe 1-2 W at 23cm? Trick would be to be the first to market (Alinco or Kenwood maybe?), not sure the market would be big enough for two manufacturers at the moment, but 5-10 years out, with the ever increasing use of high band UHF (800+ MHz) for Public Safety, etc., who knows.
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NO2A
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 08:14:12 PM »

Can anyone comment on the 23cm band? Has anyone used repeaters on this band,and if so what kind of range is typical? Do the signals behave similiar to 902 mhz?
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