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Author Topic: Out of band transmit power  (Read 14858 times)
KT0DD
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Posts: 278




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« on: December 08, 2012, 06:18:16 PM »

First of all, I do not condone anyone transmitting out of band with a modded amateur HT unless it is a serious, immediate, life threatening emergency where it is all someone has on hand and there is no other form of communication available. Only in a case such as this, would I be willing to face an FCC admonishment. However, I have modded Ht's just in case I find myself in such a position. One never knows. I cant afford a $1500 part 90 motorola commercial rig to carry on my hip.

My question is this, Does an amateur HT tuned for the amateur bands lose alot of transmit power outside of the amateur bands, or are they pretty broadbanded on TX? I know the antenna plays a factor and most rubber ducks aren't that great anyway.

Any info is appreciated.

Todd - KT0DD
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NN4RH
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Posts: 328




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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 04:53:05 AM »


You're going to let a measly $1500 stand in the way of being a Ham Hero?

Who exactly are you going to call with this modded HT, anyway? What frequencies and modes? Practically every public safety agency in the country is on some sort of digital system these days. I'm not aware of any ham FM VHF/UHF HT, analog or DSTAR, that can be "modded" to work with a P-25 network, for example.

Is this for your work? Your employer should provide an appropriate radio and hold a Part 90 license.

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KT0DD
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 05:53:01 AM »

First of all,it has nothing to do with being a ham hero you smart aleck! You must be a city dweller. It has to do with someone including myself having a serious injury in the wilderness where there may be no amateur coverage, or outside of any cell phone coverage area. (yes, cell phone coverage still isn't seamless everywhere) and due to budget limitations, many wilderness govt services like the forest service, BLM and county search and rescue groups are still on analog FM and will be for awhile.


I happen to spend considerable time in remote areas and one of the best tools to have in the middle of nowhere is frequency agility in an emergency.

I will ask this simple question again, Does an amateur HT seriously lose power outside of the amateur bands?

It's a simple question. A straightforward answer would be nice.

Smart Alecks need not reply.


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KT0DD
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Posts: 278




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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 06:04:51 AM »

Maybe I should buy one of the new Part 90 certified Woxun or Baofeng chinese rigs for an emergency radio and program it with all the BLM, Forest service and search and rescue frequencies for my area as well as all the amateur frequencies. That way all my bases should be covered with a certified rig. I assume if they are certified for part 90, they should have the power specs for the entire operational range they are advertised for.
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KT0DD
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Posts: 278




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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 06:41:20 AM »

I just talked with someone on HF and found out that Satellite phones aren't nearly as expensive as they used to be. I always dismissed them as too costly. Rentals are now reasonable for my short term hunting / fishing trips. I think I'll go this route.

Thanks all.
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NN4RH
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 06:52:02 AM »

I just talked with someone on HF and found out that Satellite phones aren't nearly as expensive as they used to be. I always dismissed them as too costly. Rentals are now reasonable for my short term hunting / fishing trips. I think I'll go this route.

That's the right answer (one of the right answers) if this is really about emergency use in survival situations.

I was about to say that if you were going with the cheap Chinese trash HTs, you'd better buy about three of them so that there might be a chance that one of them might still be in working condition when you need it.
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KT0DD
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 07:08:49 AM »

I remember 30 years ago when we used to say the same thing about cheap japanese junk...some still have the same opinion even though Icom Kenwood and Yaesu are all japanese. I guess there's always elecraft and Ten Tec...
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K1CJS
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 08:04:31 AM »

You want a straightforward answer?  OK.  Yes, the further you go from the center of the band the HT is tuned for, the less power you put out.  But, you may well find the out of band mod you're asking about useless, because if you're in an area where you can't get into a repeater or to another ham, it's unlikely that you're going to reach an out of band radio.  Also, some radios just won't transmit with any sort of useable power when they're used out of band--or they won't transmit on the frequency they're set on.  It has to do with the microprocessor control of the transmitter--and that's probably done purposely.   The receiver will work fine but the transmitter won't.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 09:05:12 AM »

There is no end to inexpensive commercial 2-way equipment out there.  I have probably two dozen functional HT600's, P110's, MT1000's and Sabers in my collection, all were free or very cheap.  But being Part 90 doesn't absolve you of operating in a different service illegally.

It works out that, at least around here, if you can't hit a ham repeater you're nowhere close to any public safety system either.  You'll no sooner raise someone on a mutual aid frequency than you would 146.520, or whatever.   I always carry a separate FRS radio when I hike because my odds of raising someone or communicating with a search team on that are probably higher than anything else.  Nowadays with inexpensive SPOT devices, there is little need to consider much else as far as actual distress calling.

These discussions always end the same way, because the idea that you're going to call some public service entity on your ham radio to save the day just isn't going to happen.  There are very few documented instances it's ever happened.  But if it makes you feel better, test out what radios you have with a dummy load into test equipment and see if they work. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KT0DD
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Posts: 278




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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 09:41:45 AM »

Well as I have decided, for $20 a day rental, a sat phone is probably the best solution. I was thinking they were still around $100 a day or more like 10-15 years ago, which would be more than I would spend on my whole fishing trip.

I was thinking that gov't services would have repeaters in remote areas that hams don't, that I could use in an emergency, but if they are few and far between, I guess it's pretty useless as well.
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W4KVW
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 12:15:10 PM »

For the fellow who says the Chinese BAOFENG HT's has NEVER owned or used one  or he's NOT smart enough to know how to use one? I have the UV-5R & sold my ICOM T8A after I obtained the Baofeng because the UV-5R is so compact & has GREAT audio.Works 100% everywhere it hears except the FM broadcast band where it was NOT designed too talk.Does EVERYTHING I needed an HT to do at an AMAZING price.ALL other gear I own is ICOM but my HT of CHOICE is the BAOFENG UV-5R with a Jetstream Tri-band SMA antenna & a Kenwood speaker microphone.Don't knock them because you don't know how to operate one because having a radio of any brand or style that is smarter than you will leave you with a negative attitude! {:>) Shocked

Clayton
W4KVW 
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K7RBW
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Posts: 398




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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 06:40:05 AM »

The out-of-band radio question seems to boil down to looking for the fastest way to summon help At the surface, it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that if you just called the aid service (police, fire, park ranger, etc.) directly, they would get there most quickly. However, in practice, I'm guessing that unless you've made arrangements with the service in advance, even if you could call them directly on their radios, you'd catch them by surprise and just confuse them. Their response could range from just ignoring you to being upset with you interfering with their comms. It might take a while to convince them you're for real, thereby negating any anticipated benefit of direct contact.

I'm guessing you'd get a faster, less confused, and more reliable emergency response from an EPIRB or a SPOT beacon, but even that depends on where you go. For Sat phones, I don't know where you can get them for $20/day, but Globalstar still has their promotion running 'til the end of the year where satphone service is $40/mo, which includes cell-phone use (IIRC).

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WN2C
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 09:03:41 AM »

12/21/12 is fast approaching. Repent yee sinners!!!






p.s. Every one have a Merry Christmas!!!

de wn2c  Rick
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KB2VUQ
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 11:48:44 AM »

FYI: Woxun, Baofeng and etc...are Part 90 certified on uhf only, not vhf.
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2405




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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 11:52:14 AM »

To the original question:  Yes, I have seen and measured ham radios transmitting out of band and YES they do not meet the quoted power specifications.  But then, lots of radios vary output even in the ham bands.  I consider the specs to be "nominal power" not iron clad guaranteed.  But then it really doesn't matter much, anyhow.

Edit:  Depending on breaking into public service agency repeaters or nets for safety backup is a shaky deal.  You can't legally test them, you can't be sure of the freq data, and you have to hope your emergency is viewed as dire enough to protect you from prosecution.

As a former volunteer SAR type, my recommendations for wilderness travel:

-Leave detailed travel plans with family or friends with regular check in's and specific directions for when to notify authorities requesting SAR, and their contact numbers.
-PLB or EPIRB and REGISTER IT!!!!!
-Cell
-Ham radios, U/V and HF
-FRS/MURS
-Satellite phone if truly in outer wilderness
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:05:18 PM by KB4QAA » Logged
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