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Author Topic: UV-5R FOR PART 90 FIRE DEPT USAGE.  (Read 66099 times)
KB2FCV
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« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2013, 09:18:20 AM »

  As the OP stated "not a high response house" as in a large town or city,only a small VFD (1-2 call outs a month mostly grass fires) high end and rugged radios that we all would like to have are not necessarily needed or cost effective for relatively small scale VFD operations.

The danger that a VFD encounters can easily be just the same that any "Big City" department can face. There's no telling what you'll get when that pager goes off. While you may get "mostly grass fires", you still need to be prepared for that structure fire where conditions can deteriorate quickly (or any other number of dangerous types of calls out there..)
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K1CJS
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2013, 04:41:29 AM »

The bottom line seems to be that any possible situation that may include anything to do with life safety demands the best equipment that can be had, and there is always some way to get that equipment short of stealing it.  Trying to cut corners to either save time or money because the person responsible doesn't want to take the time or the effort to do the things the way they need to be done begs for trouble.  If someone's life is forfeit because of it, that person who cut the corners could and should be considered guilty of murder, simply because there is nothing that even comes close to being worth the life of another human being.  73.
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KA8FHW
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« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2013, 08:04:57 PM »

Have you ever thought that with all these depts. going digital-trunked, that a glut of VHF commercial radios are out there?
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KT0DD
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2013, 06:09:11 AM »

Prior to January 2013, the Baofeng UV-5R had FCC Part 90 certification as well as the Wouxun radios.

 After the Jan 1 2013 narrowband mandate, the only Part 90 Chinese radios I've seen that that have modified their software to comply with the new part 90 rules are the Wouxuns.

 I own 3 Wouxun KGUV6D radios and would put them up against any non-mil spec $200 range japanese amateur HT's that people buy and illegally mod for dual service ops. However, these aren't something that I would want to have as a police officer where you might have to bash a suspect in the head with it.

I would say for low / moderate VFD / SAR ops or something to take home if you have to keep your federally mandated 800mhz radios under lock and key like our local SAR ops do, I would look at the Wouxun KGUV6D V2. Their TX / RX audio is fantastic and mine have survived several 2-3 ft drops onto hard concrete. They run from $150 - $175 from several sites. I buy mine from Lentini Communications in CT. for $160. including software CD and cable.

73. Todd - KT0DD
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2013, 09:48:43 AM »

I would say for low / moderate VFD / SAR ops or something to take home if you have to keep your federally mandated 800mhz radios under lock and key like our local SAR ops do, I would look at the Wouxun KGUV6D V2.

Why do you feel that a low / moderate VFD does not require an equally substantially build radio that a busy VFD or "big city" FD might carry? The danger is just the same for any fire department whether they get 10 calls a year, 100, 1000 or 10,000 calls per year.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2013, 04:08:26 PM »

Sorry, but this is one place--fire department field use--that I firmly believe that cut rate, cheap equipment DOES NOT BELONG.  No matter what, firefighting is a strenuous, risk filled occupation that demands only the best equipment available.  It isn't only life safety--it is the prevention of ANY sort of damage that may happen to anything--or anyone.  Sub par equipment is a hazard, and the UV-5R just isn't hardened to the extent of the commercial equipment normally used.  None of the ham equipment available is either.  One failure may mean someone's life hanging in the balance.  DO YOU REALLY WANT THAT ON YOUR CONSCIENCE?
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W5LZ
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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2013, 06:34:06 AM »

An old thread but just some observations about the comments.

Yes, it would be nice if only very dependable, typically higher priced brands of radios could be used.  But that's not always possible for some departments, especially volunteer department that depend on 'self-bought' equipment.  Think about that, your equipment, radios, bunker-gear, etc, comes out of your pocket.  That's a pretty good 'chunk' of $$$!  Not using the most expensive equipment is always a consideration, no matter if it's your 'neck' or someone elses.  You do that economizing in areas that aren't an 'absolute sure thing' life endangerment.  That's true for the bigger, paid departments too you know.  (Don't know about you, but I couldn't afford the higher priced stuff, and I was a firefighter, I know how important gear is.)
The 'Chinese' radios aren't the 'best' in the world, but they can certainly be useful.  You can't use a Motorola HT for a hammer either!  Things have improved, you don't find many volunteer departments fighting grass fires with wet tow-sacks anymore.  But you also don't find many with $50,000 grass rigs either.
Do I think all departments should be using the 'Chinese' HTs?  No, I don't.  But if that's what is affordable, then why not?
 - Paul
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K1CJS
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2013, 12:44:34 PM »

AS I've already said, Paul, there are grants available--especially with the interoperability issues being stressed by the government--for just about any department.  What you just inferred--that you get what you can afford--is simply wrong, since the grants available (or even the used radios available) cost just as little as these Chinese wonder boxes you want to use.

All you're saying is that you--or whoever is in charge of the communications for that so called fire department--are unwilling to take the time and effort to go out and get the grants you need.  You rather save yourself a bit of trouble and use equipment not suited to the rigors of the job its being used for, and since that may well include life safety (especially that of the individual firemen) that is not something you want to take chances with--at all. 

Are you seriously saying that taking the time and trouble to get the best equipment available IS NOT WORTH A HUMAN LIFE???
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2013, 12:20:58 PM »

An old thread but just some observations about the comments.

Yes, it would be nice if only very dependable, typically higher priced brands of radios could be used.  But that's not always possible for some departments, especially volunteer department that depend on 'self-bought' equipment.  Think about that, your equipment, radios, bunker-gear, etc, comes out of your pocket.  That's a pretty good 'chunk' of $$$!  Not using the most expensive equipment is always a consideration, no matter if it's your 'neck' or someone elses.  You do that economizing in areas that aren't an 'absolute sure thing' life endangerment.  That's true for the bigger, paid departments too you know.  (Don't know about you, but I couldn't afford the higher priced stuff, and I was a firefighter, I know how important gear is.)
The 'Chinese' radios aren't the 'best' in the world, but they can certainly be useful.  You can't use a Motorola HT for a hammer either!  Things have improved, you don't find many volunteer departments fighting grass fires with wet tow-sacks anymore.  But you also don't find many with $50,000 grass rigs either.
Do I think all departments should be using the 'Chinese' HTs?  No, I don't.  But if that's what is affordable, then why not?
 - Paul


If you have to self purchase radios as the only option (assuming you've tried for grants, etc), I'd sooner trust a good used radio designed for the abuse (for example motorola) rather than the chinese made ham stuff that is NOT built for the type of abuse.
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WB5ITT
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« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2013, 04:41:40 PM »

i am on the fire board for our local vol. fire dept.  we need to replace a number of older ht's and pagers.
one of our members glommed on to the uv-5r because of price.  i have read this site review as well as
many others.  seems it is liked or hated not much in between
my specific question is:can this thing thru programming or whatever be locked down for single channel
use such that all controls except for volume  and squelch are disabled.   such that the vfo is disabled.
we need to ensure that the equipment stays only on one frequency.
i recognize that these are cheap units.  however the alternative is $300-500 a pop, and our budget is not that flush.
thanks for reading.  any input appreciated.
73  jim  kf8sj     email  KF8SJ@AOL.COM

I can get you Motorola HT1250s refurbed with 6mos warranty for ~220....full or limited keypad.. For fire dept, you will not only need your channels, but any nearby or mutual aid channels in it if you respond to other VFD's requests...also good to have any mutual aid channels to talk to police, EMS, etc....(Texas does). Otherwise, look at single band Part 90 radios...dont bother with dual band unless you have some emergency groups on UHF (most will be 800 or VHF these days...Houston just moved all their FD to 700...I am not sure if the VFDs in the county outside Houston's city limits stayed UHF or not)
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KF8SJ
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« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2013, 04:46:37 PM »

UPDATE-05-25-13
thanks for the comments.  did not see much that we had not already considered.  lot of repetition!
FINALLY received one and only one reply to my original question.   Frank KB2VYZ had experience with the units.  we ordered one for evaluation, and with franks help, i got it up and running.  THANK YOU FRANK!!!!!
receive range is absolutely amazing-way beyond our operational range.
durability amazing.  accidentally dropped unit three times-once on wooden floor, twice on concrete-last time, battery popped off.  put battery back in and it worked well.-think durability is partly due to small size and weight-doesn't have the mass to self destroy like some larger units do.  battery life with standard battery good-prox 2 full 12 hour days in receive mode before noticed drop on battery indicator.--have worked thru 2 ham repeaters (wide band) one at 10 miles, one at 17 miles, with good audio reports.  with sheriffs approval, have operated thru local government repeaters (narrow band) with good signal reports.
yes, we are considering this as a disposable unit.  yes there are better choices, yes there are limitations.
HOWEVER, one of our original goals was to utilize this unit to replace pagers, which it appears it will do, as well as utility for a talk around radio,which it also appears it will do.
Again, thanks for the input.  NUFF SAID!.  at this point we are on our way.



73 jim kf8sj
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K1CJS
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« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2013, 05:17:06 AM »

I hope that the people who are condoning the use of inferior equipment never have to have THEIR lives depend on it--and have it fail, let alone someone elses life.  Again, I hope it never happens, but if their cut-rate radio were to fail right when they really needed it, and they were hurt--or worse--because of the failure, it would be poetic justice.
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KJ4VKC
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2013, 10:50:28 AM »

Hey Jim I'm a bit late to the party on this one but I would recommend the Wouxun KG-UV6X. It's FCC Part-90 and NTIA compliant so I'm using it for ham and CAP activities. It can do narrowband and via programming and menu lockout can be forced into a channel-only mode, then if you only program one channel then adjusting your VFO/channel select knob will do precisely nothing, so you don't have to worry about someone getting off-frequency.

http://www.powerwerx.com/two-way-radios/handheld-wouxun-radios/kg-uv6x-dual-band-vhf-uhf-commercial.html
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K6IHC
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« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2013, 01:28:44 AM »

Gentleman,

All two way radios wither part 97 or part 90 are made overseas. Even Motorola's. The US got out of the 2-way radio manufacturing a long time ago.

At to days shop labor rates of $175 per hour you will not save any money buying a more expensive radio thinking you wil be able to repair the unit. You only buy specifications and features.

The BK Radio (aka: Bendix/King) GPH VHF portables are made in the U.S.
As a professional fire/medic, the only radios I use and trust in the field are BK, Motorola, and Kenwood.
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APW19562
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« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2013, 04:16:04 AM »

I have a couple Kenwood TH-K20 VHF radios and absolutely love them. They cost me around $130ea. I believe I can lock out the keypad via computer software (an absolute must-have)... or you can opt to program only one channel into the radio.

That said... I also have a ($40) UV5R ordered and expected shortly... so I may be able to offer a comparison soon.  Grin
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