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#1 Austin Powers

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:26 PM

There have been a few threads on radio's so I thought it might be a good idea to see what other people are using.  Myself I am using a mix of business and HAM radio's:

 

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These are my portable HAM radio's.  The left is a Yaesu FT-50 and the right is its successor the Yaesu FT-60.  The FT-50 was my first HAM radio I received from my dad as a gift at the age of twelve.  The thing works as great as it did the day I first used it.  The FT-60 is also a nice upgrade to the classic.  Both of these radio's allow for field programming from the front panel.

 

 

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These are my business radio's that are primarily used for HAM.  Some people may be confused so I will explain, these radio's are meant to be used by business so they are not programmable by the user unless you have the super expensive Motorola software.  They are much more durable then HAM radio's and the electronics inside them is of higher quality.  I prefer to use these radio's as they are of higher quality on just about every level.  The radio on the far left is a Motorola CP 200.  It has 2 channels and is the cheapest of the three in this picture.  I use this radio to give to people when camping or hunting etc.  The radio on the far right is a Motorola JT-1000 and has 16 channels and a front keypad and display.  This is one of the FEW Motorola's that can be field programmed from the front panel.  This radio was a U.S. Forest Service radio that was decommissioned.  I use this for HAM and desert comms.  Lastly is the radio in the middle, a Motorola XPR 6550.  This is the latest and greatest people.  Much like many of the federal and local law enforcement agencies around the country the XPR 6550 is a digital radio.  The audio quality is hands down superior to analog in every way.  This is still new to the HAM community and for those interested in it should google "MARK DMR".  They run a world wide system of linked repeaters that is quite amazing.  The XPR will still run analog as well as digital so currently I use it as my every day carry radio. 

 

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This is my tactical comm set up.  My Yaesu FT-60 connected to a MSA Sordin Supreme Pro headset via a MSA PTT switch.  I have mentioned this before in a previous thread but to emphasize my point make sure you do your research before you go buying a bunch of radio parts that may or may not work together.  I actually re-wired the PTT and b/c it was not designed to work on my Yaesu there is currently an impedance mismatch and when I transmit it sounds like I am talking in the cabin of an aircraft.  Still communications grade audio but not exactly ideal. 

 

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The mobile radio: Yaesu FT-7900 with Diamond NR73BNMO


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#2 Peter.C

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:08 PM

 

 

These are the radios that I use as an EMT. On the left is a UV-5R which is on the spot programmable, I really only have it as a spare and I have never had the occasion to have to use it. My main radio on the left, a TK5210 (VHF) is what I use every day on the job and I also have a private channel for communicating with friends.

 

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This is the backup dispatch console that we hardly use. I use this whenever I am at work to at least monitor radio traffic. 

 

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This is one of the coolest things about my critical incident communications vehicle. We stock it with tens of VHF and UHF radios that have our main frequencies and the UTAC and VTAC channels. In addition to the radios we have three consoles which can be setup in under 5 minutes (from arrival to a scene) or 15 minutes if you put us somewhere unplanned out of the county. Not mine per sey, but I love it still.

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#3 CalicoJack

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

I would be extremely interested in learning how you hooked up your FT-60 to Sordins.

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#4 Austin Powers

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:54 PM

Using a MSA PTT purchased form ebay ($99.00) I cut the ICOM 2 pin adapter off and soldered a Yaesu accessory adapter on the end.  The wiring for the Yaesu accessory adapter is readily available on google, the Sordin however is not. I used a multimeter to confirm which wire was what (ground, PTT, MIC, Audio etc).  The only problem as I stated was an impedance issue that caused the audio coming from the headset to sound like you are in the cabin of an aircraft.  The audio inside the Sordin's was perfect and the audio coming from the mic was comm grade even tho it had some white noise in the back.  There are other forums that people have addressed this issue and some people make a home made amplifier to put in line with the PTT to correctly match the impedance.  Just recently I purchased a Peltor PTT for my Motorola JT 1000.  After trying my Sordin's on that PTT i found my transmit was perfect, but the receive was beyond terrible.  Now when I plug my MSA PTT in with the Yaesu and the Sordin's I hear no audio in the ears at all.  I will be calling MSA on Monday to figure out if I screwed the internal electronics and might have to send it in for repair. 

 

I am now about $400 into tactical communications gear and still trying to get it right.  As previously stated make sure you figure out what works before you start buying stuff and hope it works. 


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#5 PsychoFish

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 06:57 PM

I need to tear into a Motorola lapel mic and figure out how to make it work with my FT60. This Yaesu one is skimpy! Hell, I think the toy one I had as a kid was bigger! LOL

 

 

 

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#6 Austin Powers

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:23 PM

The Yaesu hand mics are a joke, even the one in my mobile feels like a toy.  I would check e-bay for a hand mic that is larger in size. 

 

So are you hanging out on the Mt. Ord machine?  If so how is your signal coming in?  You should be able to hit the Usery machine 146.860 though this is on the Metro Link system and not Rimlink.  Let me know and I will pop up on one of the linked repeaters. 



#7 PsychoFish

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 07:50 PM

I have an old moto mic that has a loose connection for a xts2000 radio. Maybe this weekend I'll tear into it and see if I can convert it to a 3mm or, just fix it for work use. Although I hear these mics use quite a bit of power

I'm able to hit mt ord pretty decently, I bounce between that and shaw butte on the rimlink at home. At work in Phx I sit on the south mountain channel. I'm just itching to get a mobile that can reach a bit better. That night we spoke briefly was while I was sitting at my desk inside in Chandler.
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#8 Austin Powers

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:37 AM

Wow I am surprised I even herd you from inside your building at your desk in Chandler!  Next time try standing outside and looking North toward Pinnacle Peak and I bet you will make it just fine.  I am training a guy today so unfortunately I can't play radio at work but let me know around what time you will be monitoring Shaw (442.850 or 147.240?) and I will throw the call out.  I was monitoring the Mt. Ord yesterday listening for you but there was a ton of traffic.  I guess that is nice tho as opposed to the many quiet repeaters around the valley. 

 

The Motorola mic's are high impedance so not sure how it will work with the Yaesu that is low impedance.  Similar to my issues with the PTT switch.  You might need a pre-amp if you are looking to wire that one to work. 



#9 PsychoFish

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:33 PM

Whelp, I guess I'm in this hobby for good now. The novelty of the fT-60 HT has began to wear thin as I just don't have the power to stay in contact with the repeaters. I'm sure a mag mount would probably help a bit, but, meh.





My solution?? I picked up an FT 7900 last night from a local ham. Two Mics (one modified, one new), and the programing cable. I can't wait to drive out to HMO to snag an antenna and cable. I'll probably mount the face plate and run power tomorrow AM. Should be fun!
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#10 Psybain

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:07 AM

Its typically considered bad practice to post operational pics of comm gear in use, but here are links to the 2 big systems I have at my disposal:

DDS-M Suite: http://www.generaldy...ageID_1811=7015

NOTM (Network On The Move) System - the only difference is mine are humvees, not MRAPs: http://www.afcea.org...nt/?q=node/2893

Can't wait for inspection season to finish so we can start training and working on properly integrating the two systems properly.
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#11 PsychoFish

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:54 AM

Its typically considered bad practice to post operational pics of comm gear in use, but here are links to the 2 big systems I have at my disposal:

DDS-M Suite: http://www.generaldy...ageID_1811=7015

NOTM (Network On The Move) System - the only difference is mine are humvees, not MRAPs: http://www.afcea.org...nt/?q=node/2893

Can't wait for inspection season to finish so we can start training and working on properly integrating the two systems properly.






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*splooge* I'm gonna need a moment... and a Kleenex! That's a badass sounding network that you guys will have!
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#12 Psybain

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 02:06 AM

The notm is pretty sweet when it works. There was an actual wifi feature that it was supposed to have, but they were having issues with it so it has been dropped for the moment. They also are working on a helo mounted component to extend the range between the two vehicles, I guess they did initial testing in November.

My biggest challenge for right now is to keep my capt from making promises he can't keep in regards to the notm; we've only used it in a lab environment so far and that was back in February/March. Until I can get my guys more training time on the system, I dont want to take that thing out to the field... and even then it will just be for proof of concept, not to actually do anything with it.

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#13 Austin Powers

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 03:52 PM

Hey PsychoFish how is that FT 7900 install going? 

 

Psybain glad to see the Corps is actually getting some new gear for a change.  I guess they got rid of the infamous PRC-E7 :cool:



#14 Psybain

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 11:55 AM

Psybain glad to see the Corps is actually getting some new gear for a change.  I guess they got rid of the infamous PRC-E7 :cool:

 

Trust me, those things are still around.


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#15 PsychoFish

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 07:16 PM

Hey PsychoFish how is that FT 7900 install going? 

 

 

 

 

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Looks like im following your lead with the radios. I'm gonna go pick up and install the antenna on Thursday (hopefully). But besides that, I have the remote head installed, the fused power ran, and just have to pick out a spot on the roof to drill a hole!  :ph34r:


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#16 AaronK

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 11:13 PM

Vertex VX-150 hooked up to a half wave antenna mounted to the truck. Also have a Cobra some-model-or-another CB with mag mount antenna that I fly when I need it.

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#17 PsychoFish

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 12:07 AM

That little cobra is my all time favorite CB! I had one of them in my truck, one on my ATV, and another on my rhino! The size was perfect to stuff anywhere, and if I remember right, it had the PA option which got me into plenty of trouble!


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#18 AaronK

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 12:31 AM

My truck came with a cassette tape deck and the radio fits perfectly into where the deck used to be. Yes, its the model with the PA but I never cared enough to buy an amp and speaker and wire it up. I guess the only thing I really find lacking with it is the lack of a scan feature.

#19 Austin Powers

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:52 PM

Looks good fish!  I used a step drill bit from Harbor Freight to drill into my roof.  Then cleaned up the hole with a rat tail file of any burrs and used copious amounts of silicon sealant on the NMO mount and I have never had any leaks. 

 

Are you hanging out on 442.800??  If not where you at??

 

Glad to see some other people trying to bring this thread to life!!



#20 PsychoFish

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:09 PM

Naw, I bounce around all over. Mostly because I am using the HT, so it's whatever strong signal I can hit and hold. I did hear you on 441.1 last week. You were in and out, as I was pulling into MMC for work so I just killed it and ran in. Soon though! I'll probably be on 441.1 and winsystem and a couple local simplex on the east side.
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