Purchasing a radio....need a little advice

If you are just getting into radio, and have a lot of beginner questions, or just want to help someone new out, then this is the place to do it!
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fireknight97523
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:40 am

Purchasing a radio....need a little advice

Post by fireknight97523 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:06 am

I am a Wildland Firefighter in the state of Oregon, I am in the market trying to get a radio (preferably a Bendix King) that is going to conform to the USDA standards of "narrowband" I have a LPH but I have been told that this radio will no longer work for me. I could do with a Kenwood alot of contractors are switching to those....my buddy just bought a Kenwood TK-2170, well I have been hunting ebay but it is hard to know which ones to bid on. Alot of the radios on there are wide band so if anyone could give me a little advice I would greatly appericate it! Really all I can afford is a reconditioned on or used I have been looking at an EPH-510SM and a 510m.....what are the differences? I would greatly perfer a 16 channel these are only 14 right? Is there anyway to tell which Kenwoods are narrow band?

Thanks Everyone
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Wildland Firefighter Type 1/Type 5 Incident Commander/First Responder Certified/Engine Certified/Should I go on?

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fireknight97523
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Re: Purchasing a radio....need a little advice

Post by fireknight97523 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:59 am

Ok here is something I have found out....

The BK handhelds are a favorite of the US Forest Service and the people that work with them. The USFS has recently changed the technical requirements, and this email clarifies the situation that affects a lot of folks:

> From: A. Nony Mous
> To: repeater-builder BK page
> Subject: You might want to post this email on the BK page...
Users of BK radios who coordinate with the USFS or BLM should be aware that wideband radios are no longer acceptable for use by wildland firefighting contractors. This means all LPH, EPH and EMH radios will not be usable in USFS operations !!! On top of that, USFS Region 6 which covers California and Washington state is also planning to begin making the switch to P25 digital in 2009.

Testing of the P25 digital mode continues. Results are very favorable for portable radios wherein tests showed the P25 mode more readable all up until the point where the signal became noisy in the analog radio and then the P25 signal was completely lost. It was also found that P25 in mobile applications was very intolerant to "motorboating" caused by multipath reflections and during mobile radio testing, analog rated superior to P25 digital. Based upon these tests, P25 digital may require a repeater infrastructure so that signal levels can remain high and multipath interference can be minimized. The most common comment about P25 is that it either works or it doesn't with little or no warning between the two conditions.

The FCC is also now assigning new analog VHF frequencies in California and elsewhere that require radios capable of operating on a 6.25 KHz channel spacing. Only GPH, DPH and DPHX portables and GMH and DMH mobiles are capable of operating on 6.25 KHz channel spacing assignments. Older LPH, EPH and EMH radios are only capable of operating on channels down to 12.5 KHz channel spacing.


Now would a Kenwood TK-2170 work? I really could use a little advice.....come on guys!
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Wildland Firefighter Type 1/Type 5 Incident Commander/First Responder Certified/Engine Certified/Should I go on?

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ka7wnf
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Re: Purchasing a radio....need a little advice

Post by ka7wnf » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:53 am

http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/niicd/documents.html#approved
Scroll down and click on Fire Approved Radios.

The Kenwood is not on the list.

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