The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1.)

UHF Business Band Transceivers
This is a more versatile radio than the Midland MXT400 that can access off the beaten path frequencies, and provides much better COMSEC (Communications Security). These can use the same antenna, cable, and adapters detailed for the GMRS transceivers. This type of radio can be programmed per your instructions by, and the radio is easy to use and rugged. Our choice of frequencies are limited by the radio to the UHF band, and the limits of the antenna that covers only a section of the UHF band. We can also purchase an exclusive license for the private use of a frequency from the FCC using their service:
UHF Business Band Base Station Transceiver
Icom IC-F6021-51B UHF Base Station Radio (Complete with power supply)
UHF Business Band Mobile Transceiver
Icom IC-F6021-51B  (same as base station, but without the power supply)
UHF Business Band handhelds and Mobile Business Band Transceivers.
These UHF handhold can be used with a UHF linear amplifier, or we can get a UHF mobile, and base station in your flavor and choice.
Wouxun KG-805G GMRS Two Way Radio
This is the only full 5-watt GMRS radio I can find. It is GMRS repeater capable, a strong point if you have a GMRS repeater in your area.
Olympia P324 Two Way Radio
4 watts maximum. Memory is limited to 32 channels, and it may not be GMRS repeater capable,
yet the price is right so that we can buy replacement radios, or enough radios.
BTECH AMP-U25 Amplifier for UHF (400-480MHz), 20-40W Output (2-6W Input), Analog and Digital Modes, Compatible with All Handheld Radios: BTECH, BaoFeng, Kenwood, Yaesu, ICOM, Motorola
GMRS and UHF Business Band Frequencies
Frequencies that may be used by these transceivers with power levels, and bandwidth restrictions specified by the FCC, and antennas intended for the GMRS Midland MXT400:
462.55  (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH15
462.575 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH16
462.6   (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH17
462.625 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH18
462.65  (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH19
462.675 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH20
462.7   (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH21
462.725 (also may be used as simplex, or repeater) CH22
*for repeater use verify the tone used by local repeaters, or use the default tone used by many GMRS repeaters that is 141.3)
Business Band frequencies that are off the beaten path, and therefore more secure than GMRS:
Or we can use business band frequencies that are itinerants. However, these are less secure:
464.5 Brown Dot
464.55 Yellow Dot
467.85 Silver Star
467.875 Gold Star
467.9 Red Star
467.925 Blue Star
MURS could be your alternative, or contingency:
BTECH MURS-V1, (low power setting is an ideal 0.5 watts, and high is the maximum allowed, 2 watts, 11.5khz unusual bandwidth specified by the FCC.  This radio is in full compliance)
As is now widely known, MURS is a license-free radio service, and popular with peppers. The MURS-V1 radio comes fully programed with the 5 license-free MURS channels. Switching between high and low does require getting into the menu. It is not simple I would like, but if it is set on 2 watts, then it can be left there.  Simply turn the radio on and you are in business. And here a rarely discussed secret old school option, a VHF linear amplifier for handhelds.  Attach the BTECH MURS-V1 radio to connectors that come with the linear amplifier, and you’ll have about 20 watts out with a 2 watt input from the handheld.  If low power is selected, then the radio only puts out one 1/2 watt and cannot operate the amplifier. When the amplifier is turned off, leave the handheld attached, and 2 watts with pass through to the antenna.  Using the best cable we can afford, LMR 400, 2 VHF watts on a slim jim would have an ERP of about 3.7 watts. 3.7 watts in many cases should have a range of at least 4 miles up to possible 10 miles on the outside. This could all the range that is needed most of the time.  The unusual bandwidth requirement 11.5mhz specifically for the MURS is transmitted. Select the hi power setting on the radio to operate this amplifier that needs at least 2 watts. Use 50 feet of LMR400 to the slim jim antenna, and ERP would be about 36 watts from the antenna. This would provide the range similar to 2 meter transceiver. Although this is illegal today, during a WROL situation when you are attempting to talk to friends and family risking there lives while providing security, I would not hesitate.  This option is not inexpensive, yet it does provide the simplicity needed for persons who are not comfortable with complex transceivers, and are better served with simple and straightforward equipment.
A handheld that has an output of between 2 and 6 watts can be used with this amplifier, including a Baofeng, or Wouxan that you may already have, as these radios can accept the plug in control cable connect ends provide with the amplifier. Using a radio that transmit with more than 6 watts can damage the amplifier. Instead of having to learn how to run a mobile and a handheld, we only need to learn how to run one radio, and that comes pre-programmed, you may already have become familiar with one radio, and need not learn how to operate another. This flattens the learning curve for all in the household.  And should the radio go bad, simply plug-in another radio.  The amplifier is turn off and one with a push-button switch and no other adjustments are possible. The amplifier also comes with a handset (microphone), so that we need not handle the handheld.
Linear Amplifiers:
BTECH AMP-V25D Amplifier (Supports DMR) VHF (136-174MHz), 20-40W Output (2-6W Input)
As a general rule, if I use a low power radio and need the maximum performance, I’d use a very low loss cable such as LMR400, but we could also use RG213 on a shorter runs with similar performance results. BR-400 is the equivalent of LMR400.  40 feet of BR-400 costs about $22.00 less than 40 feet RG213 when purchased through Amazon for $74.00.
Browning BR-400 Coax Cable Custom Length ( price per foot) $1.09 x 50 feet = $54.50
Select desired length in one box, and two PL259 connectors in the other box for an about an additional $4.00 each.
High gain ‘slim jim’ antenna that can be used for MURS radio, and for your scanner, if a MURS radio is not in use.
VHF Public Safety, MURS, Marine, & Scanner Slim Jim Antenna
$48.00 – $52.00
External antenna for a hand held used as a mobile in vehicles:
Tram 1181 antenna
Magnetic Mount for the Tram 1181 antenna.
VHF Business Band Transcievers
Just like with the UHF Business band radio, we can ask to program these radio with our frequencies, or ask them for their suggestions.  I would include MURS if they will do it.  A list will at the bottom of this section.  Again, I must reiterate, that it is illegal to transmit on business band frequencies without a license.  However, I would have those frequencies in my radio for collapse situation, and use the licenses free frequencies, such as MURS.  They might be able to power down this radio to two watts to better bring it into compliance for MURS.  Low power is your friend.  We could also use the Btech MURS-1 or other handhelds designed to comply with all of the technical specification until such a time when these more powerful radios might be needed. To talk to this mobile, if they will not program MURS into it, we might need a second set of handheld that are also VHF business band that are programmed by this outfit.  We will need power supply, a 110VAC to 12VDC transformer to turn this radio into a base station radio.  The same slim jim antenna and cable detailed for the BTECH MURS handheld and linear amplifier can be used for this radio service.
Icom IC-F5011 VHF Mobile Two Way Radio
“The Icom IC-F5011 VHF Mobile Transceiver is an up-to-date version of the Icom IC-F121S-51. It is designed for use by small to large business and small to mid-size police and emergency services. The IC-F5011 is a mobile VHF 136-174 MHz radio with 50 watts of power. It is easy to operate and has a rugged and compact design. The F5011 is perfect for those who want a basic, reliable mobile radio.”
Samlex SEC-1223BBM 23 Amp Switching Power Supply with Battery Backup Circuit
“Samlex SEC-1223BBM is a 23 Amp switching power supply with battery backup circuit designed specifically for land mobile radio applications. This high-efficiency, advanced power supply produces clean, reliable power. It’s great for converting mobile two-way radios to base stations.”
A power supply is needed to run this 50 watt radio off house power. We could also store and charge a Optima Gel Cell Deep cycle battery under the desk, and keep a 1 amp maintenance charger on the battery. We would then have a power supply that is portable and multi-purpose. It could even be used to start the car.
Sealed and safe for indoor use deep cycle battery
Charger (charges dead batteries where most smart chargers cannot.  This is very useful feature)
VHF/UHF Dual Band Business Band, the Best of Both Worlds
Icom F5061 / F6061 Analog, LTR, IDAS Mobile VHF/UHF Two Way Radio
$480.00  (at the time of this writing, it is out of stock)
The company’s description: “The F5061 / F6061 Mobile Transceiver is designed for use by delivery service, public safety and transportation operators. The F5061 / F6061 is a high-power, multi-mode land mobile radio with 50 watts (VHF version) or 45 watts (UHF version). It offers basic LTR™ /Conventional mode operation for efficient trunking operation without the need for an add-on module.It is also available in IDAS™ for digital operation. With a wide frequency range and large 512 channel capacity with 128 zones, the ICF5061/D / F6061/D is powerful mobile two way radio with maximum flexibility.”
To use this as base station, the power supply can be the same as the power supply option as discussed for the preceding 50 watt radio, and all radios mentioned in the articles not installed in vehicles.
These are licenses free:
151.82 MURS
151.88 MURS
151.94 MURS
154.57 MURS/Blue Dot
154.6 MURS/Green Dot
(a license is required)
151.625 Red Dot
151.955 Purple Dot
These are found in the now discontinued Motorola RDX series handheld radios.
(A license is required)
(To be continued tomorrow, in Part 3.)

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