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Commercial "Platoon / Company" Radio?

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  • Commercial "Platoon / Company" Radio?

    Gentlemen

    Need a commercial recommendation on a platoon / company equivalent radio (as in similar in function to a PRC-77).

    Our firm's OPFOR role-players have GMRS/FRS radios for 'inter-squad / inter-platoon' coms.

    I'm looking for something that has a range of 5-20 miles and is portable.

  • #2
    You're looking to upgrade from your current gmrs, have something comparable that the guys with gmrs can't listen in on, or what?

    The next step up from GMRS, besides a higher power GMRS radio, is probably a low power HAM handheld. This will require licensing for each user.
    Killing for the sake of honor is no longer allowed in our decadent society<br /> more\'s the pity, as it would greatly improve manners.<br />- - - - -<br /><a href=\"http://www.cloud9photography.us/\" target=\"_blank\">Airplane Pictures</a><br /><a href=\"http://crankylabs.com/gallery\" target=\"_blank\">Cranky Labs Image Repository</a><br /><a href=\"http://www.a-human-right.com/\" target=\"_blank\">A Human Right</a><br /><a href=\"http://www.olegvolk.net\" target=\"_blank\">Oleg Volk Photography</a><br />- - - - -<br />I\'m Amish Bill, and I approved this message.

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    • #3
      Bill

      No, I'm looking for a radio to provide communication from the field traning site to the support base or between widely seperated field bases (i.e., beyond GMRS range) where cell coverage isn't available.

      For example, from northeastern Fort A.P. Hill to Camp Lee (on A.P. Hill). Distance is not that great (no more than 10 miles) but its hilly, wooded and there is NO cell coverage).

      Right now the Army issues us AN/PRC-77s and we put up "jungle antennas" but I want a commercial, non-military issue solution.

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      • #4
        I would say that if you don't go the HAM route, you're looking at the Land Mobile versions of radios from Yaesu/Vertex, Icom or similar.

        The issue you're going to get there is one of power.

        If you go the Ham route, or at least have some licensed operators, the PRC25/77 series rads are partially in the Ham 6m band (50-54mhz). Thus, you could use this radio.

        For those distances, you're looking at roughly that frequency range, unless you go directional antennas and/or bump up the power on VHF/UHF, which are line-of-sight. 6m (and around there) frequencies are neither fish-nor-fowl when it comes to HF/UHF.

        Also, you might look at sites talking about NVIS antenna (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave). Supposedly very good for intermediate comms, esp. when there are hills/mountains/obstructions between here and there and it's too short for normal propogation methods.
        [B][URL="http://www.assaultweb.net/forums/%5C%22http://www.assaultvest.com%5C%22"]
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        • #5
          What we use for the purpose you laid out is the Yaesu FT-817 or FT 897. Both are smallpackable radios with internal batteries. the 817 is a low power rig that is very small, and power port has nice packs that can hold everything you need for to run this in the field with more options then a hand held radio. The Ft-897 is twice as much mony but you get more power in a larger package.

          for me I like the FT-817 for packing which it was designed for and the 897 for the base station.

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          • #6
            I don't know about the legalities, but if I'm reading this right. Does the military actually have to have (not a correct sentence I know) a license to operate a radio? Just a question.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Circle B Gunsmithing (TNRonin):
              I don't know about the legalities, but if I'm reading this right. Does the military actually have to have (not a correct sentence I know) a license to operate a radio? Just a question.
              Just like cops don't have a 'license' to carry a gun, military doesn't have or need, AFAIK, a license to operate in certain freq ranges. i have always found it interesting that the PRC-25/77 rads have the 6m Ham band on them. A lot of Hams have these green radios and use them between the 50-54 Mhz range, though the freq spacing is different from most "normal" amatuer radios.
              [B][URL="http://www.assaultweb.net/forums/%5C%22http://www.assaultvest.com%5C%22"]
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              • #8
                Just like cops don't have a 'license' to carry a gun, military doesn't have or need, AFAIK, a license to operate in certain freq ranges.
                The Army does have frequency managers that coordinate freqs for operations.
                NTIA Manual of Regulations & Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management

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                • #9
                  Nail on the head Ring. Military Freq managers deconflict issues with the local/national authorities. Quite often in OOTW (operations other than war) DOD contrators (eg: motorola) will work with milt. freq managers to get the freqs approved and set up the net, pass the radios to a BN/BDE/TF Sigo preprgrammed so they can get them out to the users. While most "green" radios operate on freqs that are understood or preapproved to be used by the military and in CONUS require no or very little approval/ coordination.

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                  • #10
                    I made these VHF antenna's and can get about 7-9 miles out of it on flat terrain. It will increase your range by about 30%. I like that FT 817 radio though.



                    [ October 12, 2004, 10:04: Message edited by: ArmsonOEG ]

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                    • #11
                      Nice antenna - what did you make it out of?
                      Killing for the sake of honor is no longer allowed in our decadent society<br /> more\'s the pity, as it would greatly improve manners.<br />- - - - -<br /><a href=\"http://www.cloud9photography.us/\" target=\"_blank\">Airplane Pictures</a><br /><a href=\"http://crankylabs.com/gallery\" target=\"_blank\">Cranky Labs Image Repository</a><br /><a href=\"http://www.a-human-right.com/\" target=\"_blank\">A Human Right</a><br /><a href=\"http://www.olegvolk.net\" target=\"_blank\">Oleg Volk Photography</a><br />- - - - -<br />I\'m Amish Bill, and I approved this message.

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                      • #12
                        The Icom 706 MKIIG can be used in the portable man pack role you are looking for.It will operate on 12 volts,and you can also buy the cameraman belt pack power packs to use also.They have 100 watts of output power to reach where you want to.
                        Also, there is the SG-2020,professional rugged portable HF radio available from SGC inc. at www.sgcworld.com
                        Or the Yaesu FT-897,a 1.8-430 MHz Transceiver, that is fully self contained with an optional battery pack.at: www.vxstdusa.com
                        You could also go with the Yaesu FT-817,in the same role as the FT-897,it is just cheaper.
                        There are plenty of radio types available for whatever your needs may be.the only draw back will be in purchasing a new one with out at least a tech liscence,It will be cheaper to pass the test just to buy what you need,rather than listen to all the Follow the law types who do not want to tell you anything or sell you anything,unless you belong to their club.........

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Amish_Bill:
                          Nice antenna - what did you make it out of?
                          Its a BNC Crimp connector, a thin piece of music wire, heat shrink, then dipped in liquid electrical tape at the tip cost less than $3.00 Added: heat shrink on BNC too
                          Wire about 19 1/4" should also work as a 3/4 wave on UHF

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                          • #14
                            Another mobile HF radio that is man-packable is the Vertex VX-1200/1210.

                            http://www.vertexstandard.com/indexV...4&isArchived=0

                            Not an inexpensive radio, but a good one from everything I've read.

                            Also in the HF area is the SGC 2020. Not all the bells and such as the 1210, but also doesn't require you to program 'channels'.
                            http://www.sgcworld.com/
                            [B][URL="http://www.assaultweb.net/forums/%5C%22http://www.assaultvest.com%5C%22"]
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