Question from a Reader, II


I’ve been following your blog since it started and is a fantastic read.
I’ve also been following sparks blog when he had his own wordpress site.
I’ve also jumped into amrron corps last year and have been active in
that along with getting my general license.

I’ve followed your advice on uhf for squad comms. I have been able to
acquire 4 EF Johnson 5100’s. They have P25 capability along with
DES/AES, and a freq range of 380-470, so I can use all of 70cm, bubble
pack radios, and I have a GMRS license. I do understand the FCC’s rules
on encryption and digital use on GMRS/FRS so I wont get into that.

I have no experience as far a DFing and foot print size of the radios.
Will running narrow band p25 at 1 watt leave as big a footprint as
analog at 1 watt if I were on an extended walk?

Also, not relying on anyone else’s infrastructure, I had considered
setting up my own DTMF activated repeater for UHF use only to be used by
myself/group for our area. Is this a good idea, or should I stick to
NVIS if I need to reach our main living area and I’m out of range for 5
watts UHF?

Thanks for your time



Thanks for reading Brother. You have a bullet-proof setup with those EFJs. For your active footprint, I would say that you have it covered. While a ground unit could DF your signal, it’d be awfully damn tough to first get a bearing then decode it, if that group/unit is new to the area. As for bubba, forget it.

To your question regarding the GMRS repeater vs. NVIS, it really depends on how far you’re actually looking to cover. NVIS is normally a regional thing, and the repeater is definitely more reliable for community networking as we pass into the solar minimum.

You’ve definitely paid attention to what we’ve been saying, and I think its awesome. Many, many thanks for reading, and God bless you.

NC Scout

2 thoughts on “Question from a Reader, II

  1. Brad in TX

    Not pertinent to this post, but didn’t see any other contact info for you and wanted to pass along something we’ve started here.
    Nothing new or earth-shaking, but we’ve started a weekly 2m simplex net in our very rural county, normally having 8 to 12 check-ins. As net control, I run a directed net on the first go around to let everyone check in, starting with handhelds, then mobile, then base stations. After check-ins, we move to more of a roundtable format.
    As you can imagine, a simplex net lets us all test equipment, various power levels, different antenna setups (mobile HTs with a magmount antenna, for example), and practice relays when a station is weak or terrain blocks his signal.
    Very useful and enlightening overall, and the established county-wide network could prove useful in a pinch. Along the same line, I’ve also started a GMRS net among close like-minded neighbors who are not ham licensed.
    Thanks for your efforts, articles are very useful and are also motivating beginners to get comms up and running.

    1. That’s awesome Brad- that’s exactly what everyone should be doing! Community networking, even if it’s a friday night party line on CB, is critically important. And it normalizes everyone to using their gear- just like regularly getting out to the range.

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