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Old 05-08-2015, 12:41 PM   #1
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radio

what the heck am I supposed to do with the school bus two way radio?
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
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eBay? I'm surprised they left it in there.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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I guess I could see if the school here could use a spare.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:08 PM   #4
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Boat anchor.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:11 PM   #5
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Could be turned into a ham radio depending on what you have.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal View Post
Could be turned into a ham radio depending on what you have.
If its a V/UHF radio, not very well when you consider that the 1.25 (around 226MHz) and 3/4 meter (400-451MHz) bands are outside of most commercial two way radio systems. Unless you want to replace the entire system board for the chassis. (14 years working with military radio systems as a maintainer)
I say either sell it on fleabay, donate it, or use it as a bookend.
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooternj View Post
If its a V/UHF radio, not very well when you consider that the 1.25 (around 226MHz) and 3/4 meter (400-451MHz) bands are outside of most commercial two way radio systems. Unless you want to replace the entire system board for the chassis. (14 years working with military radio systems as a maintainer)
I say either sell it on fleabay, donate it, or use it as a bookend.
I just bought about 25 Icom and Motorola commercial radios. The Icoms are 136-174mhz. I don't remember about the Motorolas but they are close enough to the 2 meter band. When I get back from Texas, I am getting the software and cable to program the Icoms.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:46 AM   #8
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The most active ham bands are FM on VHF and UHF. A high percentage are not on short wave at all.

The 2 meter VHF ham band is 144-148 MHz, most commercial high band radios will program there either directly, with software tricks, or with some re-tuning. One software trick is using shift or function keys to enter out-of-band frequencies. For example, holding the shift key (except for the decimal point) and typing !$^.%@)) into the programming software of certain models will over-write the published band limits and enter 146.5200 MHz.

Activity on VHF 222 MHz is sparse, maybe because you need a radio built just for this band as Scooternj has said.

On UHF, the ham band is 420 to 450, with the FM portion being between 440 to 450. Most commercial 450 to 470 MHZ UHF radios will include or program 440 to 450 with no problems. Some 470-512 MHz "T" (television) band radios from major cities will not.

Why did they leave the radio in the bus? Perhaps it was because the business and Public Safety VHF and UHF rules changed in 2013 requiring "narrow-banding." The FCC spaced channels closer together to hopefully squeeze in more users.

Radios made in the few years leading up to the change were certified to be re-programmable to meet the new rules. Commercial radios sold now are forbidden to be able to load "wide band" mode. Radios made a decade or more before the change can usually be adjusted to transmit in narrowband, but are not certified to the FCC as such, and are therefore not allowed to be used any more. Marine radios, Hams and GMRS still allow wide band, so the radios being dumped by businesses and Public Safety are a real boon.

By the way, if a government district owned the bus, there is a possiblilty the radio was VHF low band on the 7 meter Local Government channels around 45 MHz. Some of these can be converted to the Ham 6-meter band at 50 to 54 MHz, others are a real pain to try to convert.

Going from 45 MHz up to 53 MHz is about an 18% change, whereas going down from 151 to 146 is about a 3% change, and going down from 450 to 440 is about a 2% change. That's why the low band radios go out of their tuning range with minimal change in frequency, as the percentage is 6 times greater.

The commercial 30-50 MHz low band radios I started with came in 6 to 8 MHz slices, but within each slice the receiver only met spec within 0.45 MHz of the center tuning point set by a technician. Retuning even a 42-50 MHz split radio up above 52 MHz usually requires changing components.

p.s. I have been adding ham channels to the commercial radios in my service vehicles together with the commercial channels ever since programmable radios replaced the radios where you had to buy a pair of crystals for each channel installed.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear View Post
The most active ham bands are FM on VHF and UHF. A high percentage are not on short wave at all.

The 2 meter VHF ham band is 144-148 MHz, most commercial high band radios will program there either directly, with software tricks, or with some re-tuning. One software trick is using shift or function keys to enter out-of-band frequencies. For example, holding the shift key (except for the decimal point) and typing !$^.%@)) into the programming software of certain models will over-write the published band limits and enter 146.5200 MHz.

Activity on VHF 222 MHz is sparse, maybe because you need a radio built just for this band as Scooternj has said.

On UHF, the ham band is 420 to 450, with the FM portion being between 440 to 450. Most commercial 450 to 470 MHZ UHF radios will include or program 440 to 450 with no problems. Some 470-512 MHz "T" (television) band radios from major cities will not.

Why did they leave the radio in the bus? Perhaps it was because the business and Public Safety VHF and UHF rules changed in 2013 requiring "narrow-banding." The FCC spaced channels closer together to hopefully squeeze in more users.

Radios made in the few years leading up to the change were certified to be re-programmable to meet the new rules. Commercial radios sold now are forbidden to be able to load "wide band" mode. Radios made a decade or more before the change can usually be adjusted to transmit in narrowband, but are not certified to the FCC as such, and are therefore not allowed to be used any more. Marine radios, Hams and GMRS still allow wide band, so the radios being dumped by businesses and Public Safety are a real boon.

By the way, if a government district owned the bus, there is a possiblilty the radio was VHF low band on the 7 meter Local Government channels around 45 MHz. Some of these can be converted to the Ham 6-meter band at 50 to 54 MHz, others are a real pain to try to convert.

Going from 45 MHz up to 53 MHz is about an 18% change, whereas going down from 151 to 146 is about a 3% change, and going down from 450 to 440 is about a 2% change. That's why the low band radios go out of their tuning range with minimal change in frequency, as the percentage is 6 times greater.

The commercial 30-50 MHz low band radios I started with came in 6 to 8 MHz slices, but within each slice the receiver only met spec within 0.45 MHz of the center tuning point set by a technician. Retuning even a 42-50 MHz split radio up above 52 MHz usually requires changing components.

p.s. I have been adding ham channels to the commercial radios in my service vehicles together with the commercial channels ever since programmable radios replaced the radios where you had to buy a pair of crystals for each channel installed.

What he said. LOL. I have three Motorola radios reprogramed for ham use. One in 2 meter band, one in 70 cm and one in 900 mhz. We used the trick you mentioned. When I get the software for the Icoms, I won't need any tricks.

I also picked up some 6 meter Meratracs from a bus district but my understanding is they will require mods to program.

If you have a amateur radio license, you can use the radio for yourself if it can be programed.
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:00 AM   #10
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first thing to realize is the radio probably broadcasts on a freq that requires a ham license to broadcast on, you can listen without a license but you need a license to broadcast, you usually need to be a pest and irritate people before the fcc will come and look for you but if they catch you it is a fine of many thousands, getting ham licensed is not that hard usually just 20 to 40 hrs of studying,
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