2-Way Public Service Radios and Accessories

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In order to coordinate with law enforcement and other responders in the field, Auxiliary volunteers must have access to a Part-90 certified 2-way radio. We also frequently need to coordinate with volunteer organizations and regular citizens (e.g. CERT, ARES, Neighborhood Watch). Because it is extremely difficult for on-call volunteers to carry more than one radio, we need a radio handset which can be adapted for as many roles as possible. The LCSA has some number of cache radios it can issue to volunteers, but many volunteers purchase their own. This page describes what radio models and what add-on equipment is known to work.

All volunteers must be authorized by the Sheriff's Office by meeting 2-way radio training requirements and being issued a county call sign. Public service radios may only be used for official, authorized traffic.

Recommended Handsets

  • Wouxun KG-UV6D (v1 or v2) or Wouxun KG-UV6X
  • The Wouxun is one of the only radio handsets which is both Part 90 (commercial and public service) and Amateur Radio certified. It's wide frequency coverage means that it can be programmed to monitor virtually everything we use on a regular basis or potentially transmit on a number of services for emergency communication purposes. As our needs change, it can be adapted to suit the new requirements. It also has the ability to be extended with after-market accessories, including higher-power batteries or battery-excluders, microphones, external antenna, etc., and those accessories should work with other radios if ever decide to use a different handset. Wouxun handsets can be programmed with high-quality free software (CHIRP) and can be cloned handset-to-handset in the field. The radio quality is somewhat lacking compared to a dedicated public service or amateur radio handset, but it is one of few options which can do both well at all.
    Note on different models: In general, get the newest version. We have found that it is possible to clone from a new handset to an old handset but not necessarily from an old model to a new. The KG-UV6X comes with the 1700mAH high-capacity battery which is an added cost in older models.

    • Places to purchase (not necessarily an endorsement of a particular vendor):
    • >Normally, we get KG-V6Ds in periodic bulk orders for the Sheriff's Office and we let members of the community take advantage of the bulk price to order their own radios. We have to order at least 36 handsets to get a case discount. We have had problems with warranty service through this vendor, however. Other options follow.
    • Wouxun.us has stopped importing wouxun radios.
    • Cheap Ham
    • PowerX
    • Some Wouxuns have a different antenna connector: some have a male-SMA connector and some a female-connector. The male SMA connector, when it can be found, seems to be more durable. The Auxiliary attempts to stock adapters to use them interchangeably, so either will work.
  • Note:Wouxun KG-UV8D radios work as amateur radio handsets but are not Part 90 certified and will not work for public service under the Sheriff's Office.

Recommended accessories

  • Battery upgrade
  • Batteries do run out in the field during long deployments and batteries are also usually the most frequent part of the radio to fail, especially if maintenance is not done carefully. It is recommended to get a spare battery, replace batteries which are not performing well, or get a battery-eliminator to be able to plug in to a powerpack when needed.
    • 1700 mAH battery. This is higher capacity than the older models and comes standard in the KG-V6X. It works in the standard charger. The thickness difference is not noticeable.
    • 2600 mAH battery. A much higher-capacity battery that makes the radio noticeably thicker. In order to charge, the battery must be removed from the radio.
    • Battery eliminator (allows radio to be plugged in to a 12V external power source (vehicle or powerpack)
  • Hi-gain Antenna
  • A good antenna upgrade can double the performance of the radio. There are two general ways to do this: a higher quality (longer) whip antenna that connects to the radio or an external (e.g. magnetic mount) antenna for use in a vehicle. The Wouxuns can be clipped into a house or pole-mounted antenna for use in an emergency with the right adapters. We recommend getting an antenna with a BNC (quick-connect) connector and the right adaptor (male or female) for your radio
  • On-radio antenna upgrade, the following have been tested by volunteers:
  • Adapters: the easiest way to make sure you get the right adapter is to just get a kit with a selection of SMA-to-BNC adapters. Otherwise, you may want to consult one of our radio people to make sure you get the right adapter for your radio.