In the last week, I have had to try to extend the standard radio layout for our 2-way radios to a model that we have not used before, the Baofeng UV-82HP. This radio is supported by CHIRP, but has some interesting quirks that had to be worked around and the memory layout is 128 channels in 2 banks vs. our standard 200 channel layout. As I am rebuilding and updating our programming, I intend to describe some of those issues here as well as go into why we laid out the HAM channels the way we did in the first place.
The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office is responsible for county-wide emergency communications and public warning (outside municipalities, such as Monett that provide their own communications). The LCSO is also responsible for promoting and supporting interoperable communications county-wide (even with respect to municipalities). The Sheriff's Auxiliary provides communications support to the Sheriff's Office, which, effectively, means that we are to provide communications support and assistance county-wide, not just for the Sheriff's Office, but wherever it is needed.
A draft of an instruction manual for programming the Wouxun KG-UV6D dual-band radio from its keypad (field programming) is now available on Scribd and downloadable as a PDF. These radios are used by the Sheriff's Auxiliary and we have organized bulk purchases within the community.
The Sheriff's Auxiliary picked up a Wouxun KG-UV920P Dual Band Mobile Radio for purposes of evaluation in its last bulk radio purchase. We were looking for a bare-bones dual-band mobile at a price that volunteers could readily afford. The 920P is programmable to a wide range of channels, allowing us to use a single unit for Amateur radio (2m/148Mhz and 770cm/440Mhz), Part 90 Public Service, and, in a pinch, GMRS and MURS. The unit also supports cross-band repeat and, with the aid of a second unit and a cable, full repeater functionality.
You can use the Midland GXT-1000 radios we recommend or any hybrid FRS/GMRS radio on half of its available channels at low power without a license. If you want to (legally) use its full capability or if you purchase a programmable UHF radio like the WOUXUN KGU-V6D, you will also want to get your General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) license from the FCC. You are not permitted to use the WOUXUN on GMRS without a license. One GMRS license is good for your entire family: your spouse, children, and parents can all use your license.
The bulk order of radio handsets (or at least the first set of radios for the community purchasers) have arrived! Some of you may even have gotten yours by now and may be wondering what in the heck to do with them. This post will start to answer that question and we (the local emergency response community) will provide (free) classes in the near future to get you further down the road (keep reading).