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VHF Radio

(Radio's), (GPS), (Faraday Cages), (Other Technology)
Clay8ton
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:48 pm
Location: Upper Ottawa Valley

VHF Radio

Postby Clay8ton » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:24 pm

There has been a lot of discussions on the board about Communications and which one would work the best in a SHTF situation. But, there is one part of the "radio spectrum" that has been ignored.... the VHF Land Mobile Radio. These radios can be purchased (new and used) for about the same price as Marine Radios BUT they can be programmed so they are "fairly" secure. The Mobile/Base radios come in 25 to 50 watt models, and there is a frequency set aside by Industry Canada that can be programmed into them (mostly used by Truck Drivers in Northern Ontario, Alberta and BC) that does not require a licence. Add a CTCSS or DPL tone when having the radio programmed and the radio is VERY hard to monitor .. especially with short transmissions. For Handheld units there are 4 more frequencies set aside that do not require a licence. These frequencies are designated as LPU ( Low Power Unit) for use by radios that are 5 watts or under and adding a CTCSS or DPL helps with security as well. With the 25 to 50 mile range of a base/mobile radio ( rule of thumb for VHF is 1 watt = 1 mile... considering terrain of course) you can cover a fair sized radius around your location and , if enough people had them ( programmed with the same CTCSS or DPL )they could pass messages along a " network".
A Private " Pirate" Repeater System would not be out of the question either.. With a little inginuety of course :mrgreen:
The "plus side" of all this is:-
1:-Having these radios programmed with these frequencies does not "raise any red flags" as anyone can use them... you know... for"your" small business :twisted:
2:-The CTCSS or DPL makes the radios more secure than CB, GMRS or Marine as the radios will only receive transmissions from radios with the same CTCSS or DPL.. they will "Ignore" all other transmissions.
3:-They have more power and range than CB ( max 4 watts), most Marine Radios (max 25 watts) and some 2 Meter Radios.
4:-They broadcast in FM so they are very clear and do not suffer from "skip" like the CB Band.
5:- You can have your local Weather Frequency programmed in and monitor that broadcast as well.
6:- The cost of this equipment is compairable to a Marine Radio set up, a bit more expensive than CB but a lot cheaper than "Ham".
If anyone is interested in having the frequencies for these radios Please PM me and I will get them to you.
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Charter Member of a Canadian Minority... White, Male and in my 50's!!!!

Elrond
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: VHF Radio

Postby Elrond » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:41 pm

Clay8ton: Sorry but most of your post is mis-information. The following is nothing personal, but I am a bit of a geek with a good knowledge base here. I believe it is important for this forum to host good (and legal) advice for everyone and I simply want to avoid the spread of mis-information.

1 - VHF has been well covered and in fact the single most popular amateur band is 2m VHF. (So you don't need to illegally use unlicensed land-mobile when a legal alternative exists with equal benefits)

2 - ALL commercial frequencies require a license from Industry Canada, no exceptions. If it doesn't require a license, the frequency will be re-allocated as non-commercial or another special class (ie FRS/GMRS and in the near future MURS VHF in Canada). The only difference is that for amateur radio it is the human/operator that is licensed, while for business use it is the business organization that is licensed. So if you are a semi-truck driver, your company has to pay a fee to Industry Canada for official access to VHF channels like LADD1-LADD4 truck channels. Of course you can listen to any channel you want in Canada with no license (ie: a radio scanner with no transmit).

How to verify commercial frequency license holders:
    Go to the industry canada website and search the licenses to see the licensed companies.
    http://sd.ic.gc.ca/pls/engdoc_anon/web_ ... ency_input
    Search for LADD1 frequency which is "154.100"
    Notice about 1582 licensed companies who use this common trucking frequency who all PAID TO GET A LICENSE

3 - Industry Canada has been known to setup spot checks on the highway for unlicensed radios. This is inconsistent in scheduling and usually prompted by complaints of interference by legit licensed businesses (ie: if you mess with the forestry road channels and cause interference, that logging company might complain and Industry Canada will come out and setup a road side check for illegal radios often used by offroad drivers). So yes, if you behave it is unlikely you'll be caught as their will be no complaints. But that doesn't mean its officially legal.

4 - Those CTCSS tone are EXACTLY what those cheap walmart FRS/GMRS radios are using for "privacy codes". They just tried to make it less geeky by calling them sub channels or privacy codes instead of "CTCSS" for the average joe. They are one and the same and can be used on FRS/GMRS, Amateur Radio and Commercial Land-Mobile. Nothing unique here, why not stick with the legal routes during peace time?

5 - Most any non-big-box store radios (ie: amateur radio) can scan and detect the CTCSS/DPL tones in fractions of a second. A dedicated radio scanner can often scan like 20 channels at a time and detect tones and encoding in tiny fractions of a second. Once detected it will retain them for reception of future "short transmissions". These tones provide exactly ZERO security/protection from anyone with any level of radio communications expertise (including amateur radio operators and government/military radio operators or Industry Canada enforcement)

6 - "HAM" or Amateur radio is not more expensive than land-mobile. Sure you can get a $500+ handheld, but you can also get a cheap chinese made handheld that will be "exactly" the same price as land-mobile users (or cheaper). Often the manufacturer uses the exact same radio internals to produce both commercial units and amateur units by just changing the settings/programming. ex: The Wouxun handhelds are available as both a commercial unit or an amateur unit. The old adage "you pay for what you get" is true here. A cheap radio will have a smaller or completely absent display screen, fewer channels, slower scanning capabilities, etc. If you want to cough up the money you can get fancier larger displays, more channel memories, faster scanning and ctcss tone detection, etc. But you don't have to buy that if you don't want to. You can get a cheap amateur radio. The increase in price is usually due to an increase in features and performance.


Bottom line: there is a reason amateur radio is what it is. The learning is good and will help you. The use of land-mobile frequencies is illegal without the appropriate license and you are more likely to cause trouble if you don't understand all the stuff you learn in amateur radio licensing (because you may cause accidental interference with a legit business by using their official paid for frequencies).
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ICRCC
x 4

Re: VHF Radio

Postby ICRCC » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:33 am

Thanks for the post Elrod. Bang on, in depth and accrate information plus sound advice.
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User avatar
Hilltopprepper
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:48 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: VHF Radio

Postby Hilltopprepper » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:45 am

The points were explained very well and as a long term ham must I agree completely.

Thanks for the post Elrond

HTP
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Walrus
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 1:15 am
Location: LONDON, ONTARIO, CANADA

Re: VHF Radio

Postby Walrus » Fri May 03, 2013 2:01 am

Elrond wrote:Clay8ton: Sorry but most of your post is mis-information. The following is nothing personal, but I am a bit of a geek with a good knowledge base here. I believe it is important for this forum to host good (and legal) advice for everyone and I simply want to avoid the spread of mis-information.

1 - VHF has been well covered and in fact the single most popular amateur band is 2m VHF. (So you don't need to illegally use unlicensed land-mobile when a legal alternative exists with equal benefits)

2 - ALL commercial frequencies require a license from Industry Canada, no exceptions. If it doesn't require a license, the frequency will be re-allocated as non-commercial or another special class (ie FRS/GMRS and in the near future MURS VHF in Canada). The only difference is that for amateur radio it is the human/operator that is licensed, while for business use it is the business organization that is licensed. So if you are a semi-truck driver, your company has to pay a fee to Industry Canada for official access to VHF channels like LADD1-LADD4 truck channels. Of course you can listen to any channel you want in Canada with no license (ie: a radio scanner with no transmit).

How to verify commercial frequency license holders:
    Go to the industry canada website and search the licenses to see the licensed companies.
    http://sd.ic.gc.ca/pls/engdoc_anon/web_ ... ency_input
    Search for LADD1 frequency which is "154.100"
    Notice about 1582 licensed companies who use this common trucking frequency who all PAID TO GET A LICENSE

3 - Industry Canada has been known to setup spot checks on the highway for unlicensed radios. This is inconsistent in scheduling and usually prompted by complaints of interference by legit licensed businesses (ie: if you mess with the forestry road channels and cause interference, that logging company might complain and Industry Canada will come out and setup a road side check for illegal radios often used by offroad drivers). So yes, if you behave it is unlikely you'll be caught as their will be no complaints. But that doesn't mean its officially legal.

4 - Those CTCSS tone are EXACTLY what those cheap walmart FRS/GMRS radios are using for "privacy codes". They just tried to make it less geeky by calling them sub channels or privacy codes instead of "CTCSS" for the average joe. They are one and the same and can be used on FRS/GMRS, Amateur Radio and Commercial Land-Mobile. Nothing unique here, why not stick with the legal routes during peace time?

5 - Most any non-big-box store radios (ie: amateur radio) can scan and detect the CTCSS/DPL tones in fractions of a second. A dedicated radio scanner can often scan like 20 channels at a time and detect tones and encoding in tiny fractions of a second. Once detected it will retain them for reception of future "short transmissions". These tones provide exactly ZERO security/protection from anyone with any level of radio communications expertise (including amateur radio operators and government/military radio operators or Industry Canada enforcement)

6 - "HAM" or Amateur radio is not more expensive than land-mobile. Sure you can get a $500+ handheld, but you can also get a cheap chinese made handheld that will be "exactly" the same price as land-mobile users (or cheaper). Often the manufacturer uses the exact same radio internals to produce both commercial units and amateur units by just changing the settings/programming. ex: The Wouxun handhelds are available as both a commercial unit or an amateur unit. The old adage "you pay for what you get" is true here. A cheap radio will have a smaller or completely absent display screen, fewer channels, slower scanning capabilities, etc. If you want to cough up the money you can get fancier larger displays, more channel memories, faster scanning and ctcss tone detection, etc. But you don't have to buy that if you don't want to. You can get a cheap amateur radio. The increase in price is usually due to an increase in features and performance.


Bottom line: there is a reason amateur radio is what it is. The learning is good and will help you. The use of land-mobile frequencies is illegal without the appropriate license and you are more likely to cause trouble if you don't understand all the stuff you learn in amateur radio licensing (because you may cause accidental interference with a legit business by using their official paid for frequencies).


Elrond, You are correct in what you say, however, if something was to happen one of the first channels i would go to is the murs channels as gmrs is so limited in range as we do not have gmrs repeaters in Canada. This may not be totally legal but the best idea for me as not all my friends and family are going to be hams. Also I own some motorola spirit radios that are vhf and do not require a license. And among my radio equipment accessing these frequencies will be the Chinese Wouxun (pronounced Ocean) radios.

Although you are correct in what you say, in an emergency following all rules and worrying about submitting license applications to industry Canada may not be practical.

Steve
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Stephen

canadawalrus@gmail.com

"Wisdom not shared, is wisdom wasted"

Bob Scott
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:04 am
x 1
x 1
Canada

Re: VHF Radio

Postby Bob Scott » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:20 am

My understanding is listening and being in the possession of a Marine Radio is allowed. Trouble happens when one presses the transmit button with verbage. Easily triangulated.
Just wrote the department of Fisheries ans Dept of Transport..all Marine Radios should be given a single non-licensed channel to report a MAYDAY or SOS, equally monitored my the Coast Guard. I asked it be addresses as it's coverage by local boats is far more action oriented that will save lives! I'm awaiting a reply.
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jonesy
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:42 pm
Location: Nanaimo
x 24

Re: VHF Radio

Postby jonesy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:50 am

Like channel 16 ?
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One is none, two is one.


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