What Radios Does The NSXCA Use To Communicate At Events?
Urgent ALERT – FCC Frequency Update!
On January 1st 2013, the FCC is mandating that all VHF and UHF communications is done on narrowband (12.5 kHz) over the current wideband (25 khz) frequencies. What does this mean? It means that most if not all of the older radios will be out of compliance with this new rule. Older radios may be able to be converted through programming others may not. If you have an older radio you need to find programming software or have it converted by someone that can reprogram two-way radios. The problem is if the radio is a discontinued model there may be no software or support for these radios.
“Penalties for non-compliance may include license revocation and/or monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.”
[KS] We have found at our events that the use of two-way radios in our cars can be a significant benefit and enjoyment. This is true not only for group drives during an event, but also for those who are driving in a convoy of NSX’s to and from NSXPO ’98. Using a two-way radio between cars during a long drive can make the time seem to fly by. They can also be used around the house, when your kids go out to play, etc.
The NSX Club of America has selected the frequency of 464.55 MHz as the standard to be used at its events, including NSXPO. This is one of the frequencies in a group of frequencies commonly referred to as “business band UHF.” There are several radios on the market which transmit and receive on this frequency, with various power ratings. The higher the power, the longer the range, but also the greater the cost of the radio. We have found that a two-watt radio transmits and receives up to two miles, and is a good compromise between range and cost. Our license number is 9804D106235 and our call sign is WPMH943.
There is no reason to get the expensive multi-channel radios simply for NSX event use, but some people use them for other things too.
Many metro areas have stores that will rent these radios for around $20/day.
Currently Available Models For Club Use
The NSX Club of America has a FCC license for its use by all club members. The frequency of 464.55 MHz is the standard to be used at its events, including NSXPO 2002. This is one of the frequencies in a group commonly referred to as “business band UHF”. There are several radios on the market, which transmit and receive on this frequency, with various power ratings. The higher the power, the longer the range, but also the greater the cost of the radio. We have found that radios with at least two watts transmit and receive up to two miles, and are a good compromise between range and cost. We do not recommend radios with power less than two watts.
Included with these radios are a rechargeable battery pack and a battery recharger. When you open the box, do NOT take apart the batteries in the battery pack inside; they are designed to be installed as a unit in the radio. The radio can operate up to eight hours on one charge, but if the radio is used for transmitting, the duration is reduced considerably. Those planning on using the radio for an all-day drive are advised to purchase an additional battery pack (around $35) so they can be replaced en route. Different models of radio may use different size battery packs.
Numerous models of the radios which can operate on 464.55 MHz include:
Radio Shack 19-1208 (5 watts)
Motorola Spirit MU21CV
Motorola Sport SP-10 (Business Band UHF version)
Some of these models may need to be programmed by the vendor for our 464.550 MHz frequency. (There are three alternative frequencies for which the NSX Club is also licensed: 464.500 MHz, 469.500 MHz, and 469.550 MHz.) Some radios can operate on all four of these frequencies while others listed may work on 464.550 MHz but not all four. Some radios include a coded squelch feature which must be disabled (dip switch) to hear other NSXCA radios.
The Radio Shack 19-1208 radio, a new model, appears to be a particularly good value. It currently sells for $89.99 at Radio Shack stores and offers the advantage of five watts of power. One of its standard preset “dot” frequencies is our standard 464.550 MHz. We would welcome feedback from anyone who tries this new radio, as we have not tried it ourselves but it appears to fit our needs very well.Other sources for these radios include the following vendors on the Internet:
The radio models originally used by most club members are the Uniden SPU21KT, Radio Shack BTX-126, and Motorola SP10 UHF, SU21 Spirit Pro+, and SU22 Spirit Pro+ two-channel. Unfortunately these models are all are discontinued now so you have to find left-over stock or buy used. They show up on eBay http://www.ebay.com occasionally at pretty good prices.
[WSC – 2000/7/31] almost all the 4 and 5 watt racing radio kits that utilize Motorola radios are programmable to our frequency. I have two Motorola digital 2 channel P1225’s that work great. They are expensive, about $400 each, but they work VERY well with excellent range. Better still, it is wired into my car so I can talk through an ear/mouthpiece combo without having to take my eyes off the road.
Our Florida Chapter was able to purchase eight Motorola HT600’s (older style), six of which fit in a quick desktop charger, with 8 hour NiCd battery packs for about $135 each. They are heavy but run at 4 watts with 2 channels and coded squelch. The charger takes ALL SIX radios at a time and does a FULL charge in only 2 hours. Reception and range are excellent and the radios are of excellent (professional) quality.
We bought these on Ebay. I occasionally see these radios available on Ebay for around $150. For that price they are definitely worth it and I would buy these over a brand new Uniden or Radio Shack product.
[A/H – 99/3/16] I have the Uniden with the speaker mike, the mike has a port for an earphone. Clip the mike to the seatbelt by your chin and then key the mike when you need to talk. It works.
[KS] Included with these radios is a rechargeable battery pack and a battery recharger. When you open the box, do NOT open the battery pack inside; it is designed to be installed as is in the radio. The radio can operate up to eight hours on one charge, but if the radio is used for transmitting, the duration is reduced considerably. Those planning on using the radio for a long drive are advised to purchase an additional battery pack (around $35) so they can be replaced en route.
The battery packs are widely available in stores as they are compatible with those used in many cordless telephones. Different models of radio may use different size battery packs from each other; for example, the size battery pack of the Uniden is not the same as that of the Radio Shack model.
[AW] Prowling around a Motorola Website (www.mot.com/LMPS/RPSG/) I just found some interesting accessories, especially given a need to spend lots of in-car time with your radio (which in its other life is a Motorla SP-10).
(HMN8435A) – EARBUD W/CLIP MIC+PTT $40.00 (Radio Shack RSU 11437332)
(HLN8251A) – 3HR VEHCLR CHGR ADPT $40.00 (not in Radio Shack catalog)
(HTN9026CR) – 110V 3HR DSKTP CHGR $49.00 (Radio Shack RSU 11437373)
The first one allows you to talk on the radio without having to fumble around for it. This is particularly valuable if you don’t have a passenger to hold it for you, and especially at night when it can be nearly impossible, not to mention dangerous, to be groping around for a radio that just spoke to you. Note that it’s available by “special order” from Radio Shack.
The second one allows you to charge the radio battery in your car, as long as you own the third one. The vehicular charger is NOT in my (1996) RS catalog. The desktop charger is. You need to remove the battery from the radio to do this, so unless you buy a spare battery the probably usage is to charge it while you’re stopped for lunch, etc.
See http://www.mot.com/LMPS/RPSG/cgi-bin2/vsc/LMPS/RPSG/Partsnet/sp10.html?L+APD_store+bnha7025 for all the details.
You can order directly from that website, and the prices are equal to or a little lower than Radio Shack’s.
[DHW – 99/3/14] I’ll relay my experiences with the Motorola voice activated headset which I used during the NSXPO’97 cross-country trek. It is nice in that it had an earpiece and a slim microphone boom that placed it in a great position for hands-free operation. It had two modes — 1) push to talk and 2) voice operated. When in the VOX mode, the car/road noise caused it to transmit constantly even at the lowest sensitivity setting. This resulted in two bad things. First, I couldn’t receive anything while I was transmitting and second, the channel would be blocked with engine noise. The unit worked fine in PTT mode, however, but you did lose one of the prime advantages of a set up like this. The earpiece made listening much easier, though, compared to the radio sitting on the passenger seat. Especially when the driving was “spirited”. In a quieter setting, that piece of equipment would be superb.
A headset is great when you are driving solo, but will leave your passenger “out of the loop” if you drive with company.
The specs on the charger for the Uniden SPU21KT are:
Input: AC 120V 60Hz 5W
Output: DC 12V 200mA
UL – E82180 CSA
Class 2 LR38236
Listed 996Z 28A-4105
Class 2 Power Supply
Where To Buy
[RR – 99/03/03] I’ve long had a lot of respect for Motorola RF gear, so I didn’t have to think about that too long. While I realize that Radio Shack sells a re-badged SP10, I’ve become somewhat disillusioned over the years when it comes to doing business with RS. I’d prefer to do business with an outfit who REALLY knows what they’re doing and specializes in radio gear. I think I found one, so I thought I’d pass along the reference in case anyone else is looking.
Yesterday I received my SP10 from Delmmar Communications in Cameron, MO. They’re at (800)872-2627 or http://www.delmmar.com. They were VERY good to deal with, did exactly what they were supposed to do, and seem to “know what they’re doing”. Their unit price on the 1-channel, 2-watt, UHF SP10 is $199 + shipping. They’re also a “full service” facility; so if you need help / repairs down the road, they’re up for that. Their flat-rate repair charge for SP10s is $49.
Setting For The Proper Frequency
Note: If your radio supports an “interference eliminator code,” disable it. The club does not use this feature. Enabling it means you will not be able to hear any other club members over the radio.
Radio Shack BTX-126
The BTX-126 has the 464.55 MHz frequency as the default frequency, so you can use it right out of the box.
[BZA] In order to set the frequency on the Uniden radios, you need to access the 4 DIP switches are above and to the RIGHT of the battery. They may be covered by a piece of brown tape. Remove the tape and you’ll see the switches. You’ll need something small to flip them. I use an X-acto knife. If the 8 switches you’re referring to are above the battery and to the LEFT, these are for something else (CTSS board).
|DIP Switch Settings For Uniden SPU21KT|
|U||U||D||D||* 464.548 *|
Motorola SP-10 UHF, SU-21 Spirit Pro + UHF, SU-22 two-channel UHF
The DIP switches are located under the battery on the right hand side. Frequency selection switches are in a single bank of 4, and can set to either “on” or “off”.
Radios with the optional “PL” board (sometimes called, CTCSS, “interference eliminator”, coded squelch, or privacy board) have a second set of switches also located under the battery. “PL” selection switches are in a single bank of 8. These are not used for the NSX events.
Motorola SP10 UHF
|Freq.||Label||Switch 1||Switch 2||Switch 3||Switch 4|
|* 464.550 *||YELLOW||ON||ON||OFF||OFF|
Motorola SU21 Spirit Pro +
|Freq.||Label||Switch 1||Switch 2||Switch 3||Switch 4|
|* 464.550 *||YELLOW||ON||ON||OFF||OFF|
UHF Spirit Pro+ 2 Channel, SU22
|Freq. 1||Freq. 2||Switch 1||Switch 2||Switch 3||Switch 4|
|* 464.550 *||467.8125(K)||OFF||OFF||ON||OFF|
An FCC license is required in order to legally operate a two-way radio at any frequency in the “Business UHF” band which these radios use.
If you are a member of the NSX Club of America using the radio on 464.55 MHz during a club event within the U.S., you are covered by the club’s FCC license. The license number is 9804D106235 and the call sign is WPMH943.
NSX CLUB OF AMERICA INC FCC License Info
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