carrierguy's picture

From Don, N6ALD...

Just dropping you a line to tell you that the amateur radio station at West Covina, CA Post 790 is up and working. we now have working amateur radios on H.F., 6 meters, 2 meters and 440 MHz. I also installed a public service scanner covering 30 to 900 MHz. Yes it is in a closet but we will survive.

Additional information;

Just a hint for posts having trouble getting radios, since the F.C.C. rules change requiring narrow band (12.5khz) radios on all commercial and public safety frequencies a lot of old radios have jumped into the "what do we do with this stuff" box. Well I will tell you, you get them donated to the local A.L. post and then use them for amateur radio, that's is where all of our V.H.F. & U.H.F. came from. Yes there are different than high priced ham radios but they are FREE!!! and they do work very well.

I have also decided to put in a G.M.R.S. radio at the post and a G.M.R.S. repeater up on a hill top. This will allow post members to set up a radio in their home and allow their non-amateur family members 2 way communications after a disaster with their legion volunteer amateur radio husbands who are doing disaster relief work. Since in So. Cal ALL of the wireline (HOME) and wireless (CELL) phones may be out of service for months after a major earthquake (after the 1971 San Fernando earthquake the telephone company found their central office switch out in the middle of the street, their building was O.K. but the earthquake just threw the dial tone and routing switch out of the building). Lots of family members of A.L. amateur radio operators WILL NOT get a ham licence and the G.M.R.S. system will support family communications. Disaster operations will not be allowed on this G.M.R.S. repeater this repeater will be used for volunteer to family welfare communications only. Note G.M.R.S. requires an F.C.C. license which costs $85.00 but has no test and only one license is required PER FAMILY.

Don Best, N6ALD


  1. Don, thank you for all the great information. We will be checking into the donated radio way of getting up and going. We have been a club about three months and only have two members at this point. Our Post Commander is backing us 100% so we are going 60 MPH but small steps at a time.

    Larry W7LEV
    American Legion Post # 70
    Cave Junction, Oregon
    ( 60 miles South of Medford )

  2. From K5RIC:

    In this message it is stated that many of the old commercial wide band radios / VHF and UHF can be used on the ham bands. I work at a Motorola, Bendix King, Kenwood and Daniels commercial two way radio shop and I have been gathering up these radios and converting them to the ham band. Please note that some of the older radios may not work in the ham bands, but most of the newer (less than 10 years old radios) will cover the ham bands as well as commercial. If we have hams that are talking to their local agency about getting the old radios I can help by checking to see what models will work the ham bands and the ones that will not. Also a radio that can not work the ham band can still be used very effectively as a monitor / scanner radio on the commercial bands even in the wide band mode, as they only lose about 20 to 30 % audio level. I am running a VHF Motorola 99 channel Maratrac in my vehicle that has now been re-programmed to remove all commercial TX frequencies but still has the original RX programmed channels and also has 30 or so VHF 2 meter ham frequencies in it that are TX and RX. When I hear a ham call it has a little bit more audio but the commercial narrow band sounds very good as well.

    If they can't get a local commercial shop to reprogram the radios for them I can help them if needed. Most public safety users will not allow their old radios to be sold or reused if their existing radio program is still in the radio, so most will have their radio shop remove the existing programs prior to being sold or reused. In the DoD we call that de-milled. If you have a good working relationship with the agency I would request the radios and request their shop remove all commercial TX channels and add the ham channels you need for your area and you may be able to get the "new" radio ready to go for no charge or only a small programming charge. Some government agencies will require a small cost to process the paperwork fee to transfer the ownership of the radio to an support agency such as ham radio ARES/RACES teams and they may also place a legal requirement that the radios no longer be useable (transmit) in the commercial bands. This is a good time to update your MOU to reflect your support role with them.

    just my $0.02

    de Rick Sohl - K5RIC

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.