Will repeatedly reprogramming HTs wear them out?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by AC0GT, Apr 27, 2019.

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  1. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    A lot of the CCRs use a transceiver-on-a-chip with poor receive performance. I don't know if the Tera is like that.

    The FCC OET is incompetent and doesn't police the TCBs. The Chinese manufacturers can probably get a ham sandwich Part 90 certified.
  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since I've been a bit scattered on what I'm looking for I'll summarize here. I'll start with the three things I found myself using my previously owned HTs for most of the time.
    1. Communicate on the local 2 meter repeaters.
    2. Listen to NOAA weather broadcasts.
    3. Listen to FM radio broadcasts.

    Requirements 1 and 2 are pretty "hard" requirements, and easily met with many radios at low cost. Given past experiences with FM broadcast receive on HTs I'll be "soft" on requirement 3. As I have a mobile radio that meets requirement 1 and 2, and other radios for requirement 3, the desire is for something small enough to clip on my belt or put in a coat pocket and not be in the way.

    Now, why am I looking at these Tera radios and be concerned about wearing them out with repeated reprogramming? That's the next two requirements.
    4. Obtaining a pair or more Part 95 radios for communicating with unlicensed friends and family.
    5. Obtaining a Part 90 radio or two to experiment within Part 90 for consulting work I do.

    Unless I can find a model of HT that's certified for both Part 90 and Part 95 I'm going to have to choose between meeting requirement 4 or 5, or buy a lot of radios. To keep things legal, and deal with the limited number of programmable channels on these Tera radios and similar radios, I will be reprogramming them as the need arises. This won't be daily but it won't be set-n-forget either. I'm leaning toward the Part 95 certified radios since that is of the more immediate concern.

    I'll give a bit more on where and how the radios would be used under Part 95. I'm thinking that the primary use would be things like communicating from rooftop to basement for running antenna wire, car to car communication on a family road trip, keep an eye (or ear rather) on children outside of shouting range, and again the listening to NOAA/broadcast/repeaters/whatever for when storms come. FRS is nice but range is limited, MURS should perform better because of more power allowed and lower frequency used.

    Did that clarify or confuse further?
  3. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Baofeng has 8-Watt HT's with FM.

    Perhaps a model will get NOAA weather.
  4. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm quite sure Baofeng does have such a model, as do many others. I see Yaesu has a couple as well, the 2 meter FT-4VR and the dual band FT-4XR. They aren't terribly expensive either. I imagine that if I looked about a bit more I'd find quite a few similarly capable radios.

    One question though... Are any of these radios Part 95 or Part 90 certified?

    I know I can get an Amateur radio that can meet requirements 1, 2, and 3 that I spelled out above. The question is if I can find a model that is Part 95 certified for loaners to unlicensed friends, family, and co-workers, and can be reprogrammed repeatedly without concern for premature failure for some experimentation. Now that I've taken some time to look for a proper Amateur radio that meets the first three requirements, are from a well known manufacturer and dealer, and not terribly expensive, I'm thinking more about finding a Part 95 compliant radio that's cheap enough to buy a couple or three while not emptying my wallet, and can be reprogrammed for some experimentation.

    It seems there's a lot of commentary on the quality of the Tera brand radios based not on any first hand experience, or even second hand knowledge, but only on the basis that if it's made in China then it must be crap. Maybe they are crap, but at least they are certified for their intended use.

    Next question... If the Tera radios are in fact crap CCRs then what should I buy instead?

    I've read good things about Powerwerx, and @ND5Y seems to agree. I've purchased products from Powerwerx before and have no complaints. The reviews on the Tera radios have all been generally good. Lacking alternatives so far it seems I have to choose between Tera or nothing at all.
  5. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    You have to determine that yourself. Find the FCC ID and look it up on https://fccid.io or https://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid. The FCC ID will tell you what services the radio is certified for.

    If the marketing material or user manual doesn't have the FCC ID and the dealer can't tell you what it is then I would avoid that product or dealer.

    You will not find a current product that is Part 95 certifed for MURS or FRS and transmits on any other service (not allowed).

    You will not find a CHEAP current product that is certified for GMRS and any other service. Some high end expensive Kenwood and Motorola radios are certified for multiple services including 90 and 95.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    KF5HWG and W7CJD like this.
  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't get fooled. It is not 8 Watts out.
  7. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I reprogram with software, rather than turn dials and repeatedly push buttons.

    Is that your concern about wear?

    I even purchase a cloning cable with each transceiver I own, just in case I am at an incident that requires using special codes.

    For example, the Country Sheriff offered special codes for a rescue effort.

    In this small town, the Motorola service man does that service.

    I have also had special codes for Helicopter Ops rescue.

    In the past, I have seen multiple radios on a charging stand for emergency use.

    This is how emergency needs are met.

    I have seen business service radios set up in the same manner.

    I suggest Motorola has the value you are seeking, if only because police and fire have service available in the community.

    Do you need that? Is it better to have multiple inexpensive HT's you can sign out?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  8. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is that the topic?

    There is one unexpected value of Baofeng, Wouxon, and Powerwerx.

    The audio is loud.

    I read they were developed for firemen. If true or not, the volume is loud.

    I know I appreciate that outdoors.

    I had to turn it down. I never had that problem with any other HT.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  9. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't know where you read that
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2019
  10. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a BaoFeng and I have a Wouxon.

    It matches my experience the receive volume is loud, and I turned it down. It is great audio for outdoors.

    I do have the earwig for inside the '77 Dodge Power Wagon.

    I did read it at their website, when it was introduced in this country. I looked at the English version.

    I suggest if you want to call me a liar, you take that up with QRZ Forum moderators.

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