Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 06:54 PM
john private smith
 
Posts: n/a
Default MILITARY USES FRS RADIOS IN BOSNIA

an article from
http://www.f-r-s.org/e-news/F-R-S.or...02-0626-01.htm


Soldiers in Bosnia scour catalogs, PX in search of better two-way
radio

The European Stars & Stripes
By Sean E. Cobb, Bosnia bureau
European edition, Wednesday, June 26, 2002


EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina For soldiers on patrol with the
Bosnian peacekeeping mission, the best way to stay in touch starts
with the post exchange.

That's where soldiers are buying up two-way radios designed for
civilian families on ski slopes or at the mall.

The commercial two-way radios are smaller, more powerful and more
reliable than Army-issue hand-held radios, said 2nd Lt. Drew Weaver,
1st Platoon leader from Company C, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry
Regiment of the Indiana National Guard.

The National Guard unit is serving a six-month rotation at Camp
McGovern as part of Stabilization Force 11.

"Everybody in the squad has one," said Spc. Brian Rabreau, a Company
B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment gunner. The regiment is part
of the 25th Infantry Division, Light, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii,
currently serving at Eagle Base.

Most of the soldiers carry Motorola TalkAbout series and Uniden Eco
series radios because Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores and
catalogs sell them, at prices ranging from $69 to $159. Those types
of radios are used under the Family Radio Service, a portion of the
UHF spectrum set aside in 1997 by the Federal Communications
Commission for families and small groups to use relatively inexpensive
two-way radios to communicate, at no charge, among themselves.

Some patrols treat the FRS radios like Army-issue radios. During
pre-patrol briefings, the patrol leader gives patrol members the FRS
primary and backup frequencies. The radios contain different codes
that can be selected on which to receive signals. Only those who know
the code can speak to each other.

Soldiers on patrol use the FRS radios to warn other vehicles in a
convoy of obstacles in the road, to give directions and to reposition
forces. During illegal weapons and explosives collection patrols, the
soldiers call in the location of illegal items for pickup.

Around camp, patrol members use the radios to inform each other of
duty schedule changes, to discuss recreation choices and to generally
stay in touch, Rabreau said.

The soldiers know the Army has communications security concerns. Army
Signal Command radio instructions prohibit the transmission of unit
locations, troop and equipment strength, and information on ammunition
supplies over nonsecure radios.

However, soldiers avoid talking about the sensitive subjects on FRS
radios, just as they would on the nonsecure Army-issue hand-held
radios, said Staff Sgt. Earl Dean, a Company B patrol leader.

GI radios

The soldiers already have radios available from the Army inventory for
use while patrolling, said Capt. Michael Campbell, the 1st Battalion,
14th Infantry Regiment signal officer. Army signal companies are
responsible for an Army unit's communications.

The Army uses the AN/PRC-127 as its standard hand-held radio, Campbell
said. The radio has a range of 3,000 yards, weighs about 3 pounds and
is 7 inches high by 3 inches wide, according to the radio's operation
manual.

Most patrols also carry two AN/PRC-119 radios. One of them is
vehicle-mounted, while the other can be mounted on a backpack and
carried, said Sgt. Joshua Miller, a Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th
Infantry Regiment team leader.

The AN/PRC-119 radio is the Army's communication workhorse and has a
transmission range of five miles, weighs 10 to 15 pounds and is about
a foot long by 6 inches wide, Campbell said.

The largest FRS radio commonly bought and used by soldiers has
transmission ranges of two to four miles, weighs around 10 ounces and
is 6 inches high and 2 inches wide, depending on the model.

The Army recognized soldiers' need for intrasquad communications and
recently purchased the Icom F3S radio system, Campbell said. The
radio's size and weight are comparable to the Motorola and Uniden
models, but that radio has a range only of up to 1,000 yards, Miller
said.

The Army issues the F3S only to regular Army units, so National Guard
and Reserve units serving with SFOR are left out in the cold when it
comes to squad level communications, Campbell said.

"We could not get the job done" without the FRS radios, said Spc.
Justin Antle, a Company C, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment
gunner. During weapons collection patrols, the soldiers need to
venture away from their vehicles and the one soldier who may be
carrying the radio backpack.

"We need to be able to move," Antle said.

Campbell said he understands why the soldiers want the TalkAbout-type
radios. "The need is there," he said. "These soldiers are on the tip
of the spear. They require instant communications."

However, he thinks the Army should issue soldiers FRS radios instead
of making them buy the radios on their own, Campbell said.

The plan would not be without precedent, Campbell said. In June 2000
the Marines started purchasing the Icom IC-4008M, a FRS-type radio,
for squad-level communications.

The Marine radio is small, lightweight, cheap and powerful for its
size, Campbell said.

At around $75, if the radio breaks, Marines can throw it away,
Campbell added.

"Not that I had anything to do with the decision, but if I had to do
it all over again, I would get the Marine radio," he said.

The Army did factor the ability of the Icom F3S to be programmed with
14 different frequencies, compared with the Icom IC-4008M, which
probably has the usual five frequencies, Campbell said.

The Marines had the radio modified to operate on special Marine UHF
frequencies, according to an Icom press release about the contract.

Shopping for radios

In contrast to the Marines, soldiers purchase FRS radios out of their
own pocket at military exchanges.

The radios currently are sold out at the Eagle Base post exchange,
said an AAFES salesclerk at the exchange.

However, people may also order the radios out of the AAFES catalog,
the salesclerk offered.

The most popular radio, the Motorola TalkAbout T6400, costs $99 in the
catalog. Other Motorola FRS radios available through AAFES range from
$69 to $159.

Some soldiers invest in professional series FRS radios. These radios
have ranges of up to four miles, can scan frequencies, and have eight
FRS frequencies and two UHF frequencies available.

"If [soldiers] want to buy them, I'm all for it," said Staff Sgt. Earl
Dean, a Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment patrol
leader. "[The FRS radios] are very reliable."

Officials at Motorola did not return calls for comment about soldiers'
use of the commercially available FRS radios.

At least as far back as the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, soldiers have
appreciated the advantages of the smaller, easier-to-use and powerful
commercially available radios.

In after-action interviews with soldiers on the ground during the war
in March 1991, Army officials discovered problems with the AN/PRC-127
hand-held radios, according to an Army history Web site.

At the time, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Claudio and Staff Sgt. Gary Danberg
revealed problems with programming frequencies into, and maintaining
the power sources for, the Army radios.

After going without communications for a time in a battlefield
environment, the soldiers obtained Motorola radios and communication
became possible.

Problems were eventually solved with the AN/PRC-127 radio.

However, when Army officials asked Danberg which radio he finds more
effective in the field, he replied, "I would recommend using
Motorola."

Campbell said he knows of no plans to provide soldiers with the FRS
type radios since the Army already purchased the Icom F3S system.

Calls to the Army Signal Command public affairs office for information
on the Army's radio purchasing plans were not returned.

Asked Tuesday why U.S. soldiers in Bosnia are being provided with
inadequate communications equipment and having to compensate with
radios bought from their own funds, Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria
Clarke said, "I am not familiar with the situation in Bosnia, but this
is not the first time I've heard something like this."

Clarke said that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld heard similar
complaints of inadequate spare parts and other shortages when speaking
to airmen at U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base,
Ill., during a recent visit.

"People are doing extraordinary things" in spite of such shortages,
Clarke said.

"Having adequate equipment and resources they need to do the job is
equally important" to people in uniform as are issues of compensation
and benefits, Clarke said.

"We are focused very, very hard on improving processes and policies
.... so we can address those sorts of things, so someone doesn't have
to reach into his own pocket to get the job done," Clarke said.

The Army has a Tactical Radio Communications System division
responsible for providing timely, cost-effective, communications for
soldiers during the Army's transformation to an objective force,
according to the division's Web site.

The division's project manager, Col. John Grobmeir, could not be
reached for comment.

For now, soldiers in Bosnia may use the FRS radios, Campbell said.
However, the Bosnian government recently has expressed an interest in
control over radio frequencies.

If that happens and the frequencies used by the radios are restricted,
the U.S. government could be fined when soldiers use the radios,
Campbell said.

Stars and Stripes reporter Lisa Burgess contributed to this report.


This article was published by the European Stars & Stripes (Military
Newspaper)
on Wednesday, June 26, 2002. Please refer to:
http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?...2&archive=true


  #2   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 07:21 PM
K9SQG
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Since the article has several technical inaccuracies, it is hard to know just
how much is believable. But then, nobody ever accused the press of being
accurate...
  #3   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 08:10 PM
Jeffrey C. Dege
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 7 Dec 2003 10:54:21 -0800, john private smith wrote:

Some patrols treat the FRS radios like Army-issue radios. During
pre-patrol briefings, the patrol leader gives patrol members the FRS
primary and backup frequencies. The radios contain different codes
that can be selected on which to receive signals. Only those who know
the code can speak to each other.


That's not at all true. FRS has filter settings that can keep you
from hearing conversations on a channel that don't use the same filter
settings, but if you turn off the filtering, you hear all conversations,
regardless of settings.

It's not a security feature.

The largest FRS radio commonly bought and used by soldiers has
transmission ranges of two to four miles, weighs around 10 ounces and
is 6 inches high and 2 inches wide, depending on the model.


If they're getting four miles range, they are using GMRS radios, not FRS.
(GMRS shares some channels with FRS, has more power, and requires an
FCC license.)

--
The 1 & only place that a design is conceived is in the mind of the
designer. As this design un-folds over time, it is often captured on
such high-tech media as white boards, napkins, & scraps of paper.
-- Grady Booch
  #4   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 09:52 PM
R. Belcher
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Some patrols treat the FRS radios like Army-issue radios. During
pre-patrol briefings, the patrol leader gives patrol members the FRS
primary and backup frequencies. The radios contain different codes
that can be selected on which to receive signals. Only those who know
the code can speak to each other.


That's not at all true. FRS has filter settings that can keep you
from hearing conversations on a channel that don't use the same filter
settings, but if you turn off the filtering, you hear all conversations,
regardless of settings.

It's not a security feature.



CTCSS or PL, they call it........ (among other things)


The largest FRS radio commonly bought and used by soldiers has
transmission ranges of two to four miles, weighs around 10 ounces and
is 6 inches high and 2 inches wide, depending on the model.


If they're getting four miles range, they are using GMRS radios, not FRS.
(GMRS shares some channels with FRS, has more power, and requires an
FCC license.)


I'm betting on FRS, 4 miles from sand dune to sand dune, and/or flat
ground..... not a lot of buildings and trees in the desert.....


Either way, it sounds to me like an absolute security nightmare.






  #5   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 10:03 PM
frank smith
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Many frs sold here have a speach inversion feature add to the ctcss tones.
It's easily decodable but it is a security feature.


"R. Belcher" wrote in message
...

Some patrols treat the FRS radios like Army-issue radios. During
pre-patrol briefings, the patrol leader gives patrol members the FRS
primary and backup frequencies. The radios contain different codes
that can be selected on which to receive signals. Only those who know
the code can speak to each other.


That's not at all true. FRS has filter settings that can keep you
from hearing conversations on a channel that don't use the same filter
settings, but if you turn off the filtering, you hear all conversations,
regardless of settings.

It's not a security feature.



CTCSS or PL, they call it........ (among other things)


The largest FRS radio commonly bought and used by soldiers has
transmission ranges of two to four miles, weighs around 10 ounces and
is 6 inches high and 2 inches wide, depending on the model.


If they're getting four miles range, they are using GMRS radios, not

FRS.
(GMRS shares some channels with FRS, has more power, and requires an
FCC license.)


I'm betting on FRS, 4 miles from sand dune to sand dune, and/or flat
ground..... not a lot of buildings and trees in the desert.....


Either way, it sounds to me like an absolute security nightmare.










  #6   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 10:13 PM
Noah Simoneaux
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 21:52:07 GMT, "R. Belcher"
wrote:

(snip)
If they're getting four miles range, they are using GMRS radios, not FRS.
(GMRS shares some channels with FRS, has more power, and requires an
FCC license.)


Do the FCC rules apply in Bosnia?

I'm betting on FRS, 4 miles from sand dune to sand dune, and/or flat
ground..... not a lot of buildings and trees in the desert.....


That would be very good range for FRS. I can't even get 2 miles line-of-sight
with mine.


Either way, it sounds to me like an absolute security nightmare.


Probably less of a nightmare than not having good commo.



It is easier to fight for our principles than to live up to them.-Alfred Adler
  #8   Report Post  
Old December 7th 03, 11:31 PM
Brenda Ann
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"R. Belcher" wrote in message
...
I'm betting on FRS, 4 miles from sand dune to sand dune, and/or flat
ground..... not a lot of buildings and trees in the desert.....


Not a lot of desert in Bosnia.....



  #9   Report Post  
Old December 8th 03, 12:04 AM
Jeffrey C. Dege
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 22:42:21 GMT, Gunner wrote:

15 GMRS channels which are shared with 7 FRS channels, 38 CTS codes,
vox (need a pair of head sets though if anyone has a Cheap source),
programable scan with priority, yada yada yada

I got them on Ebay for IIRC $32 for the pair, and they are compatable
with the two really cheap FRS 2 channel radios I already had, on only
one channel though.

Anyone have any comments on these units? Ive not given them a full
workout, though they seem to work rather well over several miles.


Yep. I've got a set of plans for playing around with DTMF with Basic
Stamp microcontrollers, that mentions using them with vox 2-way radios
for a cheap for of low-bandwidth data transmission.

--
Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist,
fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria.
The human race divides politically into those who want people to be
controlled and those who have no such desire.
- Robert Heinlein
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sneaking tiny radios into North Korea Mike Terry Broadcasting 0 November 13th 04 05:02 PM
Grundig Yacht Boy (YB) Radios that are offered World Wide under the Grundig Yacht Boy (YB) Brand Name RHF Shortwave 5 February 5th 04 12:23 PM
FA: WWII era book with details on military radios of the time Joe Boatanchors 0 December 2nd 03 05:19 AM
FA: WWII era book with details on military radios of the time Joe Swap 0 December 2nd 03 05:19 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 RadioBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Radio"

 

Copyright © 2017