[Noisebridge-discuss] two-way radios donation

Josh Myer josh at joshisanerd.com
Tue Feb 1 22:38:02 UTC 2011

My understanding is that these are in/around the 2m band, not 70cm, so GMRS
is a long way away.  (Also, FYI, for GMRS under 5W, it's license-free, which
makes it even more attractive.  Better still: the FCC doesn't seem to
actually care about the GMRS frequencies, probably because GMRS users are
less likely to complain.  They're random joes using cheap walkie-talkies,
not anal-retentive nerds who spent a bunch of time and money on licenses and
equipment like other bands.)

I've got a disassembled unit here that I'll bring in tonight and leave in
the box as a reference key to what chips live where.  I was planning on
taking photos of it before dropping it off, but that's been a month now, so
I should just relinquish to someone who'll actually finish.
/jbm, KJ6ANM, planning to sit the general and extra in a couple weeks.

On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 2:04 PM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

> Mike (effinnay at g mail) wrote:
> 462 - 467 MHz or so is GMRS, anyone can get a license and do up to 50
> watts with any antenna.
> But HAM bands are much cooler!
> Josh wrote:
> Also, please don't use them unless you know what you're getting into. They
> operate on a small section of the amateur band (which requires a license),
> and a bigger chunk of the commercial band (probably don't need a license,
> but it's easy to accidentally interfere with others).  The radios are from a
> jail, so they might also be programmed with police/emergency frequencies,
> which is incredibly uncool (and illegal) to use outside of an emergency.
> Jake wrote:
>  here's what I wrote to Dr. Jesus when he asked if they could be used on a
>> ham band (the radios say 450-530 MHz on the sticker on the back):
>> Ham band is 420-450 MHz unfortunately, so it's a question of whether the
>> software will allow programming outside that range.  Otherwise it would be
>> necessary to hack the hardware somehow unless someone has documented a
>> more
>> elegant solution, but the days of EEPROM burning are over.
>> I would be into dissecting the radio's internal layout so that an arduino
>> could talk to the PLL directly, which would bypass all the programming and
>> limitations, and allow for dynamic entering of frequency like a real ham
>> radio.  We could make 50 noisebridgers into hams!  The analog section
>> surely
>> can reach down to 420 no problem.
>> At that point we can use the arduino to actually modulate digital data and
>> we can have Text Messaging!
>> ---
>> and now i have found the following page, posted when Josh first brought
>> them
>> in:
>> https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/cq/2010-December/000248.html
>> see the link in the middle for the technical datasheets on the chips
>> inside.
>>  Glad someone has already done the hard work of looking in.
>> Unfortunately the PLL is not among the chips listed with datasheets.
>> We will make hams out of everyone we know who wants in on it.
>> -jake
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Josh Myer 415.230.9791 <-- NOTE: New number!
 josh at joshisanerd.com
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