[chirp_users] Programming Arcshell-5

Chance Fulton
Tue May 12 08:31:52 PDT 2020

I second the Amateur test, but in the absence of that, pay the 80$ and get
the GMRS license, and use GMRS frequencies only.

You still probably will not be 100% legal, but that's mostly on the radio
not having GMRS part certifications which you can easily rectify by
replacing them with one that is certified for GMRS.

At the very least you will want to program the arcshell radios to FRS/GMRS
frequencies with nothing in the CTCSS/DCS codes at all.


On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 11:15 AM Mark Blackwell <markshamradio at pobox.com>

> GMRS  does require a license, and FRS doesn't.  A citizens band radio
> doesn't require a license either, but I don't think its your best choice.
> Hilly terrain may be an asset or a big problem if you have neighbors on the
> other side of the hill.
> Not being FCC approved may involve more than just which frequencies are
> being used.  I is certainly possible, or even likely that even if its on
> the right frequency, the transmission may not meet the requirements to be
> legal.  For your system to work, it needs regular practice.
> From your brief description, the best option I see is having neighbors in
> key spots get an amateur radio license.  It does require a test, but the
> first test isn't that hard.  There are three level of licenses in amateur
> radio.  The technicians license is the lowest, and the test isn't that
> hard.    It's likely to work for most of your options.  The General License
> allow a lot more privileges, but it is a harder test.  The Amateur Extra is
> the highest level, and by far the toughest test.  For me I was really ready
> for the Tech in about 2 weeks.  The General took about a month of study and
> the Extra about 2 months.  This is a few minutes of study a day, not an 8
> hour a day crash course.  Not everyone would necessarily need a license.
> The benefits are many.  Even without power, many larger more powerful
> units can be powered with batteries, generators or a host methods that
> don't require the grid to be working.  It also counts on no infrastructure
> like cell towers or the internet.  Though some in amateur radio use the
> internet for many things, if its out it isn't essential
> Check out the ARRL website.  There is a lot there that is good information
> that I think will go a long way to helping you make the best decision for
> your community.  Also local ham clubs are a good starting point as well.
> --
>   Mark Blackwell
>   markshamradio at pobox.com
> On Mon, May 11, 2020, at 6:53 PM, Jonathan Pierce wrote:
> Best wishes from a Noob,
>    I am a FireWise neighborhood council member in a rural, high-risk
> forested area (70 miles from the Paradise Fire) of northern California.
> Several neighbors and I want to set up a backup evacuation radio
>  notification system for our neighborhood in the event that power (lose
> cable internet and VOIP phone service) and cell towers are down (the local
> tower burnt last year during an event). And we have spotty cell coverage at
> best.
>    We found the best-seller Arcshells on Amazon are powerful and reach
> through our hilly neighborhood OK. But I understand that 1. The devices are
> not FCC approved; 2. Antennae is removable; 3. Stock programming is a mix
> of FRS and GMRS frequencies. Fire chief has given go ahead for us to use
> them if we don’t interfere with any of the EMS, police, and fire
> frequencies. The stock frequencies programmed in the Arcshell AR-5 are
> indeed different than all the official ones used.
>    But some neighbors want the radios reprogrammed so they are strictly
> only using FRS frequencies. I’ve been able to query and download the memory
> from an arcshell, and I believe I have figured out how to save a modified
> memory profile to a file so that it could uploaded to all units.
>    Questions: 1. Using the chirp edit function can I just go ahead and
> change all channels’ frequencies to strictly FRS permitted ones? 2. Do I
> need to change any of the other settings like Tone Mode, Tonesql, DTCS
> Code, etc, or can they just remain as is?
>    Thanks for your knowledgeable help!
> Jonathan
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Chance Fulton
chance.fulton at gmail.com
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