Newbie, advice needed!!

Scanners and receivers, inlcuding Airband - advice and troubleshooting

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New to the Scene
New to the Scene
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:07 pm

Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:19 pm

Hello all!

Thank you for accepting my request to join the forums, appreciated.

I have a few questions and hope to get some advice from other members.

A little background....

I am currently an IHCD Ambulance Technician working for several private ambulance services and I am also a trainer and assessor for some voluntary and private services.

I also am involved quite a bit in event medical work (concerts and other large scale events here in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK).

As you can imagine at such events I may be working directly for a private ambulance service or contracted on a freelance basis.

At these events I am usually either part of an ambulance crew or involved within a designated medical response team.

At these large events in particular I usually work with other service providers both private event medical services and (VAS) voluntary services such as St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, Order of Malta etc, all of of whom I enjoy a professional working relationship with.

As I provide medical services at numerous events 9usually working with the same services as named above) it can be quite an issue when it comes to radio communications.

Yes, most large scale events will have a command & control centre onsite, however increasingly I am finding myself at events working with several other services with different communication set ups with no commmand & control.

As an example I may be providing cover at an event working alongside private medical teams with their own radio frequencies, British Red Cross with UHF frequencies and the likes of St John Ambulance who may be using VHF frequencies so it can be an issue carrying several handsets provided to me by these services.

Ideally the likes of Red Cross & St John would use same frequencies ( I know this is possible more so in UK Mainland and it is possible for them to communicate using an allocated channel but this rarely happens at local level events here in Northern Ireland). This would make life much more easier and response to incidents much quicker. To me this would be the ideal solution, however here in Northern Ireland I believe Red Cross operates mostly UHF frequencies & St John operate on their VHF channels (also have nationwide frequencies).

I hope I am making sense so far, I am not very technical when it comes to UHF/VHF frequencies etc.

My solution to this issue is as follows (please feel free to correct me or guide me as I am completely new to this).

1. I understand that a licence for amateur frequencies is only required if you intend to transmit on those frequencies. A listener's licence does not exist. The requirement to hold a licence is in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. I do not need a licence to purchase or own an amateur transceiver, only to transmit with it. No licence is required to receive any amateur transmission.

2. I am about to commence a progressive system of Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels of the Radio Communications Examinations with a local club. Once I complete the Foundation Course I understand that I will be able to apply for a Foundation Licence which allows the use of all modes on most of the Amateur bands with upto 10W power.

(I have a few dual band UHF & VHF tranceivers which I will mention and ask advice on further on in this post)

3. The various services I have mentioned above and who I work with on a regular basis, I have been provided with their radio frequencies by their Comms officers and I have made them aware that I am going to attempt to programme the various frequencies provided by the different services into a transceiver. They have no issue with this and it makes life easier for me!

This is were I need advice, here are the models of the transceivers I currently have.

Baofeng B-580T aka A52 - Yes this is quite a cheap handset, however I am able to get multiple live frequencies by just scanning. Regards programming this handset I have ordered a programming cable, the supplier has emailed the cable driver which I have downloaded and set up (just waiting on the cable arriving hopefully tomorrow). I have been advised to download a software programme called Chirp to programme frequencies. I have beeen told this is a better option than using the chinese software that Baofeng provide as there can be a lot of issues with it.

On the keypad (as an example) I can type in both UHF & VHF frequencies. For emample UHF 456.200 and I can hear Translink bus control & drivers. I can insert VHF 165.187 using the keypad and I can hear the security team at a shopping centre in the city.

This is were I get a little confused (any advice appreciated)......

the example i gave above VHF 165.187. I can directly input this on the keypad of the transceiver and I can hear all communications when the other party are transmitting (same with the UHF frequency example I gace above).

The keypad on the transceiver will allow me to input only 6 numbers i.e, VHF 165.187.

However, the lists of channels from the various agencies I have been provided with go like this...

169.36250 FM - My question here is I think i need to wait until the programming cable arrives and I download the programming software (Chirp). Manually I can only input 6 numbers on the keypad of the transceiver and as noted here as an example I need to programme the following channel with TX & RX etc:

United Kingdom TX: 169.3125 MHz
RX: 169.3125 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz

I understand this is a VHF channel ( this is a St John Ambulance channel used as an example, what is also confusing is that some of the frequencies have FM after the frequency but I am told it is a VHF frequency?)

Another St John frequency, I understand this is a UHF frequency...can anyone confirm this:

United Kingdom TX: 449.3125 MHz
RX: 449.3125 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz

Here is were I really get confused....

RX: 86.375 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 77.6875 MHz

I do not understand (if when I come to programme the transceiver do I input this frequency as UHF or VHF?)

I have read several conflicting reviews on this Baofeng model and however as cheap rubbish as some may find it, personally it meets my needs (provided I can get all the frequencies added)

The Baofeng B-580T aka A52 specifications are as follows:

BAOFENG B-580T Dual Band Handheld Transceiver Two Way Radio Walkie Talkie


BaoFeng B-580T

Dual band/Dual display/Dual standby

A/B band independent operation

128 groups channels storage

Shortcut menu operation mode

High/Low TX power selectable

Busy channel lock-out

VOX function

Busy lockout function

Scanning function

Monitor function

LCD display

Dual display

Battery voltage display function

Channel name display and editing functions

Signal strength indicator

Keypad lock function

Built-in Led torch

FM radio

Emergency Alarm

Low battery alarm

Power saving function

Chinese and English voice prompt

PC software programmable

Reset function

Basic Specification

Frequency Range

136-147MHz 400-520MHz (Dual Band)


Rated Voltage

Frequency stability

Working temperature

Step Frequency

Work Mode

Same Frequency simplex Operation or Different Frequency simplex Operation

Antenna Impedance
50 ohm

Battery Capacity
1800mAh (Li-ion Battery)

110X58X32mm (Excluded Antenna)

193g (Excluded Antenna)

Antenna weight


Output power

Modulation Mode


Maximum Frequency Deviation (W/N Band)
<=5 kHz/<=2.5kHz
Spurious Power

Adjacent channel power

CTSCC/DCS Frequency Deviation(W/N Band)
0.7±0.1kHz (W), 0.4±0.1kHz (N)

Modulation Sensitivity

Transmitting Current


<0.20µV (12dB SINAD)

Audio Power

Audio Distortion

Inter modulation Interference Resistance
>=65dB (W), >=60dB (N)

Adjacent channel Sensitivity (W/N Band)
>=65dB (W), >=60dB (N)

Receiving Current

Earpiece / mic type : Kenwood Plug type
Antenna : SMA -Female

I willl hold off for now discussing the specs of my other two transceivers as I appreciate I have already asked a lot of questions and to try and keep things in context I willl wait (hopefully) for some advice and guidance on this post.

I would like to know if this Baofeng (as above) once programmed with the frequencies will be capable of receiving and transmitting the types of frequencies I mentioned above.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide advice, appreciated.


I have just noticed that the UHF & VHF frequency range of the Baofeng is Frequency Range 136-147MHz 400-520MHz (Dual Band).

I am going to list some of the frequencies below that I need to programme, however I need some advice as not all the frequencies (both UHF & VHF) are in this Baofeng tranceiver frequency range....Any advice on this?

Could anyone suggest a transceiver that will allow ALL the below channels below to be programmed in to the one transceiver (if this is possible?)

United Kingdom TX: 173.0625 MHz
RX: 173.0625 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 449.4 MHz
RX: 449.4 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 86.3375 MHz
RX: 86.3375 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 86.35 MHz
RX: 86.35 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 164.05 MHz
RX: 164.05 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 173.0875 MHz
RX: 173.0875 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 173.05 MHz
RX: 173.05 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 449.475 MHz
RX: 449.475 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 86.3625 MHz
RX: 86.3625 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 169.3125 MHz
RX: 169.3125 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 86.375 MHz
RX: 86.375 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 77.6875 MHz
RX: 77.6875 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 169.0875 MHz
RX: 169.0875 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 449.3125 MHz
RX: 449.3125 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz
United Kingdom TX: 164.0625 MHz
RX: 164.0625 MHz
Bandwidth: 12.5 kHz

164.0500 - St John Hotel Echo Control.

173.0500 - St John Priority CH

158.8750 - 163.3750
158.9875 - 163.4875
158.1125 - 163.6125
159.1250 - 163.6250
159.1375 - 163.6375
159.1500 - 163.6500
159.1625 - 163.6625
159.1750 - 163.9750

166.4375 - 171.2375 - Emergency Radio Channel
166.9375 - 171.7375

If the Baofeng transceiver is not capable of being programmed with ALL the frequency range as above, does anyone have any suggestions on make and model (possible prices) of a tranceiver capable of having all these frequency ranges programmed to the one unit

Best Regards,


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