Our frequently asked questions
Do I need an FCC license?
If you’re asking this question, the answer is likely “yes.” Our company will not program any radios without the user having a valid FCC license. It really doesn’t matter if you only use portables or if you only use your radios on the third Tuesday of each month. The FCC requires all radios to be licensed unless they fall into the categories of Family Radio Service (FRS), Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS), Citizens Band Radio Service (CB), or Part 15 devices like your home Wi-Fi. Each of these services have very specific requirements including specific hardware, antennas, antenna height, and output power. They are intended for short-range communications between American Citizens.
Can you work on my CB?
It isn’t a question of whether we can work on your CB, but you probably don’t want us to. Our hourly labor rate costs as much or more than most CBs and in following FCC rules, we can’t adjust your CB to put out more than 4 watts and we will not sell you an amplifier.
What is wideband/narrowband?
Each radio signal transmitted takes a certain amount of spectrum, this is called bandwidth. Over the years, the radio spectrum has become increasingly crowded and the FCC has mandated changes in the amount of bandwidth signals can take up. Most recently, in 2013, the FCC mandated a change to “narrowband.” Under these new rules 25 kHz-wide channels were reduced to 12.5 kHz to make more room. With few exceptions, it is now punishable by a fine if you operate wideband on the VHF or UHF land mobile radio bands. For more information, check the FCC narrowbanding website.
Will you program my scanner?
The answer to this used to be no, but with changes in technology, scanner programming has changed significantly. We now offer scanner programming for a flat rate of $35, assuming we have the software and programming cable for your scanner. We ask that you drop the scanner off at our office and pick it up the next day to give our technicians time to get to it. Most folks in our area want to listen to local law enforcement and/or fire agencies. In Indiana, the majority of these organizations operate on Project Hoosier SAFE-T, which is an 800 MHz P25 system. Make sure your scanner will do P25. These scanners usually cost upwards of $300, so odds are good that if you buy a new scanner for $100, it isn’t going to do what you want. We recommend Uniden Bearcat or Whistler TRX scanners.
Do you sell ham radios?
No. We don’t carry any amateur radios, however, many of our Part 90 radios can be programmed for frequencies in the ham band. Unfortunately, most of these radios are difficult or impossible for us to program wideband, so your deviation will be too low.