Cadet UHF Frequency Changes

Just a quick question, not sure if ACP 44 would be a great use on this so thought would ask here first. Have any of the UHF channels changed i.e. now unused or frequencies changed within at least the past 4 years if not further back as our radio kit, some wing issued, some may be our sqn’s I’m not sure, but it seems pretty ancient and has been unused for at least the 4 years I have been a cadet and I’m not sure about before that. For example some handhelds (possibly sqn ones) are Icom IC-U2 radios and there isn’t much about them on the internet and the manual is ‘vintage’ on ebay :lol: . Is it likely the channels will still be correct or are there some to avoid.

The standard UHF channel allocations for eg Uniform 5 are unchanged, but I’m puzzling a bit over the radio you’re mentioning: is this definitely an Icom IC-U2 UHF radio, and not a Icom u2 (really a ‘Mu2’), which appears to be a VHF radio (a band where there have been frequency changes/channel withdrawals).

Can’t find a picture on the web of a proper UHF U2, but it’s much bigger, got a large battery pack that slides on/off, and a rubber keypad that doesn’t do much. And a couple of rotary controls. Also, (if my own biological memory’s correct), it’s got a forward-facing LCD display.


Thanks for that. And it is the Icom IC-U2 which is fantastically high tech with an amazingly huge range of a whole [size=6]2[/size] channels :stuck_out_tongue: . Yeah none of our handhelds have screens thats too advanced for us simpletons. Picture from the manual which I found online:

And a link to the manual

Ah yes, I was thinking of the IC-U16 version.

As I said, once programmed, the keypad is of very little use. I’d prefer the U2 version, to be honest, for Cadet use.

So: as long as these U2 radios were known to be recently inter-operable with eg some other squadron’s radios that were previously working on the Air Cadet UHF channel allocations, these radios should be fine. An alternative way of checking is if you happen to have a UHF scanner receiver, and you can then confirm the transmitted frequency with the indication on the scanner. The only other complication is if they were set-up to work with a Project Tango repeater that no longer is in operation, so check that they are working directly/‘back-to-back’. And if you are in any doubt after all that, get in contact with the WRO to get them checked. Presumably your squadon has got a MOAC etc??


Yeah I can check which frequency as I am going to be doing the amateur radio license outside of the cadets to help get the comms badge so have a radio where you can see the frequencies on order. On our radio course the WRO said any problems get staff to contact him especially as at least some of it is wing kit so he knows what to do with it.

Come again on the MOAC as we don’t have a Molecular Organisation and Assembly in Cells or Microsoft Official Academic Course. Google wasn’t very helpful :frowning:

Ideal. I can PM you the frequencies if necessary. I’ve had an amateur licence since before the Falklands were invaded…

[quote=“rifle” post=2642]
Come again on the MOAC as we don’t have a Molecular Organisation and Assembly in Cells or Microsoft Official Academic Course. Google wasn’t very helpful :([/quote]
Ahh…that’s slightly worrying…the 163 Sqn Cadet in the middle is holding her unit’s MOAC. You will have one on the wall of your sqn radio room? Perhaps you are still to sit your SRO qual exams? (if that’s how it’s done in your Wg)

Several of us have done the Full Radio Operators course at wing, we don’t run any radio courses locally. I think at one point we must of had someone qualified with the wing to teach radios as they said otherwise they don’t issue the wing kit out (I don’t know if it is actually our CO otherwise there is a CI who I doubt it would be).

I haven’t seen a certificate like that but after several major clearouts and an entire squadron repaint and our radio room (We have three quite tall antennas attached to the side of our building) becoming a flight sim and the cables cut I don’t know if something like that would have survived. It seems that it may be something to ask the WRO about then.

With two channels you are most likely tuned to U1 and U2 - these remain unchanged.

Very likely, a U2 with U1 and U2 programmed on channels 1 and 2. But equally it could be set-up with U5 (as Cadet Common), as that’s definitely unchanged as well. Ideally it won’t be set-up to work through a now-defunct repeater.

@rifle, re you going to have the responsibility to test/reprog your other sqn radios?

One trick I try and do is to program the same U-channel into more than one channel on a radio, but at different power levels. This is a sneaky-but-effective way of making sure that Cadet radio batteries can last as long as possible during busy days at events. Some Cadets can be just a stone’s-throw away from each-other, so they don’t need high-powered transmit. Equally, if there’s one Cadet/member of staff that’s acting as a net controller, or someone at the far side of the show, they can have their radio running on high power. Most of the programming utilities will allow you to set the power to low/medium/high for given channels, and you can then save the displayed name as “U5L”, “U5M”, “U5H”. Cadets understand this instantly, and then tend to use the ‘power setting knob’ sensibly.

I appreciate that this won’t work on the U2 in your original post, but for eg Kenwood Tk350s or whatever else you’ve got that’s a bit more modern, it’s totally-straightforward to do this.


Could you check if the CTCSS tone has been programmed in on simplex transmit and receive?

I found this when we tried our VHF kit with another squadron. They had purchased their sets from a PMR dealer who had programmed them.

We could hear them on our kit but they could not hear us!
Solution : put CTCSS on our kit temporarily.

After getting the software and an interface eventually got round to their unit and made sure the sets were programmed. (Removed PBR channels too)

I usually try and avoid CTCSS like the plague, unless I absolutely have to use it. Don’t think I’ve ever used it yet in a Cadets setting. Worrying to see that the other squadron’s kit had PBR channels left on them…now that could result in an interesting response to an ‘Alpha Charlie’ call…! Sounds to me maybe like a lazy engineer, who’s got it wrong (or forgot) and then cloned it upteen times.


ps what do you reckon to DCS? I’m told it’s better/faster for opening/closing squelch, and not affected so quickly if you’ve got marginal signals. Haven’t had any radio with it as an option apart from the VX-5, and that only gets used at Cadets if I’m totally stuck.

And cloned it they did.
Good job there wasn’t a Tango around - they could have called all day.
The trusty GOOIT Frequency meter found them out though.

DCS : sounds good but its a few generations ahead of our equipment.
Its based on FM1000, PRM80 and PRPs.

Hmm, thanks for the comment re the ‘Gooit’. Was unknown to me, looks like a very cost-effective and useful asset.

[quote=“mike-foxtrot-lima” post=2726]
DCS : sounds good but its a few generations ahead of our equipment.
Its based on FM1000, PRM80 and PRPs.[/quote]

I wondered if it had made it’s way through even to that sort of era of kit, but I suppose not, a few years before it’ll filter it’s way down to Air Cadet ‘second user’ level kit.

Here’s a thought for you: PRC radios (and I mean as in Baofeng etc, rather than Clansman). Comments? Nil points for build quality, but they do the business (especially if they are Cadetproofed at the configuration stage). Interested to hear how others have got on with them. I have an extremely cunning plan re their potential re-engineering to survive the rigours of Sqn life.

On a much-more traditional angle: talking of PRC :whistle: , and Clansman, I’ve got a pair of 344s (seriously). Haven’t dug them out, bound to have faulty modules, but they would be excellent high-class kit for running on U3, some realtech rather than just all this 70cm rig-cheating. The Cadets could have the fun of putting up a Bob Marley on the end of the 5.4m pole-set, instead of a inverted vee. Plus it would be nice to hear a bit of traffic on 243 and from the DATIS, coming out of a real radio.


Glad the mention of the GOOIT helped you.
Worth getting one - it helps when you are out with other squadrons and they have lost their Channel Number to ATC channel name sheet or have forgotten them.
We don’t bother with these : the FM1000s are programmed with gaps so that channel display 01 is Uniform 01. The PRPs have an LCD display of channel name (its whatever you program it to be really)

Another ‘really useful’ piece of kit is an ‘antenna analyser’.
Review (By a bunch of amateurs )
Software to view graphs on the pc…

This is a nice piece of kit, though not ‘cadet friendly’ as it is not robust.
However, it can interface with a PC to display the graphs etc.

Would love to do advanced technology radio with the cadets, however it all has to be fitted into the already busy squadron schedule. I also believe that wherever possible we should get the cadets out in the ‘fresh air’ and integrate activities into that. Not to say if a cadet is really interested they will be encouraged.

Generally HF is a problem; I don’t get HF kit donated; whereas people have been fairly generous with PRPs and spares.

Thanks, will look at that analyser. Haven’t done much with FM1000s in the past (might have tried to put one onto 6m at some point last century).

We’re similarly limited in what we can do with Cadets+ technology, although I guarantee that we have many more (and different) problems to yours. ‘Time, amount of’, is about No4 on my list of challenges…

Here’s a picture similar to my 344, along with a ‘Marley’…


Nice piece of kit.

It’s not bad (or at least the one of the two that was reasonably-sensitive on receive). Last time it was fired-up was at least a couple of years back. I was able to hear a Practice Pan on 282.8 (but only because I knew to expect it). I reckon a bit of U3 AM might be nice to try at some point (if I can get the pair working). I would definitely get them on a works spec analyser to check they were clean before using them on TX, though.


I drive a Baofeng UV-5R as a personal radio. The build quality as wilf says isn’t the highest, but is quite acceptable. The battery easily lasts me a full weekend with modest useage, and i get decent tx/rx from mine. The unit I have just transferred from departed has a small batch and has no problems with them, and are now preferred to their (well past their best) Clansman. Usefully, the little Baofeng can operate on both V and U channels. For the money, as a radio non-expert, they’re worth considering.

Have heard that the Baofeng and similar kit has spurs outside of the amateur bands. Not sure if this is true or not as not seen the waveforsm on an analyser myself.

Last time I used those frequencies was RATT on a 1202 set. (Fan noise was terrible)
No 1.7 offset on AM - easy to remember.