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Thread: MBITR and PRC148 radio availablility

  1. #1
    syntrx No Longer Registered

    Default MBITR and PRC148 radio availablility

    JTRS is fun

    Just a shame that gear isn't for sale to, or type approved for use by mere mortals.


  2. #2
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Quite the contrary, any civvie can go and buy a Thales MBITR, just not the Prick 148 version. They make a demilled/clear (Prick 6809) one that does FM, FMN, AM, SSB, and APCO-25, with optional RC4, DES, 3DES, and AES-128/256 add on crypto boards. It was designed for VIP/Merc teams, and Public Safety agencies that have butloads of money (plus no need for HAVE QUICK, SINCGARS, HPW, SAASM, PLGR/DLGR, RBCI, or SAVILLE/PADSTONE COMSEC)

    Also I was not playing with a JTRS device, the toy in question was USRP E110. However to screw with the people at work I stuffed it in an old Prick 77 case I had at home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    Quite the contrary, any civvie can go and buy a Thales MBITR, just not the Prick 148 version. They make a demilled/clear (Prick 6809) one that does FM, FMN, AM, SSB, and APCO-25, with optional RC4, DES, 3DES, and AES-128/256 add on crypto boards. It was designed for VIP/Merc teams, and Public Safety agencies that have butloads of money (plus no need for HAVE QUICK, SINCGARS, HPW, SAASM, PLGR/DLGR, RBCI, or SAVILLE/PADSTONE COMSEC)

    Also I was not playing with a JTRS device, the toy in question was USRP E110. However to screw with the people at work I stuffed it in an old Prick 77 case I had at home!
    A Civvie can not buy a PRC-148 (MBITR or JEM) or a PRC-6809 (clear MBITR). They are not FCC type accepted are are only sold to Federal government, DOD, and internationally where there is no certification requirements.

    A 6809 does not do SSB, P25, RC-4, 3DES, or AES-128. It has no add on boards. It was not designed for VIP/Merc teams or Public Safety. It was designed for foreign Military that can not own Type I equipment.

    Please, next time actually know what you are talking about.

  4. #4
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    @radioinstl

    Civvies can in fact purchase a 6809, It's just rare/difficult and I have seen it happen. The radio was made so that Police/Sheriff/Fire/EMS/anyone that doesn't meet ITAR rules could nab one. The Civvies in question were Rancho Santa Fe Fire Dept who bought them "supposedly" used from a PMC who was declaring Chapter 7. While this may not have been a proper procurement method (according to the BIS) or be correct, the story seemed believable enough given how modern their fire suppression equipment was, and the property taxes paid on those houses (one of my buddies in high school lived out there), as well as the massive drawdown on federal OIF/OEF PMC contracts at the time. The fact that they were tied into their dispatch somehow (not the 800 band RCS) offered some credibility to the legality of procurement, as I don't think that it would have been a fun thing to explain to the fire chief or LE why a non-legal military radio was tied into whatever radio net. Also the 148/6809 has an option to enable APCO-25 for use on the US DoD APCO-25 trunking, and inter-agency communications since they are essentially the same hardware. By that token RC4/ADP, DES, 3DES. and AES-128/256 are supported and are APCO-25 CAI compliant protocols.

    I apologize, addon crypto boards were out of line. My coworker has re-enforced to me "It's a Software Defined Radio." He personally has used the 148/6809 in the field and also smacked me upside the head accordingly for opening my mouth and inserting my boot like that.

    -If this needs to be re-aligned to a COMSEC/Other than Motorola related thread I apologize.

  5. #5
    syntrx No Longer Registered

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    The radio is ITAR encumbered anyway, and its not FCC type approved.

    This means Thales can't offer it for sale within the USA to anyone but the Feds even if they wanted to, and it wouldn't be legal for use by civilians on Part 90 frequencies regardless.

    EDIT: I understand radioinstl is in a position to be very familiar with this product, he's probably a good person to listen to on the subject.
    Last edited by syntrx; Jan 31, 2013 at 06:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    @radioinstl

    Civvies can in fact purchase a 6809, It's just rare/difficult and I have seen it happen. The radio was made so that Police/Sheriff/Fire/EMS/anyone that doesn't meet ITAR rules could nab one. The Civvies in question were Rancho Santa Fe Fire Dept who bought them "supposedly" used from a PMC who was declaring Chapter 7. While this may not have been a proper procurement method (according to the BIS) or be correct, the story seemed believable enough given how modern their fire suppression equipment was, and the property taxes paid on those houses (one of my buddies in high school lived out there), as well as the massive drawdown on federal OIF/OEF PMC contracts at the time. The fact that they were tied into their dispatch somehow (not the 800 band RCS) offered some credibility to the legality of procurement, as I don't think that it would have been a fun thing to explain to the fire chief or LE why a non-legal military radio was tied into whatever radio net. Also the 148/6809 has an option to enable APCO-25 for use on the US DoD APCO-25 trunking, and inter-agency communications since they are essentially the same hardware. By that token RC4/ADP, DES, 3DES. and AES-128/256 are supported and are APCO-25 CAI compliant protocols.

    I apologize, addon crypto boards were out of line. My coworker has re-enforced to me "It's a Software Defined Radio." He personally has used the 148/6809 in the field and also smacked me upside the head accordingly for opening my mouth and inserting my boot like that.

    -If this needs to be re-aligned to a COMSEC/Other than Motorola related thread I apologize.
    Again, please check your facts before talking. Buying a used radio is not the same as purchasing from Thales. It was not made for Public Safety at all. It is still an ITAR Item just not Type I. ITAR has nothing to do with if a Public Safety agency can buy it, FCC does. ITAR only deals with export. The 6809 does not do P25. The 148 does not do RC4, 3DES, OR AES-128. Neither do trunking
    Last edited by radioinstl; Jan 31, 2013 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Spelling

  7. #7
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    This is a digitized copy of a Thales MRITR brochure I had at work, and it states APCO-25 is supported.

    http://www.thalescomminc.com/datashe...ales%20JEM.pdf

    By default it has its own "standardized digital" trunking design, which is different than Motorola's own Type II proprietary SmartNet, SmartZone and SmartZone Omnilink trunking networks. Also, what do you think a Combat Net is? Its a trunking network designed to allow mobile units to communicate to a Platoon, Company, Brigade, or Division HQ, as well as other members of the fighting unit, without having a single channel "Party line" mess. Look at Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, it incorporated a Combat Net that allowed US forces under CENTCOM to communicate directly from mobile forces in Kuwait to the Pentagon in Arlington, Va via SATCOM link, and that was back in 1991.

    That said check what COMSEC protocols are "officially" supported as a part of the APCO-25 standard. RC4/ADP however is supported as a radio to radio cipher on Astro 25/APX series equipment (Certified Phase I compliant), which is not exclusively defined under the standard. However the CAI was designed as a baseline technology standard that was absolutely required in order to gain cert, and as such vendors like Motorola support all of said features but bolt on their own proprietary technological enhancements in order to augment shortcomings as well as boost sales. As an additional note, Motorola and other manufacturers design SP options that have been developed for clients that need "unusual" or "unique" features and AES variants up to 256 bits in key length are supported, however AES-256 is officially "required" to comply with the standard in order to facilitate defined interoperability.

    http://www.pscr.gov/outreach/p25dsr/...ads/P25dsr.pdf

    Also the legacy (Analog/Original) Motorola Saber was originally intended for use by the US Armed Forces back in the 1980s, this was around the time of the Able Archer scare of Cold War when COMSEC was not an easy thing to have without official FCC documented clearance. Even if it was DVP, DVI, or DES, the feds did not want Borris and Natasha talking to their fearless leader with any degree of security. Thanks to the legacy of those outdated legal statutes, some older HAMs I know will even refuse to use jargan or oblique terminology that could be considered coded communication, when talking over Part 97 bands.

    As a side note HAMs and Public Safety have also been using Prick 77/1177s that were surplused out from the Reserves and Guard for years, prior to the 2013 LMR Narrowbanding requirements. Those sets were VINSON era and also had provisions for keyfill devices (unlike the 25s). Most of those sets were never intended to be used by people other than Uncle Sam, but it happens thanks to enforcement agencies realizing the uselessness of some outdated laws.


    If you still disagree with my earlier statements in light of the above info, I would greatly appreciate some supporting links or documents that would illuminate the correct information, and dispel any misunderstandings.
    Last edited by standardmissile; Jan 31, 2013 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Spelling error

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    First, Mods and Admins, i am not trying to hijack this thread but only provide accurate information as this site was intended.

    That being said, wow Standardmissile, that was a lot of words to say "I have never used the radio but I read somewhere and made a rather large assumption."

    Yes, the A/N PRC-148(v)3 and above (JEM not MBITR or 6809) has a PARTIAL implementation of P25. That implementation only has part of the P25 conventional standard. It only supports DES-OFB and AES-256. It does not support any trunking. While the standard allows for the other features, they were not implemented by Thales.

    P25 was only put in the JEM to allow units (mostly Guard and Reserve) to have limited interop with State and Local during domestic missions. US combat communications are conducted at the Type I level and the JEM does not support Type I in P25 even though the standard does. The US does not use P25 or P25 trunking for combat operations. Do not ask me what they use because I will not details in an open fourm US combat communication protocols for the world to see.

    One of the nice things about this board in the ability to remain anonymous. With that said, here is a redacted copy of my card. There are people on this board who know who I am and can verify what I do.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    PRC148 No Longer Registered

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    As everyone knows, a radio operated by a Federal agency is incapable of producing harmful interference. I for one am glad they can't offer a non type certified radio to the masses, only the Feds. Think of the children!!!11

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    OK Kids... Lets calm down with the ***** wagging before this gets out of hand. Unless radioinstl wants to send me a PRC6809 for unlimited "evaluation". Then I'll look the other way.

    Yes, at IWCE in 2003 I got a chance to play with one for about an hour. Yes, they said I could buy one. No, I wasn't willing to spend the $8000 on it.

  11. #11
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    @d119 8k? Ouch! I could probably go buy round trip plane tickets to Nevada, get my you know what wagged outside of Henderson for two days, come home, and still some cash left over for that kinda pricing....

    IMO, most of the green AN/PRC-GRC radios are overpriced and underperforming when placed alongside civilian equipment using the same standards. The only reason that me or my coworkers can identify as reasons why the prices are so bloody high is that defense contractors have the weight (lobbyist + hard cash) to throw around for contracts, and they have clearances that the small guys can't get. Look at Motorola......

    However, most of those sets can perform okay or better with a little tweaking of a skilled tech who knows his stuff.

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    @radioinstl: is it possible to update the MBITR firmware in the field?
    We have spare radios with a year 2006 firmware (can't remember the exact firmware release), bad audio and probably lots of bugs left.

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    yes, go to www. thalescomminc.com and create an account. you will need to request access to the tactical tech resources area. the firmware can be downloaded from there

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    Well, that didn't work. Nobody would answer our emails nor give us access to tactical tech resources.
    Seems that the THALES guys don't want to talk to customers outside of the US.

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    Please PM me your email address and the country you are located in

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    Anyone looking for one I found one on eBay it's the clear version. Not too bad on the price just kidding.

    http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...id=84624644379

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    Way to expensive :-) In Germany the second hand market gets flooded by old MBITR because everybody now moves to encrypted JTRS.

  18. #18
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    How much do the MBITRs go for over in Deutschland?

  19. #19
    PRC148 No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwissMoto View Post
    Way to expensive :-) In Germany the second hand market gets flooded by old MBITR because everybody now moves to encrypted JTRS.
    Da fuq?




    paypal address?

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    Here's another eBay one 300 dollars just for parts. Would only be good for movie props maybe. Not worth it for parts.

  21. #21
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtaman View Post
    Here's another eBay one 300 dollars just for parts. Would only be good for movie props maybe. Not worth it for parts.
    I saw those, they are useless. They were damaged in a IED blast and the important boards were removed. The Bureau and NCIS cleared those units when I called it in.

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    Now these are pretty cool. I actually own one I got it from px airsoft for fun because it looked cool. Compared to a real prc 152 wow it's pretty cool I might get one more just to screw around with.

    This one on eBay is expensive you can get them for about 200 dollars on other sites.

    http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...id=24065190500

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    The last one's from Germany I noticed went for EUR 1500.00 / pce.
    These where in good shape but without any security boards.

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    There is no such thing as security boards. It is either a working Type 1 PRC148 or a working non Type 1 PRC6809. Remove any board from either radio and you have a paperweight. A PRC148 can not be made in to a PRC6809.

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    O.K. I didn't know that. I heard that some MBITR are DES capable so I assumed there would be a security board inside?
    You guys are lucky to have access to all this information hidden to us normal humans :-)
    These radios seem to have a lot of features only a few know about in detail.