I consider this another success. The first communicator I built, which started this thread, was modeled after the "Alpha" communicator as coined by the folks at www.herocomm.com
. This second build is modeled after "Gamma". Of the 10 communicator props built by the prop master for the original 1960's Star Trek TV series, only 4 have been found as of yet.
This radio is using a Motorola Walkabout FV200. It has the LCD screen and the GMRS channel range etc. The channels need to be changed from the back after unscrewing the back shell. However, one need only set the channel and volume and as long as the batteries stay in, the radio will default to whatever is programmed in it.
Because of the use of the Playmtes toy sound effects chip, it has the authentic "chirp" which sounds with the flip of the lid, and the hailing beeps are activated by a tac switch on the back. I placed a slide switch hidden in the Velcro on the back also. This powers down the MC34119 audio amp so as not to suck battery power when not being used. At the start of the day, just slide the switch over and the speaker is on.
The right control button is Xmit, and the left is the on and off button. The middle jewel lights up when the unit is powered on and flashes when in battery standby.
I found a capacitor on the circuit board and jumped the LED off of it. The LED has a maximum forward voltage of 3.5 volts , and the tester on the one leg of the capacitor shows a fluctuating voltage never over 3.2, but I put a small value resistor on the negative end of ther LED anyway.
I field tested this with a custom built antenna and was able to communicate around a 10 story building in Downtown Chicago, and then stood at 20 S. Wacker and spoke to a guy on another FRS due North at Illinois street which is about 1/2 mile. That is pretty good in the Loop with all of the metal and buildings. As with any FRS, the range is dependent on what is in the way of the signal. FRS radios do not like elevator shafts! At this point I have the original antenna in it, and will be field testing it for range this coming week. The signals are not quite as good as the original radio because of the location of the antenna being now internal, but it will do what I need it to do.