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I am looking for a simple UHF / VHF transceiver that I can plug into my PC via USB and be able to RX/TX on one channel, using the built in mic... Maybe even record the RX from the freq. Everything I was able to find online, were just complicated systems for PC. What should I be looking for, what keywords should I be Searching?

I work in a overnight camp, and we use Person to Person Motorola Radius CP200 to communicate over the grounds. Being that I am at my PC all day, with a headset in my ears anyways, I would like to use my PC. Additional, sometimes I have pre-recorded messages that I would like to broadcast.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't really think that what you want exists. The "complicated" systems have their use and can be used as you describe, but I don't really see the market for the less complicated systems. I mean, what would you do with it that a base-station doesn't already solve? Also, how would the PC itself help, except by acting as a microphone? $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Jun 13 '15 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ There are things heading in this direction. If I recall correctly, a goal of the Whitebox project is to produce a portable SDR that uses existing hardware (i.e. your cell phone) for its user interface. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Jun 13 '15 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ I work in a overnight camp, and we use Person to Person Motorola Radius CP200 to communicate over the grounds. Being that I am at my PC all day, with a headset in my ears anyways, I would like to use my PC. Additional, sometimes I have pre-recorded messages that I would like to broadcast. $\endgroup$ – mjfeintuch Jun 14 '15 at 5:06
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    $\begingroup$ @mjfeintuch Could you edit that into your question, please? It's helpful info for what sort of thing you're looking for. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Jun 14 '15 at 16:20
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You can do this with a little setup.

Remember you need a Amateur radio licence if you are going to be transmitting. If you are just wanting to try out receiving then you can get a usb tv tuner (for less than $20 on amazon) and use some software like SDR#Sharp

If you are wanting to do transmission:

You can get a 1.5w handheld transceiver like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaesu_VX_series reasonably cheap.

Then you need a special audio cable (4 part 3.5 audio jack to (normal) 3.5 line in|out audio). You can buy them as an accessory, with the radio, on ebay|amazon or solder one up yourself.

This will let you wire up the radio to the pc.

Now you need some software. There is lots of ham radio software out there. It depends what you want to do. A lot is free. Some you have to pay for. Google is your friend (or ask another question specifically about software)

You may just be able to get away with some simple recording and play back software that comes with your PC, depending on what you want to do.

You may also want/need to use https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Audio_Cable to route audio around in you pc.

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There aren't, as far as I know, any radios on the market that are pure computer peripherals and high-power enough to be practical communication tools (as opposed to milliwatt-scale experimental devices) while still being at a reasonable cost for this application.

What you can buy or build reasonably is an interface to connect the audio from a standard radio to your PC. The exact details of this interface will depend on the radio model as they are not very standardized.

For more general information on such interfaces, you could read my previous answer to a similar question, How can I send a voice message from my PC to HT radios? If you've decided you want to do this I suggest looking for products or designs specific for the brand of radio you're already using; if you can't find one then consider a different radio that's easier to interface.

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