Alfonso Faustino: Motorola XPR 5550 VHF: US Coast Guard AUX Comms

BLUF: So why did I purchase the VHF Motorola XPR 5550?

I need it for my USCG AUX TCO position, which is mission-critical based.

If you’re looking for a mobile transceiver, which can also be a home-base transceiver for your volunteer mission-critical training and deployment, check out the Motorola XPR 5550-series, which comes in three varieties: “e” = enhanced, VHF, and UHF.

You really don’t need the “e” version — the primary feature of the “e” version is Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi, you can do OTA programming without physically hooking up a cable to the transceiver, and you can do a blast of the code-plug update to all the transceivers at once.

Of course the “e” has other additional features; but, as I mentioned, you really don’t need them; no one is gonna be able to say, “oh, I can tell you’re using the “e” because you sound better.”

As you might have read in my previous BLOGs, I don’t prefer exclusive Home-base transceivers — I have a get-up-and-go lifestyle, and sitting at home doesn’t appeal to me AT ALL, which is the reason I use portables (hand-helds) or mobile units.

Like all Motorolas, the Motorola XPR 5550-series take a lot of getting use to program if you’re a newbie — even with the experienced programmers, it can be challenging; but, as I mentioned in my past BLOGs, the price and overcoming the programming challenges are well worth the price or admission; because, you will be rewarded with a 100% reliable, durable, high-quality transceiver that will enable you to RX/TX in any conditions.


So, today, I took possession and custody of another brand new, straight from the Motorola Factory, Motorola XPR 5550 VHF transceiver. Other than a Monday might net and my USCG AUX comms mariner activities, I am seldom on VHF; hence, I really didn’t need the “e” model.

I just really dig the Motorola XPR 5550; it is so reliable and easy to use.

Tonight, 16-February-2021, at 2100 Hours PDT, I completed the code-plug for my Motorola XPR 5550 VHF transceiver, which will strictly be used for the USCG frequencies and the maritime frequencies.

I just passed my TCO qualifications test; hence, I will be getting a USCG call-sign; in addition, both of my daily-driver vehicles will get a call-sign, and my house will get a call-sign.

Presently, my home, cars, and my person are going through the application process, which will include an inspection of my all my Motorolas, both my vehicles, and my house. Once the process and inspections are completed, I will get the three call-signs.

So, now, I am all ready for the USCG to inspect my Motorolas, vehicles, and house. I’m truly excited about achieving this long-time goal…it was really tough; but, I did as my pappy taught me to achieve my goals.

Passing my TCO was the result of having good USCG mentor, Carol. She has years of experience as a TCO; hence, she has practical experience in addition to book knowledge. For several nights and days, we would meet on Zoom. She would teach me, and I would learn. Then, she would test me, and I passed each of the required testing phases — the most difficult part for me was the SAR section, but I passed it.

I’m all about achieving my goals, and this is one goal had been riddled with challenges due to my acting career.

Fortunately, the Trinity blessed me with many auditions; because, a lot of no-name actors aren’t getting auditions, according to my acting social network; so, I, as a no-name actor, getting a large amount of auditions for television pilots, existing television series, and major production feature films is truly rare; hence, I am truly blessed by the Trinity.

As you know, my acting career takes priority over all my other activities — even my volunteer activities with the various first-responder agencies. So, when I get a little break from auditions, I don’t sit around…I jump into other goals I wrote down to accomplish, and my TCO qualifications was high on my goal-list.

The Trinity always energized my heart, mind, and soul to be tenacious and exercise perseverance to get to all my goals — past and present — especially, during those times I felt like giving up.

So, when I had a break from my auditions, I immediately jumped on the opportunity, and I feverishly acquired all the study guides, forms, and mentor acquisition to get my TCO going. Of course, I needed to purchase a Motorola XPR 5550 VHF, which I immediately did to prepare for my vehicle and home inspections.

After I passed my exam, I was approved by USCG to get my magnetic door panels to use on my daily-drivers anytime I get deployed. I believe my first volunteer deployment will be in March 2021 with Corey’s Earthquake Drill exercise. I’m truly excited with my new TCO qualification.

So, what’s my next goal with the USCG AUX?

Well, I wanna spend a good year doing the duties of my TCO position; and, while I’m gaining field competence, I wanna initiate the process of the aviation sector of the USCG. I have FAA VFR ground lessons completed; so, I’m gonna expand on that knowledge with the USCG.

Since I’m qualified and licensed to drive this USCG AUX VC, I’m gonna take it out more for auxillary USCG-approved comms events.

Now, with my new acquisition of the Motorola XPR 7550e UHF and the Motorola XPR 7550 VHF, I think I’m done with my Motorola transceiver collection.

For today, 18-Feb-2021, at 1030 Hours PST, I’m gonna get with my tennis buddies, and smack the ball around on the tennis courts…

of course, I always have a Motorola in my tennis bag for a quick social HAM conversation.

I will update my BLOG once I get my USCG call-signs.

Check 6!


/s/ Alfonso Faustino