Jump to content

McKenna Family

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by McKenna Family

  1. AA VSAAA The deal with batteries comes down to capacity, usually listed as milli amp hours. This is a measurement of how much power the battery can supply over a given period of time. As you go up in battery size (AAA to AA) you gain milli amp hours. When it comes to NiMH, buy the biggest mah rating you can find. 2200 seems to be the highest I have seen. As for Alkaline, most makers don't list it.... http://www.techlib.com/reference/batteries.html
  2. The FCC is getting smart (finally). They are forcing manufacturers to build the radios in such a way that they cannot be hacked to work other than as they were type accepted for. Not sure if the Rino falls under this or not. You say you work with a High Band network, the rinos run on UHF, so making a change from UHF to VHF High Band is going to be impossible. There are just to many differences in the circuits to be a simple retune. Data is not allowed on GMRS for a reason, as a licenced GMRS user, I ask you, please do not ignore this. There are plenty of leagal ways to do what you want, As was said, simply cranking up the power isn't going to do you a lot of good. The real limitation on these, as well as all FRS radio and most cheap GMRS radios, is the antenna. I don't know of any commercial system that will match the Rino exactly, but if you already have a high band system, there are solutions that will track radios. AVL or automatic vehicle location uses existing radios with GPS receivers to send out the location of the radio. There are even speaker mics with built in GPS receivers that will do this for hand helds. I don't want to come across as condemming you, but if you have a high band system, why not just use that? Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  3. Bill, I am just over the hill from you in Watsonville. I have hidden a few caches on BLM land down south. Here is a pretty good page that covers it. Hope it helps: http://www.blm.gov/nhp/efoia/wo/fy02/im2002-017.html Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  4. Wow, I have been stuck a few times, not while geocaching, and unfortunatley never had a digital camera available. maybe next time. A friend who owned a jeep once told me that if you have never been stuck, you have never really been off roading. I think he is right on. Every vehicle will get stuck at one time or another. Hats off to those who push the limits. This thread is a good reminder to make sure your caching ride is prepared. I always carry the essentials for myself, and at minimum tow straps, shackles, shovel and other various things for unstucking a truck. Best thing you can have is another vehicle to either go for help, or use the strap to give you a tug in the right direction. Good pictures. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  5. Kind of a recap here to clear up some mis-information. FRS is a radio service that is called "Licence by Rule". What this means is that if you follow the rules, that is your licence. Just because a paper licence is not required does not mean that there are not rule covering the operation of the radio. FRS radios are limited to 1/2 watt of rf power. They are also limited to a non removeable fairly inefficient antenna. This was all by design. The FRS service was intended, by the FCC, to be short range communications for family use. Range is often advertiesed as 2 miles, is really just a marketing gimmick. Range of any radio is dependant on so many different variables that it is impossible to make a blanket statement about range. The FRS service consists of 14 channels, 7 around 462MHz, and 7 around 467MHz. Modulation is FM, as opposed to CB which used AM or SSB (Single Side Band). So think of the audio quality as comparing FM broadcast radio to AM broadcast radio. GMRS is a LICENCED service. A lot of consumers seem to ignore this fact. As was stated a $75 licence is good for 5 years, and covers your entire family, including in-laws, children, grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. The only family it does not cover is cousins, which can be a very loose discription depending on your proximity to the Mason/Dixon line. GMRS service is a bit more complicated than FRS. GMRS is limited to 50 watts of power on the GMRS frequencies, and 5 watts on the "intrastital" frequencies that are shared with FRS. Antennas are not limited except for base stations. As was said above, range is a marketing gimmick, but GMRS can give much better range than FRS. Not necessarily because of higher power, but more importantly because you are not limited to the non removeable, inefficent antennas. GMRS also permits repeaters. A repeater is basically a reciever and a transmitter connected and placed on top of a mountain, building, or its antennas high on a tower. The repeater basically receives the signal from a mobile, base or handheld radio, and retransmits the signal from the higher location. This gives increased range. There are FRS/GMRS radios out there, but most are a real compromise. FRS works just about as good as GMRS, unless you spend big bucks on commercial quality handheld or mobile radios. My family and I have been using GMRS for many years. We use 35 watt mobile radios with external antennas, we all have commercial high quality radios that are set up to operate on GMRS frequencies. In all truth, if you are happy with the FRS radios, stick with them. 1/2 watt can do pretty good. If you were to go out and spend more money on a 1,2 or 3 watt GMRS radio, all you are really going to see is maybe (if you are lucky) a very slight increase in range, and a whole lot of dead batteries. The increased power output does not translate into greater range, it just drains your batteries faster. Example: To get a 100% increase in radio range, you must increase RF power output by 400%. The real way to increse range is to use more efficent antennas. The ideal situation, if you decide to go with GMRS is to use a high quality handheld, and either a mobile radio with an external antenna, or a handheld radio with an external antenna. I am not trying to steer you away from using GMRS, just trying to clear up some of the marketing fog. A really good source of information is available at www.popularwireless.com There are a few geocachers on the chat boards there. GMRS WPQL444 HAM WL7MN Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  6. www.spaceweather.com They have some good information, and most of it is well explained. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  7. I was in Costco the other day and they had a leatherman (Think it was the wave) and a AA mini Mag Light with pouch for around $25. I was going to buy one, but I need neither at this point, and couldn't think of anyone else who did. Not a bad price no matter what. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  8. Glad to see that someone posted about tire size. Not counting the manufacturer induced speedometer error, tire size is the likely culprit. Also, I have heard that tire sizes are not always what are posted. A 235-85R16 made by one tire company may actually measure different from another manufacturer. So if you have ever changed tire designs, brands or sizes, this could throw your reading off. Tire inflation pressure can throw it off also. I have the same size, make and tread pattern on my truck as it did when I first purchased it. I have found from every speed display I have ever passed the speedo on my Ford pick up is right on or give or take 1 mph. My wifes Honda is off by as much as 5 MPH at highway speeds. Most police/highway patrol cars have calibrated speedometers, or at least a specific conversion chart somewhere in the car for that vehicle that shows actual vs. indicated speed at several different points. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  9. Rare has it been that I have found a cache where you just walked straight up to it from you car, etc. I have found, at least in my area, that most of the battle is just getting to the coordinates. I agree with the above posts, give him the GPS and let him find the path. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  10. There is a technician here at work that spends a lot of time out hiking and backpacking. He and his wife are NOT geocachers. Twice they have stumbled upon caches out in the back country. Both times they signed the log and replaced the cache. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  11. Someone already said spare batteries, nothing sucks worse than getting close, then the GPS goes dead. Signaling device of some sort. A small whistle is a good way to attract help if you injure yourself. Small first aid kit is also a good idea. Let someone know where you are going, and when you expect to be back. Even better, do that and also take a friend or two. Have fun. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  12. quote:Originally posted by canadazuuk: quote:Originally posted by Cruzin!: What kinds of things should I be looking for as tell-tale signs of a problem? Make sure the transfer case works for sure. Try it in low range as well, BUT NOT ON PAVEMENT. One really good way to ruin a 4X4 is to drive it in 4wd on dry pavement. Obviously, check underneath thoroughly for telltale signs of abuse. Yeah, Canadazuuk is correct. A real 4x4 should never be shifted into four wheel drive on pavement. Some newer All Wheel Drive SUVs can, but that is because there are devices in the drive train that allow slippage. That slippage is great if you are using it on slick pavement, but a real drawback in a real off road situation. Some AWD compensate for the slippage by doing funny things with with the brakes, but most of the 4x4 magazines pan the systems pretty hard as being dangerous in real situations, and basically being a crutch for inexperienced drivers. You really are going the best route by purcasing an older substantial 4x4. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  13. I think I heard on the news that he was going to be staying in a trailer that was actually located on the grounds of the max security facility at Soledad. The area is populated by a lot of the prison guards. Everyone knows who he is now. That guy isn't going to be able to do anything down there without several people watching him every step of the way. I voulenteer to go down there and beat the living daylights out of him every morning, just as a precautionary measure.... Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  14. Cruzin, If it is an older one with manual locking hubs, make sure the lock and unlock easily. If they don't it can be a sign of neglect. Look for frame damage, cracking etc. Take a good look at the underside and look for signs of abuse. Check all the fluids. Make sure it shifts in and out of 4wd easily, no binding etc. Other than that, there are a lot of parts out there for jeeps, they are fairly easy to work on, and there is a good knowledge base out there for them. One important thing to consider, a 4x4 is no better than the tires. Make sure the tires have a decent tread. You don't need big gnarly knobby tires, but you need something better than the thinly disguised highway tires that now come on most new sport utilities. M&S rating doesn't mean much. If anything can make or break an off road adventure, it is the tires. No brand of 4x4 is immune from getting stuck, I have pulled out all brands, and have been pulled out myself by a few. The old adage is if you have never been stuck, you have never really been four wheeling. Carry at minimum a shovel and a tow strap. make sure your jeep has tow hooks at least on the front, and perferably on the back. If it doesn't have attachment points for a tow strap, it doesn't belong off road. The tow hooks should be able to support the full weight of the vehicle, and then some. The little steel loops that you see on some SUVs are used for tying them down on the ship when they come from overseas. Don't confuse these with a real attachment point. Most unibody type SUVs don't have suitable strength for attaching any sort of real hook. Avoid them. Ground clearance really matters, low hanging plastic and step bars get seperated from the vehicle quickly in any real off road situation. Most newer small SUVs really are not designed to take off paved roads, more for snowy/slippery roads. Driver skill is also paramount. You need to know what your jeep will and will not do. Spending the money on a 4x4 does not buy you experience. A good driver in a 2 wheel drive with good tires can go where an unexperienced driver with a 4x4 can't. I have found over the years that shifting into four wheel drive rarely helps the situation, driver skill, ground clearance and good tires really counts. Someone once told me that having four wheel drive just means you get stuck 20 feet further down the road. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72 [This message was edited by McKenna Family on August 13, 2003 at 07:42 AM.]
  15. I was told once that Four Wheel Drive just means you get stuck 20 feet further down the road... Well maybe that is a stretch, but I think with good skill, ground clearance, good tires and maybe a posi in the back, I could go just about anywhere I go now. anyway, how many of us really go "off" road. Most of the time there is a road there, just because a econo box can't get down it doesn't mean I shouldn't. Think I have only really honestly been "off" road once or twice, all the other times there was some sort of track there. whoops, off topic. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72
  16. This was one of our firsts: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=15216 Maybe not 4x4, but high clearance. 4X4 after it rains. I have spent a lot of time in this region, way before I got into geocaching, done a lot of camping and exploring, both on foot and by truck. Probably going to plant my first cache down there this fall. Patti and Matthew McKenna, Watsonville California Garmin 72 Amature WL7MN GMRS WPQL444
  17. Glad to see there was more a showing of pro license than anti licence, was worried about where this post would go. There still seems to be a lot of confusion over licensing though. Manufacturers and retailers are pretty clueless about GMRS. I have been a licenced ham for about 15years, and have been a licenced GMRS user for about 3. I would like to see GMRS stay licenced, but if it doesn't I won't sweat it. The cheapy 2 watt radios don't bother us too much, the range isn't enough to really cause a problem. Have been really lucky in my area with little interference. I have had kids try to jam us, but when using a repeater, or 35 watts, it just doesn't cause a problem. Glad to see there are still some honest people out there. WL7MN WPQL444 You have to go out, you don't have to come back.
  18. I have the 72, my dad has the 76 and my brother has the GPSMAP76s. all are excellent units. The Mapping on my brothers is nice, but I have yet to really find a need for it. I use a laptop running mapping software to get me close anyway, so the extra money was better spent elsewhere. The 76 and 72 are identical except that the 76 has an external antenna jack (didn't need that, it locks up fine inside my truck with out it) The 76 also says it has a higher resolution screen, but holding both side by side, there isn't a whole lot of difference under most circumstances. I am 100% happy with the 72. If I had more money than I knew what to do with, I might buy one with the mapping, but I am not much for geewhiz gadgetry, I would rather have a good reliable unit that does what I need without lots of bells and whistles. Save the extra money for gas. Your gonna need it..... You have to go out, you don't have to come back.
  19. I have a Magellan 3000 sitting somewhere. It works, but it is a single channel reciever and a real dog. It loses lock if you look at it funny, takes forever to acquire satellites and is generally a real pain. It would work, but there are much better units out there for a bit more. If you are really on a tight budget, it would work, but if you can get something better, I would. You have to go out, you don't have to come back.
  20. MM, I am using a Garmin 72 and have been very happy with it. My dad has the 76, which is the same unit, but has an external antenna jack. He had his for a month or so before I got mine. His worked fine inside the truck without an external antenna, I figured it saved me about $50 to go with the 72. There are those who think you must have mapping to do any real caching. I have not had any problem finding caches with my non mapping unit. The reciever is really good, and the built in antenna seems to work very well. If you got a good price, be happy with it. Probably in a few years we will end up upgrading, but for now, I am 100% happy with it. You have to go out, you don't have to come back.
  21. 72 does NOT accept an external antenna, you would need to step up to the 76 to get that. I have been very happy with my 72. Screen is large enough to read, and price was right. Also, being 6'4" means that I don't like small handheld anythings. The 72 was large enough that it is easy for me to use. Screen resolution is good, and it is easy enough to read, even while driving. Also, good selection of accessories, other than the antenna, it shares all the same extras as the higher end 76 line. You have to go out, you don't have to come back.
  22. I don't own a RINO, but I work with radio equipment, and own several commercial radios myself. Here is what I can suggest: Channel selection affecting range: Not sure about this model, if they are all FRS channels, then there is no difference. The frequencies are so close together that any propogation differences are not going to be there. If the radio is FRS and GMRS, then there may be a slightly better range if it is running more than the 1/2 watt limitation on FRS on the GMRS side. Usually the increased power doesn't translate into a huge difference. Squelch Code affecting range: In my humble experience, this function, also called CTCSS (continuous tone coded squelch system) has little affect on range. Sometimes if you are on the real fringe of coverage, there may be some issues, but that is when you are on the edge anyway and signals are close to unreadable anyway. CTCSS shouldn't affect sound quality as the tones are sub audible, below what we can hear. There are some of the higher tones, up around 250 hz that you can sometimes hear as a low buzz in the background of the audio. Most quality commercial radio gear has a low cut filter in the audio part of the radio that can eliminate this buzz. Not sure if the Rino has that or not. In short, use the coded squelch, it shouldn't have any real noticible affect. You have to go out, you don't have to come back.
  23. Bic lighters, in a cache out in the middle of grass lands. McKenna Family Watsonville CA
  24. Uhmm, not sure how to say this, don't want to tick anyone off. My sister is a teacher at a school for the deaf. I asked her about that sign to see if it matched anything in American Sign Language. Not sure if you want to know this or not, but here it goes. It is very close to the sign for ......Lesbian....... Don't think I am going to be walking around advertising that. no sir. McKenna Family Watsonville CA
  • Create New...