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spiderteam

GMRS Recommendation

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I posted this in general, but I thought I would ask you guys too! Here is what is in general:

 

I hope I'm not posting in the wrong topic, but I would like to get some recommendations regarding a GMRS unit. Am looking for the most bang for the buck. What's important? Range, battery life, bells and whistles look great but usually reduce bang for bucks. Any of ya'll experienced in GMRS and have a recommendation or thumbs down?

 

Thanks to all

 

I will add the notation that the GMRS license will have to do for now, but a real HAM license may be just over the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by spiderteam:

I will add the notation that the GMRS license will have to do for now, but a real HAM license may be just over the horizon.


 

Get and keep both licenses. The two services have very different roles. You can do stuff with GMRS that you can't do with ham, and vice versa.

 

ApK

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I have a cell phone and CB walkie talkies. I was thinking about getting an FRS pair, but the two mile range would be pretty much useless to me in a walk-base configuration that I was contemplating. Also, it seems from the times I get on the CB's, that I can use the CB's without interference most of the time.

 

So I started looking at GMRS. I know it requires a license, but the license is relatively affordable and easy, so that isn't a stopping factor. Is the GMRS radio sufficiently better than the CB's I already own, or the FRS radios to warrant going this way?

 

Also, what brands of GMRS are the "studs" of the market versus the "dogs" of the market?

 

By appointment to the Court of HRM Queen Mikki I.

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Originally posted by bigredmed:

...GMRS...

QUOTE]

 

How exactly do you intend to use them?

And how much can you spend?

 

Even where GMRS is the way to go, there's a wide spectrum of applications between what may be well served by a pair of 2-watt consumer radios for $80 up to what may require 2 or more repeater-capable "industrial" grade radios at several $100s a piece plus possible a repeater/base and anntena setup costing many $100s additional.

 

ApK

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I have been doing some research and if I were to buy a GMRS radio right now it would have to be the Motorola T7200. The main reason would be of the 2 watt out put and then the size of the radio itself. Your prices may vary depending were you get it.

 

The above link is posted not to promote the sellers web site but because at the time I could not get into Motorola's web site.

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quote:
Originally posted by ApK:

 

How exactly do you intend to use them?

And how much can you spend?

>> I could afford about $100 for a pair.

 

Even where GMRS is the way to go, there's a wide spectrum of applications between what may be well served by a pair of 2-watt consumer radios for $80 up to what may require 2 or more repeater-capable "industrial" grade radios at several $100s a piece plus possible a repeater/base and anntena setup costing many $100s additional.

ApK


>> I want to be able to commuicate with the house when I am out away from Omaha. Our cell phone coverage is very spotty in the rural sections of our county. Even close to the city, we have big gaps in coverage. Unfortunately one of those is where one of my caches is located. When I do maintenance visits, or go to one of the other holes, I am unable to call home. Don't like that feeling.

 

By appointment to the Court of HRM Queen Mikki I.

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quote:
Originally posted by bigredmed:
Originally posted by ApK:

 

How exactly do you intend to use them?

And how much can you spend?

>> I could afford about $100 for a pair.

...

>> I want to be able to commuicate with the house when I am out away from Omaha. Our cell phone coverage is very spotty in the rural sections of our county. Even close to the city, we have big gaps in coverage. Unfortunately one of those is where one of my caches is located. When I do maintenance visits, or go to one of the other holes, I am unable to call home. Don't like that feeling.


 

1. Short suggestion:

Go and buy a pair of Motorola or Cobra 2 watt GMRS radios, or maybe a pair of Uniden 3 watt radios and try them. If they don't work for you, return them. Best if you can pick a radio with a external antenna connector, so you can put an antenna on the roof of your house, or at least in some high spot.

 

2. Long suggestion:

You'll need to know the ranges you're talking about, and the terrain between your house and where you expect to be (and, ideally, the conditions in your area, like are there a lot of CB users?)

If you have clear line of site from antenna to antenna, then anything, even FRS would probably work for you, range wise, although if FRS usage is high, the noise and chatter would be a problem.

 

If the terrain is hilly, but not otherwise blocked by large concentrations of obstructions like trees or buildings, then a service on a lower frequency like CB or MURS might work best for you. CB would be the cheapest way to go...5 watt handhelds and bases with good antennaes are cheap...

MURS would be another possibility. You can check out

the PRSG MURS faq page. Check the section comparing MURS to the other services for good info in general.

 

Higher frequency services like GMRS don't carry as well over hilly terrain, but penentrate obstructions better. If the distances are relatively short, say under 10 miles, then suggestion 1 above may be the best option, if antenna position is favorable. But if distances are getting up to the dozens of miles, then you'll probably need, at best, a really good, high antenna at your house, or you'll need to work off a repeater, and that means either Ham, or, if you're lucky enough to have a public GMRS repeater in your area, more expensive GMRS radios.

 

ApK

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quote:
Originally posted by ApK:

 

Get and keep both licenses. The two services have very different roles. You can do stuff with GMRS that you can't do with ham, and vice versa.

 

ApK


 

OK ... I now have both licenses. I have a pair of 2 watt GMRS radios for he-who-has-no-ham-license and of course a brand new VX-7R for she-who-just-got-her-license.

 

And it was fun getting it! Of course now the geocacheing is suffering because I have a whole new world of amateur radio to explore.

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

spidermon

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quote:
Originally posted by spiderteam:

[

 

OK ... I now have both licenses. I have a pair of 2 watt GMRS radios for he-who-has-no-ham-license and of course a brand new VX-7R for she-who-just-got-her-license.

spidermon


 

Cool! And you know your Vx-7R can be easily modified to operate on GMRS frequencies as well (um...not that you'd do it, of course, since it wouldn't be type certified icon_wink.gif )

 

ApK

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Cool! And you know your Vx-7R can be easily modified to operate on GMRS frequencies as well (um...not that you'd do it, of course, since it wouldn't be type certified icon_wink.gif )

 

ApK

 

Of course I would never do that. icon_rolleyes.gif I'll just carry both the GMRS and the VX-7R while geocaching. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

 

Of course, the other option is to leave the tech book out until he gets the hint and reads it. icon_razz.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by benjamin921:

Congrats on your ticket! Now you got to look at the echolink system.


 

I've looked at that, but I can't figure it out. Do I need a radio or not? Can you explain in plain English using no acronyms or words with more than 6 letters? (I went to college, so you can use more than 4 letters. However, I never finished my masters degree, so keep it to six please? icon_wink.gif)

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quote:
Originally posted by spiderteam:

I've looked at that, but I can't figure it out. Do I need a radio or not? Can you explain in plain English using no acronyms or words with more than 6 letters? (I went to college, so you can use more than 4 letters. However, I never finished my masters degree, so keep it to six please? icon_wink.gif)


 

Check out EchoLink, it is "software which allows Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology. The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, from computer to station, or from computer to computer. There are more than 62,000 registered users in 124 countries worldwide!"

 

No radio required, but a PC with an internet connection and a sound card is required, but you probably already have that. You must have a amateur license to use the software.

 

SteveL

 

These are my opinions and only my opinions, unless you share them as well, which would make them our opinions, but I am not of the opinion that I can express your opinion as my opinion without your prior expression of said opinion, and then my re-utterance of that opinion would, in my opinion, be foolish unless I were expressing agreement to your opinion, and then it wouldn't be my opinion but your opinion to which I only agree.

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I have just started messing with the echolink system and it is very simple. No you don't need a radio, just a computer (A computer consists of a tower with a mother board, memory, cd drive, proccessors, a screen otherwise known as a monitor, a keyboard and lots of other things) icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif , speaker and micraphone. You will need to download the software which is free. While just using the computer you will pick from the list of active users who you want to talk to and double click on their call sign (an FCC generated # used to uniquely identify a user icon_biggrin.gif ). After clicking on their call sign it will connect to them and they will hea a "ping" on their end and then you can start yapping.

 

I use my radio because there is a local repeater that is linked to the system. When using the radio you will need to know what node (code #) you want for the DTMF (punching #'s in on your radio key pad) tones. I looked on the list and picked JH1RAG which is in Japan and spoke with him for a few minutes. This is really cool cause I can hit the local tower with 300mw and talk to someone in Japan using the echolink system.

 

This is just the very basic jist of it and I know I used words that have more than six letters in it so now someone else will have to explain it to you in a way you can understand it icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif.

 

Of course I am just kidding, it is pretty easy to use.

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quote:
Originally posted by benjamin921:

I have just started messing with the echolink system and it is very simple.


 

Don't forget the Ineternet Repeater Linking Project (IRLP) and eQSO systems.

 

I'm monitoring my local repeater, GB3EE, which is node number 5120 in IRLP. Try IRLP Link for details and a list of nodes and their code numbers around the world.

 

--... ...--

Morseman

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quote:
Originally posted by benjamin921:

 

This is just the very basic jist of it and I know I used words that have more than six letters in it so now someone else will have to explain it to you in a way you can understand it icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif.

 

Of course I am just kidding, it is pretty easy to use.


 

How nice, it is obvious you *tried* to keep it simple. icon_razz.gif So if I understand you correctly then, assuming my computer has a microphone, which I have no idea whether it does or not, I can get signed up, just click on someone and ta da, I'm yakking with them. Is that correct?

 

/caution, the next sentence contains an acronym/ icon_redface.gif

 

On the other hand, if I compare your post up with the next one, then I think I call an IRLP on my handy-talkie radio with the proper uhhh PL errr tones and then hook up with someone?

 

I do apologize for my ignorance. I'm still trying to work up enough courage to push the button on my radio and start talking. Now that I'm all set up, I'm a-scared. icon_eek.gif Just what am I gonna say to all those folks anyway?

 

Do echolink contacts count for a QSL card?

 

she-who-has-her-license-but-is-now-afraid-to-use-it. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Getting back on the GMRS topic, here's what I've discovered in using GMRS that I think everyone can learn from if interested in GMRS.

 

First, (and commonly known) GMRS requires a license. While there are plenty of bubble wrap pirates out there, the GMRS channels are used considerably less than the FRS channels. Thus, you end up with much less chatter on the GMRS channels.

 

GMRS is something you can grow into. While your typical over the counter bubble wrap "talkies" are good for camping etc. with a 5 mile range, you can get base units with High Gain antennas of which you can increase your range considerably. You can also operate mobile units (in your car for example) which can operate at much more than the standard 2 watts you end up with with cheapo motorolla and cobra models.

Did I mention Repeaters? Expand your range considerably.

 

There is quite a bit you can do with GMRS you can't do with CB or FRS. If youre willing to do the research and get decent units you'll be happy with GMRS much more than FRS or CB. I started use GMRS just as a replacement and increased ranged from FRS but have found there's much more from GMRS to be had then just another "walkie talkie".

 

Check out www.gmrsweb.com if you want some more serious information about GMRS.

 

- SpongeRob

 

[This message was edited by SpongeRob on February 18, 2003 at 06:31 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by spiderteam:

 

On the other hand, if I compare your post up with the next one, then I think I call an IRLP on my handy-talkie radio with the proper uhhh PL errr tones and then hook up with someone?


 

Yup, as long as you can hit the repeater with your HT. You will need the proper frquency for the repeater along with the proper PL tone and then any node punched in with the DTMF key pad.

 

With the IRLP I do not have a repeater close enough to me to hit it with my VX-5, so I have to use the Echolink (which is fine).

 

quote:
I do apologize for my ignorance. I'm still trying to work up enough courage to push the button on my radio and start talking. Now that I'm all set up, I'm a-scared. icon_eek.gif Just what am I gonna say to all those folks anyway?

 

Most people just start off by saying their call sign and then say listening. ie. Push the PTT button and say "KB3JBE (or of course your call sign) listening". If someone answers you just repeat your call sign and maybe say your location.

 

You: "KB3JBE listening"

Someone else: "KB3JBE this is NO3V"

You: "Hi and good evening I am calling from Somerset"

Someone else: "Oh OK, I am in Greensburg and we got a lot of snow down here, how about you?"

You: "Well we got any where from 30-40" of snow this weekend....."

 

and just go from there. The first time is pretty scary if you are not used to it, nut it gets easier.

 

 

quote:
Do echolink contacts count for a QSL card?

That is more than I can tell ya.

 

My local node is 23115.

 

[This message was edited by benjamin921 on February 18, 2003 at 11:07 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by benjamin921:

 

Yup, as long as you can hit the repeater with your HT. You will need the proper frquency for the repeater along with the proper PL tone and then any node punched in with the DTMF key pad.


 

Hah, okay, I'll check out the repeaters and see if I can hit them with my handy-talkie and oh so powerful rubber ducky antenna. (Gotta get me a different antenna.)

 

 

quote:
Most people just start off by saying their call sign and then say listening. ie. Push the PTT button and say "KB3JBE (or of course your call sign) listening". If someone answers you just repeat your call sign and maybe say your location

 

Now that is one of the first pieces of practical advice I have been given. I will find a repeater I get in nice and strong and then try that. If that doesn't work, I'll just answer one of those folks who say, "KD7UEC monitoring" and see what happens. Thanks for the advice.

 

While I'm at it, I'd like to say how much I appreciate this board. As wonderful as eham.net and QRZ are, there is so much stuff there as to be overwhelming. Although dedicated to geocaching, this board sure does have a bunch of simple advice for new hams. Thanks to Jeremy for setting it up and to all the veteran ham geocachers out there who are willing to help all us "newbies".

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