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  1. Those are good questions: The least expensive, usually from China, hand-held radios ("HT"), use what is known as SOC technology: System on a Chip - The whole radio is virtually built into one chip. Most of the more expensive radios (usually 3X the cost and more), have additional circuitry known as a superheterodyne circuit. This gives the receiver both more selectivity (the ability to differentiate between two powerful signals on two close frequencies) and sensitivity (the ability to pull in more distant and/or weaker signals). In simplex mode: one HT is transmitting on a frequency and the other HT is receiving on the same frequency. There is no second transmission to overwhelm the receiver of the second HT; only the one signal. In repeater mode, the first HT is transmitting on 467.abcd up to the repeater; and the second HT is receiving the retransmitted reception signal from the repeater on 462.abcd. The second HT must differentiate between two received signals: the signal you want to receive on 462.abcd from the repeater many miles away, and the HTs more powerful signal on 467.abcd. Hence the HTs signal washes out the reception of the repeater's signal on the second HT.* Superhetrodynes have that ability; SOC's do not. How much is far enough away? Differing factors are at play here: The power of the HT transmitter; the distance between the HTs and the distance and power from the repeater. Experimentation will help you determine the answer. *NOTE: this is why when two inexpensive HTs are bundled together with the appropriate cabling and settings to act like an inexpensive semi-portable repeater, they must be on the two separate Ham bands: 2 meters (144 MHz) and 70 cm (440 MHz) to avoid this washout effect.
    6 points
  2. Your choice of radio brands, types (HT, mobile or base) and what purpose you want to use them for, e.g. GMRS for family under one family license to the different levels of individual Ham licenses. So those just starting the venture I hope that the following will help you plan where and what you want to do. This review of the Wouxun KG-935G is more for how should one position this radio since Wouxun has made several GMRS radio which I have KG-805G, KG-905G now KG935G for GMRS and a Wouxun KG-UV8H for Ham. They all have their place in how you use them. The 805G has it place for smaller hands, easy to use. Then going up to the 905G and 935G for a more beefy feel, programing and what I like is scanning group options to name a few. I have my Ham ticket and so how do I plan to fit GMRS and Ham radio into my life. Though out all the forum and posts on Part 95 for GMRS radios and Part 90 for Ham and the two can get married per FCC, I choose to carry two radios that share batteries and other accessories plus program on the HT face and software menus are some what alike. So the KG-935G is a solid commercial radio for GMRS but allows you to monitor 2 and 70 meter ham frequencies, to be clear only receive and can not transmit. So if you want to monitor a Ham repeater, pick the correct frequencies to hear the repeater when you set it up. I have only had the KG-935G radio a few days and still working on making it my daily carry in my Jeep. Yes, I could get a Baofeng or other multi band radios for Ham and GMRS in one radio but if you have used a $40-50 radio, you may not reach a repeater or others may not heard your audio. Do not get me wrong, many who have these multi band radios and works for you great, you are closer to a strong repeater and it is your radio choice… Happy for you. I was given a free BaoFeng UV-82 Classic and could trigger the Ham repeater but no one could hear us in both GMRS and Ham… Now I know why the gifter gave it to us. Do not read into this statement BaoFeng or other brands… are fine, you get what you pay for. It just where I live and the equipment did not match to my radio environmental needs. So for fueling my Ham 2 and 70 meter I have a Wouxun KG-UV8H which is a Ham radio that can monitor GMRS but not transmit on 462.xxx…467.xxx KG-UV8H is Part 90 legal for Hams per FCC. So on both KG-935G and KG-UV8H I can scan away and in my area of Western NC, we have great high mountains and privately owned and friendly repeaters owners as long as you are license, follow the repeaters owners rules and get permission before hand to get the PL codes. So one day the GMRS is busy or I need to reach family/friends/others approved operators on the GMRS repeaters. Then on other days the Ham frequencies is active like on Net Control nights or Fox Hunts or just general communication with other Hams. In our area we have more Ham repeaters then folks to use and talk on them. Out of the 6 repeaters in all bands, it like crickets. O let me add one of the latest thing new to me as a Ham, it is DMR and the DMR repeaters are linked and you can have miles and miles of communication plus talk to others around the world with just a handheld HT radio. No big antenna or collection like an antenna farm in your backyard which might upset your wife. As soon as I understand more about DMR I will let you know. So for those wanting digital GMRS and roam which FCC has not made the rules changes to fit that function, go get your Ham ticket… and do DMR as we have more DMR repeaters in our area. Ham ticket test is not that hard… I’m 74 yo and my 12 yo grand daughter and I did FRS for years just in the yard and close neighbors. Then we got a family GMRS license and many GMRS folks who are Hams also, suggested to us to study and take the Ham test. You no longer need Morse Code as part of the first level of license. Second get a study buddy, friend, one or more of your children or grand children. For a preteen to get ones Ham ticket has caused her to grow, be confident and has new friends, fun events. O yes she had Mic fright at first, I still do and ex LEO. How we got started is we first reached out to the local Ham club, we meet the folks at a lunch meeting and felt welcomed and asked for a coach to walk us through the process. It not hard, it took us one and half months of online study three times a week for one plus hours and we pass the test end of May 2021. It is quoted that Ham radio is the art, science in communication and helping others in times of an need or emergency. My 12 yo grand daughter caught the radio vision after going to Rocket Museum in Huntsvilles, AL and saw all the radio equipment and all the astronaut where Ham and you can talk to the ISS as it goes overhead. So one of her many goals in life is joining Space Force as well as be a pet sitter and walker. Feel free to PM me if you want more personal detail, otherwise all comments accepted as this is IMHO which that is why no one radio fits all your needs, it personal, so share your story so others can see if that fits them. So go and enjoy your radio journey. MacJack
    5 points
  3. I'm sure many agree... Thanks to the folks who make myGMRS.com tick. This include creators, admins, and forum repliers/readers. myGMRS.com is an enjoyable, good GMRS resource.
    5 points
  4. Yup. The question was already answered. If there is going to be a standard highway/road channel, where one has been proposed and used for a while, we should stick with it. Trying to establish another one just confuses people and likely guarantees nether get used much. Unless there is a very good reason to change it I don’t see the point trying to establish something different.
    5 points
  5. Though I've mentioned this as a side item in various posts, I wanted to take the time to create a specific post to spotlight my favorite youtube channel for GMRS info, including equipment. I'm speaking of NotaRubicon Productions. The owner of that channel is a down to earth guy by the name of Randy. His channel has good things going for it: + Good Production. Good lighting. Good mics. A sense of humor. A born-to-do-this delivery ability. Aspiring YT channel stars, take note. + Good Information. The good production attributes mentioned above can help bring people into a channel and make them want to return. But that is not enough. There has to be relevant information delivered to the point. Randy does this. It's obvious that manufacturers are aware of him and the fact that he is an influencer. When Randy gives a thumbs up for a radio model, buyers snap them up. When he mentions problems with newly introduced radios, manufacturer's fix them fast. I have no connection with Randy or his YT channel. Just wanted to share a good GMRS youtube channel for those interested.
    4 points
  6. I recently built a 50W repeater with two Wouxun KG-1000G radios.. It worked pretty well, but because the radios are not well-shieleded I got a lot of "desense" so my range was not as great as I'd hoped - It wasnt "cheap" either. I then got a used "real" repeater - a Vertex VXR-7000. You can find them from $400 to $1000 depending on the options, age/condition.. It works GREAT.. I live at the top of a hill so I get a huge coveragare area, about 40-60 miles in each direction. Bang for the buck, a good used "real" repeater might be the best bet.. although, I will be testing the Retevis RT97 soon to see how it compares.
    4 points
  7. Lou: A box is going out to UPS today with the following: Baofeng UV-5R5 Baofeng BF-888S Baofeng BF-T1 and specialized programming cable (USB to USB-micro) All have been pre-programmed to your 4 repeater channels, two simplex channels and the remainder filled to the other GMRS/FRS channels as space remains. I did my due diligence and this is a tax deductible 501(c)(3) organization helping out the homeless of Atlantic City and I strongly encourage others here on myGMRS to donate their unused HTs to them (or a local homeless organization that is utilizing GMRS): https://www.havenstreets.org
    4 points
  8. Yes you can do this, and it is exactly the way I operate from home. The ‘best configuration’ is truly relative to your goals. In my case, GMRS receives top billing on top of a HD fiberglass mast. The dual band amateur antenna is mounted about 16-18 feet lower using a custom side-mount arm fabricated from PVC. The lower antenna is offset 22” from the main mast and the coax that feeds the upper antenna. I am able to operate well on GMRS, 70cm and 2m (one service at at time of course) at 50w each without any negative issues that affect me. Yes, if I am transmitting on GMRS, 70cm reception suffers a little while I am actively transmitting due to desense (which is to be expected) and the opposite is true as well. But I do not detect any appreciable desense from 2m to GMRS and vice versus while operating. What this means is I cannot carry on simultaneous conversations on both 70cm and GMRS services at once, nor can my wife be operating GMRS while I operate 70cm. That is perfectly OK, since she only uses GMRS to talk to me while I am out. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
    4 points
  9. Extreme

    Someone's Lucky Day

    I for one have always had in the back of my mind an emergency situation where a GMRS radio would save the day. But, as we all know, traffic is slim and folks monitoring for emergency calls is minimal. So, my Offroad club does volunteer/pro-Bono vehicle recoveries. Got contacted by a guy who was stuck at 8500' but lucky enough to have cell phone coverage due to the proximity of a large but remote mine, end of the road, 50+ miles off pavement. We got him recovered after a 2 hour drive to get to him 5 miles off the main dirt road. But that's not the story. The story is: while in route to recover #1 we're chatting on Ch. 16 truck to truck (my Kenwood 8180 and 2 of my 905G I hand out to my compatriots). We're many miles from anywhere gabbing away on the trip when I hear an unfamiliar voice. I ask who it is, he says his name and tells me they've slid a Toyota Sequoia off the road and need help. I asked how he got us and he said he put his Baofeng HT on scan and heard us chatting. Told him we'd get him on the way out from #1. This Toyota was at the top of the Ruby Mountains, Harrison Pass at close to 10k feet elevation, 30 miles of dirt then 6.5mi in, 4wd/Low Range for 6.5mi. They'd walked out 8 miles from their rig to their camp (muzzle loader deer hunt). Without giving you all the details of the recovery (didn't get it done last night with 3 capable Jeeps with winches and recovery gear in darkness; he's since hired a pro and they're in route as I write). Anyway, just a little story on how screwed these guys would have been and how lucky they are to have had a radio and someone in range. I suggested they hit the slots; even tho' their luck was bad getting stuck, they got good luck just getting out of there. No telling how long they'd been there with no comms. They spent the night in a local motel since the Toy is there only rig.
    4 points
  10. I have run across several articles that support the idea that alternative, non-OEM HT antennas do not necessarily perform better than a radio's stock OEM one. Here is one such article... https://www.hamradio.me/antennas/ht-antenna-comparisons.html The author also showed that the use of a tiger tail aka counterpoise does not provide a universal benefit - it does in some cases but not others. The author's takeaways: 1) For his Yaesu FT1D, the stock antenna performed well. (Perhaps the Yaesu/ICOM/Kenwood) engineers design an antenna tuned well for each particular model.) 2) If he needs a more capable antenna for demanding situations, he recommends a roll up antenna (e.g., Ed Fong DBJ-2). Note that there are amateur radio and commercial versions of that antenna. The commercial one is suitable for GMRS and MURS. The rollup antenna would be good for home use or for stationary work camping or hiking. Finally, and this is a personal decision for each of us - how many non-conspicuous extras do we want to add to our "portable" HTs? A giant whippy antenna? A counterpoise hanging off the radio? Maybe a suit of armor with an NMO mount at the top of the helmet? What a ground plane that would make. 4 out of 5 dentists say that walking around with an HT automatically disqualifies one from getting an invite to a Victoria's Secret show. Walking around with an HT loaded with octopus-like accessories may go a step further - it might result in a regular block party invite getting "lost in the mail."
    4 points
  11. (FYI: I am adding this prefacing text to my original post to tip manufacturers and readers off that I am creating a new reply today, 9/2, which will serve as a running, bullet list summary of the various points. You can go there for a quicker summary and look throughout this entire post for more specifics. Back to the original post...) A post to GMRS radio manufacturers... (For other folks, admittedly this post is a bit lengthy. This is because my main target audience are radio manufacturers who might read this forum, so I wanted to include details for their benefit. Of course, if not a manufacturer, feel free to continue reading if you'd like.) I'm fairly recent to GMRS. Even so, in that short time I've found myself in astonished [not in a good way] amazement regarding radio design decisions, quality control issues, and documentation issues. Taking these one at a time (and throwing in the bonus topic of price creep) ... Radio Design Decisions Hopefully manufacturers realize that many people buying what-should-be-more-capable GMRS radios want to use them with GMRS repeaters and not just to talk with their children on simplex. However, the design decisions I've witnessed leave me in stunned it-can't-be disbelief: + Some radios allow for the storage of the eight GMRS repeater pair channels in only eight memories. This entirely misses the mark that repeater users may need to access repeaters which use the same freq pair but with different access tones. What are GMRS repeater users expected to do in this case? Keep programming / reprogramming the tones as the users switch between those repeaters? This is inconvenient and annoying. It is even more inconvenient if the radio has to be programmed with a PC and programming cable instead of being programmable in the field using a radio's keypad. + Though I'm not sure, I seem to recall reading that at least one radio was designed with access tones in an all or nothing mode. That is, specifying an access tone applied it to all of the stored frequencies. Not good. And even if this was not the case, some radios do not (or did not) support split tones. Split tones are important for GMRS repeater use. These days some repeaters utilize a DCS transmit tone and a CTCSS receive tone, or vice versa, or two different CTCSS tones, or two different DCS tones. Split tone capability please. + Some radios were released with narrow band only. For people with wide band radios, the apparent volume of a narrow band transmission is lower, which can be annoying to listen to. Capable GMRS radios (i.e., "non-bubble-pack" variety) especially should be designed with selectable wide band and narrow band capability. Quality Control Issues It's amazing what quality control issues were released to consumers: + Without specifying which manufacturers, even recently released radios capable of both wide and narrow band were factory pre-programmed with memories set to narrow band. So right away, especially non-bubble-pack radio users will likely want to change those to wide band. This is not convenient if such radios must be programmed via a PC and programming cable, and even worse if the cable is not provided with the radio. A before-it's-released-to-the-consumer quality check should have detected and prevented this. + Similar to the above, without specifying which manufacturers, some recently released radios were factory pre-programmed with access tones stored in the memories. Not good. For example, if a particular memory had CTCSS receive tone 156.7 stored and the radio is set to use that memory, that means a transmission would be heard only if the corresponding 156.7 transmit tone is transmitted by a sender. This would be bad especially for new users - they might not even realize that they are not receiving transmissions which don't send the appropriate tone. And as above, this is a irritant if such radios require a PC and programming cable to correct this, and even worse if the cable is not included with the radio. A before-it's-released-to-the-consumer quality check should have detected and prevented this. + OEM programming software is often buggy. Or the ability to copy/paste whole row(s) or selected cells of programming data is not supported. This makes programming painful. Documentation Issues To put it kindly, often the documentation, especially for Chinese radios, is lacking. Important details are omitted. The English is poor. Please hire people with a better command of English. But that is not enough. Also make sure that the document writers understand radios well enough to know what to write. Both of these skills are needed to create worthwhile documentation. Price Creep I've been noticing price creep recently. For example, one manufacturer released a radio not long ago, then fairly recently released an updated model for $20 more, and then released an even more recent model shortly later for $50 more than the first model. I'm not saying necessarily that the two latter radios do not warrant their increased prices, but the higher prices in rapid succession have been noticed by others as well. This manufacturer also sells a mobile GMRS radio that is a bit shy of $400, which is in the mucho dinero level of the established, big name manufacturers. Again, I'm not saying necessarily that this manufacturer doesn't deserve such prices, but as the saying goes, "people are beginning to talk." This manufacturer can afford to charge these prices at least currently due to the design features incorporated in their radios versus the past, lacking offerings from their competitors. But if their competitors incorporate such features at more modest prices, they might woo customers away. Such is the waltz that is capitalism. Consumers are noticing the rapidity with which the increasingly priced radios with incremental improvements (perhaps an intentional business model) are released. As such, the consumers and their wallets might hold off on future purchases for a few beats to see what's coming 'round the bend. Examples of Good Execution I didn't want to provide only examples of bad execution. Here are some examples of good execution: + I don't know what Wouxun did or didn't do in say the last five years, but they seem to have their act together in the more recent past I'm aware of. For example, I purchased a KG-905G radio recently. Rightfully so, it did not arrive from the factory programmed in narrow band for channels in which wide band is permissible. Rightfully so, it did not arrive with access tones factory pre-programmed in memories instead of the more desirable case of no factory pre-programmed tones. Also, this radio allows a user to store multiple versions of the same repeater freqs with different tones. + Randy, from youtube channel "NotaRubicon Productions," reviewed the newly released Wouxun KG-935G handheld GMRS radio recently. It is apparent that the designers understand features to include which facilitate the use of this radio. Or possibly they included such features due to listening to influencers such as Randy and/or buytwowayradios.com. For example, the radio can be operated in a dual receive mode. To make it readily apparent which of the two selectable channels is the one that will be transmitted on when pressing the PTT button, an attention-getting red bar is present in the portion of the display corresponding to that frequency. Nice. Now let's take the case in which dual receive is active and one steps away from the radio but can hear that a transmission was received. Was it frequency A or B? There is an indicator which shows which frequency last received a transmission. Nice. But let's say you're a person who likes to keep things simple. You might find dual receive confusing or annoying. Dual receive is selectable; one is not forced to use it. Nice. * Recently, buytwowayradios.com has made the Wouxun KG-XS20G mobile radio available for purchase. While I'm waiting for reviews of this radio (believe one will be coming soon from Randy), a feature I like is one that was abandoned by many manufacturers, including the big name $$$ ones. I'm referring to the use of the sturdy, old-style mic connector. This is the connector which utilizes the strain-relieved mic cord secured by a rotating, threaded locking collar instead of the RJ-45 type of connector. I, and plenty of others, dislike the RJ-45 type of connector, especially for mobile radios. Disclosures + I have no connection with Wouxun, other than I purchased their KG-905G radio. I mention them simply because I like many of their design decisions. In case anyone thinks that I'm an automatic Wouxun fan-boy, that is not the case. For example, I wish the KG-905G radio was fully field programmable via it's key pad and knobs. As far as I know, to add or change frequencies in its memories, a PC and programming cable is required. Once that's been done, one can use the radio's limited keypad and knobs to specify or change things such as access tones, power level, and wide or narrow band. While this is better than radios that don't allow for any or next-to-nothing programmability from their keypad/knobs, I wish that the KG-905G was more field programmable in addition to the PC and programming cable method. Since the keypad of this radio is basic (i.e., numeric keys are not included), even if a convoluted way of inputting or updating frequencies could be done via the radio's keypad and knobs, I would like that. This would make the radio more flexible when traveling or otherwise away from home. + I have no connection with Randy nor his NotaRubicon youtube channel. I mention them only because he and his channel provide spot-on information about GMRS and GMRS radios. + I have no connection with buytwowayradios.com other than that's the web site from which I bought the KG-905G radio and some accessories. It is my understanding that BTWR may have interfaced with manufacturers such as Wouxun to drive design decisions for certain, uniquely-offered radios. If so, BTWR is a good asset for the GMRS world. And if that helps the manufacturer create desirable products which differentiate them from competitors and therefore drives sales, it's a win-win. Summary For the radio manufacturer's, I've provided examples of problematic radio designs, quality control issues, documentation issues, and a potential warning about increasing price creep. I've also provided examples of good execution. Finally, while providing radios with good features is nice, it is important that manufacturers also ensure reliability. The allure of whiz-bang features is long forgotten if a radio/its battery/etc fail a short time after the warranty period ends. But the bad reputation for such a manufacturer will exist long after in this case. Bad or non-existent after-purchase support also falls in this category. Note: The opinions expressed are my own. The opinions of others may vary.
    3 points
  12. I just looked at the specs for your GM-30 on Radioddity's web site: Specifications: Default Channels: 30 Channel Capacity: 250 Battery: 1500mAh, 7.4V Output Power: 0.5W / 5W Tones: 50 CTCSS / 104 DCS Tx Frequency Range: 462.5625-467.7125 MHz Rx Frequency Range: 65-108 MHz, 136-174 MHz, 400-470 MHz Your UHF receive is 400 - 470 MHz, it doesn't tune high enough for those departments According to the Radio Reference.com data base for LA County https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=201 LACoF starts at 470 MHz LAPD uses 484, 506 & 507 MHz LASO runs between 482 -485 MHz LAFD isn't even in the ball park, it uses higher 800 MHz channels Have you updated the firmware & software to the current version? Maybe that will give you expanded receive
    3 points
  13. I believe I need to say this after the Darth Vader post before. Here's my personal take and my situation. Most of you are NOT going to be able to park an antenna system 240 feet AGL and 700 feet HAAT and connect your repeater to it. I can. Most of you are NOT going to have a multi-port TX combiner that allows you to connect MULTIPLE repeaters on multiple frequencies to one antenna. I have that as well. Most of you are not going to have a stream of faulty equipment that you have the knowledge and equipment to repair and put on the air and instead need to purchase new or used hardware that honestly ain't cheap. Again, perks of being a radio guy. Some folks will say it's just too old replace it, so I do. I ask what they want done with the old stuff and remind them it's technically classified as hazardous waste (due to chemicals in capacitors and the lead based solder) and they request we dispose of it. All that being said. If you had the ability to park an antenna that high. Cover 7 counties with your GMRS repeater and have that level of coverage, you no doubt would but it's not in the reach of many. For me it's right down the road, so I do it. And the fact that's it's NOT on a 40 foot TV tower in the back yard and can only cover the two closest towns and no further, I feel it's my responsibility if I am gonna occupy the frequencies that I need to allow EVERYONE that is licensed and operates within the rules to use the repeaters I provide. So I do allow everyone. I closely follow the laws. I do have others around me running DMR on GMRS, Selling access as a for profit business (his business license attached to his GMRS site indicates its NOT a non-profit) I refuse to do either. If I want to sell air time,,, I will go get an FB6 or market frequency (would need it due to footprint) and sell air time on a commercial community repeater. I ain't into that though. Don't think that since I do this, you need to do the same. But if you DO decide to put your GMRS repeater system on full send and cover 7 counties with it, remember that you ARE creating interference for others that are not. And in doing so, their repeater on a 40 foot tower becomes useless to them as you overpower it when your repeater starts to transmit. That guy SHOULD have access to your system because you are denying him access to his stuff. Or at least interfering with it a lot. I have worked with and continue to work with the local guys. We have put together a band plan, I have setup duplexers and repeaters for those guys to interleave their channels with my efforts to minimize interference. And I will continue to do so.
    3 points
  14. First, let me apologize for the tread hijack. I didn't see the need to start a new thread on this fine radio. Thank you everyone for understanding. Received my radio a week ago. This is my first Chinese radio and it met all my expectations and then some. #1: I was able to fully program the radio through the keypad. This is the first radio I have owned that I was able to do that, and rather easily at that. #2. It has a great battery. I ordered a spare battery, desktop charger, and the battery eliminator for mobile use. #3. The color display is awesome. It's better than the photos and videos I've seen. I almost had an ASMR moment when pulling the protective film off the display. I love doing that on new items. #4. Build quality was much better than I expected. On par with my Japanese branded ham HTs. It's a rugged radio that will stand up to just about anything except being submerged. But then this is a premium radio and it carries a premium price. This is definitely NOT a cheap disposable Chinese radio. #5. Performance? I easily hit my nearest repeater that is 35 miles away. Usual caveats apply, over flat farmland, no obstructions, etc. I know, lots of cheap HT radios can easily do that. Nothing special about that. While performing the radio check, I was told the KG-935G was as clear as my 40W mobile unit. That's the part that impressed me. #6. As the radio is a joint project between Wouxun and buytwowayradios.com, buytwowayradios.com (they deserve a plug here) wrote the specs and the owner's manual and it shows. The manual is written in proper & correct English, very well edited, and has the beginner operator in mind. Everything is well explained. As mentioned, this was the easiest radio I ever programmed. I expected programming to be 'challenging' so I ordered the programming cable. I'm still glad I did because it can be used on a lot of other radios, Wouxun and other brands. I did download the software and use it to look at what I did. In reviewing my menu settings I didn't miss anything. One can program the radio faster with the cable, software, and a computer, but it is easily done through the keypad. Using the keypad just takes longer. Photo 1: The radio and the accessories. Photo 2: This carry case was listed under Wouxun accessories, but not under KG-935G accessories. Glad I found it, it easily holds two HT radios. Photo 3: Decent close up photo of the display. As I said earlier, the display actually looks better than in the photo. I also replaced the Wouxun rubber ducky antenna with a Nagoya NA-771G antenna. Maybe I'll drive out about ~40 to 45 miles from the repeater and switch antennas. See if it makes a difference.
    3 points
  15. n4gix

    Midland MXT500

    Narrowbanding was mandated by the FCC to allow for increasing the number of frequency channels available. The problem for GMRS users is that virtually all of the existing repeaters are using wideband "legacy" equipment.
    3 points
  16. A box will be heading your way next week Lou..
    3 points
  17. That's how they found a number of the 1/6 protesters. Their cell phones got pinged of the local cell towers. The Fed's got the info from the wireless carries.
    3 points
  18. kb2ztx

    Licensing

    No you need to purchase a GMRS ticket. I would also suggest you researching what ham frequencies you are authorized on.
    3 points
  19. Not quite. Channels 1-22 are referred to as simplex; you transmit and receive on the same frequency (462.725 is ch 22). 23-30 are duplex channels, where the transmit frequency is different than the receive; this is to work with repeaters, which have to retransmit on a different frequency they receive so they can retransmit in realtime. On the duplex channels (23-30), you radio transmits 5 mhz higher than it receives; the receive frequencies are the same as the simplex 15-22. Rept22 is 462.725 receive, but 467.725 transmit, and a repeater on that channel would be listening on 467.725, and retransmit the audio on 462.725 (where you're receiving). Because of how the radios are set up (and locked down), trying to talk direct radio to radio on the repeater channels isn't going to work;it's designed for bouncing the signal via repeater.
    3 points
  20. FCC field agents carrying DNA kits. That's something I haven't seen.
    3 points
  21. tl:dr: Some CCRs are really bad clinkers while others work reasonably well. That's the same situation as anything coming out of China, though. They'll make anything you ask them to make at whatever price point you want it to meet. So read reviews and test reports on this (or any) radio. If they work alright and seem well built then don't worry about the architecture. Long answer: Don't get wrapped around the axle about SoC or similarly the terms direct conversion, direct sampling, SDR, hybrid, double conversion, heterodyne, etc. The words are thrown around indiscriminately. Basically a good radio is a good radio no matter its architecture while a bad radio will be bad regardless. The RDA1846 chip that most of these radios use can perform adequately if the design is sound otherwise. It's one particular frequency agile wideband RF chip but not the only by far. There's tons of them now, some that cover HF to SHF. One I'm familiar with is an Analog Devices part that can TX and RX on 2x2 MIMO from 70 MHz to 6 GHz. It's not something intended for cheap consumer HTs though. The chip is $300 alone and a drop-in SoM (System on a Module) is $1,600... You might generalize saying it's easier to make a straight superheterodyne radio that performs fine but is less expensive. Mostly it's reliability and build quality that suffers. After decades of engineering churn there's not much fat left to cut in the fundamental architecture to significantly improve performance so all you're left with is using cheaper components. So it won't last as long being tossed around but the actual RF performance is indistinguishable otherwise. But such a radio is inflexible and doesn't lend itself to adaption to something else. DSP techniques are still evolving and proprietary. So there's a lot more ways to screw up a direct conversion radio. Algorithms and firmware are where established companies (Motorola, Harris, Yaesu, Kenwood, whomever) can really distance themselves from competitors. Motorola is probably using direct conversion in the XPR7000 and EVX models and it works well. But then again no one other than Motorola knows really what is inside their ASICs to know for sure. But the guts don't matter, they aren't able to bend the laws of economics, physics or engineering. What matters is where the rubber meets the road - does it work or not? And if they can do it other companies can, too. In fact Harris builds most of the high performance, high reliability radios for the military and one portable example, the AN/PRC-152 (Falcon III), is a highly frequency nimble (covers 30-512 MHz and 762-870 MHz without gaps) 5 watt TX SDR that can do several analog and digital modes, some of which (like APCO-25, amongst other things) were added with a firmware upgrade after the radio was accepted and put into service. That sort of flexibility is why SDR is where it's at. The reason these CCRs proliferate is once a basic design is done they can adapt it to just about anything. That comes with up- and downsides. They can just make them faster and cheaper or they can add interesting form factors or features, whatever. And even heterodyne architecture have DSP, so the line isn't really that distinct to say this-or-that. If you're still interested after that diatribe you can start digging into the engineering behind various architectures and RF generally here: https://analog.intgckts.com/wireless-receiver-architectures/
    3 points
  22. Quality isn't free. It takes time and money to develop many of the things you believe should be available in a $20 radio. Some of those features may, at some point, trickle down to bottom tier radios but it would only happen after the costs of the initial development and testing had been paid for. Bottom end radios are just that, bottom end. Many are poor reverse engineered copies of more expensive offerings by other manufacturers but then again, they are poorly engineered copies that will not have any quality components or testing other than it powered up - sometimes.
    3 points
  23. As I mentioned in the paragraph I inserted at the top of my original post, I created this current reply you're reading as a summary section. If/as additional points are made which could aid manufacturers and buyers, I will edit and update this same section. Here is the running list, in no particular order: • Ability to store multiple versions of a GMRS repeater frequency with different tones is good • No arbitrary limit of how many of the above can be stored • To expand on the second point immediately above, careful about designing arbitrary limits in general • Tones should be specific for each memory and not across-the-board • When designing more capable "non-bubble-pack" radios, provide wide band and narrow band capability, not narrow band only • Double check firmware before new radios are released or when updating firmware. (E.g., don't release radios with access tones or narrow band set in memories.) • Careful about proprietary designs. (E.g., naming tones with proprietary names may be ok for bubble pack radios, but for more capable radios I'd stick with naming conventions such as 107.2, D025N, etc.) • Memory banks/groups are nice • Test OEM radio programming software adequately before releasing it. These are often released with obvious, main-function bugs. It's one thing to not catch more obscure error legs, but main-function bugs should be detected and fixed during testing. • OEM programming software should support a good, 21st century UI experience, such as copy/pasting • Good documentation please. Missing, pertinent information is frustrating. So is poor English. • The ability to field program a radio (including frequencies) using its keypad and/or knobs is desirable • For mobile radios, please use a DIN style mic connector. This is the type which has a strain-relieved cable and a rotating, threaded, locking collar. This is more robust than the RJ-45 style of connector. • Attention-to-detail niceties enhance a user's experience. Examples can be found in the "Examples of Good Execution" portion of the original post. • Admittedly my personal opinion: non-bubble-pack radios should look professional/commercial rather than gimmicky
    3 points
  24. mbrun

    Retevis RT97 questions

    No. One input frequency and one output frequency (aka “Repeater Pair”) at at time. And despite the ability to change frequencies on the radio, expect performance to suffer if you set the radio’s frequency to something other than what the internal duplexer has been optimized for. Hope that helps. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
    3 points
  25. Many of those people that are waiting for that huge-price decrease are the same ones that will drive 20 miles out of their way and burn $4.00 in fuel to save $0.02 per gallon at the gas station..
    3 points
  26. I was driving from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin today, and I was monitoring channels 15-22. I originally was monitoring all channels, but I was getting super-local chatter, and I was mostly interested in high-power simplex and repeater traffic. When I heard something, it got me thinking. What repeater are they using? That gave me an idea for an app or a web page. I downloaded the GMRS repeater database, and made some *really* crude JavaScript. I whipped this thing up in an hour, and it's embarrassing, but it works! Showing is probably easier than telling... It's just a web page that gets your location from the browser, and then looks up the closest repeater on each channel. Right now I'm only showing the basics, but there's no reason I couldn't show the "tone in" and also have a link to the repeater details. Useful? Did I just reinvent something? I didn't make it public since I'm not sure what the licensing is for the GMRS database. If someone knows, let me know. Or, if the owner wants to reach out, lets chat.
    3 points
  27. Most of the cable TV stuff will be 75 Ohms - not the 50 Ohms that GMRS equipment would want to see. Would it work? yes, to a degree. You'll have higher losses and higher SWR than you would with "real" 50 Ohms coax. You will also find out that they don't really make LMR connectors that fit 75 Ohm cable (at least, not correctly.) You can buy some semi-expensive adapters or build your own toroid coils to deal with it. Putting a cheap radio together with cheap cable that's 75 Ohms will probably lead to a bunch of headaches, but if it ultimately means one more burned up CCR and a learning experience - then I'd probably be in favor of it. I would guess that in the long run, you'll end up buying more stuff in an effort to "save money" than you would have spent to do it right in the first place. If you want to get up higher so that you can get out further, using cheap CATV coax is NOT the way to go.
    3 points
  28. 3 points
  29. Here is a tip/trick we discovered last week getting 2 KG9000G's setup as a repeater. It was super simple to setup if you watched the video from BuyTwoWayRadios.com or NotARubicon. However one thing we noticed was we did not have a repeater tail. This is disturbing because when you put a call out there you don't know if the repeater is up or not. We found a strange menu option in the advanced settings called Repeat Hold Timer. Here is what the manual says: We were skeptical but we ordered the RT Systems cable and software and put in 700 milliseconds for this value in the software on the transmitter radio and now we have a tail. Very useful. @rayep
    3 points
  30. Hi Marcus, Before I get into more details, since you did not mention which radio you have, the first thing to realize is that not all radios support GMRS repeater use or might do so only after performing extra steps. Your owner's manual will help you determine that. If you don't have a paper copy of the manual, try looking for it online on the web site you bought the radio from or the manufacturer's web site. You can also try online manual archives such as manualslib.com. If you've determined your radio can support GMRS operation, continue reading... In case it might help, here is some fundamental information about repeaters. Repeaters use two frequencies. The frequency that the repeater transmits on is the output frequency. Since that is the repeater's output freq, that is also the freq you'll monitor to hear what comes out of the repeater. A repeater also uses an input frequency. This is the frequency that the repeater monitors to hear your transmissions and rebroadcasts them basically simultaneously on the output freq. This is known as duplex operation and is fundamental to how duplex repeaters work. When you see a repeater frequency listed in mygmrs, that is the output frequency that the repeater transmits on and that you monitor. But what about the input frequency you need to use to transmit to the repeater? That is accomplished via an offset. Normally for amateur radio, a + or - 5 MHz offset is used for UHF operation. GMRS is also UHF, but it uses only a +5 MHz offset for repeater use. The +5 MHz offset means that for whatever output GMRS frequency is being used, the input frequency is 5 MHz higher. In your original posting, you mentioned 462.650 MHz. You can tell this is a GMRS output frequency because it is in the 462 MHz range. (Note that there are also 462.xxx simplex, non-repeater frequencies in FRS and GMRS. The 462.xxx freqs only represent a repeater output when we are discussing GMRS repeaters.) So, for a repeater output freq of 462.650, the input freq you'll need to access that particular repeater is 467.650 (notice the 467 instead of the 462) because we are offsetting by +5 MHz. So how is the +5 MHz offset accomplished? It depends on your radio. There may be dedicated memories which take care of the offset. Otherwise, you may need to take additional programming steps. If so, consult the manual. For my Wouxun KG-905G handheld radio, which has preprogrammed repeater memories, such memories show a "+" sign in the display to represent the +5 MHz offset. If your radio is capable of GMRS repeater operation and it is preprogrammed with the eight possible GMRS channels in memory, select the appropriate memory for use with the repeater you are trying to access. It's possible that your radio might display a repeater's freq info with a alphanumeric label such as "RPT-19." If you're not sure which GMRS output frequency that represents, consult your owner's manual. There is also a possibility that your radio has a menu selectable option that can display a memory's content as a frequency instead of the alphanumeric tag. Let's say you've determined that your radio is 1) GMRS capable, 2) has a memory assigned for the particular GMRS repeater you are interested in, and 3) you have selected that particular memory. What's next? Access tones, aka PL tones. Repeaters typically require analog (CTCSS) or digital (DCS) access tones. This is done for two reasons. First, since there are only eight GMRS pairs (input and output freq combinations), that means several repeaters you might be able to access locally may use the same repeater freq pairs. In that case, so that you access the repeater you're interested in, you may need to transmit the appropriate transmit tone to "open" that particular repeater. As such, if a repeater requires you to send a particular transmit access tone, that is the most important tone. But if a repeater database such as mygmrs also lists a receive tone, what about that tone? That tone only influences what you hear or if you hear anything at all. So what will you hear, if anything? Let's take the case of a repeater that does support your use of a receive tone because it transmits an embedded CTCSS tone of say 156.7 (for example). There are three possibilities: 1) if you set your receive tone to none, you will receive/hear the transmission from the repeater in all cases. By setting your radio's receive tone to none, you are instructing your radios receiver to send the message to the radio's speaker regardless of whether or not the received transmission has a tone embedded in it from the repeater. 2) if you set your radio's receive tone to say 156.7, you will hear a repeater's transmission only if the same 156.7 tone is embedded in the transmission from the repeater. By setting a receive tone, you are instructing the radio to send a message to its speaker only for transmissions that are received which have an embedded tone that matches the receive tone you specified. 3) if you set your radio's receive tone to say 156.7, if a repeater's transmission has a different embedded tone or no tone, you will not hear the transmission on your radio. As you can, in the case of GMRS repeater operation, your use of a transmit tone only matters when a repeater requires you to open it via a transmit tone so you can transmit to it. If you use a receive tone, that has nothing to do with opening a repeater to transmit to it. Your use of a receive tone determines only if you'll hear a message or not. So even if a repeater requires an access tone to open it for your transmission and you use the correct transmit access tone, if you utilize an incorrect receive tone, you will not hear any transmission from the repeater. Another thing to be aware of is that some repeater's require split tones. That is, different tones for transmit and receive. This can be either two different CTCSS tones, two different DCS tones, or a CTCSS tone and a DCS tone. If you're having trouble talking to and hearing from a repeater, split tone operation and whether your radio is capable of that might be the explanation. Earlier I mentioned there are two reasons repeaters typically use access tones. The first reason discussed earlier above was due to necessity. Since there are only eight repeater pair channels, access tones provide a way to distinguish between repeaters which share these eight channels. A second benefit of using access tones, especially transmit tones, is to try to lock out trolls/jammers. Of course, since they might discover the access tones, repeater owners occasionally change which transmit tone you'll need to access the repeater again. As such, if you were able to open a repeater previously but now can't, this is the first explanation to consider. If so, you'll need to find out what the new access tone is and update your radio. Do not share such info publicly in forums - otherwise you will let the trolls/jammers know about the new tone. Another thing to be aware of is how various radios are programmed differently. The most flexible radios allow for total programming via their keypads as well as via PC software and programming cables. The least flexible radios require most if not all of their programming to be done using PC software and a programming cable. Other radios fall somewhere in the middle. For example, to program frequencies in free memory slots in my KG-905G, I must program those freqs via a PC/cable. But once those freqs have been programmed in the memories, I can change the characteristics (e.g. high/low power, receive tone, transmit tone) of the freqs via the radio's keypad. I cannot stress enough how nice/important it is to be able to change such parameters in the field untethered to a PC and cable. Though it's not in the scope of my answer to the original question to go into purchase decisions, for anyone considering buying GMRS radios, do your homework regarding must-have/desirable features. Otherwise, in an attempt to "save money," you might find yourself buying multiple radios instead of the right one from the get go. Especially if all this is new to you, I know I've provided a lot of info. If needed, it might help to digest it in bite size pieces, a paragraph at a time. Hope that helps. Happy radioing.
    3 points
  31. The GM-30 has an SMA-F fitting on the radio, which requires an antenna with an SMA-M connection. The NA-771G from Buy Two Way Radios is available in both SMA configurations, plus BNC, and is specifically tuned for GMRS frequencies. Most Baofeng radios require antennas with the SMA-F connection, so if you order something different that doesn't specify the connector, it probably won't work on the GM-30. There is also a shorter NA-701G antenna you can buy, but some reviewers have said it doesn't work much better than the stock antenna. I haven't tried it, so I can't comment on that aspect of it from my own experience. It has the advantage (as does the stock antenna) of being less intrusive than the 771G due to its shorter length. If you're going to use the radio in a vehicle, I'd recommend a magnet-mount (or permanent mount) external antenna for better performance. Even a cheap, but properly tuned, mag mount will improve performance substantially over using a whip attached to the radio inside the vehicle.
    2 points
  32. widnerkj

    Vehicle install

    Been using it on low power to talk with the various repeaters here in the Tucson area. At first was using medium power, but tried low, and it's clear and nice. So why not give the electrons less of a workout. I'm very satisfied with the radio and antenna.
    2 points
  33. BoxCar

    paramedic

    Could also be something as complicated as the volume knob....
    2 points
  34. This is how you repair a CCR...
    2 points
  35. You can have one mast with two antennas, or you can have one antenna to cover 2m, 70cm, GMRS. If you use two radios for that (of course you will be using two radios!) you would need an antenna switch. Mburn's way is more fool-proof: each radio has it's own antenna. Btw, the universally-loved Ed Fong's J-pole is not always the answer. Both Browning BR-6140 and Diamond X50 give me better results than Fong's on GMRS. If you already have Ed Fong antenna, nothing wrong with using it. But if not, you may look into other options. Browning is the same price, shorter, with RF choke integrated, and better quality overall.
    2 points
  36. Hey guys, thanks for the replies! I fixed the issue by taking another front panel (screen, microphone jack board) from a regular TK-880 25 Watt I had and simply swapping it into my 40 Watt TK-880-H I was having the issue with. I found the service manual you posted and found out that these radios were intentionally built to be modular and repaired, you know, back when things were made to be repairable! This completely fixed the issue, and all but confirms that the microphone port was just fried in some way. It appears that most parts are completely interchangeable between these radios, including between the 25W & 40W variants, which is great and means we can keep our radios going much longer instead of tossing it in a bin and having to buy another one. She transmits, receives, and reads / writes on the computer just fine now.
    2 points
  37. Yes, that is the downside of textual form of communication... G.
    2 points
  38. As long as a licensed operator is "in control" of the station it is permissible for an unlicensed person to use your radio. In other services, the licensed operator would establish contact and then hand the mic to the other person. While the rules are a little vague, the use of a call sign is limited to the actual person holding the license. That does not preclude an unlicensed person calling your call sign and identifying themselves as "Unit X."
    2 points
  39. Yep, a frequency entry is a tiny byte array. We will remember the brands who can't accommodate a simple design element like this.
    2 points
  40. BuyTwoWayRadios needs to be given credit for the improvements that the have made to happen with the recent crop of Wouxun Radios. I can’t honestly say that I can attribute any of the recent improvements to the manufacturer directly. Some background for you. I received one of the first shipment of KG905G radios. I had preordered it the first I learned it was in the works. Within the first couple of hours I discovered major flaws. Wouxun thought this was perfectly acceptable apparently, because no respectable quality control department ever would have passed it. They must think we Americans are to stupid to notice. Within a short time after reporting the issue to BTWR independently verifying the issues, production on the radio was halted. I believe early action on their part saved the 905G from being a disaster and I suspect it was likely a major contributor to the long delay before Wouxun got the issues resolved and product begin shipping again. They earned a lot of respect from me for this. Since that time I have had many interactions with BTWR regarding product performance and have assisted with pre-release testing of product, including the two most recent releases. I am pleased to report that many issues were caught by both parties and corrected before units went into full production. It is sad however that it is taking a distributor to do the manufacturer’s job for them, but for those of us that own Wouxun GMRS radios we should be very thankful they are involved. And as far as the UI improvements in the latest crop of radios, we have BTWR to thank, both for opening the door to external collaboration but also pushing the manufacturer to do a better job. I am actively lobbying for still a much improved user experience and a way of doing field programming of channelized radios. Comments in this thread may prove helpful in making the case further that change is necessary. mrGMRS, I agree with you. The 905G (or its successor) can and should be able to be fully and conveniently field programmed, and it should be able to be done faster and more conveniently that any of the current crop of GMRS radios, even those with keypads. The story is written. The question is whether the manufacturer cares. However, all of this is mute if everyone wants radios at bottom of the barrel prices. If there is no money to be made… Just my two cents. I must admit I was thrilled to see this thread start. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
    2 points
  41. OffRoaderX

    Repeater question

    Be careful on those "Free speech" repeaters.. Those boys play rough..
    2 points
  42. Back in the Dark Ages (long before even ARPANET!), I took COBOL, FORTRAN IV, and PERL during the same semester. The same professor taught all three classes. For our major project in each class he essentially gave us the same task, which basically was a simple accounting application for a golf course. I decided to combine all three assignments into a single solution: PERL for the input/output routines, COBOL for the database, and FORTRAN IV for all maths operations. The professor was only mildly amused, but he did finally give me a 4.0 for all three classes. EDIT: I don't remember the exact number now, but as close as I can recall this took close to 4 thousand punch cards!
    2 points
  43. I think the lesson here is that if all you want is a cheap simplex radio to talk short distances in your group, then by all means buy a couple Midland radios. They will unfortunately be low performance narrow band radios by design. If you want to talk through repeaters and talk to other licensees, you need a commercial grade radio like many of the Kenwood radios. They are plentiful from used market at cheap price. They will have wide band capability, better receivers, multiple CTCSS ( PL ) / DCSS (DCS), split tone , repeater capability. Etc Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
    2 points
  44. MichaelLAX

    Repeater question

    WELCOME to GMRS! If it were me, I would go up on the repeater and ask permission there and if they are testy, tell them you wrote and no reply. Since there are only 8 GMRS repeater pairs, I like to SCAN and if I hear obvious repeater communications on those channel, I take notes. Can your rig "scan" CTCSS tones, that is, tell you what tone is being used by the repeater users when they transmit. This is a very handy feature and I may buy another HT just to get that feature! My "ham radio" Yaesu FT-857d can do that feature for me now, but it cannot transmit on the GMRS channels; only receive. It is necessary to know the repeater tone for your transmissions to be "heard" by the repeater. Using tones for your reception is optional; they help eliminate interference to you from other repeaters on the same frequency. Since I am an explorer, I never use reception tones, so I can always hear what other activity is present and then do some tone and location research about the others I hear. You have, of course, looked at the San Diego area of the map here on MyGMRS? UPDATE: the previous poster, OffRoaderX, has a terrific series of YouTube instructional videos about GMRS and other topics: Search NotARubicon on YouTube and Subscribe and Thumbs Up him, if you like his videos!
    2 points
  45. JLeikhim

    Sheriff on FRS?

    I think his dual band base antenna is presenting a ton of signal at 155.850 MHz and his Chinese receivers are overloading and creating third harmonic on or near 467.6375 MHz . A quick check would to put a UHF single band whip on the radio and see if the signal is radically reduced or goes away. It is too coincidental that the third harmonic falls right on channel. I would not rule out a spurious signal from the sheriff repeater, but we are talking about a $30K repeater and duplexer versus a $35 Chinese receiver. Any bets? Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
    2 points
  46. The revamp of the MyGMRS forums looks amazing on desktop and functions very well on mobile. However, these "Open this topic on..." nag screens that pop up every time on mobile browsers are very annoying: There doesn't appear to be a way to permanently disable this as every time I navigate to the forums page I see it. "Chrome" is always shown as the option for all Chromium-based browsers, and this yields a confusing UX. Who even uses Tapatalk anymore in this day and age of mobile-first web development? So many forums I subscribe to have dropped support for this app long ago, RadioReference included. Anyway, my 2¢...
    2 points
  47. For now I would have to second Yaesu System Fusion. But that is base entirely on how easy it was to make it operational on first attempt. Quite the stark contrast to the stories from others I have heard regarding getting alternate digital modes usable. I must admit too, I love the repeater’s interop capability with standard FM. That is appealing. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
    2 points
  48. There's a lot of factors that affect the answer, so it isn't quite an easy yes or no. With no obstructions, a lot further is possible, but gmrs (and UHF as a whole) is very much line of sight. Getting a good antenna up where obstructions are minimal will help, as will power to some extent (especially with the foliage part of the equation). Big hills may be problematic, though, and some areas are more restricted than others about setting up antennas. In relatively clear air (antenna in my attic) and 50 watts, I can reach a repeater a little over 60 miles out (that sits around 3000 ft up in the foothills) and another 30 or so miles the opposite direction at 5000 ft. The ratings shown on a lot of the "bubble pack" radios represent ideal conditions, which is why they include "up to" in the small print when they talk in miles of reach.
    2 points
  49. this is gonna depend on the situation. But BOTH is the ideal situation. GMRS lends simplicity to any situation since any family member can be given a radio, so basic direction of radio operation on air and turned loose with it to use. Ham is not that way, they would need to be licensed. Ham is going to have more people on it, but that is a double edged sword depending on the situation. Don't think just because someone has a ham radio they fall into the prepper category and aren't looking for someone else's stuff because they have none. And that applies to GMRS as well and why you tell family members to NOT EVER communicate their location to ANYONE on the air in an emergency unless they are in a life and death situation calling for help. But again, the situation is going to dictate what you need, and how to communicate. Examples Storm takes down power for more than 12 hours. Combination of GMRS. ham and a broadcast receiver possibly a CB radio. Discussions will typically range from where to get ice and find charging stations. Situation is minor. A police scanner is a valuable tool for situational awareness. Major power outage,, one week. Here's were op-sec (operational security) comes into play. GMRS is useful to maintain comms with non ham family members and trusted friends. HAM is for listening now. The number of unprepared folks out there are now looking for supplies. Situation is not dire but the unprepared will be freaking out. All discussions of actual location should cease at this level. DO NOT discuss over the radio where you are, where you have left or what time you are going to return. CB radio for listening, but only by people that understand replying to calls for help could create a situation. A police scanner may or may not be a valuable tool here for situational awareness. Significant situation, extended power failure, mud slide or other situation that will exist for more than a week, extending to new normal or SHTF situations were government is no longer standing or willing or able to assist. Encrypted communications ONLY. Listening to multiple radios for situational awareness is important at this point. Obviously communications are inner circle ONLY as you have only entrusted encryption keys to very close friends, and multi-key has become valuable as some communications should ONLY be had with direct family members. CB radio is now useless. There will be road pirates and roving gangs looking for ANYTHING they feel is valuable at this point. Women will be task with telling horrible stories over the radio of their dire situations to gain your sympathy and trust to either get your location information or draw you into an ambush. The lowest common denominator of people will be all that's left on the open airwaves. Transmitting much of anything on CB will be a very bad idea. Listening to CB and ham will wear you down as the tails of others situations will put your humanity in question. And while some stories will be true, just as many will be to get you to break op-sec and give up information on where you are. Mind you this is where you are one step from a Walking Dead type situation where it's known that things will never return to "normal". But this level is where government is not coming to 'help'. Police scanners are useless. Public safety folks all went home days ago. Any activity is going to be communications from stolen police vehicles and radios. Point is this,, prepare NOW. And that goes far beyond the type and number of radios you have. If COVID has proven anything, it's shown that yes, the unthinkable is possible. Look at the situation with the toilet paper. Get stuff put away so you can live in relative comfort for an extended period of time. Get your house in order and prepare for at least some level of situation lasting for a minimum of two weeks. Cans of soup and vegetables may not sound appetizing, but once you are hungry, they will taste wonderful. No I don't have tons of stuff hoarded away, I can go two weeks without any problems, but not much further. And the time of year will dictate my personal situation, winter vs summer. But I am out far enough out and have a circle of friends that can butcher one of the local cows, or a deer for protein and I eat vegetables that others refuse like brussel sprouts. Those will always be on the shelves in an otherwise empty store.
    2 points
  50. Once again, for some reason the original post has been edited, but in this case, the subject line sums up the original question, and several posts agreed on a valid answer. There is already a well established "Highway" or "Travel Channel" for GMRS, and it is 462.675 with a CTCSS Tone of 141.3Hz. Again, on a Midland MicroMobile, (and many other GMRS or Combo radios) that would be channel 20 with a "Privacy Code" of 22. (However, check your radio's owner's manual for the privacy or quiet code that matches 141.3 Hz. Not all radios are mapped the same for these codes.) This frequency can be used in repeater mode, or simplex if a repeater is not available in the area. ...and if you don't want to miss any possible action, then use WRAF233's suggestion, and just set the radio to "SCAN". Also of note, just yesterday, I was traveling on US HWY 81 in North Central Kansas, and heard 2 truckers using channel 20-22.
    2 points
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