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Everything posted by WQYC236

  1. One other question...do most NMO antennas have a water proof plug option for going through the car was or pulling in the garage. I'm running a 5/8 wave, 2 meter mag mount on my Outback now and it's pretty tall.
  2. Thanks to everybody for all the great information and the technical explanations of "why" the NMO makes perfect sense. When I do mine I will be picking your brains on how to approach the whole project. I know there's a lot of information here on the site already but you guys are filling in the blanks. I was especially interested to hear from the professionals out there who have the first hand field experience. Thanks!!
  3. I hear a lot discussion about the superiority of NMO over Mag Mounts. It usually ranges from very little difference to NMO being a vastly better performer. Those using mag mounts say that if the magnet is big enough and the capacitive coupling solid that there is very little difference. Those with the NMO's say that you can't get a good ground with a mag mount. My question is does anyone have any hard data showing how much improvement can be obtained by drilling a hole and solid mounting the antenna? Someone must have studied this at some point in time or performed some experiments. Thanks! Sasquatch
  4. I know this is an older post but I was just looking at the rabbit trail again and marveling at the unresponsiveness of the FCC to clear violations, with documentation. If manpower and resources are the issues, I really wonder how they prioritize what they can respond to?
  5. Try not to get too discouraged with all the technical terms. It just seems overwhelming at first, before long you'll be dropping MHz bombs like a pro. Something that helps me is to just pick a couple of technical terms and do an on line search for a simple explanation. Eventually it will begin to make sense.
  6. My family is scattered out to about 25 miles away and the three kids use my license to keep track of each other in bad weather etc. We basically set it up as an emergency back up communications system that would cover the three towns where they live. With the local repeater up about 1200 feet we can stay in touch for about 60-70 miles mobile to mobile. If the repeater goes down (as in an EMP/CME) we all have a "hill" within walking distance of each home that would still allow us to make contact once a day at a pre-set time.
  7. I think that I'm going back to two tin cans and a long string...at least I know where I stand with that communications device.
  8. This is the perfect venue for all of us to make sure we don't interfere with each other and also to determine if a new repeater is actually needed. I know of people who put up a repeater and then discover that one already exists. We have recently encountered a new repeater in our area on the exact frequency and PL code as a long time existing Red Cross and REACT repeater. Fortunately nobody seems to be using the new repeater right now but if it gets busy we are going to have big problems. I use the "Seven Corners" repeater to talk to my son on the last five miles of his trip to work in DC since the "Warrenton repeater" usually fails at about that point. Now however I can't do that because I'm too close to the unlisted repeater on the same frequency and PL!
  9. Sorry for the late reply but my other activities have kept me busy. Anytime you want to try a long range DX experiment send me a personal message and Ill see it on my cell. Sasquatch!
  10. Hello and welcome to the GMRS world and the web site. I'm in Castleton, VA about 55 miles from DC and there isn't much traffic in this area either. If I go into Culpeper or Warrenton, two small towns near me, I hear more traffic but out here it's pretty quite most of the time. I scan ch 1-7 and 15-22, plus about 8 repeaters in my area. Looks like you are a long way from everywhere down. Just for fun I could drive up to a high point on Skyline Drive, the mountain ridge about 134 miles NW of you and we could see if we could talk. Sasquatch
  11. MURS channel 4 is the weapon of choice for our local "Wally World" . It gets pretty annoying sometimes but at least they are using an unlicensed frequency.
  12. What's confusing is I used to be able to talk for at least 30 minutes with out any problems and that was with an older, lower capacity battery. The issue seemed to show up after the two Motorola's were programmed this last time. We added some frequencies, checked the power output to a dummy load, and also checked the frequency alignment. Everything looked good. I'm wondering if the CDM 1550 LS+ series has an internal adjustable set point for the low voltage alarm? Maybe that inadvertently got changed to a higher voltage number. Does that sound reasonable? I have also been considering what you are suggesting with a duel battery set up, more so for emergencies than just my convenience.
  13. It's the highest capacity battery that will fit in the vehicle, are you saying I need some special type of battery beyond a high capacity car battery? Everything is fused.
  14. Something else you may be able to answer for me. I have a brand new 850 CCA battery in my 2005 Ford Explorer. My CDM 1550 is wired directly to the battery using the heavy gauge wiring harness that comes from Motorola with the radio, no modifications. I just tested my alternator/charging system, so I know it's working perfectly. My problem is I can't talk very long on low power (23 watts) with the engine off without the radio beeping at me. When I start the motor it goes away. I can't talk at all on high power (42 or 43 watts) without the engine running. Any suggestions or is this normal? I have another brand mobile rated at 50/40 watts, VHF/UHF that talks for at least a half hour without any noticeable problems, it's just the Motorola.
  15. Thanks for all the good information everyone! One question in my mind is...are there radios for GMRS that are built for the 50%-75% duty cycle end user?
  16. I think a lot of us out here use LMR-400 or something similar for roof mounted antennas. The shorter the better so plan carefully. I have a 75 foot run of LMR-400 to a 4 db antenna and it does OK. I will either put my antenna higher or cut the coax by 20 feet soon, haven't decided which way to go yet. I'm using this antenna (http://www.dpdproductions.com/page_gmrs.html#gmrsvert) and it will typically talk 15 miles over average terrain to a mobile, roof mounted antenna. The antenna is mounted 40 feet above the ground.
  17. Just an FYI here. I usually find my Baofeng's set to a squelch of 4 out of the box. I always reset mine to 1 and never look back. That brings in the weakest signals in my area with rarely any noise. My motorola's are also set to 1 and are extremely sensitive to weak signals without picking up the stray noise.
  18. Thanks, that helps. Love those Motorola's!
  19. Thanks! I do have a High/Low button set. Was just wondering if it would be harder on the radio at 48 watts?
  20. I have a Motorola CDM 1550 LS+ that puts out 42 watts on high and 23 watts on low. I noticed in the programming software that the high/low power level is adjustable up to 48 watts on high power. Is there a reason that people (or Motorola) sets the power level at less than the maximum? Is it better on the radio to leave it set to 42 watts or crank it up? That being said 23 watts does most of what I want talking on the repeater. Once in a while if I'm trying to push a signal from the wrong side of a mountain or bad area I do need to go to 42 watts but that's the exception. What do you guys think?
  21. I'm seeing some mountain peaks to the west of you that are topping out at 9400 ft. If you could get a repeater up there the line of sight calculator says you could talk 141 miles to the east. From Pike's Peak you could talk into Kansas (171 miles)!
  22. I have around 15 or so repeaters programmed into my radios but only use 2-3 of them so far and 99% of the time only one. We have a really great repeater here in Warrenton, VA up about 1100 feet. If you look it up here in the repeater section you will see a color coded range map (math model) that will give you a good idea of the estimated range over all kinds of terrain. This map has been verified with hours of field testing by four people, at the extreme range of the repeater and much of the data was collected with 5-8 watt hand held radios. So far the longest distance with a HT was 47.5 miles talking over three mountain ranges. Typically 30 miles or more is not a problem in average rolling terrain with the HT's. The longest distance with a mobile radio so far is 75 miles but the driver was camping on a higher elevation. One ground level base station comes in loud and clear from 65 mile north of the repeater so we are pretty happy with the performance. I hope this helps. B.B.
  23. No on the Laird, but here's what I use and it really talks. It's almost double the gain of the one you are looking at. I have two for my cars, one is GMRS/MURS and the other is GMRS only. http://www.dpdproductions.com/page_gmrs.html#gmrs58mobile
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