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JB007Rules last won the day on September 29 2020

JB007Rules had the most liked content!

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  1. I wish I could like this post more than once... This PERFECTLY sums up my verbiage and writing from the from my post from September 28th, 2020 on page 3... Literally I've read through this half a dozen times and wrote down key points before going live on my tower site. I was going to go into this in my first post from last year but I thought it might have been off-topic but you can see now clearly it's *NOT* off topic. I wanted to thank you for writing this and leaving this post here, it's VERY good and I hope others actually read through the entire Part 95 thing as well.
  2. I would like to point out that here in the Midwest, based on my direct observations, GMRS closely follows the VHF 2 meter band openings. I've contacted the Baraboo 550 repeater from a 5W Kenwood NX300 HT standing in my front yard of my house in IL... that's about 136 miles as the crow files from my house north and a bit west. It's worth noting that that the Baraboo 550 repeater is an absolute monster and it's up on top of a very very tall mounting range. This is the website I use to follow those band openings: http://aprs.mennolink.org/ Further more, there are repeaters in Arizona that are on mountain tops that also easily work 100 - 150 miles out with the proper antenna/feedline/etc. It all depends on your location in the country, the height of the repeater, and the atmospheric conditions! Thanks!
  3. I'm in IL an hour behind you FYI cuz I'm in Illinois!
  4. Hey old thread! I've since got two DB408's and have more DB404's on order too lol. I can help you on that Glen! I've shot you a PM with my phone number. It would be best to be remoted into your computer using something like Team Viewer so I can look at your config while you're connected to the repeater (That way we can actively write the config as we make changes. That is good too cuz I can put my code plug on my other screen and we can do a direct comparison! It took me MONTHS to figure everything out on the TKR-850's but I'm pretty damn good at it now!!! Do you have a V1 or a V2? I have only Version 2 repeaters as they have WAY more features than Version 1 repeaters do! Thanks!
  5. Understood there and agreed 100%! For that I would then reply to update the mygmrs.com repeater listing to show the correct coverage (5 miles I think is the least you can do) if the coverage turned out to be far less than expected. Thanks!
  6. I'll bite on this one. I cannot speak for everyone but I know for me during the week during normal business hours (M-F / 9-5) I am quick to reply back to everyone that has requested use of my machine. The weekends can get dicey as I'm busy with family and the kids but I always reply on Monday morning when I get back to my shop. I'm in front of a computer all day and my email is always up so there is never a reason for me to not reply. As far as backup power, my system has enough backup power for 48 hours with my testing I've done before the batteries run out. I also have a generator on standby ready to go for something longer than a 4-day outage. I'm fortunate to be on a tower site which is in the same farm as Comed is where they have their own tower too and their main com systems are located so the power nearly never goes out and if it does it's not very long! I also have my machine set up to run at only 25W when on backup lithium power to conserve power too! That being said, the fact of the matter is that there are a *LOT* of low-height, home-brew repeaters which aren't going to reliably (I’m talking driving around and talking) cover very much anyways or maybe they don't want you using it because it's a small family repeater for local family only usage. With a repeater running at a house that only has 3 - 5 miles of reliable coverage, what would be the point of replying to a person that is 10 or 15 miles away that cannot get into it no matter what anyways?? Which leads me to my next point… I know that before I went on a commercial tower site, when I had my machine at my house at 47', I received TONS of repeater requests and I gave my tones out but I put an * on it that stated "This is at my house and only reliably covers 5 miles tops. If you are outside of this, there is no way you will be able to get into this repeater and use it reliably" The other thing I see every day are over-inflated coverage bubbles. I see TONS of home brew repeaters listed (There is one right near mine for example) that's running at a house that claims to have a 15 mile coverage radius when you cannot even get into it 5 miles out on a 45W commercial grade Kenwood with a $200 commercial roof mount antenna. Hell, I can BARELY scrape into it at my house on my base which is 47 feet tall 8.41 miles away and I have a DB408 antenna. In my opinion I see lots of repeaters that show a far, FAR, greater coverage ring than they can *ACTUALLY* reliably use so when people get on the map and see that massive coverage ring, you would think/assume that they are more tempted to request access to it which inflates that email flow asking for access to a repeater they’ll literally never be able to get into unless they happen to be travelling in that area. That would be my biggest guess as to why repeater owners wouldn't reply. The other fact is that everyone is busy with work and kids so emails get missed/buried. Thanks!
  7. I agree. I added the Rugged 575 to this as well a few months ago for this exact reason. I left it as private/closed too but with my email to use it. I gather that hams use this website the most (I'm not a ham) but I figured it'd be ideal to get my GMRS repeater on there so they can see it if they decide to get a GMRS license
  8. I'll be travelling to the US VI soon here. I've been the main supplier of all the in vehicle laptops (Toughbooks) for the police, fire, ems, and for the hospitals. I have some monster meetings and installs coming up (Which I was supposed to go down in March then the over-hyped rona appeared.... But I digress there...). Anyways I'm planning on bringing both a high power (45W) and my hand held to try to make some contacts from my hotel room. I don't know yet when I'm going (probably another couple months here if I had to guess) but I will call out when I do get there! I've enjoyed reading the conversations and thanks for all your input Gman!! I've learned a lot from reading all what you wrote! Very helpful!
  9. I left my CW ID on my repeater as the default which is as follows sending out my call sign: TX Interval Time [min]: 15 (Per FCC) TX Delay time : 5.0 CW Speed [word/min]: 20 CW Mod. Delay Time [ms]: 600 Audio Frequency [Hz]: 800 I will say this: I could certainly slow it down but on the surface 20 words/min doesn't seem unreasonable but I of course cannot read Morse code for beans even if it was set to 1 word/minute LOL. It would slow down the ID'ing portion when the repeater does spit it out which might aggravate most of the people that want to just use the repeater and don't care about Morse code decoding. Thanks!
  10. I'll bite here. Rugged 575 in Naperville, IL has a 1500VA APC which is cheap as a primary AC battery backup. This will run my repeater for a LONG time... Like a couple days or more depending on usage. After that dies I have a 90AH Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFEpo4 like others have already mentioned) that I built myself from scratch. This will run that repeater for about a week as well. What is nice is that if you get a proper commercial repeater (I have several Kenwood TKR-850's) is that you can set it to not only send out a tone over the air when the power switches to backup power but also to transmit a subtle beep when you are using it so you know it's on emergency/backup power. Take that a step further and you can also set the repeater to go down to 50% power (or any amount of power I choose) once it goes to said backup system to further extend your run time. I didn't do that myself as I believe in emergency situations being at full capacity is ideal... That and I have so many other batteries and generators that I wouldn't even worry lol. If you wanna save a ton of money (Like half the cost) I suggest you learn how to build your own LiFEpo4 batteries. Battle born batteries are nice but you're paying $1,000 for a battery you can build yourself for $550. The best resource for that would be to watch Will Prowse's videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj6RxIAQq8kmJme-5dnN0Q Thanks!
  11. Okay, I’ll bite here. I own a repeater (Rugged 575) in Naperville, IL at 300' receive / 250’ transmit. It’s on a commercial site with other UHF and VHF radio systems as well. Not only have I spent nearly 5 figures setting this up correctly but I monitor it as if it was my baby, cuz, you know, it *IS* my baby. I built it with no financial help from anyone else. Of course there was other help I received by LOTS of other commercial repeater owners (Those of you that are reading know who you are) as I’ve come a long way in the last year and some change here. I have my repeater system set up for several different private family usage cases and I also have a tone for public which I closely monitor as well and others that are out there do use it. As a repeater owner I’m super happy to turn my radio on and hear other people using it. As a matter of fact just yesterday some other licensed GMRS users were using my repeater and I needed to use it with my wife as I was at the grocery store and I broke in and said, “hang tight guys, I need to talk to my wife for a minute. I’ll let you know when I’m done”. Anyways, I flipped to our tone, talked with her about the particulars, then went back to the public side and said “Carry on guys! Glad to hear you out there using the machine”. That being said, mine is set to “Ask permission” as well because as others have mentioned, I want to know who is using it to verify their license and location because it’s my system and it’s my responsibility to make sure it’s up to par on the commercial shared site. I have sent an email back to EVERY! SINGLE! PERSON! As well welcoming them with the tones to use it! I haven’t had the need (yet) to ever reject anyone from using my repeater but I still keep a tab on who has access to it as in my opinion, it’s my responsibility to do so. Not only that, but I have my custom verbiage I send back with every request as well stating that this is a family repeater as well and to aid to traffic on the other PL tone. Heck, I’ll paste what I send you can see where we are coming from with this: “The tone for my repeater is XXXX (left blank) (N – normal, not inverted). When you key up for the first time please identify yourself using your call sign and call for ROB. I am regulating who is using my repeater as it is being used for my family as well. I have received an exceeding amount of requests to use my repeater. Originally this was set up for family only use but seeing as the range is far better than expected, I have opened it up on an as-requested basis to any licensed GMRS operator. PLEASE NOTE: ALL TRAFFIC MUST YIELD TO MY FAMILY. The tone for public use is different than family so if you see your radio lighting up receiving on 462.575 but no audio is coming through on your radio it's because my family is talking so please do not key up until that traffic has cleared. Thanks and I hope to hear you on the air!” That being said, sometimes users don’t understand what a multi-table is either so I will say this too: When you first use a new repeater you should ALWAYS call out for a radio check IMO because you don’t know how that repeater is set up and should NEVER assume anything! I was in Iowa once and I made contact to the owner on the traveler tone (I was travelling) and he told me that it’s linked to another repeater in California! NONE of this information was posted on mygmrs.com and upon googling I couldn’t even find it either!!! It was good to know that I was keying multiple machines too and me and the owner had a nice long 30 minute conversation and he was glad I keyed up and shouted out! To sum up further as a repeater owner: *MOST*, but not *ALL* repeater owners don’t mind you using their machine I’ve found. Now I’m in the Midwest mind you, so again, no assumptions would be made for other machines that I’ve never used, but around here most repeater owners are very happy to have you on their machine and it brings a great smile to their face to know that they are serving the public with a reliable communication system and growing the hobby as well! Remember that GMRS isn’t HAM and HAM isn’t GMRS. A *LOT* of people out there want GMRS for family use under one license and that’s what I’m doing but I’ve decided to open it up to the public as well as the coverage is fairly decent. I looked at getting a business license and could have easily done it too but I like the idea of being able to chat with my family *AND* other GMRS users so here we are! Thanks!
  12. Rod, Rob - WRDU235 here from Montgomery Illinois. Sorry I just saw this now. Is it too late to add me to the list? It's about an hour and a half drive for me but I want to meet all of you guys
  13. Hey guys, I'm on vacation here in Whitefish, Montana and I can hear a CW ID every 15 minutes. I tried keying up the BEAR 1 machine but that's 160+ miles away and didn't respond. I doubt it would go this far but that's the ONLY 625 repeater listed for this state? I started hearing the machine as I came up north bound on route 83 and it was working clear in Kalispell as well and works inside my condo I'm renting here at the Ptarmigan Village for the next 3 days. Any idea on this repeater? I was going to try to make some contacts. Rob, WRDU235 - Montgomery, IL. Thanks!
  14. FYI: We have a nationwide net every Sunday at 7PM Central (8 Eastern). The linking map is here: https://link.mygmrs.com/map I don't think that those repeaters are linked but it might be worth nothing that if the owners can link them and join the large weekly net that would also be cool.
  15. Thanks for that information! I can't wait til this DB408 comes in! Any day now!!! I ordered it (again) last week on Tuesday. Yeah, one issue I've had with the cheap $60 antenna (And everyone said this would be a problem so I'm not surprised) is that for example my wife was about 8 miles out at her parents house on a 45w mobile and I could hear here LOUD AND CLEAR transmitting back to the machine but me being at home transmitting super clean to the repeater it couldn't get back out to her. So essentially it could hear VERY well but the mouth just couldn't get it back to her 8 short miles away. I've also witnessed this when travelling out west on Interstate 88. Due to the geography I'm at a HUGE elevation advantage when shooting west. At any rate I was able to burp the repeater at almost 22 miles but it couldn't spit it back out to me. Always a transmitting shortcoming. With a correct antenna and proper ground I think we'll be cooking with gas here soon.
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