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Everything posted by mire

  1. Where are these 400 - 520 BF888 radios at? All the ones I’ve seen are 400 - 470, and a couple can go up to 490.
  2. I’m aware of five models… Motorola MR-355R (I own several) Motorola MR-356R Motorola MS-350R Motorola MS-355R Liberty 500 All are discontinued, so you’d have to buy them used. They all come with the 121 standardized DPL tones and cannot do split tones. The Motorola MS series, they tend to be particularly expensive, even used. The MR-355R (I’ve never seen a 356) tend to be about on par with other radios from the same series price wise. Never seen nor sought out the Liberty 500. You could argue the Midland GMRS HTs are effectively warmed over blister pack radios.
  3. This is why we went to split non-standard DCS tones in Front Range GMRS. You apparently can’t count on adults to act like adults. Wish they’d keep that trash on 11 meter, but unfortunately they don’t seem to be content with that.
  4. It does. Are you dealing with a single CTCSS tone, a single DCS tone, split CTCSS tones, split DCS tones, DCS to CTCSS crossover…? If you’re only using a single tone, you don’t need to enter the mode… it’ll do it automatically once you enter a CTCSS or DCS tone. If you’re using split tones, you’ll have to go into Cross under mode and you may need to select the cross mode before you put the PL tones in (e.g., CTCSS - CTCSS, DCS - DCS, DCS - CTCSS, CTCSS - DCS). What hemmed me up the first time I tried using Chirp for programming a repeater was how you dial in the offset. With commercial radio software, proprietary BaoFeng software, etc., you enter the transmit and receive frequencies separately. With Chirp, you enter the receive frequency, then you go to offset, choose +, then you enter the actual offset in the column next to it, not the frequency. So if you were programming for a 600 repeater, you’d enter 462.600, choose + in the duplex column, then in the offset column, you’d type in “005.000”, rather than typing in 467.600.
  5. I use Kenwood radios also. What I do as far as zones is that I’ll dedicate a zone to each repeater output, e.g., a zone for 550, 575, 600, 625, 650, 675, 700, and 725. I have travel tone in all of them and any other repeaters are categorized according to output frequency. I don’t program a corresponding TA with them because I assign a key for the TA feature. Then I assign a zone for any specific simplex frequency/tone combinations I want to store.
  6. Is over saturation of repeaters really a thing, though? I don’t really get the impression there’s an abundance of them. Here in the Denver !etro, we have five, with one currently down for repair and another being a private repeater used by a group of local hams for rag chew. Looking through the list, NYC is really the place where this conflict might exist. I can certainly see potential problems with it, but not that high a likelihood. Even if GMRS did fully go license by rule, I don’t really anticipate it would lead to a flood of low profile repeaters. Even if you look at the intentional squatters thinking it’ll lead to UHF CB, they don’t actually want to put repeaters up themselves, for the most part, and those who do want them tend to want portables to bring on camping trips and such.
  7. There probably isn’t any. I mean, you can find a number of commercial LMR radios with a remote head kit available, such as the TK-890 or TK-8180, but I don’t think that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Honestly, if you want a Midland, get a Midland. I don’t really get the impression of split tones and/or non-standard or inverted DCS octals being the norm, and it’s going to work for most repeaters. Might leave you a little assed out if you were planning on moving to Denver, but the busiest repeater here is a private repeater a bunch of local hams use for rag chew, anyhow. As for narrow band, it would be nice to be able to take advantage of 20 kHz transmission, but for just transmitting voice, it’s really not a big deal.
  8. Some repeater owners also have theirs linked to Zello, so they might be well beyond LOS and transmitting on that repeater because they’re using an app and cellular data or WiFi. Northwest Indiana GMRS does it, our 600 repeater in Denver also is, there’s a couple linked to the USRC Zello channel (including one in Hawaii), etc.
  9. Pretty much amounts tp different ways of saying potato. Some never bothered to read the package, some read it and ignored it, and you’ll also on occasion run into people who think that, if they squat enough, we’ll end up with license-by-rule UHF CB, repeaters and all. That’s exactly what I say. And I feel there’s a segment of the population which wants to do that on UHF. They’re already most of the way there - all that’s left is the repeater inputs and use of repeaters. Not that I really think anyone aside from a limited number of those with garage repeaters would keep their towers up without switching to 70cm if that were to happen, Yeah, I know about Walmart and MURS. And it kinda was hidden in the shadows for some time. People of course knew at least something about FRS and GMRS, but MURS really took off more in maybe the last 8 years or so, especially once BaoFeng radios began entering the scene (amd people didn’t know, didn’t care to know, or just plain didn’t care about the illegal nature of using those radios outside of Part 97). The confusion was my doing. Yes… almost. I was running simplex, so no 467.650. Our repeaters on Front Range GMRS use non-standard DCS octals, so we haven’t run into problems there when using the repeater. Though once in a while I do get interference from a closer blister pack user on the same channel with a different DPL tone. That pisses me off. Yes, I understand it’s legal for them to use it now, but only because they squatted on those channels in the first place. I really find it hard to believe that the FCC couldn’t anticipate what was going to happen when they gave type acceptance to these 22 channel blister pack radios, and I think any semblance of the Open Repeater Initiative will eventually be killed off both by the BaoFeng crowd who think they can buy those radios and transmit freely wherever they want (just look at the questions and answers and reviews on Amazon pages for those products), not to mention now you’ve got Jeep pushing the Midland GMRS radios.
  10. Which was exactly what I was referring to. They weren’t supposed to be on them in the first place, but squatted on them to the point that the FCC threw in the towel. Those of us who paid to use those frequencies lost out to the squatters, and just last Thursday, I was driving behind someone, using 650 and 151.4, and suddenly we’ve got a restaurant employee demanding we get off of “his” channel. So, where does it stop? When the BaoFeng crowd starts running simplex over repeater inputs because they don’t know better or simply don’t care? Just let them take that, too?
  11. Not a stupid question. I believe you can also receive UHF signals in the 400 - 480 MHz range on that radio also. GMRS-V1 is a BaoFeng UV-82 with the transmission locked down to the FRS/GMRS frequencies. It may be possible that you’re programming based on obsolete and outdated information. A number of public services may still retain the same frequency/frequencies, but many have transitioned to digital instead of analog, such as NXDN or Project 25. Try those frequencies with no PL tone. Realistically, a frequency allocation for public services should be a regional one which they have exclusivity on. They should be the only traffic you hear, and you’ll hear them if you just use CSQ (no PL tone) on receive (if they’re running analog).
  12. Are the Midland radios programmed with Squelch Tail Eliminate? Because if they are and the end user isn’t aware of it, it could mislead them into thinking they’re not hitting a repeater when they might actually be and there’s just nobody to answer.
  13. The adage certainly fits. All the same, I don’t think I’m possessed of any particular savvy for it. The FCC site isn’t the easiest to navigate through… certainly not as easy as Google. You have this site, GMRS groups on Facebook, a GMRS topic on Reddit, etc. I don’t think it’s a matter of people being unable, just lazy/unwilling. Makes me think to when you had to seek out print fanzines to keep up with what was going on in the heavy metal scene, because MTV was hung up on glam crap, so you couldn’t count on them. Then came the Internet, and it became much more accessible, and more people got into it, but they never really had the desire to expand on it because it was all just dropped in their lap for them. The same difference between how someone who aspired to be a professional chef and went through the steps to get there will look at all things culinary in a much different manner than I will with my air fryer (that being said, I love my air fryer still). And here we are now. On top of that, you have a bunch of people who remain willfully ignorant, e.g., people who aren’t even licensed but they’ll set up a repeater and try claiming a channel is “reserved” for their use. GMRS has been one of those most abused radio services, and the FCC hasn’t been helpful in trying to mitigate it at all. Makes me wonder if they’re trying to see it done away with.
  14. I wonder if that’s a regional thing? I programmed one of the zones of my TK-8360 with all FRS/GMRS frequencies with 67.0 and 141.3 tones. I hear a lot on 67, but rarely anything on 141.3. Another zone, I’ll do the same, but I’ve been switching up the tone for that one each day, and it seems like people here tend to stick to the first and last 20 tones from the standardized Motorola list here (fourth page).
  15. Lo and behold, there is something we can agree on. I’m actually with you 100% on this one. I can’t speak for the people who do that, but I know others who’ve encountered it before. One guy I was chatting with on Zello said he sat about equidistant between two repeaters which used the same frequency and PL tone and that sometimes the owner of the one repeater would chew him out and say it’s a private repeater. I’d explain the situation and tell the owner ultimately, look, it’s another repeater I’m trying to hit, and you’re using travel tone…. maybe you should consider changing your PL tone or setting up your repeater to accept a registered list of PTT-ID numbers if you don’t want others on it, Beyond that, as far as I’m concerned, it’s their problem, not mine.
  16. If you wanted to use my car for something, would you just take it? It exactly the same thing, but at the end of the day, those repeaters are privately owned, whether it’s a business license or not, There’s nothing in 95E which states that a repeater owner is obliged to allow unlimited access to the repeater, Funny… I’ve obtained permission on multiple repeaters and networks and never once did it that way. Okay, you can believe whatever you’d like, and believe that past experiences with squatters and other unauthorized users and the liabilities placed on repeater owners never played into any of it. And maybe there are some instances where you’re right. At the end of the day, it’s their repeater and theirs to choose. And if someone’s response to being told no would be to troll the repeater (such as the BaoFeng on fox example you cited), then you made a much better case for repeaters requiring permission than you did for ORI. My phone (and the phones that most of your new operators will have) possesses more computing power than the first computers which took up and area the size of a hockey rink, plus Internet access to boot. The Information Age is a double edged sword. It made a lot more resources much more readily available to a lot more people, but I also feel like it made people a lot more lazy overall and apt to expecting everything to be dropped into their lap. For me, getting into this was stupid simple. One day, I fired up and old police scanner I had bought back when I was 16. Among others, I had the GMRS frequencies in there. I heard traffic with call signs on 462.600, so I got on Google and searched for “462.600 Denver” and guess where it led me? I listened some more then decided to get my license. I find it just a little difficult to believe that someone can, at the same time, possess enough Internet savvy to go through the process of obtaining an FRN then a GMRS license, yet not be able to use a little basic Google-Fu to find a site such as this one.
  17. What would you suggest? Just let the squatters take whatever they want, like how they did with 15 - 22?
  18. I do all sorts of automotive work for a living, including up fitting. Give me an idea of what you’re working with. To power my radios, I just use fuse taps. I recommend powering it off a circuit which isn’t a node or any other component connected directly to the CAN BUS or LIN BUS system. Cigarette lighter/12V socket is a good one to tie into. Stereo system can work, so long as it’s the main power to the head unit, and not the stereo node (which can tie into the LIN BUS and/or CAN BUS in current vehicles). Coax… what kind of antenna mount? They tuck away pretty easily.
  19. I know I’m late to the party, but this is wrong. Assuming you’re not counting the repeater pairs as separate channels, the Motorola MR-355R (FCC ID K7GMRCEE), as well as the MR-356R, MS-350R, MS-355R, and Liberty 500 were all 95A (legacy) radios which remain classed as GMRS radios rather than FRS radios due to their repeater capabilities. I have eight of those, so, I know they exist. The power output limitations are the same for both services, but I’ve never seen anything saying someone operating on those channels under GMRS rules can’t use a 95A or 95E radio with a detachable antenna on them. The fixed antenna requirement is a 95B stipulation. Re: FRS users transmitting above channel 14, that information is outdated as of 2017 (I don’t remember which month). The FCC should never have certified these 22 channel “hybrid” radios in the first place, and it should always have been the law that FRS radios can not operate on any other service. Unfortunately, hindsight is always 20/20… foresight almost never is. Not really, on both counts. There was a time when some UV-5Rs had Part 90, but I feel like that time has passed. The two I own have the FCC ID of 2AJGM-UV5R, which only shows Part 15 certification for the band splits it’s capable of, meaning that - outside of Part 97 use (which doesn’t require certified equipment) - these are only legal for scanning and receiving. They most certainly are not legal for use on GMRS, MURS, or LMRS. The BF-888S does have Part 90 (and a caveat here… in order for that to be binding, the FCC ID has to be present on the radio before it’s exported… if you’re planning on buying such radios for GMRS, you’re better off to get the GT-1 - same radio, different case - from “The BaoFeng Store on Amazon… those do have the FCC ID, whereas most BF-888S radios I’ve encountered do not). The use of Part 90 (LMR) radios on GMRS and MURS isn’t actually legal… it’s a matter of playing fast and loose with the law but with the intention of remaining in the spirit of the law even if not the letter of it. And this was brought about by a complete lack of viable options for GMRS and MURS until fairly recently. Not to mention I’ve never seen a 95A or 95E repeater. The FCC has acknowledged the practice and have left it alone, but they haven’t actually given their blessing to it. I haven’t bench tested any of the 95E radios from Midland, Wouxun, or B-Tech, so I don’t know what their transmission power on those frequencies is, The fixed antenna, I’ve addressed… as licensed GMRS users, we transmit under 95E rules, which restricts us to the same power output, but the fixed antenna requirement is a part of 95B. Well, yes… the use of Part 97 or non-certified radios anything outside of Part 97 is illegal. This isn’t news except to those with no knowledge of two-way radio whatsoever who suddenly see these cheap BaoFeng, Retevis, Arcshell, etc. radios on Amazon and think they’d be great to just shoot the breeze on with whoever, or “Cletus and the boys of the 3 percenters all gots FengBaos, so I needs one too”. And if they actually do inquire on Amazon and ask a question about their legally, they get answered either by a bunch of equally ignorant bozos, or some seller’s PR person in China who knows absolutely —— all about FCC law and frequency allocations in the US. They made a mess by comingling it with GMRS. They made a mess by not having the foresight to anticipate what would happen by approving these ‘hybrid’ radios. Personally, I feel that, if they wanted such a service so badly, they should’ve adopted the European PMR-446 standard. Sure, the hams would throw a fit, but they get entire bands to operate on… they’re much more readily able to cope than GMRS, which is restricted to 22 frequencies, and lost exclusivity on eight of them to unlicensed squatters.
  20. A former roommate of mine, when I lived in North Carolina, she had a sister who lived elsewhere in the state. She (the sister) bought a pack of Motorola MR-355R blister pack radios and let her kids play on them. Like so many others who bought these 22 channel ‘hybrid’ radios, she either never read or completely ignored the bit on the packaging about a license being required to operate on Channels 15 - 22, nor did she read the owner’s manual or about the repeater capabilities of those radios. Her kids ended up getting on a repeater, and she walked in as they were getting chewed out about being on a repeater, and then caught it herself when she took the radio and demanded to know what the meaning of all of it was. We ended up losing exclusivity on 15 - 22 because of radio manufacturers, hordes of squatters lurking on 15 - 22, and apathy and poor foresight on the part of the FCC. People still don’t realize or else ignore that GMRS requires a license. So they’ll either think it’s okay to get on a repeater or completely ignore the law (and remain willfully ignorant of the responsibilities of the repeater owner insofar as what is transmitted over it). Some do it intentionally, thinking that if they persist enough, we’ll end up with UHF CB “just like Australia”… except CB culture in AUS and the US are two different worlds, and good luck finding willing repeater owners if trailer trash culture that has become prevalent in US CB migrated to UHF. Front Range GMRS had that problem with squatters, especially with the flood of cheap BaoFeng radios into the market. So now instead of single tone CTCSS from the standardized list, they use split and non-standard DCS tones and are ready to implement PTT-ID if it comes to that. It wasn’t done for the sake of being snobbish or wanting to be insular - it was done because squatters made it necessary.
  21. Kenwood TK-8360-HU-K in one vehicle, TK-8180H in the other. TK-880 as a backup, TK-890 I might use as a base station in the future.
  22. Got a good laugh out of that. A slim profile, so others don’t know what you’re carrying? Yes, I’m sure they’ll want your FRS radio which will likely be non-functioning because you bought it and completely neglected it. This is simply the new face of the snake oil salesman of old times lore. Fixd is another fine example of this, albeit with a different sales pitch which doesn’t revolve around SHTF or whatever.
  23. I won’t be buying one. If I were, I could find some value in it as a base station, but I don’t see any substantial advantage over my Part 90 LMR radios which would compel me to switch. The CTCSS and DCS scan is a nice feature to have, as is the ability to change those tones on the fly. However, I don’t know about you, but if I’m in my car, I’m not just sitting in it and monitoring the radio, and I’m not going to be messing with that while I’m driving. As if, if I hear traffic on one of the repeaters, I can simply pick up the mic and respond if I feel like it. If at some point someone wants to go to simplex, I can just press a couple buttons on my 12 key Kenwood DTMF mic and I’ll be at whichever frequency/DPL tone combo preprogrammed into my radio that I wish to be at. To that end, I don’t bother with Operator Selectable Tone, either. If it’s like the GMRS-V1 handheld, and can only have one setting per frequency at a time, that’s not going to compel me to switch. Right now, Front Range GMRS plans to eventually have three repeaters at 462.700 in the Denver Metro area, all with different input tones. So, for each of the repeater output frequencies, I dedicate a bank to that in my LMR radio. So, for example, let’s say we’re talking 462.600, which is the most often used GMRS repeater for FRGMRS. In my 600 bank (or zone, as Kenwood refers to them as), I’ll have the Metro 600 repeater programmed in, and Metro 600 TA which is just simplex on the receive side. And any other repeaters I add (as well as travel tone), I’ll just add to that zone, with a corresponding TA channel which I’ll remove from the scan list. Then there’ll be a zone for simplex frequency/DPL tone combinations such as those proscribed by FRGMRS for events, ones others and I have set for ourselves, etc. Then a zone of miscellaneous frequencies within the radio’s band split as I see fit to add them then a zone with the FRS/GMRS simplex frequencies in carrier squelch which I can add or remove from the scan list as I see fit to with the DTMF key assigned for scan delete/add. The strip clubs around here... some use the business band itinerant frequencies, and a couple use FRS, and sometimes you can witness some absolute hilarity over the air when you drive in the vicinity of them. The GMRS-50X1 has some capabilities my LMR radio doesn’t have, but none which offers me any particularly fantastic benefit. It also lacks in some compared to my LMR radio, and those would be to my detriment as I see it.
  24. Not necessarily. The only repeater capable blister pack radios I’m aware of are the Motorola MR-355R (of which I own several), MR-356R, MS-350R, and MS-355R, as well as the Liberty 500. Radios such as the MR-350R, MR-360R, etc. are not repeater capable in spite of the R at the end of their nomenclature. Personally, they’re mostly useless to me. ~1.3W PEP, narrow band, can’t do non-standard DCS octals or split tones (both of which are used on Front Range GMRS repeaters). Now I said mostly useless, not wholly. When in scan mode, if a signal is picked up, it’ll immediately identify which CTCSS or DCS tone is in use (if it’s one which is on the standardized list). If it’s a small and pretty standardized list of frequencies they’d be using, maybe a 8 or 16 channel radio such as a TK-360, HT750… maybe even a BF-888S… might be a better way to go if split tones and/or non-standard octals are something you’d encounter.
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