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mbrun

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Everything posted by mbrun

  1. I believe you have encountered a common condition that exists with all BaoFeng and Midland repeater capable part 95 GMRS radios. The first 30 channels are either fixed Tx-Rx pairs, or otherwise the only ones you can transmit on. All the rest are Rx only. I don’t recall seeing any post that has indicated to the contrary. All four Wouxun GMRS models are capable of independent frequency and tone combinations in each of their 128-256-999 memories as do all the part 90 radios folks use. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  2. Sadly, yes you will need the RTS cable. Not sure exactly what they are doing and why though. Although I can use the Wouxun cable without issue with the factory software, that cable was not recognized by RTS software. There may be some trick to getting it work. I just did not feel like playing with it to figure it out. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  3. I use them merely to monitor two frequencies at once. Normally one side is set to my home simplex channel, the one intended for communication with the Ms when I am out walking and such, while the other is for the dominate repeater I use. Occasionally I use one receiver to scan all GMRS frequencies while staying tuned to another. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  4. Welcome to myGMRS. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  5. The higher up in frequency you go, the more line-of-site it becomes. This means that, in part, obstacles have an increasingly adverse affect on range. In GMRS, height is might. The fewer the obstacles between two antennas the greater the effective range of the signal travel. 50, 60, 70 miles on earth is truly possible, but these ranges are also truly exceptional, not the norm. When a city has a repeater that seems to work well and covers the whole city it is because the repeater antenna is usually way above average terrain and well above most buildings. If you could put an antenna up to that same degree at your home you too would experience that same wonderful coverage. Case in point. I can open a repeater 50 miles north of my home using just a 5w HT while standing outside. Why? Because the repeater antenna is 500’ or so higher than me. Now, if I hook up that same HT to my base antenna at 40’, 5 watts is more than enough to carry on a clear conversation through that repeater. However, the base antenna, again at 40’ feet, is still only sufficient for reliable simplex communications from my base to a 5 watt HT out to about 1.5-2 miles. My base antenna needs to be raised higher to get more base-to-HT range. When I do raise the antenna to 55’ or so and I gain an additional couple of miles. Raising the antenna nearly always decreases the number of obstacles that attenuate the signal, so that is why it is so important for good communications. Hope this helps some. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  6. Love it; so much so that I bought a license for multiple radio models I own. Editing, copy and pasting, importing and exporting are more intuitive and more to my liking. With license for multiple radios I can readily share channel settings between multiple radios. There are a few niceties that Chirp has that RTS does not have that I wish it did have (like hiding unused channels) but RTS is supported software. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  7. Good Day Almiz. You have clearly identified that you have a noise issue. Noise in a mobile setting is not uncommon, but the offending source can vary as there are loads of electronics in vehicles nowadays. The resolution can vary as well. It is going to take some experimentation on your part. Connect your radio directly to the directly to the battery instead if you are currently using a 12v accessory port to see if it makes a difference. For many it has. Try operating your radio using an external battery instead of the vehicle’s battery. Doing so can be an indication of whether the interference is coming in by way of your power cord or antenna. Try different locations for the antenna. Move the antenna further away from the engine and dash and move it toward the rear of the vehicle. Try a different routing of the antenna cable. Try coiling the extra coax into a 4-5” loop if there is extra present. Try the coil both near the radio and away from the radio. Try turning off various things in your vehicle, like bluetooth and wifi if it is so equipped. On another recent post on this forum, some reported they had a noise problem when using a very low-profile antenna. When they switched to a taller and higher gain antenna the offending noise went away, presumable a result of a change in pickup pattern. Try some of these things and report back. Regards Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  8. Obstructions are your enemy. Obstructions are the earth, buildings, trees, etc. 20’ foot can be plenty high in many locations but is insufficient in many others. It also depends upon the elevation of the other radio’s antenna and the obstacles between them. Getting at least one antenna high relative to the obstacles is material to success. This is why the best working repeaters have antenna that are much higher than the average ground elevation and above other obstacles in the vicinity. Before I freak out about current performance, I would take an HT up the roof and try to communicate with another known working HT or mobile unit. The range you get doing this could be incredibly enlightening and that may help you with future decisions. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  9. I do not believe you should have had to do anything at all to communicate with an FRS radio. I believe the BTECH channel 17 was already factory configured to use the same frequency. Only change to that channel that may be necessary is enabling CTCSS or DCS if it was applicable. If I interpret correctly the various posts from other users on this forum I have read, you can program loads of your own channels for receive only on the BTECH, but you can only transmit on the ones that are factory programmed for you. A weakness of BTECH and Midland Radios. I will need to let owners of said radios comment further. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  10. I just educated myself a bit on UK and European CB. I learned that since the early 80’s legal CB in the UK has been FM. American AM & SSB and frequencies appear to have been illegal almost this whole time. Between 2013 and 2016 the UK adapted AM and SSB as modes as well as a coordinated set of EU frequencies that are compatible with the US, if I interpret the history correctly. So it seems the manufacturers gain by being able to make hardware that can be easily made legal on both sides of the pond, while operators on each side gain a new mode of operation within the 11m CB band. On another note, I dread the prospect of having to listen to the data bursts for the location and text messaging purposes. Anyone scanning with carrier squelch could have to contend with that. As long as the cost of radios with this location capability are priced at the high end of the spectrum I don’t imagine it will be an issue initially. However, as the sales go up and prices come down the neighborhood kids will soon have them. Perhaps this is the FCCs way of getting us used to data in the GMRS spectrum. Once the’re enough packets present we will all be more than willing to switch to all digital since it means we would not have to listen to them any more. One thing I interpret is that data packets can be sent automatically at the beginning of a transmission and at intervals not to exceed every 30 seconds. I also understand that a radio can be requested to send out its position based on the request from another radio. Presumably this will be more than just a broadcast request from one radio that causes 100 radios within ear-shot to report their location. Admittedly I have not played with any of the existing legal hardware that does this on FRS so I cannot speak to how objectionable this actually is. Perhaps if the data bursts are disguised through the use of a different modulation it could be tolerable. On the other hand this whole location feature could be a god-send to fox hunters. If you we could somehow get all those that like to create intentional interference to turn the feature on, the fox hunters could show up and net the fox more rapidly. [emoji23]. Mark my word, in your lifetime, there will be news story to this effect. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  11. No, not a done deal. It is written for the next stage in the process. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  12. I am just learning that the FCC has given serious consideration to allowing location positioning information to be included in GMRS communications on all channels, and allowing FM modulation on existing CB channels. Here is a fresh-off-the-press YouTube video that provides an overview: 741 Channel - And here is the FCC rules amendment that that covers the proposed changes: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-374114A1.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3GQrL1LL_zjxMRzjiNi4Kxf8VqgojRP4bKAKCsrOxSskyFMxfceV-umjE Looks like Motorola is is behind the petition for location positioning capability and Cobra is behind the petition for FM on CB frequencies. The FCC document should be a good read. I have not read the whole thing yet. I hope to find something in there too that officially legalizes part 90 radios for GMRS. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  13. Yes, for the education and fun of it. I have made a few different 1/4 wave ground planes that I can use in a pinch on different services. But I am using commercially made antennas on the home and vehicle. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  14. I had my radio on for trip to and from SC memorial day weekend. I heard bubble pack radios off and on on the way down, but nothing on the way back, nothing repeater related. I also recently spent 24 hours in car two and from MN. The main traffic heard was between family in the caravan, plus third-party bubble-pack traffic. Again, nothing repeater related. Good traffic on the air around home in Cincinnati. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  15. You are absolutely correct. A technique that I and others have used is to leave the factory programming intact, including the factory repeater channel combinations. Then add a range of pre-configured repeater pairs or your own for all standard repeater pairs. (For example, my radios have the standard 30 channels assignments from the factory, plus 8 channels preconfigured for each of the 8 possible repeater pairs. They are labelled 550A through 550H all the way up to 725A through 725H). Using this pattern I can, on the fly, dedicate any of those preconfigured pairs to a valid repeater by assigning the tones and naming the channel in the field. So far that has worked very well for me. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  16. The factory most likely tests their antennas with a laboratory grade VNA. Here is a photo I just took using a calibrated NanoVNA to check one of my 144-520MHz HT antennas. Not bad at all. I can tell you that the results changed, but insignificantly, between holding the VNA vertical, horizontal, standing it on a table, laying it flat on a wooden table, laying it flat on wooden table with the antenna overhanging the edge of the table, and when touching and not touching the chassis ground of the VNA. When comparing HT antenna performance, the best comparison of antennas is not going to be it’s SWR, but relative difference in signal strength at some given far field distance using some given amount of input power. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  17. Keep it simple so you have a good initial experience. I use the Midland MXTA26 with Midland’s NMO mag mount base. It is factory tuned and was verified to be factory tuned very well. Thoroughly pleased with its performance over the last year. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  18. I theorize a similar same effect as reflector or director in a yagi with the diameter of the shield playing role. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  19. I largely agree with noise in the vehicle being a factor. My cheap GXT1000s cannot be used to scan in the vehicle while running. The KG-805 will act up to much lesser degree while using a rubber duck inside the vehicle, but when using the external mag mount antenna it is not an issue. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  20. One of the things I had experimented with too was proximity of the amateur antenna to the feed-line that goes higher up the mast to the GMRS antenna. There was a definite shift in SWR as the distance varied but in the end the shift was not enough to be of concern, merely recognition that it is playing a factor. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  21. You are most definitely on the right track. If I needed full simultaneous duplex comms all both radios then my current arrangement is definitely not appropriate. But for one man in shack doing voice on one service at a time it is very workable. Now, if I ever do decide to put up a repeater on my site then suddenly separation and serious filters will be needed. $$$$$$$$ Yep that separation in the near-field is a good thing. Definitely appreciate the feedback. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  22. That is one of the beauties of the radio hobby and a serious enthusiast who has test equipment. You get to theorize, experiment and observe the results to your questions first hand. Quite wonderful and fun indeed. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  23. It could affect it depending upon the degree of deformation. The most absolute way to know is to check the SWR before and after. My mobile feed-line experiences very slight compression and the SWR remains in the excellent range. You can probably do some tests by using your fingers to compress the cable while you are taking readings to see how much compression the cable takes between your readings go hay-wire. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  24. The most official designation of frequencies as channel numbers that I have every found comes from here: § 95.563 FRS channels. The FRS is allotted 22 channels, each having a channel bandwidth of 12.5 kHz. All of the FRS channels are also allotted to the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) on a shared basis. The FRS channel center frequencies are set forth in the following table: 1 ................................................ 462.5625 2 ................................................ 462.5875 3 ................................................ 462.6125 4 ................................................ 462.6375 5 ................................................ 462.6625 6 ................................................ 462.6875 7 ................................................ 462.7125 8 ................................................ 467.5625 9 ................................................ 467.5875 10 .............................................. 467.6125 11 .............................................. 467.6375 12 .............................................. 467.6625 13 .............................................. 467.6875 14 .............................................. 467.7125 15 .............................................. 462.5500 16 .............................................. 462.5750 17 .............................................. 462.6000 18 .............................................. 462.6250 19 .............................................. 462.6500 20 .............................................. 462.6750 21 .............................................. 462.7000 22 .............................................. 462.7250 And here https://apps.fcc.gov/kdb/GetAttachment.html?id=biZxuanIfZOUqdjvLHdsyw%3D%3D&desc=888861%20D01%20Part%2095%20GMRS%20FRS%20v01&tracking_number=239603 https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.563 Although within part 95e, standard channel number are not defined as they are in the FRS, it does seem logical that since they are defined for FRS and both services share 22 of the same frequencies that there is a logical numeric correlation that can (as has) been made between the two. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
  25. If the repeater is currently only being used by members of a single family under a single license, the only call sign heard during conversations should be that of the family’s call sign, either verbally or in CW (morse code). If you have that call sign, you can get the name and address from the FCC database. https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp. If it is a physical address you can visit them, send a letter, or do a public records search to get the phone number and call. If the repeater is being used by any party not a family member of the licensee, the repeater is required to self identify every 15 minutes of use. Then repeater should be giving out the licensee’s call sign in English or CW. Again, once you have the call sign you can look them up as mentioned earlier. In neither case above do you need tone scanning. Having a code is never required to listen to a repeater nor any simplex GMRS communication. If you have tone squelch disabled on your radio (factory default on all GMRS radios I know of) you can listen to everything on that frequency and, by extension, every call sign used on that frequency. If the callsign is being given in morse code you can either learn morse, or you can download an app for the smart phone that will translate it for you. ‘Morse-It’ is what I use. If neither the repeater users nor the repeater identify as required per the rules, well that is going to be far more difficult. I do not have any practical advise for you on that one. That may require some serious fox hunting and stalking. I would leave well enough alone there and seek the use of legal repeater alternates. Hope that helps. Michael WRHS965 KE8PLM
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