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History: Purchased Baofeng to listen to police radio - can't as its encrypted and digital. Looked into getting HAM License, looks too hard and my family members worn't ever take the test - since I only want to converse with family members found GMRS. Paid for license and did range test with my son (he has another Baofeng) and only got half a mile. Live in Bluffton, SC with no GMRS Repeaters at all. Questions: 1) Can Ham repeaters be set up to dually support a GMRS frequency if I ask nicely? Or can they only repeat one frequency at a time? 2) What needs to happen so I can talk to my family 10 miles away? 3) If I only use my 5 watt Baofeng to chat on GMRS channels and only listen to HAM channels is that OK legally? Thanks all! I'm happy to be part of this forum! Nick WRFF874
Hi Everyone, I'm relatively new to the site. I have been searching older threads and haven't seen my exact question answered so here it goes: I am hoping to set up a backup communications system so in the event of an emergency, I will be able to communicate with my parents who live about 12 miles away and my in laws who live about 16 miles away. We are all in northern Dallas area suburbs, in a highly developed, and fairly flat area. I have my technician license and GMRS. I haven't done much with either. That will change. But for now, it is what it is. A fellow CERT member programmed my BaoFeng UV5R hand held. If it weren't for that I would have zero experience w/ HAM. Thanks to his assistance I have been listening to several DFW repeaters, and jumped in on a couple of CERT nets. It looks like we have several GMRS repeaters in the area, some of which could potentially cover an area that should reach all 3 households. The Baofeng is the only radio I have at present. From what I've read on these threads, I should not be using that for GMRS bands. Good to know! My family members have zero chance of getting a technician license, otherwise our distances would not be an issue. My reading of GMRS rules indicate they could probably be covered under my license but just to make sure there are no issues, I plan to pay for each house to get their own GMRS license. I also plan to buy each house their own radio. I'm leaning toward the Midland MTX400. My hope is that with these fairly powerful radios (40 watts), and some decent antennas we will all be able to communicate in an emergency via repeaters, and hopefully via simplex. So I guess what I'm hoping to get from posting is some ideas from some of you who are much more experienced then me on the feasibility of my plan. Does anyone have any experience getting these newer midland radios to link up with repeaters? Is it complicated? Does anyone have any experience using MTX400 radios for simplex communications in a comparable environment? If so what kind of range can I expect? I don't know if I should expect 3 miles or 20. Any suggestions on an affordable off the shelf antennae that will work well but be easy to set up? 2 new licenses, 3 radios, and 3 decent antennas is a significant investment for me. Any recommendations on cheaper or more importantly better radios to meet my objective? Simplicity is the name of the game here. I am pretty new to the radio world, and my family members know even less than I do. Any ideas you could pass along would be much appreciated!!!
OK, central Florida checking in here, and I do mean central. We are post hurricane Irma, and all utility services are up and running. We do have a lot of debris piles on the road side. The eye of Irma essentially passed over Polk County. My friends at T-Mobile seriously disappointed us by what seemed to be a severe reduction in service quality in town prior to any winds near tropical strength starting early in the late afternoon. For several days after the storm, there was little to no signal, and 8 days later there was still poor coverage south of us. I understand antenna and tower damage... My Irma experience urged me toward handheld radio. I grabbed a license from the FCC and made a purchase. Now, I wasn't expecting miracles, and I certainly didn't expect the 50 miles advertised on the package. But, I am still disappointed. I finally caught time to test the radios this afternoon. We were on the radios' channel 20 which is 462.675 MHz (GMRS 13). We were on the highest power setting and used the boost feature. My goal was to reach a nature preserve at a distance of about 5.8 miles. The greatest distance that we could hear each other was about 1.8 miles. See the attached JPG. Again, I didn't expect 50 miles or even 10 miles. But, 1.8 miles seems extremely short to me. I seem to remember at least 10 miles on my dad's CB radio in his VW van sitting in our front yard back in the mid 70s. Am I being unrealistic to expect more from the Uniden 5095? What would be a realistic (Not Realistic - Get it? LOL) replacement that would give me 5 - 10 miles range. It would have to comply with my GMRS license, and I am willing to license up to amateur levels. Thanks in advance.