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Need Advice For Purchase of Several Radios


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#1 ltcsz

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:03 PM

Hello; Just got my license for GMRS two days ago...Now i am in the market for several radios with which to equip members of my family...I will need at least four units...Not sure about the Chinese radios in the $25 range...Budget would be in the $250 range for all four units...Would  want repeater capability for (eventual) use...Ease of operation important for a couple of the family members!...I would  welcome any advice or suggestion from Forum members...Thanks for your help!

 

Steve WRAW258


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#2 Durake

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:11 PM

Welcome to the hobby Steve!

 

I'm guessing by you mentioning radios in the 25 dollar range your suggesting portables radios for your family. I myself only use Motorola, but that wouldn't fit the 250 price range. I was looking around and can't seem to find any that you could get 4 of and not go above 250 that I consider "decent" radios.

 

Baofeng may be your only choice unless someone can chime in with another brand I may have missed. Good luck! Maybe I'll hear ya on the air one day.


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Drake Robinson | "Motoballa"

EMS Dispatcher @ Mount Hope, WV

Dallas County REACT183

 

 

 

#3 couger100101

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:29 PM

First off I want to say congratulations!

       I can only assume you have been looking on Amazon, correct? Tough to find a HT with repeater for that price range. You have to either increase your price range slightly or settle with non repeaters. i have been on Amazon for the last couple weeks hard looking. I myself don't have any repeaters at the moment. What I use is the Midland GTX1000 HT's with a MXT105 for my base and mobile. Great range for the price! My suggestion to you is to Get a decent base or mobile radio, good coax. and good antenna. After that, pick and choose one or 2 at a time for the HT's. There are some good deals out there and don't hesitate to get on and ask questions. I know answers might be a little slow coming in but well worth the wait in the end. 



#4 ltcsz

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:42 PM

Would these solve my situation, at least initially? We actually have no repeaters around my area, so i guess that's not as important as I first thought! Not much of an investment so why not? Thanks again for any advice!

 

Steve

 

https://www.amazon.c...WFDF1SE27RZNKVR



#5 PB92

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 02:27 PM

Congrats and welcome Steve!



#6 Logan5

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 02:31 PM

Welcome to the site. Buyer be aware. those are not simple radios, but UHF/VHF radios, they are very complicated for family, and very easy to accidentally or even intentionally cause interference to other services as well as Emergency comms for local police, EMS and so fourth. That is why they are not certified for use on GMRS.



#7 PastorGary

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 07:09 PM

Consider Kenwood TK-370G or TK-380 4 watt portables.  User friendly, commercial grade and type certified for Parts 90 and 95. Available on EBay from several sellers.


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#8 Jones

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:48 PM

Try the BTECH GMRS-V1
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#9 Robert

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 09:57 PM

Hello and congrats,

 

May I suggest Luiton LT580 UHF mobile radio...It is $120 on Amazon. Good quality and excellent price.

 

Also, my suggestion for the portable is the the MD380 by TYT. UHF version.  $90 on Amazon. Also is digital capable. Both come with software and programming cable.  Check these out. Good luck!

 

 

Robert

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#10 Jones

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 10:40 PM

Hello and congrats,

 

May I suggest Luiton LT580 UHF mobile radio...It is $120 on Amazon. Good quality and excellent price.

 

Also, my suggestion for the portable is the the MD380 by TYT. UHF version.  $90 on Amazon. Also is digital capable. Both come with software and programming cable.  Check these out. Good luck!

 

 

If I am understanding the original poster correctly, he was asking about GMRS radios, not Ham.  Neither of those rigs is GMRS type accepted, and DMR digital capable will do him no good at all, since that mode is illegal on GMRS.



#11 FrankNY

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 12:39 AM

Steve, as already mentioned by Jones, I would suggest taking a look at the BTECH GMRS-V1, which has repeater capability.

https://baofengtech.com/gmrs-v1

The BTECH GMRS-V1 is FCC certified for Part 95A (GMRS) and is therefore legal to use.

If you want to learn more about this radio, Miklor, as usual, has a FAQ on the GMRS-V1.

http://www.miklor.co.../BTGMRS-FAQ.php

The GMRS-V1 can be purchased through Amazon for $54.99 with free shipping, so four of them would run you $219.96, which is well within your $250.00 budget.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWOLZ8L

And if for some reason you happen to dislike the free CHIRP programming software, RT Systems offers its BTS-GMRSV1 Radio Programming Software.

https://www.rtsystem...cles.asp?ID=619

The RT Systems BTS-GMRSV1 software requires use of an RT Systems USB-K4Y cable, which can be purchased together with the software for $49.00.

https://www.rtsystem...-gmrsv1-usb.htm

You could purchase four of the BTECH GMRS-V1 radios plus the RT Systems software and cable for an amount that's just slightly over your $250 budget and you would be repeater-ready for the future. If you acquire now radios that aren't repeater-capable and later wish to use them through a repeater, you would have to purchase new radios.

Good luck!

Frank.


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#12 Elkhunter521

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 11:25 PM

Hi Steve, I recently purchased 2 Btech, (bao feng) radios GMRS V1 mod #. Using a tram 1170 mag antenna tuned to 1.1 to one. I measured their output using a MFJ874 swr/pwr meter. This meter has proven itself reliable. These radios are sold as 5 watt radios, but the spec sheet says <5 watts. First radio measured 3.0 watts. 2nd radio measured 2.7 watts, while technically not a lie [ < 5 watts] I thought I was buying 5 watt radios.
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Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#13 FrankNY

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 05:05 AM

Elkhunter521, do you happen to have older (pre-September 2017) GMRS-V1 radios or newer (post-September 2017) GMRS-V1 radios?

 

I believe that this can be determined by the pre-programmed channel numbers. The older units had a channel numbering scheme that began with 00 while the newer models start at 01.

 

As currently specified on the baofengtech.com website, it says "Output power: .5W / 2W", but in the current version of the manual, the specification reads "RF power L/H: 2/5", so there's obviously a typo somewhere. The web page should probably say "5W / 2W".

 

Also, when you took your measurements of 3.0 watts and 2.7 watts, I wonder whether the radios were tuned to a full-power GMRS channel and whether the radios were set in Lo Power mode or Hi Power mode. Do you happen to recall?

 

Despite the measurements, are you otherwise happy with your purchase?

 

Regards,

 

Frank.



#14 Elkhunter521

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 09:21 AM

Hi Frank, the radios are the later model. (Ch1 is Ch1) this was on Ch 17 (not repeater 17) radios are on high on all possible channels.

Radios are overly complicated with scan functions for VHF, UHF. The FM broadcast function is cute but unnecessary. You must enter each GMRS frequency into scanning bank in order to scan. Its saving grace is it is Part 95 accepted.
Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#15 axorlov

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 05:30 PM

I second PastorGary's suggestion to consider used (and abused) commercial equipment. If you know electronics, as in: can build a PC from components, you may be able to save a ton of money. Or may not, could be a money pit too. I went with Kenwood TK-3170 and built 4 working units from the five I bought. I was lucky on the price of the HTs and on the price of some components.

 

When I was buying equipment (I also have three TK-880H and ArgentData simplex repeater) GMRS-V1 did not exist. But if I'd do it all over again, I'd still probably go with used commercial radios. Kenwood software is very easy to come by, user interface is fool-proof, good for non-radio-inclined family members.


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#16 Soladaddy

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 08:54 AM

The Btech (Baofeng) GMRS V1 is the only radio that I can think of in the price range with repeater capability. Mine measures 3.5 watts on high power. Accessories are cheap and they are Chirp supported. Not high end stuff, but everything times 4 added up fast.

 

Tera makes a TR-505 that has GMRS and MURS, but is $99 each and no display screen (this can be a plus for non tech users).  






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