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What radio do you have for your car / truck?


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#1 TonyAldo

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:29 PM

Hey new guy here. I'm looking at a few radio's right now. I decided to get my license after have some fun on CB. I'm curious as to what radio's you guys are using, so I can get an idea of what to get. I'm looking at the MTX115. 



#2 Durake

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:36 PM

I'm a Motorola kind of guy, even if I gotta spend the extra to get it. 

 

I use a Motorola PM400 UHF 438-470, 1-25 watts customizable, only 64 channels but that works for what I need. RF goes out to a 1/4 wave NMO on the center of my roof.

 

I have used a couple odd ball mobiles, but I've always gone back to Motorola.

 

Best of luck! 


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#3 Hans

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:06 PM

I've been recommending to locals that they reconsider the MTX series because it don't yet allow for carrier squelch on repeaters. Since we have multi-tone repeaters around here, that means that Midland users cannot hear traffic accessing with other tones. Our repeater is set to output one tone regardless of the tone used to access it. This is specifically for the local Midland users. If Midland fixed this problem, I would have no problem recommending the MTX-400. Until then, I cannot as it makes the series useless on most of our local repeaters.
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#4 RCM

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:54 PM

I recommend the Kenwood UHF commercial radios. There are lots of them out there used for less than $100, and most if not all of them are legal for GMRS.


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#5 Radioguy7268

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:59 PM

There's so much good stuff out there in the way of used Part90 Commercial gear.... I've got a couple PM400's, an XPR5550 (shop truck), an old TK-880, and an assortment of portables that run the range from Vertex through Motorola. I've always been a fan of the M1225 for starter gear. It's small enough, has decent specs, and the software is very easy to use. I've picked up units off eBay for under 25 bucks for low power (25 watt) 4 channel models. The 20 channel display units usually run higher, but almost always under $100 for clean working units. The M1225 series was also type accepted for Part 95, which calms some people's fears. 

 

I have to admit that having access to all the software and cables makes things pretty easy for me, but unless you're looking at current model top of the line stuff, the software is pretty easy to come by, and most of the mobile cables you can make yourself if you can follow a diagram on Batlabs or Repeater-builder.


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#6 Hans

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 04:07 PM

I really like the Motorola M1225 as well. We used the 45 Watt 20(?) channel models. They make nice repeaters too. The cable I use and recommend is the USB cable from BlueMax49ers on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/str/bluemax49ers/
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#7 Durake

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 04:14 PM

I really like the Motorola M1225 as well. We used the 45 Watt 20(?) channel models. They make nice repeaters too. The cable I use and recommend is the USB cable from BlueMax49ers on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/str/bluemax49ers/

 

I've used the M1225 as a repeater setup and mobile, I will agree. Very nice! 


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#8 SteveC7010

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 05:06 PM

I've used the M1225 as a repeater setup and mobile, I will agree. Very nice!


Fully agree. The 1225’s are great. I’ve also used the CDM1250s and 750s with great success.
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#9 berkinet

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 08:49 PM

A tip on reading the advice regarding radio suggestions.  There is a tendency for ham operators to be more willing to use commercial and/or used equipment. On the other hand, those who started with GMRS or came from CB tend to prefer turn-key purpose made gear.  Neither is better or worse than the other. But, depending on your needs and abilities, there might be a difference to you.

 

You check under the avatar to see if a member lists a ham license. Most, but not all, hams do.

 

Personally, I like Motorola equipment and the M1225 is a fine radio.  But, consider the info under my avatar.

 

YMMV

 

And, +1 on bluemax49ers for your programming cable needs.


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#10 Hans

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:10 PM

Good guidance, berkinet. I would've jumped onboard with the MTX series for that reason; a user with different background might not want to fiddle about with radio programming. Unfortunately, the CSQ situation makes that series less valuable to some users than the inexpensive, non-type accepted China model it's made from. The thought of someone paying high $$$ for a Midland only to find out they can't use it properly on a lot of repeaters... Yikes!

Unfortunately, no off-the-shelf, preprogrammed, type certified mobiles came to mind as an alternative to the MTX.

#11 TonyAldo

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 08:21 AM

A tip on reading the advice regarding radio suggestions.  There is a tendency for ham operators to be more willing to use commercial and/or used equipment. On the other hand, those who started with GMRS or came from CB tend to prefer turn-key purpose made gear.  Neither is better or worse than the other. But, depending on your needs and abilities, there might be a difference to you.

 

You check under the avatar to see if a member lists a ham license. Most, but not all, hams do.

 

Personally, I like Motorola equipment and the M1225 is a fine radio.  But, consider the info under my avatar.

 

YMMV

 

And, +1 on bluemax49ers for your programming cable needs.

 

 

You hit the nail on the head right there. I'm looking to have fun, chat on a few repeaters. Maybe get my son into the hobby. I'll look into the M1225, thank you guys for the suggestions. Preferably I'd want something I can turn on, program, and get going ..for now that is. 

 

So when Midland advertises repeater access in their MTX lines, that's not fully true?



#12 Jones

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:05 AM

So when Midland advertises repeater access in their MTX lines, that's not fully true?

 

Correct. ...not FULLY true.  The current crop of Midland MTX radios that advertise repeater capability can do it ONLY if the repeater you wish to use has the same PL tone going out as it has going in.  Many repeaters do use the same tone in and out, but some do not, thus the Midlands won't work with ALL repeaters.


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#13 WRAK968

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 04:59 PM

The M1225 series radios are good, if you have a way to program them as they need an older computer to program them. I personally use Kenwood TK880's which have software readily available online and will work on modern computers. They are first responder grade which means integrity & reliability are there, and not as expensive as the 1225's normally cost.


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#14 n4gix

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 05:07 PM

I can vouch for the quality of the Kenwood TK-880 radios. They are rugged, reliable and very professional radios! I have had two of them in constant use for the past three years.
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#15 PastorGary

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 05:21 AM

I'll agree about Kenwood...  Our Chaplain Response teams in 6 states use Kenwood exclusively.  In the 12 years that we have used Kenwood equipment, we have never had a failure.  Numerous TK880-1, TK-880H-1, TK863G mobiles (Part 90 and Part 95 certified) as well as TK-370 and TK380 portables - also Part 90 and Part 95 certified.  We also have VHF licensed operations using TK-760 and TK-780 mobiles and TK-260G-1, TK-270 and TK-280 portables. All equipment listed above is easy to program for simplex or ALL types of repeater access and are wideband or narrowband as needed.   Software and cables are available from many sources and the software works with operating systems up to Windows 10 (no DOS requirement for the models listed above)..  I would also recommend the PCTEL mobile 5 db, center loaded NMO antennas -  MUF4505  or the  ASP76551.

 


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#16 SteveC7010

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 08:34 PM

The M1225 series radios are good, if you have a way to program them as they need an older computer to program them. I personally use Kenwood TK880's which have software readily available online and will work on modern computers. They are first responder grade which means integrity & reliability are there, and not as expensive as the 1225's normally cost.

 

The Radius M1225 is currently selling on Ebay for between $70 and $125, depending on features and included accessories. I have a large stock of mics, mounting brackets, power cables, ignition sense kits and such so I tend to buy radios that don't have these accessories included. However, someone buying any used commercial gear will have to consider these items when purchasing, especially if it's going to be the only radio like that they will have.

 

There are some package deals on Ebay for 4 or more M1225s right now. If I was a little further down the road in setting up our local emergency response team and disaster preparedness program, I'd jump on them.

 

I do, however, agree that Motorola software has limitations that Kenwood and others do not as you mentioned. If I were not so heavily invested in Motorola, especially the CDM (Waris) family, I'd be going down the Kenwood road, too. But our entire county is  CDM1250 and HT1250 for all of the fire equipment and much of the EMS gear. But I have legit copies of all Waris software and Motorola brand cables courtesy of the local Town-owned ambulance service. We have a Motorola On Line account in the Town's name.


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#17 quarterwave

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 01:20 PM

The M1225 series radios are good, if you have a way to program them as they need an older computer to program them. I personally use Kenwood TK880's which have software readily available online and will work on modern computers. They are first responder grade which means integrity & reliability are there, and not as expensive as the 1225's normally cost.

 

I agree , I've used M1225 and P1225 for years, have several and they have been ultra reliable. 


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#18 WRAA720

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 12:44 PM

I'n currently running a Uniden BCD996P2, a Kenwood TK-8180 (GMRS), and a Kenwood TM-281a (2m) in my 2013 F-150:

 

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#19 chasedog1

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:39 PM

I know imam going to catch hell for this but I have several AnyTone AT-5888UV Dual Band 136-174 & 400-490MHz Mobile Two Way Radios for my vehicles. I also have 5 Pcs BaoFeng UV-5XP Two Way Radio 8W Dual-band Walkie Talkies that work great even when I use my car of truck AnyTone as a repeater to hit my home repeater tower. I find the programming easy when using the computer for all of the radios, field programming is rough unless you memorize or carry the owners manual with you. So that's my 1€ on the subject. Just remember it is not like CB, power is not king with FM radios like these. This coming from someone that runs about 500 watts on CB. These Are line of sight communications and do not have a signal bounce like CB radios do. 20 watts should be more than enough with a properly tuned antenna system. Oh and one more thing, high quality antenna wire is a must, I use LMR600 but is very pricey so do your research before pulling the trigger on an a base/repeater system.. sorry it was long winded but no one told me anything about radios in this frequency range as in " need to know " information.... do a lot of research first.
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#20 mainehazmt

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 09:23 AM

Well I have 2 in the truck right now with a third I can put in when I will need it. 1, Motorola GM 300. Cant kill it! 2nd one is a quad band tyt9800. Great little radio that I have never had an issue with, 3rd, I just acquired a new Icom IC-7100 all band all mode radio that so far I’m 100% happy with. I could take out all the rest
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