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What radio do you have for your car / truck?


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#61 BoxCar

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 06:11 AM

As a newbie GMRS user I'm looking to buy and install a mobile radio for my truck. I have two handheld radio and they can't reach my local repeater so I'm looking at installing a radio in my trucks now.

 

What is suggested as a good radio for GMRS? I was looking at the Midland MXT400 but I see mixed reviews in the community for this radio.

 

Midland builds a good radio but there are limitations to the MXT400 out-of-the-box. GMRS repeaters primarily operate in wideband but Midland radios are narrowband. That means the  signal doesn't occupy as much spectrum and sounds softer to a wideband radio. Conversely, a wideband radio sounds louder on narrowband. The other issue with Midland has to do with the tones used to trigger or "wake up" some stations. Some repeaters use one tone on their input and another on output or split tone. Midland doesn't allow this. Thar doesn't mean the Midland radios won't work, just there are some cases where they won't.


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#62 H8SPVMT

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 06:44 AM

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but the subject of Midland radios being not dual PL tone capable has already been addressed.

The MXT400 is split tone capable if programmed to do so.  Out of respect for the experts on here who have posted about this several times, and so they won't have to post yet again, please view this thread:

https://forums.mygmr...-updates/page-3

I have not tried it myself (yet), but to be fair, this option is out there.

...

 

Thank you!  Don't think I am ready for that move yet but it does have my interest.



#63 berkinet

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:17 AM

There is one other consideration regarding the Midland MXT400: the cost:benefit ratio. The Midland is the exact same radio hardware as the Luiton LT-590, TYT TH-9000d, Retevis RT-9000D, and probably a few others. However, while the Midland costs ~$300, the Retevis RT-9000D is ~$140).

 

Of course, the radios are not identical. Midland has received FCC certification by modifying the firmware to meet GMRS requirements, mostly regarding operating on non-GMRS channels and power levels on some frequencies.  Unfortunately, one of the changes Midland made, limiting the radio to narrowband operation, was included in the FCC certification filing and although the programming software will let the bandwidth be defined on a per-channel basis, this cannot be changed without voiding the certification.

 

So, if you buy the MXT400 because it is a GMRS certified radio, and then alter the configuration to use wideband operation, you have ended up paying twice the price of a virtually identical non-certified Part-90 radio. Except, the RT-9000D will transmit from 400mHz to 490 mHz, so you get the ham UHF band as well.


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#64 Hans

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 02:24 PM

I don't think many are picking up on the fact that Midland is marketing a sheep dipped CCR at a premium price. B)


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#65 Danny

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 03:45 PM

There is one other consideration regarding the Midland MXT400: the cost:benefit ratio. The Midland is the exact same radio hardware as the Luiton LT-590, TYT TH-9000d, Retevis RT-9000D, and probably a few others. However, while the Midland costs ~$300, the Retevis RT-9000D is ~$140).

Of course, the radios are not identical. Midland has received FCC certification by modifying the firmware to meet GMRS requirements, mostly regarding operating on non-GMRS channels and power levels on some frequencies. Unfortunately, one of the changes Midland made, limiting the radio to narrowband operation, was included in the FCC certification filing and although the programming software will let the bandwidth be defined on a per-channel basis, this cannot be changed without voiding the certification.

So, if you buy the MXT400 because it is a GMRS certified radio, and then alter the configuration to use wideband operation, you have ended up paying twice the price of a virtually identical non-certified Part-90 radio. Except, the RT-9000D will transmit from 400mHz to 490 mHz, so you get the ham UHF band as well.

I'm actually thinking about buying the Retevis RT-9000D off Amazon. It's half the price of the Midland and has good reviews.

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#66 berkinet

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 03:59 PM

I'm actually thinking about buying the Retevis RT-9000D off Amazon. ...

Be careful. Last time I looked, Amazon only had the VHF version. But, Retevis has the radio for $139 on their own web site.
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#67 explorer0863

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 05:07 PM

Be careful. Last time I looked, Amazon only had the VHF version. But, Retevis she’s the radio for $139 on their own web site.

You are right. I just checked and Amazon only has the VHF version.

 

So I went to Retevis.com. Try to order one and the system came back stating that there are no shipping services to FL. Believe it or not, no shipping services to FL. It makes me wonder where are they located and what countries they ship to.



#68 Danny

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 05:56 PM

Be careful. Last time I looked, Amazon only had the VHF version. But, Retevis she’s the radio for $139 on their own web site.

This is the one I just ordered. 3df070ebd040e9d0ff57fd2caf3f590d.jpg

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#69 wayoverthere

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:32 AM

There is one other consideration regarding the Midland MXT400: the cost:benefit ratio. The Midland is the exact same radio hardware as the Luiton LT-590, TYT TH-9000d, Retevis RT-9000D, and probably a few others. However, while the Midland costs ~$300, the Retevis RT-9000D is ~$140).

so i was poking at some of these tonight, and stumbled onto the Anytone AT-588, which looks to be the same hardware as the luiton, TYT, and retevis.  availability seems sparse, though.

 

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B01CBA136G


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#70 kb2ztx

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 05:27 AM

Just remember none of the radios mentioned other than the Midland is ready out of the box. Thats the biggest issue for some folks. Not everyone is able to program a unit or even understands why they need to. I had a guy show up on a saearch a few years back. He had a CCR handheld and mobile and neither was on our SAR channels. When i asked him how it was programmed the answer was "it came programmed".... after the incident i worked with him and it was all out of the box channels. 

 

Personally I prefer LMR radios and for myself have all APX in my primary vehicles as i use them for public safety also. But for folks like my parents the midland was the best option. Eventually I will upgrade them one vehicle at a time with something commercial. I just installed the ICOM F221 at my guest house (winter home for them) with a base antenna so he doesn't need to leave an HT on all the time this winter.


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#71 berkinet

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 06:48 AM

Just remember none of the radios mentioned other than the Midland is ready out of the box. ...

 

Good point. Although, in some cases that may be a feature. One specific case is users who want to program more than 8 logical repeaters*. Many of the certified GMRS radios limit the number of logical repeater channels and also restrict them to specific memory locations (aka radio dial channels).  Also, given the apparently complicated front panel programming procedures, I am not sure an application based configuration system might not be better for many users.

 

Still, as you note, one more important thing to consider when selecting a radio.

 

* A logical repeater is a unique combination of frequency (GMRS Channel), CTCSS/DCS, and other access setting(s), bandwidth (wide or narrow), and power.


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#72 Danny

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 01:50 PM

Just remember none of the radios mentioned other than the Midland is ready out of the box. Thats the biggest issue for some folks. Not everyone is able to program a unit or even understands why they need to. I had a guy show up on a saearch a few years back. He had a CCR handheld and mobile and neither was on our SAR channels. When i asked him how it was programmed the answer was "it came programmed".... after the incident i worked with him and it was all out of the box channels. 

 

Personally I prefer LMR radios and for myself have all APX in my primary vehicles as i use them for public safety also. But for folks like my parents the midland was the best option. Eventually I will upgrade them one vehicle at a time with something commercial. I just installed the ICOM F221 at my guest house (winter home for them) with a base antenna so he doesn't need to leave an HT on all the time this winter.

 

Sorry for asking a dumb question as I'm still learning but what is the meaning of CCR, SAR, LMR and APX?



#73 Danny

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 01:55 PM

Good point. Although, in some cases that may be a feature. One specific case is users who want to program more than 8 logical repeaters*. Many of the certified GMRS radios limit the number of logical repeater channels and also restrict them to specific memory locations (aka radio dial channels).  Also, given the apparently complicated front panel programming procedures, I am not sure an application based configuration system might not be better for many users.

 

Still, as you note, one more important thing to consider when selecting a radio.

 

* A logical repeater is a unique combination of frequency (GMRS Channel), CTCSS/DCS, and other access setting(s), bandwidth (wide or narrow), and power.

 

I did find a good walk through video on how to program the radio for the TYT TH-9000d. I'm thinking it's going to be the exact same for the Retevis RT-9000D. This way I can program all the GMRS channels into the radio. 

 

I ordered this radio from Amazon and got a notification that it was shipped today via DHL from Hong Kong. Interesting...



#74 berkinet

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 02:09 PM

Sorry for asking a dumb question as I'm still learning but what is the meaning of CCR, SAR, LMR and APX?

Here ya go...
CCR = Cheap Chinese Radio. A low cost product built around a “radio on a chip.”
SAR = Search and Rescue
LMR = Land Mobile Radio. Also known as business radio. Commercial two way business radio systems.
APX = A line of Motorola two way radios. High end commercial equipment for LMR.

And, could you post a link to the youtube video you found. I am sure others here will find it helpful.
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#75 Danny

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 03:37 PM

And, could you post a link to the youtube video you found. I am sure others here will find it helpful.

 

Sure. They show a VHF radio but the programming should be the same.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Q_PEwRpmYRE


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#76 BoxCar

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 04:00 PM

Here ya go...

LMR = Land Mobile Radio. Also known as business radio. Commercial two way business radio systems.
 

LMR covers all terrestrial modes of radio configurations not in a fixed location. FRS, GMRS, Amateur, Business and public safety are just variations of Land Mobile Radio.


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#77 Hans

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 04:59 PM

Sure. They show a VHF radio but the programming should be the same.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Q_PEwRpmYRE

Thanks! :)



#78 axorlov

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:00 PM

LMR covers all terrestrial modes of radio configurations not in a fixed location. FRS, GMRS, Amateur, Business and public safety are just variations of Land Mobile Radio.

Semantics, of course....

 

but FCC separates Private Land Mobile Service (than includes "Fixed Relay Station", Part 90.7 Definitions)  and Personal Radio Services (that also include "Fixed Station", Part 95.303 Definitions) in it's all-famous CFR 47. https://www.ecfr.gov.../47cfrv5_02.tpl

 

However, I'm not a lawyer, and I do not even sleep with one on a regular basis.


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#79 Hans

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:06 PM

I do not even sleep with one on a regular basis.

I've never been able to resist their briefs.


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#80 kb2ztx

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Posted Yesterday, 08:45 AM

Sorry for asking a dumb question as I'm still learning but what is the meaning of CCR, SAR, LMR and APX?

 

Sorry. Days I forget not everyone knows all the ways some of us talk...

 

 

 

Edit ...Should have read all the posts as i see another has already filled you in.....


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