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New gmrs radio for my semi

Midland gmrs radios

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#1 Nfranks97

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 08:15 AM

Want to put a gmrs radio in my semi and have been thinking of putting the midland mxt400 in it but I am open to any all other radio recommendations

#2 Corey

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 09:28 AM

Want to put a gmrs radio in my semi and have been thinking of putting the midland mxt400 in it but I am open to any all other radio recommendations

 

I would stay away from this radio, it has many issues and will not provide great performance as it is narrow band and can not do split PL / DPL. Its short comings have been discussed in the Equipment section of this site. Find a nice Kenwood TK-880 if you don't mind used otherwise ICOM and Motorola both make great part 90 Business radios both new and used that will preform nicely on GMRS. I run the Motorola XPR series and love the full display, 1000 channel capacity, unlimited talk groups, scan lists, long range bluetooth microphones etc...


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#3 Nfranks97

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 10:01 AM

Thank you !! That was my next question is what kind of other radios do
You guys recommend?

#4 Corey

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:15 AM

Thank you !! That was my next question is what kind of other radios do
You guys recommend?

 

Motorola gear is a pain to get programming software for but not impossible. I can take a week or longer to navigate Motorola's process but in the end you will have legal software and you can get the entitlement for wideband operation for free after some quick online training. I use Motorola for the options alone, in the truck I run handheld control heads and a long range Bluetooth speaker mic so I can use the trucks radio well in restaurants our friends houses. The same mic is also on my base paired with a desktop mic, its nice being able to go anywhere in the house and just carry a small mic that allows the use of the base. This gear is a little pricey but can be found used on ebay reasonable, its all comes down to personal preference.

 

Bluetooth Mic that can be attached to most of the newer Motorola XPR radios including portables.

 

handmic.jpg

 

This is the handheld control head, it is also the speaker and mic, 4 years old an not a single issue.

 

truck1.jpg

 

Radio Head unit is installed under the back seat.

 

truck2.jpg

 

The control head cable comes thru the map pocket allowing it to tuck away nicely out of sight.

 

truck4.jpg

 

Simple 1/4 wave gives great performance, i am able to hit repeaters 30 miles away and simplex 10 miles easy in the freeway.

 

truck3.jpg


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Just My $.02

 

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https://mwgmrs.com


#5 Nfranks97

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 01:06 PM

Awesome set up !!!! I should have mentioned I’m not to tech savvy at all and I don’t have access to a computer unless I go to the library or over someone’s house that has one

#6 WRAK968

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 12:19 PM

Awesome set up !!!! I should have mentioned I’m not to tech savvy at all and I don’t have access to a computer unless I go to the library or over someone’s house that has one

I use TK880's for mobile units, mostly because the MOL software is a pain to get (And at times requires an out of date OS and a RIB depending on how old the radio is)

Kenwood TK880's come in 25 and 50 watt models and the software is easy to get at a low price. The software also can be run on windows 10, and the cable is simple as well (No complicated RIB or anything) I've gotten all three 880's for less than $50, though one or two of them needed some cleaning. To reduce the number of programs I use, I ordered the 380 series portables which use the same software as the 880 mobiles. The only thing I dont like is that you can only store 10 "Tones" for CTCSS/DCS that you can select. I have the travel tone set in there and a few other codes for use when I travel. Outside of that the radios work really nice.

 


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#7 Corey

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 01:15 PM

I use TK880's for mobile units, mostly because the MOL software is a pain to get (And at times requires an out of date OS and a RIB depending on how old the radio is)

Kenwood TK880's come in 25 and 50 watt models and the software is easy to get at a low price. The software also can be run on windows 10, and the cable is simple as well (No complicated RIB or anything) I've gotten all three 880's for less than $50, though one or two of them needed some cleaning. To reduce the number of programs I use, I ordered the 380 series portables which use the same software as the 880 mobiles. The only thing I dont like is that you can only store 10 "Tones" for CTCSS/DCS that you can select. I have the travel tone set in there and a few other codes for use when I travel. Outside of that the radios work really nice.

 

 

For sure Motorola On Line is a PITA, I dont know of anybody that would disagree. The equipment I spoke of needs no RIB and the stock USB cable does not require a driver. The Kenwoods are a great option but lack the features I wanted like the handheld control head, Bluetooth and WiFi programing. If i want to update my trucks programing I just leave the radio on and access it from my desktop. Again its all personal preference, its always nice to have options!


Just My $.02

 

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https://mwgmrs.com


#8 WRAK968

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 05:47 PM

For sure Motorola On Line is a PITA, I dont know of anybody that would disagree. The equipment I spoke of needs no RIB and the stock USB cable does not require a driver. The Kenwoods are a great option but lack the features I wanted like the handheld control head, Bluetooth and WiFi programing. If i want to update my trucks programing I just leave the radio on and access it from my desktop. Again its all personal preference, its always nice to have options!

Thats nice but pricey lol. Also I don't have a MOL account (I cant even figure out how to get one) making it difficult to get software, but it is nice to hear Motorola finally moved forward with their software accessibility lol. I still remember the DOS window and the big black box that needed its own power supply.


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#9 Nfranks97

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 05:10 PM

Thanks guys I just ordered a TK-880
And the gentleman is gonna program my local repeater in for me , I probably payed a lil to much at 120 shipped . My I’m ok with my purchase . I will need help for future programming though
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#10 Ian

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 02:57 AM

Corey, that's incredibly awesome kit.  That basically fills all of my weird-XXXuse-cases, and it's super elegant work.  I'd love to read more about this setup!

 

Motorola gear is a pain to get programming software for but not impossible. I can take a week or longer to navigate Motorola's process but in the end you will have legal software and you can get the entitlement for wideband operation for free after some quick online training. I use Motorola for the options alone, in the truck I run handheld control heads and a long range Bluetooth speaker mic so I can use the trucks radio well in restaurants our friends houses. The same mic is also on my base paired with a desktop mic, its nice being able to go anywhere in the house and just carry a small mic that allows the use of the base. This gear is a little pricey but can be found used on ebay reasonable, its all comes down to personal preference.


Edited by spd641, 19 June 2019 - 11:13 PM.
Language


#11 Ian

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 02:59 AM

Thanks guys I just ordered a TK-880
And the gentleman is gonna program my local repeater in for me , I probably payed a lil to much at 120 shipped . My I’m ok with my purchase . I will need help for future programming though

You didn't overpay.  I paid more for less radio only a few months ago.   :(



#12 Nfranks97

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 09:27 PM

Got my new to me Kenwood yesterday and I love it thanks guys !
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#13 w1ig

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 04:55 PM

I am using the Alinco DR-638. (On sale at HRO) Works great!!



#14 hfd376

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 09:10 AM

Motorola gear is a pain to get programming software for but not impossible. I can take a week or longer to navigate Motorola's process but in the end you will have legal software and you can get the entitlement for wideband operation for free after some quick online training. I use Motorola for the options alone, in the truck I run handheld control heads and a long range Bluetooth speaker mic so I can use the trucks radio well in restaurants our friends houses. The same mic is also on my base paired with a desktop mic, its nice being able to go anywhere in the house and just carry a small mic that allows the use of the base. This gear is a little pricey but can be found used on ebay reasonable, its all comes down to personal preference.

 

Bluetooth Mic that can be attached to most of the newer Motorola XPR radios including portables.

 

handmic.jpg

 

This is the handheld control head, it is also the speaker and mic, 4 years old an not a single issue.

 

truck1.jpg

 

Radio Head unit is installed under the back seat.

 

truck2.jpg

 

The control head cable comes thru the map pocket allowing it to tuck away nicely out of sight.

 

truck4.jpg

 

Simple 1/4 wave gives great performance, i am able to hit repeaters 30 miles away and simplex 10 miles easy in the freeway.

 

truck3.jpg

Corey, I see your using, the XPR series, how do change the PL on the fly? Or would you still have to put it on the computer.



#15 Corey

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

Corey, I see your using, the XPR series, how do change the PL on the fly? Or would you still have to put it on the computer.

 

I program all the repeaters I want in the radio and update the program as needed.

 

I don't have FPP on any of my radios. 


Just My $.02

 

Corey

 

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https://mwgmrs.com


#16 hfd376

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 01:49 PM

I program all the repeaters I want in the radio and update the program as needed.

 

I don't have FPP on any of my radios. 

Thank you, I've got a Motorola PM400, and while its obviously not FPP, it does have the ability to change the transmit and receive PL as desired as a menu item. I thought maybe the 7550 and 5550 series may have that as a menu item as well.



#17 bonelifer

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 03:37 PM

I use TK880's for mobile units, mostly because the MOL software is a pain to get (And at times requires an out of date OS and a RIB depending on how old the radio is)

Kenwood TK880's come in 25 and 50 watt models and the software is easy to get at a low price. The software also can be run on windows 10, and the cable is simple as well (No complicated RIB or anything) I've gotten all three 880's for less than $50, though one or two of them needed some cleaning. To reduce the number of programs I use, I ordered the 380 series portables which use the same software as the 880 mobiles. The only thing I dont like is that you can only store 10 "Tones" for CTCSS/DCS that you can select. I have the travel tone set in there and a few other codes for use when I travel. Outside of that the radios work really nice.

 

Looking into getting a Kenwood TK880. Where's the official place to purchase the software?



#18 axorlov

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 02:46 PM

On ebay the official CD runs between $15 and $20. Or you can look around on the internets. You need KPG-49D for the TK-880.  You also will need a programming cable, that's another $20.



#19 n4gix

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 05:59 PM

Looking into getting a Kenwood TK880. Where's the official place to purchase the software?

 
Be on the lookout for a TK-880H (1) if at all possible. The "H" indicates it is a high-power (45 watt) version, and the "1" indicates the band coverage of 450-490 Mhz, which includes all of the GMRS frequencies.


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#20 bonelifer

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 04:55 PM

 
Be on the lookout for a TK-880H (1) if at all possible. The "H" indicates it is a high-power (45 watt) version, and the "1" indicates the band coverage of 450-490 Mhz, which includes all of the GMRS frequencies.

Yeah, I got a TK-880H(1). At first it seemed nice they didn't cut off the power connector. But it took awhile to find the right mate online. All the power adapters I was finding were of the T-type variety. I'll know in about 4 days, if the one I found is the right type. Else, I'm just going to cut ends off and apply new Anderson plugs and be done with it. Wish I could find the mate for the accessories plug.  But it seems like Molex Incorporated has ceased making it "76650-0070". Couldn't find if another company makes it.

molex incorporated 76650-0070





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