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GMRS-50X1 Features Review


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#41 WREB270

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 09:35 AM

I have tested 3 of the UV-50X2's the first put out 32watts, the second just died in about 30 seconds bouncing between 0 and 9 watts and the third only output 21 watts.

I was going to get the x1 for GMRS use but if it's the same unit as the X2 just locked out to be FCC compliant... I think I will pass and am looking at the Midland MTX-400 instead. Icom makes the F6021 UHF 400-470 but it's only Part 90 certified, then they also have the 2730A advertised in the same range I was at one point considering for amateur, but it is a bare radio and all brackets etc are add ons, even to mount the face to the radio is extra.
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#42 berkinet

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 09:51 AM

...Icom makes the F6021 UHF 400-470 but it's only Part 90 certified, then they also have the 2730A advertised in the same range I was at one point considering for amateur, but it is a bare radio and all brackets etc are add ons, even to mount the face to the radio is extra.

 

If you are considering the Icom IC-2730A, why not look at the F6021? Neither radio is certified for GMRS and the IC-2730A is not even certified for Part 90 (it is certified Part 15 only).  In other words, if you are willing to look at non-GMRS certified radios, there is a huge world of possibilities out there, including used quality professional equipment (eBay).  Specifically, search these forums on Kenwood (including some Part 95E certified radios) and Motorola.


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

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#43 WREB270

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 10:05 AM

I did mention the F6021 in my post, it's part 90 not 95 certified. I also said I considered the IC-2730A for amateur not GMRS but you need to buy a bunch of basic items(like to attach the face to the body) that are considered extras just to get it set up. I considered a M1225 as well off of eBay but, unsupported as they are and getting fairly beat up examples left in UHF, don't want to get one and it die in 6 months, the MXT400 at least has some warranty to it.
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#44 berkinet

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 10:22 AM

You posted a request about help selecting a radio, to which I responded. If you don't want to hear what other people have to say, don't post. My point was, if you are willing to consider Part 90 radios, there are a lot to choose from.

 

If you don't want an M1225, the CDM1550 is newer and there are a lot of them on eBay. They will outperform a cheap CCR (and the Midlands are exactly that at inside) long after the CCRs have died.  However, if you don't like Motorola, try Kenwood. They are solid radios and easier to get software for. Just search the forum, there are dozens of posts on the Kenwood radios.

 

But, suit yourself.


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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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#45 Radioguy7268

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 08:08 AM

I'll point out that I've got a customer running M1225's in Concrete Mixers. They've been on the air with this system since 1998, so 21 years & counting. They've had a few failures along the way, but it's mostly been related to some driver dumping a fresh cup of coffee into the radio, rather than a failure of design.  Yeah, after 20 years, they don't look all that pretty, but they sure do work.

 

If you want something more "modern" - you can take a look at the CM300/PM400 which also has a pretty good reliability record.

 

If you don't want to invest in the programming software & cables required, you can always just figure on an extra $25 to $35 in "sunk" costs to have them programmed. Many sellers will include basic programming for a few channels in the cost of the radio. Don't expect to get 250 channels programmed for free, but if you're in that mode, you would definitely be better off to roll your own programming.

 

I'd still rather spend $100 to $150 on a used Motorola or Kenwood radio built to last, than a Midland radio brand new. That's just my opinion.


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#46 SteveC7010

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 11:04 AM

I’ll add my two cents for Motorola. The M-1225 is exactly as described above. They just keep on working.

The CDM-1550 is a good choice but has a lot of bells and whistles that most GMRS users won’t care about. But, the right model 1550 can hold 160 channels. Its little brother, the CDM-1250 is limited to 64 channels which may or may not be a consideration. The CDM’s are programmed with fixed PL or DPL. They all use the same CPS and programming cable. Even the 4 channel CDM-750 can be a good choice if you need very few frequencies. A lot of folks like the 750’s in repeaters because of their low cost, high reliability, and simple programming.

Some models of the CM-300 and PM-400 can be set up for selectable PL. quite handy when you are traveling.
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#47 RCM

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:19 PM

I did mention the F6021 in my post, it's part 90 not 95 certified. I also said I considered the IC-2730A for amateur not GMRS but you need to buy a bunch of basic items(like to attach the face to the body) that are considered extras just to get it set up. I considered a M1225 as well off of eBay but, unsupported as they are and getting fairly beat up examples left in UHF, don't want to get one and it die in 6 months, the MXT400 at least has some warranty to it.

I literally laughed out loud when I read this.

When I first got my gmrs license, I was tempted by Midland's marketing hype. And it looked like such a neat little radio. However, after I did my due diligence I decided against buying one. I'm really happy about that decision, too. Had I bought one, it would undoubtedly be sitting in the very back of a high shelf right now. I would probably not want to give away something I paid $250 for, nor would I want to take advantage of a newbie by actually taking money for something that I knew would handicap him from the beginning.

 

As for commercial radios failing, I've seen radios selling for $40 shipped that are way better than an MXT400. Even at double that price, you could buy three of them and a programming cable for the price of one MXT400. The software can be found as a free download, especially for Kenwoods.

 

My first gmrs radios were Kenwood TK-805s. With those you don't even need software: remove two screws, pop off the top cover, move a jumper, then power it up while holding a certain key sequence to enter programming mode. This allows you to program everything on the radio. The factory service manual (available as a free download) details exactly how to do it. When finished, power it down and back up and it's ready to operate. You can either leave the jumper in that position for future field programming, or move it back to the locked position. It doesn't affect radio operation, either way.

 

And, the TK-805 (like most of the Kenwoods) is part 95e accepted, so it is 100 percent legal for gmrs.

 

I bought several of them. I'm using one of them as the transmitter in my repeater. I'm thinking about putting up another repeater, and will probably use two of them for that. None of them have failed.

In fact, one of them was caked with dried soup or something when I got it. It worked fine, but it was ugly and some of the buttons would stick because of the caked-on goo. So I used soapy water and an old toothbrush to scrub it clean. After that it was good as new, and still is.

 

So, if you prefer to rely on the warranty from a proven (to be deceptive and misleading, that is) company, so be it. But I would rather have the better and less expensive commercial radios, and use the money I save to buy more of them. If one ever fails, it will just become a parts radio.

 

ETA: I just looked on ebay and found a few TK-805s on there for around $60 each. I also found lots of TK-880s for around the same price, including one seller who has 5 TK-880s for $55 each buy it now with free shipping, and a "make offer" option. You could probably get all five for $50 each, for $250 total. That's the price of one MXT400. A programming cable is about $12.

 

The TK-880 can also be set up for field programming if that's important to you, but it holds up to 250 channels so field programming is not necessary for most folks. Just enter the eight repeater pairs as many times as you need to get all the tone combinations you need.


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#48 Downs

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:58 PM

Is there a TK880 usb programing cable or do you need a serial adapter? Been kicking around getting one.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

A pile of "cheap Chinese radios", BF888s, UV5Rs, UV82s, KGUV8Ds, BFF8HP, UV50X2, and a few "good" radios, Yeasu FT310 (airband/nav), Yeasu FT90R (no longer in mobile service used as a base radio)


#49 axorlov

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 01:16 PM

Technically, you'd need a serial cable. However, there are bunch of cables on ebay that already include FTDI chip, making it USB. Like this, for example:

https://www.ebay.com...CQAAOSwYVlaEPE5



#50 marcspaz

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 01:30 PM

...


You make a lot of good points that I don't disagree with, but I can't help but wonder how much of your opinion is biased by an extensive background in amateur radio.

In the ham world, we are really spoiled with access to top-notch hardware and many Hams like to tinker and learn. So, getting better hardware and going through the steps to build a great GMRS radio is nbd. I think most people who are new to GMRS don't fall into that category. I could be wrong... but I think that's the case and those people just want a turnkey radio.

Me personally, I love my Midland MXT400 radios. I have 3 of them in 3 different vehicles and they work fantastic for what I use them for.... including repeater use. Though, my opinion of GRMS is that it's the UHF version of CB, so maybe my expectations are just much lower. Especially when I "need" high quality comms, I have some nice, high performance ham gear.

Just a thought... and again, I agree with you. Just don't know that it's the only answer, is all.
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#51 axorlov

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 02:40 PM

Yes, everything RCM wrote is true, and marcspaz's point is also very valid. Buying used commercial equipment has some risks and involves some elbow grease. Some people are not afraid of all that, and to some figuring out details might be daunting. Putting old commercial rig into service would involve:

- figuring out the power supply and connector (new rigs already have wires with fuses supplied);

- figuring out programming (some could be programmed from the front panel, some not, cables, software, etc...);

- risk that commercial rig would have a wrong/special firmware (one of mine TK-880's had something weird, and I had to ask around to flash the stock Kenwood firmware).

 

So, in addition to the purchase price of the rig, one must plan for another $10 - $50 and some work for what might be needed to put the transceiver into service. Not a problem for me, most HAMs, radio professionals, but could be a problem for a lot of people.

 

But, yeah, $55 for a working TK-805D with mike, or $65 for TK-880... I'll leave you here gentlemen, I need to do some shopping.


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#52 quarterwave

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 04:18 PM

M1225's are good radios. I have 3, one still new in box. The 20 channel one I have has outlasted 3 trucks! 


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#53 RCM

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 05:59 PM

Is there a TK880 usb programing cable or do you need a serial adapter? Been kicking around getting one.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

There is a usb cable for the TK880. No serial adapter needed. Here's the one I have: https://www.ebay.com...nkAAOSwytJaBd~n

 

There are also cheaper ones on ebay, but this particular seller was recommended to me and it is the one I have direct experience with.


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#54 berkinet

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:59 PM

...this particular seller was recommended to me and it is the one I have direct experience with.

Yes. bluemax49ers is trustworthy, builds high quality cables and stands behind his work. Totally recommend.
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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#55 Jones

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 11:27 PM

Yes. bluemax49ers is trustworthy, builds high quality cables and stands behind his work. Totally recommend.

I can also say that bluemax49ers is a good seller on eBay  .I've had no problems here after multiple transactions. A++


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