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??? Boosting Power ???


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#1 tekrsq

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 11:19 AM

Ok, being new to the GMRS scene, I'm way in over my head with what I thought I wanted.  Before I get to my needs, I do have a GMRS license, and I have several Motorola GMRS handhelds (I think a few of them are even repeater capable), and I have a Motorola CDM 1550 UHF radio that has been programmed with GMRS (and I think FRS) channels.

 

Now... I do a LOT of ATV/UTV riding in the WV mountains, and almost all of the guys I ride with have a UTV mounted radio for communication (most run the CDM 1550).  I'm usually in my UTV and have the CDM 1550, but occassionaly I'll ride an ATV and just have one of the Motorola handhelds.  Anyway, we (the riding club) was wondering if there is a way to have a system powerful enough that might reach somebody else riding in the area if one of us was to have an emergency.  There are tons of people riding up there with similar radio systems, but we all know the range is very limited.  Every now and then we will hear others on our channel, but it's usually just us the group.  We were originally thinking about some type of repeater system, but even with my very limited knowledge of how these frequencies work, I've researched enough to know that a mobile repeater is basically not going to happen, and it doesn't appear there are any known repeater stations in the areas we ride.

 

SO, I guess my question is...Is there an economical/ realistic way to boost power on our mobile radios so that if something was to happen to one of us, somebody else could ride to a mountain top, and broadcast an "emergency call" that somebody might hear more than 3 miles away ??  We're not trying to do anything illegal, but a few of us have the GMRS license, and was hoping that would open up options for us that non-licensed users don't have.



#2 PRadio

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 11:56 AM

Ok, being new to the GMRS scene, I'm way in over my head with what I thought I wanted.  Before I get to my needs, I do have a GMRS license, and I have several Motorola GMRS handhelds (I think a few of them are even repeater capable), and I have a Motorola CDM 1550 UHF radio that has been programmed with GMRS (and I think FRS) channels.

 

Now... I do a LOT of ATV/UTV riding in the WV mountains, and almost all of the guys I ride with have a UTV mounted radio for communication (most run the CDM 1550).  I'm usually in my UTV and have the CDM 1550, but occassionaly I'll ride an ATV and just have one of the Motorola handhelds.  Anyway, we (the riding club) was wondering if there is a way to have a system powerful enough that might reach somebody else riding in the area if one of us was to have an emergency.  There are tons of people riding up there with similar radio systems, but we all know the range is very limited.  Every now and then we will hear others on our channel, but it's usually just us the group.  We were originally thinking about some type of repeater system, but even with my very limited knowledge of how these frequencies work, I've researched enough to know that a mobile repeater is basically not going to happen, and it doesn't appear there are any known repeater stations in the areas we ride.

 

SO, I guess my question is...Is there an economical/ realistic way to boost power on our mobile radios so that if something was to happen to one of us, somebody else could ride to a mountain top, and broadcast an "emergency call" that somebody might hear more than 3 miles away ??  We're not trying to do anything illegal, but a few of us have the GMRS license, and was hoping that would open up options for us that non-licensed users don't have.

 

The data sheet I just looked at for your radio shows it is 25 watts on low power, and 45 watts on high. Increasing power isn't really going to do anything for you, realistically. GMRS is line of site, so you really should have no issues getting three miles from a mountain top, providing there are no obstacles in the way. I get that with my little Tera TR-505 with the right conditions, and it is a 4 watt handheld. 

 

Antenna, and antenna height is more important. As for legal, you can go up to 50 watts on some GMRS frequencies, but the jump to 50 from 45 is negligible. 



#3 BoxCar

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 12:17 PM

The main restriction you have on range is antenna height. If you take a no ground plane antenna with you on the ATV and 20 feet or more of coax you can put the antenna on top of some PVC pipe and raise it higher above the ground. Say 4 five foot lengths of PVC with couplers should get you enough range to cover 5 miles or so provided you don't have any ridges blocking the signal.


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#4 kipandlee

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 05:10 AM

increasing power not going to help much   portable  repeater  would be the way to go placed in a location with altitude  a mobile repeater would work if setup correctly have tested both worked flawless for more than 3 years we do the same thing love riding these wv hills  



#5 tekrsq

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 12:22 PM



increasing power not going to help much   portable  repeater  would be the way to go placed in a location with altitude  a mobile repeater would work if setup correctly have tested both worked flawless for more than 3 years we do the same thing love riding these wv hills  

 

Thx for the info guys !!!!!!

 

kipandlee...would you mind sharing what you've found that works in the WV hills ??  THX !!!! 

 

This my setup:

 

20190317_141445b_zps1fyvw6jh.jpg

 

20190317_141529a_zpsqrsd0wxh.jpg


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#6 kb2ztx

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

Well first thing to do is swap out that hocky puck antenna for a 1/4 wave. A standard whip is only 6" tall and will increase your range dramatically vs the puck antenna.



#7 PRadio

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 11:45 AM

You may want to experiment with MURS. It can work in hilly terrain a little better depending on conditions. A CB can actually do better in hills as well. 



#8 tekrsq

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 04:54 PM

Well first thing to do is swap out that hocky puck antenna for a 1/4 wave. A standard whip is only 6" tall and will increase your range dramatically vs the puck antenna.

 

Been, done that, got the empty bases to prove it.  I've ripped off 3 of them so far, and most of the guys have lost at least 1.  So far, I haven't noticed any real performance difference......but it's hard to say in the mountains.



#9 Radioguy7268

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 06:40 PM

I'd rather side mount a 1/4 wave antenna than use one of those hockey pucks up on the roof. 

 

I have a tour bus customer who insists on using those low profile hockey pucks because they think that they rip off too many masts, and the drivers won't look up to check if the antenna is still there before they start out on a trip.

 

You know what they complain about now? Range. 


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#10 kb2ztx

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:06 AM

Been, done that, got the empty bases to prove it.  I've ripped off 3 of them so far, and most of the guys have lost at least 1.  So far, I haven't noticed any real performance difference......but it's hard to say in the mountains.

 

What 1/4 wave are you using. I have always run the Motorola whip and have had ambulances come in with the whip bent completely flat but still in the chrome nut. I know of a few folks that run VHF on a side by side and run the same 1/4 in VHF. I just can't imagine ripping a 1/4 wave off without other damage to the quad. 


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#11 kb2ztx

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:07 AM

Also what are you using for the ground plane ? the plastic top doesn't help at all and a mount in steel plate would work much better.


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#12 quarterwave

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:07 AM

Been, done that, got the empty bases to prove it.  I've ripped off 3 of them so far, and most of the guys have lost at least 1.  So far, I haven't noticed any real performance difference......but it's hard to say in the mountains.

 

Advice: If no metal under the base, put some there, you need a ground plane, and I would solder a lead from it to the framework as well. Second, if you use a 1/4 wave...rip the ball off the end, you'll use far fewer or none. I took the ball off many times on tall trucks and equipment to keep them from being ripped by tree branches. 


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#13 marcspaz

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 12:08 PM

What are you doing that your 6" antenna doesn't clear something? I have an MXT11a on my Jeep, along with a 2m/440 Ham antenna and a 114" CB whip. I do some of the most aggressive trails in the mid-Atlantic and I have never bent, broken or lost an antenna.
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