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Overall impression of BTECH GMRS-50x1?


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#1 krvw

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 04:33 PM

I've been considering one of these for mobile and home use. It seems to be a lot of bang for the buck, including being FCC Part 95e approved.

 

I saw some here had some problems when they were first released and I'm hoping those were early production teething problems.

 

Anyone here using one of these on a regular basis? Impressions?

 

If you're using it as a base station at home, do you have a recommended power supply for it?

 

My aim is to have a semi-transportable rig between my car and home. Thoughts?

 

Thanks.

 

Cheers,

 

Ken (WRFC318)

 

 



#2 marcspaz

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 06:34 PM

I wrote a couple of opinions about it in the reviews forum. Take a look.

Not my cup of tea, performance wise. Lots of nice features, though.

#3 WRAR990

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 08:10 PM

I want to get one for my truck. Being a first responder, if I don't have my pager with me, I can just tune in on that radio (receive only is nice).


Pat M., WRAR990

-Volunteer Firefighter

-Southtowns 4x4 Recovery Team

4lz2SWM.gif

 

f1HMTAH.gif


#4 wayoverthere

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:23 AM

have one on the way, but it's looking like it'll be late april before they ship.  some hint of that before i ordered might've been nice, though.

 

i do see the wider range of receive only frequencies as a plus.  been pondering repurposing an old computer PSU for base duties. been running things off a car battery for short term usage, and letting it charge when not in use.



#5 Zectron2348

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 08:11 AM

I too have been looking at this radio as a possible less expensive base.

#6 Lscott

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 09:21 AM

been pondering repurposing an old computer PSU for base duties. been running things off a car battery for short term usage, and letting it charge when not in use.

 

Using an old computer switching power supply likely won't work. First they are electrically noisy and will kill your receiver sensitivity. Second the designs use one of the low voltage outputs for regulation, 5 VDC - 3.3 VDC - ???, while the rest float around a bit. If the regulated output isn't loaded down enough it may not even start. 

 

We use a number of off the shelf switching power supplies where I work for some industrial controls. I have one right now in my office loaded down with a fat power resistor on the 5 VDC rail just to get the thing to turn on so I can use the other outputs for testing a project.

 

About using it to charge a lead acid battery may not work well, if at all, since the high voltage outputs are a "nominal" 12 VDC on the computer power supply. You need around 13.5 VDC to 13.8 VDC to charge a "12 VDC" lead acid battery. Then there is the different charge stages to keep from damaging the battery, bulk - absorption - float, which is normally done by a smart charger. There is a bit of a difference between liquid filled, gell cell and AGM lead acid types on the charge and float voltages to content with.  


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#7 wayoverthere

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 05:38 PM

Using an old computer switching power supply likely won't work. First they are electrically noisy and will kill your receiver sensitivity. Second the designs use one of the low voltage outputs for regulation, 5 VDC - 3.3 VDC - ???, while the rest float around a bit. If the regulated output isn't loaded down enough it may not even start.

We use a number of off the shelf switching power supplies where I work for some industrial controls. I have one right now in my office loaded down with a fat power resistor on the 5 VDC rail just to get the thing to turn on so I can use the other outputs for testing a project.

About using it to charge a lead acid battery may not work well, if at all, since the high voltage outputs are a "nominal" 12 VDC on the computer power supply. You need around 13.5 VDC to 13.8 VDC to charge a "12 VDC" lead acid battery. Then there is the different charge stages to keep from damaging the battery, bulk - absorption - float, which is normally done by a smart charger. There is a bit of a difference between liquid filled, gell cell and AGM lead acid types on the charge and float voltages to content with.

Thanks for the info...the power supply was one of those back burner ideas that I never got around to testing....guess I won't hold my breath on it.

I am using (and will continue to use) actual battery chargers for the car battery, though. For occasional use, a small float charger has been sufficient so far, though I have a couple bigger models around too

#8 wayoverthere

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 12:35 PM

Just a follow-up on the power supply thing...decided a car battery inside the house wouldn't be a super idea, and bit the bullet and bought a proper power supply. Should have some headroom for anything I might decide to throw at it (for now).

https://www.dxengine...rts/ALO-DM-30TR

#9 kaz

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 06:36 PM

Wish I knew how to post picture's of my power supply. Looking at the BTECH 50x1 myself just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Midland MXT400( AKA Baofeng 9500) put's up a good comparison. I do like having the receive only option. Midland seems better made. Really happy with my Wouxun KG-805G HT.



#10 marcspaz

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 07:43 PM

Kaz... the Baofeng 9500 is not an MXT400.  It is a cheap cosmetic knock-off UHF amateur radio.  Outside of looking similar, they are unrelated.



#11 wayoverthere

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 08:52 PM

Wish I knew how to post picture's of my power supply. Looking at the BTECH 50x1 myself just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Midland MXT400( AKA Baofeng 9500) put's up a good comparison. I do like having the receive only option. Midland seems better made. Really happy with my Wouxun KG-805G HT.


Knowing what I know now, if I were considering the mxt400, I would hold off til Midland gets the split tone issues sorted (doesn't let you set send and receive codes separately). Initial impression is the "finish" of the btech isn't with Midland, but it seems to make up for it on the features side.

(For reference, I'm still newish to all this, and I have a mix of radios; Midland handhelds, a kg805g wouxun, and a Midland mxt115 mobile, with the btech the most recent add)

#12 kaz

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:22 PM

Knowing what I know now, if I were considering the mxt400, I would hold off til Midland gets the split tone issues sorted (doesn't let you set send and receive codes separately). Initial impression is the "finish" of the btech isn't with Midland, but it seems to make up for it on the features side.

(For reference, I'm still newish to all this, and I have a mix of radios; Midland handhelds, a kg805g wouxun, and a Midland mxt115 mobile, with the btech the most recent add)

Be interested in your long term opinion of the btech.


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#13 wayoverthere

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:49 PM

I'll definitely be sharing as I get it going. Set it up for a few minutes last night, receiving side is plenty loud, but nobody on at that time for a transmit check. Will need to get an antenna up to do some better testing, but receiving the local public safety stuff was good and clear even with just a little unity gain wedged in the window.

Haven't gotten into the programming beyond the menu itself yet though...I borked the computer I have chirp installed on trying to update....been fighting with that all day, and then have to reinstall everything.




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