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New here! Just ordered two radios that will be here Saturday. Share your basic, beginner tips with me.


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#1 WRFH675

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 12:13 AM

I ordered BTECH GMRS-V1 from Amazon. I also received my license yesterday.

I do a lot of hiking and camping. But I'm also interested and learning much more about GMRS and radios in general. I know these can be programmed and use other antenna, but I held off on ordering those and the cable until I understand more of the basics.

Any tips, suggestions, ideas for a total newb will be greatly appreciated! Radios and/or transmission etiquette, or anything else. Thanks!

#2 BTinCO

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 03:12 PM

WRFH675 and all:

 

I too am new to GMRS, and have similar questions, particularly around repeaters, and how to ensure I'm locating and using them properly.

 

I will primarily use my GMRS radio (MXT 400) in my Yamaha Side-by-side UTV, so understanding how to be able to contact someone in event of an emergency or breakdown remotely is key for me.

 

If there are any articles, information links, etc that anyone can share, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

WRFE801


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#3 WRAF233

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 09:32 PM

Same here.  '19 Wolverine X4 with Kenwood TK880.   And a Kenwood HT and Wousun HT.

 

I'll be relegated to simplex when camping unless I'm near my local area where there are available repeaters.  There are no repeaters near where I camp for extended periods.   Without a repeater and someone monitoring that frequency the odds of reaching a random rescuer is slim.  But simplex with fellow riders should work pretty well (I've yet to put mine to the test).

 

Go to Map on this website to find repeaters that might be in your range.

 

Lots of folks here with more expertise and experience than I.


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WRAF233

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#4 RickW

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 09:34 PM

We have two of the B-Tech GMRS V1 units and 2 MXT400's and 2 MXT 115's. The main concern some have is that the Midland units are narrow band only, but this has been OK for personal use. Most GMRS repeaters appear to be wide bandwidth, One time I tried using the Midland "compander" and that helped the receiving station with my modulation, but then their modulation to me was more distorted. The B-Tech units can work with wide or narrow.

 

I have ordered a couple of Wouxun 805G HT's as I wanted to try them out. If they had been available earlier I would not have purchased the B-Techs because of the quality control issues with B-Tech, the fact you can not talk to anyone on the phone, and the fact that back up batter packs are AAA. The Wouxun are repurposed KG-UVD1P's and locked down to meet Part 95E rules and use AA batteries. They are also 4 watts while the B-Techs, which used to be 4 or 5 watts, have been reduced to 2 watts. The difference in power can be useful in some situations, but antennas and line of sight is the most important. 

 

There are some helpful youtube videos, although one has to be careful because of a fair amount of misinformation. I tend to make comments on those videos and in a nice way, try and make appropriate corrections or explanations.

 

GMRS can be iffy for a contact since there are not many who monitor for calls for help. I am probably an exception in my area but I have a reasonably high gain antenna and high location on our farm and being retired helps. I can talk to folks using FRS HTs for many miles away (10 or so in some cases if they are close to the ridge). When I have rarely tried a repeater, I have chatted a few times when I actually did not expect anyone to be there. 


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#5 outtactrl

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 09:01 PM

...The main concern some have is that the Midland units are narrow band only, but this has been OK for personal use. Most GMRS repeaters appear to be wide bandwidth, One time I tried using the Midland "compander" and that helped the receiving station with my modulation, but then their modulation to me was more distorted...

I took a look at the configuration software from Midland for the MXT400 and it appears you can adjust the GMRS band from 12.5K to 25K Channel Spacing.



#6 PRadio

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 12:22 PM

I took a look at the configuration software from Midland for the MXT400 and it appears you can adjust the GMRS band from 12.5K to 25K Channel Spacing.

 

Bandwidth and channel spacing are two different things. Channel spacing: Defines the frequency difference between adjacent radio channels in the radio modem.

 

Channel Width: Occupied channel bandwidth. Typically channel spacing is the same in the radio modems as the channel width.






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