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Wouxun or BTech or Midland


Guest Pete M
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Well it looks like GMRS is the best situation for me and my family at this time.  So I did a little research on some equipment (remember I would like to have a hard base unit in my truck and house and then have handheld units while me or the family while hunting, hiking, fishing, etc...) and I listed below what I read were some good units.  Can you please let me know what your thoughts are....The list below can be used together or separately.  Thank you again for your comments.

 

Handheld Wouxun KG805-G and Base Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS (50watt)

 

Handheld BTECH GMRS V1 and Base BTech GMRS 50X1 (50 watt)

 

Base Midland MXT400(40 watt) and Midland XTalker Handhelds

 

 

Thank you


 
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Where I came from on my decision making was wanted more then some cheap plastic wrap after getting my license.  Took the advise of BTWR the Handheld Wouxun KG805-G and Purchased two and happy as the sound quality is so clear....   I have been looking at the Base Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS (50watt) they had some nice feature... awaiting review from others who know more then me.  I also made sure I did not have buyer remorse and said for $160 for two 805G and if I did a base KG-1000G for $319 plus antenna and other accessories $200?, I have learned a lot.  (read below as going for repeater)

 

So pick what you like now because in 6 to 8 months they add new features and or products which makes you say O I should have gotten this or that.  So I do have issues with the 805G and so go look at all the posts for all the radios and ask yourself can I live with this or that.  Because I'm a newbie, I wanted to make my current pick to be a learning tool for me and my 12 yo G daughter to learn and enjoy radios...  We are learning a lot about programing plus repeaters and just having fun hearing FRS trash talk and being legit on GMRS.  Makes her feel good in seeing the difference.  

 

As I said twice, buy something you will not have buyers remorse...  because your first radios will be your throw away in a year or so.  Now for me that is why I did not get the Wouxun KG-1000G as a base to install in my Jeep, I like the remote head.  But now I'm looking at getting a repeater to put in Jeep and/or my RV via sharing the unit.  I like the portability of 5 watt handhelds with a 5 watt repeater with good antennas.  So looking at Retevis RT97  https://shop.mygmrs.com/collections/featured-products/products/retevis-rt97-gmrs-repeater-5w

 

My GMRS mentor "he knows who he is" says it is all in the antenna and the $200 of accessories was all antennas so since the 805G allows to upgrade different antennas which is a lot better than rubber ducky.  Also the 805G are 5 watts and I think Midland X-Talker handhelds are only 2 watts and fixed rubber ducky antennas (do check this as I may be wrong).  Midland looks like good pricing...  Just pick a budget amount to start with the features you like knowing you can go crazy like me on your next round of radios purchases... 

 

How old are your kids, any looking to go deeper into GMRS.  I vision cast my G daughter into the Space Force and we did the Huntsville, AL space museum so she see all the communication gear and is ready to go...  Go Guardians..

 

Hope this helps, not techie like my mentor, just some personal meat.  Do let us know what and why you purchase what you came up with.  Just know it will be the right choice for your needs. 

 

Jack

 

Edit after thought:

 

I like that I can program the 805G and I have a Mac and use Chirp software and cable.  I can not speak at about the other units.

 

I noticed that Midland and maybe others are China made...  I only say this for the Made in USA folks as I'm an X Law Enforcement guy with Motorola radios I like.  I have openly stated that I do not like the CCP and have two adapted twin Chinese daughters in their 50's with adult America kids.  I have said I not a lover of CCP actions and feel the pain for the people and companies who have to do what they do to live until CCP is history.

 

I also need to add I was educated on Part 95 certified radios from BTWR.  I wanted a radio that was certified radios for the future, NOT the hybrids that only a Ham can use.  In short a certified radios per Part 95 just for GMRS.  So whatever you pick make sure it is Part 95 certified radios.  

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MacJack, I'd love to see photos or learn more about your setup when you get it into your RV. I'm still scratching my head on an elegant solution for my travel trailer that doesn't require a tone of fresh holes in the metalwork. 

 

And GuestPete_M,, welcome to GMRS. It's a great solution for my family and current needs as well, and it looks like you've done some serious homework. I don't have the experience others do on this forum, so I'll avoid unnecessarily clouding your decision by withholding my amateur comments. 

 

I will, however, try to tickle a few the experts here into replying by mentioning the Midlands are narrowband on frequencies where wide is allowed. I have a pair of Midland's narrowband handhelds and have not experienced the often-cited degradation in audio when the grandkids use them to reach me on the BTech 50X1 I purchased here. However (and it's a big one), we haven't really stretched my rudimentary system's limits. When you start adding hills, trout streams and deer stands in a thick forest to the equation that extra width may make things more intelligible, or not. Hopefully some folks with more experience will chime in, but I did want to welcome you to the community, regardless. 

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Well it looks like GMRS is the best situation for me and my family at this time. So I did a little research on some equipment (remember I would like to have a hard base unit in my truck and house and then have handheld units while me or the family while hunting, hiking, fishing, etc...) and I listed below what I read were some good units. Can you please let me know what your thoughts are....The list below can be used together or separately. Thank you again for your comments.

 

Handheld Wouxun KG805-G and Base Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS (50watt)

 

Handheld BTECH GMRS V1 and Base BTech GMRS 50X1 (50 watt)

 

Base Midland MXT400(40 watt) and Midland XTalker Handhelds

 

 

Thank you

 

 

I am going to limit my answer to the choices you gave me.

 

If repeater access is not required or desired from you HT’s you can go Midland route. They are the simplest of all radios to use and are cheapest to replace when damaged.

 

If you want repeater access, then I recommend the Wouxun combination. The reason being is that I have had good first hand experience with the KG-805G, but also because neither the 805G or 1000G suffer from the programming deficiencies of the BF and Midland. The Wouxun radios will allow you to pre-program up to 128 different simplex and/or repeater frequency PL combinations. While 128 is most certainly more than you will ever need, the BF and Midland radio suffer from a limit of 1 memory channel per frequency, which means you cannot create multiple memory presets (channels) that use the same frequency but different PL codes. A no-go in my book if the area where they will be used has multiple repeaters available that operate on the same frequency.

 

Good Luck.

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I would stay away from Btech (Baofeng) for the reasons stated by mburn. I personally have an experience with Ham-band Baofengs and I'm not impressed, to put it politely. I'd recommend whatever you want for handhelds (except BTech) because you are going to drop it, run it over with the truck, lose it, etc, but something better for mobile unit. Kenwood TK-860HG-1, TK-880H-1 or TK-8180H-K are great, can be programmed narrow- and wide-band. They are seriously cheaper on ebay than new Midland and Wouxun units, $150 (with all the SW, cables and connectors factored in) vs $400 - considerable difference. They are fully legal to be operated on GMRS, since they are Part 95A radios.

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I will also agree with mbrun's take, speaking a 50x1 owner with a couple different repeaters in range on the the same frequency. It's kind of a pain not being able to save more tx entries, even if within bounds for gmrs.

 

Midland are very plug and play, and generally well supported, but have their own limitations;if repeater access is desired, the xtalkers are likely out.

 

The wouxun handheld is solid, and easy to set up. I have high hopes for their mobile to be similar, and the remote head is a bonus, but it's slightly pricy, and still a bit of an unknown.

 

Among the 3 options, I think wouxun is the best. If you're willing to mix, you could do a Midland base and wouxun ht. Axorlov also raises a good point about the commercial options being good alternatives.

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I would stay away from Btech (Baofeng) for the reasons stated by mburn. I personally have an experience with Ham-band Baofengs and I'm not impressed, to put it politely. I'd recommend whatever you want for handhelds (except BTech) because you are going to drop it, run it over with the truck, lose it, etc, but something better for mobile unit. Kenwood TK-860HG-1, TK-880H-1 or TK-8180H-K are great, can be programmed narrow- and wide-band. They are seriously cheaper on ebay than new Midland and Wouxun units, $150 (with all the SW, cables and connectors factored in) vs $400 - considerable difference. They are fully legal to be operated on GMRS, since they are Part 95A radios.

Thank you for your feedback.  What is the difference in between the kenwood units?  Watts?

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GuySagi, Well it will be this spring.. Themo going down to 9 degrees tonight so sitting by the fire and studying all kinds of suitcase Repeater, both USA and CCP made.  So will let you know..

 

So saying that I may start a Post for Suitcase Repeater Suggestion...

 

MacJack, I'd love to see photos or learn more about your setup when you get it into your RV. I'm still scratching my head on an elegant solution for my travel trailer that doesn't require a tone of fresh holes in the metalwork. 

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Thank you for your feedback.  What is the difference in between the kenwood units?  Watts?

All three I listed are high-power versions, thus the letter "H" in designation. 8180 is 45W, other two are 40W. There are 25W - 35W versions of the same radios without the "H". They are smaller, cheaper and with less amperes drawn on transmit. Often high power is not required, but you talked about camping, hunting, hiking in the other thread, and this is where another 10-15W would help. TK-860 is the oldest, then goes TK-880, both discontinued long time ago, but are in abundance as second-hand. TK-8180 is the newest, and I think, still can be bought new. Programming software could be found on the internet for free, or bought for $15-20. Kenwood does not lock CPS to the buyer or to the specific radio. CPS for TK-880 and later works under Windows. For TK-860 you would need DOS in virtual machine or emulator like DosBox.

TK-880 and TK-8180 are covered on this forum in great detail.

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So I did a little research on some equipment (remember I would like to have a hard base unit in my truck and house and then have handheld units while me or the family while hunting, hiking, fishing, etc...) and I listed below what I read were some good units. Can you please let me know what your thoughts are.

 

I have a Midland MXT275 MicroMobile for the truck and some Midland GXT1000 series handhelds which get the most family use in simplex mode when camping or hiking.  I also have an older Wouxun/Powerwerx GU-16 GMRS handheld (product is now discontinued) which can work repeaters, but I use that mostly on the southwest regional linked repeater system from the living room at the house here.  The Wouxun is a pain to operate in the field, as it is a Part90/Part95 16-channel radio which needs to be programmed with a USB cable hooked up to a PC like most Part90 radios, rather than from a menu on the radio itself. I do not have experience with the newer Wouxun or BTech radios; there have likely been many improvements in user interface over the last 8 to 10 years.

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Yeah, I too would be very interested in RV/TT mobile/base setups.  Good stuff when camping or especially hunting I would expect.  Will have mobile TK-8180 in my SxS (replacing fried 880) and will be installing another Kenwood 8180 in the dash of my Cherokee XJ in place of the stereo (simple Bluetooth speaker and my phone will get me all the music or radio I'll ever need).  I think a nice setup in the 5'er might be the ticket.  Again, thinking of replacing the stereo head in the trailer with a mobile unit and using both the OEM inside and outside speakers for the GMRS.

 

Pretty sure someone here has posted some details on an RV setup so I'll have to go search.

 

For the OP and to stay on topic.. I have 2 Wouxun 805G HT with no issues, easy to use and like them better than the Kenwood 3170 so far.  My experience is the battery lasts longer, but yours may vary.  I got amazing 20 mile distance HT to Mobile, simplex, last summer, even with a treed hill obstructing LOS.  Factory 805 antenna and simple 1/4 wave on the mobile.  And it was a solid connection, 5 x 5 both directions and an extended conversation.  Whether that's repeatable remains to be seen but it was borderline shocking at the time.

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I like the portability of 5 watt handhelds with a 5 watt repeater with good antennas.  So looking at Retevis RT97  https://shop.mygmrs.com/collections/featured-products/products/retevis-rt97-gmrs-repeater-5w

 

 

Just be aware that the RT97 is narrow-band only, so you are pretty much locked into using narrow-band equipment.

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Midland MTX 400 NarrowBand only questions - Can anyone provide some clarification on the how the Midland MTX 400 with only narrowband will affect me and repeater use?  Isnt the unit already programmed with ALL the GRMS repeater pairs? I think it is 8 pairs/channels...Does that mean that every single GRMS repeater in on one of these channels/pairs?  And if the repeater pair/channel is on narrow band and the repeated in on high band, will i not be able to use it? I would like to use repeaters if needed and may at one point put up at repeater to use for extended use with other family members. 

 

Also did i read write that the FRS channels are not programmed on the Midland GRMS radios?  meaning I cant communicate with FRS radios that my friends or family have. (motorola talk abouts)?

 

I am seriously considering this base unit in my home and vehicle and since it is widely used in the recreational market it seems pretty easy to use and user friendly. 

 

Thank you very much

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Well, I don't have an MXT400 or the desire to get one so I can't speak to the channels installed. However, the issues with repeaters is fairly well documented. First, the wideband and narrowband point. Radios having one bandwidth can, and do, talk to each other over the same channels. Radios on wideband hear the narrowband radio with lower volume while the opposite is true for narrow band radios listening to wide band radios. This has to do with the amount of signal carrying the intelligence. Narrowband radios carry their intelligence or speech using 11.3 kilohertz of bandwidth and wide band radios use 20 kilohertz for speech. More bandwidth, the stronger the received speech volume. Also, the wideband radio will be more intelligible at the farthest range for both.

 

The second issue for the Midlands has to do with the signaling tones used by most repeaters. Some repeaters need a specific tone to "wake up" and process the incoming signal. If the output from the repeater does not carry a tone or uses the same tone the MXT works. It's when the output signal uses a different tone than the input, split tones, that the Midland fails, This is because the Midland cannot assign one tone for transmit and another to receive without modification.

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Good day.

 

BoxCar covered a couple of points nicely. In addition to the fact that some repeaters may transmit a different code than it needs to open it up, there are some repeaters that may not transmit any code. So having a radio that has the ability for you to use a Tx code by no Rx code can be an asset. I have already experienced that in GMRS and in amateur radio alike.

 

Regarding FRS Frequencies. Since all frequencies used by FRS are also shared with GMRS, radios designed for the two services can interoperate; this is a nice feature for family comms. There are however FCC power restrictions. (7) of the shared frequencies are limited 1/2 (0.5) watt (GMRS and FRS), (7) of the shared frequencies are limited to 5 watts (GMRS) and 2 watts (FRS). For this reason, if a radio is not capable of transmitting at such low power, the radio cannot and will not be FCC approved to transmit on those frequencies. None of the Part 95e certified radios designed for mobile or base use that I have found to date have met the FCC criteria to comply with such low power limit requirements on GMRS channels 8-15. So, no current Midland micro-mobile radio (or any of its current competitors in the same class) will be legally capable of transmitting on those channels, despite the somewhat misleading marketing information. If someone has found one I am sure they will let me know.

 

Since handheld portable devices are low power in practice, it is in-fact possible to use such a radio in a vehicle with an external antenna and operate on the channels 8-15, provided that you do not use a high-gain antenna and do not exceed the FCC specified 1/2 watt ERP limit.

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

 

Midland MTX 400 NarrowBand only questions - Can anyone provide some clarification on the how the Midland MTX 400 with only narrowband will affect me and repeater use? Isnt the unit already programmed with ALL the GRMS repeater pairs? I think it is 8 pairs/channels...Does that mean that every single GRMS repeater in on one of these channels/pairs? And if the repeater pair/channel is on narrow band and the repeated in on high band, will i not be able to use it? I would like to use repeaters if needed and may at one point put up at repeater to use for extended use with other family members.

 

Also did i read write that the FRS channels are not programmed on the Midland GRMS radios? meaning I cant communicate with FRS radios that my friends or family have. (motorola talk abouts)?

 

I am seriously considering this base unit in my home and vehicle and since it is widely used in the recreational market it seems pretty easy to use and user friendly.

 

Thank you very much

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Midland MXT400 does work with repeaters. I am new to this but the repeater channels are +5. RX frequency 462.???? TX frequency 467.????. The repeater channels are also wideband on the MXT400.  I have put the link below as well as the video that shows this. Again, I am new at this and just learning but tend to be a fast learner occasionally. If this is incorrect don't insult me too bad although I can take a good insult. There are alot of items in the software that I do not understand at all and can't seem to find out what it is. Although I do believe any changes made to some aspects of the MXT400 would render it illegal from what I am reading. There is also a nice feature on the MXT400 that allows you to be on a repeater channel and if you are not hitting the repeater but are within distance of someone who is you can still transmit to them. It is called Talk Around I believe. I am not saying the Midland MXT400 is the best choice but it is fairly easy to use for a beginner and gets out there pretty good.

 

https://mwgmrs.com/forums/topic/midland-mxt400-programing/

This is the video; https://youtu.be/cYjp7P390EE

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Midland MTX 400 NarrowBand only questions - Can anyone provide some clarification on the how the Midland MTX 400 with only narrowband will affect me and repeater use?  Isnt the unit already programmed with ALL the GRMS repeater pairs? I think it is 8 pairs/channels...Does that mean that every single GRMS repeater in on one of these channels/pairs?  And if the repeater pair/channel is on narrow band and the repeated in on high band, will i not be able to use it? I would like to use repeaters if needed and may at one point put up at repeater to use for extended use with other family members. 

 

Also did i read write that the FRS channels are not programmed on the Midland GRMS radios?  meaning I cant communicate with FRS radios that my friends or family have. (motorola talk abouts)?

 

I am seriously considering this base unit in my home and vehicle and since it is widely used in the recreational market it seems pretty easy to use and user friendly. 

 

Thank you very much

 

Here is a link that explains it pretty good with a youtube video. https://mwgmrs.com/forums/topic/midland-mxt400-programing/

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Midland MTX 400 NarrowBand only questions - Can anyone provide some clarification on the how the Midland MTX 400 with only narrowband will affect me and repeater use?  Isnt the unit already programmed with ALL the GRMS repeater pairs? I think it is 8 pairs/channels...Does that mean that every single GRMS repeater in on one of these channels/pairs?  And if the repeater pair/channel is on narrow band and the repeated in on high band, will i not be able to use it? I would like to use repeaters if needed and may at one point put up at repeater to use for extended use with other family members. 

 

Also did i read write that the FRS channels are not programmed on the Midland GRMS radios?  meaning I cant communicate with FRS radios that my friends or family have. (motorola talk abouts)?

 

I am seriously considering this base unit in my home and vehicle and since it is widely used in the recreational market it seems pretty easy to use and user friendly. 

 

Thank you very much

I use an MXT-400 and the radio does use wideband on the repeater frequencies, out of the box. I have no problem using it on local repeaters.

 

I do use narrow band handheld units in simplex with the MXT-400. The only thing you need to do is turn up the volume to hear the handhelds. If a wideband radio keys up the volume will be loud. To reduce the number of times that this happens I usually use a PL tone on simplex.

 

Midland does sell a programming cable that allows you to set up split tones or change the bandwidth. I don't have the cable and have never had a need to change the stock configuration of the radio. There are several good YouTube videos if you want to learn more.

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