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theres alot to learn about these!


Guest Kiel
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Guest Kiel

man....i don't even know where to begin. i need a radio for my jeep. hey google....and here we are.

 

so i found this group because i was researching the Wouxun KG-1000. reading through the handful of threads that i did left me more confused than before i started reading. i work with a ham operator, so i know enough to know that a radio isn't just a radio...but that is about the extent of my knowledge and understanding. 

so anyhow...why didn't i  search before asking my question? i did. but there are so many terms and there is radio lingo flying around....don't hate me, but im radio ignorant. i was under the assumption that if i ordered that radio that i could just wire it in and go but research....haha, research always does it...but research shows me more confusion. programmable, hts, swr, keep going keep going. 

i have a jeep. i have young kids. i need a gmrs radio, and i want the 50w. i learned that you need to get an fcc license w/ the wouxun (i also learned that this isn't really enforced at all)...I learned years ago that if it looks like a toy, it IS a toy...so until my kids are a couple of years older, i need to go w/ a hardwired unit and not a handheld. they will steal it and when it comes time to go, i don't like looking for things. 

my requirements are as follows-

1-solid radio, i don't like buying things more than once. this will not be a hobby of mine, this will just be a tool that i use on a somewhat regular basis, but it is for emergencies, i want reliability

2-weather proof if possible (i try leaving doors and roof off every chance i get....small pop up storms be damned, i just pull the plugs and let her drain)

3-budget friendly. i haven't looked at anything besides the KG-1000 (i read many good things) and while it seems to be priced fairly, some of what i have read disagrees w/ my cost acceptance, so i don't really know what is "fair" in this market or what i can expect. i plan on getting a Francis firestick for an antenna...unless ya'll point me in a completely different direction. 

4- prolly most important would be its operating power/range. i selected this model based on the 50w power and some 30 mile reviews. im regularly 15 miles away from civilization/rescue so this part is critical to me

 

wants-

weather proof

removable face w/ unit elsewhere (this can alleviate the weatherproof requirement if i can mount it somewhere else, like under a seat

 

besides those needs and wants, im clueless. i have no "what about this" or "that" to compare with other than google....and while google knows all, you all know more than google. Would one or more of you be so kind as to guide me just a little? i mean, i know how to spell radio and gmrs...so its a good start!

Thanks!

 

 

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  • rdunajewski changed the title to theres alot to learn about these!

So, a couple of problems with your wants/needs.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no GMRS radio with a remote head AND is water and dust resistant.  I spent months researching different radios and didn't find one.  The other is... the power has very little to do with how far your signal can be heard and how distant a signal you can hear.

 

It just so happens that I am a power junkie, so I own a couple of 50 watt radios, but several friends of mine have 15 watt radios and they can't hear me any further than I can hear them.  15w vs 50w, the "usable communications" range ends at the same distance in almost every instance I personally have tested.  So, while the additional power may help a bit with filling in some holes in coverage, I wouldn't necessarily make that a deal breaker for you.

 

With that said, in my own personal opinion, the two best new over the counter 50w mobile radios on the market are the KG-1000 and the Midland MXT500. 

 

The KG-1000 has a remote head and is "feature rich", but it is not dust or water resistant and will take a bit to learn to use compared to a more simple radio.

 

The MXT500 is dust and water resistant, has many advanced features for experienced users but is very easy to use out of the box.  However, this is a solid body radio with no detachable head unit.

 

I am a ham radio operator and I have a tone of experience with advanced feature radios, and I absolutely love the KG-1000, but I wheel my Jeep with no roof and doors, and I fold down the windshield.  I bought the MXT500 and I removed my amateur radio equipment from my Jeep for the season.  If Jeep life is a concern, that really would be the model I recommend, too.

 

I'll get a photo of it in the Jeep later tonight.  I let my son take the Jeep to work, so I don't have access to it right this second... but this is how I wheel my Jeep.

 

1052623398_GladRainbows.thumb.jpg.215b51618bed21dbd1169d8f2b120c57.jpg

 

736834883_NickDriving.thumb.jpg.937b9c39e65d02916ef8669c41b8a2e3.jpg

 

705486410_FlexinonFP.thumb.jpg.85097dc1065452fe98b7ac2be36f52c9.jpg

 

 

MXT500_Installed_Top.thumb.jpg.2dd021a059f39a39718d915097044ffd.jpg 

 

MXT500_Installed_Front.thumb.jpg.96b919ef6b6b7de316993325b70ef8a3.jpg  MXT500_Installed_Front_2.thumb.jpg.5277df092d473c303973e845be866841.jpg

 

 

Primary and Secondary GMRS Antenna (Secondary is in the back for when the windshield is folded down.

 

GMRS_Primary_Anrtenna.thumb.jpg.b74fe6820d6d0d7d3903d8294f305eb4.jpg   GMRS_Secondary_Anrtenna.thumb.jpg.d2b0de07180bacd753861b6787b7b75f.jpg

 

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Guest Kiel

marcspaz

 

thank you so much for the reply. This is the kind of intel i need/want. Yes...Jeep life lol. although I've never dropped the windshield on mine (jkur) b/c i was told it takes nearly an hr to do, i do regularly run topless. MXT500 huh? i can buy an antenna, plug her in, and go (once i have that license, of course), set her to channel 14 (random number) and we can all chat on the same gmrs channel, without any other fancy programs or dip switches or anything?

 

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2 hours ago, Guest Kiel said:

marcspaz

 

thank you so much for the reply. This is the kind of intel i need/want. Yes...Jeep life lol. although I've never dropped the windshield on mine (jkur) b/c i was told it takes nearly an hr to do, i do regularly run topless. MXT500 huh? i can buy an antenna, plug her in, and go (once i have that license, of course), set her to channel 14 (random number) and we can all chat on the same gmrs channel, without any other fancy programs or dip switches or anything?

 

 

 

Glad the information helped.  And yes, you are correct.  Out of the box, hookup power and and antenna and just start talking.  Out of the box, it is completely compatible with all FRS and GMRS radios, with no need to adjust/change anything.

 

I had a 2016 JKUR before the JTR, it could be a massive pain in the six to put the windshield down.  Pull the 2 wiper blades. Pull the corner caps (4 bolts each side).  Then you have to remove the two roll bar segments that connect the windshield to the 4-point roll bar (6 bolts each side).  So, 22 bolts/nuts to remove.  The goo thing was, if I was going to fold the windshield down, I would do it for days or even weeks at a time.  When I needed the glass in place for driving, I would push the windshield up, screw the corner caps down with forward pressure on the corner cap bolts and zing the bolts down.  Then, when you close the doors and latch the soft top, the windshield is very stable.  It shakes a little on hard bumps, but it was worth it to now put everything back together, because it does take a long time to do.

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I also have a Jeep (two, actually) and own/have used the Wouxun KG-1000G, the MXT500 and the MXT575 (each a 50W GMRS mobile radio)

The KG-1000G has no water resistance rating but it does have that awesome remote-mount faceplate..

The MXT500 has no remote-mount faceplate but it has an IP66 rating, which makes it very water resistant..

The MXT575 has all the controls located in the handset (almost like a remote-mount faceplate) AND also as an IP66 rating making it very very water resistant..

Both of the Midlands are VERY simple and limited - great for basic Jeep/Trail comms, not great if you're a radio dork looking to use dozens of repeaters - but I would look into the MXT575 - Both the 575 and 500 are expensive but I heard a rumor that a certain big GMRS YouTube Hobo will be giving ANOTHER MXT575 away for free very soon...so.. are you feeling lucky?

I agree with what the Spaz says about power.. you will likely see little/no difference in 15/20W vs 50W ... BUT... 50 is better than 15/20 because.. power...

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Coverage area from a radio varies little when you use 15W or more up to the 50W maximum allowed. The biggest gains aren't in how much power is fed to the antenna, but how well the antenna performs. The two key things in your antenna choice are location and loss. Because the radiated signal from the antenna travels in a virtual straight line, the higher on the vehicle the antenna is mounted, the better the range. The second is signal loss due to both the antenna and the coax cable feeding the antenna. Your antenna has a resonant frequency where it works the best. Going above or below that frequency introduces loss as the antenna isn't as efficient. The coax used to feed the antenna is also a source of loss. No coax is highly efficient at GMRS frequencies but different cables perform better than others. The piece of equipment needed to measure loss most use is an SWR/Power meter. SWR or Standing Wave Ratio is the amount of power reflected back to the transmitter from the antenna and this increases the further you go from the resonant frequency. This loss is added to the loss from the coax meaning a decrease in the amount of power put into the radiated signal. Loss is measured on a logarithmic scale stated in dB or decibels. In practice, you want the SWR to be as low as possible at the frequencies you use, usually less than 1.5:1. SWR measurements of up to 2:1 is considered acceptable but the lower the better. There are numerous calculators on the Internet that will show you the loss from both SWR and coax. 

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1 hour ago, OffRoaderX said:

The MXT575 has all the controls located in the handset (almost like a remote-mount faceplate) AND also as an IP66 rating making it very very water resistant..

 

I did not know that...  That is a very handy piece of info and may be a good compromise. 

 

1 hour ago, OffRoaderX said:

 I heard a rumor that a certain big GMRS YouTube Hobo will be giving ANOTHER MXT575 away for free very soon...so.. are you feeling lucky?

 

Kiel / OP... definitely checkout this YouTube channel.  I think this may be the "Hobo" in question...   https://www.youtube.com/c/NotaRubiconProductions

 

1 hour ago, OffRoaderX said:

...you will likely see little/no difference in 15/20W vs 50W ... BUT... 50 is better than 15/20 because.. power...

 

<Spaz giggles in radio geek> 

 

  https://uparc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/jiggawatts.jpg

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If there is no need to go up to 50 watts, the $99-$119 Radioddity DB-20G, a/k/a Anytone AT-779UV, is a 18-20 watt rig that will fit in the palm of your hand, has a cigarette lighter plug for power and out of the box is as easy to use for GMRS as a Midland at a fraction of the cost:

https://www.radioddity.com/products/radioddity-db20g

 

image.thumb.png.ea4c4284403b8ddd41d368d2cb88fe48.png

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I'm honored to be among Jeeps and radios!  I have an MXT575 - if it weren't for Spaz, I'd be talking to myself more than I already do.....that said, I only use GMRS while I'm driving, which is only a few hours per week;  thing is, i only seem to hear folks sometimes...other times, I don't hear much of anything.

And, all that said - had the Jeep down by the Potomac last weekend...

IMG_20220529_151923.jpg

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Guest Kiel

Ok...i don't "need" 50w to get more range. 10-4.

just ordered the radioddity, stealth antenna, and a radioddity handheld as a backup. the price point was perfect, the size is amazing (i can hide it out of the elements), its quickly removable, and ya'll say i can still reach folks (assuming they're listening) from the hills...i'll prolly mount it under a front seat or maybe in the center console...do they get warm/hot while tx? 

you jeepers...i can't add a pic b/c im not a member, just a guest...but check out my rig on IG, Semper.Fiyah

Thank you so much for your suggestions and advice, ya'll are good people. now go get back in 4lo!

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3 hours ago, Guest Kiel said:

Ok...i don't "need" 50w to get more range. 10-4.

just ordered the radioddity, stealth antenna, and a radioddity handheld as a backup. the price point was perfect, the size is amazing (i can hide it out of the elements), its quickly removable, and ya'll say i can still reach folks (assuming they're listening) from the hills...i'll prolly mount it under a front seat or maybe in the center console...do they get warm/hot while tx? 

you jeepers...i can't add a pic b/c im not a member, just a guest...but check out my rig on IG, Semper.Fiyah

Thank you so much for your suggestions and advice, ya'll are good people. now go get back in 4lo!

 

The temp on the radio can get a little spicy under heavy use, but as long as you don't put it in front of the heat vent, you should be fine.  Checked out the Jeep on IG... looking sharp!  Since you are in VA and some of those pics are from Flagpole, I guess you recognized where my pics came from.  LOL

 

Once you have your license, come on back and register for the forum.  There is a lot of good information in the private sections (need an account to see) and the folks here are very talented if you need/want any technical help.

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Guest Kiel
1 hour ago, marcspaz said:

...some of those pics are from Flagpole, I guess you recognized where my pics came from.  LOL

 

Once you have your license, come on back and register for the forum.  There is a lot of good information in the private sections (need an account to see) and the folks here are very talented if you need/want any technical help.

yeah, and thanks brother. that rock you are flexed on was the first obstacle i ever tackled, stock JKUR. oddly enough, i had almost as hard as a time w/ my lift and tires as i did stock. i kept catching my front diff on the edge of the crevice. theres all kinds of red skid plate paint on there right now :)...until i realized i was all the way on the right side of the crevice. scooted over to the left about 2 inches and she crawled right over it. if i do end up needing to come back on here to become a permanent fixture, i surely will register and say hi again. i'll swing by in a few weeks/month...after getting some air time...and offer up a review for that radioddity i grabbed. if nothing else...someone may pop in next month with the same question. and MichaelLAX may have the same suggestion...with a written review to kick over too :). i'll be at RC in July with a group of 6-10 so we will be spaced out a little and there will be chatter on the radio there so i'll have to "learn" how to use some of the features between now and then. 

July 8-10 if you wanna go wheeling and earn a few badges, spaz

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4 hours ago, Guest Kiel said:

July 8-10 if you wanna go wheeling and earn a few badges, spaz

 

Good deal on the Flagpole climb... its a fun spot for sure.

 

I would love to head out the Rausch Creek with you all... but I have family that will be here then.  Hit me up on FB in either TKO Jeepers or Evolution Jeep Alliance. TKO is local to Prince William County and EJA is local to Rausch and AOAA. We can figure something out. Always looking for someone to wheel with. 

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Well, I guess I did it backwards!  I got my license, bought a couple of handhelds, and then bought a Midland MXT115 for my Jeep.  For my needs I didn't feel like I needed 40 or 50 watts, as I'll mostly use it when wheeling.  Lots to learn here though!

IMG_1776.jpg

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I agree... 50 watts is not needed.  If you had not made a purchase yet and it fell into the "nice to have" category, that would be fine, but there is very little range difference between 15-20 watts and 50 watts.  You probably wouldn't notice in the hills and mountainous areas. 

People who benefit from the additional power will be those who are out in open areas (water, desert, flat country/farm lands).  Especially if they are using a large tower or have an elevation advantage and are trying to communicate with a party with a similar setup.

 

As mentioned by @gortex2 if you are wheeling with people who are using handhelds, it won't matter anyway.

 

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17 hours ago, gortex2 said:

The MTX115 and MTX275 is ideal for your off road adventures. People get worked around the axles on 50 watts. The mobile is easier to use and drive and talking to the jeep behind you 5 watts is fine. 

 

17 hours ago, marcspaz said:

I agree... 50 watts is not needed.  If you had not made a purchase yet and it fell into the "nice to have" category, that would be fine, but there is very little range difference between 15-20 watts and 50 watts.  You probably wouldn't notice in the hills and mountainous areas. 

People who benefit from the additional power will be those who are out in open areas (water, desert, flat country/farm lands).  Especially if they are using a large tower or have an elevation advantage and are trying to communicate with a party with a similar setup.

 

As mentioned by @gortex2 if you are wheeling with people who are using handhelds, it won't matter anyway.

 

Thanks to you both!  Appreciate the feedback.

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