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Michigan GMRS


Guest Hobbyaddict1
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Guest Hobbyaddict1

Hello GMRS users,

I decided to pick up a GMRS HT.  Before buying something to mount in my vehicle.   Not a HAM user and had a CB years ago.   The first thing I noticed is that GMRS does not seem to be popular here in Michigan.  Unlike a CB scanning channels the scanning of GMRS is not picking up any chatter.

yes I still need to learn a bit about the radio but I did think I would hear a few locals.   Looking at the repeater map it also looks like there is not a whole lot of them in the Metro Detroit area. Actually I don’t see a whole lot in Michigan period.  Could be good could be bad depending on how you look at it.  I am correct on this being unpopular or should I be hearing a lot going on.   
 

wouxun KG-935

 

Comments?

 

Thanks,

 

Ed

 

 

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Guest Hobbyaddict

To add the plan is to use it when trailing with others however I was hoping to be able to use in emergency both local and if out on a trip where we find no cell coverage (using repeaters when possible)
 

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Realistically, Gmrs doesnt have as much of a "hobbyist" crowd as other services, at least in many areas. Central CA is similar, though there are a couple repeaters up, and a few people on them here and there. It was a bit of a letdown at first, but there's starting to be a little growth.

Emergency use...I'll say it really varies based on the area. from what you describe I wouldn't want to depend on it. There's a lot of repeaters out there, quite a few open, and a few under the radar and unlisted (nor are they are they required to be). There's definitely the occasional outdated listing that isn't still up or operable.

Good choice on first radio, imo. One other limiting factor (and lack of repeaters plays into this) is that gmrs is much more of a line of sight signal than cb. I'd be surprised if you aren't hearing a little bit of kids or businesses, though.

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GMRS/FRS isn't as popular or widely used as CB. As the service is still growing, there are a lot of "holes" in the service area. Unlike CB, GMRS won't work for long distances as the frequency dictates line-of-sight communications. Unlike CB, you can use repeaters in GMRS, but each repeater is privately owned, and the owner of the equipment has control over who is allowed to use it. As to equipment, for mobile use anything over 25W is unnecessary as higher power doesn't equate to longer distances because of the line-of-sight characteristics. The biggest improvement for any installation is centered around the antenna. The location and height are the two biggest elements. Installing something as short as a 1/4 wave whip (about 6") on the roof of your vehicle will give you all the range possible with a 25W or higher watt radio.

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Guest Hobbyaddict1

Guys Thank you…. I think I may have mis interpreted how used.  Now I am thinking use case  is the ability to communicate with others during a trail ride or travel trip with multiple cars all having GMRS.  I kept hearing Ham for dummies, thinking using repeater/ strings can boost a signal for miles..  Not even sure that is true knowing that there are not many repeaters out there.  Wife and I will be taking a trip, was going to listen to see what was out there.  I am now thinking we will be listening more to the car radio.

I guess I can leave it on with very low expectations. I am able to hear weather reports and warnings  :)

Yea it maybe a bit of a letdown as mentioned in the first reply. I was hoping to get more use out of it.  I probably should have done more research on “GMRS” rather than radio type.

I will keep my expectations low, learn a bit and give it some time before coming to a conclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Guest Hobbyaddict1 said:

Guys Thank you…. I think I may have mis interpreted how used.  Now I am thinking use case  is the ability to communicate with others during a trail ride or travel trip with multiple cars all having GMRS.  I kept hearing Ham for dummies, thinking using repeater/ strings can boost a signal for miles..  Not even sure that is true knowing that there are not many repeaters out there.  Wife and I will be taking a trip, was going to listen to see what was out there.  I am now thinking we will be listening more to the car radio.

I guess I can leave it on with very low expectations. I am able to hear weather reports and warnings  :)

Yea it maybe a bit of a letdown as mentioned in the first reply. I was hoping to get more use out of it.  I probably should have done more research on “GMRS” rather than radio type.

I will keep my expectations low, learn a bit and give it some time before coming to a conclusion.

 

In a convoy, it should serve you well over reasonable distance; strictly handheld, the vehicle isn't entirely helpful with the signal getting out, but you can set up an external (mag mount) antenna pretty easily. Gmrs is gaining popularity in the off road realm, especially with Midland throwing its marketing behind it at some of the events.

Function wise, ham-lite is fairly apt, as it works pretty similar to 70cm ham band; some antennas can cover both.

Repeater wise, there are still holes, yes, but the number is growing, including as linked networks. Midwest gmrs is a big one in the region, and might be worth keeping an ear for on your trip. 

While I believe this site is head and shoulders the best listing, there are others that may have some not listed here. Repeaterbook, while mostly aimed to hams, has been adding gmrs listings for the last year or so, and 'USA gmrs association' has some as well.

The license covering family can be a bonus here; there's a lot of family use on gmrs, while still room to experiment  with what works, what your coverage is like, etc. Maybe you can get the wife on board with her own 935g, or something simpler like an 805g. 🙃

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Guest hobbyaddict1

"Maybe you can get the wife on board with her own 935g, or something simpler like an 805g"  🤣

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12 hours ago, Guest Hobbyaddict1 said:

...The first thing I noticed is that GMRS does not seem to be popular here in Michigan...

Looking at the repeater map it also looks like there is not a whole lot of them in the Metro Detroit area. Actually I don’t see a whole lot in Michigan period...
...

Ed

Ed,

I don't know where you live in Metro Detroit, but if you are within 15 miles radius from Livernois and Big Beaver you can ask permission to join Troy575 repeater:

https://mygmrs.com/repeater/4676

I am a member of that repeater group for several years. We have open chat every second Sunday of the month. 

And now we have Rustbelt Exigency Radio Network (RuBERN) preppers net chat every Tuesday at 8 pm.

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4 hours ago, Guest hobbyaddict1 said:

"Maybe you can get the wife on board with her own 935g, or something simpler like an 805g"  🤣

Yeah, my better half loses interest as soon as I utter the words "radio" or "antenna"...was worth a shot, though 😆

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13 hours ago, Guest Hobbyaddict1 said:

I will keep my expectations low, learn a bit and give it some time before coming to a conclusion.

I took a few GMRS and FRS radios with me on a fishing trip, and they were awesome for keeping in contact when we each wander around lakes and streams, letting each other know about fishing luck and current locations. I've also taken them hiking, and my brother takes them hunting.  Even using them between my house and the community pool ("bring me another beer") has been worth the price :)

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