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New to GMRS

New equipment repeater

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#41 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:21 AM

Sounds good. Thanks for the ideas. I hadn't thought about making it stealth.

 

On a side note, any recommendations for a VHF/UHF mobile unit? I would be using it in my hunting vehicle. Everyone that hunts around here uses the marine HT's. The channels they operate on do not require an FCC license (marine channel 72 or 74 can't remember). I would like to get a unit for the vehicle that I could run on the marine VHF or GMRS UHF frequencies.

 

I was looking at this one:

http://at5888uv-wiki...title=Main_Page

 

 

Edit:

Or maybe this one:

http://www.amazon.co...words=kg-uv920p

 

The reason I am looking into the Chinese is because

1. They have gotten better.

2. I can connect them to a computer and program them without spending a ton on special software or cables.


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#42 Logan5

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:44 AM

mobile unit's are expensive. but most dual band, UHF/VHF radios can be programed for FRS/GMRS, MURS, air craft, Marine and most other freq's. in the 2 meter and 70 cm bands. I am not sure of the legality of using Marine freq's on land though.



#43 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:48 AM

From what I understand through reading, the vessel must be larger than a certain size to require a license. There are even notes about using the frequencies inland which indicate it is OK as long as you are not stepping on the toes of those using the channels for official purposes.

 

Don't know how accurate that is. The FCC website doesn't state one way or the other.


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#44 Logan5

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

was looking at this one:

http://at5888uv-wiki...title=Main_Page

 

Yes my local Ham shop is pushing this one. It even does cross band repeat, this could come in handy if you use a GMRS only HT and they your hunting partners are using marine freq. only HT's. you would have a 40watt cross band repeater running from your truck connecting everybody. Again not sure of legality. but in an emergency this setup could save lives.



#45 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

Agreed! Wouldn't be using this function regularly, but definitely beneficial for emergencies.

 

I have however, read some very negative reviews on the AT5888. Some sing praises while others cry failure. Makes me very cautious to dealing with products that have those dramatic swings in reviews. Makes me think they QA process is lacking.

 

 

I think I want to build a base station to start off with, getting a good unit I can program easily without the need for expensive hardware/software. I would also be able to move it to the truck and have a mobile. Then get a couple of inexpensive gm300's to make the repeater. I am currently bidding on an Astron RS-20A Linear DC desktop converter. So I should have the amperage to push both gm300s and for the mobile unit.

 

I know that I need a unit with multiple channels to use as a base station. I just want to be able to make adjustments on the fly. From what I can tell, only a mobile unit will offer that flexibility.

 

So do I go with maximum flexibility in a Chinese product and possibly get a dud (the AT5888, the Wouxun kg-uv920p has nothing but good reviews)? Or do I sacrifice versatility for reputation and higher cost (Yaesu, Kenwood, Motorola, and Icom)?


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#46 Logan5

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:38 AM

Then spend the extra hundred bucks and get better.



#47 Logan5

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

a mobile rig can be both a base station and a mobile unit. move it when needed. have a space with a 12v battery and charger for the base, grab it and your trucks already to go.



#48 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:43 AM

Yeah, thats what I was thinking. We are on the same page.


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#49 Billy

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:16 PM

The Ritron Responder is a crystalized unit, a good one but unless it is already set up for GMRS freqs it will take work.   If you think that a 8 Watt unit will suit your needs, and if you go 100 foot up you should get some good coverage look for a Ritron Patriot RRX-450 on Ebay.  I have seen a few and they go for less than $200.  The come with duplexer and are 100% duty cycle at 8 Watts.  I have the upgraded 30 Watt version that I am using now.  The good part is that I sent mine back to Ritron for tuning and aligning and they did a great job, included upgrades for only $90 something.   The 30 Watt version does show up from time to time on Ebay as well.  Good Luck, Bill

 

Sorry, just read that a tower is out.  Something to look at anyway. 



#50 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:56 PM

Thanks for the input! The tower may be out but the plan is still developing. Any input is extremely appreciated!


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#51 JohnE

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:13 PM

My wife might have lowered my "high expectations". She is not exactly keen on having a tower in our yard. I live on 3/4 of an acre, so not too big, subdivision, no HOA though. Still, if neighbors complain I would have to take it down and I don't want to put all that time and effort into building a tower just to be told I had to remove it.

 

I am thinking my best bet is to put the antenna on the side of the house, like a satellite dish mount. This is going to severely reduce my range, but at least it will be something to play with. Since a repeater would not be very usable at that elevation, I am wondering if I shouldn't just build a base station instead with a high gain Yagi antenna.

 

Really stinks cause I purchased the omni antenna yesterday... Got a good deal on a 7dB gain Laird fiberglass, paid $150. But for the same price I could have gotten a 10dB gain Yagi. Then put it on a pole with a rotor and used a ground plane to hone in on signals.

 

Am I starting to give up on the repeater too soon? Do I have other options available to a hobbyist that I am not aware of? I don't have any more ideas right now, my little newbie brain lacks experience with this.

I would get in touch w/local HAM's and see where they have their equipment. hopefully they are willing to give you some space and help w/what you want to do.

just a thought.

also w/regards to no HOA you still have local laws regarding antenna height I'm sure. I know I do.


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#52 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:25 PM

OK, plan is starting to take shape:

  1. Purchased antenna, cable, connectors, and duplexer
  2. Will mount antenna to side of house on 6ft mounting pole
  3. Run cable inside and have a N-female to SMA-female connecting to my HT (temporary to play with)
  4. In a month or two buy the AT-5888UV and connect it to the Astron and antenna (base station is born)
  5. Shop around for some inexpensive GM300
  6. Hook GM300 pair to Astron, duplexer, and antenna (repeater completed)

I found out the duplexer is already tuned for GMRS. As long as no other base stations or repeaters are using those frequencies then I can just leave the duplexer as is. The GM300 will need to be programmed correctly, but that shouldn't be difficult to get done. Then I can use the AT-5888UV as a mobile base station until I car mount it.


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#53 Billy

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

I have the AT-5888UV.  It is about two weeks old.  So far a good radio, I have not experienced any of the problems associated with the negative reviews.  Still too early to give it praise, but here is what I have found:    Audio reports have been good.   The speaker is loud, which is nice.   I am not a fan of DTMF mics in general and this one has a bunch of features, almost t00 many and is clumbsy in my hands.   I also do not like the fact that the mic cable is on the side, I prefer the front as the side can limit mobile mounting options.  Build quality is similar to the low end Yeasus which it kind of resembles, not as solid as ICOM.   Detachable face is nice, comes with cable but not face plate mounting bracket.  Mine came with the programming cable and software, quick and easy to use, nothing tricky.  My watt meter is generous but it seems to be close to the power advertised.   It is the same dimmensions as most new popular mobiles, Yaesu, Icom etc. and the mounting bracket is the same as my ICOM.   It uses the same power cords as well.  I like that is has a thermo controlled fan also, it is an extra feature worth having even though this seems to have good heat sink surface area.  I hope it lasts as it has a lot of nice features for the price.  It is difficult to find a radio that covers as much as this does.   Time will tell.   Bill

 

P.S. The detective in me just picked up on your duplexer post.  If it is already tuned to GMRS it stands to reason that the Ritron repeater was as well.  Worth inquiring for the price you were quoted. 



#54 JeremyM

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:57 PM

It was, but the wattage is not what I am looking for with the limited antenna altitude I will have. Thanks for the review on the AT-5888UV! I am jonesing for it real bad but I have to wait a paycheck or two.

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#55 JohnE

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:34 AM

It was, but the wattage is not what I am looking for with the limited antenna altitude I will have. Thanks for the review on the AT-5888UV! I am jonesing for it real bad but I have to wait a paycheck or two.

to the tip ~9M


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#56 Guest_spd641_*

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:46 PM

Sounds good. Thanks for the ideas. I hadn't thought about making it stealth.

 

On a side note, any recommendations for a VHF/UHF mobile unit? I would be using it in my hunting vehicle. Everyone that hunts around here uses the marine HT's. The channels they operate on do not require an FCC license (marine channel 72 or 74 can't remember). I would like to get a unit for the vehicle that I could run on the marine VHF or GMRS UHF frequencies.

 

I was looking at this one:

http://at5888uv-wiki...title=Main_Page

 

 

Edit:

Or maybe this one:

http://www.amazon.co...words=kg-uv920p

 

The reason I am looking into the Chinese is because

1. They have gotten better.

2. I can connect them to a computer and program them without spending a ton on special software or cables.

A word of caution it is illegal to use marine radios on land and some hunters have already gotten in trouble for using both mobile and handhelds,be careful if you are using marine channels I would advise against it.I would hate to see you in trouble for operating on frequencies you are not allowed to.I suggest the use MURS since it is license free and only license by rule like CB is.



#57 JeremyM

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:34 AM

Thanks for the heads up! I personally will not be using the channels as I do not have a marine license anyway. I have tried telling the other hunters about this but they have already invested the money in their equipment and do not want to change. I have done my part in trying to educate them. If they choose not to change then they can deal with the consequences should they get caught.

 

Apparently they have been using the marine channels for years. To date they have not been warned or reported. All it takes is one though. They are located in an area where there are no boats and their little marine HTs will not go far enough to hit seafaring vessels. The only people that will know they are doing anything wrong are people like me who know they aren't bothering anyone. Now if they decide to install mobile units that is a different story.

 

I do not know if their marine HTs can hit the MURS channels, but I will check with them and see.


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#58 JeremyM

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:54 AM

Its been a while since I posted on here. Been extremely busy with work, the fiddle, and trying to spend time with my wife (I need a vacation). Had to put repeater/base station on hold for a bit. Other things came up (wife's car) that I needed to address. It might be a few more months before I can get the mobile unit like I had originally planned.

 

I also spoke with a local HAM guy (the one with the Celwave duplexer) and I don't think his duplexer will work for my needs. Anything above 10dB will produce too much noise for my system and the repeater will not be as clear as it should be.

 

I will probably hold off on the repeater entirely, just build a base station. Then I will eventually move into HAM and change out my base station antenna with one capable of dual-band so I can run on 2m and 70cm.


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#59 SteveH

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:47 AM

I was really interested in the Wouxun and Anytone dual bander radios until I saw the mixed reports continuing after they officially released the products. I purchased a TYT TH-9000 UHF rig instead for UHF ham and GMRS. It's a part 90 radio, narrow band compliant (for those who need it), covers 400-490 MHz with a max output of 45 watts. This past week I added the VHF version. Price from Main Trading was $169 with shipping. Some other places have them for $150 plus shipping. I'm quite happy with it.

 

Steve



#60 Logan5

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:59 PM

I also liked the anytone dual band with crossband until I read the reviews. most of the bad reviews seemed to make note of the sound quality not being as clear as it should be when in local mode. as one review wrote that sound quality in crossband repeater mode was as good as any other radio. I wonder if using an external speaker and a higher quality mic might fix this problem? either way I am still saving for a good mobile unit and have decided to wait for a better radio. not to mention one I can get away with. The other half does not like antennas or a radio mounted like an old CB, so I will need one that is in the trunk and just faceplate in the cab. eventually I want to go with digital Hytera hand set's, but they are very expensive and can only be used in analog mode on GMRS. so I was thinking of a good digital mobile rig, "run in analog only on GMRS" until he get'shis HAM lic.  but I have not seen any and I am sure they are expensive. I saw the new "Cheap Chinese digital radios" ccdr's but they did not seem compatible with standard current digital modes of other manufactures like Icom and Moto so those are out. I am cool with digital radios as long as they can revert to analog if necessary or to communicate with analog only radios.







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