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Jeremy - That's true... as the old saying goes, "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."   Put as much as you can into the outdoor items and then. whatever you decide on indoors will wor

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 y

Welcome to the forums! The Baofeng are good inexpensive units. Wouxun would be a step up from those and rival the big three. Welcome to GMRS!

Yagi's are awesome, directional, high gain, add a rotor or create a "lobe": that suit's your needs. I have seen this e-bay listing, hard to be sure if it's electrically sound, w/o testing it. if you get something used like this make sure to refurbish b4 you put into service. make sure is water tight. Take this into account as any savings or cutting corners may lead to additional work or climbing the tower again in the near future.

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I do not own a comet, but it has similar specs to my workman UVS200, on mine the radome is made of fiberglass tube and I have been warned many times that in high winds this get's damaged and allows water to leak in. needless to say I prepared the heck out of it with waterproof rubbery stuff. If it's two part. make sure all connections are tight. tight water tight. use the rubbery stuff.

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yeah, you may wish to get a yagi tuned to the freq. that you want. don't chance it and consider "NEW" or like new, and still spend lot's of time, prepping connections. when you deploy an antenna, the last thing you want is to already need to redoit.              FYI: Higher Freq. equals shorter elements, easier to file off a little extra than to add.

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I use these a lot my 650 has the 7dB and the 575 has a 5dB. light weight relatively cheap.

this is my preferred yagi for control stations on master systems.

http://www.tessco.com/products/displayProductInfo.do?sku=37145&eventPage=5

I have a pair of these I keep for my own use.

http://www.tessco.com/products/displayProductInfo.do?sku=56400&eventPage=5

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e341/rftekk/35005.jpg

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Just a thought, but if you know someone that works for the power company, they "sometimes" make utility poles that are being taken out of service, available to the public free or at very little cost.  Some still have the metal climbing spikes inserted and those are easy to climb with appropriate safety gear.   A ham here locally got one that stands 35 feet above the ground. He attached a triplex standoff bracket with each leg 5 feet out from the top of the pole and one piece of 1-3/4 inch thick wall mast to the top center of the pole.  This allows him mounting points for at least 4 antennas.  He ran # 2 gauge ground cable from the brackets to a ground rod next to the base of the pole and is quite satisfied with the operation of everything.

 

Here is just one of several discussions about the subject. Pro's and Con's are discussed -

 

LINK >>>  http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=61495.0

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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.

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My repeater is only 20' above ground plane, even here in flat Florida I get good range. you live on a hill? you do not need a huge tower, just 6' to 10' above the roof of your house and or clearing most trees and vegetation. Yes a base station is a good second option, but don't give up on the repeater just yet. I obtained a "tilt over" telescoping tower, and my other half is not keen on a tower either, but with careful placement, it will be 90% covered by a tree canopy and eventually a fake palm trunk from the base up into the canopy. the only part that will show will be the top few feet of tower and the antenna on top of that. since it's telescoping I will be able to lower it so just the antenna rises above the tree line. get creative.  in a wooded area, done correctly a 40' to 50' tower can be made mostly stealth. Don't worry about money spent on a good omni antenna, work with it for now and get a yagi for a special occasion.

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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.info/index.php?title=Main_Page

 

 

Edit:

Or maybe this one:

http://www.amazon.com/KG-UV920P-A-Transceiver-Cross-Band-Dual-Track-Dual-Speaker/dp/B00BJFCK76/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1369322624&sr=8-3&keywords=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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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.

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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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was looking at this one:

http://at5888uv-wiki.info/index.php?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.

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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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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. 

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