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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.

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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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!

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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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. 

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Guest spd641

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.

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.

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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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  • 5 weeks later...

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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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

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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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So a question .... I am also a newbie and was thinking about one of the icom radios for my mobile.  Is there a reason I should consider one more than the other ?  Do I need a radio with more than 8 channels ? Could I program low power for when in camp and peole are using frs portables ?

 

Dan

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Dan - Thanks for posting here in the Forum and Welcome...

 

We'll have to wait for persons with ICOM experience to chime in on your question.  There are no ICOM dealers in either of my primary residential locations, so I personally have no experience with them at all. Our Forum traffic is a little less on weekends, so be patient and someone with that info will reply to your questions as their time permits...

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Dan - Thanks for posting here in the Forum and Welcome...

 

We'll have to wait for persons with ICOM experience to chime in on your question.  There are no ICOM dealers in either of my primary residential locations, so I personally have no experience with them at all. Our Forum traffic is a little less on weekends, so be patient and someone with that info will reply to your questions as their time permits...

Thank you Pastor Gary.  I can wait, I am in no hurry, just getting ready for my move to Florida.

 

Dan

WQRN707

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So a question .... I am also a newbie and was thinking about one of the icom radios for my mobile.  Is there a reason I should consider one more than the other ?  Do I need a radio with more than 8 channels ? Could I program low power for when in camp and peole are using frs portables ?

 

Dan

what do you plan on doing w/radio? are you going to be using multiple repeaters, frs freq's and so on.

determine you needs and possible expansion before you decide on a radio most anything you buy will have hi/lo settings in the code plug itself or front buttons.

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Very nice, We will be up in that neck over the next week. unfortunately my mobile repeater rig is still in repair. but I see a few GMRS repeaters in the area. we are also planning Orlando to hit SkyCraft Surplus and then head back to Fort Lauderdale. 

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I'll be back down in a couple of weeks, have to coordinate all the stuff required to be able to build a house down there at same time coordinate selling house here.

 

Still trying to decide what type mobile unit I want to buy, guess i will know it when I come across it.

 

Dan

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello all!

 

Just received my GMRS license yesterday for compliance purposes in using my FRS/GMRS Uniden Radios which I am very quickly finding out are good for radio-to-radio comm, but not really for use with repeaters.  I am familiar with HAM radio operations but just haven't bitten the bullet to take the test.  My father-in-law is a HAM and has been for several years.

 

Anyway, trying to get a friend intersted in GMRS (as a stepping stone to HAM), recommendation on some good handheld units for a decent price?

 

-David

 

NOTE: I did receive a signal from about 20-25 miles away on my radio, but am not sure if my broadcast was received - the documentation for the radios I have does not describe the broadcast output for the device.

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Hello all!

 

Just received my GMRS license yesterday for compliance purposes in using my FRS/GMRS Uniden Radios which I am very quickly finding out are good for radio-to-radio comm, but not really for use with repeaters.  I am familiar with HAM radio operations but just haven't bitten the bullet to take the test.  My father-in-law is a HAM and has been for several years.

 

Anyway, trying to get a friend intersted in GMRS (as a stepping stone to HAM), recommendation on some good handheld units for a decent price?

 

-David

 

NOTE: I did receive a signal from about 20-25 miles away on my radio, but am not sure if my broadcast was received - the documentation for the radios I have does not describe the broadcast output for the device.

 

Hello, David and Welcome...

 

If you live in the valley near the river, you already know about the high ridge lines to your northwest and southeast which can limit communications in those directions. What model of Uniden radios did you purchase?  Perhaps members here have experience with the same type and can give you some pointers.  Jeremy's suggestions are sound. You can also look at many Kenwood commercial models that are type accepted for Part 90 and Part 95 operations.  Commercial used equipment is available these days in good quantities and at fair prices because of all the late 2012 updating on systems throughout the US to narrowband.  Many radios that were wideband only on commercial frequencies in 2012 are STILL OK to go for GMRS and Ham operations.

 

Keep us posted and if you have any questions, please let us know.

 

:)

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Hello all!

 

Just received my GMRS license yesterday for compliance purposes in using my FRS/GMRS Uniden Radios which I am very quickly finding out are good for radio-to-radio comm, but not really for use with repeaters.  I am familiar with HAM radio operations but just haven't bitten the bullet to take the test.  My father-in-law is a HAM and has been for several years.

 

Anyway, trying to get a friend intersted in GMRS (as a stepping stone to HAM), recommendation on some good handheld units for a decent price?

 

-David

 

NOTE: I did receive a signal from about 20-25 miles away on my radio, but am not sure if my broadcast was received - the documentation for the radios I have does not describe the broadcast output for the device.

Congrats on getting your license,I noticed you received a signal 20-25 miles away.I doubt with those radios anyone will hear you over a few mile range unless they are on a base unit in the clear.The range claims on those radios are marketing hypes to sell radios.

 

I would recommend a good pair of part 95 certified radios such as ICOM F21 which you will run across on eBay from time to time along with programming software and cables.

 

Enjoy GMRS as it is a good radio service where you and the family can get a great deal of use without spending a whole lot of money unless you go full blown buying your own repeater and other high dollar accessories.

 

 In the repeater section of mygrms.com there may be a repeater in your area,it will be up to you to you to contact the repeater owner about using their system and if it is a open system the owner may welcome you to use it,on another note also if you do find a repeater to use I am sure the owner wouldn't mind you donating a few dollars to help with upkeep.

 

In case you find a radio shop or someone offering to sell you air time on thier repeater system please let us know as it is illegal to sell airtime for profit on GMRS but donations are always welcome but a paid service is not.

 

                                                                                                                                                       Enjoy your radios...William

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A radio like the Icom 6021 makes a very nice a very nice base or mobile, has 128 channels and is only a few dollars more than the 8 channel 6011.   A full 45 watts and very nice audio.  I use one in my car.   I like the additional channels as the frequency split is 400-470 mhz and I have all the ham repeaters and simplex channels programmed in as well as the GMRS.  Just make sure if you get one you get the 400-470 mhz version, their are a few other frequency split options.   Software and cable was about $30, not a big expense and very easy to program.  Power supply if used as the base will have to be 12+ amps as it does draw a bit.  Good luck!

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Also as handhelds don't discount the Ritron Patriot RTX-450's available surplus.  A little big by todays standards but a full five watt output, Part 95 compliant and have great audio.  I have a bunch of them, some new in the box, and use them frequently on a local repeater and get great signal and audio reports.   I have sold a few to local guys because they like them so much.   High Capacity batteries are still available.   They do require proprietary software to program but if you go that route reach out to me I the software for them. 

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