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New to GMRS


Shriekmau
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Hi all!

 

Thanks for the great and warm responses everyone!

I have not yet tested out the full range of these devices, but I am not expecting much from them.  The specific Uniden devices I purchased are Uniden GMR 30 Mile 22 Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios with Charging Kit (3040).  As far as using repeaters, these devices are only going to work with a Simplex repeater - they do not have the programming capability to support Duplex. 

 

Any future device I get for personal use will need to support 2 meter and 440 (which should GMRS as they usually run 400-480Mhz).  These 2 little things I will either keep for the purpose I originally acquired them for (FRS communications for coordinating people and family comm.) or there is always eBay!  Probably the former.

 

As far as that signal I received the other day 20-25 miles away - it was actually coming from the north-northwest.  I am a little further up in elevation (not near the deep valley) and have a better chance of picking up some signals.

 

Any thoughts on BaoFeng hand-helds?

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The Uniden model you speak of is limited to about 1/2 a watt of power, does not do repeater splits and has a non-detachable antenna.   The advertised distance on this radio is based on a point to point situation with an unobstructed path to each other.  Any other variable and the distance is dramatically reduced, but they are great point to point short distance radios for small events of neighborhood communication.  

 

The next logical step up from that is a good hand held designed for GMRS/UHF service that can accept an external antenna in about the 4 watt range.  This allows you to get that 4 watts elevated from the ground and use an antenna that may have a bit of gain to it.  This turns your hand held radio into a small base station and dramatically increases your simplex distance.   In buying such a piece I try to recommend FCC Part 95 compliant radios which is required by GMRS.   At the very least a good commerical radio with FCC Part 90 compliance.    Ham gear that was built specifically to operate on the Ham bands may technically work but is neither type accepted for GMRS nor is it compliant in it's function under the rules by the nature of face on the spot programming and other issues.  There is a whole discussion on this site regarding the Part 95 rules and compliance with GMRS.

 

The third step is a good base or mobile with at least 25 Watts, more is better but it is more about the antenna and its height that the total wattage.  Just remember as a general rule if you double you wattage you will increase you transmitting distance roughly 20% for every doubling.   But if you double your transmitting height you can easily more than double you distance.   Get the antenna up high first and than see how much power it takes.   My saying is that I would rather have 5 watts at 50 foot than 50 watts at five. 

 

One nice thing about GMRS gear currently is the cheap source of surplus radios on the market after the FCC narrowband mandate.  They left GMRS out of this and there is a slew of GMRS Type 95 type accepted equipment that can be had cheaply.  A comment on the Boafeng.  I have a few different models, the UV5R is one of them.  You cannot beat them for the price as a backup or throw away.   One thing that they will never do is hold a candle to one of my Icom or Ritron pieces of gear.  There is a list on this site as well that members have tried to identify GMRS Part 95 type accepted radios.  

 

Good Luck. 

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  • 4 months later...

Hey Jeremy, 

 

I know this post is a little bit older, but just got my GMRS license and wanted to comment on the AT5888-UV. I got mine about 2 months ago and it's considered their "2nd" generation one. They made some improvements with the receive and I gotta say I am really happy with this unit. The receive is great. The stock audio on the radio is kind of tinny a bit but not horrible. I have an external speaker hooked up and it sounds amazing. It is pretty straight forward for entering in frequencies directly on the radio, but the programming software is really good and quick. Anyways just wanted put in a comment incase your were still thinking about this radio.

 

Jake

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Hello, Jake and Welcome to the MyGMRS Forum... nice to have you join us here.

 

Actually, you and I (this time of the year ) are "neighbors" - I'm in Green Bay at the moment at our northern states Chapel Rectory.  Hope that the Green Bay Packers loss Sunday and the nearly 8 inches of new snow didn't put a damper on your day.

 

Your info for Jeremy is appreciated and I'm sure that he will be back here in the Forum real soon.

 

Thank you.

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Hi PastorGary. That's great! No I'm use to it. It's Wisconsin :). The pack has just had a bad year with these injuries. Will always be a fan no matter what.

 

I've been trying to reach the owner of the Edward repeater up here. Ild like to use it. If you know the owner could you pass my info along?

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