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GMRS Radio Selection


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#1 Guest_Matty WQWS920_*

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 09:24 PM

First off thank you for setting this forum up so outside guests can get some advice.

I tried to Register but was unable because I just received my C/S this morning and will not appear valid for another couple days.

Obviously I'm in the market GMRS radio now that I have my C/S and I am eager to use it. I'm looking for a set of radios that are Repeater capable, rugged, programmable off of the face of the radio, preferable with AA or AAA battery pack accessory. I have been looking at the ICOM 4001 but I believe you have to program it with software which I do not find ideal. I'm just looking for some advice from the salty radio guys on a good make/model that might fit my needs. Thanks in advance fellas

 

-Matty

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#2 PastorGary

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 11:19 AM

Matty - Thanks for stopping by here at MyGMRS.  The FCC database takes up to 36 hours to update. When you are able to register later today or tomorrow, set up your account here and you may wish to start a new inquiry thread in the General Discussions area about your needs.  You will probably get many suggestions from our very experienced membership.  In the mean time, if anyone has recommendations, please post in this thread until Matty can get registered here.

 

Welcome to MyGMRS...



#3 zap

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:51 AM

Is having use of conventional batteries manditory?

Secondly, define programmable from the face...what do you want to do with the radio?



#4 GREENMATT73

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 10:11 PM

Zap,

 

I guess conventional batteries are not a show stopper. I would just prefer the option for convenience mostly and an alternate way to power the radios. I would like the option to program the radios from the radio without having the use software. Again, I really don't think this is not a showstopper, only a preference. For your last question I am simply looking for a short and medium range commutations for my family and I. I'm interested mostly as a hobby. 

 

Thank you so much for your time. Do you have a radio make/model or group of radios you would recommend?

 

-Matty



#5 zap

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 10:56 PM

Many commercial radios have what is called Talk Around (may be referred to as direct on some radios) which is a programming feature where the radio is initially set to be used with a repeater offset but can be used to both RX and TX on the RX frequency.

Another feature which is present on fewer radios (usually only those with displays) is that of MPL. Allows you to change tones from the radio menu.

Those two features often eliminate the need for true FPP, especially on channelized services.

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#6 ASRM

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 07:39 AM

Another feature which is present on fewer radios (usually only those with displays) is that of MPL. Allows you to change tones from the radio menu.

Those two features often eliminate the need for true FPP, especially on channelized services.

 

You just answered my question on MPL that I PM'd you :)



#7 GREENMATT73

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 11:01 PM

Zap,

 

Ok good information if I understand the first part correctly. So you are saying there are radios that allow simplex and duplex at the same time? Cool feature I could see the advantage even if it's selectable and not simultaneous. Now for the second part, I'm not certain what true FPP is.

 

Thank you again for your time.

 

-Matty



#8 zap

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 01:00 AM

It's not simultaneous. In GMRS, repeaters have an input 5 MHz above the output frequency. The output frequency happens to be the same frequency used for dummies only communications. The handheld/mobile radios are programmed to listen to the output (which if also the simplex frequency). When they are keyed they shift up 5 MHz. When talk around is enabled, they receive and transmit on the receive frequency.
True FPP if punching in the frequency, shift (if used) and PL manually from the keypad on the display.


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#9 GREENMATT73

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 08:50 PM

OK,

After doing a little of my own research I've kinda narrowed it down to 2 radio prospects.

 

Motorola RDX RDU 4160d

Kenwood TK-3402-U16P

 

They both come in at pretty much the same price point and capability. It appears the Kenwood pushes a full 5W but other than that I don't see any real difference.

I'm looking for some of the experienced users to chime in if able and give some solid advice on perhaps which brand is better (I know there are probably a lot of opinions and debate. I'm not trying to go there). I'm trying to find some of the more finer details like perhaps one might be preferred over the other because of easy of programming or battery life... Thanks guys

 

-Matty 



#10 zap

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 11:12 PM

OK,

After doing a little of my own research I've kinda narrowed it down to 2 radio prospects.

 

Motorola RDX RDU 4160d

Kenwood TK-3402-U16P

 

They both come in at pretty much the same price point and capability. It appears the Kenwood pushes a full 5W but other than that I don't see any real difference.

I'm looking for some of the experienced users to chime in if able and give some solid advice on perhaps which brand is better (I know there are probably a lot of opinions and debate. I'm not trying to go there). I'm trying to find some of the more finer details like perhaps one might be preferred over the other because of easy of programming or battery life... Thanks guys

 

-Matty 

4W versus 5W doesn't make a difference it's less than 1 dB of signal difference.

 

I've never messed with the RDX series.



#11 ASRM

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:34 AM

Matty

 

What are you trying to achieve, a portable repeater or a home repeater for you and family or a community rig?

 

Without knowing a price point, I was able to get setup with a complete system, portables, mobiles, base, and repeater with antenna and associated hardware for less than $3K (back in the 80's I spent that much just for the repeater setup). While not a blow your socks off, I am able to get 10-15 mile radius on mobile and decent 5-8 miles with portables. I am only 40 feet up.

 

YMMV though.



#12 PastorGary

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:08 AM

Moving this thread to the 'General' area now that Matty is a registered member.



#13 GREENMATT73

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:34 PM

Thank you Pastor Gary.

 

ASRM,

 

Ok, I am looking for a hand held option that will allow my family and I to communicate through repeaters if necessary. This is more of a hobby than anything else and I am simply intrigued with the networked repeater idea and would like to explore some of the capabilities. I don't have much experience in this realm but would like to dive straight into it.

 

Most of my experience I fo have comes from my Military background in communications as a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller). We work 2 to 512 Mhz and occasionally into L band communications for some ad hoc networking. I enjoy radio communications and would like to expand my knowledge base into GMRS and HAM.

 

I have narrowed my search down to a 2 radios I think will suit my needs. Please see Motorola and Kenwood models above in this thread.

 

I'm simply looking for some experience users to give advice on which radio (or suggest another radio) that might fit my needs. My price point is under 500 per unit.

 

Thank you. Please let me know if I need to add some additional details

 

-Matty



#14 gdavis316

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:01 AM

Take a look at the baofeng uv82c and save some money. Watch the video of a different model being abusedhttps://youtu.be/htt....be/kZCDBsBuhmg

#15 FrankNY

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 05:29 AM

Matty, I'm not familiar with the Motorola model that you mentioned, but be aware that if your interest is actually in GMRS communications, the Kenwood radio that you listed is a Part 90 LMR (Land Mobile Radio) product that comes preprogrammed for 16 itinerant business frequencies, although it can be reprogrammed by the dealer, preferably at the time of purchase, for different frequencies. The TK-3402-U16P is not FPP (front panel programmable) and your GMRS license doesn't allow you to use LMR frequencies.

 

Especially since you're just starting out with this, might you not be better off using a genuine Part 95 GMRS radio such as a Motorola MS355R or a TERA TR-505?

 

Other Motorola GMRS models include the MS350R and the MR355R.

 

Another choice in a GMRS radio, similar to the Motorola offerings in price and features, would be the Midand GXT1050VP4 although unlike the three Motorola models and the one TERA model mentioned above, the GXT1050VP4 is not repeater-capable.

 

Or, as has been suggested by gdavis316, choose one of the low cost Baofeng/Pofung models such as the UV-82C which is a Part 90 radio that you can program yourself using freely available computer software. Additionally, if you happen to have a Technician Class amateur radio license, the UV-82C is legally usable on the 2 meter (VHF) and 70 cm (UHF) ham bands although strictly speaking, since it's not Part 95 certificated, it's not really legit for GMRS usage although many people ignore that fact and employ it in the GMRS anyway.

 

Regards,

 

Frank.






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