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Newbie Repeater Question

repeater gt-3tp family

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#1 WQWX352

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 02:20 PM

Hi everyone!  I'm new to all this and have some setup questions. Just hoping someone can help me with the basics. I will catch on easily.

 

I have experience in electronics, computers, and telecommunications. My background is in telecommunications in the Army from 1990-1994 and I've been computer networking and programming for the last 25 years. I live in San Bernardino County and work in Riverside County. I just bought 2 Baofeng GT-3TP handheld radios for Christmas.

 

Here is what I'm trying to accomplish:

1. I want me and my son to talk while riding our quads. I have the earpiece attachment for them but haven't tried it yet.

2. I want my wife at home to hear us while out exploring in case of emergencies.  We just ride behind our house in the mountains.

3. I want to use them while driving to work, going to the store, etc while driving from home or work. Probably a 30 miles radius will reach home.

4. I want to use a private channel if possible for security reasons because sometimes, we just want to talk while riding or driving.

 

My problems so far:

1. The handheld radios only reach 1 mile.

2. I'm not sure if I'm even connecting to a repeater after entering the freq, tone, offset, direction because I can't hear myself and no one hears me but if they do, how do I know it's from a repeater?

3. I see repeaters located in S.B. to Riverside with the same frequency so shouldn't I be able to talk to my wife at home using them?

4. Do I need to setup a home base station with an antenna and one in our vehicles to reach us wherever we go?

 

I eventually plan on living off the grid when I retire so I want the family to learn how to use and operate on GMRS now instead of relying on cell phones.


Raw Roy

"The Plant Based Prepper"


#2 Logan5

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 03:29 PM

GMRS is not "Private" using a repeater is even less private. ground level to ground level communitations is almost always limited. Your radios may not be correctly programed for the repeater or you may be to far to hit the repeater. You could consider a home base station or repeater, but best to work with the repeater you think you can hit until you determine the issues involved. take your time learning along the way. You will save a lot of money in the end.


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#3 Logan5

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 03:40 PM

check your "off set" options in that radio, they seldom come preconfigured. off set should be +, 5000, try listening without an RX code, until you figure it out.


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#4 n4gix

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 03:55 PM

Repeaters typically have a few seconds of "hang time" meaning that if you do manage to get in ("kerchunk"), when you release the PTT button you will hear a soft "rushing noise" before the repeater drops the carrier.

 

Please, do not "kerchunk" the repeater without giving your call sign. It's not only a violation of the FCC rules, it's really annoying to the repeater's owner and just rude... :D


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#5 zap

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 11:14 PM

Hi everyone!  I'm new to all this and have some setup questions. Just hoping someone can help me with the basics. I will catch on easily.

 

I have experience in electronics, computers, and telecommunications. My background is in telecommunications in the Army from 1990-1994 and I've been computer networking and programming for the last 25 years. I live in San Bernardino County and work in Riverside County. I just bought 2 Baofeng GT-3TP handheld radios for Christmas.

 

Here is what I'm trying to accomplish:

1. I want me and my son to talk while riding our quads. I have the earpiece attachment for them but haven't tried it yet.

2. I want my wife at home to hear us while out exploring in case of emergencies.  We just ride behind our house in the mountains.

3. I want to use them while driving to work, going to the store, etc while driving from home or work. Probably a 30 miles radius will reach home.

4. I want to use a private channel if possible for security reasons because sometimes, we just want to talk while riding or driving.

 

My problems so far:

1. The handheld radios only reach 1 mile.

2. I'm not sure if I'm even connecting to a repeater after entering the freq, tone, offset, direction because I can't hear myself and no one hears me but if they do, how do I know it's from a repeater?

3. I see repeaters located in S.B. to Riverside with the same frequency so shouldn't I be able to talk to my wife at home using them?

4. Do I need to setup a home base station with an antenna and one in our vehicles to reach us wherever we go?

 

I eventually plan on living off the grid when I retire so I want the family to learn how to use and operate on GMRS now instead of relying on cell phones.

So there are some things that need to be understood first.

 

GMRS is a UHF service. Therefore it relies on Line of Sight (LOS) communications. LOS may be self explanitory...it may not be but basically if the antennas can see one another (no obstructions) then they can communicate. VHF (as defined by us) is LOS +~20%. VHF as defined by the US armed services (VHF-Low band to us) is LOS+40%+ depending on the day. HF of course, is non-LOS.

 

That being said, if LOS is limited, coverage will be limited. While 30 mile radius is doable (especially with a good location), it's easier to accomplish that with mobile radios over handhelds (that doesn't mean hand helds won't, there is just a higher chance of success with mobiles). 

 

So for using them with the quads, handhelds would be a decent option. Better option would be micro-mobiles but those are either limited in function or expensive currently (no matter what band) and if you get off the quad to go and check something out they don't go with you. Driving around...mobiles would be the best option (more power, better antennas, better receivers, etc). 

 

Private channel...not gonna happen. You happen to live in one of the most heavily RF populated (polluted) states in the country (20 kHz channels was a Pacific Coast thing long before the 12.5 kHz commercial mandate came in). So getting a channel no one else has...in the country is highly unlikely. Now finding something someone isn't montioring or that isn't active might happen. GMRS is a open service in the terms no one is assigned private channels. Now if privacy is a concern, commercial licensing with encryption is the answer...but not for under $800 per radio (new pricing). 

 

If both parties have LOS to the repeaters, you should be GTG. What makes a repeater though is having a good location. Location really is key for this kind of stuff...

 

Now you have a realistic idea of what you can be provided...how does that fit into your POU?


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