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#1 meeks239

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 03:50 PM

Hey guys! My name is dustin. I have had my gmrs license for a while but mostly been using it around here in san diego for off road trails and stuff... ive been pretty basic with it... i am an avioncs tech so im used to shipboard and aircraft comms... recently ive heard of the repeater stuff... i dont know much about it but would love to learn more and its potential.im san diego but travel EVERYWHERE. i would love to beable to learn about the repeaters and use them throughout the us... i am always in arkansas and tn. I wanna know is it possble to be able to hook up with a repeater in all the locations for safety reason since my wife and i and our kids are always hiking and camping... "thinking ahead sorta say"...  maybe even make a few friends along the way! Let me know... any info would be awesome. Thank u guys!


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#2 Corey

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 07:50 AM

Hello Dustin, Welcome to the myGMRS forums! Repeaters are privately owned unless its listed as open and provide the PL / DPL needed to access it. Most GMRS repeaters are stand alone devices and cover a radius somewhere between 5 and 100 miles depending on the type of equipment used to access it and the height of the repeaters antenna and its quality of equipment. I use GMRS as a hobby and backup communications, It is not reliable enough in the event of a life threatening emergency. Since all GMRS repeaters are privately owned you just never know how somebody set up the site. I have seen sites cobbled together with 2 old mobiles, a repeater controller, some RG58 cable and a homemade antenna. I personally only run commercial grade repeaters, 7/8 hardline cable, 16 bay Dipole antennas and try to use towers that offer at min 100' of height. What it comes down to is how much money a site owner is willing to spend and what is the intended use of the repeater. Some people build them for personal use and some people build them for anybody to use. I dont care who uses mine so long as they are legal and dont abuse it. I have access to other systems that require permission from the owner, this can even include the owner checking your license and entering that information into a log book. I hope this helps answer some of your questions, I am sure others will chime in as this site is a library of knowledge.

 

Corey


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#3 meeks239

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 08:51 PM

How would one go about asking for permission? Do some required a donation?

#4 SteveC7010

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 09:11 PM

How would one go about asking for permission? Do some required a donation?

If the repeater is listed in the database here, there will be information about it such as open, permission required, etc. There's also info on contacting the owner of the repeater for permission if they allow access. Some repeaters are privately owned and operated and not open at all to the general user. Some simply want you to ask permission so that they have a record of who is using it.

 

So, it's valuable and important for you to learn how to make maximum use of the the database here.


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#5 meeks239

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 11:11 AM

I appriciate it! Now if i was to say wanting to talk to a friend on the other side of town do i approval for both of us or is one end. I know gmrs is for the family and i am the one licensed but my mother is not. Is it up to the owner of the repeated?

#6 n4gix

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 12:14 PM

If your friend is not a relative at all, then he or she would need their own GMRS license.



#7 SteveC7010

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 12:25 PM

I appriciate it! Now if i was to say wanting to talk to a friend on the other side of town do i approval for both of us or is one end. I know gmrs is for the family and i am the one licensed but my mother is not. Is it up to the owner of the repeated?

There's no one single rule. You have to communicate with the owner of the repeater to get these questions answered for that specific repeater. No one here can give you a single answer that fits every repeater.

 

Your mother is covered under your GMRS license. Read Part 95 for more details.


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#8 meeks239

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:38 PM

Thank you for u for the info. I know my mom is covered. My friend is a different story. Sorry for the odd questions.. I usually tend to pick people's brains. I see most of you guys replying are ham users as well. Personally how useful is it to you over gmrs? Would it be more useful in traveling situations? Personal preference? I do not know if I'd use it as a hobby but then again I can never tell. Never really thought of playin around with it before or expanding from what I do at work, if any of that makes since.

#9 n4gix

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:46 PM

Frankly I have both a UHF DMR radio and a dual-band 2m/70cm in my car. Between them, I am kept well entertained and rarely cannot find someone to talk to!

 

GMRS is fine for local use as long as there are enough other GMRS users in your area and a decent repeater, but when traveling you'd mainly be listening to the sounds of dead silence.



#10 Corey

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 02:18 PM

I keep the 8 repeater channels with the travel tone set on them in a zone and scan well on road trips,its amazing what you will hear and even more so the amount of repeaters that will squelch back that are not listed anyplace.  Just for fun I have the entire frs/gmrs list programed into a zone, it goes nuts around parks, campgrounds, sports events etc... Last year I was in the bad lands park in SD, the channels where so busy it sounded like CB channel 6 any day around noon. San Diego looks kind of quiet, may not be a bad idea to put a family repeater on a mountain somewhere.


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#11 meeks239

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:29 PM

I agree with u corey... it seems dead around here in sd... it seems ham is where it is at... i should look more into ham.. a good car unit would be great... im a lil old school and from the south and i have a cb in the car.. man is san diego horrible with cb channels... but i tend to use it driving cross country alot. Thank you guys alot for the info. I think i will be lookin to introduce myself to the ham community this year.. until then ill play with what i have! Something new to learn!

#12 n4gix

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 09:19 PM

Well, this is what's in my car currently. I have just enough room to tuck a Kenwood TK880 under the ashtray I think. I'll have it programmed with my local GMRS repeaters in one zone, and all other FRS and GMRS freqs in another zone.

nPcQQ.jpg



#13 meeks239

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 11:06 PM

Yea im tight on space in my car... i drive a crosstrek... those radios look pretty small! Is there another box that goes to them under the seat or somethin? Or is that the whole package? What kind of antennas do they use? Do they have to one of those magnetic mounts or are there other options? I wouldnt mind add ing one on the opposite side from my cb antenna.

#14 meeks239

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 11:08 PM

Also what are the wattage on those?

#15 Corey

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 05:43 AM

Several mobiles come with removable faces for remote mounting. Most modern mobile radios are between 25 and 50 watts and can hold 100's if not a 1000 channels, it all depends on what you want to spend. This is my truck, the radio is a  Motorola XPR 5550 with handheld control head, as you can see antennas for this band can be as small as 6" and still talk 40 miles. This is a part 90 radio not a part 95 radio if that is important to you. I use this on my business system and GMRS. HAMS are also starting to buy this type of radio. This unit will set you back about $1100 but well worth the features and the quality of its construction meets or exceeds several mill specs.

 

truck1.jpg

truck2-1.jpg

truck3.jpg


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#16 n4gix

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 10:12 AM

Yea im tight on space in my car... i drive a crosstrek... those radios look pretty small! Is there another box that goes to them under the seat or somethin? Or is that the whole package? What kind of antennas do they use? Do they have to one of those magnetic mounts or are there other options? I wouldnt mind add ing one on the opposite side from my cb antenna.

Look under the glove box on the right. See the silver colored box? That is the main radio for the left hand control head. The black box with the orange sticker is the main radio for the right hand control head.

 

The left side is a Connect Systems CS800 UHF DMR radio. I currently have the 42 DMR repeaters of the Hoosier DMR network and another 21 DMR repeaters from the other two DMR networks in Indiana, as well as western Ohio, southern Michigan, eastern Illinois, and Kentucky programmed in, as well as all FRS/GMRS frequencies in a separate zone. This radio has three power levels: 5w, 20w, and 45w.

 

The right side is a TYT TH-7800 amateur dual-band, dual-receive radio. Like the CS800, it has three power levels: 4w, 15w, and 40w.

 

The antennas are a Diamond dual-band amateur antenna on a now-discontinued Diamond "fold-over" mount screwed to the trunk lip. What makes it nice is that I can pop open the trunk and fold the entire mount and antenna into the trunk to completely hide the antenna. That makes going through a car wash really easy!

 

The new DMR radio is connected to a Laird 5/8 over 5/8 mono-band antenna cut for GMRS frequencies. It is mounted on an NMO trunk edge mount on the right side of the car. Unfortunately, I'll have to unscrew the antenna and install a NMO 'cap' whenever going through a car wash. :(



#17 meeks239

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 11:52 AM

Those are some nice setups! I got to lookin around last night and seen a couple radios about 45w range. Also said repeater capable. Now can u explain to me what exactly that means. Receive on one freq and tx on another I know that portion. But is it all in the same radio or do u have to buy 2? That would be a good thing to have my vehicle as a repeated on club rides off road. Also I did find some fiberglass antennas like the firestik for CB. I like how I have that one set up with the disconnect and all for easy removal. But tryin to find one like that was no easy feat in the band range. Seams like they use he same connector as the CB one which means I could do the same setup just on the opposite side. But is that too much antenna. 4ft, 6.5 db.... That's all I remember of it for right now. But would one radio repeater capable be good or is the a catch? Lol learning new stuff every time u guys reply... Curious mind!

#18 n4gix

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 04:27 PM

You don't need to invest all that much into GMRS radios. Here for example is a Kenwood TK880-1 UHF radio I bought on eBay for $49.00 a few months ago. As you can see I have it programmed with the WQWU626 repeater (mine, which is now named "Hammond675" instead of my GMRS license. I'll be reprograming it in the near future and will update the "name" at the same time.

 

If you decide to buy "gently used" always ask here first for advice! For example this model was also produced as -2, -3, and -4 versions, each of which covers a different part of the 70cm band. Only the -1 like I have can tune down to GMRS frequencies!

 

You only need one radio per vehicle. The receiver and transmitter are in the same 'box' and may be programmed for simplex (same frequency) or for repeater (different frequency for transmit and receive).

 

Repeaters are usually something someone else owns and makes available, as they can be quite expensive to buy and maintain. On the other hand, I'm in the process of building a "Portable Repeater" that I plan to sell that will allow the new owner to take it into the field, set it up at a base camp, and extend their radio operations for a 10 mile radius at least.

 

nRqer.jpg



#19 meeks239

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:32 PM

Ok i see... how far of a range would a unit like that achieve? Dependant on the antenna?? Say for instance the antenna like a firestik that i seen the other day. I only have a handheld, do u program these manually or can you hook it up with computer software like the handhelds?

#20 meeks239

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:44 PM

Leixen VV-898P UHF/VHF Dual Band Mobile Radio... thats one i was looking at last night




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