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Noob in Colorado area


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#1 WQXJ685

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 12:34 PM

Hey there.  I'm a noob GMRS guy in the Colorado area.  Still learning (these forums are a great resource, BTW).  I started out with the 888s's and started out using them wrong.  I reprogrammed the radios to just use the GMRS frequencies and turned all of the fancy stuff on (different (random) CTSS and DTS (?) and channels) and did everything wrong of course: I turned on the scrambler function - I didn't realize that we couldn't transmit encoded transmissions - doah!  Also, my kids were using the radios to mess around with, so they didn't ID themselves - now I have my ID on the back of the radios and I'm trying to train them to use it once per conversation.  The radios are good from home to car for about a mile or two on a clear day with houses, trees and stuff in the way, but the transmission quality is really static-y at more than a few blocks of distance.  There is supposed to be a repeater in my area, so I've requested access.  We'll see how that turns out.  Anyway, just thought that I'd say, "hi" and let people know my initial startup experience.  These forums have been much more informative than googling around or watching youtube for instructions and rules for GMRS by far!  I'm impressed with the helpfulness and non-condescending attitudes (HAM > GMRS) on this forum!



#2 n4gix

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:21 PM

Some of us are licensed both as hams and GMRS operators. I try to be friendly and helpful to everyone.
Welcome, and remember that the only stupid question is the one not asked!

 

I do know what you mean though, I'm a member of a Motorola User's forum where the site owner and moderators are not at all "friendly" and welcoming... :wacko:


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#3 WQXJ685

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:10 PM

Q: Is a simplex repeater legal on GMRS frequencies in the US?  Do I need any sort of additional license or anything other than the extra radio and the controller to operate one?



#4 n4gix

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 08:13 PM

Well a simplex repeater is nothing more than a single radio with a "parrot" type controller. AFAIK, it is legal. A real repeater of course requires a receiver, a transmitter, a controller and a duplexer. No additional license is required for either method.


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#5 WQWG565

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 11:13 AM

Hey there Fellow Colorado dweller :) 

 

I'm in Grand Junction, we have a repeater set up here if you'd like to use it if you come out this way.

 

Glad to see that there's more Western Slope people out this way. Our Web Page is www.westerncoloradogmrs.com if you want to check us out and request access to the repeater.


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#6 Logan5

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 11:28 AM

As i recall, "Scramble" is voice inversion and is not encrypted. BF888's are great simple non part 95 radios.


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#7 WQXJ685

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 11:22 AM

WQWG565: Thanks for the invitation!  I'll check it out when I'm in the area.

Logan5: Good to know.  I didn't know the difference and I'm still in the learning phase.

 

Just got a UV-5R and I can transmit substantially further than with the 888s so that's pretty interesting too.  I'll probably get some more powerful radios in the near future.

 

I heard some talk on 462.575 last night while I was driving (I have a 1/4 wave roof-mount antenna now too) from Lafayette to Longmont which I thought was either a repeater or someone on the road going the same direction as me.  I heard them when I got home in Longmont for a couple of hours and it was also sending out morse code every 10 minutes so I figured that it was a strong repeater.  I downloaded an android app that decodes morse code and found that the owner of the repeater is in Loveland (WQCN756).  I didn't see a repeater on mygmrs.com though, so this may be a new one.



#8 Logan5

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 01:25 PM

you won't need anything more powerful than a UV5r, unless you get a mobile or base. The UV5r is listed as 5 watt, but actually puts out more like 2.5 to 3 watts. Is about as much as you want for an HT. as far as effective communication, Height of antenna, quality feedline and connectors is far more important than watts of output. a 50 watt mobile is only more effective than a 5 watt HT, due to the ground plane of your automobile, 5 watt's will be nearly as effective with the same antenna and ground plane. by using High Power, when not applicable you only create a local RF mess, unless you have/find a high unobstructed location or a tower.

 

(WQCN756) could be a repeater on a nice high tower for DX range like that.


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#9 WQXJ685

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 01:47 PM

So if the repeater is 25+ miles away, it has to be a 40-50 watt transmitter or something really powerful, right?  I can hear it just fine but with the UV5R since it's only a 3 watt transmitter, will I be able to transmit the 25+ miles back to that repeater if I were to get access to it?  Another way to ask I guess is if I can hear them, can I assume that I can also transmit to them no matter what power I'm transmitting at?



#10 Logan5

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 10:21 AM

If the repeater is on a high tower with reasonable LOS, even 2watts can effectively communicate 20+ miles. Yes repeaters often operate 30+ watt's but many could operate as effectively with just 10 to 20 watts, and in many cases even less. a quality antenna, feedline and height are far more important than High Power.


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#11 fenriswolf039

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 07:00 AM

Line of sight really is key here.

My whole family have uv5r's and we can hit repeaters over 50 miles away, giving us over 100 mile effective area of communication here in North Georgia.

If you haven't already, try putting Nagoya 701 antennae on your radios, they really make a difference.

#12 WQXJ685

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 10:23 AM

Hah!  I just ordered a 701 antenna - should be here on Wednesday!  :)  Thanks everyone!  Very helpful (and educational)!



#13 WQXJ685

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 10:03 AM

Ok, so another question.  MURS is over VHF and GMRS is over UHF but GMRS can do higher power (5W) than MURS (2W).  Which one would do a greater range over normal terrain (houses, trees, ...)?






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