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MS350R Set Up For Repeater Use

GMRS Repeater Hand-held Motorola MS350R Newbie

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#1 brownk89

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 10:54 PM

 Hello all,

 

 I'm fairly new to the radio world even though you'd think my USMC Infantry background along with my current Firefighting gig would lead you to believe different. I should've paid closer attention obviously. I recently purchased a pair of Motorola MS350R GMRS/FRS radios. Wasn't even aware of the features or what the capabilities where until thumbing through the user manual. After some time on Google, I applied for and was granted a GMRS license from the FCC. I have spent the past couple of days trying to get these things to work on the repeater function with no luck. I'm a little ways from the nearest repeater but, I don't receive anything. Not even broken communication. I don't believe these things to be digital so I'm under the impression that I should still get garbage as a conformation. But to dive even deeper on the subject, I do not even know what I'm doing. I have no understanding of the freqs, or how to set the radio up in the first place. Everything I can find online is already a step above my understanding. Other than looking at what the channel freqs are and trying to match them (kinda), I have no idea of what's what. I DO know what channels are FRS, FRS/GMRS, and repeated GMRS. Also would like some clarity on the FRS/GMRS channels if you wouldn't mind. Any help will do. All I ask is that you assume I know nothing. Your wisecracks and jokes are encouraged as long as learning is achieved. 

 

 Thanks in advance,

 

 K. Brown

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#2 FrankNY

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 03:56 AM

Welcome to the forums and welcome to the world of GMRS.

If I were you, the first thing that I would do, especially easy to accomplish since you have two radios, is to get together with a friend or whoever and do some testing to ensure that both of your radios are working properly. Do this while separated by some distance, a hundred feet or more would be great.

Try various frequencies in both the FRS and the GMRS, using simplex (non-repeater) channels in the case of GMRS.

Also do some tests where each radio is set to an identical CTCSS frequency or DCS tone to ensure that that particular functionality is working properly, as you'll almost certainly need it when working through a repeater system.

If all of those tests end with positive results, then check the main portion of this site (not the forums) for repeaters in your geographic area and contact the owners for permission to use their machines.

If you get the okay, then you're on the air, so to speak.

And yes, you're correct that digital voice modes of operation are not permitted on neither the FRS nor the GMRS, although I do on rare occasion hear digital transmissions on a GMRS channel here in New York.

I don't know where you're located and thus don't know how much GMRS activity you may have available to you. It may be quite quiet or it may be quite busy. This does seem, at least from all that I've read, to vary quite a bit by locale. And in some areas, there seem to be few to no GMRS repeaters.

Please be aware that the range claims made by the various manufacturers of (especially) FRS radios tend to be rather overstated, and that's putting it mildly. Unless you and the person with whom you're communicating are both on mountain tops with true line-of-sight between the two of you, don't expect great distance.

Personally, I feel that this is an area where the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) should step in and set some legal guidelines governing advertising claims, sort of like they did many years ago with regard to power output claims made by manufacturers of hi-fi power amplifiers.

Antenna heights and terrain have a great effect on UHF communications.

And here, in case you haven't seen them, are three Wikipedia links that may be of use to you.

Family Radio Service
https://en.wikipedia...y_Radio_Service

General Mobile Radio Service
https://en.wikipedia...e_Radio_Service

Repeater
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeater

Good luck!

Regards,

Frank.


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#3 fenriswolf039

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 12:23 PM

Keith, refer to your user guide and look at the chart on page 4.  

 

To do what you want with those radios, you need to set the correct tone in order for the repeater to "hear" you and relay your signal.  

 

Setting the tone on your radios is done by inputting the corresponding code from that chart.  It looks like your repeater frequencies are already entered into the radio for you, and you should be able to select your tone from a menu.

 

Check the repeater map and scroll it around.  The repeater I linked to might be the closest one to you, though there are some a little further south near Tampa.  That repeater would be on your channel 20R (462.675Mhz) and set the tone code to 22 (141.3Mhz)

 

Hope that helps.


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#4 Logan5

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 08:34 PM

since radio has non removable antenna, you will have best luck outside and way up high. When i played with these radios I climbed up onto the roof and could get local repeater, but sounded tinny and cheap. took them back and got much better radio with removable antenna.


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#5 ASRM

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 07:14 AM

BROWNK89

 

I almost bought those little 350's but honestly for the price if you can find a repeater in your area, and it works well with portables I would instead go to eBay or do a search online for used commercial gear. You can find excellent deals on used Moto commercial portables for $40 each and on up, some will have a charger, maybe even a decent battery. Most of the eBay sellers will program them before shipping them out. Also the Maxon 4450SC's are some of the best deals on GMRS, they should be had for $40+ programmed and then just get a decent antenna. They are 16 channels at 40 watts. Again you can grab Moto mobiles for less than $100 ea or even less (MaxTrac's are a dime a dozen).

 

I started out buying on eBay and am not sorry one bit, from there I met folks, some here and on another message board that have sold me gear at great prices and helped me a lot. I eventually got in good with a 2way shop in my area and bought new gear at almost used prices as well as now work there, you would be amazed at what some shops have sitting collecting dust and they would probably sell for a few $10 bills :)

 

I know our shop has hundreds of wideband gear equipment that will work fine on GMRS.



#6 PB30X

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 05:51 AM

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Hope this helps as it helped me out with my Garmin Rino lineup.. Not sure if I found this document on this site, or elsewhere, but definitely will point you in the right direction!





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