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MXT575 MicroMobile installed at house. How do I increase range?


Guest Moab123

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Guest Moab123

Greetings, I'm new to GRMS. I purchased a few walkie Talkies and then a Midland MXT575 MicroMobile base station that I want to use at my house. The range is no better than the walkie talkie's. About 2 miles. Does anyone have any advice? Should I install an external antenna on my roof? If so, can you recommend the best model for increasing my range. I'm in Central Florida. No major hills or mountains. No dense urban issues. Just typical residential and trees. 

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56 minutes ago, Guest Moab123 said:

Greetings, I'm new to GRMS. I purchased a few walkie Talkies and then a Midland MXT575 MicroMobile base station that I want to use at my house. The range is no better than the walkie talkie's. About 2 miles. Does anyone have any advice? Should I install an external antenna on my roof? If so, can you recommend the best model for increasing my range. I'm in Central Florida. No major hills or mountains. No dense urban issues. Just typical residential and trees. 

Try an external antenna before jumping ship on the Midland.
There are many antenna threads on the forum. Search for “base antenna.”
Don’t expect 200 miles. I don’t know the terrain around @WRXP381, but I don’t get 200 miles. I think he has something unusual going on. 
 

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I have to agree with @Sshannon. Definitely try an external antenna first. Even a mobile mag mount antenna on a cookie sheet outside is better than an antenna inside the house. If you can afford it and have a place to mount it, I will recommend the Comet CA-712EFC antenna.

And getting a 200 mile range is definitely not the norm with GMRS. Most guys in the wide open desert are getting 75 - 100 miles tops. Terrain, foliage, buildings and other obstacles will affect and limit your range. 

GMRS is line of sight. So the higher your antenna is and that of the person you are trying to talk to is, the better.

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I've seen people do close to 200 Miles but its peak to valley desert and it's usually not consistent. Ive gotten 400 miles on VHF ham before Mountain peak to valley but VHF pushes a little father.

GMRS Suburban Typicals:

HT to HT 2 miles or so max

Base to Base 10 miles or more if good antennas and good area.

I routinely talk ~25 miles on my HT to another HT but we live across a lake from each other.

With UHF/GMRS the antenna matters 10x more than wattage basically so if both users have a directional and are line of sight they can go pretty dang far. And even just putting a higher antenna makes it that much easier to have line of sight.

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1 hour ago, WRYC373 said:

I've seen people do close to 200 Miles but its peak to valley desert and it's usually not consistent. Ive gotten 400 miles on VHF ham before Mountain peak to valley but VHF pushes a little father.

GMRS Suburban Typicals:

HT to HT 2 miles or so max

Base to Base 10 miles or more if good antennas and good area.

I routinely talk ~25 miles on my HT to another HT but we live across a lake from each other.

With UHF/GMRS the antenna matters 10x more than wattage basically so if both users have a directional and are line of sight they can go pretty dang far. And even just putting a higher antenna makes it that much easier to have line of sight.

You should come out to California. We have a club that basically every member of the club gets well over 30miles with a hand held.  And this is in Southern California urban areas.  It’s again about line or site and antenna height and quality.     This junk about hand helds only getting 2 miles is total junk.  It’s 2 miles to my mail box and I can run a small 2” antenna and be on low power and still talk ht-ht with full quieting.   Heck even my 5w hand held hooked up to a comet 712 does over 30miles full quieting.  Pm me for real info.  I’m done talking to these guys.  

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20 hours ago, WRXP381 said:

You should come out to California. We have a club that basically every member of the club gets well over 30miles with a hand held.  And this is in Southern California urban areas.  It’s again about line or site and antenna height and quality.     This junk about hand helds only getting 2 miles is total junk.  It’s 2 miles to my mail box and I can run a small 2” antenna and be on low power and still talk ht-ht with full quieting.   Heck even my 5w hand held hooked up to a comet 712 does over 30miles full quieting.  Pm me for real info.  I’m done talking to these guys.  

🙄 Gee, come to Western Pennsylvania. In many places you will get a mile or less. Valley to the other side of the hill doesn't work too well, neither does parking lot through buildings and trees. Of course it's about antenna height.  I would need an 80 foot or taller tower to get more than two miles. When I am on a high hilltop, about three miles away, I can talk to my wife in the house using a mobile to a handheld. I can barely hit a repeater about 7 miles away from my house using a handheld, but not well enough to talk. They have a hight tower on a hill though. I can walk with a handheld to a cemetery near my house, and lose the ability to talk to my wife on another handheld about a half mile away. I'm in a valley, it's all about terrain and antenna height, coupled with trees and buildings, in other words, what everyone has been saying. 

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Just for context.

With a Midland MXT115 (15 Watt) attached to a Midland MXTA 26 (6db) mag mount on a metal sheet in the attic, about 25' off the ground,  I easily have coverage to:

  • Up to 20 mi to the large / tall repeaters
  • Simplex to 5W handheld in the field with varied terrain. In some directions 2.5 miles, in other directions 8-10 miles. If I want to hike to the top of taller hills I would expect 10+miles in some areas. 
  • If you want range, follow the recommendations posted here on the purchase of an external antenna and mount it as high as possible. 

A line of sight map, just google the phrase, will give you some very basic estimates on ranges at the specified height you plug into your base. In other words, if you are using an antenna plug in the height in meters to your base. 

 

    

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/11/2024 at 7:44 PM, Guest Moab123 said:

Greetings, I'm new to GRMS. I purchased a few walkie Talkies and then a Midland MXT575 MicroMobile base station that I want to use at my house. The range is no better than the walkie talkie's. About 2 miles. Does anyone have any advice? Should I install an external antenna on my roof? If so, can you recommend the best model for increasing my range. I'm in Central Florida. No major hills or mountains. No dense urban issues. Just typical residential and trees. 

 

I have had great success with an automotive trunk lip mount and a Comet tri-band antenna mounted to my gutter on 146-224-445 Mhz.  It is stealthy.  I used a strip of 3/16" x 0.090" brass to reinforce the gutter against the crushing load of the clamping screws.  I found out UHF will not pass through my roof/shingles much at all so I had to use outside antennas.  I have a 2nd lip mount and GMRS antenna for my GMRS base station.  The gutter makes an excellent ground plane.  It is narrow, but has significant area. 

 

The best antenna would be a high gain vertical with sloping ground radials mounted on a tower that's taller than all the surrounding trees and buildings. 

https://theantennafarm.com/shop-by-categories/antennas-mounts/base-antennas/gmrs-base-antennas/gmrs-omni-directional-base-antennas/1085-comet-ca-712efc-detail

Each +3 dB doubles your Effective Radiated Power and the gain applies to receive also.  Each +10 feet in height above 20' adds about 2 miles of range.

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5 hours ago, Coffeemaker said:

The gutter makes an excellent ground plane.  It is narrow, but has significant area. 

 

5 hours ago, WRXP381 said:

Hahaha. That’s some funny stuff.  

Hams have been using house gutters for antennas in HOA restricted areas for years.

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2 hours ago, BoxCar said:

 

Hams have been using house gutters for antennas in HOA restricted areas for years.

Doesn’t make it “good” it makes it useable.  It’s called a ground plane not ground line.  It’s like the guys that stick an antenna on the edge of a hood and think that’s good.  It’s not.  It’s acceptable it sort of works in certain directions but it’s missing out.  It’s also silly that one would not just buy an antenna that does not need a ground plane.  But then again I’d never live in a hoa.  

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