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GMRS Truck Equipment


Guest Roy
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I just bought a nice big Ford F150 Truck and I want to install a radio and antenna and possibly a repeater so I can go from home to work and stay in contact with my wife and kids.

What is the absolute minimum I need at an affordable cost?

 

I just own two Baofeng GT-3TP Handheld Radios and I haven't been successful even connecting to any local repeaters.

I'm not sure if I am not close enough and need a bigger antenna or the repeaters are private and I can't hear or transmit.

I've entered the frequencies correctly over and over but need a real repeater to try out.

How do I know if I am on a repeater? Will it beep or announce anything?

 

Anyway, I want to power my truck up so I don't have to rely on cell phones in case SHTF.

 

I have a call sign and GMRS license.

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While not strictly an operating requirement, most repeaters (GMRS and other services) use some type of access control. The repeater receiver listens for a particular sub-audible tone or digital code and will only operate the transmitter (I.e. repeat) when that tone is present.  In the MyGMRS repeater listings some records contain the access information. But, most don't.  Based on your report, it sounds like you do not have the right access settings for the repeaters you are trying to reach.  Try looking through the repeater listings on this site, identify the owner and ask about access permission. If they want you on their repeater, they will provide the access information you need.

 

You can usually tell if you activated the repeater if you hear a short, 1 or 2 second, open carrier (no audio) after you unkey. BTW, some may beep at the end of a transmission (called a "roger" beep), but most don't.  The most reliable way to know if you are talking through a repeater is to listen for your transmission on the repeater's output (462.xxx) using another radio.

 

Just to be sure, you wrote "I want to install a radio and antenna and possibly a repeater."  Did you mean you wanted to have repeater access capability, or an actual repeater in your truck.  Having an actual mobile repeater is certainly possible. But, such installations are usually designed to provide temporary services while the vehicle is parked in some location. For example, emergency situations, work parties, hunting groups, etc.

 

As to SHTF replacement of a mobile phone. If your communications needs can be met by only being to contact other's with GMRS repeater capable radios, then yes, that will work. But, that is it. Those millions of blister-pack walkie-talkies are not able to access a repeater.

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  • 1 month later...

While not strictly an operating requirement, most repeaters (GMRS and other services) use some type of access control. The repeater receiver listens for a particular sub-audible tone or digital code and will only operate the transmitter (I.e. repeat) when that tone is present.  In the MyGMRS repeater listings some records contain the access information. But, most don't.  Based on your report, it sounds like you do not have the right access settings for the repeaters you are trying to reach.  Try looking through the repeater listings on this site, identify the owner and ask about access permission. If they want you on their repeater, they will provide the access information you need.

 

You can usually tell if you activated the repeater if you hear a short, 1 or 2 second, open carrier (no audio) after you unkey. BTW, some may beep at the end of a transmission (called a "roger" beep), but most don't.  The most reliable way to know if you are talking through a repeater is to listen for your transmission on the repeater's output (462.xxx) using another radio.

 

Just to be sure, you wrote "I want to install a radio and antenna and possibly a repeater."  Did you mean you wanted to have repeater access capability, or an actual repeater in your truck.  Having an actual mobile repeater is certainly possible. But, such installations are usually designed to provide temporary services while the vehicle is parked in some location. For example, emergency situations, work parties, hunting groups, etc.

 

As to SHTF replacement of a mobile phone. If your communications needs can be met by only being to contact other's with GMRS repeater capable radios, then yes, that will work. But, that is it. Those millions of blister-pack walkie-talkies are not able to access a repeater.

At this time I am aware of Three Motorola's and one Olympia models of blister packs radios that are repeater capable.

 Motorola Talkabout MR355R, MS350R, and MS355R as well as the Olympia R500.

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