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Highway contacts, chatting with other vehicles


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#1 WQZP891

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 11:38 AM

Hello all!

 

I was wondering if anyone uses their radio to try to make contacts on long drives. I regularly drive I-75 from Chattanooga, TN to Dayton, OH and aside from hitting some repeaters, I hardly hear any traffic. I also try to call for contacts about every 20-30 miles with no result. Do you keep your mobile/HT on in the car to make contacts or chat with other vehicles outside of your traveling party?

 

 

Thanks,

 

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#2 XSevenSonata

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:57 PM

It usually amazes me how far people seem to chat with mobile or portable radios, a magmount antenna and they're vehicle while driving. Not just for amateur, but, even GMRS and CB. While oddly, sometimes it seems with a base setup, I could never reach that far. I don't drive, though, so, I can't compare. I do hit a few repeaters as well, but, aside from the IDer's, I rarely hear anyone on simplex or repeaters except for nets. Which everyone seems to up and leave when the nets are over. It must be nice for those having fun driving and chatting.



#3 Logan5

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:47 PM

I hear caravan's go up and down I95 from time to time. one time sounded like multi wide load convoy. They were not interfering with our repeater and I just listened in. I now have a separate Yagi on a rotor at 23 feet, maybe next time I will attempt to hit them back.



#4 PB30X

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

Generally I lurk and scan all channels when traveling and hear most traffic via FRS and Simplex. I have a few mobile units but are not part 95 compliant. I just turn on my Wally World Rino 650t and listen for possible chatter. However when hiking or trekking the mountains with just an HT, it gets interesting. Recently found HT's have a rather vast coverage area! I do have all the Travel channels programmed, and allot of traffic received but can't make the hit with the basic 4-5w HT via Repeaters. I'd rather chat than play with a cellphone any day. Call me old school, but used to like chatting CB years ago, just got out of hand... Doesn't hurt to just scan and listen while traveling, you learn the lay of the communication land, and radio traffic

WQXP640
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#5 XSevenSonata

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:10 PM

Actually, now that I think of it, if I happen to have a handheld on me scanning around during public transportation or a family member giving me a ride, I notice that the most traffic does seem to be FRS and GMRS. I wouldn't be able to monitor CB while in transit, though. My handhelds are generally enough to reach the repeaters during transit, but, the problem for me would using a handheld antenna inside the vehicle. And I think you're right about the listening.  Although I have only been an amateur licensee for a few months, I've played around with hamsat and amateur frequencies for about two years. I never transmitted, but, I feel that I can still learn by listening, studying, and entering frequencies. So, when I was licensed, it didn't feel too new to me, except that I could finally transmit. Besides, listening can still be fun. I listen to NOAA sometimes and there's a repeater that I can't reach in another county for transmit. I listen to the guys chat sometimes at night on the radio, but, have to use Echolink to chime in if I want. I will say, though. Sometimes I wish I had a buddy to chat with. :( I don't really have any friends, and, although I've met some operators, they and I don't really chat. So, I feel a bit alone in the amateur world and spend most of my time on nets and scanning or listning, GMRS is more for communication because I can use my callsign with my family.


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#6 WQZP891

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:49 AM

I do hear a lot of FRS chatter, but GMRS is radio silent save for a little CW from repeaters. When I got into GMRS I was dumb enough to think it was going to be a CB replacement on the road. I am part of a big network in Chattanooga (North Georgia GMRS) and I talk to all sorts of folks in the evenings from my living room. But, I think the cell phones are the overall go-to if you want to chat while driving.



#7 VegasUnderworld

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:17 PM

I don't usually meet random people on simplex, but here in Vegas, we have a few mountain top GMRS repeaters that can reach well over 100 miles if you're not in the shadow of another mountain.  There are quite a few people using them locally.  I know these frequencies are only good if others use them.  HT's are cheap these days.  When it's someones birthday, I get them a radio.  It's a gift they'll use and it also helps to widen our user network.  



#8 XSevenSonata

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:22 PM

I'd accept a handheld for a birthday gift. Even if I have one, It's great having spares. I have a few different ones, and, I use them all. It'd be nice if there were repeaters in my area, though. Well, maybe there are, but, not logged with myGMRS, though. :( I feel lucked out because I can't use amateur with my family, and, I don't have much use for GMRS with them unless It's within simplex handhand range (or they're handheld to my mobile set up as a base)

 

Edit: Side note, are there any other GMRS repeater directories than myGMRS?



#9 VegasUnderworld

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:32 PM

The list on this site is about as current as you'll find.  I think this site says there are 9 or 10 GMRS repeaters locally.  Last I counted, there were actually over 20.  GMRS frequencies aren't private, but owners can refuse use of their repeaters to anyone and many often do.  It's possible your town has a few that are unlisted. If you have access to a scanner, that would be a good place to start, but if you do find any, make sure you get permission before you start using it.  

 

There's also the option to build your own repeater.  



#10 XSevenSonata

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 07:21 PM

I can't say how current the directory is, as that depends on the individual. I have found a few repeaters that haven't been updated in a while and are no longer in use. Some cities or states that use GMRS more, however, may keep that information up to date, mine doesn't. Although I have found many amateur repeaters listed on other directories that are not new and are working, that are not listed on, say, RepeaterBook for example. Repeaters are logged by individuals, so, if someone chooses to log a repeater on one directory than another, that's just how it will be. There are a few GMRS repeaters in my area that I have found in the past by scanning around, but, they're not logged with myGMRS and not open squelch.



#11 VegasUnderworld

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:39 PM

We operate a group repeater and I wouldn't want it listed either.  Building it and maintenance isn't cheap, so the only ones with access have put something towards it.  Wouldn't be fair to them to have it available to anyone. 

 

You may want to ask a local LDS Church member if they have active nets.  They encourage members to get involved in emergency preparation and communications.  Here in Vegas, they host local nets on multiple repeaters, but they are all for public use. 



#12 XSevenSonata

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:00 PM

I understand about private repeaters not being listed, but, for public repeaters, some individuals simply just prefer some directories over others. I could say for example, there may be the largest Walmart supercenter in my state, that may not have a specific item I'm looking for, while, the smallest Walmart in my state does. But, I kind of prefer the smaller groups, too. Again, there are some repeaters listed on smaller less known directories I found that are not listed on larger directories. The few repeaters I found local to me, do have nets, including CERT or Skywarn on some repeaters. But, they never specify any tone during the nets, and, not listed on myGMRS. I may be able to ask around, or, try the nearest REACT that is about twenty miles away, but, I can reach.

 

I know It's not that cheap to put up and maintenance a repeater, that's why I won't. I simply can't afford it. I would make it public if I could afford one, but, just can't. And I have no one that would want to donate. I will say, though, my city doesn't have much of the radio type of any kind. Most radio operators here are businesses, emergency services, or, non locals.



#13 NavyBOFH

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 09:08 PM

My state agency was given a dozen CS810/CS800 radios which we in turn use for UTAC, DMR, ham, and GMRS since we all seem to be licensed for it. We also own more tall towers in the state than any other agency so we ended up sponsoring (giving away) tower space to GMRS repeaters as long as we were allowed access to them without issue. With that we usually use GMRS for "work" use as in small things like coordinating convoys, talking locally during cell outages, etc. Otherwise we are all hams as well so we end up on DMR for long stretch comms... and lastly UTAC if we are working with EMD or state police, etc.



#14 mainehazmt

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 01:38 PM

I have both my amature and gmrs call sign on my back window of my truck and always monitor the travel freq and scan others have had a few call me
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#15 skipwalton

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:01 AM

The repeaters are up in Chatt for the North Georgia GMRS network. I travel from NE Georgia to Montgomery every 3 weeks, and am able to talk almost all the way to Montgomery in our network. I don’t see much on your I-75 route. Some planning would have to made on your part as far as channels and PL tones used for each. May trip takes me “thru” four repeaters in our network. Good luck on your trips, and use the scan mode to find active users.




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