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Quick Question about CB Range

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#1
Hey! This is actually my first post on Radioreference.com. I am glad that I finally signed up as I have read many posts that were helpful before, but I have a question that is sort of unique. I was hoping to find a radio service that doesn't requre a license that will reliably communicate 5.5 miles from my house to another house. I was thinking that CB might be the answer, but I wasn't sure. I don't want to do GMRS if I can help it as that requires a license. There terrian between the two locations is relatively flat with a few rolling hills. There are some stands of trees and a mid-sized airport between the two locations as well. I am not sure if those would be problems or not. The airport is the main airport in my area that handles Passenger flights on jets, though there are no international flights from the aiport. Just in case someone lives by it, the name is the Akron-Canton Airport, (in Ohio south of Akron.) Thanks for your help! I might not get back on much until Monday as I am very busy this weekend :)

Edit: Also, there is another place that I was thinking of that is 3.5 miles away. So, if I could have an answer on that as well. I am really looking for the cheapest method of getting the job done reliably. However, I would perfer not to have to buy two sets of radios for two dfferent frequencies if I could avoid it. Thx! ;-)
 
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#2
If you're willing to invest in a decent antenna at both locations such as the Solarcon A99, you shouldn't have any trouble communicating 5+ miles using an inexpensive CB on AM. If you get a better radio that has SSB, it would be even better.
 
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#3
In this case, I'd tend to disagree here. Right now, older, but very serviceable UHF transcievers that are type accepted for part 95/GMRS that have been obsoleted from commercial service due to narrowbanding are practically being given away. That +/-2.5khz narrowband sunset date last year didn't apply to GMRS. A couple of Kenwood TK-840's for example sell for $25-$50 with accessories such as mic and power cord, a couple of 7 amp power supplies and minimal antennas would make a great house to house system. That's the way I had my parents and my in-laws set up, but used old GE MVP's for over 20 years and that was a heck of lot more distance then 5 miles. We also had a repeater..actually still do on the pair, but the houses were set to talk around simplex. That and some cheap, idiot-proof handhelds made life so much easier before cell phones and was essentially an intercom system. Since I was responsible for their medical care and needs, this made things a breeze taking them to dr's offices, medical centers, and shopping once I got them used to using handhelds, especially when they got older and hard to get around. Drop them off and coordinate parking and pick them up the same way. You couldn't have done that so easily with cell phones. We had to switch to newer programable Maxtracs later which you probably can buy nowadays for $25 off E-bay as well because of the prolifieration of GMRS/FRS handhelds driving us crazy with CTCSS. The newer radios used DCS, so the noise and chatter once again disappeared. Easiest way to turn off someone who is not familliar with radio usage and you want house to house communications is to have to put up with a noisy radio that they just end up shutting off or turning down the volume rendering the system useless. Look into some of the TK-840's. One big UHF trunking operator was selling like new units complete with a new mic,brackets,and power cords for a buy it now price of $49 on E-bay. Those units were tiny and can operate conventional with all kinds of signalling options and best yet, can be programed to be totally idiot proof right down to minimum volume settings. He was selling handhelds and chargers for similar prices as well.

I'm sure there's gobs of radios going very cheap right now that they're worthless for land-mobile and public service, but good for GMRS that are high spec radios and very resistant to intermod. Furthermore, if you don't have much congestion in your area, many of the cheap GMRS/FRS radios include the GMRS channels and have regular CTCSS and you can buy an interoperable pair for peanuts to work with the bases. While you can buy obsolete handhelds for a song that are programable, battery packs can be a royal pain if not maintained and the cheap FRS units use long lasting penlights.
 
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#4
My friend used to reliably communicate with his uncle who was well over 30 miles away and across state lines using CB. This was back in the day when out of state telephone calls were considered long distance and were quite expensive. They both used inexpensive CBs linked to 3 element beams!
 
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#5
My friend used to reliably communicate with his uncle who was well over 30 miles away and across state lines using CB. This was back in the day when out of state telephone calls were considered long distance and were quite expensive. They both used inexpensive CBs linked to 3 element beams!
When conditions were right, I talked thousands of miles away on SSB with just an A99. Even under normal conditions, I was able to talk 10-20 miles on AM with only 4 watts. :) I kinda miss messing around on 11 meters.
 
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#6
Thanks so much for all of your information. I will check up on the GMRS option that you listed Dawn. However, I really don't want to have to pay $85 for a license if I don't have to. It might be a better decision to invest that into better radio equitment. Ham licenses are cheaper than that. As long as you think CB would reliably work both distances, I will probably choose it as the cheapest option. However, I will be unable to install antennas in any locations except the home location. Do you think that it will still work? Also SSB is to expensive. I only have like $250 and I need to outfit 3 locations.
 
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#7
Thanks so much for all of your information. I will check up on the GMRS option that you listed Dawn. However, I really don't want to have to pay $85 for a license if I don't have to. It might be a better decision to invest that into better radio equitment. Ham licenses are cheaper than that. As long as you think CB would reliably work both distances, I will probably choose it as the cheapest option. However, I will be unable to install antennas in any locations except the home location. Do you think that it will still work? Also SSB is to expensive. I only have like $250 and I need to outfit 3 locations.

If you don't install antennas, what do you plan on using for antennas? If you're thinking of using a walkie talkie CB's and rubber duck antennas, it will not work.
 
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#8
Wirelessly posted (Moto Droid Bionic: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.1.2; en-us; DROID BIONIC Build/9.8.2O-72_VZW-22) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30)

If you do not install some sort of reasonable antennas, IMHO it doesn't matter what radio service you choose. Your budget is self-defeating. Cell phone? Just saying...
 
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#9
Update: I found a GMRS Repeater in a location that is sort-of between all of the locations. Like I said the original distance to the longest house is ~5.5 miles. The repeater is said to have a ~13 mile range on the website where it is listed. It is ~4.2 miles from the house where I will be able to put up a resonable antenna with a 5-10 Watt output. The other house will only be able to have a walkie talkie with a quarter wave vertical dipole or maybe just the rubber duck antenna. However, it is only ~3.7 miles from the repeater. Do you think I could communicate using the repeater? Thanks for your help:)
 

krokus

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#10
Update: I found a GMRS Repeater in a location that is sort-of between all of the locations. Like I said the original distance to the longest house is ~5.5 miles. The repeater is said to have a ~13 mile range on the website where it is listed. It is ~4.2 miles from the house where I will be able to put up a resonable antenna with a 5-10 Watt output. The other house will only be able to have a walkie talkie with a quarter wave vertical dipole or maybe just the rubber duck antenna. However, it is only ~3.7 miles from the repeater. Do you think I could communicate using the repeater? Thanks for your help:)
You might be able to use handhelds at all three locations. Five watts should be adequate, as long as the building construction is not excessively thick.

Keep in mind that you will need a GMRS license for each of the locations.

Sent from Tapatalk
 
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#11
You might be able to use handhelds at all three locations. Five watts should be adequate, as long as the building construction is not excessively thick.

Keep in mind that you will need a GMRS license for each of the locations.

Sent from Tapatalk
.... and you'll need permission from the GMRS repeater owner to use the repeater.
 
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#13
"Keep in mind that you will need a GMRS license for each of the locations..."
They are actually all my Grandparent's and Parents. Would I need a seperate license if that were the case? I know that you can have one license for your whole family, but I don't know if that would count for Grandparents or not.
TheSpaceMan, I am afraid that an outdoor antenna won't be possible :-( I have a strict Homeowner's Association, plus my relatives aren't all going to want antennas lol!
As a side question could you use an omnidirectional antenna as a TV Antenna and a GMRS Antenna. I know that GMRS is somewhere in between the TV Frequencies, so I wondered if that would be possible. Or, do you need a different/special antenna to recieve TV signals. (That is the way the seem to show when advertising TV Antennas.) I am skeptical on that myself. A flat square HD TV Antenna seems like a scam to me, but that is all that I can find in stores...

P.S. That is my last question thx a lot for helping!
 
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#14
FWIW years ago I ran a basic RS mobile feeding 4 watts of AM goodness to a simple 1/4 wave ground plane up about 20' and could reliably chat to other base stations within 10 miles.
 
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#15
That GMRS license is for immediate family, sorry, gran'pa's ain't gonna work. As for a TV antenna working, it -might- but I certainly wouldn't count on it, and even if it did, it won't work well.
- 'Doc
 
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#16
That GMRS license is for immediate family, sorry, gran'pa's ain't gonna work. As for a TV antenna working, it -might- but I certainly wouldn't count on it, and even if it did, it won't work well.
- 'Doc
I did a google search and found that they actually were elegible. Nice try. Should I close the thread or what? What do I do when all of my questions are answered?
 

krokus

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#17
I did a google search and found that they actually were elegible. Nice try. Should I close the thread or what? What do I do when all of my questions are answered?
They all have to live in the same house. The license only applies to family members that live in the same house.

Sent from Tapatalk
 
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#18
It used to depend on how the GMRS license was written. I don't know about now. Two options use to be available to a repeater. License the repeater and owner only or license and entire system. If you are the owner, then all the locations can be listed as control stations. Each control station can also operate talk around as a mobile. The only limitation is the antenna has to have a fwd to back ratio that's very directional. Nothing precludes your house from supporting a repeater and everybody talks to your house. Plenty of small table top fixed station/repeaters out there from Standard/Vertex/Kenwood/
Ritron/Moto etc. Again, that's how the licenses used to be written. You could also designate a station as a "small base" within the system as noted. In that case you could have a low height omnidirectional antenna under 20' with the rationale for contingency if the repeater fails, you still have communications from the control stations to a central location. Obviously a dealer who sells GMRS handhelds and provides a repeater, like a communications company with a community repeater would want to isolate themselves from the users which would have their own licenses and you're rendering a communications servicel. The license used to have a line entry to place the system, license,and owner information for the provider. In that case all the different control points would need separate licenses.
 
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#19
Yep! ;-) I was thinking of having a base station or repeater at my house!

Here it is straight of the FCC Website: "(a) Except for a GMRS system licensed to a non-individual, one or more small base stations or a small control station may be added to a GMRS system at any point where radio services are regulated by the FCC"

Therefor, it seems to me that I could have one or more base stations. One at each house for example.

Also, "a) An individual GMRS system licensee may permit immediate family members to be station operators in his or her GMRS system. Immediate family members are the:

(1) Licensee;

(2) Licensee's spouse;

(3) Licensee's children, grandchildren, stepchildren;

(4) Licensee's parents, grandparents, stepparents;

(5) Licensee's brothers, sisters;

(6) Licensee's aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews; and

(7) Licensee's in-laws."

This goes on to say that any of the above, including Grandparents could operate a GMRS station in my GMRS System. So, If I outfit each house with a unit, there is no reason why they couldn't use it. According to the FCC, I believe that I am correct.
 
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