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GMRS / FRS - Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2016, 5:26 PM
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Originally Posted by K6LED View Post
I guess you ordered them direct (awe, shucks! hehe). I hope you got the programming cable with them - you'll need it.
Oops, sorry about that, I wasn't thinking. Yeah I ordered the cable. We I am living at the moment, there are no repeaters anywhere near, but after November I'll be back at our other home and I'll need to program it for the repeaters there. The programing these radios come with is certainly odd to say the least.
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Old 06-07-2016, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PHRadio View Post
Oops, sorry about that, I wasn't thinking. Yeah I ordered the cable. We I am living at the moment, there are no repeaters anywhere near, but after November I'll be back at our other home and I'll need to program it for the repeaters there. The programing these radios come with is certainly odd to say the least.
Hehe, no worries at all - just glad you picked up a pair!

Yeah, I think the instructions to the factory got mistranslated and so the current batch of radios have some odd settings. That's why the radios I'm offering have all been re-programmed with logical settings, and I also charge and test each one - just a little extra service and something I don't think you get from most of the Chinese radio resellers. Of course, for anyone that's not scared of a programming cable, there's only about a $5 difference between buying direct and myself.

I hope you'll post back here after you've checked out the radios!
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Old 06-18-2016, 5:01 PM
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Okay, I finally have two of these to play with. I had originally ordered one, then ordered another. It came yesterday.

The are very clear and sound great. The sound quality is very good, I am impressed. I do not have any repeaters around here to try that out, but they are performing nicely on their own. I took one to work today and left one with my wife inside a condo. Between where I work and the condo, there are hills and trees. I just measure the LOS distance and it is 1.8 miles. I was able to talk to her fine on GMRS and high power. I didn't try low power on GMRS.

As an experiment, I programed one as MURS last night and of course low power. I was able to talk to her on it as well, although there was a bit more static. Very good considering the terrain here in Southern Missouri I though. I will be preprogramming to remove the MURS channel but I wanted to see how that worked. Programming is easy with these as well.

I was shocked to see how small these radios are. It is a nice small form factor. They are slightly smaller than the Midland GTX1000s I have. Those work quite well by the way. I can talk between the condo and work with those as well, but not as reliably as I did today, at the specific location I was. Still very good for a bubble pack radio.

I'm quite happy with the purchase.
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Old 06-19-2016, 3:11 AM
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Hey PHRadio,

Thanks for coming back with the review and I'm glad you like the TERA TR-505 radios. I was equally impressed. It's nice to have a small, essentially full-power radio that can do GMRS, MURS and NOAA WX.

Have you had a look at the TERA TR-590 also? It can of course go to all the same places (and is front-panel programmable), but it's only Part 90 certified. That's good enough for some people and would certainly work in an emergency situation, but I prefer the certification for every day use.

Anyway, glad you're happy with the 505's and you might want to try the high-gain antenna for MURS or GMRS sometime - might make that last 1/2 mile even better.

-Mark
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:50 AM
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Awesome. Thanks for the review.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by KD8DVR View Post
Awesome. Thanks for the review.
I have used the 590 for 6 months now, mostly PS channels, every now then on MURS and GMRS channels, I have really been impress with the quality of the radios.

They scan about 3 channels a seconds.

However one key thing, unless the keypad locked out via computer programing, it is not part 90 certified, there fore it illegal to use on anything other than ham bands, 95% of people seem to omit that part.

Last edited by Jimbnks; 06-19-2016 at 11:17 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by K6LED View Post
Hey PHRadio,

Thanks for coming back with the review and I'm glad you like the TERA TR-505 radios. I was equally impressed. It's nice to have a small, essentially full-power radio that can do GMRS, MURS and NOAA WX.

Have you had a look at the TERA TR-590 also? It can of course go to all the same places (and is front-panel programmable), but it's only Part 90 certified. That's good enough for some people and would certainly work in an emergency situation, but I prefer the certification for every day use.

Anyway, glad you're happy with the 505's and you might want to try the high-gain antenna for MURS or GMRS sometime - might make that last 1/2 mile even better.

-Mark
I looked at the 590 as well. I proper certification too. The TR-505's look like they will work well for me. I doubt I will have the need to reprogram often in the field so these are fine. I have thought about getting something like the TR-590's in the future though, as more of a "just in case" sort of option.

In Southern Missouri the range is good considering the trees, buildings and hills. I did buy these so I could use different antennas so I will be doing that in the future. I got 2.4 miles last night, with me in the car and my wife inside the condo. I called her from the parking lot of a store 3.5 miles away and she heard me. If she is outside we can talk, but with her inside it wasn't reliable. Once again, there are a lot of hills, buildings and trees between us. I will be getting antennas for the cars at some point. I really wish there was a repeater near me, but that will have to wait until we move back to our other place in November. There are a lot of them back there.

Thanks for your help, I appreciate it. I'm sure I'll be getting the high gain antenna sometime soon. One more thing to play with.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jimbnks View Post
I have used the 590 for 6 months now, mostly PS channels, every now then on MURS and GMRS channels, I have really been impress with the quality of the radios.

They scan about 3 channels a seconds.

However one key thing, unless the keypad locked out via computer programing, it is not part 90 certified, there fore it illegal to use on anything other than ham bands, 95% of people seem to omit that part.
Yeah, that's why I didn't buy them. As I said in my other post, I have thought about getting them as a "just in case" sort of item, or later when I have my HAM license. I'll stick with the radios with proper certification for GMRS. Good to know they are working well for you, I'll keep them in mind for the future.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
I noticed this last year when the grants were issued.
There are two FCC IDs
2ACK8TR505 which is GMRS only and
2ACK8TR505D which is GMRS/MURS and apparently was never produced or sold.
I just checked this today with Powerwerx, the TR-505 GMRS radio that they ship has FCC ID 2ACK8TR505D.

So based on the FCC grant for the mentioned ID, the radio can be used for GMRS when set to low power (1 watt) and also for MURS on low power (~2 watts).
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Old 10-31-2016, 6:54 PM
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I picked up a used pair from someone after waiting a long time for Powerwerx, et. al. to get them back in stock. I checked them out on the bench and in the field immediately after getting them.

I have a lot of Part 90 radios which rarely ever get used for Part 90 operation (except for one volunteer organization). I have programmed in GMRS/FRS and MURS channels into radios for years, initially even when the radio would not transmit on those frequencies.

My desire with the TR505 was to have a hiking radio that can be used for neighborhood comms as well. My wife is also a ham, so we have used 2M when out hiking and FRS before she got her ticket, but wanted to get legal access to MURS for casual operation and when hiking with friends and relatives.

The IP54 rating isn't as high as I would like, but it's actually more than adequate for general use, as long as it isn't pouring rain.

My TR505s are programmed similarly to how Mark has his programmed, except that I mix MURS, GMRS/FRS, Ham, and NOAA channels. MURS for unlicensed operation. GMRS/FRS channels 1-5 for the calling and emergency frequencies (licensed), 2M/440 simplex, our CERT repeater, and a couple of local repeaters. Topping it off is our local NOAA frequency. And yes, Mark, I take out access to the power selection to make it Part 95 compliant.

Overall, a nice, convenient, easy to use radio that meets all our basic comm needs.

We do have other handheld and mobile radios plus DMR & DSTAR capability, but I suspect that the TR505s will get more use than many of the other radios.
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Old 10-31-2016, 7:56 PM
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MURS is license free to everyone in the US, so I don't understand your comment about getting legal access. As far as I know, the FCC has not licensed these radios for dual band use, as the restrictions for FRS do not allow a removable antenna and they will not approve any radio that covers FRS and MURS. If you read some of the early posts, you should have an idea of this radio being nothing but a scan. It was pulled from the seller's web site last year.
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Old 10-31-2016, 9:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jaspence View Post
MURS is license free to everyone in the US, so I don't understand your comment about getting legal access. As far as I know, the FCC has not licensed these radios for dual band use, as the restrictions for FRS do not allow a removable antenna and they will not approve any radio that covers FRS and MURS. If you read some of the early posts, you should have an idea of this radio being nothing but a scan. It was pulled from the seller's web site last year.
Jaspence, I think what KH6HOU meant was that he wanted to use a radio that had Part 95J certification for MURS, which the TR505 indeed has, instead of perhaps using a ham radio on MURS frequencies, or even a Part 90 radio on MURS. Also, he didn't say he was using them on the FRS-only frequencies, only the GMRS/FRS interstitial frequencies, which still fall under Part 95A use, which the TR-505 is also certified for.

For the record, MURS is not license free, but is what's called license by rule, meaning there are operating rules, but you don't need to obtain a specific license for each user.

Yes, there's a grey area concerning whether or not the radio is still considered compliant when programmed for both MURS and GMRS at the same time, but I'm told the FCC definitely knows about the radio having this dual capability and as long at the are only sold (by the manufacturer) with one service or the other, they don't have a problem with the radio.

This radio is not a "scam." What was a scam, was the Anytone GMRS/MURS radio, where they used the FCC ID from a totally different radio and applied it to another radio, which is a clear violation, and the reason for their ID for that hybrid radio being pulled. This is not the case with the TERA - the radio was only pulled temporarily while they sorted & verified their compliance. If there was a problem with the radio now, it wouldn't be on their site and I wouldn't be selling it on mine.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:16 PM
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Default MURS etc

I understand license by rule. I used the words I did because many RR members are not hams and by their posts they don't even understand the need for a license. If the radio was not a scan, it certainly was illegal just by the removable antenna and power output. Any business that claims to be a radio supplier should know that before the attempt to sell it. I uncovered a similar attempt at Dayton last year, and I can assure you that Dayton officials were concerned when it was brought to their attention. It is not illegal to sell such a device, but knowingly selling an uncertified radio is scamming people.
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Old 11-01-2016, 1:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jaspence View Post
If the radio was not a scan, it certainly was illegal just by the removable antenna and power output. Any business that claims to be a radio supplier should know that before the attempt to sell it. It is not illegal to sell such a device, but knowingly selling an uncertified radio is scamming people.
Jaspence, it sounds like maybe you have an axe to grind here because you're repeating inaccurate information here.

First, there's nothing illegal about having a removable antenna on a GMRS or MURS handheld. FRS is another story, but the TERA TR-505 is not marketed as an FRS radio. It can still be programmed as one, but would be illegal to transmit with on the 7 FRS-only frequencies, or on the 15 GMRS frequencies without a license.

I don't think TERA or Powerwerx ever advertised or sold the radio for FRS, but I discovered the radio after it had gone off and came back on the market, so I don't know what the advertising was like initially. Whatever it was, it has certainly been corrected, as it's only sold on their site as a GMRS radio.

Nobody here is selling anything uncertified or claiming any certification that the radio doesn't have. On my site, I try to clearly identify that some of the programming options (or custom programming that customers request) are not technically type-accepted for such uses, but that it's the customer's responsibility to operate within the law. There are MANY other radio suppliers that don't even notify their customers that you need a GMRS license, much less that using a Part 90 radio on GMRS (debated still, but technically illegal for a new handheld IMO) or MURS is not legal.

If I haven't touched on the specifics yet, what part specifically about the TERA TR-505 radio or sales are you claiming is a scam?
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2018, 9:36 AM
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I was deciding between Motorola RMM2050 and TR-505. I liked the simplicity and build quality of 2050 so I purchased a pair but they were in rough condition so they will be returned.

I am now leaning towards TR-505. I do not plan using GMRS. For the price of two RMM2050 I can get tree TR-505 with removable antenna which I think is a huge plus. They also offer tons of accessories and programming which is another huge plus.

Two questions:
Is TR-505 a similar build quality as 2050?
What is the best high gain MURS antenna for TR-505 I can buy?

Thank you!
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Old 04-07-2018, 1:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ozdsd View Post
I was deciding between Motorola RMM2050 and TR-505. I liked the simplicity and build quality of 2050 so I purchased a pair but they were in rough condition so they will be returned.

I am now leaning towards TR-505. I do not plan using GMRS. For the price of two RMM2050 I can get tree TR-505 with removable antenna which I think is a huge plus. They also offer tons of accessories and programming which is another huge plus.

Two questions:
Is TR-505 a similar build quality as 2050?
What is the best high gain MURS antenna for TR-505 I can buy?

Thank you!
I own two Tera TR-505s. Is the build quality the same as the Motorola? I don't have the Motorola, but purely comparing specs submitted to the FCC https://fccid.io/AZ489FT3831 and https://fccid.io/2ACK8TR505D , the Motorola has 2W of output power compared to the Tera 1.68-1.69W on the MURS band. Also, the tolerance on the Motorola is 2ppm and the Tera is 5ppm. The Tera's tolerance is worse and so is it's output power. In terms of plastic casing, it seems tough but I am new to radios so I have little to compare it to. I also own a Yaesu FT-60R and I'd have to say the Yaesu feels tougher in my hands. I recently compared the receive between the two radios on a 2m distant repeater using the high gain Tera antenna and a Diamond SRH77CA on the Yaesu. In my basement, it appeared that the Tera had a better receive and the Yaesu picked up more noise. However, when I went upstairs, the noise on the Yaesu completely went away and I heard a bit more noise on the Tera. Also, comparing the receive while scanning GMRS/MURS/2m/70cm using both, the squelch would break more frequently on the Yaesu vs the Tera's.

More on the build quality, I have two radios and I'm noticing that one of the batteries in one of the radios is slightly worse then the other. It runs down slightly faster. Not much, but it does. Also, comparing the two TR505 radios with the same squelch setting, sometimes one radio breaks squelch with weak signals and the other one doesn't. The lack of a squelch knob sucks. I don't like that I can't adjust squelch on the Tera. I have to program it using a computer if I want to adjust the squelch. I don't know if the Motorola squelch can be adjusted in the field or not.

The programming cable is necessary if you decide to go to MURS. The TR505 is shipped with GMRS frequencies and not set up for MURS. The use of the programmer on the Tera is quite interesting however. Frequencies that are locked on the Yaesu and the Motorola, they are open to transmit on the TR505. You can transmit on safety bands if you wish. Not only that, but the power can be boosted past it's certified 1.8W to some unknown value. Considering that the Tera's tolerance is already at 5ppm at 1.9 Watts, I imagine that it's output signal at the 'boosted' output is much dirtier and out of specification. It's amazing that it's allowed to be modified as such and retain it's FCC certification.

That being said however, these TR505 radios kick started my interest in radio. I'm taking the Tech test and will also hopefully pass the General in two weeks. However, I'm disappointed that it's certification is at 1.8W and it's tolerance is at 5ppm. Yes, I can boost it's signal but I'm sure it's tolerance at the boost levels are out of bounds causing interference on neighboring bands because it's tolerance is already at the max allowed by the FCC at 1.8W. I wish I would have just gotten a dedicated and clean 2W MURS radio, or a dedicated GMRS radio with legitimate 2W lower power and 4-5W high power.
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Old 04-07-2018, 6:31 PM
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Thank you for all the details!

I am pretty certain that Motorola's squelch cannot be adjusted in the field.

Given years of Motorola R&D I would expect their radios to have better parameters and very well built. With almost double the price, limited and expensive accessories, and fixed antenna it is a tough call for me.

I wish there were more options for a simple and rugged radio even if it is not 95J approved as long as it has 2W and limited to MURS channels.

Decisions...decisions....
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