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

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2018, 8:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
Ok thanks. (See how dumb a noobs questions can be )
Nope, those aren't dumb questions. Sorry for the confusion about the trunking issue. I was just pointing out that you use "more radio" than you actually need. If you go the commercial/professional radio route over the cheaper consumer route you'll soon appreciate the benefits of a higher quality radio. - More rugged build, better sound quality, etc.

Though this would necessarily apply to you, here is an example of what some of the higher quality radios can do: In my area, there is a GMRS repeater that I monitor. Several of the users on it have radios that employ an audible tone system that is automatically transmitted at the end of each transmission. (It's called MDC1200 and has a distinct sound) Each radio has a specific tone and that tone serves to identify the user radio. So, each time a person transmits, other users with properly equipped radios can have the user's ID or name show up on their radio display. It certainly isn't needed for GMRS but it offers a cool feature that you wouldn't otherwise have on a consumer radio.
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Old 05-16-2018, 9:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bharvey2 View Post
Nope, those aren't dumb questions. Sorry for the confusion about the trunking issue. I was just pointing out that you use "more radio" than you actually need. If you go the commercial/professional radio route over the cheaper consumer route you'll soon appreciate the benefits of a higher quality radio. - More rugged build, better sound quality, etc.

Though this would necessarily apply to you, here is an example of what some of the higher quality radios can do: In my area, there is a GMRS repeater that I monitor. Several of the users on it have radios that employ an audible tone system that is automatically transmitted at the end of each transmission. (It's called MDC1200 and has a distinct sound) Each radio has a specific tone and that tone serves to identify the user radio. So, each time a person transmits, other users with properly equipped radios can have the user's ID or name show up on their radio display. It certainly isn't needed for GMRS but it offers a cool feature that you wouldn't otherwise have on a consumer radio.
Wouldn’t that be cool to have that ability on simplex?
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Old 05-16-2018, 9:23 AM
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Wouldn’t that be cool to have that ability on simplex?
It doesn't require a repeater. The radios I use at work are only used in simplex mode. All of the radios generate an MDC1200 tone. The managers have radios with a display that shows the ID of the transmitting radio user. The downside is that a "cookie cutter" approach can't be used to program the radios. Each radio requires a unique codeplug (the program file uploaded to the radio) because each user has a unique MDC1200 ID number that must be transmitted.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:05 AM
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It doesn't require a repeater. The radios I use at work are only used in simplex mode. All of the radios generate an MDC1200 tone. The managers have radios with a display that shows the ID of the transmitting radio user. The downside is that a "cookie cutter" approach can't be used to program the radios. Each radio requires a unique codeplug (the program file uploaded to the radio) because each user has a unique MDC1200 ID number that must be transmitted.
Oh sure how else could it work?
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:41 PM
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So which radio would you recommend?
You already have some good recommendations, but I will add the Tera-505. I have had very good luck with it over the past two years. They are easy to program and the software is free. The cable is relatively cheap as well. The radio will do MURS as well, though I usually just have it programed for GMRS. It handles repeaters well.
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Old 05-16-2018, 3:19 PM
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Wouldn’t that be cool to have that ability on simplex?
MDC-1200 and most of the analog caller ID protocols get -really- annoying after a while. There are ways to set up the radios to mute them, but for those that don't, it's a short lived experiment.
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Old 05-27-2018, 2:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jwt873 View Post
Do you want a hand held or mobile...

If you want higher power, MIdland makes a 40 Watt GMRS mobile... https://midlandusa.com/product/mxt40...e-2-way-radio/
Are these 40 watt radios legal in Canada?
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Old 05-27-2018, 2:51 PM
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Are these 40 watt radios legal in Canada?
Nope, GMRS is limited to 2 watt handhelds with an integral antenna. No mobile, base stations, or repeaters.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst...f01320.html#aE
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Old 05-27-2018, 3:01 PM
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Originally Posted by alex5774 View Post
Nope, GMRS is limited to 2 watt handhelds with an integral antenna. No mobile, base stations, or repeaters.

RSS-210
Well now, that's a bummer.
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Old 05-28-2018, 5:24 PM
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MDC-1200 and most of the analog caller ID protocols get -really- annoying after a while. There are ways to set up the radios to mute them, but for those that don't, it's a short lived experiment.
Yeah, it does get annoying, however, it is light less annoying that some forklift operator sitting on his mic button or even worse, some clown that's singing or making irritating noises because he thinks there's anonymity behind the mic.
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Old 05-28-2018, 5:32 PM
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Yeah, it does get annoying, however, it is light less annoying that some forklift operator sitting on his mic button or even worse, some clown that's singing or making irritating noises because he thinks there's anonymity behind the mic.
Indeed. On the old SmartNet system we didn't turn on the caller ID on the subscriber radios originally. After a few of the bus drivers started getting stupid, we turned it on for the supervisor radio and gave them a list of which radio ID was which bus.
The issues stopped.
When I switched us over to the NexEdge system, we were able to do over the air alias. It shows vehicle numbers for mobiles and appropriate ID's for portables.
Even less issues.

A great feature, but occasionally a local amateur radio operator will try to run it on one of the local repeaters. They usually get asked to "please stop" pretty quickly.

Knowing when and where to use some of these features is important.
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Old 05-28-2018, 5:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
Since I'm strictly a noob to GMRS,I have been looking around trying to find the "perfect" transceiver to buy.Most of the radios I see are of the FRS/GMRS variety. Are there any radios that are strictly GMRS only? I think I am wanting a higher power radio.
Look at some of the great deals on Motorola HT1000's on Ebay. Some sellers offer free programming too. Some radios as low as $75.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...orola&_sacat=0
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Old 05-28-2018, 6:29 PM
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HT-1000's are great radios. Programming on your own can be a PITA, if you don't have the cable, older PC and software, but not impossible.
I used a number of them when I had my GMRS license. Had an MTS-2000, which are a good choice, but you need to be cautious of the older radios and the pixels failing on the displays.
Had a few P-200/HT-600's too. Heavy, but worked well. Could accidentally drop one off an ATV at 30 MPH and have no damage.
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Old 05-28-2018, 7:11 PM
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HT-1000's are great radios. Programming on your own can be a PITA, if you don't have the cable, older PC and software, but not impossible.
I used a number of them when I had my GMRS license. Had an MTS-2000, which are a good choice, but you need to be cautious of the older radios and the pixels failing on the displays.
Had a few P-200/HT-600's too. Heavy, but worked well. Could accidentally drop one off an ATV at 30 MPH and have no damage.

Which of the older Motorola's are completely programmable from the keypad, requiring no software/computer?
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Old 05-28-2018, 8:09 PM
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Which of the older Motorola's are completely programmable from the keypad, requiring no software/computer?
"Completely"? Well, there are limitations, especially if you want to name your channels.
JT-1000. You can get them in VHF or UHF. Limited to 16 channels. Issues are that the LCD displays have a bad habit of dropping pixels. Finding a good used one with a fully intact display can be a challenge. Also, amateur radio operators love them and tend to drive the prices up when on auctions.
Personally, you can do better with a Kenwood. TK-390 (UHF) can be set up for front panel programming and will do 160 channels.
Many other models, I think some of the Motorola HT-1250's can be set up for it. Some higher tier radios will do it also.

But a TK-390 will do what you need, and are cheaper on the used market than a JT-1000.
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Old 05-28-2018, 9:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
"Completely"? Well, there are limitations, especially if you want to name your channels.
JT-1000. You can get them in VHF or UHF. Limited to 16 channels. Issues are that the LCD displays have a bad habit of dropping pixels. Finding a good used one with a fully intact display can be a challenge. Also, amateur radio operators love them and tend to drive the prices up when on auctions.
Personally, you can do better with a Kenwood. TK-390 (UHF) can be set up for front panel programming and will do 160 channels.
Many other models, I think some of the Motorola HT-1250's can be set up for it. Some higher tier radios will do it also.

But a TK-390 will do what you need, and are cheaper on the used market than a JT-1000.

The reason I was asking, some seller on Ebay is selling Astro Saber-III's with a full keypad, 'claiming' they are easy to program from the keypad. I have doubts this is correct. I know Sabers are quite old and most of them that still look decent have been re-cased.
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Old 05-28-2018, 9:12 PM
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The reason I was asking, some seller on Ebay is selling Astro Saber-III's with a full keypad, 'claiming' they are easy to program from the keypad. I have doubts this is correct. I know Sabers are quite old and most of them that still look decent have been re-cased.

FPP was never offered for the Sabres, you would have to have a XTS2500 or XTS5000 to be able to have FPP. There are limitations as well.


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Old 05-28-2018, 10:25 PM
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Often you can set them up for MPL, allowing the user to change the PL tones on channels. This is handy for fire departments, and it was used heavily by CalFire for a long time.

But being able to change the PL tones on the fly is a whole lot different than full front panel programming.
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