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GMRS and Organizations

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Jan 6, 2013
You should not need a repeater in that size of an area. Pick up a few radios and do some tests before you buy into a repeater. One can always be added later if necessary.

Even the BPR40 wouldn't be a bad option.

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You must work for or sell Motorola products. The BPR is junk, plain and simple. OP, I'd rather see you buy a cheap $50 radio than shell out $200 for a BPR.

For those of you not familiar with Scouting, the guy with the original post is a Ranger at the camp. That means he's a full time employee of the council, and these radios wi be used for business purposes while he is at work, so HAM is not a legal option, and the HAMs police their bands well.

The cheap Chinese will all work on MURS. Do that. You don't need a repeater to cover a mile. But the baofengs and a few of the better ones. Set them all up on one freq (or two). Loan out the cheaper radios, give the better ones to your more reliable staff. Publish the frequency and suggest that people shell out the $35 for their own uv5re and then it isn't your problem anymore.

After a summer, you'll know which radios held up and which ones didn't. Don't buy more of the bad ones, and then come back here and tell us all which held up and which didn't.

Spend $400 or less of your $1000. Put the other $600 into tools, pool chemicals, dishwasher, water leaks, etc. You've got bigger problems than comm.
This guy has it right! I've worked at a camp and we had years ago nextel without cell service, just two way. Then when we went to a full summer camp got some radios donated and the camp has progressed ever since. Funny thing was rangers never carried radios, as most the time the chatter didn't involve them. They all carried cell phones.

Worse case buy a few better radios for the full timers and some cheap ones to loan out. Buy more high quality radios as funds allow.

I have to agree somewhat - not sure if you stated how big of an area you need to cover - or if coverage needs to be from portable to portable or just portable to a base?

A inexpensive hand held such as the Baofeng GT-3 , a nice small $50.00 unit, with an upgraded antenna might work just fine for you. You could use it on the MURS frequencies - just like Wal Mart does - no license required. If you just require communication from units in the field and a central location such as "the office" you can even mount an outside antenna on the office and connect to a hand held unit you keep in the office.

This would also work if units in the field just need to communicate with other units in the field working is close proximity to each other - say within the same 50 acres or so, or with the office.

If you require communications between units in the field - all over your property and it covers a large land area - hand held unit to hand held unit - then you may require a repeater - only way to tell is try a couple of radio's out.

With MURS there are 5 frequencies to choose from - you can use any or all. The radios can be locked to prevent users from accidentally entering any additional frequencies. At $50.00 a radio you could afford to provide individualized radios to your permanent staff. We found radio's lasted a lot longer and were taken much better care of when they were assigned to specific individuals rather than being part of a pool of radios.
There is truth in this! People take better care of their own stuff typically. Buy better radios for full time staff and make them own them.

I'd recommend you take a long hard look at analog VHF radios from Vertex. They are cheap, have free programming software, and come with three year warranties.

I'd order a few vertex radios for full time staff and then buy a handful of cheap or used radios to loan out. Then buy more vertex radios as funds allow.
Jun 16, 2013
Simplex VHF or UHF should work just fine. I don't actually believe that you could technically coordinate what you wish to do on amateur frequencies (it may be considered conducting business).

As far as repeaters go, you can build them quite cheaply. If you're using IG frequencies, then narrow banding would be a must. The two radio's stuck together thing to form a repeater thing IS NOT just a hobbyist thing. In fact, the Motorola GR300/400/500 series repeaters were simply two Maxtracs or GM300s stuck together. Moto made a version of the repeater off the CDM line (the GR1225 was one of the few exceptions to a low duty repeater being a single, full duplex radio), Icom made the CY series of repeaters which is only the current 4 channel mobile stuck together with another one.

Most commercial applications for a GR/CY series repeater don't require an ID'er. Most of them use internal notchplexer (mobile duplexer) which can not be great in areas of high RF traffic but in remote settings do just fine. Some friends and I usually take portable GMRS repeaters hunting and skiing and we've never had an issue with the notchplexers.

Common misconception, GMRS repeaters don't require an IDer. The rules literally state that a repeater need not ID if the traffic going through it is properly ID'd (as in operators IDing properly).
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