• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

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GMRS Base Station

mmckenna

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Your right about the cable i really need to upgrade
It'll give you a nice little boost. LMR-400 or LMR-600 would be a good manageable option.

Sounds like you have a good setup. I used GMRS with family for a long time, it's an often overlooked radio service.
 

mmckenna

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For a pre-programmed GMRS radio, it's probably as good as any of them. Dual band receive capability might be useful.

But if you want a better radio, you can get a higher grade UHF commercial radio for less money. It will require programming, though.

$100 + shipping. Add a mounting bracket, power cord and external antenna.


I know some hobbyists love the BaoFeng/B-Tech and other Cheap Chinese radios, they are NOT stellar performers. Might be a good option to get yourself on the air quickly, but I think it's overpriced for what it is.
 

jimg

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100 feet of RG-8X isn't a very good choice.
40 watts out of the radio will suffer a LOT of loss over that length of cable. Of the 40 watts you put in, less than 6 watts will make it to the antenna. That is 8.4dB of loss. Same works on the receive side, you'll lose a lot of your received signal due to coax losses.

Two options:
Greatly reduce the amount of cable between your radio and antenna.
If that is not an option,
Use a higher grade cable. LMR-400, LMR-600 or 1/2 inch Heliax for a 100 foot run. That'll give your transmitted and received signal a chance. Problem is, those are going to be more expensive and harder to install.
I just received my Midland MXT400 and was wondering if I could use the cigarette lighter plug in my car, or does it have to be wired directly?
Please advise and thanks.
jimg
 

mmckenna

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I just received my Midland MXT400 and was wondering if I could use the cigarette lighter plug in my car, or does it have to be wired directly?
Please advise and thanks.
jimg
Maybe.

A 40 watt mobile running full power is probably going to pull 12-13 amps, hopefully a little less. It'll draw less current on low power.

It will depend on what the cigarette lighter circuit in your vehicle is set up for. You'd need to look at the manual and see what it says, see if it's labeled on the outlet, or check the fuse box to see what value fuse is in there.
Some cars have 10 amp rated circuits, in which case it isn't going to run your radio at high power for very long.
Some cars have 20 amp rated circuits, in which case it'll run it just fine.

Simply swapping out a 10 amp fuse for a 20 amp fuse isn't the solution though. The wiring is only rated for so much, and increasing the fuse size above what the wiring is capable of handling is what leads to electrical fires.

The other thing to consider is that the wiring for the cigarette lighter plug is going to be bundled in with a bunch of other vehicle wiring, including things that make a lot of RF noise. Using cigarette lighter sockets to power radios is a good way to introduce a lot of unwanted noise into your radio. It's fine if you want to try it, but if people start telling you there's a lot of noise on your signal, it may be an indication that is the issue.

I really prefer to run my own radios off the battery to prevent this from happening, but I understand that's not always an option for everyone.
 

jimg

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Maybe.

A 40 watt mobile running full power is probably going to pull 12-13 amps, hopefully a little less. It'll draw less current on low power.

It will depend on what the cigarette lighter circuit in your vehicle is set up for. You'd need to look at the manual and see what it says, see if it's labeled on the outlet, or check the fuse box to see what value fuse is in there.
Some cars have 10 amp rated circuits, in which case it isn't going to run your radio at high power for very long.
Some cars have 20 amp rated circuits, in which case it'll run it just fine.

Simply swapping out a 10 amp fuse for a 20 amp fuse isn't the solution though. The wiring is only rated for so much, and increasing the fuse size above what the wiring is capable of handling is what leads to electrical fires.

The other thing to consider is that the wiring for the cigarette lighter plug is going to be bundled in with a bunch of other vehicle wiring, including things that make a lot of RF noise. Using cigarette lighter sockets to power radios is a good way to introduce a lot of unwanted noise into your radio. It's fine if you want to try it, but if people start telling you there's a lot of noise on your signal, it may be an indication that is the issue.

I really prefer to run my own radios off the battery to prevent this from happening, but I understand that's not always an option for everyone.
Thanks very much for your input!
jimg
 

russbrill

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It'll give you a nice little boost. LMR-400 or LMR-600 would be a good manageable option.

Sounds like you have a good setup. I used GMRS with family for a long time, it's an often overlooked radio service.
GMRS is overshadowed by FRS.. It seems you can buy a FRS radio at just about any hardware/electronics store in the country... Actually, I'd love to see the FCC kill FRS and introduce a second tier license free GMRS service... Something like GMRS-II, up to 10 watts on a mobile or base and up to 5 watts on a handheld, but no repeater capability... Just a thought...
 

N4KVE

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I just received my Midland MXT400 and was wondering if I could use the cigarette lighter plug in my car, or does it have to be wired directly?
Please advise and thanks.
jimg
If you travel a lot, & are in different rental cars every day, than the liter socket will do. If this is for your car, then make every effort to connect the radio directly to the car battery. So many reasons why, I just don’t have the time to list them all.
 

NAVSEABE

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Well folks just trashed the tyt hand-held's. Not part 95 cert.
Looking to set up a home GMRS base, mobile for truck as well as, the best quality GMRS hand-held's -part 5 cert. on the market. Money not a object.
Looked at the FCC website: FCC OET Authorization Search to identify units which are part 95 cert. It lists 1108 FCID'S for GMRS grants but doesn't identify products.

Suggestions on part 95 cert. GMRS for home base, truck and hand-held's is much appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
 

alcahuete

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Well folks just trashed the tyt hand-held's. Not part 95 cert.
Looking to set up a home GMRS base, mobile for truck as well as, the best quality GMRS hand-held's -part 5 cert. on the market. Money not a object.
Looked at the FCC website: FCC OET Authorization Search to identify units which are part 95 cert. It lists 1108 FCID'S for GMRS grants but doesn't identify products.

Suggestions on part 95 cert. GMRS for home base, truck and hand-held's is much appreciated.
Thank you in advance.

A lot of Kenwood radios are dual certified as Part 95 and Part 90. I haven't really looked into the brand new ones, as I am a Moto guy myself, but the NX-300 and NX-800 are both good radios with Part 95 certs.

Yes, to be completely legal, you have to use a Part 95 certified radio, but you will find that a lot of people also use Part 90 radios for GMRS. Is it 100% legal? No. But the Part 90 radios easily meet (or exceed) the Part 95 emissions requirements, etc. I may or may not operate Part 90 equipment on GMRS, but in an otherwise completely legal fashion. I observe the power requirements, don't use digital, etc. You will open yourself up to a lot of brand new radios if you are also willing to look at Part 90.
 

mmckenna

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The NX-300 and NX-800 are good radios, however you'll pay more for the NXDN digital that you cannot use on GMRS.

The TK-3180 portable and TK-8180 mobile would be a good choice. Analog only, 512 channels, 14 character channel name/display.
They were only recently discontinued by Kenwood, but are still out there new, and there's a lot of used ones on the market.

KPG-89 software is easy to learn and use.

Good solid radios for a reasonable price. I'm using a TK-3180 portable as my "shop" UHF radio. Uses the same batteries/accessories as our NX series radios.
 

NAVSEABE

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A lot of Kenwood radios are dual certified as Part 95 and Part 90. I haven't really looked into the brand new ones, as I am a Moto guy myself, but the NX-300 and NX-800 are both good radios with Part 95 certs.

Yes, to be completely legal, you have to use a Part 95 certified radio, but you will find that a lot of people also use Part 90 radios for GMRS. Is it 100% legal? No. But the Part 90 radios easily meet (or exceed) the Part 95 emissions requirements, etc. I may or may not operate Part 90 equipment on GMRS, but in an otherwise completely legal fashion. I observe the power requirements, don't use digital, etc. You will open yourself up to a lot of brand new radios if you are also willing to look at Part 90.
Thanks for the info.
Will check out them Kenwood's NX-300 and NX-800.
 

NAVSEABE

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The NX-300 and NX-800 are good radios, however you'll pay more for the NXDN digital that you cannot use on GMRS.

The TK-3180 portable and TK-8180 mobile would be a good choice. Analog only, 512 channels, 14 character channel name/display.
They were only recently discontinued by Kenwood, but are still out there new, and there's a lot of used ones on the market.

KPG-89 software is easy to learn and use.

Good solid radios for a reasonable price. I'm using a TK-3180 portable as my "shop" UHF radio. Uses the same batteries/accessories as our NX series radios.
Thanks,
I'll check out the Kenwood TK-3180 portable and TK-8180
 

O-B-1

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Thanks for the replies. In regards to the antenna, what about these two: FG4607 Antenex Laird or the Comet CA-712EFC . Out of these two: is either one better than the other. My personal preference, I prefer the Laird style. Not sure if the Laird one is a Chinese knock off or not. I take it the higher the gain the better?
My Comet CA-712EFC performs well with my Midland MXT400. I am running a 40ft LMR-400 cable with type-N connectors to the lightning arrestor, then a 10ft LMR-400 with type-N male connector on one end and a PL-259 on the radio end that goes into the house. I connected to a repeater 25.6 miles away. I am at 233ft elevation, hopped over an 1100 ft mountain and an 880 ft hill to teh repeater which is at 533ft elevation behind the two mountains. They couldn't hear me at times. But my antenna was on a 10ft mast piece and isn't at the 50 ft it will end up at. I am also going to build a N6NB Quagi antenna (cut to the repeater input freg) for the repeater access. I also have been gathering materials for a home built collinear coaxial WA6SVT antenna build.

I just bought a Wouxon KG-805G handheld and received it yesterday.

Hopefully Santa will bring me a Deep Recon G-1 so I can mobilize my MXT400....
 
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