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MURS Radio Options

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RHoy185

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Me and some buddies are looking into setting up a communication link between our residences (between 2-5 miles), the recent NJ "earthquake" caused a cell phone outage and got us thinking of better means to communicate during disasters. I have been looking at the Motorola RDM2020 MURS series radio, durability and simplicity being major factors in the selection. Could I set channel 1 as a general open frequency and set a PL Code on channel 2 for use on our radios only? Any other ideas or information would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
 

James_Bond_007

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that is probably the best you are going to do for a legal murs radio. or find an old maxtrac for 2 watts and a decent coax and gain base antenna.

i would recommend getting a better antenna for that rdx radio though.

tessco has some nice aftermarket antenna's for motorola portable radios
 

RHoy185

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Actually just measured the distances between us on Google Earth, farthest location is 2.50 miles away, closest is only .70 miles. I have a pair of Uniden 2-way (GMRS/FRS) radios, if they reach can I assume that the Motorola will too?
 

James_Bond_007

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depends. two totally different bands. they are affected in different way. all things being equal yes they should, but the local conditions and congestion will affect the two very differently.

i would borrow a pair of murs radios if you can and do a test between the two locations and see if they work before plunking money down.
 

James_Bond_007

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another option is the radioshack 19-1210 mobiles they are often plentiful and cheap on the used market. use some good coax and a 5/8 wave ground plane and youll get out good.
 

cifn2

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Something else to consider is that many of these radios the RS-1210 and other old models, will not be narrowband compliant after December 31, 2011.

The 154.xxx channels have been widely used by many national chains, might want to monitor the channels and what PL's are being used to determine the best channels to use for less traffic and which PL is least likely to be used.
 
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James_Bond_007

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although not totally legal i see no real reason you cant use a newer commercial motorola HT just so long as it can be turned down to 2 watts and work on the specified frequencies using the correct bandwidth. a newer HT has a better chance of being narrowband capable opening up the 3 151.xxx channels to your use. newer ht's will have no problem meeting the FCC emissions standards for MURS. just like i said not totally legal if they are built after 2002 (not sure of exact date) i think because radios made after that date require murs type acceptance, but from the looks of that motorola RDX it looks pretty darn good if it has murs type acceptance and the price is right i would jump on a pair. old Narrowband Astro Sabers are another consideration. sabers can go down to 2 watts and are very broadband meaning if you have a ham license you can cover 2 meters and murs (19-1210's will not do 2 meters)
 

k8krh

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The antenna is what counts for MURS, I myself would want a good base stn, I would use a 4 chnl base radio<of course you have to add a pwr supply>, I got my radio from RED DOG RADIOS, and they wrk very well around our county, using a directional antenna<2 mtr beam>, at 2.5 miles a handheld would be a shakey operation.

DOCTOR/795
 

James_Bond_007

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been looking at the legal murs options and it seems the RDX is the best out of all the radios. it appears to be built to true motorola quality and not some cheap bubble pack radio.

I would look for reviews of the RDX but i bet it will rate on top from the looks of it. i found some very detailed pics of one on ebay. if it has a battery eliminator option like the higher end moto stuff it would really be a great buy. a small psu, speaker/mic, and external antenna you will have a fine base that can go on battery if the power goes.
 

62Truck

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Wouldn't the Sabers be grandfathered in? you can set the murs channels to 2 watts and the sabers have no way to change the power settings on a channel unless done through the software, and can find sabers pretty cheap now days..I picked up a Saber III that is in a saber II case for 40 bucks just a few weeks ago. and mine covers from 144-160 (was 146-160 amazing what a little hex editing will do)
 

James_Bond_007

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Wouldn't the Sabers be grandfathered in? you can set the murs channels to 2 watts and the sabers have no way to change the power settings on a channel unless done through the software, and can find sabers pretty cheap now days..I picked up a Saber III that is in a saber II case for 40 bucks just a few weeks ago. and mine covers from 144-160 (was 146-160 amazing what a little hex editing will do)
sabers and even astro sabers are grandfathered. p25 (IMBE) is also legal on murs. people just dont like em because of size compared to bubblepacks
 

62Truck

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sabers and even astro sabers are grandfathered. p25 (IMBE) is also legal on murs. people just dont like em because of size compared to bubblepacks
I love the sabers they might be a little big but they are very easy to fix and they are nice and slim, I have two hicap batteries and they last forever. They work well for ham use, when I volunteer public service events I usually carry that or my VX-800 and my PCS.
 

TeRayCodA

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Antenna is the key! I built a 2 element exposed dipole array(2 half wave dipoles offset)phasing harness,ect, we talk to fellow cb'rs all over town.I have also built a "driven element dipole" for friends out of scavenged old tv antennas.They work great.

I have slowly started to convert many of my cb friends over to MURS.They can't believe how quiet it is up there.

I was able to get my VSWR on 151.820mHz down to 1.2:1 ! Just use some good coax,RG8U,if that's all you can get.I used to use a length of LDF 1/2" hardline heliax,but way overkill for a 30ft tower.
Don't use RG58,only for a short pig-tail.
A good SWR meter for VHF is a must for building antennas!(even better is a MFJ antenna/SWR analyzer) Pricey!!! hope to get one some day!
I can get some pics of my homemade dipole array,that is,if anyone is interested in seeing it?
MURS is cool!
 

W2NJS

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The old standard Sabers will not do narrowband, which is required for the bottom three MURS channels. This has nothing to do with the 2013 NB requirements because the three channels have always required narrowband. The top two channels are wideband and are staying that way.
 
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62Truck

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The old standard Sabers will not do narrowband, which is required for the bottom three MURS channels. This has nothing to do with the 2013 NB requirements because the three channels have always required narrowband. The top two channels are wideband and are staying that way.
My post about the sabers was in regards to Murs channels 4 and 5, I should of made that clear. What about the HT1000 and Visar radios? I think with the Visar those don't have a power hi/lo programmable button feature and those will do narrowband on the first 3 channels. I think a HT1000 or any jedi series radio would work just as long as you don't program a button or switch for hi/lo power.
 

James_Bond_007

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that is correct any pre 2002 radio can be setup on murs provided it can be set for two watts max. it can have a hi low switch so long as hi does not exceed two watts. wide band radios can be used on the top two channels and it must not be capable of being user programmed via front panel like a ham rig. if it is capable of narrow band then the radio can be used on the bottom three along with the top two. the top two can be used in narrow or wide. there is no mandate specifying wide only.
 
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