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Powerwerx GU-16 GMRS - Questions

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mitch5252

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I just purchased a pair of Powerwerx GU-16 GMRS radios and have several questions (yes, I have a license! :). An advanced ham license, too, although it's been a very long time since I used it!)

A little background - I went camping in Baja this winter (just got back) with 3 other women. We each had our own rigs and used little bubble pack walkie talkies to communicate. Pretty worthless, in my opinion. I was determined to have something with at least a bit farther range for my next adventure. Hence - the GU-16 GMRS.

1) Sitting here in my kitchen, I turned my little Cobra walkie talkie to channel 1 (or 2 or whatever) and set the new GU-16 on the same channel. No communication between the two, with the GU-16 on either hi or low power. I was hoping to be able to still communicate with other traveling friends that only have the bubble pack walkie-talkies.

2) What is the "monitor" key for? (besides turning squelch on or off)

3) What is the "aux" key for?

4) If I get the Powerwerx programming cable, I could then program my own PL tones, etc.?

5) I got (2) mag mount antennas. That's a pretty thick cord to run through the window...this may be a dumb question, but is there any way to use the "hole" from the truck's radio antenna (2013 Nissan Frontier)?

Thanks for any guidance you have to offer!!

Regards,
Michelle
 

nd5y

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2) What is the "monitor" key for? (besides turning squelch on or off)
It should also disable the receiver tone decoder.

3) What is the "aux" key for?
It is probably a programmable function key, but the manual doesn't specify what it is for.

4) If I get the Powerwerx programming cable, I could then program my own PL tones, etc.?
According to the manual on their web site, yes.
Powerwerx GU-16 GMRS Handheld Radio [GU-16 GMRS] - $99.99
 

robertmac

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An "advance ham license". As they or I say, RTFM. This should be explained in there. Granted, the CCR manuals leave a lot to be desired but usually does have some explanation. Not sure why it wouldn't explain what the "aux" key is for, but then I haven't RTFM.
 

mitch5252

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An "advance ham license". As they or I say, RTFM. This should be explained in there. Granted, the CCR manuals leave a lot to be desired but usually does have some explanation. Not sure why it wouldn't explain what the "aux" key is for, but then I haven't RTFM.
Although it took me all of 90 seconds to RTFM, both pages, the information was not in there. But thanks for your helpful reply.
 

SteveC0625

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Mitch, did the Powerwerx radio come come with instructions on how to change the privacy code (or PL code?)

The bubble pack radios all come with the same radio frequency in the same channel position. For example FRS Channel 1 is 462.5625 MHz transmit and receive. It generally doesn't matter which manufacturer, the numbering and sequence should be the same. However, there are up to 50 different PL's or privacy codes (Wouxon calls them interference code, but that are all the same thing.) From looking at the web page referenced above, I see that the radio frequency sequencing is the same, but all of them are set up for PL of 141.3 except for channels 7 & 8 which are set at 88.5. Critical Point: For you to talk to any of your friends' bubble pack radios, you have to be on the same frequency and using the same PL (privacy or interference code) code.

Since your friends' bubble packs should have the ability to change that code, you'll have to dig out one of the manuals for their radios and find out which code their radios should be set to to match your 141.3. Here is a quick list of possibilities:
Motorola Talk About = code 22
Radio Shack 106 = code 23
Cobra 250/300 = code 22
Midland 75-510 = code 22
Cherokee 465 = code 23

According to the "manual", holding the monitor button for 2 seconds disables the interference coding. Similarly, the other radios should have a similar feature. If you disable all the codes, then you should be able to talk to each, presuming that you all select the same frequency.
 

mitch5252

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The "manual" is a single sheet of paper, 1/4 of which is a drawing of the radio and 1/4 of which is the warranty. The remainder is "instruction". Ha-ha! :)

The el cheapo walkie talkie I'm trying to work with is just that - REALLY CHEAP. I got sick of the more expensive bubble packs crapping out after very little time or use, and thought cheap can fail just as nicely as more expensive. But after seeing their range on this last trip - UGH.

A few minutes ago, I got out the Cobra manual and there is nothing to indicate a squelch/privacy tone.

The Powerwerx radios come with 16 pre-programmed channels. I will have to buy the programming cable in order to change freqs and codes. I'm not sure it's worth it. And there are no GMRS repeaters in my area.

You mentioned that Channel 1 on my el cheapos is 462.5625. Channel 1 on the GU-16 GMRS is 462.550. I guess it's the channel numbers that are confusing me - not the freqs.

Thanks for a helpful answer. The RTFM advice was not helpful any way you looked at it...
 

SteveC0625

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The "manual" is a single sheet of paper, 1/4 of which is a drawing of the radio and 1/4 of which is the warranty. The remainder is "instruction". Ha-ha! :)

The el cheapo walkie talkie I'm trying to work with is just that - REALLY CHEAP. I got sick of the more expensive bubble packs crapping out after very little time or use, and thought cheap can fail just as nicely as more expensive. But after seeing their range on this last trip - UGH.

A few minutes ago, I got out the Cobra manual and there is nothing to indicate a squelch/privacy tone.

The Powerwerx radios come with 16 pre-programmed channels. I will have to buy the programming cable in order to change freqs and codes. I'm not sure it's worth it. And there are no GMRS repeaters in my area.

You mentioned that Channel 1 on my el cheapos is 462.5625. Channel 1 on the GU-16 GMRS is 462.550. I guess it's the channel numbers that are confusing me - not the freqs.

Thanks for a helpful answer. The RTFM advice was not helpful any way you looked at it...
Channels 1 through 8 on your Powerwerx are equal to channels 15 to 22 on the bubble packs. For now, channels 9 to 16 on your radio should be ignored. (I should have spotted this sooner, but...)

I confess that I am not familiar with the newer GMRS capable bubble pack radios so I am not sure how they handle simple versus repeater. Again, maybe some manual comparisons will help. FWIW, you need everything to be in simplex mode to talk directly to each other. Simplex means transmit and receive on the same frequency.

Since bubble pack privacy codes can be changed easily, it should be very straightforward to get the two talking to each other.
 

mitch5252

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Well, dang - Channel 1 on my Powerwerx works on Channel 15 on the Cobra!

Thanks for clearing up the mud somewhat for me! Now I'll get the programming cable and get rid of the PL tones when necessary.

Now, to try and find out what the AUX button is for... :)
 

SteveC0625

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Well, dang - Channel 1 on my Powerwerx works on Channel 15 on the Cobra!

Thanks for clearing up the mud somewhat for me! Now I'll get the programming cable and get rid of the PL tones when necessary.

Now, to try and find out what the AUX button is for... :)
When you get the programming cable and can look into the program that is in the radio, you should be able to determine how the AUX button is currently assigned. There should also be some way of determining the possible functions that it could do, probably a drop down or some kind of coding.

It would be helpful if you could locate a programming guide for that radio. It would give you a lot of info.
 

mitch5252

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I downloaded the programming software two days ago. Greek to me. I'll figure it out, but probably not before I screw up a lot of stuff... :) It's all fixable, right?
 

mitch5252

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Pic of Software Screen

Attached is a pic of one of the pages of the programming software. This is not covered in the link I posted above...
 

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k6cpo

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Something that no one has mentioned is the use of these radios in Mexico. While the use of FRS radios in Mexico is legal (to a point) GMRS use is not. Rather than go into all the details, I'll just post a link to what I found. My advices is be wary and well advised...

I realize this is old information, but it's the best I could find. Mexico's Family Radio Service (FRS) equivalent

If someone has better links, go for it...
 
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