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25w does pretty good for me. I have a 1/4 wave magnet mount antenna on the buggy and I never have any issues reaching the wheeling group.

I'd say it's kinda 'average' for programming using the buttons. I have done it a time or two, but don't do it enough to remain proficient at it. So if I'm going to put a bunch of repeaters in it I'll just hook it up to my laptop and dump them in that way.
 

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Thanks, I had a Gear Keeper remote holder in my jeep, until it kept whipping my boy, he took the remote off :sonicjay:

I can get the GMRS license it looks like test free, This is there I get confused because I always associate repeaters with HAM.

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To talk thru a repeater your radio is 'listening' on the frequency you see on the display, but it transmits some distance away. This distance is the offset.
The repeater is listening on that offset frequency, and re-transmitting your signal back out on the main frequency. So everyone else is hearing that stronger re-transmitted signal.

There's no reason that a company couldn't pick a nice high place and set up a repeater to run in their local area. I'm thinking of mining, logging, malls & hospitals (for their rent-a-cops). So your radio has provisions for talking thru repeaters. But all those repeaters are going to be privately owned, and pretty hard to get the info on. And there aren't going to be very many of them out there.
If you switch over to amateur radio land all those repeaters are also privately owned, but ham guys are a bunch of super friendly geeks who want you to use their stuff, so they publish all the info on their repeaters.
Go to RepeaterBook and you can look up repeaters based on what band you want, what location, what features, etc.
https://www.repeaterbook.com/

What it comes down to is what all your buddies that you're trying to talk to have. If they're all running GMRS then by all means keep that radio you ordered. If they're actually running 2-meter radios then you'll want to return that Midland and get a legit ham radio, and a license.
 

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"HCT"
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All great points by @jaymcjay.

As he stated, I am down to help administrator a test during this beer flu BS:finger:

CB's suck on so many levels for mobile communications. VHF FM for the win.

Have two TYT-8600's, love them. One in the rig and one on the boat. Use the one on the boat for both marine VHF and HAM VHF frequencies. Granted its not "suppose" to but it does and with a max of 25 watts on 2 meter it technically is ok for marine VHF, but its not type appropriate equipment:blah:

The TYT I think is a great radio. I only program it with a computer but i have never tired to do it on the radio itself. My Bofang I cannot for the life of me figure out how to program that without a computer.

As far as channel changes in memory is very easy and quick. Can all be done via the mic. Also most of the time I run at 10 watts. Only bump the power up for long range simplex for to hit a far out repeater. 25 watts max power on this radio has never been a hindrance. I do have several 50 watt mobile radios, but the TYT is best for my wheelin rig.

W8HCT
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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To talk thru a repeater your radio is 'listening' on the frequency you see on the display, but it transmits some distance away. This distance is the offset.
The repeater is listening on that offset frequency, and re-transmitting your signal back out on the main frequency. So everyone else is hearing that stronger re-transmitted signal.

There's no reason that a company couldn't pick a nice high place and set up a repeater to run in their local area. I'm thinking of mining, logging, malls & hospitals (for their rent-a-cops). So your radio has provisions for talking thru repeaters. But all those repeaters are going to be privately owned, and pretty hard to get the info on. And there aren't going to be very many of them out there.
If you switch over to amateur radio land all those repeaters are also privately owned, but ham guys are a bunch of super friendly geeks who want you to use their stuff, so they publish all the info on their repeaters.
Go to RepeaterBook and you can look up repeaters based on what band you want, what location, what features, etc.
https://www.repeaterbook.com/

What it comes down to is what all your buddies that you're trying to talk to have. If they're all running GMRS then by all means keep that radio you ordered. If they're actually running 2-meter radios then you'll want to return that Midland and get a legit ham radio, and a license.
All great points by @jaymcjay.

As he stated, I am down to help administrator a test during this beer flu BS:finger:

CB's suck on so many levels for mobile communications. VHF FM for the win.

Have two TYT-8600's, love them. One in the rig and one on the boat. Use the one on the boat for both marine VHF and HAM VHF frequencies. Granted its not "suppose" to but it does and with a max of 25 watts on 2 meter it technically is ok for marine VHF, but its not type appropriate equipment:blah:

The TYT I think is a great radio. I only program it with a computer but i have never tired to do it on the radio itself. My Bofang I cannot for the life of me figure out how to program that without a computer.

As far as channel changes in memory is very easy and quick. Can all be done via the mic. Also most of the time I run at 10 watts. Only bump the power up for long range simplex for to hit a far out repeater. 25 watts max power on this radio has never been a hindrance. I do have several 50 watt mobile radios, but the TYT is best for my wheelin rig.

W8HCT
I have the Icom V8000 in my Jeep. Although it is rated at 75 watts, it actually tested close to 90. :teehee: I've talked an easy 25 miles in Canada with it. :thumb: But the thing has so many friggin buttons on it, I always forget how to do a quick program. Now I keep a cheat sheet in the Jeep. I have found that I need to program because I have hooked up with people on the trail and they don't have programmability without a computer. So I end up being the one to change frequencies.
https://www.eham.net/reviews/view-product?id=2171

I have 2 hand helds, one an old school that runs off of AA batteries so half the time it's dead. :( The other is a Rugged Radio that I bought at KOH one year and they preprogrammed all the race channels into it. I bought the software and cable to program it at home but for whatever reason, it doesn't work anymore. So the handheld is only good for the channels I currently have on it. However, it's a nice radio since it's actually a marine grade and waterproof.

RE the TYT, as long as I can change a frequency while on the trail, I'm very interested. I've looked at the Baofangs and although cheap, for some reason I'm not a big fan.

I hate the fact that there are so many different type of radio systems out there now. When I bought my HAM, it was pretty much CB or HAM so we all went to HAMs. Now, with all the other options, just like what Jacob did, he bought a radio that can't communicate with me. Maybe that's a good thing. :sonicjay::sonicjay::sonicjay:

KD8EGK
 

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certainly entering a simplex frequency on that TYT is real easy. You pretty much just type it in using the number pad on the mic. Seems like adding a repeater with offset is only one or two more button pushes. If you then want to put that repeater frequency in memory with a name you're pushing buttons left and right and you might as well get out the laptop and do it that way.
I have a few of those TYT's, and a few Yeasu, and a handful of Boo-Fangz. I just don't reprogram them enough to really remember how to do it so a cheat sheet is pretty helpful.

On the topic of the Boo-Fangz. They're pretty handy, particularly with respect to their cost. They're great for spotting someone or winching and junk like that. And they're so cheap that if you drop it under someone's tire and they smash it you're not really all the upset over the loss.

WI1S
 

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Resident HVAC/R Jambi
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I used https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com to study for my Tech test. It was $30, but it gave me a lot of knowledge and was perfect in studying and prepping for my exam. I actually also too the General and did fairly well but did not pass. If I paid another $30 I could move forward and study for the general test.

There has been some changes in the last few years when it comes to what is on these tests. So I recommend getting newer material if studying by yourself.

And I will say, even after passing the Tech test, there is a lot to know. Especially when it come to repeaters and phone.

And don't mix up HAM license with a GMRS license. They are different. I tested for HAM Tech for free with the Livingston Country Amateur Radio Club.
 

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"HCT"
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For quick frequency changes for simplex, just go to VFO instead of memory channels. No need to program a memory channel for that for the reasons stated for running into other people running another freq. Once on VFO just dial in the frequency you want to be one. If you want to switch back to one of your programmed channels switch back to memory and whatever channel you want. All VHF radios will have memory and VFO.

Also the TYT is dual watch. Meaning you can have two different channels that you monitor and can switch easily and quickly between the two to transmit. I usually have one as our simplex channel we run, 146.58 MHz, and whatever repeater we have chosen to use in the area we are wheelin. You can also have one channel on VFO and one memory channels or any combination.
 

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Resident HVAC/R Jambi
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When it comes to the new GMRS stuff, Midland seems to have the market and have additional channels that makes them the leader right now.

So for anybody leaning the gmrs route, I'd stick with Midland. The MXT275 is a bad ass little unit.
 

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"HCT"
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One more thing to note about the TYT, Bo-Fang and other china radios.

They are unlocked from the factory. Meaning they transmit on a boat load of frequencies they are not suppose to. Meaning that if you have one of these radios, you can communicate on GMRS and FRS freq, as well as other frequencies YOU SHOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO.

As a licensed VE, you should never do this. As a person that may do this with some of his equipment, if you just abide by the power limits set for the FRS and GMRS frequencies with none type appropriate equipment, neither the FCC or anyone else will know the difference. That is unless you mention on on the air what you are doing, or they see your equipment and you still say what you are doing.

Also the FCC is cracking down on radios from China that are like this. I think you may be able to still get them in the unlocked state. But that time is coming to an end.

Also if you know what you are doing, most HAM radios can be cracked open and one connection either broke or connected on one of the boards to do the same thing.

I would still advocate getting a HAM license to anyone. But if you so choose and have the illegal equipment per the FCC stated above, you can also operate on FRS and GMRS.
 

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81 inches of fun
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Discussion Starter #31
I have the Icom V8000 in my Jeep. Although it is rated at 75 watts, it actually tested close to 90. :teehee: I've talked an easy 25 miles in Canada with it. :thumb: But the thing has so many friggin buttons on it, I always forget how to do a quick program. Now I keep a cheat sheet in the Jeep. I have found that I need to program because I have hooked up with people on the trail and they don't have programmability without a computer. So I end up being the one to change frequencies.
https://www.eham.net/reviews/view-product?id=2171

I have 2 hand helds, one an old school that runs off of AA batteries so half the time it's dead. :( The other is a Rugged Radio that I bought at KOH one year and they preprogrammed all the race channels into it. I bought the software and cable to program it at home but for whatever reason, it doesn't work anymore. So the handheld is only good for the channels I currently have on it. However, it's a nice radio since it's actually a marine grade and waterproof.

RE the TYT, as long as I can change a frequency while on the trail, I'm very interested. I've looked at the Baofangs and although cheap, for some reason I'm not a big fan.

I hate the fact that there are so many different type of radio systems out there now. When I bought my HAM, it was pretty much CB or HAM so we all went to HAMs. Now, with all the other options, just like what Jacob did, he bought a radio that can't communicate with me. Maybe that's a good thing. :sonicjay::sonicjay::sonicjay:

KD8EGK
:sonicjay: I thought what I bought was basically a better Baufeng, and we did run GMRS channels at Snofari this year :sonicjay: I'll still have to do my HAM and get a spare radio now.
 

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I'm not old, honest...
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:sonicjay: I thought what I bought was basically a better Baufeng, and we did run GMRS channels at Snofari this year :sonicjay: I'll still have to do my HAM and get a spare radio now.
"SOME" ran GMRS at Sofari. Some ran CB and others ran HAM. I know that trail leaders like Ryan, Mike, Paul, Doug, Dale and I all had HAM radios. (it's how we talk about you. :teehee: :poke:)

Re running some cracked channels, most radios actually show in the owner's manual which diode (or whatever) to clip. Many of the race teams at KOH are running the upper channels. Also note that you can listen to them, you just can't transmit on them.
 

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81 inches of fun
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Discussion Starter #33
"SOME" ran GMRS at Sofari. Some ran CB and others ran HAM. I know that trail leaders like Ryan, Mike, Paul, Doug, Dale and I all had HAM radios. (it's how we talk about you. :teehee: :poke:)

Re running some cracked channels, most radios actually show in the owner's manual which diode (or whatever) to clip. Many of the race teams at KOH are running the upper channels. Also note that you can listen to them, you just can't transmit on them.
I should have said 'our group' lol. Mike and Dan also make fun of me on the HAM channels I am sure :teehee: I'm an easy target.
 

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Thanks, I had a Gear Keeper remote holder in my jeep, until it kept whipping my boy, he took the remote off :sonicjay:

I can get the GMRS license it looks like test free, This is there I get confused because I always associate repeaters with HAM.

Full 15W Radio + External Magnetic Mount Antenna for extended range

8 repeater channels for increased communication range

15 high power GMRS channels

142 privacy codes

NOAA Weather Radio

Silent Operation
There are GMRS repeaters you can use. I dont think GMRS repeaters are super popular though.
With GMRS you just buy your license (80 bucks iirc?) and it is good for 5 or 10 years. The GMRS license also covers immediate family, they can use your callsign.
GMRS is UHF band, not VHF like someone mentioned earlier.

The tech test for amateur radio is really easy if you have a decent understanding of electronics. I took a bunch of practice tests the week before and spent 10 mins skimming a study guide the morning of the test, passed no problem.
The general was a little harder. I spent about 3 weeks frying my brain with practice tests and barely passed the real test. I have horrible ADHD too though so sitting down to "study" doesnt really work for me, I have to just try to memorize the questions then learn as I go after.

On the topic of cheap amateur radios, I have an Anytone AT588UV and it works ok.

You could try www.reddit.com/r/amateurradio or /r/hamradio or /r/GMRS for more information too.
 
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