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Hi everyone! I was curious as to about "how many" GMRS users out there in ORP-land? 

 

I know a few folks like @lofreqjeff and @curbjumper are running some GMRS radios. I'm a little curious as to what model everyone is running and any positive/negative feedback they might have with their unit.

 

Bottom line - I'm thinking about buying one. 😃

 

With Jeep Jamboree USA ditching CB and moving entirely to GMRS, I'm a little curious if there will be a shift in the tide of usage out there. JJUSA is being shrewdly sponsored by Midland, and their selection of GMRS "MicroMobile" units seem pretty nice

 

The MXT275 is a nice compact design, and at 15 watts can hit up to 50 miles without obstruction.

The MXT400 weighs in at 40 watts and jumps up the max range to 65 miles without obstruction.

Edited by dzJeepChic
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I have an in-dash MTX115. 
Its 15 watts and has been great on and off the trails. 
 

i really like that it’s compatible with FRS radios. I have had 4 handheld Midland FRS radios for a few years so now having both makes it very convenient for the times we go wheelin with people who don’t have any comms 

Edited by lofreqjeff
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i've started listing a GMRS channel along with a CB channel and a ham simplex frequency on all Offroad Passport runs.

 

IMO, GMRS will completely take over for CB soon everywhere. i would love to see everyone in the club get one, or at least have a cheap Baofeng that can legally listen to the GMRS channels (see more about that below).

 

 

which Midland?

 

the Midland radios seems to be high quality, and the MXT275 is going to be your best bang-for-buck. the 15 watts will be sufficient for nearly any trail use - especially with an external antenna (even the included little mag-mount). i also really like the easy hidden mounting since all the controls are in the handset.

 

the 40 watt unit is surely nice, but wattage can be misleading - as you noted, the big jump in power only nets you a little more transmitting range. and if most other people are only running 15 watts or even 5 watts in a handheld unit, then what good is it really to be able to reach them a little further away if they can't reach you back?

 

 

Baofeng and others...

 

note that if you have a Baofeng radio, you can tune to GMRS channels - you just need to either know the corresponding frequency for each channel or pre-program the radio with the channels (video below). some Kenwood ham radios can be hardware-modified to do GMRS frequencies, and many Yaeso can as well with just software.

 

note that receiving GMRS on any radio is perfectly legal but transmitting with anything that wasn't specifically sold as a FCC licensed GMRS radio is technically not, or at least a gray area, and that's all i'm going to say about it.

 

Midland-Frequency-Channel-Chart.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Just installed a Midland 275, great unit compact and clear

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Stumbled across this guy's channel while browsing another thread on the JLWranglerForums. He's very focused on ham radio and has some EXTENSIVE content on the topic. 

 

This video, however, is more related to the popular handheld Baofengs and the topic of using them in other frequency bands. I found it illuminating:

 

 

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14 hours ago, theksmith said:

the Midland radios seems to be high quality, and the MXT275 is going to be your best bang-for-buck. the 15 watts will be sufficient for nearly any trail use - especially with an external antenna (even the included little mag-mount). i also really like the easy hidden mounting since all the controls are in the handset.

 

the 40 watt unit is surely nice, but wattage can be misleading - as you noted, the big jump in power only nets you a little more transmitting range. and if most other people are only running 15 watts or even 5 watts in a handheld unit, then what good is it really to be able to reach them a little further away if they can't reach you back?

 

 

I think this is the direction I'm going to roll. The MXT275 is a more complete kit as well, with the included antenna and mag mount, and def is a better "bang for your buck" (the MXT400, in addition to being $100 more, is really just the radio and mic).

 

Originally, I was a little worried about the replacement cost for the mic, since it houses all of the controls for the radio, but at $49 its not too hateful.

 

However, I think I might upgrade to their 6db antenna to maximize the range to the stated "up to" 40 miles unobstructed. It seems the antenna is ships with isn't necessarily the one that provides the best coverage, but is a compromise between coverage / compact size / and price.

 

  • There's little intel on the factory antenna (MXTA13) so I'll have to scrounge around.
  • Their MXTA25 is a tiny 3.5" 3db beast that might appeal to some.
  • The 6db MXTA26 is a 32" whip, which is slightly longer than the CB Firestik I currently run.

 

Bonus - the antennas are "pre-tuned" so no need to struggle with an SWR meter for 3 years just to get it to an acceptable level (like I did with my CB).

Edited by 4x4tographer
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God bless Amazon. I ordered the MXT275 just now (9:30am) and it will be delivered by 8pm tonight! 😅

Edited by 4x4tographer
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3 hours ago, 4x4tographer said:

God bless Amazon. I ordered the MXT275 just now (9:30am) and it will be delivered by 8pm tonight! 😅

Glad to see we're not the only ones going radio mad!

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Our Baofeng will run the GMRS channels.  I still need to get around to paying for a license.  

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1 minute ago, Bradywgn71 said:

Our Baofeng will run the GMRS channels.  I still need to get around to paying for a license.  

 

Just purchased mine. Fairly easy process - just playing the waiting game on the gubmint to approve it. :)

 

Here's a great link that walked me through the process.

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