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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/30/2022 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    An external antenna (to the vehicle) fixes both the "around the corners" and distance issues. That's why I had a whole write-up on my El Camino run on strongly encouraging an external antenna. Also with handheld GMRS, like handheld HAM, as the battery fades (voltage drops), range decreases. Some cheaper GMRS and HAM handheld radios also are not known for transmitting at the true power they advertise (you get what you pay for?).
  2. 2 points
    (Caveat, I have license for both HAM and GMRS but prefer HAM. This is answering to the "reasoning" in your statement) The off-road infatuation with GMRS can best be describe as "cheap and easy", but really revolves around three things: GMRS equipment can be obtained cheaply and is easy to use for those who do not understand radio technicalities. Mainly because GMRS is channelized, you don't need an SWR meter (for mobiles) and there is no common requirement or etiquette on using call signs. Just plug it in, key up, and blast the airwaves with your melodic vocals. Unlike CB, GMRS handhelds work generally well from within a vehicle. You don't even need to go to the effort to install a mobile (power, antenna, mounting, etc...) although you should. For those who care on some level about legalities (most GMRS users likely do not), GMRS licenses cost $35, covers your entire family in a single license, and most importantly does not require a test. Also many of the big run orgs like Jeep Jamboree are requiring GMRS in place of CB (or HAM). Midland's sponsorship of such events may have a lot to do with that. At UHF frequencies of 462 and 467 MHz, GMRS is just above the HAM UHF/70cm/440 band (420-450 MHz) and also using FM transmission has near identical transmission and reception characteristics as HAM 70cm. GMRS can legally transmit with up to 50 watts on select channels which is equivalent power to the common "big" UHF HAM mobiles (like my 50w Yaesu FTM-400) and some of the more expensive GMRS mobiles come full 50w enabled. Although by far and large in UHF with a good antenna, 5 watts gets you solid vocals to the horizon (assuming no physical interference). I can reach out and touch the White Tanks UHF (HAM and GMRS) repeaters from North Phoenix and Cave Creek with a handheld (standing outside or using an external antenna). GMRS has repeaters too although not anywhere as many as HAM and very, very few GMRS users (as a percentage) participate on the clubs to get the info (PL tones) to use said repeaters. If you have a HAM UHF capable radio, you can likely receive GMRS frequencies. A minor "MARS/CAP" modification will facilitate your ability to transmit on GMRS frequencies. Channel bandwidth options are similar enough. The (FCC) legalities of using HAM equipment to transmit on GMRS are questionable but nobody's going to get prosecuted, much less get fined or go to jail for simply communicating as was intended over GMRS frequencies. For nearby (line of sight) communication, GMRS and HAM 5w UHF (70cm) FM transmission blows CB 4w HF (11m) AM transmission out of the water, and thats without having to breakout the lovely SWR meter. Although with GMRS you are not going to be sitting out here on a hot Arizona night receiving some random northern California trucker's transmission bouncing off the ionosphere.
  3. 1 point
    So very true Woody! And spot on. And it is kinda fun to have 3 antennas now! Everyone antenna up! smiles, ladybug
  4. 1 point
    This is where Gunny will be this week. Hope his handler does his job. https://ktar.com/story/5366854/dogs-will-have-run-of-the-place-in-scottsdale-at-agility-world-games/
  5. 1 point
    Best of luck guys!
  6. 1 point
    Go Gunny!!! Good luck you guys!!!
  7. 1 point
    Pulling for your pup!
  8. 1 point
    Awesome, I'm sure Gunny will handle you well!
  9. 1 point
    Hey Mike....I broke down and bought a gmrs, although I am a dedicated ham user. We did the Harquahala run with a borrowed handheld gmrs and were disappointed in the signal strength around corners and for distances. Thankfully the leader and the tail gunner both had gmrs base units and they were able to communicate clearly with each other. The only reason that I bought the gmrs -not a handheld - is so that I could hear the trip leader better, and respond accordingly. So while the club has not taken a position on this, and leaves it up to the leader, I think that's good position. But for best communications, my opinion is that the ham will reach furthest, and is more capable in case of an extreme trail emergency. I could be totally wrong about that...maybe the gmrs is just as good for far distance... On a dusty trail where everyone is spread out for a long distance, the ham is my radio of choice, and I'll keep the cb for those vehicles that have that radio. I"ll just make more stops to explain where we are, points of interest, etc - as I will not attempt to operate 3 radios on any trip! LOL! We installed the gmrs where it can be easily removed when its not in use for a gmrs-led run. BTW - my 10 year license expires in 2025, and I"ll be sure to renew before then! Check your expiration date, as a test is not required to renew. smiles, ladybug
  10. 1 point
    I don't believe the club has any official position on it. Comms are generally up to the trip leader. I'd say 99% of the trips I've seen posted the last few years have both a GMRS and a Ham option. LIke @shellback91, I always have a pair of handhelds that can do both ham and GMRS - in addition to my GMRS base station.
  11. 1 point
    I find GMRS is a good blend of CB simplicity with the power/functionality of ham. My big reasons for GMRS over CB are More power / shorter antennas Repeater capable for significant range advantage over CB Privacy tones Transmission clarity Much smaller equipment in the Jeep Spans FRS and GMRS bands - loops in handheld users Over ham: Excellent for beginners for trail comms A single 10 year license that covers my entire family No tests Easier to understand (my perspective) I was never a ham to begin with, so I can’t really make any comments there. Jeep Jamboree dumped CB and requires GMRS now, so there was an influx of new users. GMRS has been very popular with the “non-Jeep” overland crowd for a long time.
  12. 1 point
    Haven't been there in 40 years, used to be a gas station and a cantina. Glad to see it hasn't gotten to developed.
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