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SonoranWanderer

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SonoranWanderer last won the day on November 16

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About SonoranWanderer

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    Overlander

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  • Rig
    2018 JLUR
  • Location
    Cave Creek, AZ

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  1. 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. (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. Photos... Day 1 - Friday Bates Well From Friday night camp Day 2 - Saturday Leaving Papago Well Dave O'Neil's Grave 1871 Nameer Grave Circle of 8 Grave site Tijanas Altas (High Tanks) Day 2 camp at Tijnas Altas Day 3 - North Tijanas Altas Pass Yodaville Fortuna Mine
  4. Adding my notes on our trip... What a great trip and time with an awesome crew, @shellback91, @gearhead, @Ken Ford, and @Curly! Thanks to all of you for going. 125 miles of dirt: Day 1: Ajo to Papago Well with a stop at Bates Well. Day 2: Papago Well to Tinajas Altas with stops at Dave O'Neil's grave, the 1871 grave, Tule Well, and Circle of 8 grave. Day 3: Tinajas Altas to Fortuna Hills with stops at Yodaville (as close as you can get) and the Fortuna Mine site. It was a really great test of @Ken Ford's new to him stock gen 3 Taco on street tires taking the Tinajas mid pass (A15 to A13 markers) instead of the traditional south Tinajas Altas Pass route. You can see our track and all of the points of interest here. It is also a good collection of information to plan your own trip. Note: I built it, it's how I openly plan this particular trip, so I might be biased. Some things with El Camino del Diablo have changed: Larger volume of traffic. There were so many people on the trail compared to the last time I ran it. Less Border Patrol presence overall No visit from Border Patrol Friday night as expected No indication that roads are being actively dredged for showing footprints Unmarked helicopter flybys both Saturday and Sunday morning Likely Border Patrol contracted helicopters Lots more side trail closures around Tinajas Altas (east side of the mountains) This made a few older camp sites inaccessible Old construction depot east of the TAs is gone except for the dirt lot and a few large piles of rocks. Tule Well's large camping area for group camping has been smooth graded, somewhat leveled, and enlarged. Another item of note: a couple of guys ran a 2500 RAM with a Black Series camper in tow through the Fortuna Mine route. Color me impressed with the trailer. Thank you @Curly for tail gunning! I should note I am grateful to @shellback91 and @Ken Ford for helping me find my phone after it fell into a garbage bag when I wasn't looking. I hear @Ken Ford is cursed to make things get lost whenever he is around. I am also very thankful to and for Courtney of Arizona Offroad working with me to ensure both groups got the best experience of a busy trail and campgrounds. (If she has an account on the forum I am happy to edit this and tag her.) I'll add photos later when I figure out why the forum is limiting my attachment upload size to less than one photo.
  5. Great write up @Curly and thank you for doing so. I've been a bit behind since I got home myself.
  6. We ran it single day from the Oracle side end of March 2021. That was the first "hard" trail for the Mojave. It was a long day, especially after that time spent at the rescue of the broken arm dude. That newly washed out section would likely be a real PITA for my trail limo.
  7. Here are a few videos: For this one note that the GoPro is on the bumper right in front of the engine. It makes it sound FAR more aggressive than it really was. But you will hear the cooling fan go into "turbo mode" for the transmission cooler.
  8. The trip went smoothly, the weather was about perfect, and everyone appeared to have a good time. Here is my GPS track for anyone's future use. And here is my raw photo archive. I'll get a few videos uploaded to YouTube later and add those to this thread. Some select photos:
  9. A little color for those who may be less (or not) experienced in recovery. My Jeep was on wet pavement and @ob1jeeper was in shallow "quicksand" (the amount of water present and flowing caused almost any amount of weight including a human walking to sink in the build-up of sand on the road). I "calculated" that despite likely weighing about half again @ob1jeeper, that I might pull myself toward him instead of the other way around, hence the two Jeep anchored configuration. My estimation put the two of us (mine and @4x4tographer) at approximately three times @ob1jeeper's weight and with eight tires of tractive grip on the pavement. And sure enough as the line tightened up, the nose of my jeep was pulled ~8 inches driver (left) on that wet, sandy pavement before we started moving @ob1jeeper towards us. I well suspect that @Ladybug and @ob1jeeper knew this in advance since @Ladybug's original text for help asked for "multiple vehicles".
  10. Always awesome pictures from @4x4tographer. He runs the shows and still gets in the shots!
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