Comms on the road? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Comms on the road?

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Dusther210

Rank VI
Expedition
Member

Influencer I

4,765
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
First Name
Dustin
Last Name
Helms
Member #

24720

Ham Callsign
KD2UNH
I’m still learning. Keep pointing me in the right direction.

Update: I’m looking for something inexpensive so I can talk to the group around the bend, over the hill, and through the trees. What would you recommend?
What is the rest of the group running? If everyone is using 70cm, then you need to use 70cm, if everyone is on 2m then you need 2m. I’m going to send you a DM

edit: I realize you don’t have a license of any kind… this really limits you to the dying CB radio. For what you’re wanting to do, getting your Tech license would be your best option and then get a Yasue FT-2980 2m radio. I highly recommend the FT-2980 to those that aren’t wanting anything more than to be able to reach out and touch some radio waves. 85 watts on high power and with the correct antenna I have made contacts at 250 miles with a mountain in between without the help of a repeater.

If GMRS is of interest it’s the easier liven to obtain, just pay the FCC the fees and be done with it. Radios are a lot simpler to use, but the range is limited to about 50 miles with perfect conditions.

I’m in NJ (fort lee). It might be worth getting a GMRS license and radio in your truck. A lot of us who have both licenses end up using GMRS when simplex a lot of times for convenience sake. You won’t get anywhere near 50 miles in this area though lol

Repeater networks here on GMRS are small, usually private and are generally not very useful in my experience.

I think in this area you’ll quickly find going the ham route is likely most effective. It is really NOT HARD or expensive to get a technician license. And it really opens up capability. You can find and access repeaters easily via APRS or RepeaterBook.

Pictured is a popular NJ destination, the pine barrens. Not only are there PLENTY of ham repeaters surrounding Wharton, but there are even ham repeaters within the area.
So with a technician license you’ll have plenty of options to reach out and connect if you were in the vicinity of Wharton.

Per myGMRS.com there are very few repeaters (which also require gaining prior permission before using) and they’re far outside the actual pine barrens. I don’t believe I’ve reached any of these repeaters from within Wharton

I hope this helps!
 

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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
A BIG THANKS for bringing me up to speed last night. The early 80s was the last time I used a transceiver. I’m grateful for you taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. I will pursue applying for my FCC licenses before the end of this year.
More information inbound via DM.
 

TahoePPV

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,707
Buda, TX, USA
First Name
Rex
Last Name
Drake
Member #

19540

Ham Callsign
KI5GH
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Air Force
do you have our Technician’s License? 220MHz is in the Amateur Bands. And why 220?
For the benefit of those wondering, the 220 ham band has limited equipment available due to the attempted spectrum grab by UPS around 1990.

The 2m band is probably most useful, followed by 70cm.
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
For the benefit of those wondering, the 220 ham band has limited equipment available due to the attempted spectrum grab by UPS around 1990.

The 2m band is probably most useful, followed by 70cm.
Just wondering here… how effective is the 6m band? I have the radio capabilities, but haven’t spent any time making a 6m antenna… just wondering if having mobile 6m capabilities would open up even more possible contacts?

I think I’m going to start a new thread now.
 

TahoePPV

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,707
Buda, TX, USA
First Name
Rex
Last Name
Drake
Member #

19540

Ham Callsign
KI5GH
Service Branch
Air Force
Just wondering here… how effective is the 6m band? I have the radio capabilities, but haven’t spent any time making a 6m antenna… just wondering if having mobile 6m capabilities would open up even more possible contacts?

I think I’m going to start a new thread now.
I keep thinking about one of the transverters from eBay to get on 6m. I’ve been a ham for 33 years and still hav been on that band.
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
I keep thinking about one of the transverters from eBay to get on 6m. I’ve been a ham for 33 years and still hav been on that band.
The only reason I even started thinking about the 6m band is because we had an Elmer recently sell off his station and some how I got tasked with tearing down his tower just to gain access to a 6m Yaggi for another ham. The amount of work needed to tear down the 50’ tower and lower the antenna made me wonder if it was really worth all the work for a single band.

I do have a 6m hamstick that is still brand new in the package. But with my experience so far with hamsticks, I’m not entirely convinced this is the solution I’m looking for.
 

TahoePPV

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,707
Buda, TX, USA
First Name
Rex
Last Name
Drake
Member #

19540

Ham Callsign
KI5GH
Service Branch
Air Force
The only reason I even started thinking about the 6m band is because we had an Elmer recently sell off his station and some how I got tasked with tearing down his tower just to gain access to a 6m Yaggi for another ham. The amount of work needed to tear down the 50’ tower and lower the antenna made me wonder if it was really worth all the work for a single band.

I do have a 6m hamstick that is still brand new in the package. But with my experience so far with hamsticks, I’m not entirely convinced this is the solution I’m looking for.
Somewhere I have a Larsen base coil for an NMO mount. I swap antennas often on one mount for HF or whatever.
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Somewhere I have a Larsen base coil for an NMO mount. I swap antennas often on one mount for HF or whatever.
I have hamsticks on quick mounts… but driving down the road these suck while changing bands… hence the 6m antenna is still unused in the package.
 

Dilldog

Rank V
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Influencer I

2,358
Spokane, WA.
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Dillon
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Wilke
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I will echo @M Rose , the FT2980 is a great radio, I have two. One in my Escape hooked up to a Diamond M285 and the other in my house hooked up to a Diamond 22E. That radio is easy to operate, and after a few minutes of chatting on high power you can cook a hot pocket on the heat sink or press the two together and make paninis...
As far as what I run, I prefer ham stuff because its good for more than just trail coms, but I also carry CB, FRS, and GMRS. Some basic hand helds for the "other" modes ran me $150 (a Uniden hand held CB, and a Motorola FRS/GMRS handheld) and they just live in my center console.
 

Slolane

Rank 0

Off-Road Ranger I

90
Sunshine State
First Name
Bud
Last Name
Goetzinger
Ham Callsign
KO4PPV
Interesting thread

I‘ve used FRS for a fairly long time for communicating with the wife while parking our RV. Picked up a CB (Cobra 75) when I went to a Jeep Jamboree since they required it. Haven’t used it since.

This year we went on a trip to SW Colorado. I was going to do some solo off-reading ang thought about what I needed and decided to get my Ham ticket. I studied for a week or 2, the test for me was fairly easy. (Full disclosure, I am a ME so the technical part, mostly Ohm‘s law was very familiar). I also decided to upgrade from FRS to GMRS for a little better range. I bought a set of Midland HT units (~ $65) and paid Uncle Sam for the license. I did buy a Baofeng 8HP (a UV-5R with 8 watts power) but haven’t done much with it.

I’m looking into installing a 2 band mobile unit into the Jeep soon, just need to find out what i need.

I joined a local Ham club but they’re still doing Zoom meetings due to Covid. I need an Elmer!
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Interesting thread

I‘ve used FRS for a fairly long time for communicating with the wife while parking our RV. Picked up a CB (Cobra 75) when I went to a Jeep Jamboree since they required it. Haven’t used it since.

This year we went on a trip to SW Colorado. I was going to do some solo off-reading ang thought about what I needed and decided to get my Ham ticket. I studied for a week or 2, the test for me was fairly easy. (Full disclosure, I am a ME so the technical part, mostly Ohm‘s law was very familiar). I also decided to upgrade from FRS to GMRS for a little better range. I bought a set of Midland HT units (~ $65) and paid Uncle Sam for the license. I did buy a Baofeng 8HP (a UV-5R with 8 watts power) but haven’t done much with it.

I’m looking into installing a 2 band mobile unit into the Jeep soon, just need to find out what i need.

I joined a local Ham club but they’re still doing Zoom meetings due to Covid. I need an Elmer!
There is probably a club close to you that has in person meetings.

Search for a club near you.

If you can’t find one, shoot me a dm and I will try to help you find an Elmer close by.

To put a dual band radio in your rig, you need the radio, a mount (if it doesn’t come with one) , coax, and an antenna…if you can purchase the RT Systems programming software and cable at the same time you order the radio… nothing else is needed (except maybe some more wire if the radio didn’t come with any and possibly a longer separation cable if you get a radio with a remote head). Wire the positive (red wire) to battery positive, and the ground to body ground.
There will be a stud on the chassis of the radio with a nut on it labeled ground. Use this stud to connect a short wire to the body. Run your coax to your antenna mount and hook up the antenna, then hook up the other end of the coax to your radio.
That’s all there is to it.
 

Slolane

Rank 0

Off-Road Ranger I

90
Sunshine State
First Name
Bud
Last Name
Goetzinger
Ham Callsign
KO4PPV
Thanks for your response Mike.

I have already joined my local club (Manatee Ameteur Radio Club). The issue is they have not had any “in person” meetings due to Covid for quite a while. Fortunately they are hosting an outdoor ham fest next weekend. I’ll be attending and checking out members, gear and everything else I can put my hands on (except the members :) )I believe I know what it takes to put a mobile unit in the Jeep, just not sure which one.

Thanks again,
Bud
KO4PPV
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Thanks for your response Mike.

I have already joined my local club (Manatee Ameteur Radio Club). The issue is they have not had any “in person” meetings due to Covid for quite a while. Fortunately they are hosting an outdoor ham fest next weekend. I’ll be attending and checking out members, gear and everything else I can put my hands on (except the members :) )I believe I know what it takes to put a mobile unit in the Jeep, just not sure which one.

Thanks again,
Bud
KO4PPV
That’s the great thing… they will all work. What you need to figure out is not what radio to buy, but what features you need… then run your list of features by your ham club and by us to help you get the best radio to suit your needs…
 

Shawn686

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Canada
I like CB mostly for the features that come in the units that arent readily avaialbe in other radios, and many truckers still use them up here. Primarily I like the CB radios for NOAA weather alerts and PA built into one unit.

Shawn
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
I like CB mostly for the features that come in the units that arent readily avaialbe in other radios, and many truckers still use them up here. Primarily I like the CB radios for NOAA weather alerts and PA built into one unit.

Shawn
GMRS some FRS, and any amature radio has NOAA, a 2m/70cm Transceiver has the ability to add a PA if a user so wanted to do so.
 

Crusader

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Texas
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Wilcox
Service Branch
USAF
Hold off on buying any new CBs. I hear that the upcoming FM CBs will be on the same frequencies and they will clutter the frequencies with noise when heard on the older AM CBs. Since everyone will be forced to buy new FM CBs, GMRS may rise in popularity because of the chaos.
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Expedition
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY Retired
Yes they can recieve NOAA but not alert. Or at least I have been unable to find any that do.

Shawn
The Midland MicroMobile MTX275 has WX Alerts.. as does the MTX115

and most amateur 2m/70cm transceivers made by the big three can be programmed for NOAA WX alerts through the programming software (not chirp).