Gmrs or ham

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Ramman

Rank I
Member
OB1

Member I

271
Massachusetts, USA
First Name
Ram
Last Name
Man
Member #

28203

I’m not looking for bashing on one or another but I am. Looking to add coms to the truck I do have a ham radio but not a license yet, Covid delayed that part so I can only listen until in person testing starts near me.

I am curious how many people are running GMSR in the rigs for communication? I do have a GMSR license and not sure if I should hard wire one in or not. Mainly I am doing solo rig adventures with my family and always looking for more to come if they would like.

Does anyone use one over the other in the rig? What seems to have better response of overland users?
 
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TahoePPV

Rank VI
Member

Influencer II

3,450
Buda, TX, USA
First Name
Rex
Last Name
Drake
Member #

19540

Ham Callsign
KI5GH
I have both. I’ve had a ham lic for decades, but the gmrs runs strong with this on, I mean local people.
 

Wildmanreed

Rank I
Member
OB1

Traveler I

271
Dallas, Georgia, United States
First Name
Andrew
Last Name
Reed
Member #

26664

I’m not looking for bashing on one or another but I am. Looking to add coms to the truck I do have a ham radio but not a license yet, Covid delayed that part so I can only listen until in person testing starts near me.

I am curious how many people are running GMSR in the rigs for communication? I do have a GMSR license and not sure if I should hard wire one in or not. Mainly I am doing solo rig adventures with my family and always looking for more to come if they would like.

Does anyone use one over the other in the rig? What seems to have better response of overland users?
Currently I have CB and GMRS in my truck I use the CB everyday. But none of my riding partners are GMRS licensed. I just have a handheld GMRS with a magnetic mount antenna for now. Like you I am working on my HAM as well.
 

RoarinRow

Rank V
Member

Influencer I

2,301
Elk Grove, CA, USA
First Name
Rolando
Last Name
Nispiros
Member #

17011

Ham Callsign
KN6JJS
I have mobile Ham and GRMS. In your case of solo trips and if you think you might not use it as much, maybe a handheld GMRS until might work better for you?
 

DRAX

Rank II

Enthusiast II

366
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Ham Callsign
W9DRX
GMRS vs ham vs CB all depends on what you're wanting the radio for. Group comms during a club event/outing? Comms while out solo? Both?

I have both ham and GMRS radios, the only time I use GMRS is when I'm out with a group and people either have mobile or handheld GMRS radios. Ham I run most of the time when I'm out and always when traveling, many times I'll have the ability to send and receive SMS messages on my ham radio where I don't have cell service thanks to various APRS digipeaters and iGates being within range.
 

GXAndy

Rank IV
Member

Contributor III

883
3265 Cauble Road, Salisbury, NC, USA
First Name
Andy
Last Name
Linker
Member #

5853

You can check out online HAM testing:
Remote / Online Testing

From Ham Radio Prep: "We've had a ton of questions on remote testing, and there has been a lot of bad information out there. The FCC recently issued a public notice confirming that is 100% possible to take your ham radio exam online. We'll take a look at some of the VECs that offer online testing. Based on the setup required, you still may have better luck getting in touch with your local club first. Read the full article here. "
 

Prerunner1982

US Southwest Region Member Rep
Member

Traveler III

2,902
Navina, Oklahoma
First Name
Jon
Last Name
B
Member #

16274

If you are good with self study you can take the test virtually so you don't have to wait for the in person stuff to resume to move forward with your ham license.

For solo adventures ham would be more useful, however if you are wanting to communicate with people you may cross "on the trail" then your guess is as good as mine as to what they may be using so all 3 (ham, GMRS, and CB) are options. I run all 3, ham all the time, GMRS sometimes, and CB rarely.
 
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Ramman

Rank I
Member
OB1

Member I

271
Massachusetts, USA
First Name
Ram
Last Name
Man
Member #

28203

You can check out online HAM testing:
Remote / Online Testing

From Ham Radio Prep: "We've had a ton of questions on remote testing, and there has been a lot of bad information out there. The FCC recently issued a public notice confirming that is 100% possible to take your ham radio exam online. We'll take a look at some of the VECs that offer online testing. Based on the setup required, you still may have better luck getting in touch with your local club first. Read the full article here. "

The testing that I found from the FCC for online test would be very hard for me having a family and multiple animials. It requires fully quiet area multiple cameras and not something I’m interested in honestly.
 
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Graeman

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

2,876
Catalina Avenue, Tucson, AZ, USA
First Name
Todd
Last Name
Hoffmaster
Member #

4284

Ham Callsign
KJ7CRJ
GMRS vs ham vs CB all depends on what you're wanting the radio for. Group comms during a club event/outing? Comms while out solo? Both?

I have both ham and GMRS radios, the only time I use GMRS is when I'm out with a group and people either have mobile or handheld GMRS radios. Ham I run most of the time when I'm out and always when traveling, many times I'll have the ability to send and receive SMS messages on my ham radio where I don't have cell service thanks to various APRS digipeaters and iGates being within range.
Exactly - what he said. I use my ham so that my wife will always know where I am located and I use the GMRS to keep in touch with others while out on the trails. I would like to use my ham radio more but the people that I ride with have not made the jump into ham yet.
 

DAKOZICKI

Rank 0

Contributor I

30
Reno, NV
First Name
David
Last Name
Kozicki
Ham Callsign
KJ7SWO
You can check out online HAM testing:
Remote / Online Testing

From Ham Radio Prep: "We've had a ton of questions on remote testing, and there has been a lot of bad information out there. The FCC recently issued a public notice confirming that is 100% possible to take your ham radio exam online. We'll take a look at some of the VECs that offer online testing. Based on the setup required, you still may have better luck getting in touch with your local club first. Read the full article here. "
I took my test online through Auburn University. They make you jump through some hoops like having both your phone and computer on Zoom and a lot of setup and observation protocols. But, the proctors were helpful and I got it done. I received my call sign less than 48 hours later. You can schedule the time to match your needs.
 
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M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Pathfinder II

4,861
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
I’m not looking for bashing on one or another but I am. Looking to add coms to the truck I do have a ham radio but not a license yet, Covid delayed that part so I can only listen until in person testing starts near me.

I am curious how many people are running GMSR in the rigs for communication? I do have a GMSR license and not sure if I should hard wire one in or not. Mainly I am doing solo rig adventures with my family and always looking for more to come if they would like.

Does anyone use one over the other in the rig? What seems to have better response of overland users?
In person testing will be a thing of the past for technicians in July of 2021 when the technician test pool changes. The software that was used for creating the exams is now obsolete as of December 31st, 2021. All clubs were told to download and print off exams for technician exams to get them through until June. So if you’re waiting for in person testing to resume, you may not have that option. My Club does Zoom Based testing at least once a week, and sometimes 2 times a week. It’s actually not that hard to take the exam online.

now that I have that out of the way...

GMRS vs Ham

I run both... here where I live there isn’t a GMRS Repeater within range. The GMRS radio is just using space, but it does get used on trips where other GMRS users are coming a long. VHF (Ham) is my primary communication as there are a lot of repeaters throughout the region and I am seldom out of range of a repeater if something were to go sideways...

So which one is better... Ham by far, you can do a lot more with a ham Radio than you can with GMRS... Running solo a ham license will get you a lot better than a GMRS radio.
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Pathfinder II

4,861
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Thank you I will message my local club this weekend
Also a lot of clubs don’t openly list in person testing, even though they are testing... the GRRA hasn’t posted a test date in over a year, but we have tested 30 some people for technician, and about the same amount for upgrades over the past year... in fact we tested 3 people last night and they are scheduled for next month to upgrade with 3 or 4 more upgrades to accompany them.