Why Every Overlander and Off Roader in America Should Have A GMRS RadioDec 26, 2021
well here we are today I'm back in the garage working on the forerunner um no there's nothing wrong with that I'm actually installing a
radiohead unit they sent us to check so it will be in a next video. I don't need to know that I'm wasting my time on that right now because you're here to talk about
radios and I'm here to talk about them too. We recently shipped a mxt 115 vp3 unit from midland that you might own. I saw the video of us installing it, I took a couple of trips with it, used it, interacted with it, and really enjoyed it and came back here and was ready to shoot a video last week to kind of talk about it. that I had argued with midland as part of the reason they sent me a radio and lo and behold, after a day of filming promotional content in the wife's living room, we forgot to lock the car or get the rest of the stuff out so that a The next morning when the boy and I went out looking I went inside and went to a boy scout function.
I soon discovered that my radio was missing along with my camera tripod. The first thing someone sent me for free as a youtuber to review or demo the product, so it was like a mark of achievement for me to
havegotten this and not paid anything for it and then someone stole it and took it. from me so it hurts a bit and I've been thinking about it for the last few days what I will say is I enjoy that unit so much that because this one was stolen I didn't just buy one to replace it even though we bought two parts of that pitch i did with midland to do an informational video about
gmrsand its benefits to people in the outdoor and ground community and i see it as a goldilocks product and what i mean is it kind of sits in t The middle ground between the low power world of old school CB radio free for all wild west and the very very technical high end world of ham or ham radio what it basically does is it gives you the ability to
havesome of the power and features of ham radio but with the lower cost and barriers to entry like a cb now what is gmrs gmrs is general mobile radio service is a series of uhf frequencies that have been designated by the federal co commission ammunition to be used by private citizens like you and me for short distance two way voice communication why is gmrs better than cb or cb radio? well if you're not a trucker you probably don't use cb radio anymore if you grew up in my era you grew up movies like convoy and smokey and the bandit so you understand what the popularity of citizens band radio was.
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why every overlander and off roader in america should have a gmrs radio...
Except the only industry that really uses them is transportation and I don't know if you've ever driven by a truck stop on channel 19, but you'll only do it once before you realize this might not be in your best interest. unless i absolutely need to find low rent hookers i'm first home cb is also limited because it's not that powerful it has a power limit that is much lower than things you'll find on ham radio or gmrs and the signal quality it's not that good it's simplex communication it's just radio to radio on the same frequency while gmrs can use things like repeaters what are repeaters? well, they are the coolest part of all this and what got me the most excited. in GMRS, so stay until the end to find out what they are.
How is gmrs a better alternative for people like you and me than traditional ham radio or ham radio? Well, it's not that complex. It's not that technical. so you can go somewhere and sit down and take a proctored test and then the federal government will give you a license that says you can communicate at these different levels and I
shouldpoint out that it's these different levels because there are three different levels of amateur radio license that works as far as it differs from the radio amateur is that instead of having a wide, wide, wide range of frequencies, you have to figure out and make sure that you're operating on the right frequency at the right time and you're not stepping on the toes of the no one else's feet gmrs is a set of dedicated frequencies that are locked into channel numbers by the fcc and if you have a part 95 compliant radio which is what you're going to look for when you're shopping for your first gmrs radio it means never you'll have to worry about stepping out of those bounds and stepping on any ham radio operator, which is another reason you don't want to be in the amateur world nados and if you want more anecdotal evidence why being in the ham world is kinda dirty just go see not a rubicon he talks about it all the time gmrs because its locked to a certain set of frequencies means it only there's a certain set of frequencies that you have to worry about trying to find someone, which means someone is more likely to be monitoring one of those certain set of frequencies if you're going to need to go out and get a signal, you really do too easy and standardized when you meet people you've never been with before on a ride or anything else you just say im on gmrs20 and that's the channel we use and they all put their radio on gm rs20 and it's easy, easy, nothing to do with ok i'm on 462752 or 725 you don't have to worry about that just channel 20 there you go gmrs doesn't require you to take a test or go through different license levels but it requires you to get a license and what that means is you have to go to the fcc website you have to go through a couple of hoops fill out an application pay a fee which at the time i'm recording this is 70 bucks for a 10 year license now they are in the process of doing that 35 for a 10 year license and until very recently they said it will be sometime in 2021 but in the last few weeks they have posted that I think it will be the end of April I think or I may be very close to that 70 rate going down in half for a 10 year gmrs license and that license covers an entire family home so I have my radio callsign and that covers me, my wife, to my son and the dog if he can ever figure out how to get a radio to work he doesn't just cover us on one radio he covers us on all radios and all family members so let's have multiple radios in two vehicles different, but we are only going to operate with one ll beloved of fcc ign and that's perfectly fine what are repeaters well repeaters are a way to extend range basically someone will put a radio tower on top of a mountain or some high place because that's what more advantageous to gain range is to add elevation to any antenna i know because the world is round so if you go higher up you can see more curves if you are a flat earther just go ahead and turn off right now with that radio at a high point i allows talking on the east side of the mountain to someone on the west side of the mountain that if we were using only direct radio to radio communication the mountain wouldn't allow us to talk no matter the voltage on our radios it just won't penetrate that mountain but if you put a repeater up here then my signal will go to the repeater the repeater will broadcast it to the whole area and someone on the other end will hear it and be able to message me vi vice versa and what works is a pro process called duplex communication so when you switch to a repeater and you switch your channels from simplex mode to repeater mode what will happen is your channel let's say we are using channel 16 on gmrs if we are going to use repeater 16 what What will happen is that our radio will continue to monitor channel 16 but it will transmit on another set of frequencies and that set of frequencies is what the repeater on top of the mountain is monitoring now there is a tone that is required to be activated as soon as it holds its microphone and transmit the correct tone that's the repeater tail to go well this is the one I'm going to listen and repeat so what it does is listen to you on that side channel and then it outputs what you're saying because your tone was valid on channel 16 for
everyone in the world and that is what is called duplex communication that is transmitting on one frequency and receiving on another being because that repeater cannot listen and transmit at the same time, s e would give itself the effect of a jimi hendrix solo the repeaters are independently owned and generally work well i mean they are for our intensive purposes they are privately owned entities and are owned by an individual person or there are many clubs radio that these repeaters possess, and for the most part, many people choose to allow their repeaters to be used by the public.
Some people keep them private and don't post. your privacy codes so you don't have access to your repeater to be able to broadcast your signal like I said there are a lot of people who like to share that and they see the value in sharing that as a tool for emergencies you know there are a lot of areas where you don't You have cell phone service, but you can put a repeater on top of a mountain and cover a local area. few weeks ago when i was testing these radios and there are actually two gmrs repeaters in the area one is local that local residents use for local communications and i can actually hear those crown king repeaters here in phoenix no problem i will which is really cool because I can also reach them and broadcast over the whole area and I'm over 30 40 miles away from this antenna now the second tower there is one that's really very interesting to me because it's part of a repeater network and what does that mean it's literally what it says there is, I don't know, let's say 10 or 15.
I don't know an exact number, maybe I'll go look it up and tell you, but there's a repeater network in the southwest and they have repeaters. that stretch from albuquerque, new mexico, to sierra vista in arizona, and these repeaters are networked over the internet, so when you can come in and transmit on one of the repeaters, you transmit on all of them, which is totally great because because you basically covered six or seven hundred miles with a 15 watt radio like you think I could sit in sierra vista arizona right on the mexico border plug a little 15 watt radio into the dash of my car and talk to someone in albuquerque new mexico or actually as far away probably as far as the colorado state line now they do it by networking over the internet and there is a cost and people usually join these clubs and that's what their membership uses. paying for these things, but a lot of these clubs again see the value in emergency use and will give the general public access to those repeaters so that if you ever have a problem, you'll get through to someone if that radio is transmitting clearly over the Southwest someone is going to hear that and they can come get you if you can get to a repeater and hook it up the other great thing this one in particular and a lot of them do they link through zello so you can hook it up to any of those repeaters in all that network right now from my cell phone which is great you can sit here and be anywhere in the world and have access to those repeaters in that network area I never imagined you could do that like I could literally be in the Other side of the world.
I could give access to this app to like my friend max in cape town south africa and he could go online and start talking to people here in arizona. I don't know about the legalities of that because that's an international thing in the fcc whatever, but I mean in theory it could probably happen fine and that's just a network that regular people own, it wasn't a huge piece of infrastructure built by a big corporation or whatever it was just people wanting to get together and they built their own radio network they talk all over the place which surprises me to find these repeaters in that tone oh I want my repeater right there did you hear it ?
It's a great place to find a r The repeater to use is a website called mygmrsmap.com basically my gmrs map is like an overlay of google maps with a bunch of repeaters all over the country and you can go and click on those individual repeaters and in many cases it will only give you the tones you need to access that repeater because the private people who own those repeaters just say ok go ahead and use them sometimes they will require you to ask then they will mail you email the correct information about accessing the repeater or some just don't want their stuff to be public and will require you to become a member or just won't let you use it then it's their private thing anyway most of the ones that are on my gmrs map they are the ones you can access so definitely worth looking into and then if you know there are some gmrs repeater clubs in areas i saw see like here in phoenix we have a local one you can go to their website and get short term ac give in asking or just go ahead and become a member and get permanent access now as to how well a particular radio we had done well I really enjoyed it I enjoyed it so much we went ahead and ordered two to replace the one that was stolen we will have one on both vehicles that's that good valuei feel like they have prices for midland radios with repeater capability, that the mxt 115 base that comes with just an antenna mounted on a regular magnet which is what retails for is 149.99 or 150 bucks you get the same capabilities as the vp three pack i got with the phantom antenna for 50 bucks less to where i had my fears about a 50 to 15 watt radio but after spending a weekend with some friends jeeping from tucson in the snows of crown king , I found that 15 watts was more than enough to send a signal a couple of miles through the trees, I think it was such a valuable piece of equipment that again we are going to go out and buy two more with our own money and feel totally sure why i feel like midland was a good ch Hey well their build quality is much better than anything else you will find in a specific gmr radio there are a few other imported brands that just they are not built to the same level of quality the other thing you are going to find with some of them whether or not they may or may not have the appropriate approvals for part 95 certification with the fcc wr radio so i hear you thanks for check out my dude copy have a nice day so i just got through to a guy i dont even know where he is somewhere in the southwest with my cell phone and one thing he was crazy im going to go ahead and get out of there, so why did I think Midland was a good value?
Well the build quality is much better than a lot of the stuff you'll find out there, they're also compliant with fcc part 95 regulation for gmrs radios which means they're not going to do anything that isn't allowed to be. to land in hot water with the gmrs police or the pam radio police or the real radio police the fcc they are also like going back to that build quality thing they are a vendor that is around and they are known and active in community, I'm sure you've seen a lot of Midland Announcements on your social media. They are a great company.
They make real radios. They have been around for a long time. They are respected in the industry. You will get a good product from a company that will stick around. behind it and being there for a while they are versatile i mean you can connect to a lot of different repeaters and they have a lot of versatility but they are also very very simple like they are the only radio system in the gmrs world that and i hope that she's not watching but they're the ones my wife could figure out pretty easily maybe not so much with the repeater on things but i'm pretty sure i can say honey put it on channel 20 and she'll be able to figure that out and then we can talk and that to me is worth it so you know you have to balance quality, simplicity, ease of use, there are other radios that have many more features and capabilities, but for your basic need to be able to get out and communicate with other people as you are traveling or you can reach repeaters or you know you have that security blanket of being able to reach out and touch someone and off-grid areas if there is a repeater available its worth it and if you can You can find a used one at a good price, do it, you're just not going to find it, literally, go, go, look, I'll wait, how did it go?
I took a nice nap, did you find one yet? Yeah I didn't think so anyway if you want to get one and I recommend if you're going to get a gmrs radio get one from midland see link in description below we are also an affiliate so that will cut us a bit of a sample of that purchase that will also help finance this channel a little more, so it was something that I'm already going to buy it through one of my links, so you're going to help finance the channel by doing something, you were going to do a few considerations just a few thoughts you might want to consider because they are so simple there are other radios in the world that are a bit more advanced and i guess if you are ready for a number one more advanced radio you are probably not watching this video at all Anyways, you've clicked and gone to someone else's video that was going to be talking about all the advanced features of advanced radios most advanced units out there you can program channels so you're looking for a specific repeater. co and a specific tone you can program that so that when you're driving down the road you can hit that repeater that's on channel 16 with whatever tone it is and then go somewhere else and hit channel 16 with a different tone but you just have to turn a dial and go between them instead of having to go in there and program the tone over and over again like you have to do the midland again there are certain radios that can have those features and be a little cheaper but the build quality is bad trust me the other limitation is i mean its just a major limitation is midland radios dont do what is called split tone and what is split tone is they use a separate privacy code to transmit and receive i don't know why but there are a few lightning repeater sets around and one of them is the local phoenix metro repeater club here in phoenix so i'm not going to be a member of them because it doesn't divide n the tone now it's a bit strange for me to want split tone because the number one manufacturer of gm rs or most widely distributed radios don't have that capability either there are very few of them so it's kind of elitist really to tell you the truth and midland radio can't split tone anyway, that's a very rare occurrence. you probably won't go or if you find it but if you need to use a repeater that has split tones you'll want to look elsewhere to find your radio until midland comes out with one that is capable of split tones beyond that like I said I can't wait for get my new ones because I have to go out tomorrow and have a run with some friends and instead of my nice mobile mounted radio that was powerful and clear I have to use the little rinky-dink ones that are battery operated. which don't get me wrong if that's all you can afford that's all you can afford and they're so much better than two cans of campbell's and a piece of fishing line i'm always matt kester you can find me on instagram at frugal explorer dad check out check out the channel at secondhandoverland on instagram and until next time be good
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