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Thread: GMRS - Getting a Toe In The Water

  1. #11
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    Aug 2007
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    Ok, so here is what I've decided I need... maybe someone can help. I need a Walkie talkie set to be able to let us know where he is, and for us to call him home inside the neighborhood. I've found some baofengs that use UHF 400-470 MHz, that I'm sure will work fine in the neighborhood, and the price is right. However, I'd like to have a radio for me compatible with the cheaper walkie that I could also monitor the HAM bands and listen to the skywarn frequencies since we get a lot of scary weather here. Does baofeng have a product offering like this?
    Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it ought to be reclassified as a super power

  2. #12
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    Apr 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak474u View Post
    Ok, so here is what I've decided I need... maybe someone can help. I need a Walkie talkie set to be able to let us know where he is, and for us to call him home inside the neighborhood. I've found some baofengs that use UHF 400-470 MHz, that I'm sure will work fine in the neighborhood, and the price is right. However, I'd like to have a radio for me compatible with the cheaper walkie that I could also monitor the HAM bands and listen to the skywarn frequencies since we get a lot of scary weather here. Does baofeng have a product offering like this?

    The standard UV 5R Baofeng radio will get Skywarn Frequencies..

    They work a bit better if you can hook the walkie talkie up to a base station type antenna with decent altitude....better reception and better transmission range.

    Most Walkie talkies are marginal at best with the factory rubber ducky antennas.

    I even and often hook up my Baofeng walkie talkies to a magnetic base mobile antenna on my car, truck, or van...via antenna adapters. Then often disconnect them and hook back up the rubber ducky antenna and bring them in the house.

    Thanks,
    Orangetom

    Not an Ishmaelite

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    A buddy and I tested these out on a quick overnight camping trip. The testing was not exhaustive because we were primarily occupied with getting to-from our destination and enjoying the outdoors while there.

    One part of our trip involved winding mountainous road through a heavily wooded pine forest. At one point, we were 1.5 miles apart and made very clear contact, which surprised me a bit given all the hills and trees. This was on channel 17 using the higher power setting.

    The performance was a little hit & miss... sometimes at short range (.25-.5 miles) with clear line of sight there was warble/scratch.

    The radios proved valuable on several occasions as we caravaned to and from the campsite (about a 3.5 hour drive each way). On one occasion I came around a sharp bend into a patch of dappled sun/shade... hit something in the road, didn't see it at all. Warned my buddy (not a safe place to stop) to be on the lookout. He was able to avoid the obstacle... turned out to be a deer carcass that blended in with the road well enough that you wouldn't see it if you weren't looking for it. My big GMC went over it, his little brand new Subaru probably would have taken damage. Other incidental uses such as coordinating fuel/restroom stops, watching out for passing motorcycles, etc.

    This was with him on the handheld, me on the mobile. Charge on the rechargeable battery unit lasted the entire trip without recharging, with infrequent use (aka, we talk when there is a need/reason, not just to gab it up).

    Hope to do some more thorough testing in the weeks ahead.
    Last edited by bruss01; 09-03-2018 at 02:41 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  4. #14
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    Apr 2016
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    Well done Bruss01,

    One of the reasons I use the Baofeng UV5 R radios is a common battery type...either regular or extended battery. They work on the UV5 R and the BF-F8HP radios ..the batteries are interchangeable. I keep many spares and also the cigarette lighter adapater along with spare batteries.

    This is not the case with some of the newer Baofeng radios...but I know it works with these older models. The newer model Baofeng the batteries are not interchangeable with the older radios...for they are differently keyed.

    I have regular and extended batteries for my Baofengs. It is nice to have the option of replacing the battery ..either in a cell phone or a walkie talkie and not be tied to a charger or a battery charging pack taking up valuable time.

    I have a set of those Midland FRS/GMRS radios..but the batteries do not change...they must be put on a charger. Another set in my locker at work and they use three AA type batteries. I have used these sets along with my Baofeng walkie talkies on the same frequencies when looking for lost material across the expanse of this shipyard.

    You are correct to use discipline in the talk time/listen time on the radios ..that may prove valuable in a SHTF situation. Well done.


    Orangetom

    Not an Ishmaelite.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2007
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    I suspect Midland listened to customers not liking non-replaceable batteries OT. The newer units such as these come with a swappable rechargeable battery the same form factor as three AA batteries. When removed you can substitute three actual AA batteries. The recharger stand came with an AC "wall wart" and also with a 12v automotive socket plug for use on the go. Nice setup, well thought out.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

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