Northern Virginia Jeepers Association

Open Discussion (Club Members and Non-Members) => Non-Jeep Tech => Topic started by: Hank on March 19, 2018, 07:50:21 PM



Title: Radio
Post by: Hank on March 19, 2018, 07:50:21 PM
What radios do you guys use for Comm on the trails? I'm familiar with and have a licence for CB, HAM, and GMRS. 


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: unleashd on March 19, 2018, 07:52:45 PM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: tomjones20194 on March 19, 2018, 07:56:47 PM
The large majority of folks use CBs.  In fact, Everyone Iíve ever wheeled with used CB.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: unleashd on March 20, 2018, 12:45:36 PM
I am also signing up for the Fairfax County HAM operator training. Not sure of the future plans but would like to start down that path.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Goonie on March 20, 2018, 01:35:17 PM
I have been looking at getting my HAM as well.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on March 20, 2018, 02:03:04 PM
I am also signing up for the Fairfax County HAM operator training. Not sure of the future plans but would like to start down that path.

Itís an enjoyable hobby. Iím not much of a talker but I like to tinker.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: karlmagnum on March 21, 2018, 02:51:48 AM
I use CB and I have a Cobra 75WXST. It's a complete kit that I got at Right Channel Radios.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Gr8Dain on March 21, 2018, 05:59:28 AM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.

Some of the Scrambler owners I ride with in central VA are now using GMRS along with CB. They like it. I was thinking of getting a unit. But until more people use it, it will just be the small group of users and we would need to have both on to get all of the communications anyway.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on March 22, 2018, 05:24:03 PM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.

Some of the Scrambler owners I ride with in central VA are now using GMRS along with CB. They like it. I was thinking of getting a unit. But until more people use it, it will just be the small group of users and we would need to have both on to get all of the communications anyway.


I use the GMRS mostly with the family when we are out walking trails and such.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Gr8Dain on March 22, 2018, 06:24:56 PM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.

Some of the Scrambler owners I ride with in central VA are now using GMRS along with CB. They like it. I was thinking of getting a unit. But until more people use it, it will just be the small group of users and we would need to have both on to get all of the communications anyway.


I use the GMRS mostly with the family when we are out walking trails and such.


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And what do you think of it?  Pros and cons?


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on March 24, 2018, 07:15:04 AM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.

Some of the Scrambler owners I ride with in central VA are now using GMRS along with CB. They like it. I was thinking of getting a unit. But until more people use it, it will just be the small group of users and we would need to have both on to get all of the communications anyway.


I use the GMRS mostly with the family when we are out walking trails and such.


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And what do you think of it?  Pros and cons?

Well you are allowed 5 watts on a handheld, more power than the 0.5W FRS (Family Radio Service) for sure. Your license covers you and your immediate family. The license does however cost 90$ and there are more rules to follow like using your call sign. There is little if any policing on GMRS much like CB and FRS. At most some one will say something to you. Just keep civil and if they are right well they are right. For Jeeps and Trails a mobile or base station install usually runs 50W.  Certainly a lot more than CB at 4W. You can get some very robust handheld/mobile radios to work on GMRS. GMRS allows the use of repeaters as well. You could put one in a Jeep. Put the repeater Jeep in the middle of your group and effectively double your coverage area. Also, you could put a repeater vehicle (or suitcase repeater) on top of a hill that oversees the whole trail and have Comm. on the entire trail. Really cool stuff. There is MURS (Multi-use Radio Service) but, Iím not overly familiar with that. I believe itís only 2W.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on March 24, 2018, 07:17:52 AM
Ignore this post. I somehow quoted myself and made another post. I deleted the content but do not know how to delete the post entirely.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on March 25, 2018, 10:21:16 AM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.

Some of the Scrambler owners I ride with in central VA are now using GMRS along with CB. They like it. I was thinking of getting a unit. But until more people use it, it will just be the small group of users and we would need to have both on to get all of the communications anyway.


I use the GMRS mostly with the family when we are out walking trails and such.


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And what do you think of it?  Pros and cons?


Found some new regulations.

https://midlandusa.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-fcc-changes-for-frs-and-gmrs-radios/



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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Gr8Dain on March 25, 2018, 11:01:55 AM
I've searched around and CB is most commonly mentioned. I was thinking of getting a GMRS license, depending on how many others may be using it as well.

Some of the Scrambler owners I ride with in central VA are now using GMRS along with CB. They like it. I was thinking of getting a unit. But until more people use it, it will just be the small group of users and we would need to have both on to get all of the communications anyway.


I use the GMRS mostly with the family when we are out walking trails and such.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

And what do you think of it?  Pros and cons?


Found some new regulations.

https://midlandusa.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-fcc-changes-for-frs-and-gmrs-radios/



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. Good info


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on April 19, 2018, 09:24:45 AM
I run a CB, but the small group i primary wheel with is pushing hard to change GMRS / HAM  race radio setups.   

Problems we have run into
Our group is fully tuned but the general CB user hasn't taken the time to do it so the quality goes down hill fast.
My last 2 Day trips to flagpole / Peters mill have just been aweful, People channel jumping and yelling interrupting staying queued up and pushing static.  Just this last weekend we had to change channels 3 times.   I was joking we are going to have to start doing a Smokey and the bandit style "Stay on Odds and switch everytime" 


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: sirjames186 on April 19, 2018, 09:44:10 AM
I'll be honest, the GMRS/HAM license stuff is pretty close to a deal breaker for me.  The more I read about it, the more intrigued I get by MURS however.  Has anyone used one?

https://www.itstactical.com/digicom/comms/the-best-kept-secret-in-radio-communication/


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 01, 2018, 05:44:59 PM
A little late to the party....

Some bonifides, I am a licensed amatuer with a General ticket.  I compete regularly in FM VHF/UHF (50 MHz to 448MHz) nationwide communication contests and have two 1st place, two 2nd place and a 3rd place finish. I work these contests from either Flag Pole or Reddish Knob.  I also have a lot of experience running CB and FRS/GMRS on trail rides.

The article cited above is sort of half baked, some is true, some is false and a lot of broad statements that are dubious or wild extrapolations based on rare conditions are made.

Here are my reccomendations:

1) You must have a CB.  This is what everyone uses as primary coms. It's common, it's the standard.  Flagpole, Rausch, Cove, Uwharrie, Hammers, it's the common denominator for all trail rides.  It's busy, its full of high power ashhats but if you have a decent trail guide you will have a primary, secondary and tertiary channels agreed to in advance to avoid that.

2) 95% of your coms will be line of sight under a half mile to the lead or tail.  CB, FRS and low power GMRS is plenty good enough.

3) The biggest problem with CB on the trail is complicated fancy radios with too many switches, knobs or all in one mikes that the user is not intimately familiar with.  I run a 15year old Radio Shack CB with an off-on button, squelch, volume and rotary channel knob.  Works like a champ.   Get a decent antenna, dont kink the cable (3 inch radius minimum bends) and coax seal the connections (self annealing tape).  DO NOT GET A HAND HELD CB. There is no counter-poise for the antenna, your too busy in the driver seat to dig for it as it bounces around with the antenna in the wrong position for good coms.

4) If you want a secondary radio get an FRS.  Some trail guides, like me, carry a few of them to hand out to the CB'less as a backup.  They burn through batteries so carry spares.

I love Ham Radio.  It's what you need in an emergency on the trail.  Seen it save a life calling for med-evac on the Rubicon.  Its not what you want for trail rides.  Get the tech license, it a ton of fun, even more with a General and HF privileges and global capability.

73
John
KM4KMU




Title: Re: Radio
Post by: PanteraPilot on May 01, 2018, 06:15:40 PM
I also have a HAM license, and I concur with Nosigma.  For the trail, a CB is the way to go.  I have a stack of them around the house but of course for a HAM, its normal to have a surplus of radios...and antennas....and cables....and boxes of other useless stuff.




...and Nosigma, please look me up at a club event.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 01, 2018, 09:08:32 PM
I also have a HAM license.....
...and Nosigma, please look me up at a club event.

See you Sunday.
John


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 02, 2018, 12:29:00 PM

1) You must have a CB.  This is what everyone uses as primary coms. It's common, it's the standard.  Flagpole, Rausch, Cove, Uwharrie, Hammers, it's the common denominator for all trail rides.  It's busy, its full of high power ashhats but if you have a decent trail guide you will have a primary, secondary and tertiary channels agreed to in advance to avoid that.

Probably my biggest complaint from icebreakers this last weekend, so much static and interference then on Saturday only about half our group had CBs and half of those were not tuned right including the guide who couldn't hear more than 4 vehicles back which when someone blew their power steering causing a daisy chain of repeating.

And i agree with the simple i got the basic Cobra 19 from good ole walmart.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: sirjames186 on May 02, 2018, 01:21:27 PM

1) You must have a CB.  This is what everyone uses as primary coms. It's common, it's the standard.  Flagpole, Rausch, Cove, Uwharrie, Hammers, it's the common denominator for all trail rides.  It's busy, its full of high power ashhats but if you have a decent trail guide you will have a primary, secondary and tertiary channels agreed to in advance to avoid that.

Probably my biggest complaint from icebreakers this last weekend, so much static and interference then on Saturday only about half our group had CBs and half of those were not tuned right including the guide who couldn't hear more than 4 vehicles back which when someone blew their power steering causing a daisy chain of repeating.

And i agree with the simple i got the basic Cobra 19 from good ole walmart.


That's just bad planning if you ask me.  The event should be making sure their guides are squared away, trained, prepared etc.  I was at Wheeling for Hope over the weekend with 200 vehicles and didn't have any problems with a CB.  Each group had a channel and it worked great.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 02, 2018, 05:00:04 PM
I also have a HAM license.....
...and Nosigma, please look me up at a club event.

See you Sunday.
John

I wont be there Sunday.  Work calls.  Just found out this afternoon.

Maybe the S&S


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 07:34:19 AM
Cb are cheap so that seems to be the ticket for most.  Also  since it was a gold standard  decades ago  most still use it as a primary communication device.  Old technology and I agree  static noise make them anoying. I have been exploring rugged Raqdions dual band  system, bit more expensive than the $29.00 Walmart CB, but much more capable as well.

I proposed this a while back to see if we  NOVA Jeepers club could pull together a group buy ( we have what 120 members) and see if we can get a volume discount on a full system to include antenna and small radio.  Did not seem to be much in the way of interest and the usual "everyone uses a CB and they are cheap".

Going to investigate pricing for"
25 units
50 units
100 units

Cheers


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 12:52:56 PM
So I talked to Joe from Rugged Radios and he passed some information.

1) They are california based and from what he is seeing  more and more Jeep clubs are going away from CB radios.  Poor recieption and limited range are their chief complaints.
2) The dual band radio they offer  transmits on either VHF or UHF. VHF is better for open terrain and UHF is better for hilly terrain.
3) the radios come programed with 40 channels  and a capacity for 200. To program  required a programing cable and working with free software to program the radio.
4)  I discussed  pricing for the jeep club if we were to do this.  
      - Joe  said that in a unit per unit  one at a time buy  he would extend a 15% discount.
      - If the club  put together a group buy of 25-50 units the discount would be bigger  ( thinking 20+%)  
      - with a larger group buy  Rugged radio will include a programing cable and link to sharware for reprograming.

The two radios sets I looked at are:

The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712
The other is the Complete Jeep starter kit with 25 watt radio and 5 watt handheld. https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1334&products_id=2455

Trail rider radio is $168.00 before discount  do the math  at on a projected buy of 25 or more could be around ea $135.00 plus shipping
The Dual band 25watt Jeep Kit (2 radios) is $368.00 before discount and with a buy of 25 or more  could be around  ea $295 plus shipping.

I know a few folks that have this setup on their side by sides and they love the radio!. I have purchased a Jeep Kit set up for R3 to include the handheld as well.  I like the inclusion of the hendheld radio as it can be a spotter tool to communicate with the driver or a way to stay connected  when you leave the rig.  

Upside:  Better clear communication  with much more range than the standard CB.  set up a standard  primary , 2 or 3 alternate club frequencies to operate on.

Down side: More costly than the Walmart CB or GMRS battery powered handhelds. Outside non members would be without comms. or requre club to maintain some  CB comms for these purposes.

A thought  if the club wants to do a group buy is to work it thru one of our club supporting venders for payment options and order placement.

My radio setup will be in this comming weekend  and installed next week. I will be running both CB and Dual band VHF/UHF in two weeks.

Cheers
Rob


PS  Volunteering for the club Radio guy position if we decide to go this route.




Title: Re: Radio
Post by: sirjames186 on May 14, 2018, 01:19:05 PM
$300 (+license to use it) is steep.  If I'm getting into dual band radios, it'll be with one of these:  http://a.co/hEUbrp0


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 01:29:30 PM
The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712

Is very close to what you showed.. cost is less than $80 more. bet it last a hell of a lot longer  too.  USA built radio vs a Chinese off amazon?


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: sirjames186 on May 14, 2018, 01:34:47 PM
The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712

Is very close to what you showed.. cost is less than $80 more. bet it last a hell of a lot longer  too.  USA built radio vs a Chinese off amazon?


Baofeng is based out of South Dakota actually

https://baofengtech.com/about


Title: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 14, 2018, 01:36:34 PM
The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712

Is very close to what you showed.. cost is less than $80 more. bet it last a hell of a lot longer  too.  USA built radio vs a Chinese off amazon?

It is exactly the same just different color and crazy overpriced. I have one and they work well enough. Plus programming them is stupid simple and the software is free. They donít compare to the Motorolaís I work on however they are great for personal use. But I doubt most will be interested in getting the proper license for them.

Edited: for extra words


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 01:40:22 PM
$300 (+license to use it) is steep.  If I'm getting into dual band radios, it'll be with one of these:  http://a.co/hEUbrp0

Read the Q&A, lots of questions on legality


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 01:40:53 PM
The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712

Is very close to what you showed.. cost is less than $80 more. bet it last a hell of a lot longer  too.  USA built radio vs a Chinese off amazon?


Baofeng is based out of South Dakota actually

https://baofengtech.com/about

By bad. thanks for updating. Wonder where they are built. no mention of that on their website. that are shipped from SD.... cheap is not done  in the US industrial base, that is done overseas... give em a go see  what happens.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 02:30:36 PM
Quality Performance Group is now a Rugged Radio Dealer...

I believe the Big Bad Bronco is going to have a Rugged radio in it soon. 

 :cheers


Title: Re: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 14, 2018, 04:29:56 PM
The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712

Is very close to what you showed.. cost is less than $80 more. bet it last a hell of a lot longer  too.  USA built radio vs a Chinese off amazon?

It is exactly the same just different color and crazy overpriced. I have one and they work well enough. Plus programming them is stupid simple and the software is free. They donít compare to the Motorolaís I work on however they are great for personal use. But I doubt most will be interested in getting the proper license for them.

Edited: for extra words


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Interesting, chatted with RR for a bit. They make their own radios just for them. Packaging may be the same form fit function but not the same internals.  The RR trail rider comes with power cord and a mic/speaker... Mount it in the vehicle and you have a base station....just low wattage.

Couple of us are going this way will check back with feedback.  Willing to go with better clearer comms and maybe even ditch the CB eventually.

I asked how RR compares to Motorola, functionally they stack up pretty well. Motorola is water proof and bit more ruggedized due to who they support.  These Rugged radios have been used by race teams out west, King of the hammers, Baja 1000 etc.  I have a couple friends with SXS machines and they love the radio.

For those of us that wheel on a regular basis... I think this is a good way to go. As for cost, well I see a lot of rigs that have a bunch of coin in them... And rarely see a trail. The handle held is the cost of a tire to put it into prospective.

The folks at RR seam nice and are very willing to chat and answer hard questions.

Cheers

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk



Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 14, 2018, 04:32:34 PM
The trail rider kit with dual band radio https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1170&products_id=1712

Is very close to what you showed.. cost is less than $80 more. bet it last a hell of a lot longer  too.  USA built radio vs a Chinese off amazon?

It is exactly the same just different color and crazy overpriced. I have one and they work well enough. Plus programming them is stupid simple and the software is free. They donít compare to the Motorolaís I work on however they are great for personal use. But I doubt most will be interested in getting the proper license for them.

Edited: for extra words


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Interesting, chatted with RR for a bit. They make their own radios just for them. Packaging may be the same form fit function but not the same internals.  The RR trail rider comes with power cord and a mic/speaker... Mount it in the vehicle and you have a base station....just low wattage.

Couple of us are going this way will check back with feedback.  Willing to go with better clearer comms and maybe even ditch the CB eventually.

I asked how RR compares to Motorola, functionally they stack up pretty well. Motorola is water proof and bit more ruggedized due to who they support.  These Rugged radios have been used by race teams out west, King of the hammers, Baja 1000 etc.  I have a couple friends with SXS machines and they love the radio.

For those of us that wheel on a regular basis... I think this is a good way to go. As for cost, well I see a lot of rigs that have a bunch of coin in them... And rarely see a trail. The handle held is the cost of a tire to put it into prospective.

The folks at RR seam nice and are very willing to chat and answer hard questions.

Cheers

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

What programming software do they provide?


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 14, 2018, 05:00:26 PM
The small group i usually wheel with is split about 50/50 on race radios the biggest holdup isn't the cost its the legality.  What licenses do you need ect ect


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 15, 2018, 07:06:58 AM
The small group i usually wheel with is split about 50/50 on race radios the biggest holdup isn't the cost its the legality.  What licenses do you need ect ect


Will let you know soon.  Radios inbound this week.  I will contact  RR and see if they can  advise.

Stay tuned...

 :cheers


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 15, 2018, 12:56:43 PM
The small group i usually wheel with is split about 50/50 on race radios the biggest holdup isn't the cost its the legality.  What licenses do you need ect ect


Dynamic,
Just off the phone with Rugged Radios, here is the scoop:

Dual band radio,

- VHF side falls into FCC part 90 for mobile radio. The VHF side requires no license. Freq band is from 150-174 mHz, below this falls into the HAM radio and requirtes a license. If you operate in VHF only  no license is required.


https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f53cc5a928acfec24334e5753c3a3c13&mc=true&node=pt47.1.1&rgn=div5#se47.1.1_1913

(4) FCC Form 605, Quick-form Application for Authorization for Wireless Radio Services. FCC Form 605 is used to apply for Amateur, Ship, Aircraft, and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) authorizations, as well as Commercial Radio Operator Licenses.

- UHF falls into the GMRS  catagory and requires a license. this costs $75.00 and is good for 10 years.  It covers a family ( small number 5 or so ) so it could be use in small groups designated as a "family".  https://www.fcc.gov/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs

I have purchased a Jeep kit from Rugged Radios  that comes with a hand held and vehicle mounted unit with antenna and cable.  If your "small group" is interested in going down this path, please contact Quality Performance Group our club vendor and order thru Colin. I am pretty sure He can support you with a decent discount. Remember he has to make somethign on the sale to stay in business.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 15, 2018, 01:23:53 PM
The small group i usually wheel with is split about 50/50 on race radios the biggest holdup isn't the cost its the legality.  What licenses do you need ect ect


Dynamic,
Just off the phone with Rugged Radios, here is the scoop:

Dual band radio,

- VHF side falls into FCC part 90 for mobile radio. The side requires no license. Freque band is from 150-174 mHz, below this falls into teh HAM radio and requirtes a license If you operate in VHF only  no license is required.

- UHF falls into the GMRS  catagory and requires a license. this costs $75.00 and is good for 10 years.  It covers a family ( small number 5 or so ) so it could be use in small groups designated as a "family".  https://www.fcc.gov/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs


The VHF is MURS and itís limited to 2 Watts. The UHF is GMRS it is nice you are allowed a lot more power for Mobile is allowed more power in some cases up to 50 watts but you have to have a license. To compare CB is allowed 4 watts I believe. Also, if itís programmable yourself that changes the legality of being used on those as well. Youíd have to make sure you are using only the MURS frequencies. 150-174 MHz is considered the buisness band and MURS is an extremely small portion of that.



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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 16, 2018, 06:57:30 AM
Will continue to  drill down into the licensing  issue. It would apear that this is not an expensive route to go. Navigating the  FCC website requires some time and understanding... 

The info presented  was direct from  Rugged Radios and they also passed that the rules on this are"changing rather quickly"  that might be why the FCC webpage is so difficult to apply to this particular radio set.

More to follow.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 16, 2018, 07:20:32 AM
The GMRS stuff has changed a bit recently. So I am a little more vague on that. The MURS has stayed the same though. 150-174 will not likely change. Thatís what the Gov and Buisness use for VHF so they arenít going to screw with that. Source for this educated guess: I work radio for the Gov. It would cost boatloads of money to have to reprogram everything let alone if radios need to be replaced. Heck there are groups that are not narrow band still. And thatís been going on since the 90s I believe. It started before my time in radio.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: sirjames186 on May 16, 2018, 08:11:59 AM
I brought up MURS awhile ago and kind of got poo pooed, but it seems like that is the way to go here....


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 16, 2018, 09:10:28 AM
This has gone as i expected  :lol   I find a bunch of info like you posted then get knocked down by a bunch of technicality counter information. 


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 16, 2018, 09:36:48 AM
Tried to apply for a license but software at work blocked the content.
process

https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/narli/radioservice.jsp?action=
actionNew


I used the PW  radio code which covered the freq bands for VHF/UHF for the radio set from Rugged.  Fee  is assest when application is complete, so I can't pass  cost data along.

Accoding to the company  FCC Part 90 Mobile Radio is where this lives. Looking thru the application process  to cover  150-174 and 450-470mHz  (VHF/UHF) , the code is PW for Private land Mobile Services Public safety .  It doesn't referre to any restritiction to government use or minipality use ( Police /fire/rescue)  so I am thinking that this is for public use and applies to teh dual band radio. I am not calling out or wishing to start a unrinary olympiad  just passing information I have found on the regulatory website. 

The on-line process looks to be realitivly straight forward and for the most part self guided with  links to additional needed information.  I the two bands listed are for "avaliable nation wide" according to the ULC website information.
Regerstered for a  FCC RN number in about 2 minutes. Trying to continue from there is a software  lack of capability on my work computer stopage.

When the left coast wakes up I wil again toggle them for more information on licensing and pass what I have found and see how it allpies to their equipment and our use. This sounds like a complicated matter  but with all things out of the normal  it just requires a level of understanding.

Legally you have to register the radio set. As a club I would  think that the club position is to be legal if this become a club  supported issue or equipment.  I am workign thru the process and will report back with information and updates as I get them.

Cheers



Title: Re: Radio
Post by: unleashd on May 16, 2018, 10:37:40 AM
'ZA' is the code for GMRS application. Cost is $75 for a 10 year license. No testing required. Just apply, pay the fee and you shall receive the license in a few days.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 16, 2018, 11:01:11 AM
More to my last and to address some question  from Hank.

VHF programed  freqs  for the 40 channels are  a range 150-160 skipping over the MURS freqs.

UHF  programed  freqs  for the 40 channels affored are a range 462-467  (in the GMRS range) Code ZA

 On the ULS  website (FCC on-line) the radio set  ( dual band ) can be registered  under Private Land Mobile services   FCC Moble radio part 90.  This covers both bands.

1) To register on-line you need an FRN  ( FCC Registery Number)  https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do  Process take about 2 minutes on line.
2) Once you have a FRN you need to apply for a license https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/login.jsp
3) once logged in, https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/wireless-services#block-menu-block-4 , select a radio service  Private Land mobile services  part 90 covers the range of freqs in the radio in both bands.  Code PW
4) from here  select PW from the drop down list and follow  the on-line  promots.

Notes,

- If you never plan to use  VHF  (Open country and on road) no need to register  the VHF side
- If you only plan to use the UHF side  (better for hill terrian) you can register as GMRS ( according to Rugged Radios)

That is the best I can do for information on this subject.   from what I have read and what I am hearing  more and more Jeep clubs are  moving in this direction. The biggest movment is out west obviously as that is where the company is located.  As for our club I know that OSE and myself are going to install  this setup I will have a handheld   in addition to a vehicle mounted unit, OSE will have a handheld  mounted in his rig.

 I have been a big believer in CB radios for many decades. I have found that  CH9 is not monitored  much anymore and REACT stations are far and few  in-between.  Police, least teh ones I talk with  mostly do not monitor the CB if it is even installed.  On the road  while there are many trucker still using this there as many not using CB as forms of communication.

trail rides  the selcted channels have bleed over from amped up  operators, squelch has to be turned up to almost max to control noise.   Tuning... slap a antenna on  and go..... performance sucketh! Clarity of communcation  is another issue analogue coms.  Replace and remove the CB?  I don't think so  YET.  I will run both  for now as the Cobra is a hide away install.  

I have done some  digging and this is what I am finding between the manufacturer and the FCC website.

Ethan or Joe is who I have been dealing with at Rugged Radios  (888) 541-7223 is their number.  they are interrest in working a group buy that will include a heft discount.  Our Local Rep Quality Performance is also interested in assisiting in a group buy.  I realize with a club  as large as ours  that there will be 10% that are interested in somethign like this.

Cheers
Rob.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 16, 2018, 06:18:53 PM
The radios arrived today.  Attached are a couple of snaps. Handheld radio is 2 inch wide by 4 inch long by a 1 inch deep.

Vehicle unit is 4x4x1.5. can be mounted atop The dash in the cubbie and still be able to.use the cubbie.
Alternate is to the passenger side of the gearshift on the lower dash.

Haven't decided yet.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180516/71f79628fa0e6fc2fddd4623f58334ab.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180516/db5add5ca3054f40b744b0bbf0634c71.jpg)

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk



Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 16, 2018, 07:32:09 PM
Looks good !  I really appreciate all the research and efforts you have put in.  Will you be at the S&S Saturday? i do wanna see these in person  :wrench


Title: Re:
Post by: JK_HVGC on May 16, 2018, 09:06:19 PM
So we actually use all the rugged products during KOH.  They are primary comms.  I run the radio relay for the race team.

They work great in open terrain like the desert.  We set up a 50 ft mast for race day and can talk to the race car at 30 miles + as the crow flies.

The higher frequency spectrum loses it's advantage in hilly terrain.  The higher you go in the frequency spectrum, the more line of site your comms become.  The lower end of the spectrum works well in hilly terrain as the signal will bounce along the ground. 

Most planes use UHF, line of sight, because of how high they are. 

Long story short, I wouldnt invest in VHF out east.  The terrain isn't conducive with the amount of power pushed. 

If we lived in Cali, then this would be the way to go.

Jeremy

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk



Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 17, 2018, 12:43:35 AM
The snake oil runneth deep.

John


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 17, 2018, 01:31:31 PM
Looks good !  I really appreciate all the research and efforts you have put in.  Will you be at the S&S Saturday? i do wanna see these in person  :wrench

I have to bow out of the S&S, I have  obligations in Suffolk Va that weekend now.  Be happy to catch you up next week after work and we can  talk Jeep $hit and Radios.

Cheers


Mounting  the antenna and radio  tonight.


Title: Re:
Post by: R3 on May 17, 2018, 01:33:14 PM
So we actually use all the rugged products during KOH.  They are primary comms.  I run the radio relay for the race team.

They work great in open terrain like the desert.  We set up a 50 ft mast for race day and can talk to the race car at 30 miles + as the crow flies.

The higher frequency spectrum loses it's advantage in hilly terrain.  The higher you go in the frequency spectrum, the more line of site your comms become.  The lower end of the spectrum works well in hilly terrain as the signal will bounce along the ground. 

Most planes use UHF, line of sight, because of how high they are. 

Long story short, I wouldnt invest in VHF out east.  The terrain isn't conducive with the amount of power pushed. 

If we lived in Cali, then this would be the way to go.

Jeremy

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk



KOH  feedback! love it!  Thanks Jeremy.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: PanteraPilot on May 17, 2018, 05:41:44 PM
The snake oil runneth deep.

John



 :) :) :)


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 18, 2018, 06:13:49 AM
99,
I run into this all the time  in my position at work. A new Idea is heresey and Old  is comfortable  no matter what becuase we  1) understand it and 2)are comfortable using it.

All I have to say is  Mr. Ford the model T is outdated and being surpassed by better technology. It is time to move on and retire the model T.


Good Discussions both pro and con and yes the sarcastic too.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 18, 2018, 08:03:20 PM
Looks good !  I really appreciate all the research and efforts you have put in.  Will you be at the S&S Saturday? i do wanna see these in person  :wrench

Dynamic,
Travel plans changed, see you at the S&S. Radio is temp installed. with handheld.

Rob.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 18, 2018, 08:09:07 PM
Get a CB or be very lonely listening to static.

John


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 21, 2018, 06:41:17 AM
Get a CB or be very lonely listening to static.

John

Who says  thre will not be others???  Had some great feedback  from the S&S.  Run with a coulpe guys that already have units....

As to analogue technology... yes I have one installed right next to the new dual band...  and I know this is something that the old jeep may not have,   a Radio... so music  abounds. LOL.



Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 21, 2018, 07:01:20 AM
Get a CB and be very lonely listening to static.

John

Fixed that For you  :lol
Atleast thats been my experience with 2 flagpole / 1 PetersMill  & 1 CoveBigDogs Event this year
In Fact our guide @ BD could only hear 3 vehicles back so we had to daisy chain all day and that was spotty at best

I have a CB its been tuned to a  1/1 By AutoOutfitters in Manassas and still its Spotty because what 15% bothered to tune them correctly?  I even started carrying my SWR meeting in my bag and trying to help others tune theres as well.I will be adding a RuggedRadio To my setup cause More communication never hurt anyone.  And even if only my core group of friends opt-in its hands down worth it, but I go into this knowing others I am interested in wheeling with also intend to do it. 


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 21, 2018, 12:00:23 PM
Get a CB and be very lonely listening to static.

John

Fixed that For you  :lol
Atleast thats been my experience with 2 flagpole / 1 PetersMill  & 1 CoveBigDogs Event this year
In Fact our guide @ BD could only hear 3 vehicles back so we had to daisy chain all day and that was spotty at best

I have a CB its been tuned to a  1/1 By AutoOutfitters in Manassas and still its Spotty because what 15% bothered to tune them correctly?  I even started carrying my SWR meeting in my bag and trying to help others tune theres as well.I will be adding a RuggedRadio To my setup cause More communication never hurt anyone.  And even if only my core group of friends opt-in its hands down worth it, but I go into this knowing others I am interested in wheeling with also intend to do it. 

Good to hear  :cheers

Some will  join  the movement :tu

Some will watch... :?

and some will try to  shovel  fertilizer on it.  :duh

For me clear  dependable comms  is worth it.  The advantages to Citizen Band other than dirt cheap don't seem to be there.

Cheers


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 21, 2018, 10:14:34 PM
Some will  join  the movement, dont forget to flush

Fixed it for you.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Gr8Dain on May 22, 2018, 05:33:14 AM
Wow. Radios are a passionate topic.

Please remember to keep it friendly folks.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 22, 2018, 06:35:37 AM
Morning,

 I tried to present corect information, did the research for licensing and present the links to that information.   This is a movement on the west coast in the Jeep clubs according to the Company.  One of our own a KoH racer  uses this  equipment and presented his views.  I personally am always looking to improve things, and look for better ways.  I have used this set up  with folks that are not assiciated with this club and was very happy with the clarity of communications it has presented.  I know that several members in this club are going this way.   I did a show and tell at the Show and Shine and from that a few members decided that they too would like to go down this route.  We have a supporting vendor  that has picked up tis line as well.

I also realize that there are those who will  play the part of the Negitive Nancy, I apologize for feeding that line of thinking.

At the end of the day we have a lot of members. So  are show and shine  vehicles, some are  Street rigs affectionatly known as mall crawlers and some are  on the trail wheelers. Effective  clear communications doesn't apply to all these  sub groups.

Again I apologize for the  negitive turn this thread has taken.

if anyone would like more information  pleae contact  Qualtiy Performance our vender or myself  and I will be happy to answer any question you may have.

R3


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: unleashd on May 22, 2018, 07:02:10 AM
R3.
What did these RRs set you back? I need to also get a mobile HAM setup. So, I need to prioritize. I have a CB already and it worked well on our last trip to peters mill if you remember.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Gr8Dain on May 22, 2018, 07:35:42 AM
Morning,

 I tried to present corect information, did the research for licensing and present the links to that information.   This is a movement on the west coast in the Jeep clubs according to the Company.  One of our own a KoH racer  uses this  equipment and presented his views.  I personally am always looking to improve things, and look for better ways.  I have used this set up  with folks that are not assiciated with this club and was very happy with the clarity of communications it has presented.  I know that several members in this club are going this way.   I did a show and tell at the Show and Shine and from that a few members decided that they too would like to go down this route.  We have a supporting vendor  that has picked up tis line as well.

I also realize that there are those who will  play the part of the Negitive Nancy, I apologize for feeding that line of thinking.

At the end of the day we have a lot of members. So  are show and shine  vehicles, some are  Street rigs affectionatly known as mall crawlers and some are  on the trail wheelers. Effective  clear communications doesn't apply to all these  sub groups.

Again I apologize for the  negitive turn this thread has taken.

if anyone would like more information  pleae contact  Qualtiy Performance our vender or myself  and I will be happy to answer any question you may have.

R3

No worries. I was simply wanting to keep this thread friendly and informative.

I am interested in the topic as I had been thinking about GMRS last year.

There appear to be a lot of right choices depending on intended uses and needs. And that is all good.

Keep the facts coming.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 22, 2018, 08:07:27 AM
I sincerely hope no one thinks Iím being a naysayer. Iím all about improving communications. I simply advise caution. In the 150-174 range there are a lot of gov entities. These radios are easy to program there for easy to program wrong. Some of us will be all about doing things by the book others maybe not. If you end up stepping on some one elseís frequency you can can in some serious trouble. They donít enforce CB or HAM very much Also, if Iíve got an officer in the field and Joe Blow is stepping on my frequency that could cause a serious officer safety issue. Having said that I am seriously interested in learning more about these frequencies you want to use. If people are on board Iíd like to see how it works in comparison to CB. If done well itíll not only improve comm but hopefully get more people interested in radio.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 22, 2018, 09:28:22 AM
R3.
What did these RRs set you back? I need to also get a mobile HAM setup. So, I need to prioritize. I have a CB already and it worked well on our last trip to peters mill if you remember.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Please contact Quality performance (Colin) for pricing (703) 543-6433. I understand he is putting together a small group buy.  He can  give you more information on that. You can go direct to Rugged radios bu t that  cost is retail and a bit steeper.

R3


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 22, 2018, 09:45:03 AM
I sincerely hope no one thinks Iím being a naysayer. Iím all about improving communications. I simply advise caution. In the 150-174 range there are a lot of gov entities. These radios are easy to program there for easy to program wrong. Some of us will be all about doing things by the book others maybe not. If you end up stepping on some one elseís frequency you can can in some serious trouble. They donít enforce CB or HAM very much Also, if Iíve got an officer in the field and Joe Blow is stepping on my frequency that could cause a serious officer safety issue. Having said that I am seriously interested in learning more about these frequencies you want to use. If people are on board Iíd like to see how it works in comparison to CB. If done well itíll not only improve comm but hopefully get more people interested in radio.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Understand your concerns.  The bands you are discussing  work better out west and in open terrain.  There is licensing that goes with that.  As to operators not following the rules...  every time we build a more stupid proof  piece of gear they build a better stupid operator to go with it. That can't be controlled.  The majority of folks will follow the rules. A club policy will help enforce those rules.   My discussions with Rugged Radios, the frequencies they  have programmed  are good to go without  stepping on LEO or critical comms.  I have this from the manufacturer  but there is always an exception.  There are 40 pre-programmed channels, pick  three or four for the  club to operate on. There are 16 pre-programmed GMRS channels ( Licensing $70.00 for 10 yrs).

As to the stepping on a comms channel, a quick identification of the officer on the net, and a request  or direction to clear the channel is  usually what is required and solves the issue.   Are there people out there  or even within this club that would  disrupt?  Yes. will they  get in trouble maybe not right away but they will get caught by their own devices. 

AS to programming, that requires effort.... intent... this set up has 40 preprogrammed channels... ( funny same as a cb but without every tom Dick and Harry  on an illegal set balsting 200 watts)

Lastly,
we live in a world where the sky is falling and we will all die! according to the media....  Actually no, we are not going to die today,  it was just rain. 


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 22, 2018, 09:48:10 AM
Like R3 said Colin (Quality Performance) is getting a very good deal on these on top of the RR May Sale I suggest calling him my understanding is the current group order is going in late this week.  I know for a fact he has 5 Orders already  :jw


@Hank Part of your statement is exactly why i am actually getting one of the units instead of just handheld so i can learn and utilize all the functions and expand my knowledge and use. I like gadgets and tinkering


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 22, 2018, 10:03:26 AM
Like R3 said Colin (Quality Performance) is getting a very good deal on these on top of the RR May Sale I suggest calling him my understanding is the current group order is going in late this week.  I know for a fact he has 5 Orders already  :jw


@Hank Part of your statement is exactly why i am actually getting one of the units instead of just handheld so i can learn and utilize all the functions and expand my knowledge and use. I like gadgets and tinkering

Think aboutthe noise filter as well it is plug and play, not required but could be good insurance. I have  LED  spotlights that make noise on my power line. The filter cleaned that up.  They offer a Radio and intercomm filter or an intercomm filter. I am usng the combine radio /intercomm filter.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 24, 2018, 12:37:43 AM
Signal Attenuation
There are a lot of trees with leaves during the wheeling season.  The attenuation of signals due to leaves is highly dependent on frequency. 
The attenuation of leaves (dB/m) at low frequencies (HF 11m CB 27MHz) is a tenth of what it is at 3M, 100MHz.  You need 50 Watts at 100 MHz to get the same signal though the trees that a CB at 27 MHz can achieve with just 5 Watts.
The attenuation gets worse at higher frequencies.  At 170MHz you need 100 watts to get the same signal through the same trees that a 27 MHz CB can achieve at 5 Watts.  UHF is even worse, at 400MHz your signal is 1/90th the strength of one at 11 MHz in the same forest conditions.  You need 450 watts of power at 400 MHz to get the same signal at the receiver as you would using 5 watts at 11 meters.

If you want to punch through the foliage the lower the frequency the better. 
Moist soils and salt water reflect RF energy.  Dry sandy soils absorb RF energy.  Lower frequencies are reflected better and absorbed less than higher frequencies, a secondary effect that enhances range at lower frequencies

Propagation Modes (Sky Wave, Ground Wave & Line of Sight)
We dont use Sky Wave (ionospheric bounce) or Ground Wave (wet soil, salt water) propagation on trail rides.  These are modes available to HF (CB) frequencies but are not significant for our short range purposes.
Free space propagation, Line Of Sight (LOS) is the mode we use.  A 5 watt signal with a clear line of sight can travel well over 100 miles between two decent radio/antenna/cable set ups, HF, VHF or UHF.  I regularly talk to folks on 5 watt hand helds in Rockville or Germantown when on Flagpole. Its beyond trivial to go a mile along a group of Jeeps where we have line of sight, especially in moist terrain, unless one of the radios has a really poorly set up radio/cable/antenna system.

A quick note:  Range and power are not linear.  To double the one way range you need 4 times the power, its a squared function.  Web search it.  The rugged radios web site says that you can get more than twice the range by doubling the power when it really takes four times the power. Like I said in an earlier post, the snake oil runneth deep.

Its not uncommon for LOWER frequency (HF, 50MHz and down) signals to propagate LOS, encounter a ridge line and then diffract (as opposed to ground wave refraction, another HF effect) over the ridge line down in to the next valley.  UHF/VHF can do the same but the diffracted signal at UHF/VHF is much much weaker at these higher frequencies.  This is why a good CB set up deep in the valley of Dunkle Hollow can reach a group in another valley on Union Springs.

AM/FM/SSB/Digital (Modes)
The AM mode pulses the signal amplitude up and down to carry the useful signal.  In FM the frequency is shifted (modulated) about either side of the tuned frequency to carry the useful signal.  FM uses a wide band width for the modulation spreading out your transmitter power.  In Single Side Band (SSB) a narrow slice of frequency either below (lower side band) or above (upper side band) of the tuned frequency is pulsed in amplitude (like AM) to carry the signal. SSB is nice because all the transmitter power is "packed" into this narrow side band instead of being spread over a wide AM (lower, carrier, upper) band, or wide Frequency Modulated (FM) band. These are all analog modes.  In a digital mode the voice is converted to 1's and 0's, transmitted as an ANALOG AM, FM or SSB signal and then decoded and turned back into an voice on the other end.  For digital modes to be effective in the presence of winds, moving leaves, rain, diffraction or reflection it must have either forward or backward error correction to repair the lost packets of the digital signal to remain stable and readable under all but the most pristine of conditions.   The "other poster" suggested that the rugged radio systems are not analog technology.  Gently put, thats bull sheit being spread by a person and company that has no idea what they are talking about.  The rugged radio systems are analog radios using FM, heaven forbid they are pushing simplex digital voice.  Of all the modes digital has the worst propagation unless sophisticated forward and backward error correction techniques are used, and this slows down the data rate to the point where its worthless for voice unless a very high dollar (thousands of dollars) radio is being used.  This is why your digital TV or dish satellite signal sucks in rain or high winds.   The FM mode is OK.  FM is robust under almost all atmospheric conditions but it has a very sharp cut off when the frequency modulation is affected by lack of signal (range, terrain).  FM is clear as a bell until it totally disappears.  Digital goes away as soon as the wind blows.  AM is great but suffers from atmospheric and man made noise (alternators are a common problem with improper grounding).  SSB analog with its power concentrated in a narrow band width is by far the superior mode.  I can talk to California at 50 MHz analog SSB on 10 watts from Flagpole.  CB's are AM at 4 watts below channel 36.  Good CB's have Lower and Upper Sideband modes which can run up to 12 watts in the narrow side bands from channel 36 to 40.  If you really want to reach out and touch someone a well tuned CB with 12 watts in either LSB or USB is hard to beat.  FM at VHF or UHF (analog or digital) packs nowhere near the long range punch that an HF SSB rig at the same (or even 10 times) the power levels.

Why Doesnt Your CB Work Better?
What I am about to say is 10 times more important at VHF/UHF than at the HF-CB bands.  VHF/UHF is an order of magnitude more sensitive to losses and installation errors than HF (CB). 

So you bought a CB, cable and Fire Stick antenna, had it professionally installed and tuned with a VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) meter so it tests out great but as you learned on the trail, it sucks in the real world.  Lets start with the antenna.  Your antenna is a monopole, not a dipole.  You only have half an antenna, your missing the counterpoise, the other half.  For maximum radiation you need the center conductor (carrying RF power) to go to one length of tuned wire pointing upward and the shield or ground to go to another equal length of wire at 180 degrees (going down), but your ground (shield) goes to the chassis mount for the Fire Stick.  You are already throwing away at least half your power.  To prevent that power from being reflected back into the radio and frying the finals (power amp) Firestick (all monopole vendors) adjust the inductance and capacitance of the antenna (turning it into resistor, changing RF power into heat) so it tunes nicely, showing a 50 ohm load, but doesnt radiate all that effectively.  Another, better antenna is monopole (same length pointing upward) with radials forming a ground plane sticking out from it.  This ground plane (not tied to the chassis) is connected to the shield of the cable and creates sympathetic oscillations in the monopole that AMPLIFY the effective radiation.  Another solution is to use a mag mount antenna on the roof (XJ) or hood (TJ, JK, etc) where the sheet metal becomes the ground plane, tied to the shield.  This is what I use on my TJ and XJ.  A mag mount on the hood of a TJ looks silly but its a rock star for effective radiation.

So now that your antenna is "fixed" lets look at the cable.  For VHF/UHF you need 1/2 inch diameter low loss LMR-400 or 3/4 inch LMR-600.  This is what I use on my contesting rig, look up dB loss per foot, anything smaller is just using your UHF/VHF radio as a power source to heat up a length of cable (what cable does rugged radios use?). For HF or CB you can use small diameter flexible cable that has much lower loss per foot due to the lower frequency. After you have selected the right cable what you need to pay attention to is the connectors.  If they are tightly secured to the cable and you show 0.1 ohm or less on the shield and center conductor end to end with infinite resistance between the shield and center conductor your cable is probably good.  I say probably because a volt ohm meter is DC and RF is AC power, but unless you have a spectrum analyzer a VOM is about as good as it gets.  Is there ANY moisture in the connectors?  If so that is a huge problem.  Moisture is loss (probably 75% of you power Tx and more importantly Rx) and moisture leads to corrosion.  Look for white dusty powder in the cable end.  If you see powder or corrosion the cable is trashed, replace it.  Now that you have a good cable you need to use coax seal (self annealing tape) to waterproof the connection so you don't get moisture or corrosion in the future.

So your cable is good, but how is it run?  Is it pinched in the door frame or window?  Is it bent tightly, less than a 3 inch radius for 240 or less than 10 inch for LMR-400 (VHF-UHF)?  If its pinched or bent too tightly it may well be shorted internally and will fail the VOM test.  If so, the foam or Teflon liner has likely been breached letting the center conductor come close to if not touch the outer shield.  RF energy is alternating current and the power in the center conductor will JUMP a thin insulator via capacitive coupling to the shield and short out your radio causing a major if not total loss of Tx and Rx signal, it can even destroy your radio in a shorted condition.  DC testing with a VOM will let the cable look good but an AC test using meggar or spectrum analyzer will show an impending thin insulator failure.

At this point you have should have a good antenna and cable and its time to look at the radio.  The biggest radio problem I see on the trail is improper use.  To many switches, knobs, SSB, USB, LSB, AM, FM, low or high modulation, bad connections between the mike and radio (especially common on all in one mike controls).  Make sure you set up the radio properly.  Following this bad grounds are common.  The radio power must come direct from the + battery terminal and the ground must go back to the negative.  Anything less is asking for trouble down the road.

If you have done it 50% right your CB should be fantastic.  If you have done all this 80% right a VHF/UHF system will suck.  VHF/UHF is that sensitive.

A word on VSWR meters.  A low VSWR reading does NOT mean every thing is OK.  A VSWR reading is a measures energy reflected back from the antenna relative to transmitter output using logarithm math.  A VSWR reading of 1.5 or less is good, 1.2 or less is fantastic.  A reading of over 3.0 will probably destroy your radio. VSWR is NOT a measure of effective radiating power.  A low VSWR indicates low reflected power compared to transmitted power.  You can have a really low VSWR with a crappy cable or antenna installation and a near zero level of radiated power, ie a worthless installation. How? Well if your connections, cable and or antenna have a high resistance (real not imaginary for you EE's) the resistance will eat up transmit power on the way out and then eat up the reflected power on the way back so VSWR looks nice and low but in reality you have a systems thats just heating up the cable, connectors and antenna instead of punching out a strong signal.  How do you sort all this out?  A good VSWR meter will let you measure forward (radio to antenna) power separately from reflected (antenna back to radio) power.  You start by measuring forward power AT the RADIO.  Then you measure forward power at the end of the antenna cable.  The difference in forward power is due to resistive loss in the cable.  Then you measure reflected power at the base of the antenna and finally reflected power at the radio end of the cable. From this information you an determine if the connectors are bad, the cable is lossy or the antenna is mistuned. 

Putting it all together
Low frequencies propagate better.  Low frequencies are less sensitive to foliage conditions.  Low frequencies are less sensitive to terrain.  SSB and AM are more readable and decay more gracefully in bad conditions than FM or Digital modes.  Low frequencies are more forgiving of cable and connector problems (seeing a trend here?).  CB's operate a lower frequencies that VHF/UHF radios.  CB's offer AM and SSB modes.  You only need a watt or two at most to talk lead to tail across any string of Jeeps on the trail.  Ignore the snake oil, bullshit, sales hype and ignorance.  By a simple, low cost CB, install it properly (easier at HF) and have a good time.  If you really feel the need for VHF/UHF grab a couple FRS radios as back up.

John


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 24, 2018, 07:24:22 AM
It would seem in this day and age that anger, outrange and violance has replace  discussion and calm debate.  I have seen this in everything from  discussion on our President  dividing  father and son to parking spots disputes at the mall. So I am not surprised that  it has filtered into a topic like this.   Passion is good  and welcomed but lets be respectful too.

You put a great deal of time crafting this response. Some very good information I would say well done  until I read your last line, Bad form sir.

"... Ignore the snake oil, bullshit, sales hype and ignorance.  By a simple, low cost CB, install it properly (easier at HF) and have a good time.  If you really feel the need for VHF/UHF grab a couple FRS radios as back up."

Obviously you have either a passion for CB radios, and are resistant to change.  Your points were well made  from the technical aspects. I ask you this:

Earlier in this thread "Hank" was concerned with critical communication  in the VHF band getting clobbered by some one mis-usuing  or programming frequencies that conflict with critical communications.  Key here is critical communications.  If I apply the  the information and conclusion you present then these critical communications are have major issues with propagation. Why then are they used for critical communications?

Police, Fire and Rescue all use These bands for what I would call critical communications to include their handheld units. I know Motorola is good  but I seriously doubt that a Weather proof  Police handhled is transmitting 400W RMS and still running on battery for a full shift. But I could be wrong. Why are a they using this technology  for critical communications?

Industry uses this technology for critical and non critical communication world wide.  The oil industry uses this technology and relys on it for clear comms much of their work is near or at critical in respects to communications. Again why?

We have within our  group a KOH racer (King of the Hammers)  that has chimed in on this topic eariler on. That race is one of the toughest races in the world in some of the most in hospitable places in the world, yet they rely on there Race radios for critical communications out to the extents of the course some 30 miles. I would think they need reliable clear communications and affordable as they are an independant operator and Military member.

Military  uses VHF and UHF  for critical comms on land, air and sea. Granted some of the vehicle mounted radios  produce much hight outputs, but the pack and hand held running on batteries can't be transmitting on 100-400Watts of power for long. Critical communications? I would think  yes.

I respect you knowledge  on the subject of Analogue communications technology and  acknowledgement that you compete ( I never knew that was a competition for Radio).  Clearly you have a serious passion for your radio technology and the equipment you compete with.  It is pretty obvious by your last statment,  but it does detract credibilty from all your research and theory  presented.

I offer you this,

We can agree to disagree on this subject and can put and end to this somewhat entertaining urinary olympiad.   With a club of 100+ members  most will only  see a trail  a few times a year, communication is not as important as not scratching the paint and having to explain it to the wife/husband.  I would say 10%(?) of the club actually  run trails on a monthly or more basis.   So If we have 10% that actually wheel seriously and want or desire  better communication. There are options.  I presented an option and a fairly valid one.  I am not bashing  CB or the people that will defend it to the end that is their choice. 
At one time everyone had a CB and cared about how it worked. REACT was a nationwide service for emergancy in that band. Every truck on the road had a CB and would respectfully  communicate with you.  Today many of these advantages have slid to the curb, I know in my area  Police don't even have CB installed in their cars, but they do have a Cell phone and a computer. A CB  can be found  just about anywhere for $50.00 or less and add an antenna "so I can talk on the trail" is easy. "Love to tune it, but the meter costs too much and  for what I do  it is fine". But 27  $50.00 LED light cubes.... there is a budget for that.   I digress,  90% will not really need  any type of communication save for that one ot twice a year trail ride.

I also submit that this technology and it is not new, is NOT  as you say  "...Ignore the snake oil, bullshit, sales hype and ignorance..."  If it is good enough for critical comms for our first responders in this area, it should stand up to working on the trail and in convoy to and from trails for us.

Regards
Rob.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 24, 2018, 08:29:18 AM
Why donít we do a functional test? Iíve got a couple good Motorola VHF portable radios we can program up with some simplex ham frequencies (146Mhz ish). I can set them up for analog or P25. We have other hams on here I can test with. If they want to join. What I donít have is a good mag mount antenna. The portables would suffer because of that. Then we grab up some properly installed CBs. The power output is about the same (4-5 watts) and put it to the test.
Test from set distances in different terrain. It would be a lot of fun.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: sirjames186 on May 24, 2018, 08:33:38 AM
Why donít we do a functional test? Iíve got a couple good Motorola VHF portable radios we can program up with some simplex ham frequencies (146Mhz ish). I can set them up for analog or P25. We have other hams on here I can test with. If they want to join. What I donít have is a good mag mount antenna. The portables would suffer because of that. Then we grab up some properly installed CBs. The power output is about the same (4-5 watts) and put it to the test.
Test from set distances in different terrain. It would be a lot of fun.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I'd be interested in giving this a shot actually.  I just have the CB, but it's tuned up pretty well, I always get better signal than others on the trail.  The south end of Peter's Mill has a pretty good hill right out of the parking lot we could use to test some terrain effect.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 24, 2018, 09:16:18 AM
Gents,  I have a set of  Rugged Radio  units. on mounted and one handheld.  Licensed on UHF frequencies GMRS to stay within the bounds of legality.  I know there are at least 5  others than have orders pending for these units.  I would like to see the average  Trail ready  CB operator  vs the average trail ready  Dual band unit go head to head.  My CB is tuned pretty well I am just under 1.9:1  (SWR self tuned) for a NGP set up with filtered power on a Cobra 75 unit. The  Dual band equipment I have and a few others are purchasing includes  a base ( Vehicle moutned 25watts) and handheld at 5 watts. 

With these average parameters I can see this being a useful test of capability. If we use a groomed set not characteristice of the average trail user  the results become skewed.

I voluenteer my rig CB and Dual Band capabile (advertised 25 mile range DB) plus moble DB handheld (advertised 1-3 mile range)

Perhaps Dynamic with his CB rig tuned profesionally and is on the dual band purchase in progress. Happy to have a shot gun (Hank or Sir James)  operate both systems at range and in close on the trail.

I think the Peter's mill  location is a fantastic  location,  as our trail ride  in the spring strung groups out for miles.  :tu


I am also running a Rausch trail ride on the 9th of June where some of the group will be Dual band equipped. Be happy to supply feedback on that trip as well.

Looking forward to it. Great Idea Hank!


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Dynamic on May 24, 2018, 12:55:10 PM
I am definitely Game for a testing / capabilities outing, the order for our new Rugged Radios is going to go in this week. what I will have testable Configurations

1) Standard Jeep CB Setup  (Walmart Pickup Cobra 19)  Run to a 3' FireStick. Auto Outfitters Verified the power and Ground as well as tuned the Antenna. 
2) Mobile + Mounted Dualband RuggedRadios "Jeep Kit" Order going in this week


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: PanteraPilot on May 24, 2018, 01:45:37 PM
Part of the issue people have on this subject is that some people use "Tuned" CB radios.  Some use HAM or other radios when they are not licensed.  This is exactly where the problem starts.  Why do most people dislike using CBs? - because there are obnoxious people out there with cranked up power outputs and over modulated microphones.

"Tuned" - usually means illegal. It usually means raising the power output.  Cranking up the power is not legal.  Stretching the frequencies to operate beyond the band they were intended is not legal.  Using a HAM radio without a license is not legal.  All these things make talking on any given frequency more difficult for those that are using it as it was intended, and legally.

A well installed stock CB will work very well for most people on a trail.  There's certainly nothing wrong with spending more money for something you may like better, just do it within legal bounds.  Remember- there's a reason the club follows certain rules when on a trail ride - so one's bad activities don't ruin it for everybody else.  It's the same thing for radios.  There are a number of legal radios and frequencies available to use.  I suggest that before one listens to the guy trying to sell something, they just do some basic research on what's legal (I'm not saying anybody has skipped this step).


Last item..... while a comparison of radios may be enjoyable, it's like comparing apples to oranges.  Sometimes a CB won't talk to a guy 5 miles away, but other times you can talk around the world.  Comparing VHF, UHF, and HF radios is only accurate when comparing like frequencies.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 24, 2018, 02:04:17 PM
If you have followed the thread you have seen the links to the research and licensing for the radios in question. In my case tuned means swr set not running a power amp.
CB is running 4watts

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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 28, 2018, 08:36:46 PM
A low Voltage Standing Wave Ratio has nothing to do with how well the signal is getting out.  VSWR simply tells you how close you are to frying your finals due to reflected power.

John


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 28, 2018, 10:21:49 PM
Public safety has gone to VHF UHF Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) with an extensive (closed) repeater network using repeater every 2-3 miles) funded by DHS.  OP: If your selling a public DMR system you doing a great disservice to the off road community, unless your installing repeaters every few miles where we wheel.

Focus on the fundamentals.

The higher the frequency the more dependant you are on an unobstructed line of sight.  As long as you only need to talk to people you can see UHF may work.

The higher the frequency the greater the attenuation by folliage.  VHF has ten times the signal loss of HF.  UHF has ten times the signal loss of VHF. Trying to use UHF radios in a dense folliage environment puts you at a huge disadvantage.

HF refracts and diffracts over ridges better than VHF.  VHF refracts and diffracts over ridges better than UHF.  Any 4 watt radio at any frequency will give you solid coms out to 100 miles with a clear line of sight.  I'd you want coms when in a valley you need HF.

A properly installed antenna with either radials or a good ground plane is essential for high effective radiated power and good coms.

The taller the antenna at a given frequency the more gain (effective power) BUT a tall antenna has a narrow elevation beam width which wont get up out of a valley and wont get over a ridgeline.

So why am I so interested in this?  It's my job and a passion.  I am an electromagnetics engineer for the Office of Naval Research.  I solve RF problems for ships, aircraft, satellites, vehicles and personnel.  I have also won two national first places along with a couple seconds in amateur (Ham Radio) VHF UHF competitions. 

Oh yeah, I have wheeled here on the east coast and the west coast (including the Hammers trails) using HF 11m (CB), VHF, UHF (FRS, GMRS & Ham freqs) for coms.  A properly installed (not just vswr tuned) CB is by far the best coms you can have per dollar unless you want to drop a grand on a beam, brick amp and low loss cable.

Enough said, buyer beware.  Have fun.

John
KM4KMU












Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Digger571 on May 28, 2018, 10:40:47 PM
LOL. John with the mic drop...  Well said sir!   :cheers


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: R3 on May 29, 2018, 06:19:22 AM
John,
Enjoyed your posts... ONR... Science and technology.... They develop technology with in 6.1-6.3 funds early stages of development. Still behind commercial development sadly. Obviously this is your rice bowl and you defend it vigorously.

I guess you will always support analogue technology and anyone who doesn't begets you wrath.

As to EMS having repeater every 2-3 miles.... I don't think so. Repeaters yes but the density is fiscally unfeasible.

Ran to Norfolk this past weekend with a friend in another rig equipped with a Rugged Radio. We easily talked 5-8 miles to each other on US17. Our CB's did not do so well and were clobbered by static and illegal operators.

As Hank proposed, be happy to do an in vehicle test comparison on trails we run.

You don't support this idea?

If CB technology is so good, why not put on a clinic to the club to "fix" their CB issues?

It has always been hard to work with ONR due to the "not invented here" mentally. Your arguments support that. Sadly that mentality has been keeping us firmly behind our adversaries.

When you are ready to do an experiment let me know... I retire for this Urinary Olympiad.

But please feel free to flame on.





Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk



Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Clifford04X on May 29, 2018, 09:51:20 AM
I don't think he's seen johns Jeep... 


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: overhead on May 29, 2018, 10:21:48 AM
I don't think he's seen johns Jeep... 

I think john has a completely different way of thinking that is coming across weird through text.


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: Hank on May 31, 2018, 03:56:39 AM
Public safety has gone to VHF UHF Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) with an extensive (closed) repeater network using repeater every 2-3 miles) funded by DHS.  OP: If your selling a public DMR system you doing a great disservice to the off road community, unless your installing repeaters every few miles where we wheel.

Focus on the fundamentals.

The higher the frequency the more dependant you are on an unobstructed line of sight.  As long as you only need to talk to people you can see UHF may work.

The higher the frequency the greater the attenuation by folliage.  VHF has ten times the signal loss of HF.  UHF has ten times the signal loss of VHF. Trying to use UHF radios in a dense folliage environment puts you at a huge disadvantage.

HF refracts and diffracts over ridges better than VHF.  VHF refracts and diffracts over ridges better than UHF.  Any 4 watt radio at any frequency will give you solid coms out to 100 miles with a clear line of sight.  I'd you want coms when in a valley you need HF.

A properly installed antenna with either radials or a good ground plane is essential for high effective radiated power and good coms.

The taller the antenna at a given frequency the more gain (effective power) BUT a tall antenna has a narrow elevation beam width which wont get up out of a valley and wont get over a ridgeline.

So why am I so interested in this?  It's my job and a passion.  I am an electromagnetics engineer for the Office of Naval Research.  I solve RF problems for ships, aircraft, satellites, vehicles and personnel.  I have also won two national first places along with a couple seconds in amateur (Ham Radio) VHF UHF competitions. 

Oh yeah, I have wheeled here on the east coast and the west coast (including the Hammers trails) using HF 11m (CB), VHF, UHF (FRS, GMRS & Ham freqs) for coms.  A properly installed (not just vswr tuned) CB is by far the best coms you can have per dollar unless you want to drop a grand on a beam, brick amp and low loss cable.

Enough said, buyer beware.  Have fun.

John
KM4KMU

I am the OP. I am not selling anything. I originally asked what everyone uses for Comm on trails. Thatís it. I am a HAM as well (KC8KGV) and I work public comm for a living. Also, a slight correction for you. I donít know of any groups that have repeaters every 2-3 miles. That would be wildly expensive. Placed up high and using good propagation mapping its more like 30ish miles around this area. Get into the mountains and down town and itís a little closer but still not 2-3 miles.


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Title: Re: Radio
Post by: nosigma on May 31, 2018, 08:43:18 PM
I am such a tard.  Shocked that Hondo hasnt fired me yet.

 :p

John


Title: Re: Radio
Post by: KensHardware on August 30, 2018, 11:08:58 AM
What John said! Wow. I wish I knew as much as John about this topic.