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Old 01-15-2022, 11:28 AM   #1
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GMRS radio instead of CB

Anyone try GMRS radio?
My '21 Force didn't come with a CB, but the antenna is there.
General reading they sound really cool. Something of a hobby, and lots of clubs.
I drive quite a bit, and often alone so the longer range GMRS sounds like something to do, and a very good way to check traffic ahead, get recommended routes, road conditions, stop suggestions (rest stops, truck stops).
I got the FCC license which only took 24 hrs and $70 for ten years. WRPB915.
Now I have to get a radio.
I am based in the Phoenix area and local Danny's Big Rig radio shop suggested the QYT-8900D. They also do the install. Reasonably priced, but I know absolutely nothing about these.
Anyone with first hand experience?
Thanks
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:50 AM   #2
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My Corvette club uses them on cruises, walkies. They are fine when traveling with another vehicle in close range. Once you get obstructions (hills) in between you, they drop off real fast. Still a good way to reach a traveling companion if there is no cell service. That's really all they are good for.


**Unless you are around urban areas or ports, there is normally nobody on air with these in my experience. The cellular age has pretty much killed off this sort of stuff. I still find them useful when I'm on a cruise ship. Or I'm on the roof at home trying to clean the chimney, wife yells to me on radio that my brush is coming through.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:58 AM   #3
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We use GMRS radio's for hunting, the long range works great in the Wy wilderness for known point to point communications.

I have not heard much chatter on it related to general use or road conditions if your thinking of the old CB days type stuff. GMRS is longer distance (up to 50 Watt transmit vs 4/5 Watt on CB) but most use it with a privacy key so you can not pick up on it.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:59 AM   #4
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From what I am reading, truckers are starting to use them, Ch-19 like a CB replacement of sorts. The mobiles have a lot more power than the portables.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:05 PM   #5
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Are you familiar with the term "boat anchor"?
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:08 PM   #6
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I had to Google it.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invisibleman View Post
Anyone try GMRS radio?
My '21 Force didn't come with a CB, but the antenna is there.
General reading they sound really cool. Something of a hobby, and lots of clubs.
I drive quite a bit, and often alone so the longer range GMRS sounds like something to do, and a very good way to check traffic ahead, get recommended routes, road conditions, stop suggestions (rest stops, truck stops).
I got the FCC license which only took 24 hrs and $70 for ten years. WRPB915.
Now I have to get a radio.
I am based in the Phoenix area and local Danny's Big Rig radio shop suggested the QYT-8900D. They also do the install. Reasonably priced, but I know absolutely nothing about these.
Anyone with first hand experience?
Thanks
Have both Motorola GMRS & FRS FM/UHF Radios. They are a must have here in Alaska due to spotty cell coverage outside of urban areas. They work great. One thing you must understand about theses radios is that they are not "intuitive" devices. With the exception of the NOAA channel you must have someone on the other end of your transmission channel to provide you with information. They are not GPS's.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:30 PM   #8
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My family and another family or two use them for road trips or offroad. They are clearer than CB's but they are definitely not prevalent like CB's back in the 70's. Very infrequent to find other on there unless we are in an urban area where there are contractors or kids on a walkie.

We like them for our needs and the fact that our walkies will connect with them.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
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From what I am reading, truckers are starting to use them, Ch-19 like a CB replacement of sorts. The mobiles have a lot more power than the portables.
for giggles, I turned on my radio as I am less then 3 miles from 3 different interstates one being I80 (lots of trucks) and not a peep on channel 19 in the last 40 min.

Don't know what to say other then I do not see this as a replacement for a CB, not that a CB is even worth it any longer.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:22 PM   #10
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My scanner will pick up CB and GMRS/FRS and is mute on those frequencies 99.999% of the time. Local school buses where I used to live used them and their road reports were more valuable than the local radio stations.

GMRS channel 4 is what we use for our periodic S2000 "drives" -- have no idea who chose that channel. But that's about all you're gonna hear on these frequencies.

A pair of these little handhelds costs as little as $19 if you want to play with them. Emphasis on the word "play." Ignore claims of ranges beyond a mile or two.

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Old 01-15-2022, 01:38 PM   #11
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We use CB when traveling on groups during an offroad trip. It may be old school, but it sure is convenient to coordinate fuel stops, food choices, restroom breaks, etc. While me and my family will now be in a motorhome and everyone but myself can now take care of all of that in motion now, it'll still be useful for others in our group.


I was thinking of just grabbing a portable GMRS to throw in whatever vehicle we want it to be in as well. CBs are in my truck, now the Dynamax, and both of our Jeeps.


Jim
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:19 PM   #12
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If you want to play while mobile then get something with the highest power you can, repeater capable and external antenna. Depending on the region, you'll hear little to no traffic. I've found some repeater "watchers" a bit defensive if they hear anyone new on their precious unused repeaters...this in the DC metro area.

It's customary to ask the owner for permission to use their repeater since many are not considered open. Definitely isn't the same Amateur Radio spirit. Unfortunately Ham repeaters have been pretty quiet on my travels throughout a couple dozen states I've roamed the last couple of years.

I keep a GMRS radio scanning at home with most of the usage I hear are businesses, kids on FRS and the occasional GMRS user. I don't run that service in any vehicles and have handhelds I use for hiking and for the spouse to guide me in with a spotlight when we arrive at a campsite at night.

Not 100% up to date but enough to start.

https://repeaterbook.com/gmrs/index.php?state_id=none
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:40 PM   #13
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One of the biggest reasons for decline of truckers using the CB is that there isn't much need anymore. Between electronic logs and satellite tracking, they pretty much have to obey speed limits and down times. Many can't get away with what they used to before. Maybe independents still do, but company drivers are limited. Many just use cell phones to reach out to who they need to now. CB's still work well for group gatherings like with my Goldwing group rides but even with these, Bluetooth headsets are becoming way more popular.

So the choice is kind of up to you but either way, like was mentioned by several above, you need to already have someone to talk to on the other end or they are pretty much paperweights...
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:19 PM   #14
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CB had a longer wave frequency that worked better in challenging terrain. Getting a hill or other obstruction between you and the other user with GMRS, and signal drops out. Doesn't matter how powerful your transmitter is, unless you are using repeaters up in the air to compensate for terrain. So for RV travel, not real useful. Hunting would be good as long as you are not separated by challenging terrain or boating (especially boating), they can reach out many miles over open water, or hilltop to hilltop.
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camper_Lucy View Post
We use GMRS radio's for hunting, the long range works great in the Wy wilderness for known point to point communications.

I have not heard much chatter on it related to general use or road conditions if your thinking of the old CB days type stuff. GMRS is longer distance (up to 50 Watt transmit vs 4/5 Watt on CB) but most use it with a privacy key so you can not pick up on it.
BTW, the 'privacy' channels/codes do nothing to make your transmissions private. All they do is use CTCSS or digital squelch so that you and the other users with same code only hear each other's transmissions, filters others out. But anyone within range can hear your transmissions.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:23 PM   #16
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We are both licensed "Hams" and find that often we have, used our radios for information gathering. Either thru a "repeater" or simplex. Consider getting a "Ham" license, now that you are no longer required to meet code requirements. it's fairly easy. I own several repeaters, and often hear folks asking for info 50 to 100 miles away. OK, two of them are at over 8500 feet high, LOL.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:29 PM   #17
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We are both licensed "Hams" and find that often we have, used our radios for information gathering. Either thru a "repeater" or simplex. Consider getting a "Ham" license, now that you are no longer required to meet code requirements. it's fairly easy. I own several repeaters, and often hear folks asking for info 50 to 100 miles away. OK, two of them are at over 8500 feet high, LOL.
See? You have to be high up like you. In a vehicle, no dice unless you are pancake flat.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:42 PM   #18
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Radio, GMRS, Ham, CB

Actually, I live At about 400 feet elevation, my repeaters (think of them as mirrors in the sky), are at the 8500 feet elevation. They hear things from quite a distance, and "REPEAT" what they hear. out for almost the same distance. So a person calling from 50 to (pick a number) miles can communicate fairly easy.
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:05 PM   #19
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The radio your dealer recommended is not GMRS it is: Dual Band QUAD Standby Mini Car Radio Amateur (HAM) Radio and required a license.
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:51 PM   #20
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I am a licensed ham radio operator. I have a mobile VHF/UHF ham radio. A D-star, Fusion, and DMR hand held, and GMRS and FRS in my vehicle when traveling. I also have a CB radio. It is extremely rare that I hear anyone on the radios when traveling. It would be both convenient, and safer if there was a universal choice among fellow campers when we are on the road, and people would actually use them. I found myself in a rural area, where there was no cell service, and had a mechanical break-down. Thankfully, I was with-in range of a Ham Radio repeater and was able to ask for help from a couple of kind and helpful ham radio operator's, one being the repeater owner. I have been in numerous rural campgrounds where a cell phone will not work. Where the only option would be reaching out for assistance if needed over the ham radio repeaters in the local area. I highly recommend radios, but, they are only good if there is someone on the other end. If there were a universal agreement between campers, on the mode of radio and a universal frequency, we could help one another if needed, or better yet, just communicate.
Safe travels.
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