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What is the best CB/GMRS/HAM config?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Cows Have Claws, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. Dec 23, 2020 at 11:28 PM
    #1
    Cows Have Claws

    Cows Have Claws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If I wanted to get the best CB/GMRS/HAM for my truck, what would that look like? There is so much out there on the market and so many posts on here with a LOT of hack jobs. I wanted to get a real discussion about some philosophy around this technology.

    I've got a Cobra 75 WXST with a Uniden Bearcat external speaker and a 4' firestick. Stuff I've read is that this is a super weak setup. So, what is a good one? Midland has the MXT275 and 75-822, I've seen some really nice Yaesu FTM-400DR setups. ICOM is huge in the HAM world. Lots of Baofeng UV5R's which I think may be illegal to transmit on... What are the top radios? What are some dream machine setups that are up to date and worth buying?

    Is it worth it for the average weekend warrior to go through the Level 1 Technician test, or is the $70 call sign just fine?

    I spent a lot of money on this truck, I'd like to have a decent radio. Are you using CB/GMRS/HAM and what situations are these best in? My personal reasons are to have a way to communicate with family and friends when cell phones aren't an option within a few miles of the camp/hunt site. I dont do a lot of off-roading(though I want to and should be) and I've read that GMRS eclipses CB in the woods.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  2. Dec 23, 2020 at 11:36 PM
    #2
    Cows Have Claws

    Cows Have Claws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Also, why does it feel so damn taboo to ask questions about this? Too many hard dick dudes out in the world. You're killing the tech!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  3. Dec 24, 2020 at 12:06 AM
    #3
    gixxerphil

    gixxerphil @concretelander

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    As far as strength/signal.....CB<GMRS<HAM

    I personally like the controls to be in the mic. That way I can put them in the console when not in use and you'd never know they are there.

    I have this CB b/c I got a RJ45 jack and put it in one of the blank spots to have it look factorish. The CB is fine if you're pretty close to your group

    https://www.amazon.com/Uniden-CMX76...arcat+760&qid=1608797464&s=electronics&sr=1-2
    Orig_UNIDEN-CMX760-SEPARATES_grande_cropped.png

    20201206_095348.jpg


    For GMRS, I like this one

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FN2FBML/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_7?smid=A33O82Y9CWW4GL&psc=1

    gmrs.jpg

    For HAM, I plan to get the Kenwood d710(I've had my license for a year or so, but have only bought a cheap baofeng handheld)

    ham.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
    Cows Have Claws [OP] likes this.
  4. Dec 24, 2020 at 12:07 AM
    #4
    gixxerphil

    gixxerphil @concretelander

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    Cows Have Claws [OP] likes this.
  5. Dec 24, 2020 at 12:09 AM
    #5
    TJN2015

    TJN2015 Member

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    I’m looking for the same thing as you. Wish I could help more but I just bought this one, it’s supposed to show up tomorrow. My last few trips I’ve been having a lot of issues with my cb and hand held ham612CCCA6-07F9-486C-9CA3-858CAD2FB818.jpg so hopefully this helps
     
    Cows Have Claws [OP] likes this.
  6. Dec 24, 2020 at 12:46 AM
    #6
    Cows Have Claws

    Cows Have Claws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna be honest, that looks miserable.
     
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  7. Dec 24, 2020 at 12:49 AM
    #7
    TJN2015

    TJN2015 Member

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    Which part?
     
  8. Dec 24, 2020 at 1:08 AM
    #8
    Cows Have Claws

    Cows Have Claws [OP] Well-Known Member

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  9. Dec 24, 2020 at 1:19 AM
    #9
    deadpocketss

    deadpocketss Dingus

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  10. Dec 24, 2020 at 1:25 AM
    #10
    gixxerphil

    gixxerphil @concretelander

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    How could I have forgotten @koditten :eek:
     
  11. Dec 24, 2020 at 6:36 AM
    #11
    medic2230

    medic2230 @Koditten Pirate Radio member #002

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    I don’t think you could go wrong with the FTM-400DR. It’s a nice rig. Some people like the touch screen on it. I’m still undecided about it. 2 friends of mine have them and they seem to like them.

    I’m running a Kenwood TM-D710 and really like it. Easy to use and easy to program a repeater in when you want. I like not having to dig through menus for a truck radio. For APRS messaging you have use the keypad on the mic to type.

    As far as HT’s I have a Yeasu FT-70 (C4FM) and a Alinco DJ-MD5GP (DMR). I mainly use them for digital modes with a hotspot or on the local digital repeaters.


    At the house I’m using a Yeasu FT-991a for HF/VHF/UHF and C4FM.


    Really just depends on what you want to do with them. A
     
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  12. Dec 24, 2020 at 10:17 AM
    #12
    vicali

    vicali Chilling at YMH

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    You want a radio to communicate with friends and family when out of cell range? Probably best to find out what kind of radio they have then..

    Why not study up and get you Amateur ticket? You’ll learn a bunch about radios, maybe pick up a new hobby, or figure out it’s not for you.

    Much better start that plunking down a bunch of coin for something you don’t understand and won’t use, or that doesn’t do what you were hoping..
     
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  13. Dec 24, 2020 at 10:48 AM
    #13
    Cows Have Claws

    Cows Have Claws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Oh absolutely, I agree with you. And I realize its sort of like asking what the best guitar setup is and how subjective a question that is to ask. I guess I'm asking because I want to know more information before I start drilling holes into my brand new vehicle and installing something that I'm going to eventually find out is a crappy setup. Getting the response that I need to read an 11 chapter technical manual and take a supervised test in order to be certified to find out what a decent radio setup would look like also seems kind of extreme, you know? I do have the manual and I'm planning on actually reading it and taking the test in the near future (something good will come out of COVID19)
     
  14. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:03 AM
    #14
    SJBrown

    SJBrown Well-Known Member

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    I've got similar ideas as OP and have been doing lots of reading. It's true that when it comes to range, CB<GMRS<Ham. But with Ham, you kind of end up in the hobby category. It also seems like Ham is great for creating a community of radio enthusiasts who like to talk about that hobby. That's not so much what I'm into. GMRS seems like the sweet spot between weak CB and overpowered/complicated/popular Ham.

    I'm almost sold on the Midland MXT400. I want to be able to reach 10 or 15 miles through patches of woods. I want an uncomplicated mic to deal with (and I've read that mics with lots of buttons can get hot). I like that it can use repeaters (which I may one day set up on the farm) and it can talk to some relatively cheap hand-held radios I can hand to friends on a hunting trip. The lower powered models would be enough, except for the range.

    Any feedback y'all have is welcome.
     
  15. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:11 AM
    #15
    JdevTac

    JdevTac Bawnjourno

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    I have an MXT400. Have hit repeaters and talked to people in adjacent states. Works very well. If I had to do it again I might have gone with mxt275 but it wasn’t in production at the time, and the next step down mxt115 was reviewed as a piece of crap.

    GMRS is best middle ground for most. 10 yr pay to play license that extends to family and your gtg. Even lower tier midland offerings are relatively cheap and easy to set up. Works well for groups that aren’t ham licensed and don’t want or have the time to invest in testing.

    I have MXT400, a Kenwood 2m, and plan to get a garmin inReach and call it a day.
     
  16. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:17 AM
    #16
    vicali

    vicali Chilling at YMH

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    By all means buy whatever you like.. you question is like asking about the best tire for a truck you don’t have, and a drivers license that is ‘too hard’ to study for.

    The radio is the last thing you need to buy. And there are hundreds of options out there, not just Icom who is huge in the Ham world.
     
  17. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:21 AM
    #17
    vicali

    vicali Chilling at YMH

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    Plus there is the small detail that if you’re not going to bother getting an Amateur License your illegal to own or operate an Amateur Radio.

    Us Ham guys get prickly about these things..
     
  18. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:24 AM
    #18
    s7726

    s7726 Well-Known Member

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    Same boat here.

    Been looking at the mxt400 for the truck and a couple of beufangs for handheld around camp, spotter, etc. Figured I'd I program them up for gmrs, set the power to low, and use them in channel mode that should keep me in the spirit of things.

    Grab the 10yr family license and call it good.

    Not super interested in picking up ham, although I wouldn't be apposed to getting a cert one day.
    And I don't think of CB as being super useful anymore for my use case.
     
  19. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:24 AM
    #19
    JdevTac

    JdevTac Bawnjourno

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    It’s not illegal to own a ham radio without a license. You just cant transmit.
     
  20. Dec 24, 2020 at 11:33 AM
    #20
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    Why not keep it legal and buy a couple of handheld FRS radios for this purpose instead? Baofengs are illegal to use for GMRS no matter how you are programing them.
     

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