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Old 02-07-2019, 12:26 AM #31
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Icom ID-5100a, has an on board SD card slot which can hold a list of repeaters that you can download based on your area. The radio has built in GPS and there is an option to seach nearby repeaters from the SD card info and your current GPS.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:38 AM #32
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Well you can always use a CB on a temp install basis. Use a 12V plug and an antenna with a magnetic base. Then if you need to use the radio, just plug in and stick the antenna on the roof.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:24 AM #33
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when I was a kid if you saw a bear in the median you just got on 19 and hollered that there was "a bear facing eastbound at the 145", and someone would chime right back "you're looking good to the 110" or whatever. That shit don't go no mo'.
there is still plenty of that around me, but I'm right beside I-40, I-85 and I-95. If you travel M-F during normal hours you'll hear call outs and if there is traffic or an accident you will get info, otherwise it's quiet. Off the interstates around me all of the dump trucks and concrete trucks seem to use CH19 so you'll hear people talking around big construction sites, but otherwise it's silent. If you scan the channels you'll hear the people on 1,000 watt amplifiers but so far that's not on CH19 in my parts. I have the midland 75-822, it just hangs on the back of the passenger seat monitoring CH19. I'm using one of the NMO mounts for the CB antenna, and when I'm offroading I'll sometimes use that mount for a second Ham radio if I'm not in a trail ride with other people who only have CB.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:44 PM #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrv9 View Post
Well you can always use a CB on a temp install basis. Use a 12V plug and an antenna with a magnetic base. Then if you need to use the radio, just plug in and stick the antenna on the roof.
I’m no antenna expert, but from my experience antenna length is what makes CB difficult (or annoying) from a portable or even mag mount operation… I’m sure everyone has seen those off-road trucks that look like RC cars with gigantic length whips… due to the frequency, the antenna length needs to be long for any reasonable performance.

Just an example…

¼ wave CB (27 Mhz) antenna is about 102 inches long
¼ wave 2 meter (148 Mhz) ham antenna is about 19 inches long
¼ wave 70cm (433 Mhz) ham antenna is 6.5 inches long

From what I read and understand, the ideal 2meter HAM antenna for long range use, like in the open desert is a 5/8 wave because the radio waves propagate more towards the horizon, vs ¼ which has a steeper takeoff angle which might be better for something used in the city…

5/8 wave length 2meter ham antenna is 49 inches
5/8 wave CB antenna is 22+ feet long

I have two antenna setups in the truck… right is a ¼ wave 144/440, and the left is a ½ wave 144/440 ham antenna. One thing I learned in the radio game, it’s ALL about the antenna… you can have the best equipment in the world, but without a proper antenna setup, it all goes out the window. In my early days, I had a really hard time with CB because I didn’t understand the antenna part of the equation.



95% of the time all I use is a 1/4 wave antenna... performance is great, gets me into repeaters 50+ miles away, and no problem with car to car coms over miles and miles...


Last edited by Bumbo; 02-07-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:48 PM #35
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I suppose you have a switch for going back and forth? That would be handy. I do the same thing manually - I carry a 5/8 in the back so I can swap it onto the NMO mount. I rarely use it and it makes such a small difference that even when I break it out it doesn't make any difference. Sometimes if I'm in open country I'll run it just for laughs and to give that little extra chance of my APRS beacons making it out. I am looking at getting an HF mobile though and obviously if I do that I'll run two mounts.

edit: or do you run two radios?
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:50 PM #36
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I suppose you have a switch for going back and forth? That would be handy. I do the same thing manually - I carry a 5/8 in the back so I can swap it onto the NMO mount. I rarely use it and it makes such a small difference that even when I break it out it doesn't make any difference. Sometimes if I'm in open country I'll run it just for laughs and to give that little extra chance of my APRS beacons making it out. I am looking at getting an HF mobile though and obviously if I do that I'll run two mounts.

edit: or do you run two radios?
I run two radios… a Kenwood TM-V71a and a Yaesu FT-2900 VHF as the “drivers radio”

The main purpose of the Kenwood is for 70cm band and crossband repeater. The longer antenna is not deployed majority of the time. The radio isn’t even easily accessible. It’s just in the truck for those times I need it, like in my Mendocino example when I needed the power and repeater when hiking. While it isn’t easily accessible, I can remote control the entire thing using the keypad / DTMF tones on my handheld.

I agree with you… while 5/8 is technically ideal, it’s provides marginal gains for most of my activity, especially when working a repeater. I run a ¼ wave out of convenience because I park in a garage. Bigger antennas is always in the truck as a spare, or when I need to use the Kenwood.

The only times I have actually seen it useful is when I am doing car to car come over REALLY long distances, like when you are on the edge of performance, is about the only time it actually matters.

I do remove the ¼ wave and use the 5/8 in the desert if I am driving with my friend who owns a Side-by-Side as the distance between us can grow pretty fast. It’s about the only time I find it useful is when I am doing car to car coms over REALLY long distances, like when you are on the edge of performance, is about the only time it actually matters. Plus the height advantage helps over the terrain.

I really wouldn’t mind upgrading to something that has APRS… I don’t have something that can do that right now. Would make easy work of finding my off-road friends.

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Old 02-08-2019, 11:37 AM #37
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You could do APRS with your Kenwood using a MobilinkD bluetooth TNC and a tablet. That has the advantage of having a full map for tracking and a good keyboard for messaging. I have an FTM-400 which makes APRS a snap and quite convenient, but without a tablet all I get is "station x is 5.1 miles to the west" for tracking.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:55 PM #38
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Originally Posted by MossJenks View Post
You could do APRS with your Kenwood using a MobilinkD bluetooth TNC and a tablet. That has the advantage of having a full map for tracking and a good keyboard for messaging. I have an FTM-400 which makes APRS a snap and quite convenient, but without a tablet all I get is "station x is 5.1 miles to the west" for tracking.
Plug the USB cable from your ftm-400 into your tablet, most packets will show up in W2APRS (although some will be missing location data because of their non standard format)

Or use your mobilinkd as the tnc with the ftm-400 and you can have all of them snap
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:04 PM #39
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Originally Posted by MossJenks View Post
You could do APRS with your Kenwood using a MobilinkD bluetooth TNC and a tablet. That has the advantage of having a full map for tracking and a good keyboard for messaging. I have an FTM-400 which makes APRS a snap and quite convenient, but without a tablet all I get is "station x is 5.1 miles to the west" for tracking.
That is an option…I'll look into it. I have been eyeing the FTM-400XDR, it’s been on my list, but it keeps getting bumped back on the priority list.

I want a couple nice digital hand held radios for the wife and I, but I haven’t been too thrilled with the newer Yaesu offerings. I am still happy with my VX-7R, but I really need to get her something else. The VX-2R she is using leaves a lot to be desired, and is hard to use in the field. At this point I want to standardize to make my life easier as I am the one who has to maintain everything.
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