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Old 04-02-2019, 09:41 PM #1
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Off Road Comms

Hey! I have been seeing more and more of the We Boost Cell Phone Signal Amplifiers...does anyone have any experience with these? Specifically, the Drive 4G-X OTR? Looking for work and off road communications. Thank you for your recommendations in advance.

weBoost Drive 4G-X OTR | Truck Signal Booster | 470210 | weBoost
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:51 PM #2
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In my neck of woods usually 0 cell signal when off-roading. No experience but have seen good things about Rugged Radios.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:14 PM #3
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Cell boosters can only do so much… it a good tool to address weak or intermittent signal issues, not a solution for venturing off the beaten path. Personally I would not consider this a reliable means to get off-road coms.

If you are worried about communications from a safety and preservation of life standpoint… then really the best option solution is something like the Garmin Inreach which works off the Iridium satellite constellation. Consider it the modern day 2-way pager for those who cant really afford a satellite phone. The device can also be used a satellite modem allowing you to text message from your phone.

Satellite Communication Devices | inReach(R) by GARMIN

Personally I love radio coms. Ham radio is a good intermediate option… but you need a license to do it right. It cost next to nothing to get licensed, but you can hop onto repeaters and get coverage for hundreds of miles. I can easily talk to someone 100-200 miles away using a simple handheld radio.

Rugged Radios is ok. They market hard to the off-road community, but there equipment is nothing more than pre-programmed Chinese Baofeng radios with an insane markup. What ever they sell you for $75, you can buy yourself for $25.

Frequency List.
https://www.ruggedradios.com/PDF/Fre...uency-RH7X.pdf

Baofeng UV-5R
https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R.../dp/B007H4VT7A

That said, unless you are at a race event, its near useless too. If you want real radio coms, you need to get on repeaters, and to do that, you need a license.

That said… I much rather buy stuff from brands like Yaesu, Kenwood, and ICOM. Enough thought I own like 6 of those as well… it’s just disposable to me.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:40 PM #4
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@Bumbo - thanks for the long reply!

I actually have a CB Radio, plus the Baofeng Radio along with a pair of two radios. I'm just looking for something to help with my cell signal when I'm out off road along with my job! Looking at getting a REAL Yaesu HAM Radio. Again thank you!
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:06 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moshie View Post
@Bumbo - thanks for the long reply!

I actually have a CB Radio, plus the Baofeng Radio along with a pair of two radios. I'm just looking for something to help with my cell signal when I'm out off road along with my job! Looking at getting a REAL Yaesu HAM Radio. Again thank you!
How much is the cell signal booster system? The pictures of the setup do look nice. My friend has a different setup in his GX, but he lives in a rural area where coverage is spotty. The cell booster only improved general availability and reliability. Depending on the price, I would consider trying it, but I would manage expectations.

Honestly... the Garmin InReach unit is pretty amazing... certainly worth owning if you off-road often. Yes, has a monthly subscription, but its probably the first affordable consumer device that actually gives 2-way sat coms without making you poor. Most other systems were a "push and pray" system.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:19 PM #6
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@Bumbo

I actually have the Garmin inReach Explorer+ to help with my off road maps and to send my location to my family while I'm solo traveling. I love it!

The weBoost I ordered is the big one. It was $475. But it allows up to 4-5 people I think and has the biggest boost. The smaller sleek version $275 they have only does like one person and generally I have a sales rep with me in the car so I want them to have good signal in the car with me.

weBoost Drive 4G-X OTR | Truck Signal Booster | 470210 | weBoost
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:26 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moshie View Post
@Bumbo

I actually have the Garmin inReach Explorer+ to help with my off road maps and to send my location to my family while I'm solo traveling. I love it!

The weBoost I ordered is the big one. It was $475. But it allows up to 4-5 people I think and has the biggest boost. The smaller sleek version $275 they have only does like one person and generally I have a sales rep with me in the car so I want them to have good signal in the car with me.

weBoost Drive 4G-X OTR | Truck Signal Booster | 470210 | weBoost
For that price, I would consider buying it... at least if I needed it. I like communications equipment, but when I off-road, i'm trying to get away from cellular reception haha.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:33 PM #8
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@Bumbo Yeah, I'm the same way...BUT I still have to work all the time as a marketing business owner. I'll definitely know how I like it.

Check this video out - Mike is a great dude (a little survivalist for me, but talks really good about it)
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:28 AM #9
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I just installed one.
We have some rural land that has a few areas where I lose service.
Turning the booster on will give me two bars in these dead areas and I get data and can make a call just fine.

We will be making a trip to some remote areas in about a month and Ill see what it does out there.

So far it looks good you just need to have reasonable expectations.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:48 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyotegray View Post
I just installed one.
We have some rural land that has a few areas where I lose service.
Turning the booster on will give me two bars in these dead areas and I get data and can make a call just fine.

We will be making a trip to some remote areas in about a month and Ill see what it does out there.

So far it looks good you just need to have reasonable expectations.
Where did you mount it? The rig looks SO awesome!
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:27 PM #11
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Quote:
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Where did you mount it? The rig looks SO awesome!
I mounted it on the back of the GOBI rack with a Diamond K540 mount.
I used the washer and nut they provided with the booster kit...
Attached Images
Off Road Comms-1-jpg  Off Road Comms-2-jpg  Off Road Comms-3-jpg 
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:44 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbo View Post
Cell boosters can only do so much… it a good tool to address weak or intermittent signal issues, not a solution for venturing off the beaten path. Personally I would not consider this a reliable means to get off-road coms.

If you are worried about communications from a safety and preservation of life standpoint… then really the best option solution is something like the Garmin Inreach which works off the Iridium satellite constellation. Consider it the modern day 2-way pager for those who cant really afford a satellite phone. The device can also be used a satellite modem allowing you to text message from your phone.

Satellite Communication Devices | inReach(R) by GARMIN

Personally I love radio coms. Ham radio is a good intermediate option… but you need a license to do it right. It cost next to nothing to get licensed, but you can hop onto repeaters and get coverage for hundreds of miles. I can easily talk to someone 100-200 miles away using a simple handheld radio.

Rugged Radios is ok. They market hard to the off-road community, but there equipment is nothing more than pre-programmed Chinese Baofeng radios with an insane markup. What ever they sell you for $75, you can buy yourself for $25.

Frequency List.
https://www.ruggedradios.com/PDF/Fre...uency-RH7X.pdf

Baofeng UV-5R
https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R.../dp/B007H4VT7A

That said, unless you are at a race event, its near useless too. If you want real radio coms, you need to get on repeaters, and to do that, you need a license.

That said… I much rather buy stuff from brands like Yaesu, Kenwood, and ICOM. Enough thought I own like 6 of those as well… it’s just disposable to me.
All of this is dead on...


To anyone reading this, get your HAM license... just do it. Trust me you will be glad you did...
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:45 PM #13
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What about GMRS radios? Anybody tried these and had any luck?

Some friends and I were planning to go this route.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:58 PM #14
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This is the exact system 95% off offroad race teams use for their chase trucks and base camps. It uses a Japanese made ICON radio, which is much higher quality then the Rugged stuff. Magnetic antenna and cigar power wire mean this is easy to throw in the rig for a weekend trip, and easily removed for storage.



Whether you’re part of a race team or out playing with friends the PCI Chase Package is a great way to stay in contact. Great for base camp set ups or chase vehicles. Programmed with Weatherman’s Stock frequency list, or we can add your personal frequencies.

Icom F5021 VHF Mobile Radio. 50 Watts of power, 128 Channels, alphanumeric display. Complete with bracket, Hand Mic and Power cable.
No Ground Plane Antenna
Magnetic Mount coax package includes cigar power cable.

Radio Type: Mobile VHF Radio
Frequency Range: 136–174 MHz
Number of channels: 128 channels / 8 Zones
Current Drain: TX 50w vhf 10.0A
RX Max Audio 1.2A
Stand-by 300 mA
Power Supply Voltage: 13.6v DC
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5-29/32 × 1-9/16 × 6-19/32 inches.
Weight: 2.4lb
Output Power: 50w @ 13.6v DC
Supplied Accessories: Hand microphone (HM-152), DC power cable, Mounting bracket kit, Microphone hanger , Key assign sticker

PCI is not a frequency coordinator. We recommend using Forest Industries Telecommunications and they have set up a portal to obtain a license here
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:20 PM #15
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Quote:
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What about GMRS radios? Anybody tried these and had any luck?

Some friends and I were planning to go this route.
GMRS is great. You can use handhelds, full power mobile radios, repeaters, etc. Very clear and even just simplex will get decent distance. For someone who isn't willing to put the time and effort into getting their armature license this is a good alternative. GMRS was my "gateway drug" into HAM Radio...

If possible stay away from the "bubble pack" radios at Cabelas, etc.

There are a few older land mobile radios that are FCC type certified for GMRS and work great you can get on Ebay, etc. but if you don't want to go through the details of that then the Midland MXT400 is a good off the shelf solution.
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