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Thread: Off road radio application?

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default Off road radio application?

    Hello all. Our family pastime is off road atving in a rather large group with friends and family. We enjoy having the ability to communicate and have been using gmrs radios within our group for a few years. The side by sides in our group use the Midland micromobile radios and us atv guys use hand helds with a helmet setup and ptt button mounted on a handlebar. These seem to work well for our needs but here’s my issue. Midland is no longer producing the handheld radio we atv guys prefer to use. That would be the GXT5000 which is ruggedized and waterproof. If we were willing to get licensed to use a ham radio, what would be a good reasonably priced radio that would suit the needs of the atv guys like myself? The handhelds we have been using went for a little over $100USD. I have seen helmet setups with the correct plug for nearly every radio out there so that’s not a concern. My next question- is it even legal for a ham radio to communicate on gmrs channels and privacy codes? That would be necessary as there’s no reason for the SxS guys to be motivated to switch radios. They’re happy with what they are using and Midland is still producing them should one be damaged. I did some looking around on this topic bud didn’t find anything specific to my questions. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okbear View Post
    what would be a good reasonably priced radio that would suit the needs of the atv guys like myself?
    Probably one of the Baofengs - I hate to say it, but they're great value for money and it you're only communicating for a mile or so, will do nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by okbear View Post
    is it even legal for a ham radio to communicate on gmrs channels and privacy codes?
    Nope, we are not allowed to transmit anything that is encrypted.

  3. #3

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    I have a Beafong that cost me about $30 plus shipping. Puts out 4 watts. While I can hit the local repeater, 20 miles away, they can't hear me very well. Note that the battery that comes with it doesn't last but a few hours. So I got 3800mAH batteries for it, had to trim to fit, and those work for much longer. I help with a bicycle race in May for 2 years now.

    I have a 10 watt Beafong Tech 25X4, still under $100, that I can hit the repeater and other 2m folks in my area can hear me. It can do 25 watts on 2 meters, but it can overheat at that power range. It comes with a cigarette lighter plug, and the mic uses a modified version of an Ethernet connector to plug into the radio.
    --
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  4. #4

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    the parameters you described, with the SXS folks, rule out amateur radio... you described usage would not be legal.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obed View Post
    the parameters you described, with the SXS folks, rule out amateur radio... you described usage would not be legal.
    Thank you all. I can’t imagine why Midland quit making that handheld. My only complaint with them is the fact that they are technically no longer “waterproof” when the cover is removed for the headset plug. The only times this has been an issue is when we had heavy rain and a radio was left in the non-sealed storage trunk on my atv and another time when my wife had to wade into a river to rescue another atv and rider that became stuck. Of course, these issues were of our own doing so I really can’t call them complaints. I noticed on the one baofeng that it has a sealed Motorola style connector which would alleviate that problem of not being waterproof when the cover is off. Too bad the ham radio won’t work for us to (legally) talk to gmrs radios with privacy codes. Thank you all for all your help. It’s greatly appreciated. If you have any other input or suggestions, please share.

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