GMRS Radio and discounts (1 Viewer)

Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
276
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Bozeman, MT
CB is required for TLCA events. And since 406 Cruisers is affiliated with TLCA... Plus CB is cheap. There has been talk of switching to GMRS for reasons already stated. But not everyone wants to buy a GMRS if they already have CB and HAM.

Seems like most of the 406 club runs have more HAMs that CB operators so the chatter ends up on HAM. A 50W mobile ham radio has a bigger range than CB, which is a huge bonus in the mountains. Plus, being able to hit a HAM repeater in an emergency is clutch.

Interestingly, at Cruise Moab this year, they passed out GMRS radios to everyone and didn't bother with CBs. My guess is that nobody likes CBs, and most CBs don't work well or are improperly tuned. The GMRS radio is idiot proof from that perspective. Handheld ones had short range and short battery life.

From my experience, HAM is king. I heard from a guy at Copper State Cruisers that their club was giving out Baofeng radios to members who passed their HAM tech license. It was a great way to get more folks on HAM.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
444
Location
Bozeman, MT
$33.37 on Amazon will buy you a Baofeng UV-5R and a magnet mount antenna. $14 is what Gallatin Valley Ham Radio Club charges to take the exam. <$50 total investment for a true entry level mobile ham radio. It's not a great radio, and it's only 5 or 8 watts depending on specific model, but it gets the job done.

I've pointed out a couple positives and couple negatives of GMRS. The cost difference between good entry level GMRS and ham (ignoring the Baofeng outliers and clearance deals) is probably negligible. I don't think anyone would argue me saying CB is below GMRS and GMRS is below ham, at least when it comes to communication capabilities using comparable cost/quality equipment. The limited channels of GMRS may or may not actually become an issue, and it isn't an issue right now, so we can probably disregard that for the moment. So what it really comes down to is the ham license test, and whether or not the test an unreasonable barrier for club members.

If people do believe that it is an unreasonable barrier, are there things that we as a club can do to help members be successful in taking and passing the test, and would that reduce the barrier sufficiently? For instance, could we organize a study workshop with help from the Gallatin Valley Ham Radio Club? Could we buy a club copy of the ARRL study materials to loan out to members who are preparing to take the test? Could we communicate with members to set up a test session at a time and place that makes it easy for people to attend if they have trouble attending the normal test sessions? There are probably other things too, but maybe that's just a bridge too far. I'm not sure.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
276
Location
Bozeman, MT
One way to convince folks is to let them hear the difference on a trail run. The range and clarity of these different radios and antennas speaks for themselves.

Offering up a study group (therapy group) with/without club funded materials would be a great winter activity. Gallatin Valley Ham Radio Club might even make a special test night just for our group if we can get a bunch of folks together. There's a few 406 Cruisers that are tied into the GVHRC in one way or another, myself included.

I posted up about a HAM class a few years ago when I was studying for the exam. Not much interest. Maybe that's changed now. :meh: But always gonna be someone not willing to jump through the HAM hoops. And I get it. It's not super exciting content for most.
 
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
15
Location
Bozeman, Montana
$33.37 on Amazon will buy you a Baofeng UV-5R and a magnet mount antenna. $14 is what Gallatin Valley Ham Radio Club charges to take the exam. <$50 total investment for a true entry level mobile ham radio. It's not a great radio, and it's only 5 or 8 watts depending on specific model, but it gets the job done.

I've pointed out a couple positives and couple negatives of GMRS. The cost difference between good entry level GMRS and ham (ignoring the Baofeng outliers and clearance deals) is probably negligible. I don't think anyone would argue me saying CB is below GMRS and GMRS is below ham, at least when it comes to communication capabilities using comparable cost/quality equipment. The limited channels of GMRS may or may not actually become an issue, and it isn't an issue right now, so we can probably disregard that for the moment. So what it really comes down to is the ham license test, and whether or not the test an unreasonable barrier for club members.

If people do believe that it is an unreasonable barrier, are there things that we as a club can do to help members be successful in taking and passing the test, and would that reduce the barrier sufficiently? For instance, could we organize a study workshop with help from the Gallatin Valley Ham Radio Club? Could we buy a club copy of the ARRL study materials to loan out to members who are preparing to take the test? Could we communicate with members to set up a test session at a time and place that makes it easy for people to attend if they have trouble attending the normal test sessions? There are probably other things too, but maybe that's just a bridge too far. I'm not sure.
I think this is a great idea count me in if we create a ham study group, I’ve always wanted to get my license. I think a major thing that holds people off is the knowledge base for the test, maybe we can create a small event/group with some of the more experienced HAM dudes in the club and us newbies can check out the radios and learn a bit more about em? I am a hands on learner, definitely down for one of these days in June maybe to learn more about them! I know the test is fairly basic just study and memorize the material but I personally would like to be able to know the ins and outs, maybe build my own kit learn the parts of the HAM world, then take the test. Stoked to partake in this dialogue!
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
444
Location
Bozeman, MT
Teaching people about and how to use radios was 30% of my job in the Army. I don't have class materials for a ham radio class, but I know a couple places to ask about that sort of thing and I know a guy in Bozeman who teaches a class. I'm also willing to go upgrade my license so that I can be a Volunteer Examiner if that would make it easier for club members to get licences too. You need 3 VEs to have a test.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
226
Location
Bozeman, Montana
CB is required for TLCA events. And since 406 Cruisers is affiliated with TLCA... Plus CB is cheap. There has been talk of switching to GMRS for reasons already stated. But not everyone wants to buy a GMRS if they already have CB and HAM.

Seems like most of the 406 club runs have more HAMs that CB operators so the chatter ends up on HAM. A 50W mobile ham radio has a bigger range than CB, which is a huge bonus in the mountains. Plus, being able to hit a HAM repeater in an emergency is clutch.

Interestingly, at Cruise Moab this year, they passed out GMRS radios to everyone and didn't bother with CBs. My guess is that nobody likes CBs, and most CBs don't work well or are improperly tuned. The GMRS radio is idiot proof from that perspective. Handheld ones had short range and short battery life.

From my experience, HAM is king. I heard from a guy at Copper State Cruisers that their club was giving out Baofeng radios to members who passed their HAM tech license. It was a great way to get more folks on HAM.
Brilliant!
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
416
Location
just east of Central Park, Mt.
the big advantage of gmrs over cb besides power is that it's fm same as most 2 meter. makes a heck of a difference in clarity. in most trail conditions i doubt you'd use much over 5 watt setting which is why handhelds are so popular. heck, i might even check into setting up a repeater here mid valley. cb is still important to have if you like to take rides with other clubs. also, i've heard and read that the baofeng radios can be programmed for the gmrs freqs however i don't recommend doing that as it's not approved so would be illegal to transmitt on
 

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