Recommendation on VIC mounted GMRS radio

Rakkasan3187

Active member
I just recently payed the fees for my GMRS license. I would love to get my HAM license, but do to working overseas it seems that my leave never lines up with the local tests. Anyways... I am looking to mount a GMRS radio in the truck and wanted to see if you guys had any recommendations. Thank you in advance for any input on the GMRS radios.
 

Frdmskr

Adventurer
The Midland radios are very small, all programmed and easily installed. If time is a thing I’d look at that. They can be screwed to the console or dash or even under your seat.

As for ham tests, ping the ARRL. Depending on your country of work you may find there are VEs in country and nearby who would help with a test. Don’t give up on that.

For example I know they have had VE exams in Japan and Germany amongst other places over the years.


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Billoftt

Active member
If you are stationed on an American base overseas you may want to see if there is a club on post somewhere.

A note about those Midland MicroMobile units, I have an MXT115 and an MXT275. They both have TERRIBLE picket fencing ant anything above 10 mph.

The MXT400 is basically a TYT TH-9000D with Midland's firmware in it. Amazon has them for about half of what Midland charges for them and you can use it for 70cm when you get your Tech ticket.

Here is one for $125 (less than a MXT115 or MXT275) and it comes with a programming cable. You can download CHIRP for free and use it to program that radio.
TYT TH-9000D Mobile Radio UHF 400-490MHz 45W 200 Channel Car Radio (Ham) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DD8GFGN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_OoMKDbXT224BQ

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dstock

Explorer
FWIW - Our whole group has the Midland MXT115 radios and have zero issues with picket fencing.
 

Billoftt

Active member
FWIW - Our whole group has the Midland MXT115 radios and have zero issues with picket fencing.
Dang, how did I end up with two lemons?

When did you buy yours? Maybe it was a bad manufacturing run with me. I purchased mine last March or April timeframe I think.

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dstock

Explorer
Dang, how did I end up with two lemons?

When did you buy yours? Maybe it was a bad manufacturing run with me. I purchased mine last March or April timeframe I think.

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We all got ours about 6 months after they came out. I read there were issues with the very first runs on the MXT115, but the issues were resolved quickly. Midland sponsors this section of the forum and I've found them very responsive to questions. Maybe reach out to them?

Any chance it's some sort of interference from the vehicle itself?



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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Dang, how did I end up with two lemons?
Two different radios (an MXT115 and MXT275), right? I doubt it's failed radios, might be or a common design decision, but just doubt they are failed. Locations (in town or wide open?), aspect to other station, using sub tones? It does stop when you're not moving or change with speed, so you're sure it's picket fence?
 

Billoftt

Active member
It stops when I hold still. Once I get above 10mph it starts again. It behaves this way with the NOAA stations as well. Same results with roof mounted and ground bonded NMO and RG8X with a Laird unity gain stealth antenna mounted or a Midland 5/8 wave antenna. Same results bypassing my cable and mount using the included magnetic 1/4 wave antenna with the RG-174.

With both radios. Crazy, right?




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Rakkasan3187

Active member
I appreciate the comments guys. I work in Afghanistan so I am SOL with finding a HAM group here to test with. Anyone here have any experience with this guy?

 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
It stops when I hold still. Once I get above 10mph it starts again. It behaves this way with the NOAA stations as well. Same results with roof mounted and ground bonded NMO and RG8X with a Laird unity gain stealth antenna mounted or a Midland 5/8 wave antenna. Same results bypassing my cable and mount using the included magnetic 1/4 wave antenna with the RG-174.

With both radios. Crazy, right?
Does sound like multipath reception. Have you noticed any issues with transmission range or quality? Since you tried other antennas I'd have to assume it's probably just a byproduct of something common in the receiver design by Midland or their OEM.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I appreciate the comments guys. I work in Afghanistan so I am SOL with finding a HAM group here to test with. Anyone here have any experience with this guy?
Check with the Army or Air Force, they may have someone familiar with MARS - Military Auxiliary Radio Service. It's amateur radio that is done in support of the DoD and isn't just for service members, civilians are accepted. But even if you don't operate MARS (they generally want HF operators and VHF is secondary) there may be someone who knows about the VEC and testing.
 

Billoftt

Active member
It is what it is. Range is consistent with my Kenwoods. I live in a heavily wooded area, I figure it's from bouncing off of a lot of vegetation.

I encourage people to avoid Baofeng. If you want a UV-5R for $25, fine. Anything other than that is still worth about the same as that $25 UV-5R.

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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
It is what it is. Range is consistent with my Kenwoods. I live in a heavily wooded area, I figure it's from bouncing off of a lot of vegetation.

I encourage people to avoid Baofeng. If you want a UV-5R for $25, fine. Anything other than that is still worth about the same as that $25 UV-5R.

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The thing here is that Midland is probably repackaging the same guts as you'd find in other radios. Perhaps cleaning up some of the component and workmanship, tailoring the firmware and then sending through FCC testing.

The MXT275 I think may be a variation a radio Anyone confusingly calls a AT-778, for example. There's nothing basically wrong with that, that radio has a Part 90 acceptance AFAIK. The MXT275 isn't UHF-only since it can receive NOAA weather on VHF so must be a dual band internally.

61EmL2peSmL._SL1024__2.jpg

It's not unusual. Midland has another radio, the DBR2500, that is an Anytone AT-778UV. It's listed by Qixiang on their FCC Part 15 documents for T4K-778UV under both model numbers for Anytone and Midland.

 

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Billoftt

Active member
Check with the Army or Air Force, they may have someone familiar with MARS - Military Auxiliary Radio Service. It's amateur radio that is done in support of the DoD and isn't just for service members, civilians are accepted. But even if you don't operate MARS (they generally want HF operators and VHF is secondary) there may be someone who knows about the VEC and testing.
^^^X2
There might be someone there that is a VE examiner, may be able to help out. I would imagine this would be more likely at BAF, KAF or RC Capital than at the other smaller FOBs and COPs. You would be amazed what you would find out there.

Hell, the last time I was at BAF I was about to be an Adjunct Professor for UMUC but my deployment was cut short due to the drawdown. The base education office sent a solicitation for anyone with either an M.S., M.A or higher to apply. When I sent that up the Chain of Command, the response from the BN Commander was "Why would I NOT want to brag to everyone at Brigade that I have an E5 here that's a damned professor?"

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