UHF / GMRS monitoring with a dual band rig

BogusBlake

2006 Expedition Trophy Champion
UHF / GMRS monitoring and dual recieve

So I'm thinking about picking up a dual band mobile rig. A few I've looked at have a frequency range that goes up to 520MHz. GMRS and FRS frequencies (~462 and 467 MHz) are in this band. If I dial in the frequency of a GMRS or FRS channel, can I monitor and transmit to folks with FRS/GMRS walkie-talkies?


Second question: I'm considering the Yaesu FT7800 and 8800. I don't really care about cross band repeat capability, but simultaneous monitoring of two bands seems like it would be useful. Do you guys find that to be something you use often?
 
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1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
I have the yaesu VX6R and with a little soldering it can be euro spec'd which will allow you transmit on those FMS freq..it will monitor from the factory.
I am also looking at a new radio for the FJC and the 8800 is my choice right now...I will use the crossband repeat when hiking if needed but I really like the dual radios in 1 setup to I can listen in on repeaters while on simplex on a run.
Let us know what you go with and post pics on the install with a useage report.
enjoy
1leglance
 

HenryJ

Expedition Leader
I scan with my 8800 all the time. I work for a quasi-government entity and also emergency services.
The radio works well with all that I need. Having dual band dual receive is a must.
The controls are tiny on the 8800, but it you have a place to steady your hand it works great. They are not lit, so memorizing them for night time becomes needed. Not a bad idea to be able to operate blind folded anyway. Not while driving , of course ;)
I also pack a VX7R. I do monitor FRS/GMRS with both. The VX7R is can be opened with software. The 8800 with a soldering iron and 10 second removal of one piece.
Neither radio is legal for TX in FRS/GMRS. Neither would do a good job in those either.
I pack a small FRS/GMRS radio when I need that capability. They don't take up much room and a redundant communication source is not a bad idea.
Personally once you have used 2m there is really no need for shorter range communications. 2m can do it all and better. I have friends who do not have 2m. I will use the small FRS/GMRS when they are along. I have one of the RadioShack mobile units in the truck all the time for monitoring.
 

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gary in ohio

Explorer
BogusBlake said:
.........GMRS and FRS frequencies (~462 and 467 MHz) are in this band. If I dial in the frequency of a GMRS or FRS channel, can I monitor and transmit to folks with FRS/GMRS walkie-talkies?
Yes you can monitor but it would not be legal to transmit

Second question: I'm considering the Yaesu FT7800 and 8800. I don't really care about cross band repeat capability, but simultaneous monitoring of two bands seems like it would be useful. Do you guys find that to be something you use often?
I monitor multi bands with multi radio in my primary vehicle, but having the two independent receviers the 8800 have could be nice. Put one on your local repeater and scan other freq with the other.
 

BogusBlake

2006 Expedition Trophy Champion
DaveInDenver said:
I have a VX7R and a FT-7800R and both will receive GMRS and FRS frequencies, but neither will transmit on those frequencies from the factory. No ham radio sold legally in the USA will transmit on FRS/GMRS out of the box.
That's what I wanted to know. Thanks!


DaveInDenver said:
There are threads about cross band repeating and wide band TX mods here. You might search and see if you can find them.
Did that. That's why I pretty much decided I don't need cross band repeat.


DaveInDenver said:
I think of the 3 the 7800 is the most obviously designed for moving vehicle use (particularly at night, it's the only one with lighted buttons).
That's a big deal. I think lighted buttons clinches it.

HenryJ said:
I pack a small FRS/GMRS radio when I need that capability. They don't take up much room and a redundant communication source is not a bad idea.
I have friends who do not have 2m. I will use the small FRS/GMRS when they are along.
My thoughts exactly.


OK, on the dual receive- can I set up a scan mode to only switch between two frequencies? For example, my group's simplex frequency and a local repeater. It seems like the scan would alternate between the two pretty fast and act like dual receive. (I'm a total noob at this stuff and I don't have a radio yet, so that's probably a dumba$$ question.)
 

BogusBlake

2006 Expedition Trophy Champion
DaveInDenver said:
You can also watch two memories with this thing called Dual Watch. I do that often to monitor 146.520 and whatever simplex we're using or a repeater. This ping-pongs between the two memories until one gets a transmission, then it'll stop. I guess what I'm saying is even though the 7800 doesn't have two independent receivers, it has quite a bit of flexibility on it's one.
Perfect. Thanks for all the help! One more question- can I set up that dual watch for two frequencies that aren't in the same band (2m simplex and 70cm repeater)? When using that feature, do you designate which frequency will be active if you transmit? (Sounds like I need to just sack up, buy the radio, and read the manual!)
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
wow excellent discussion!
I was really set on the 8800 but now I am really leaning toward the 7800:
cheaper..
backlit buttons...
easier to read/use buttons..
will do everything I thought I needed in the 8800..I didn't really need 2 tx/rx radios just the ability to monitor 2 freq and switch between...
Thanks for saving me some serious cash...
now before I buy tomorrow or Tues anyone had the 7800 and switched to the 8800 for reasons we should know about?
thanks again
1leglance
 

edgear

aventurero, Overland Certified OC0012
1leglance said:
wow excellent discussion!
I was really set on the 8800 but now I am really leaning toward the 7800:
cheaper..
backlit buttons...
easier to read/use buttons..
will do everything I thought I needed in the 8800..
I was kinda thinking the same thing before reading this thread. From reading the Yaesu website, it looked like only the 8800 had the remote-head mounting capability, along with much more features. But with the backlit buttons, I think the 7800 seems like a better option (and it's more affordable!). I haven't found a place in Flagstaff that sells these radios, and I'm not sure if I want to drive all the way to Phoenix to look at one. I might just be brave & order it online.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
I was just on yaesu's website and confirmed that the 7800R has remote mountable head unit...that is why I was still considering it and I am 99% sure that will be my purchase...
I wish they threw in the kit for free like on the 8800 but even with the extra $60 the price is still less than the 8800.
enjoy
1leglance
 

gary in ohio

Explorer
1leglance said:
I
I wish they threw in the kit for free like on the 8800 but even with the extra $60 the price is still less than the 8800.
enjoy
1leglance
The free kits is only good till the end of the month.
 

gary in ohio

Explorer
DaveInDenver said:
I probably wouldn't pay for the kit. You can achieve the same thing with a 6-wire phone cord, a couple of connectors and a crimp tool.
While you may have a working head, you may also find your may also have a big problem with RF in the control module. The factory kit is more than a 6 wire phone cable and plug. You have a ground and shield. If your only going a couple of feet your most likley ok, but after that RF into the cable is only a matter of time.
 

gary in ohio

Explorer
As noted you cant use your UHF ham radio on GMRS but you can use your UHF GMRS radio on the ham bands. A commerical UHF radio can be used on GMRS (if type accepted for GMRS) and on the ham bands. Kenwood as a number of commerial radio that will do double duty, as do vertex (yaesu) and icom.
NO real dual band commercials but you can go to dual RF decks and get a dual band like system.
 

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craig

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
I have a dual band radio and I find myself using the sub-band all the time.

Main band: Set to whatever frequency I'm talking on (repeater, simplex, etc)
Sub-band: One of...
APRS or other packet radio activity
NOAH weather radio
FRS monitor - Better speaker than handheld FRS
Local repeater - Have radio set to a local repeater to communicate with trucks out of our groups immediate range
Second frequency: Switch to sub-band for communications off the primary group frequency. E.g a winch operator (on a handheld), or a smaller group of vehicles scouting apart from the main group.

Once you have the sub-band you'll wonder how you ever got along without it, and it is much less ham-sexy than sticking 2 radios and 2 antennas in your truck.
 
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