MBC Radios

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Now who wants to pony up for a portable repeater?
Retevis RT97S Portable GMRS Repeater. 10 watts out, built in duplexer.

The radios came in on Friday.

By default, they go from Channel 1 —> 16.

Will order a CHIRP programming cable and see what adjustments I can make.

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Could you explain a usage scenario where a mobile repeater would be useful on the trail? (Honest question here).

Assumption is that it would just allow an extended line of Broncos, with the repeater Bronco in the middle.

I was thinking for an event where different groups are spread out, as a common place to check in or clarify or shoot the breeze a bit. Set it up in a central location. The handheld to handheld range is probably less than people think.

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I can see setting up a repeater at an off road park where there is a high spot for an antenna to cover around bends or over hills, otherwise the utility seems suspect to me.


It’s interesting, the range is almost always determined by antenna height and obstructions between the two radios. GMRS runs on “line of sight”, so unless the two radios are unobstructed, like on top of a mountain to a valley (flat land is actually curved and you will run out of line of sight, even on water, well under the maximum range of a good 5W hand held). Holly Oaks would be a good example of where a repeater might by useful. You can’t transmit over several hills or curves, but if you placed one at the top of the ski hill you could probably eliminate some or all of the dead spots.

Multi-charger arrived today.

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Super cool, we are almost a legit club now!

Don’t get carried away now…

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Can I ask for some help here?

Hooking one of the radios up to Chirp, and downloading, this is what I’m seeing.

What I’m confused about is that none of the frequencies quite match up with GMRS or FRS. Note, that I haven’t modified any settings here.

Was looking at this and this freq ref.

Also, Happy Fourth of July! :smiley:

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That’s odd. Is there any way to add frequencies?

I believe you can edit the channels.

I’ll try choosing one of the more powerful GMRS and will upload.

I would have to dig in, that’s really odd. Do the radios work with other radios on the correct channel?

Ok, not sure why the frequencies were so weird, but I can completely program up to GMRS 22.

Tested communications using my UV-5R.

Seeing it easy, what channel frequencies to we want? :smiley:

I think we have used most of the channels at different times. Probably all of the standard channels. Can you add weather channels too?

So Jake gave me one of the club radios to test on a road trip next week. I used the CHIRP cable and software to load up the GMRS channels (2W and higher 1-7, 15-22) I loaded the last two channels with a repeat of 7 and 17 (the most common channels we use as a club). The build quality seems really good. The units could not be more simple to operate. You can even add an external antenna and microphone.

I have a couple of concerns about no display and no indication the unit is on, but those are small issues for a 5W GMRS for less than $15. Now we will see how they work! I am also taking my Btech V-1 GMRS walkie, so I will have a decent unit to compare range and sound quality.

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Excited to hear how they fare in use.

I used the Boafeng radio several times this week. It performed great. The range was comparable to my Btech, the battery life seemed great, the sound quality was definitely solid. For under $15 I think they are great.

Glad to hear. If you have that one programed, I can download it, and clone the rest to match.

Then we can print out / laminate some MBC radio stickers to place on the back for check-guide.

I will send the file when I get to my laptop. We can change the configuration, it’s Matt logic, so it may not be the most logical approach :grinning: